A Surrey crash has claimed the life of one person and sent another to hospital in serious condition. Mounties say two vehicles crashed just before midnight Tuesday near 181 Street and 16 Avenue. One person was ejected from a vehicle. Emergency Crews were unable to save one of the drivers, who died on scene. A second person was treated and sent to hospital. The extent of their injuries is not known. Traffic in the area was heavily impacted overnight, and there is no estimated time when 16 Avenue between 176 Street and 184 Street could be reopened.
You may notice police officers patrolling in two different uniforms as the city begins what the RCMP says is the largest police transition in Canada. The RCMP says in a statement that experienced officers with the new Surrey Police Service began orientation Monday, and each municipal officer would be paired with a Mountie for a few shifts before heading out to respond to calls in RCMP-branded vehicles. The statement says Surrey Police Service officers will primarily support front-line operations within the RCMP’s municipal policing unit, while a smaller number will be assigned to general investigation and major crimes units to start. The RCMP will maintain command during the transition, overseeing all operational matters and the delivery of programs and services.
B-C has become the fourth province to identify a case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant after a resident tested positive after returning home from Nigeria. Doctor Bonnie Henry says the affected person lives in the Fraser Health authority. She says 204 people who recently returned from parts of southern Africa with outbreaks of the variant are undergoing testing while in quarantine. B-C Health Minister Adrian Dix says he and Henry would be meeting with federal officials to discuss approaches to travel issues and the variant. BC health officials announced 358 new COVID-19 cases yesterday. Thankfully there were no new deaths.
A travel advisory is in place as the weather forecast for much of southern and coastal B-C called for heavy rainfall. The areas affected include places devastated by flooding and mudslides just a few weeks ago. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth says the storm, which was expected to hit Tuesday and last into today, could be the most intense yet for the central coast. The central coast and the west coast of Vancouver Island could see up to 150 millimetres of rain from the storm, with up to 120 millimetres in the Bella Coola area, while the flood-soaked Fraser Valley east of Abbotsford could get up to 80 millimetres.
B-C’s struggling supply chain faces a further test as container trucks at a company serving the Port of Vancouver look at following through with a plan to strike on Friday. Labour union Unifor says it has told Prudential Transportation that many of its drivers will walk off the job later this week if they aren’t offered better employment terms. The workers want better health, dental and insurance benefits for all drivers, along with increased payments for time spent waiting for their trucks to be loaded and unloaded. It comes after the union reached an agreement with a second B-C trucking company.
Mounties say 100 dead turkeys spilled on the Sea-to-Sky Highway yesterday. R-C-M-P say the turkey appeared to have fallen from a transport truck. The birds were already dead before the incident and it’s believed they came from flood zones in the Lower Mainland where thousands of animals died on flooded farms. The highway was briefly closed due to the incident.
BC health officials announced 375 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 218,801. In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said that there are 2,936 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Of the active cases, 301 individuals are currently in hospital, 98 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.
Broken down by health region, the new cases and total active cases are as follows:
- Fraser Health: 98 new cases, 994 total active cases
- Vancouver Coastal Health: 70 new cases, 476 total active cases
- Interior Health: 69 new cases, 537 total active cases
- Northern Health: 62 new cases, 360 total active cases
- Island Health: 76 new cases, 569 total active cases
- Outside of Canada: No new cases, zero total active cases
There have been seven COVID-19-related deaths over the past 24 hours, for a total of 2,340 deaths in BC. To date, 84.8% (4,228,684) of eligible people five and older in BC have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 81.7% (4,072,923) have received their second dose. From November 23 to 29, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 58.2% of cases, and from November 16 to 29, they accounted for 68.1% of hospitalizations.
Past week cases (November 23 to 29) – Total 2,414
- Not vaccinated: 1,310 (54.3%)
- Partially vaccinated: 95 (3.9%)
- Fully vaccinated: 1,009 (41.8%)
Past two weeks cases hospitalized (November 16 to 29) – Total 267
- Not vaccinated: 171 (64%)
- Partially vaccinated: 11 (4.1%)
- Fully vaccinated: 85 (31.8%)
Past week, cases per 100,000 population after adjusting for age (November 23 to 29)
- Not vaccinated: 180.6
- Partially vaccinated: 43.6
- Fully vaccinated: 22.6
Past two weeks, cases hospitalized per 100,000 population after adjusting for age (November 16 to 29)
- Not vaccinated: 36.4
- Partially vaccinated: 7.4
- Fully vaccinated: 1.9
The latest annual report on Vancouver’s empty homes tax says 36 per cent of properties declared vacant in 2019 had been converted to occupied last year. The report covering last year says the number of vacant properties has decreased 26 per cent from 2017 to 2020. It says that during the same time period, the empty homes tax has raised 86.6-million dollars to support affordable housing initiatives. The report notes that Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation has found a significant shift toward long-term condo rentals in the past two years coinciding with policies like the empty home tax.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has been called in after a 45-year-old man died in hospital following a shooting in Surrey. R-C-M-P say the man was taken to hospital early Monday morning and died of his injuries yesterday. The Mounties says the incident appears to be a targeted act, but no further information is being provided.
The COVID-19 Omicron (OH’-mih-kron) variant and vaccine equity came up in a debate between federal party leaders in the House of Commons today. N-D-P Leader Jagmeet Singh repeated his call for the federal government to support a waiver on patent protections to help poorer countries. That is where vaccination is at its lowest and would allow those countries to make their own vaccines. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau defended the government’s approach, which has included donations to the international vaccine-sharing initiative known as COVAX, as well as helping on the supply chain, production and export restriction fronts.