Mounties in Burnaby say the death of Constable Shaelyn Yang a year ago still weighs heavy on colleagues and friends of the young police officer. Chief Superintendent Graham de la Gorgendiere, officer in charge of the Burnaby RCMP, says the one-year anniversary of Yang’s death is a painful memory, but an opportunity to celebrate her legacy. He says Yang was an outstanding police officer who did important work with marginalized people, and her death represents a dark moment that set off a wave of mourning and public support. Yang was fatally stabbed during an altercation on October 18th, 2022, when she was helping city workers evict a homeless man living in a tent in a Burnaby park.
Mounties in Nanaimo say they’re investigating the fatal drug overdose of a woman back in March that they now believe was a homicide. The Nanaimo RCMP says its serious crime unit is looking into the death of 52-year-old Wendy Head, who was found dead at a home in the city on March 7th. Investigators say they’ve collected a lot of information since Head was found as they probe the death and the circumstances leading to it. Police say they believe there are people on Vancouver Island with information about the woman’s death, and that anyone with information about the homicide should contact the Nanaimo RCMP.
The BC government says it’s changing legislation to increase access to services for victims of crime. The province says the Crime Victims Assistance Act is currently too restrictive, leaving victims, family members and witnesses without adequate support. The provincial government says it’s proposing amendments to allow family members such as grandparents and grandchildren to access benefits, eliminating the need to be financially dependent on a victim for eligibility under the law. It says the province also plans to provide funding for sexual assault support service centres in Vancouver, Victoria, Surrey, Kamloops and Prince George.
The president and chief operating officer of London Drugs says the company has no plans to close a store in downtown Vancouver, contrary to statements by a city councillor that the company was mulling it over due to crime and theft. Clint Mahlman says the company doesn’t know where the information came from, and was disappointed that news of the potential closure caused fear among staff and customers. He says the company has invested significant resources in ensuring the store is a safe place to work and shop, but retail theft and escalating violence remain a key concern. Mahlman says the company loses millions each year to organized retail theft, and governments need to take action and take heed of the toll of violence and crime on businesses, workers and citizens.
A Vancouver Island man has been fined 51-hundred dollars and banned from hunting for two years after illegally killing a large elk near Chemainus. The BC Conservation Officer Service says Kyle Watson-Harley pleaded guilty in provincial court to killing the animal out of hunting season. The service says the incident took place in 2019 in the Copper Canyon area, southwest of Chemainus, and the elk meat was later donated to a local First Nation group after being seized by officers. The service says it received a tip that resulted in an investigation and they hope the conviction will deter others from similar activities.
The Hard Rock Casino is getting a new name and a makeover in December. Gaming firm Great Canadian Entertainment says it’s rebranding the Hard Rock as the Great Canadian Casino Vancouver this winter, touting it as one of the firm’s flagship gaming and entertainment venues. The company says the renamed venue will also get a burger restaurant whose menu is curated by foul-mouthed celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. The company says the rebranded casino in Coquitlam will continue to host live entertainment through a collaboration with Live Nation.