Public Safety Minister Make Farnworth says his government has no plans to lower its tax on gasoline to offset prices that have spiked over two-dollars a litre in Metro Vancouver. Farnworth made the comment when asked if B-C would follow Alberta’s lead after it announced it will slash its gas tax by 13 cents a litre as of April 1st. He says there is no simple solution to rising fuel prices _ which are being pushed higher by events outside of provincial control including the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Farnworth also says the province has taken a number of steps to make life more affordable, including lowering vehicle insurance rates and phasing in 10-dollar-a-day child care.
Evacuations of embattled Ukrainian cities are beginning to see people escaping through safe corridors. U-N officials said Tuesday the exodus of refugees from Russia’s invasion of the country reached two-million, including at least 100-thousand people who are not Ukrainian. Previous attempts to lead civilians to safety have crumbled with renewed attacks. The U-N human rights office reports 406 confirmed civilian deaths since the Russian attacks began nearly two weeks ago — but it says the real number is much higher.
Today is International Women’s Day and to honor that, an empty statue base has been installed at Vancouver’s Canada Place to draw attention to how few monuments feature women, and to encourage a celebration of their accomplishments and stories. The YWCA Metro Vancouver installed the piece called ‘Reserved for Her.’…The organization estimates that Canada-wide, only 12 per cent of permanent, public statues commemorate women. During the month of March, they will be inviting local women advocates, entrepreneurs, inventors, artists to step up onto the statue base and tell their stories. A social media campaign will share them online to raise awareness of local women working to make a difference.
B-C has recorded 11 new COVID-19-related deaths over a three-day period for a total of two-thousand, 914 fatalities since the pandemic began. There are 449 people in hospital and 63 of those are in intensive care.
The province says 18.4-million dollars in funding will cover debris removal work set to start in tomorrow Lytton _ more than eight months after most of the village was destroyed by a wildfire. The money will pay for the work on municipal, uninsured and underinsured properties. Critics including area residents and the Opposition Liberals say the government waited too long to launch recovery plans. However, The Public Safety Minister says the recovery effort was hampered by last fall’s floods and the toxic state of ground conditions throughout much of the village following the fire.
Police say they’re investigating a fire that caused substantial damage to the playground area at a Delta park as a case of arson. Police say they were called to the fire in Chalmers park early Saturday morning. They say firefighters had already extinguished the blaze by the time officers arrived. Damage to the playground is estimated to be approximately 100-thousand dollars.
The mask mandate and proof of vaccination in BC could see major changes this week. Sources tell Daily Hive that BC health officials will be holding a COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has been teasing that we could see major changes prior to spring break, which starts on March 14. At the last COVID-19 briefing, Henry stated, “I am very optimistic that we are moving to a better place, rapidly. We’ll have more to say about that very soon.“ If BC announces that it is dropping the mask mandate, it wouldn’t be the first time. In June 2021, BC said it was dropping the mandate as the province entered Step 3 of its restart plan.
A Vancouver staple for good vibes and good drinks is finally reopening after a two-year hiatus. The Lamplighter Public House is officially making a comeback. The popular 92 Water Street spot — one of Gastown’s oldest watering holes — tells Dished Vancouver it will be soft opening on Friday, March 11. It will be open in full swing starting March 17th – St. Patrick’s Day!
Car share companies Evo and Modo say they are not planning to immediately raise car share fees in Metro Vancouver as gas prices soar above two-dollars a litre — but taxi companies worry their drivers are being forced to absorb the high prices. The president of the B-C Taxi Association is urging the Passenger Transportation Board to help by approving a fuel surcharge that would allow drivers to raise fares. Prices for a regular litre of gas have nudged the two-dollar-and-10-cent mark around the south coast but gas price websites show a slight dip today — although analysts warn further increases lie ahead. Prices in Alberta have reached nearly one-dollar and 66 cents per litre, prompting Alberta Premier Jason Kenney to propose some relief for drivers in that province — and the average price of a gallon of U-S gas hit four-dollars and 17 cents — but with one U-S gallon equivalent to roughly four litres, B-C drivers are still paying almost twice as much as their U-S counterparts.
Surrey’s huge Vaisakhi parade has again been cancelled due to COVID-related issues, for a third straight year. This year, a lack of planning time is blamed for the cancellation of the April 23 Khalsa Day event, along with “sporadic and last-minute changes to the public health orders.” The day-long celebration is among the world’s largest Vaisakhi parades, drawing close to 500,000 people to the streets of Newton every spring. Cancelling the 2022 parade was “a difficult decision,” event organizers said Monday (March 7).
Some passengers are paying an unpleasant price for partying on board a Sunwing flight last year. The federal Transport Department has issued unspecified fines against six of them. Videos of the charter voyage from Montreal to Cancun, Mexico, showed unmasked passengers in close proximity singing and dancing in the aisle and on seats. A half-dozen passengers who were not fully vaccinated when they boarded have now received fines that could reach a maximum of five-thousand dollars each.