BC’s Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says he has spoken to his federal counterpart, Marco Mendicino, about the issue of violence on public transit across Canada. Farnworth says he expects to see an increased law enforcement presence on transit systems in B-C after ministry officials met with policing agencies about safety on trains and buses. Seventeen-year-old Ethan Bespflug (BES’-flag) was stabbed on a Surrey transit bus and died last Tuesday. Twenty-year-old Kaiden Mintenko has been charged with second-degree murder.
The mother of a man who died following a beating involving seven police officers says the family honours him by spending time together and celebrating life. Margie Gray says she’d like to see recommendations from the inquest into her son’s death related to body cameras, drug testing for officers and better training for mental health calls. Myles Gray died in 2015 following the beating that left him with a broken eye socket, a crushed voice box, a ruptured testicle and other injuries. The inquest looking into his death will hear testimony over 10 days, including from the officers directly involved in the beating and first responders.
BC’s integrated homicide investigations team is investigating after a man was found dead in Pitt Meadows. Mounties say they found the man’s body around noon on Monday in a wooded area west of the Golden Ears bridge. Police say they have identified the victim and there is no threat to public safety. No names are being released pending notification of the family.
BC’s provincial election next year could have six more seats to fill. Amendments to the province’s Electoral Districts Act were introduced Monday to establish 93 electoral districts, up from the current 87. The changes are in response to recent recommendations from the independent Electoral Boundaries Commission to reflect rapid population growth. The proposed increase is made up of four new electoral districts in the Lower Mainland, one on Vancouver Island and another in Kelowna.
Treatment to remove invasive Japanese beetles from Vancouver’s parks and green spaces begins today. Treatment of more than 60 hectares will begin at Columbia Park and continue through the months of May and June at other parks and public lands. The Park Board won’t be closing parks and green spaces, but residents are asked to stay off the grass marked with signs on treatment days. The number of invasive beetles caught in traps across Vancouver has fallen from eight-thousand-275 in 2018 to just 39 in 2022.
The BC government is promising 200-thousand-dollars this year for book publishers facing supply-chain challenges and rising costs related to printing, shipping and distribution. The money is part of 600-thousand-dollars promised over three years to address challenges in the publishing industry. Bob D’Eith, parliamentary secretary for arts and film, says the money will provide much-needed relief, now and for years to come. The province says there are 46 award-winning publishers in BC and 250 magazine titles are produced each year.