Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged members of the U-S Congress and all Americans to remember Pearl Harbor and September 11th. Zelenskyy used his video address to play an emotional video of the destruction and devastation in his country, saying Ukraine needs the U-S to do more to help it fight Russia. U-S President Joe Biden has insisted there will be no American troops in Ukraine and has resisted Zelenskyy’s relentless pleas for warplanes as too risky, saying it could lead to World War Three.
A powerful 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit off the coast of Japan triggering a tsunami advisory. The quake struck 60 kilometers below the sea. It appears the shaker hit just moments after another earthquake, measuring a magnitude 6.4, in the same area. There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage and shaking could be felt as far as Tokyo, some report. The region affected Wednesday is part of the area that was devastated by a deadly 9.0 earthquake and tsunami just more than a decade ago.
Hospitalization numbers for COVID-19 patients are dropping in B-C, with 345 people currently admitted for treatment — 50 of them in intensive care. The Health Ministry says over 91 per cent of people aged 12 and up have received a second dose of vaccine, while 56.7 per cent have had a third shot. It says people aged 40 and up can now pick up rapid antigen test kits at participating pharmacies around the province. B-C has received seven-million tests and is expecting to get another four million in the next three weeks.
Surrey RCMP is releasing a sketch of a suspect from multiple indecent acts near a Newton high school. Yesterday police released a sketch of the suspect, describing him as South Asian, 30 to 40 years, old, “medium complexion,” dark hair, five-foot-10, with an “average build.” He has stubble with a moustache. on March 2 Surrey RCMP received a report of a man “exposing and touching himself in the bushes near Princess Margaret Secondary School on 72 Ave and 128th ST.
The head of a national advocacy group says more women have had fertility treatment during the pandemic, especially if they’ve been working from home and haven’t had to disclose their health challenges to an employer. Fertility Matters Canada says clinics across the country have seen a rise in the number of I-V-F, procedures. The pandemic has also seen a jump in other assisted reproductive treatments like freezing of eggs or sperm. The group says commuting to an office before or after time-consuming blood work and ultrasounds is stressful enough, but revealing that personal information to an employer adds more pressure for women concerned about moving up within an organization.
B.C. Youth in government care can now stay in their homes a bit longer. For many B.C. youth in government care, a 19th birthday is a dreaded day knowing they are now on their own. In an effort to allow youth more time to get on their feet, the province has extended that age to 21. Former youth in care say this is a huge change for young people in the foster care system as it gives them the time they need to figure things out.
Vancouver’s mayor says he’ll ask councillors to support his bid to contribute up to five-million dollars to help bolster the provincial government’s efforts to land the men’s FIFA 2026 World Cup soccer games in the city. Kennedy Stewart says that’s more than triple the 1.5-million dollars Vancouver spent supporting the federal and provincial governments in hosting the women’s FIFA 2015 World Cup games. Stewart says he agrees with Premier John Horgan that the World Cup would help the tourism sector recover after more than two years of pandemic challenges. Edmonton and Toronto are the other Canadian cities expected to be vying to host the games.
B.C. Premier John Horgan says he’s happy the U.S. Senate has unanimously approved a motion to make Daylight Saving Time permanent, calling it another step to ending the bi-annual time changes. Horgan has indicated the big stumbling block to ending Daylight Saving Time changes in B.C. is our neighbours to the south. However, there is still a lot of constitutional process between Monday’s action on the Sunshine Protection Act and clocks actually remaining the same year-round. The U.S. House of Representatives and the president still to need to approve it before it becomes law.
An uncle and nephew from Chilliwack have won an eight-million-dollar Lotto 6-49 jackpot after matching all six winning numbers. The man says his nephew talked him into going halfers for tickets and the two started by buying a 30-dollar weekly pack before doubling the amount the next week.
The governments of Canada and Ontario are spending millions on a Honda manufacturing facility upgrade. The plant will eventually see hybrid vehicles produced in the province. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the changes will contribute to Canada’s economic recovery from the pandemic. Both governments have committed 131.6-million-dollars to the project in Alliston that Honda Canada says will cost a total of 1.4-billion dollars over six years.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada has had to make “heartbreaking decisions” when it comes to responding to Ukraine’s requests for help resisting Russian attacks. Trudeau was asked today whether President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s (voh-loh-DEHM’-ehr zuh-LANS’-keez) speech to Parliament had done anything to change his government’s position. Trudeau would not entertain a call for Canada to take part in a no-fly zone over Ukraine. Trudeau plans to travel to Brussels next week to discuss further support for Ukraine with other NATO nations.
Vaccinated travellers will no longer require a negative COVID-19 test to come to Canada as of April 1st. That’s from a source in the federal government expected to be confirmed soon. While the United Kingdom announced plans to drop all COVID-19 restrictions on travel, including a vaccine requirement, the United States and Australia still require a negative COVID-19 test to enter their countries.
One person has been injured in a targeted shooting in Surrey. R-C-M-P say they received a report of shots being fired at a home early this morning. They say a 17-year-old youth known to police suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was treated in hospital and released. Constable Gurvinder Ghag says there were multiple people inside the home at the time of the shooting and no one was seriously Injured.
The Vancouver Aquatic Centre has been closed until at least tomorrow after a piece of the building crashed to the ground near the front door. The park board says closure is a precaution while the safety of the building is checked. The city had originally only closed the front entrance and allowed visitors to enter through a side door following the incident last night. It’s now apologizing for any inconvenience after closing the pool out of what it describes as “an abundance of caution.”
The City of Vancouver has been ordered to restore nearly six million dollars to its police department budget but city officials say the decision will likely add more than half a per cent to any tax hike next year. The police board appealed after the money was cut from its 2021 budget submission and a decision yesterday from B-C’s Director of Police Services said the funds must be restored. Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart says the cut was approved during the height of the pandemic when all departments were asked to do more with less, but a statement from Police Chief Adam Palmer says the loss of funds stopped the hiring of badly needed officers. City Manager Paul Mochrie (MAW-kree) says reserve cash will be used to cover the amount and balance this year’s budget — but the hole must be filled in 2023, likely meaning a 0.6 per cent tax increase.
There’s no relief in sight from climbing prices across the country as Statistics Canada says the annual inflation rate hit 5.7 per cent last month — the highest in more than 30 years — and the second straight month above five per cent. Economists say gas prices, grocery costs and housing expenses all contributed to the leap from January’s setting of 5.1 per cent. In B-C, inflation jumped four-tenths of a point to 4.7 per cent — tying this province and Saskatchewan for the lowest cost of living increase in Canada, but rates are still up sharply in most areas. Victoria saw its rate soar seven basis points to an even five per cent in February, while Vancouver was up half a per cent to 4.7 per cent.