Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told a crowd in Kamloops, not far from where the remains of more than 200 children were found, that he had hoped to make faster progress on reconciliation with First Nations. Trudeau apologized again for going on holiday instead of attending an event in Kamloops on September 30th to mark the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Terry Teegee, regional chief of the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations, told those attending the event that Indigenous people are beyond theatrics, platitudes and words, and “need to see action. Trudeau says there’s a lot of catching up to do but what took generations and centuries to break can’t be fixed overnight
Twenty-six more lives have been lost to the COVID-19 pandemic in B.C. over the last three days, with 10 of these deaths in Fraser Health region and three in Vancouver Coastal Health. Five new deaths were recorded in Northern Health, with another five in Interior health and three in Island Health. A total of 1,846 new infections were recorded over the last 72 hours, with nearly 40 per cent (737 cases) in the Fraser Health region. On Saturday, 753 new cases were recorded, 650 cases on Sunday and 443 new cases on Monday, for a total of 4,917 active cases across the province. People who have not been fully vaccinated accounted for 68.3 per cent of cases from Oct. 1 – 14, while unvaccinated people accounted for 74.6 per cent of hospitalizations.
Human rights activists are accusing the International Olympic Committee of granting legitimacy to abuses in China by allowing the 2022 Winter Games to go ahead in Beijing. They are urging G-7 nations, sponsors and athletes to boycott what they’re calling China’s “genocide games.” Greek officials handed over the Olympic flame to Games organizers today — with one activist telling reporters — quote — “They’re handing over the Olympic torch to a host government that is so far removed from holding any of (the Olympic) ideals that it seems we’re living in a kind of warped reality.” I-O-C President Thomas Bach says the Games must be respected as politically neutral ground.
Surrey is the first city in the Metro Vancouver region to effect a ban on plastic checkout bags after council gave its final approval to its Plastic Bags and Single-Use Items Bylaw on Monday, Oct. 18. Scott Neuman, Surrey’s general manager of engineering, noted in a corporate report before council that businesses primarily affected by this are grocery stores, restaurants, bakeries, delis, coffee shops, concessions, street vendors and markets. Novemer and December will see continued community outreach and education, with bylaw enforcement and ticketing to begin in January. As of Jan. 1, Neuman says, enforcement “will consist of a slow transition from compliance audits to warnings prior to the issuance of fines and penalties” and “after this date, staff will utilize a gradual and discretionary enforcement approach with business that continue to be non-compliant.”
Proof of vaccination requirements are being ramped up at Grouse Mountain, with the resort announcing on Monday guests born in 2009 or earlier will need to have received a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine for the 2021/22 winter season. This is in addition to the employee vaccine mandate, which had previously been announced. In a statement, Grouse Mountain President Michael Cameron says the resort has “exceeded provincial health requirements” throughout the pandemic with guest and staff well-being top of mind. Proof of vaccination will be required to access the resort, including the Skyride, mountaintop facilities, and activities. The current provincial mandate only requires proof of vaccination to access certain events, non-essential services, and businesses, such as licensed restaurants. Grouse Mountain says it’s launching a one-time vaccine verification process for passholders. The VaxTrax Program will allow what Grouse considers “verified passholders and multi-day Snow School participants” access to the mountain without having to show proof of vaccination every time. To take part in the Vax Tax Program, passholders will have to upload a copy of their BC Vaccine Card and a copy of government ID. They can also choose to present the required identification in person before Nov. 15 if they so choose. After Nov. 15, passholders will have to show proof of vaccine on their first visit to the mountain. Individual ticket holders will have to show proof of vaccination each time they visit the mountain, before they board the Skyride.
BC health officials announced 560 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 198,838. In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said that there are 4,913 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Of the active cases, 382 individuals are currently in hospital, 146 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.
New cases and total active cases, broken down by health region, are as follows:
- Fraser Health: 208 new cases, 2,052 total active cases
- Vancouver Coastal Health: 80 new cases, 717 total active cases
- Interior Health: 79 new cases, 772 total active cases
- Northern Health: 131 new cases, 797 total active cases
- Island Health: 61 new cases, 516 total active cases
- Outside of Canada: One new case, 59 total active cases
There have been five new COVID-19-related deaths over the past 24 hours, for a total of 2,086 deaths in BC. This includes two in Fraser Health, two in Northern Health, and one in Island Health. From October 11 to 17, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 67.1% of cases, and from October 4 to 17, they accounted for 75.5% of hospitalizations.
Past week cases (October 11 to 17) – Total 3,997
- Not vaccinated: 2,407 (60.2%)
- Partially vaccinated: 277 (6.9%)
- Fully vaccinated: 1,313 (32.8%)
Past two weeks cases hospitalized (October 4 to 17) – Total 384
- Not vaccinated: 268 (69.8%)
- Partially vaccinated: 22 (5.7%)
- Fully vaccinated: 94 (24.5%)
Past week, cases per 100,000 population after adjusting for age (October 11 to 17)
- Not vaccinated: 281.7
- Partially vaccinated: 81.2
- Fully vaccinated: 31.1
Past two weeks, cases hospitalized per 100,000 population after adjusting for age (October 4 to 17)
- Not vaccinated: 45.2
- Partially vaccinated: 9.7
- Fully vaccinated: 2.1
To date, 89.2% of all eligible people 12 and over have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine; 83.5% have received their second dose.
New Westminster police say they’re investigating after shots were fired at a home in a residential area just before midnight last night. Police say the occupants of the home were sleeping at the time of the shooting but no one was injured. Sergeant Sanjay Kumar says the investigation is in the early stages but police believe it was a targeted shooting. But he says the incident is not thought to be related to the Lower Mainland gang conflict.
Capacity limits on indoor and outdoor organized events in B-C are to be lifted once proof of vaccination is required to attend. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says venues including indoor sports arenas, movie theatres and spaces for weddings and parties will go to 100 per cent capacity on October 25th. Restaurants will also be allowed to return to full capacity a day after proof of full immunization becomes mandatory. Henry says capacity limits will remain in effect where regional orders are in place, including the eastern Fraser Valley and parts of the northern and Interior health regions.
Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart says the city has a very high vaccination rate, making it one of the world’s safest places during the pandemic. His comments come as Vancouver joins other B-C employers in imposing a mandatory vaccination policy for its workers. Stewart says the mandate ensuring employees are fully vaccinated by December 6th puts the health of workers and the public first. The city says employees who don’t comply won’t be permitted in the workplace.
Kanye West is no longer Kanye West. He is officially off the grid, name-wise — he’s now just going to be known simply as Ye (YAY). A judge in Los Angeles approved the name change request this week. Ye has said he likes the word because it’s used so much in the Bible.