Friends and colleagues of slain RCMP Constable Rick O’Brien have remembered him as a proud police officer who loved his work and his blended family with six children, often referring to them as the “Brady Bunch.” Led by an RCMP pipe band, thousands of uniformed officers gathered in Langley to march in a procession for O’Brien, who was killed nearly two weeks ago while trying to execute a drug-related warrant in Coquitlam. O’Brien’s sister, Cindy Niezen, said some of her favourite memories will be of his “great healing hugs” that he inherited from their mother, who died earlier this year. A message from his wife Nicole said they were supposed to be on vacation together, but instead he’s heading to a different paradise.
BC’s police watchdog has found a man who rammed his SUV into a police cruiser outside a Vancouver Island RCMP detachment last spring was not seriously injured when he was hit by a single police bullet. The Independent Investigations Office, which reviews officer-involved incidents that result in serious harm or death, says it reviewed video footage and medical records before concluding the probe. One officer was also injured in the incident last May. The suspect appeared in court this week facing charges including assault by choking, aggravated assault, assaulting a peace officer with a weapon, and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.
A large, fierce-looking marine reptile that lived on Vancouver Island 80 million years ago could soon join the Pacific salmon, the spirit bear and the western redcedar as an official emblem for the province. Tourism Minister Lana Popham has introduced legislation that would see the reptile known in the Comox Valley as the Puntledge River elasmosaur (eh-LASS’-mo-saur) added to the list of provincial symbols as the fossil emblem for BC. That’s after a five-year effort to recognize it by local paleontology enthusiasts. Locals found the first elasmosaur fossils in 1988 and they’re now on display at the Courtenay and District Museum and Palaeontology Centre.
A program launching this month at Vancouver Island University is set to train new Indigenous Guardians in the province. It comes after an agreement between the university and Nanwakolas (NAN’-walk-olous) Council, comprising six First Nations whose traditional territories are located on northern Vancouver Island and adjacent areas along the mainland. Council president Dallas Smith says they need many more guardians as nations take on increased responsibilities for environmental governance and management. The program is being supported by provincial funding.
Police in Victoria say they’re looking for two women who may have seen the suspect or suspects in a possible arson over the weekend. They say officers responded Saturday evening to reports of two fires inside a retail store, where staff used fire extinguishers to douse the initial flames. A short time later, they say staff were alerted to a second, smaller fire that had been put out by a customer. The incident happened around 8:30 p-m in the 18-hundred block of Store Street and police are asking anyone with information or security footage to come forward.
The Yukon government says it’s looking at how to ensure residents are equitably represented in the territory’s legislative assembly given the shifting population. It says those shifts include growth in the Whistle Bend area of Whitehorse. Premier Ranj Pillai has tabled a proposed amendment to the territory’s Elections Act that would allow for the establishment of an Electoral District Boundaries Commission tasked with proposing adjustments to electoral areas. The report is due before the next scheduled election in 2025.