Both the Liberals and New Democrats gained ground in B-C at the expense of the Conservatives in last night’s federal election The Liberals took former Tory ridings in Richmond and Cloverdale, while the NDP won Port Moody-Coquitlam. Former Green Party leader Elizabeth May easily won re-election in Saanich-Gulf Islands, however her counterpart Paul Manly lost his seat in Nanaimo-Ladysmith. Avi Lewis, considered a star N-D-P candidate in the riding of West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast, finished third behind the Liberal and Conservative candidates.-Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix will hold a news conference today for what’s being billed as an update on COVID-19.
B-C logged another 16 hundred and 92 cases over the weekend, lifting active cases to over 56 hundred. There are 307 people in hospital, with more than half of them in intensive care. The government says 85 per cent of the cases in hospital between September 3rd to the 16 were not fully vaccinated. Full vaccination rate for those 12 and up is at 79.4 per cent.
A special prosecutor has been appointed to help Surrey R-C-M-P investigate a complaint made by Mayor Doug McCallum. The B-C Prosecution Service says the request was granted due to the mayor’s position as a public official. McCallum said earlier this month that a supporter of the movement to keep the R-C-M-P in Surrey ran over his foot in a grocery store parking lot. Critics have disputed McCallum’s description of the situation, alleging he confronted them first.
Justin Trudeau was met with applause at the Liberal headquarters in Montreal as he thanked Canadians for re-electing him – despite coming out of a 36-day federal election campaign with a nearly identical number of seats. The gamble to turn a minority government into a majority backfired for Trudeau, but the Liberal leader secured enough votes during Canada’s pandemic election to earn his third term as prime minister. The Liberals won a minority government, falling short of the 170 seats needed in the 338-seat House of Commons to have a majority. Trudeau will need the support of at least one other party to maintain that minority government. By the early hours of the morning, the Liberals led in 156 ridings, the Conservatives in 121, the Bloc Quebecois in 31, the NDP in 27 and the Greens in two. Erin O’Toole’s Conservatives led the Liberals in the popular vote by nearly three per cent. That means an election campaign that cost an estimated $600 million resulted in but a slight change in Canada’s seat count. There is still a chance Canadians return to the polls in 2023.
The president of the B-C Nurses Union has resigned over what the union says is personal reasons. A brief statement on the B-C-N-U website says Christine Sorensen will be pursuing other opportunities. Sorensen leaves just a week after the B-C government announced mandatory vaccinations for all health-care workers in the province. The union has expressed its support for vaccinations, but has raised concerns that the order will contribute to the already severe nursing shortage.
Life just got a little easier for Darlene Tough, who lost everything in a recent fire. The Surrey woman won $500,000 playing B.C.’s Daily Grand lottery, in the Aug. 26 draw. Tough’s big win is very timely, as her family recently had a fire in their home that ended up writing everything off Tough bought her winning ticket at a Walmart store in New Westminster. Later, she said she had a difficult time concealing her emotions at the London Drug store in North Delta, where a terminal flashed “$25,000 a Year for Life” when she checked her ticket, which matched all five numbers in the draw. Tough opted to take the $500,000 prize as a lump-sum payment.
Premier John Horgan says he spoke to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau today to offer his congratulations after the Liberals won another minority in yesterday’s federal election. Horgan says in a statement that they discussed continuing to work together on key issues such as climate change and affordable child care. He also describes ongoing efforts to further reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples as being of the “utmost importance.” With three ridings still to be decided by mail-in votes, the Liberals and N-D-P gained ground in B-C at the expense of the Conservatives, who failed to make inroads in much of Metro Vancouver.
BC health officials announced 525 new test-positive COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 180,178. In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said that there are 5,282 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Of the active cases, 332 individuals are currently hospitalized, 155 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: 178 new cases, 1,711 total active cases
- Vancouver Coastal Health: 51 new cases, 822 total active cases
- Interior Health: 147 new cases, 1,167 total active cases
- Northern Health: 79 new cases, 921 total active cases
- Island Health: 61 new cases, 619 total active cases
- Outside of Canada: No new cases, 42 total active cases
The Ministry of Health stresses that these numbers are provisional due to a delayed data refresh. There has been one new COVID-19-related death in Vancouver Coastal Health, for a total of 1,900 deaths in British Columbia. From September 13 to 19, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 76.1% of cases, and from September 6 to 19, they accounted for 84.7% of hospitalizations. Health officials in BC also shared additional data on COVID-19 cases in vaccinated and unvaccinated people:
Past week cases (September 13 – 19) – Total 4,367
- Not vaccinated: 2,982 (68.3%)
- Partially vaccinated: 340 (7.8%)
- Fully vaccinated: 1,045 (23.9%)
Past two weeks cases hospitalized (September 6 – September 19) – Total 353
- Not vaccinated: 279 (79%)
- Partially vaccinated: 20 (5.7%)
- Fully vaccinated: 54 (15.3%)
Past week, cases per 100,000 population (September 9 – 15)
- Not vaccinated: 290.3
- Partially vaccinated: 87.2
- Fully vaccinated: 26.3
After factoring for age, people not vaccinated are 33.1 times more likely to be hospitalized than those fully vaccinated. To date, 87% of all eligible people 12 and over have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine; 79.5% have received their second dose. 172,624 people who tested positive have now recovered.
B-C health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says 40 pregnant women with COVID-19 have ended up in intensive care units in the province in the last few months. Henry is urging women who are pregnant, planning to get pregnant or breastfeeding to get vaccinated against COVID-19. She says some people are using social media to intentionally scare women but the vaccines do not impact fertility. She also warns the Delta variant has shown unvaccinated pregnant women experience higher rates of stillbirth and pre-term birth.
The B-C Civil Liberties Association has begun its two-day hearing in Federal Court in Ottawa in an effort to win a ruling on what it says are inexcusable delays by the R-C-M-P and Commissioner Brenda Lucki. The association accuses the Mounties of a culture of complacency related to any investigations of complaints against the R-C-M-P. Association lawyers say the failure is quote — “serious and systemic” and they want the court to find Lucki violated the R-C-M-P Act by stalling for years before responding to a 2017 Civilian Review and Complaints Commission interim report about allegations of police spying on anti-oil protesters. Final findings and recommendations on complaint commission files can’t be made until the commissioner reacts to an interim report — and court has been told it was late last year before Lucki responded in the spying case — and only after court action had been filed against her.
Visitors to most public schools in Salmon Arm are advised to call ahead as the district has asked its principals to keep main school doors locked. This follows a disturbing protest on Friday where adult anti-vaccination demonstrators entered two elementary schools and a secondary school in the Shuswap-area city. A statement from the school district says it is confident that “hold and secure” measures imposed Friday can be lifted, but it is advising schools to limit entry points and keep main entries locked after the opening bell. Visitors are encouraged to phone school staff if they need access, and the district says it is working with the R-C-M-P to keep protesters out of schools in the future.