A teenager who was reported missing in Delta early this week has been found dead. Police say the body of Maaike Blom was found Tuesday morning in a home on Tsawwassen First Nation lands. The 17-year-old was reported missing on Sunday, two days after her family last saw her. The death is considered suspicious and a man has been arrested.
British Columbia’s provincial health officer says there’s no guarantee that COVID-19 booster shots will be necessary every six months. Doctor Bonnie Henry says that although the province has begun giving booster shots at that interval, future vaccination schedules will depend on global rates. She says COVID-19 mutates and changes in places where it can spread rapidly in large populations and that’s why it’s so important to focus vaccination efforts internationally. She says vaccine equity is the key to dramatically decreasing the risk of mutations — and in turn, the need for additional boosters at home to protect against variants. More Omicron cases have been confirmed in B.C., as the province records a total of 326 new COVID-19 infections. Another four people in B.C. have tested positive for the new COVID-19 variant, bringing the total to five. Of the five people, three are fully vaccinated and two are not.
The Transportation Ministry is warning drivers to expect slow traffic with reduced speed limits on Highway 1 through the Fraser Valley. The major artery fully reopened yesterday between Abbotsford and Hope, restoring an essential link in the provincial supply chain after severe flooding. While it is not officially subject to a travel order, the government is asking people to avoid non-essential travel on the highway to ease the movement of goods and services. As massive repair and recovery work begins across the province, WorkSafeBC is warning employers and employees to be aware of hazards at job sites.
Trans Mountain says gas and crude oil supply levels should return to normal levels within a week. The company’s pipeline returned to service Sunday, three weeks after a precautionary shut down. It has been operating at a reduced pressure to start. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth has said gas rationing will continue in parts of B-C until December 14th or until the Trans Mountain pipeline is fully up and running.
Students in a Surrey kindergarten class are sending their support to strangers in parts of B.C. impacted by catastrophic flooding. Sharon Sehrai, their teacher at David Brankin Elementary School, says the idea came out of a discussion during “Circle Time” One of the students had actually talked about the floods and said he watched the news with his family and was feeling really sad about it. That’s when another student had the idea to make cards to help make the flood victims feel better.
British Columbia says the death toll related to the COVID-19 virus has risen to two-thousand-369, after adding six new fatalities. The Health Ministry’s update today included 379 new cases reported, bringing the active total to two-thousand-874, with 224 people in hospital — 77 of those in intensive care. The ministry says people who were not fully vaccinated accounted for about 67.5 per cent of hospitalizations between Nov. 23 and December 6th. Presently, almost 86 per cent of British Columbians — five and up — have had at least their first dose of a vaccine.
The City of Vancouver says plans are now in place to assess and repair a barge that was grounded near English Bay after a severe storm more than three weeks ago. It says Transport Canada has received a recovery plan from the barge’s owner and work will take place in the coming days to prepare for its removal. A date for its removal has not yet been determined. Attempts were made to remove the barge with a tugboat shortly after the storm, but it wasn’t strong enough to do the job.
The Village of Lytton is getting a one-million dollar grant from the B-C government to support its recovery after a wildfire destroyed much of the community last summer. The province says the money will be provided immediately as business owners and the local government are facing an enormous challenge in rebuilding. Half of the funding will support efforts to restart the local economy and half is earmarked for the village’s operations, including paying staff. The province has also appointed the parliamentary secretaries of emergency preparedness and rural development as recovery liaisons.
Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart says next year’s budget will include significant funding for climate action and public safety. The mayor says Budget 2022 includes nine-million dollars for a new annual climate fund for electric vehicle chargers, transit infrastructure and building retrofits. He says the leading driver of budget growth is once again spending on police and firefighters — which represents nearly half of the budget’s property tax increase. Stewart says the budget includes a request for the city’s new auditor general to review cost pressures on the police department.