British Columbia’s health minister has acknowledged that chronic overcrowding and staffing level concerns at one of the province’s largest hospitals are causing aggressive behaviour from accumulated stress and frustration. Adrian Dix says the ongoing patient and staffing issues at Surrey Memorial Hospital have created a stressful atmosphere. He says the province will improve and increase capacity for more in-patient and outpatient care, surgeries and clinical programs at the facility. This comes after Surrey doctors released a series of letters last month saying management at Fraser Health — where the hospital is based — and the health ministry have not provided support for the overstretched emergency room, and that lack of staff and hospital capacity has put patients in jeopardy.
The Yukon government has filed a petition for the judicial review of an assessment by its Environmental and Socio-economic Board that recommended against a mining exploration project. The petition says the boarddid not have enough information to provide a thorough assessment of the project. Government lawyer Ian Fraser says a petition is the only way the territory can ask the board to review its assessment and fix any issues. He says the report noted there wasn’t enough information to allow for a fair evaluation of the project, which put the government “in a tough spot” because it can’t make a decision about the project if it is “operating on incomplete information.”
BC Ferries wants spend millions on a project it says will transform check-in and boarding processes for customers at its five major terminals. An application to the British Columbia Ferries Commissioner says the proposed plan includes upgraded kiosks, fare gates and boarding pass validators for foot passengers and an express lane check-in for reserved customers. If approved, the changes would be implemented over four years. The changes would cover terminals at Duke Point, Tsawwassen, Horseshoe Bay, Departure Bay, and Swartz Bay.
Metro Vancouver has issued an air quality advisory that it says was triggered by wildfire smoke from two out-of-control fires near Harrison Lake. The advisory covers northeast and southeast Metro Vancouver as well as central and eastern parts of the Fraser Valley. The Metro Vancouver Regional District issued the warning yesterday afternoon due to high concentrations of fine particulate matter, saying wildfire smoke and high temperatures are creating hazy and potentially hazardous conditions. It is suggesting people postpone or reduce outdoor physical activity until the air quality improves.
The City of Penticton is banning open burning, including campfires and fireworks, starting today at noon. But it says the ban does not restrict fires in cooking stoves using gas, propane or briquettes, or portable campfires with a CSA or ULC rating. The ban coincides with a campfire ban throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre, which also takes effect at noon. The forests ministry announced that decision Tuesday, saying it was issuing that ban “to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety,” and that it’s in effect until noon on October 13th or until the order is rescinded.