The BC Liberal Party is set to become BC United. Party leader Kevin Falcon, who was elected to the post in February 2021, is expected to introduce the new name, logo and branding at a ceremony tonight in Surrey. The party announced last November that 80 per cent of Liberal members voted to proceed with the name change to BC United. Party vice-president Caroline Elliott has said they’re going ahead with confidence that New Democrat Premier David Eby will not call an early election, giving voters 18 months to get familiar with the new name and look.
A proposed class action lawsuit filed by a woman who survived a fire that killed two people at a downtown Vancouver rooming hotel says residents had no warnings about the blaze, and no means to fight it. The lawsuit filed by plaintiff Jennifer Hansma says the fire alarm and sprinkler systems at the former Winters Hotel did not activate because they had not been serviced following a separate fire three days before the fatal blaze. It says the owner of the 110-year-old building and its non-profit manager failed to ensure fire safety measures were adequate and up to date, and the city did not enforce safety regulations to the same standards it did elsewhere. The allegations have not been tested in court.
The BC government is giving EV charging stations a 26 million dollar boost. The province says BC residents are switching to zero-emissions vehicles faster than any other jurisdiction in Canada. It says the number of registered light-duty EV’s has increased from five-thousand in 2016 to more than 100-thousand today. The new funding will support approximately 250 more public light duty fast charging stations that will help complete BC’s so-called Electric Highway.
Stagehands and theatre technicians employed by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra have filed a 72 hour strike notice. The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees says its members at the VSO have been without a contract since last June, and voted 97.5 per cent in favour of job action in February. The union says it returned to the bargaining table after that vote, but the employer came back with an offer that was lower than the previous one.
The Canadian Pharmacist Association is calling for a national conversation about how to protect the country’s drug supply from American consumers. Vice-president of public affairs Joelle Walker says there’s a lack of data available on each province’s prescription drug supply, and it’s difficult for regulators to prevent medicines from going to the US without knowing the scope of the problem. The statement comes after BC officials raised the alarm about large quantities of the diabetes drug Ozempic (oh-ZEMP’-ic) being shipped south of the border. Last week, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Nova Scotia suspended a Texas based doctor responsible for thousands of Ozempic prescriptions being mailed to Americans from two pharmacies in BC.
The BC government says it has purchased a 115-unit building in Vancouver’s South Granville neighbourhood. It says homes in the building will be available to people living in single-room occupancy buildings, with priority being given to seniors. It says the units they vacate will then be offered to people experiencing homelessness. Meanwhile, the province says a building reopening in Gastown will accommodate about 25 people displaced by a fire that damaged the building last year, as well as those staying at nearby shelters.