Parents and caregivers are expected to have more information this afternoon into B.C.’s vaccine rollout for children aged five to 11.  A news conference is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. with Dr. Bonnie Henry and the executive lead for B.C.’s immunization efforts, Dr. Penny Ballem.  Health Canada says the modified shot is 90.7 per cent effective and is safe.  The vaccines are the same mRNA technology as the one for adults but in a smaller dosage. The doses are about one-third the size given to adults and teens aged 12 and up.  Meanwhile, the province announced yesterday Ten more people have died of COVID-19 in BC, pushing the death toll in the province to two-thousand 303.  The government also reported one-thousand and 52 new cases over the weekend.

 

Some residents of Merritt, B-C are going to be allowed back into the community that was flooded a week ago, but they can’t drink the water and won’t have hospital services and more rain is on the way — what one forecaster calls a parade of storms.  Environment Canada says up to 70 millimetres of rain could fall in the Fraser Valley Thursday and even more rain is expected Saturday.  C-P Rail plans to re-open its line between Kamloops and Vancouver by midday, but its C-E-O warns the next 10 days will be critical.

 

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says the federal government is working with Environment Canada to develop a ranking system for atmospheric rivers, which would help the province better understand potential risks.  Farnworth says he’s been told the system would be implemented in January, but Environment Canada says a launch date for a warning system has not been confirmed.

 

Five men were sent to hospital with stab wounds after a large fight broke out Sunday night in Vancouver’s Yaletown neighborhood.  Police say the violence erupted at around 8:30 p.m. near Davie and Mainland , and involved men who “had come to Vancouver to party.”  “The five victims, all men from Surrey and Langley, suffered a variety of stab wounds, including injuries to their faces, stomachs, backs, and legs. The injuries are not life-threatening.”

 

Today’s throne speech is expected to be short and feature Liberal plans to finish the fight against COVID-19 and rebuild the economy.  Governor General Mary Simon will read the speech in the Senate chamber to a much smaller audience than usual.  Tomorrow, M-Ps will get down to business on the Liberals’ plan to push four major bills through Parliament before the holidays, including more targeted pandemic aid programs.

 

The mayor of Abbotsford says preparations are progressing for another storm that’s expected later this week. Henry Braun says the city has completed inspecting its dike system and found less than one per cent needed repair after last week’s torrential rainfall. Braun says about 80 per cent of the repairs are complete and another five feet of height is expected to added to the dike before more heavy rain forecast for Thursday. He says he’s hoping that will put the city in the best position to manage the new storm that’s expected to drop 40 to 80 millimetres of rain before easing on Friday. 

 

The federal minister of emergency preparedness says border guards have been told that B-C residents can cross into the United States for essential supplies due to flooding in the province. It comes after reports of some B-C residents facing fines or being told they would have to quarantine on returning to Canada. Ottawa has approved an exemption from the B-C government for travellers from specific areas along its south coast. They can immediately return to Canada without providing a negative P-C-R test for the virus that causes COVID-19. 

 

The Vancouver Canucks have scored a victory for those who have been affected by B-C’s recent flooding. Canucks Sports & Entertainment and the Canucks for Kids Fund say they have raised one million dollars through three special 50/50 raffles during the team’s latest homestand that ended Sunday. The raffles raised more than 1.8 million dollars and a statement from the Canucks organization says more than 917-thousand dollars will go directly to flood relief efforts, while the Canucks for Kids fund is donating the remainder to push the total to an even million. Beneficiaries of the donation are still being determined.

 

TransLink says customers will be able to pay for their SkyTrain and other transit trips with Interac Debit by this time next year. A statement from TransLink says it is working to integrate debit payments into the system to give customers more contactless payment options. It’s hoped the new option will be available by late 2022. TransLink say tap-to-pay is convenient for casual transit riders and tourists because they don’t have to pre-purchase a Compass Card or use an in-station Compass vending machine.