B-C residents wanting to dine out or attend indoor events will have to show a proof-of-vaccination card until the end of June. Doctor Bonnie Henry says hospitalizations remain high even as the number of cases is dipping so the January 31th expiration date for the vaccine card will be extended for five months. Henry says the card is just one tool in the management of COVID-19 to preserve health resources as 985 patients were being treated in hospital yesterday. But Henry says youth sports tournaments can resume as of February 1st, but those for adults will remain paused for now.
Mayor Doug McCallum’s first date in Surrey provincial court yesterday on a charge of public mischief lasted all of three minutes, with no plea taken. The matter has been put over to Feb. 22. McCallum is charged with one count of public mischief which stems from an incident last September between McCallum and campaigners who were gathering petition signatures outside the South Point Save-On-Foods for a referendum on the policing transition that resulted in the mayor claiming a car ran over his foot.
Police are on the search for at least one suspect after a shooting steps from an elementary school in Langley yesterday afternoon. R-C-M-P say callers reported seeing several vehicles leaving the area of 78th street and 204B Ave and one person described as the victim has confirmed to police that he was not injured. The Mounties are seeking dash camera footage from drivers travelling by Donna Gabriel Robins Elementary just before 2pm. Nearby residents are also being asked to check any video surveillance.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has been called in after a ‘serious incident’ near Garden City Road near Alderbridge Way. Images taken from the scene show a home surrounded by police tape. Few details are being released about what exactly happened. However, Richmond RCMP doesn’t believe there is a risk to public safety.
The Bank of Canada is keeping its key interest rate steady –surprising some economists who thought the central bank would start hiking rates today in the face of soaring inflation. But although the rate is staying at a quarter of one per cent for now, the Bank of Canada is warning it’s not going to keep it there much longer. That is setting the stage for a rate hike in March.
A convoy of truckers opposed to COVID-vaccine mandates are motoring toward Ottawa, where many drivers from across the country plan to gather for a “freedom rally” on the weekend. In a joint release yesterday, the federal government and Canadian Trucking Alliance president acknowledged “unprecedented challenges” to a sector that ships the vast majority of food, medications, and consumer products….But they stressed vaccination, used in combination with preventive public health measures, reduces the COVID risk and is the route to economic health.
B-C’s minister of Indigenous relations and reconciliation has issued a statement in support of the Williams Lake First Nation in the wake of news of its tragic discovery of a suspected mass grave of Indigenous children near a former residential school. Murray Rankin says he raises his hands to the courage and leadership the community has shown. Williams Lake’s chief shared preliminary findings of 93 “reflections” from a geoscientific search of some grounds around the former St. Joseph’s Mission school. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission says at least 41-hundred children died of neglect at Canada’s former government-funded residential schools, which were operated by several Christian denominations.
British Columbia health officials announced on Wednesday that there have been 2,086 new COVID-19 cases reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 316,873. In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said that there are 30,058 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Of the active cases, 949 (-36) COVID-positive individuals are currently hospitalized, and 136 (-8) are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.
New cases and total active cases are broken down by health region as follows:
- Fraser Health: 780 new cases, 12,776 total active cases
- Vancouver Coastal Health: 464 new cases, 6,873 total active cases
- Interior Health: 455 new cases, 7,434 total active cases
- Northern Health: 168 new cases, 1,186 total active cases
- Island Health: 219 new cases, 1,781 total active cases
- Outside of Canada: No new cases, eight total active cases
There have been 21 new COVID-19-related deaths in British Columbia, for a total of 2,575 deaths in the province.
The federal government is providing 15-million dollars in funding for infrastructure improvements at the Kelowna International Airport. Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran says the improvements could help speed up the economic recovery of various sectors in the region dependent on tourism. Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra says it will include upgrades like better kiosks for passengers and crew being tested for COVID-19. Other improvements include replacing airfield lighting, sections of the terminal building’s roof and the construction of runway areas.
Yellow police tape surrounds a home in Richmond where four people were found dead last night. However, the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team says it’s believed the four were shot to death Monday night. Police say all four people knew each other and the deaths don’t appear to be linked with the ongoing gang conflict in the Lower Mainland. Investigators are scouring the crime scene and a police dog was seen sniffing for clues in the median out front of the home, but police say they’d also like to speak with anyone who has anything to add. (The Canadian Press)
Up to 250-thousand rapid antigen tests are being sent to provincially-funded childcare facilities for use by staff with COVID-19 symptoms. The provincial government says the aim is to help reduce transmission of COVID-19 in child care facilities and the impact of the virus on their operations. The Children’s Ministry says additional information about when the tests are expected to arrive will be provided to child care facilities in the coming days as logistics are confirmed. Parents and child-care providers have been calling on the province to provide greater access to rapid tests to help curb transmission of COVID-19, especially among children who are too young to be vaccinated.
Traffic is moving again on Highway 99 between Vancouver and Squamish but the route was closed in both directions for more than five hours yesterday by a fiery crash. Squamish R-C-M-P say two vehicles were involved in the head-on crash just south of Porteau Cove at around 5 p.m. Both drivers were hurt but police say the injuries are not considered serious. A cause of the collision remains under investigation.
The Vancouver Canucks new general manager is Patrik Allvin (ahl-VEEN’), the former assistant G-M with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 47-year-old takes over from Jim Rutherford who was named interim G-M and Canucks president of hockey operations in December when former G-M Jim Benning, head coach Travis Green and several other front office staff were fired after the team’s disastrous start to the season. Allvin _ from Sweden _ and Rutherford have deep ties from Pittsburgh _ Allvin was with the Penguins for 17 years and was named assistant G-M in November 2020, working under Rutherford who was the general manager in Pittsburgh from 2014 to 2021. Both men were with that team when it won back-to-back Stanley Cups in 2016 and 2017.