Surrey R-C-M-P are investigating more gunfire reports in the city, following a series of targeted shootings over the past week. Police say they received reports of shots fired in Whalley yesterday and found evidence of a shooting, including bullet casings in the street, but no victims or suspects were found. However Police are looking for a red Kia Optima with a B.C. license plate KEO 43M. The Mounties say Monday’s gunfire was the fourth reported shooting in the past six days, with the other three believed to have been targeted attacks. They are investigating possible ties between the series of shootings and the local drug trade, as well as the wider Lower Mainland gang conflict.
Surrey Police has added 25 more officers to its service. They join 41 of their colleagues who were deployed in November and January as part of the city’s integrated policing transition, bringing the total number of working officers to 66. The service says 20 other officers have also been sworn in and will be deployed later this year. It says by late 2022, the service will become one of the largest municipal police services in the country, second only to Vancouver.
B-C’s finance minister says homebuyers will soon be protected by provincial regulations that include a cooling-off period. Selina Robinson says the Property Law Amendment Act would give buyers time to consider what they’re buying and to have a home inspection done. She says it will set an amount of time buyers have to get out of a real estate deal and will include any possible financial costs involved in retracting an offer. One expert says the changes would give buyers more time for due diligence, but may also allow purchasers to make offers without consequences, which could put the seller at a disadvantage adding it also won’t make housing less expensive.
Will Smith has apologized to Chris Rock for slapping him in the face onstage at Sunday’s Academy Awards. In a statement on Instagram, Smith wrote he was “out of line” and “wrong,” and is embarrassed by his actions. He also apologized to the film academy, Oscar producers and viewers. Smith’s assault on Rock for a joke he’d made about Smith’s wife, stunned audiences inside the ceremony and at home. Minutes later, Smith won the best actor award. The academy yesterday condemned Smith’s violent behavior.
It was a meeting place for drug users and support groups, but it didn’t even last a year before the City of Surrey pulled its business license, and advocates say there will be lasting impacts. They are taking their fight to the B.C. Supreme Court over the operation of the BC-Yukon Association of Drug War Survivors Surrey chapter. Ann Livingston coordinated the project, which operated in Newton for about seven months. She says about 100 people a day were stopping by the office, especially early on in the pandemic, and says they were harassed by bylaw officers. he court is scheduled to conduct a judicial review today.
In what will eventually be a network of 400 sensors in seismically active areas in the province, Natural Resources Canada has deployed its first sensor within B-C Ferries’ Horseshoe Bay terminal. The system is designed to detect the first wave of energy radiating from an earthquake’s epicentre and then provide a warning before the real shaking begins. When triggered, it will use the national public alerting system to deliver instant warnings to smartphones, T-Vs and radios, similar to the way Amber Alerts work.
A B.C. doctor, who has become infamous for spreading COVID misinformation throughout the pandemic, has been suspended from practicing medicine. The College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. issued the interim order to protect the public as it investigates Dr. Stephen Malthouse. In a public notification posted online on Monday, a panel of the Inquiry Committee of the college found “there would be a real risk of harm to the public if Dr. Malthouse was permitted to continue to practice without restriction.” Malthouse, a Denman Island physician, has become known for spreading COVID misinformation online and at protests against masking, vaccines, and other COVID health measures.
The federal government will unveil its 2022 budget next week. It comes as the federal Liberals face pressure to deliver on unfulfilled election promises, a slew of new social programs as part of a political pact and an international commitment to boost military spending. Outstanding election promises amount to about 80-billion dollars in new spending, offset by 25-billion dollars in projected new revenue, over the next five years. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland says this year’s spending plan, set to be released on April 7th, will focus on spurring economic growth.
People aged 50 and older can get a second COVID-19 booster. But they must wait at least four months since their last vaccination. The Food and Drug Administration has authorized an extra dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for that age group and for certain younger people with severely weakened immune systems. But doctors are still stressing that three doses of vaccine are still proving effective in preventing infection — or serious illness if there are symptoms.
B-C says that the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations increased slightly over the weekend to 288 people, up from 260 on Friday. There are currently 48 people in intensive care. Another six people have died from the virus. There have been no new health-care facility outbreaks and one has been declared over, bringing the total number of health centre outbreaks to six.
Jada Pinkett Smith has little to say about Sunday’s Oscar incident in which her husband Will slapped Chris Rock over a joke he made about her hair loss. Her only reaction has been a graphic posted on her Instagram. It’s an image that reads — “This is a season of healing and I’m here for it.” Will Smith slapped Rock on live T-V after the comedian made a joke that seemed to ridicule his wife’s lack of hair. She has a medical condition that causes hair loss.