Fully vaccinated travellers will no longer require a negative COVID-19 test to come to Canada starting next month. The changes will go into effect on April 1, random PCR tests will continue and travellers will still have to use the Arrive-Can app before entering the country. The Federal government made the announcement this morning. Unvaccinated foreign nationals are still barred from travelling to Canada, barring a few exemptions. Unvaccinated children coming to Canada travelling with vaccinated adults no longer have to isolate from school or daycare for 14 days.
The mayor of a town near Kharkiv (HAR’-keev), Ukraine says 21 people died in a Russian artillery attack that destroyed a school and a community centre. In a town northeast of Kyiv, Ukraine’s emergency service says a hostel was shelled, killing a mother, father and three of their children, including three-year-old twins. Russia has said it is not targeting civilians, but last evening, an airstrike heavily damaged a theatre in Mariupol, where as many as one-thousand people had taken shelter. There are reports of some survivors.
A medical geographer at U-B-C says more research is needed into why the government wasn’t ready to respond to a pandemic when disease mapping experts like him have been warning about it for years. The comment comes after the B-C government said it will conduct an independent review of its operational response to the COVID-19 pandemic to help it prepare and respond to emergencies. The ministry says the scope of the review does not include an assessment of public policy, provincial health or economic recovery decisions, but it will look at how those choices were made.
Surrey RCMP is investigating a shooting that injured a teen in the early hours of Wednesday morning in the Guildford area. Police responded to a report of shots fired at a residence near 112th and Lansdowne Drive, when officers arrived, they found “evidence consistent with a shooting” and a 17-year-old, “who is known to police,” suffering from non-life-threatening injuries. The teen was taken to hospital and has since been release.
B-C’s new website for its provincial parks that will be home to a new camping reservation system is now up and running The environment ministry says people will be able to reserve a campsite up to two months before their arrival at most campgrounds. People can now visit the site to create user accounts and save preferences, but the ministry says it won’t be open for bookings until 7 a-m Monday.
COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to drop in B-C, with 329 people in hospital yesterday compared to 345 on Tuesday. The health ministry says 51 people are in intensive care. It says eight more people have died in the province, bringing the death toll to two-thousand, 953. The ministry says there are nine health-care facilities — most of them long-term care homes — dealing with ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks.
The B-C Lotteries Corporation says that for the second time in a week, a ticket purchased in the Lower Mainland is the winner of a multimillion-dollar jackpot. It says a ticket bought in Vancouver was the only one in Canada with the winning numbers for last night’s Lotto 6/49 draw worth six-million dollars. The winner has not yet been revealed. But the lottery agency says John and Travis Bonner of Chilliwack bought the winning ticket in the March 9th Lotto 6/49 draw, netting them eight-million dollars to share.
The federal government has begun accepting applications from Ukrainians and their families fleeing Russian aggression who want to come to Canada while they decide their next steps. The U-N refugee agency says more than three million people have fled Ukraine since Russia’s attack on the country began. The vast majority are women, children and older adults. Meanwhile, Canada’s Melanie Joly and other G-7 foreign ministers say in a joint statement that Russian President Vladimir Putin is conducting an — quote — “unprovoked and shameful war.”
Surrey RCMP is investigating and looking for witnesses after two vehicles were “intentionally lit on fire” in a driveway in the Guildford area. On March 11, around 2:40 a.m., police received a request from Surrey Fire Service to help with a vehicle fire in the driveway of a house in the 17700-block of 101 Avenue, just a little north of the Highway 1 and Highway 17 interchange. According to a release from Surrey RCMP Const. Gurvinder K. Ghag, the fire was extinguished and it was two vehicles that were damaged by the fire. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502, or Crime Stoppers, if they wish to remain anonymous, at 1-800-222-8477 or solvecrime.ca.
Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds joins his wife Blake Lively, Regina King and Lin-Manuel Miranda as co-chairs of this year’s Met Gala. The star-studded May 2nd event will mark the second part of an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art exploring the roots of American fashion, after the annual fundraiser was split because of the pandemic. The Met Gala is one of the biggest nights in fashion as celebrity guests often dress to the theme of the exhibition each year.
Dolly Parton is still on the list of this year’s nominations for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, despite the country icon asking to be removed. Parton said she hadn’t earned the right to be on the list, and did not want to take away votes from the remaining nominees. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation says in a statement that it is up to the voters to decide if Parton is elected.
Metro Vancouver has set aside 18-million dollars for an energy project in New Westminster that will warm homes and businesses on the city’s east side using heat recovered from sewers. While the funding is on the way, New Westminster council is working on a new bylaw that would clear the way for the launch of the Sapperton District Energy System. A statement from Metro Vancouver says the project will provide affordable, low-carbon energy for new developments around the Sapperton and Braid SkyTrain stations on the eastern edge of New Westminster and for the expansion of Royal Columbian Hospital. Vancouver has been relying on heat from sewage since 2010 when the concept was used to heat the Athlete’s Village for the Winter Olympics — and the system now heats more than six million square feet of residential, commercial, and institutional space in several surrounding neighbourhoods.