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The B-C government is pushing the minimum wage up to 15 dollars and 65 cents an hour starting June 1st.  The B-C Chamber of Commerce says it “strongly supports” fair wages for workers but is concerned about the timing of the announcement.  It says this comes as businesses are still reeling from rising costs related to the pandemic, supply chain issues, B-C’s paid sick leave program and historic gas prices  The Chamber is worried small and medium-size businesses will be the most impacted.  Labour Minister Harry Bains says a commission travelled the province consulting businesses and others affected by the minimum wage, and it suggested the increase.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made history on Tuesday addressing the Canadian Parliament and pleading for continued support amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  In his virtual speech in the House of Commons, Zelenskyy asked Canadians to imagine if their country was under a similar attack.  He acknowledged and thanked Canada for their assistance and aid in recent weeks. Zelenskyy continued to make his pitch to NATO allies to enforce a no-fly zone, asking Canadians to imagine if they were facing Russian missile attacks.


Should the provincial government put in place a temporary pause on the collection of the provincial fuel tax to reduce living costs for BC residents and businesses?  Surrey Board of Trade (SBOT) is calling on the provincial government to immediately put in place cost relief measures for fueling up vehicles, similar to the temporary policies that will be enacted soon in Alberta.  SBOT says the temporary pause in provincial fuel taxes should last until “global circumstance improve.”


A long lineup of big trucks headed west on Highway 1 from Langley to the Port Mann Bridge yesterday morning, , slowing morning rush hour traffic.  One of the participants, a trucker from Abbotsford said it was a rally to protest high fuel costs.  He estimated about 200 trucks took part in what he described as a peaceful protest, that was not connected to the Freedom Convoy against vaccine mandates.


After two years of virtual sales, Girl Guide cookies will be sold door-to-door again this spring, starting with the famous chocolate and vanilla combo.  Over the weekend, Girl Guides BC announced the kickoff and delivery of thousands of boxes across the province, which participants will then sell for $5 each to fundraise for activities.


New COVID-19 infections have more than doubled in the past 24-hours in China as the country battles its biggest outbreak since the early days of the pandemic.  The fast-spreading stealth Omicron variant is testing China’s zero-tolerance strategy.  Most of the new cases are in a northeastern province that is under a strict lockdown.


B-C’s health ministry says 359 people are in hospital with COVID-19 as of yesterday, with 51 in intensive care.  It says the province recorded 14 more deaths from the disease over the weekend, bringing the death toll to two-thousand, 946.  A total of 13 health-care facilities had outbreaks — most of them at long-term care facilities.


A puppy is recovering after being poisoned by an opiate in a Coquitlam park last week.  The four-month-old terrier, was being walked in Mundy Park when his nose touched a suspicious substance in a heavily wooded area.  Around 45 minutes later, the pup became unsteady and fell over.  He was taken to an emergency vet hospital where he tested positive for cannabis and some kind of opiate.  Police say thankfully the dog is doing well and that they are investigating… at this point it’s not clear whether the substance was left there by accident or intentionally.


Forty per cent of young adults in Canada feel they are at a mental health breaking point right now, almost 16 per cent higher than the national average, according to a new poll.  The survey looked at the state of mental health in the country two years into the COVID-19 pandemic. Young adults, aged 18 to 34, were in a significantly worse state than the national average.  Over 30 per cent feel they need professional mental health help, but cannot access services while 27 per cent have recently experienced suicidal thoughts and feelings, almost double the national average of 15 per cent.


St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are set to return this week, but festival organizers and student unions say people should be careful. Canada’s largest celebrations of the holiday were cancelled in 2020 and 2021 because of pandemic-related health risks. Vaccine and masking mandates are slowly being lifted across the country and many parades and festivals are going ahead. Vancouver and Montreal are home to some of Canada’s largest Irish populations, and with COVID-19 protocols being lifted in many jurisdictions, festival organizers are confident that celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day can return to an adjusted normal. 


Experts and disability activists say the push to lift COVID-19 measures is bad news for many high-risk Canadians. Many provinces have cited high vaccination rates and lower levels of viral circulation as reasons to drop or relax COVID-19 rules. But Bev Pausche, a lymphoma survivor in West Vancouver, says that forces vulnerable people to make an impossible choice between their health and their ability to be normal. Statistics Canada reported in July 2020 that nearly one in four Canadians aged 15 and older have a health condition that puts them at higher risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes.


Environment Canada is forecasting a wet day on the Lower Mainland, where a rainfall warning is in effect. The public alert covers Metro Vancouver, Howe Sound and the Fraser Valley and says 50 to 80 millimetres of rain is expected by the end of the night. It says a storm moving across the region will bring long periods of rain, which should be heaviest near the mountains. Environment Canada warns that heavy downpours can cause flash floods and water pooling on roads.


The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers’ Association are looking to boost the electric vehicle market. Statistics Canada says more than 65-thousand new battery-only and plug-in hybrid electric cars were registered in the first nine months of 2021. That compares to 38-thousand in 2020. But the increase is nowhere near what’s happening in Europe, where one in six new registrations in France, Germany and the U-K were electric. The Association is lobbying the federal government to triple consumer rebates in the next federal budget.