BC’s New Democrat House Leader Ravi Kahlon says it’s prudent for the government to use surplus money in the budget to invest in people. Kahlon says provincial officials have heard residents’ concerns about needing greater supports amid rising costs and a looming economic slowdown. His remarks came after Lieutenant GovernorJanet Austin delivered the government’s speech from the throne, outlining a political agenda for the coming months that includes plans to introduce targeted supports for families with children and people with lower incomes, as well as a “refreshed” housing plan. Opposition Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon says the government is great at making announcements, but its plans lack results when it comes to health care, public safety, housing affordability and other priorities.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is holding a long-awaited meeting with Canada’s premiers today, and it’s expected he will offer them a boost in health-care funding. The premiers say they are going into the talks with open minds, no red line, and a willingness to sign one-on-one agreements with Ottawa for more money. BC Premier David Eby says the bilateral agreements will be a big part of the negotiations, but the core goal is to get people the health care they deserve by increasing Ottawa’s contribution to the annual Canada Health Transfer. A senior government official says the prime minister is expected to lay out a 10-year deal that would boost the annual transfer to the provinces, while offering more targeted funding with conditions attached.
A new coalition is aiming to save wild salmon, with Jordan Point, the executive director of the First Nations Fisheries Council, saying the current outlook is dire. The council has joined with the Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance, the Upper Fraser Fisheries Conservation Alliance, the Pacific Salmon Foundation and the First Nations Summit to find solutions to help save the iconic species from extinction. The Save Our Salmon Coalition says Pacific salmon populations have declined by more than 90 per cent since the 1970s and warns that if stocks collapse, more species, including southern resident killer whales, are also at risk of extinction. A statement from Mike Meneer, CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation, says urgent action is needed, and the first step is to create a collaborative plan to rebuild wild stocks and help them adapt to climate change.
Nanaimo RCMP say a 39 year old man has been arrested after another man was struck with the blunt end of an axe. They say the 30-year-old victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries during the alleged attack in the parking lot of the Port Place Mall on Saturday. They say witnesses told officers that the men were seen arguing beforehand. The Mounties say the victim was treated in hospital, and an assault charge was to be laid against the suspect at a bail hearing.
RCMP say a 43-year-old man in Ladysmith, BC, has been arrested and charged with attempted murder after an alleged road rage incident involving a 17 year old. They say witnesses reported seeing two vehicles stop at an intersection just off the Nanaimo Parkway, when one of the drivers got out with a gun and fired at the other. The Mounties say both drivers fled the scene, but police received information that led them to a home where a 17 year old boy identified himself as the driver whose car was shot at, and officers confirmed the vehicle had damage from gunfire. They say officers later arrested the suspect, who remained in custody after appearing in provincial court yesterday.