Police say they have “credible information” that two children who are the subject of an Amber Alert have been taken “off the grid” in an alleged “preplanned” abduction by their mother. Surrey RCMP say they believe Verity Bolton, along with her father Robert and boyfriend Abraxus Glazov, are living in trailers in a rural area after the woman failed to return the children to their father earlier this month. Police say they’ve received 180 tips on the case, but the whereabouts of eight-year-old Aurora and 10-year-old Joshuah Bolton remain unknown, with the last confirmed sighting at a Merritt, BC, gas station on July 7th. Investigators say Verity Bolton’s 53-year-old boyfriend is an outdoorsman and fishing enthusiast from Nelson who has lived off grid in the past, and are asking the public to notify police of any possible sightings.
An anti violence advocate says the BC government’s new policing standards for sexual assault cases is a step in the right direction, but they may not be enough to improve outcomes for survivors. Angela Marie MacDougall, executive director of Battered Women’s Support Services, says she welcomes new funding announced by the province for sexual assault survivor support programs after her organization has been sounding the alarm over gender-based violence for years. MacDougall says police, especially the RCMP, have a dubious track record on sexual assault investigations, dismissing a disturbing number of cases as unfounded, while only a small percentage of incidents get reported to law enforcement. MacDougall says gender-based violence is a crisis across BC, and is calling on the provincial government to make a plan comprehensive enough to tackle the problem.
Unionized SkyTrain workers have ratified a new five-year deal with the BC Rapid Transit Company. CUPE Local 7000 says the deal includes wage increases and improved benefits, and better working conditions related to limits on forced overtime. Union local president Tony Rebelo says the deal will provide stability to workers and the public for the next five years, including when the Broadway subway expansion is completed. Rebelo says many new employees will come on board over the course of the contract, and wages and benefits in the new deal will help attract top candidates for jobs.
Police in Nanaimo say a brazen theft of a 75-inch television from a Walmart in June was ill planned, with two suspects caught on video placing the large TV on a car rooftop and holding it down with nothing but their hands. Nanaimo RCMP say a man and a woman, both in their 40s, now face theft charges after they were filmed driving off with the stolen TV on the evening of June 8th. Police say responding officers noted the car’s licence plate and the clothing worn by the suspects, locating them hours later at a gas station. Mounties say they searched the vehicle and found parts from the stolen television, but the item was not fully recovered and the pair were released from custody, due in court in early September.
The BC governments says people shouldn’t use the recent rain as an excuse to ignore drought and wildfire risks across the province. The Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness says most of BC remains on either level four or five drought conditions, urging people and businesses to continue to conserve water despite the wet weather on Monday. The ministry says wildfire risks remain high or extreme in southern BC and parts of the province’s northeast. It says several fires in the Kamloops Fire Centre grew significantly over the weekend, and more than a thousand people are under evacuation order in the province and 37-hundred on evacuation alert due to wildfires.
United Way BC says it’s implementing an urgent response plan to support people affected by wildfires. The charity says it is well positioned to deliver services to communities devastated by the province’s worst-ever wildfire season through its work with First Nations, governments and other charitable organizations. United Way says its work with wildfire-affected communities began in 2021, with donations going to people who need help with food and mental health support. The charity says it has experts on staff who work with displaced people and governments as it has evolved to respond to urgent events such as wildfires.