The CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver says the pandemic contributed to the rise of hate and discriminatory behaviour. Ezra Shanken says Jewish people in Canada were no strangers to discrimination before the pandemic, but he’s troubled by the resurrection of antisemitic language and the misappropriation of Holocaust symbols by anti-vaccine groups. New figures released by Statistics Canada show hate crimes reported to police continued to spike across the country in the second year of the pandemic as people were targeted by race, religion and sexual orientation. The agency says all provinces and territories experienced increases in hate crime reports in 2021 except Yukon, where they were unchanged.
A new affordable rental building for members of the Xwisten First Nation has opened in Bridge River, BC. The five-plex is for people who are at risk or experiencing homelessness. The federal government contributed 1.6-million dollars to the construction. Housing and Diversity and Inclusion Minister Ahmed Hussen says the building will bring much needed relief to vulnerable and at-risk individuals and families by providing new safe and affordable rental homes.
RCMP are looking for a suspect after two different porta-potties were set on fire in North Vancouver. Mounties say the first fire happened on March 13th. A week later police and firefighters were called to a second porta-potty that was on fire in a different area in North Vancouver. RCMP say no suspects were seen at the second location but police believe the fire is related to the previous arson.
BC Ferries has issued a request for proposals seeking potential designs for electrical charging for its vessels. Currently, the six Island-class ferries are hybrid diesel-electric vessels but they operate mainly on diesel fuel because terminals lack charging infrastructure necessary to power their batteries. The request for proposals asks for design drawings and technical specifications as well as cost estimates. Work to electrify the ferries would involve four Island-class vessels running between Nanaimo and Gabriola Island and between Campbell River and Quadra Island.
Vancouver city council is to consider whether to impose tighter restrictions on bear spray. A report to council ahead of Tuesday’s vote recommends banning the sale of bear spray to anyone who is under 19 or who does not provide ID, and to require sellers to document every sale. The proposal recommends a ticket of one-thousand dollars be issued for each infraction. Statistics provided by Vancouver police say there were 721 offences last year involving the use of bear spray, specifically in cases involving threats, assaults, and robberies.