The BC Centre for Disease Dontrol says there have been eight confirmed cases of a rare strain of salmonella since mid-November. The centre says the outbreak has been linked to imported cantaloupes sold under the label “Malichita” and those sold from October 11th to November 14th should be disposed of. Cases include people ranging in age from less than a year to 68 years old, living in the Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health and Island Health regions. Symptoms of the illness include diarrhea, abdominal pain and sometimes fever, nausea and vomiting.

Ryan Reynolds is the newest member of the Order of British Columbia. The Vancouver-born actor and producer received the honour from Premier David Eby and Lieutenant-Governor Janet Austin at a private ceremony yesterday in Vancouver. Officials say a scheduling conflict means he won’t be attending a ceremony later today in Victoria for more than a dozen other recipients of what’s considered the province’s highest honour. The government biography for Reynolds says he is a “homegrown heavyweight” whose kindness and selflessness have benefited countless people.

BC is launching a hotline this spring to refer victims who experienced racially motivated attacks to counselling and other support services. Premier David Eby made the announcement yesterday and said no one in BC should be targeted because of the war in the Middle East. The province is also launching a program at the end of the month that will give 10-thousand-dollar grants to places of worship, cultural community centres and other organizations working with at-risk groups. The money will help pay for security equipment, graffiti removal and repairs to damage done by hate-motivated crimes.

Vancouver city council has removed the minimum parking requirements for new developments in the West End and Broadway Plan areas, effective January 1st. In a statement, Mayor Ken Sim says eliminating parking requirements for new builds is key to speeding up the development process. The city says the areas were chosen since most daily needs are within an easy walk, bike or transit trip, and there is an excess of existing off-street parking spaces. Staff have been told to report back next year on the next phase of eliminating parking minimums and a framework to improve the regulation of on-street parking.

The RCMP’s after-hours non-emergency phone lines for the southeastern region are back up and running, after being down for part of Tuesday and Wednesday. Mounties said the non-emergency lines could not be routed to the dispatch centre after hours, potentially affecting response times to non-emergency calls. 911 calls were not affected. By Wednesday afternoon, police said the necessary connections had been restored and calls would be dealt with in priority sequence.