A volunteer search and rescue team that self-deployed to Turkey’s earthquake zone has returned to Vancouver. The 10 person Burnaby Urban Search and Rescue team was comprised of mostly first responders from the city’s fire department. A large group from Vancouver’s Turkish community broke out in applause and chants of “welcome home USAR” as the team emerged from the arrivals gate at the airport. The team deployed a day after quakes rocked Turkey and Syria, killing more than 35,000 people and levelling thousands of buildings.
Yukon’s premier says federal health-care money specifically for the territories is critical to service delivery. Premier Ranj Pillai says health care can cost three to four times as much in the territory where people often have to travel to places like BC or Alberta to get care. Earlier this week Canada’s premiers agreed to a deal with the federal government that will add 46.2-billion dollars in new health care funding over 10 years. It includes 150 million dollars over five years for the territorial health investment fund to help cover medical travel and the cost of delivering health care in the territories.
Vancouver city council has approved 2.46 million dollars for its street cleaning program this year. The money is earmarked for six different organizations to do cleanup work. It involves daily collection of litter and needles on foot using brooms, shovels and wheeled carts and is on top of cleaning done by city staff. The city says the program created 71,200 work hours to individuals with barriers to traditional employment last year and collected 34 thousand bags of litter and nearly 110-thousand needles.
One of BC’s oldest courthouses is back up and running after years of renovations. The 109-year-old Vernon Law Courts suffered significant water damage in 2019 and had its roof leak in 2020. While the renovations were being done some provincial court trials were held in a converted storeroom. Among the improvements, gas-fired heating was changed to electric with the goal of achieving zero emissions.
The TransLink mayors’ council on regional transportation has made a formal request to the federal government for 250-million dollars in emergency funding. It says the money is needed to help offset the ongoing financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic The council wants the money to be matched by the provincial government. It’s also asking for a national commission to develop a new funding model for public transit that is more resilient and equitable.