Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in British Columbia for a second day today. The prime minister is to deliver remarks at the Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey conference hosted by the First Nations Health Council. Trudeau was in Langley yesterday to announce that BC has signed the health agreement in principle for 27.47 billion dollars. The money is one part of a 196-billion dollars health-care funding proposal that Trudeau made last month to Canada’s premiers.
Charges won’t be laid in one of British Columbia’s largest money laundering probes despite a government directive for a special prosecutor to conduct a second review of a police investigation. B.C.’s Prosecution Service says lawyer Chris Considine agrees with an earlier decision by the prosecution service that charge assessment standards had not been met and no charges would be approved. Considine was appointed last March to conduct an independent charge assessment of the multi-year E-Nationalize investigation, which concluded in 2021 and proposed eight charges against Paul King Jin of Richmond. Considine says while a path to a conviction might be theoretically possible on paper, his instincts tell him a prosecution “is likely to founder.”
British Columbia is donating one million dollars to the Canadian Red Cross’s humanitarian efforts in Turkiye and Syria following recent earthquakes. Pat Quealey, vice-president of the BC and Yukon branch of the Canadian Red Cross, says the money will help provide emergency relief items such as food, water, and medical supplies, as well as psychosocial support and first aid. On February 6th, two major earthquakes struck the border regions of the two countries resulting in widespread destruction of infrastructure and thousands of fatalities. Last week the federal government said it will match 10-million dollars in donations to members of the Humanitarian Coalition, on top of 10 million in matching donations to the Canadian Red Cross.
Three people have been arrested for mischief after Victoria’s Royal BC Museum’s woolly mammoth was vandalized. The three metre tall display, known as “Woolly,” was hit with pink paint by climate activists wanting to draw attention to what they say is the federal government’s inaction on the file. The museum says staff members cleaned off the water-soluble paint and there was no permanent damage to Woolly, a giant replica of a mammoth whose tusks are made of Fiberglas. Police say other visitors, including children, were present in the gallery when the paint was applied.
The union for British Columbia 911 operators says 150 million dollars included in the latest provincial budget is “critical” to improving emergency response services. Donald Grant with the Canadian Union of Public Employees says the new funding will lead to faster and safer 911 response services across BC. The union says the money will support remote and Indigenous communities as they transition to next-generation technology that gives operators better location information during emergencies. It says the funding came after years of advocating amid a “dire situation” with staffing levels at the agency, which takes calls for dozens of police and fire departments in BC.
RCMP say three people are dead and two others were seriously injured in a crash north of Kamloops. Police say a report came in Wednesday morning about a multi-vehicle collision on Highway 5 just south of Clearwater. Emergency crews found three people dead and two others in critical condition. The circumstances of the crash remain under investigation.