British Columbia’s opposition parties are calling on the N-D-P government to offer relief amid skyrocketing gas prices that have reached a staggering two dollars and 34 cents a litre in some areas. The B-C Greens say the New Democrats should make public transit free for the next four months, arguing it will help people save money and also help take cars off the road. The Liberal Opposition meanwhile wants to see provincial gas taxes suspended and a one-time rebate offered to drivers through the Climate Action Tax Credit. Experts have attributed soaring gas prices to market destabilization brought on by Russia’s attack on Ukraine, recovering global demand as COVID-19 restrictions ease and long-standing supply issues.
The rollout of ICBC gas rebate cheques appear to have been slowed down by a speed bump. The premier promised in March that everyone would have their roughly $110 rebate by May or June, but now the public insurer says it expects everyone to have their cheques mailed to them by the end of July. The public insurer says drivers who are registered for direct deposit with them will likely get their money this month. You can sign up for direct deposit at icbc.com or via your insurance broker. If you used a credit card to pay for your insurance, you’ll get it between mid-May and June. If you used any other method, including cash, debit or a payment plan, cheques will be rolled out next month with the goal that everyone has their money by the end of July.
B-C Ferries says it’s adding more than 100 extra sailings this long weekend but it’s still encouraging travellers to book ahead and carpool to save space on the vessels. The extra sailings between May 19th and 24th will be on the most popular routes linking Metro Vancouver with Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast. B-C Ferries also encourages travellers to consider parking options in advance, as lots at major terminals fill up quickly. If possible, it suggests the use of public transit or getting dropped off by a friend at the terminal to avoid congestion.
The BC SPCA has rescued 60 abandoned animals from dire conditions at a property in Surrey. The SPCA is now caring for the animals after it took them in last week after discovering the animals were left alone on the property. The conditions in the home, which was in the Cloverdale area, were apparently disgusting, to say the least. In total, 59 domestic short-haired cats whose ages ranged from a few days to around seven years were rescued but are suffering from a “number of medical issues. Along with the cats, one female sheep was rescued from the backyard; it was surrounded by overturned furniture, garbage, and broken glass and wires.
Tesla C-E-O Elon Musk says his deal to buy Twitter can’t move forward unless the company shows public proof that less than five per cent of the accounts on the platform are fake or spam…Musk made the comment in a reply to another user on Twitter early this morning. He spent much of yesterday in a back-and-forth with Twitter’s C-E-O l, who posted a series of tweets explaining his company’s effort to fight bots.
A Metro Vancouver food bank program says it has had to stop accepting new clients after seeing a 10-fold increase in demand since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The CityReach Care Society’s Food for Families program provides fresh food to those in need and distributes to five sites across the region. The Executive director says having to limit the number of people the society helps is “heartbreaking” and he’s hoping for more volunteers and financial donations to expand services….He says the society serves about one-thousand families a week, up from 100 before the pandemic.
Adults will once again be able to legally enjoy an alcoholic drink at 22 Vancouver parks this summer. The Park Board approved a plan for the pilot project once again. This is the second summer in a row Vancouver is piloting alcohol consumption at several of its greenspaces. However, this year many of the designated drinking areas will be larger than in 2021. The pilot is set to begin June 3 and last until Oct. 16. Similar to last year, alcohol consumption will be allowed from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the designated sites…come of the more popular sites include Queen Elizabeth park and Kits Beach.
Just over five years after it opened, Tsawwassen Mills, one of the largest shopping malls in BC, has changed ownership. The 1.2 million-sq-ft mall on 107 acres, containing about 200 stores and restaurants, was recently sold to Nanaimo-based Central Walk. The value of the deal was not disclosed, but the property’s latest assessed value is pegged at $407 million.
U-S President Joe Biden has gone to Buffalo, New York to show solidarity with the community after 10 people were killed in a racially motivated attack targeting Blacks. Biden says the attack was “domestic terrorism” and vowed hate will not win in America. Besides the 10 who died, three other people were wounded in the attack. An 18-year-old man is charged with multiple counts of murder.
After a cancelled 2020 edition and a scaled back gathering last year, the Cannes Film Festival kicked off today.. Formally attired stars including Eva Longoria, Julianne Moore and Forest Whitaker were among those streaming down the Cannes’ famous red carpet. The war in Ukraine was at the forefront, with a video address from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy who himself was an actor and comedian.
New Westminster police say a charge of assault has been recommended against a 50-year-old man after another man was pushed to the ground and punched in an apparently unprovoked attack. Police say it happened last Thursday near the Sapperton SkyTrain station as the suspect and victim passed each other on the overpass leading to transit platform. A witness saw the alleged assault, called 9-1-1 and stayed to help the victim while the suspect boarded SkyTrain and was intercepted by police just outside the New Westminster station. Investigators say the case is troubling because it was unprovoked so there was nothing the victim could have done to prevent it — and they commend the witness who called police and offered first aid.
R-C-M-P in Burnaby say the Criminal Collision Investigation Team is investigating a crash on Highway 1 that seriously injured a woman. The Mounties say officers came upon the crash involving two vehicles just before four a-m yesterday morning, east of the Kensington on-ramp. They say one driver was travelling eastbound when the car struck another car that had temporarily pulled over to park on the shoulder of the highway, and went on to strike a female passenger standing near the parked car. They say the 26-year-old was taken to hospital with potentially life-altering injuries, while the driver remained on scene.