Victoria police say officers had to make the tough decision to kill a full-grown cougar spotted in a city park Tuesday afternoon. Police say the animal was first spotted Tuesday morning, and then again in the afternoon, when officers decided to kill the animal due to its proximity to schools and homes. They say it’s very rare for police to kill animals, but officers found the public safety risk high enough to make the difficult choice to “dispatch” the animal. Police say they responded after getting a report of the cougar roaming in a park in the 300-block of Waterfront Crescent, and determined that conservation officers would not be able to respond fast enough.
BC’s Finance Minister Katrine (kah-TREE’-nah) Conroy says she’s pleased that the federal government has designated 15-billion dollars toward housing, but the money is needed much sooner than planned. Conroy says she’s concerned the money isn’t set to start flowing until 2025 because the money is needed now. She says the province will keep on track with its housing agenda, but federal help would be welcome. At a conference Tuesday, Premier David Eby said he was puzzled that policymakers still think the private sector can be relied upon to deliver affordable housing as the province eyes government-owned land for housing development projects.
Mounties in Kelowna say officers have arrested a repeat shoplifter who had tried to steal about one-thousand dollars’ worth of items at a retail store in the city. They say the 46-year-old man is a well-known shoplifter and was caught by plainclothes officers who had been in the store when he attempted to walk past the checkout with the items. Police say the man was taken into custody and charged with theft and with two counts of breaching conditions that he should not be in the specific store and for being in possession of items he is prohibited from having. They say the man’s next court appearance is scheduled for Thursday.
The BC Poultry Association says farmers are dealing with high levels of stress as avian flu season tears through poultry farms in the province. The association’s chief information officer, Amanda Brittain, says some groups are offering mental health referrals to farmers as flocks are being devastated by the disease. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the disease has spread to 39 BC farms this fall, forcing poultry farmers to destroy almost five-million birds. BC Agriculture Minister Pam Alexis says the province has been working with farmers and the agency to limit the further spread of the virus.
The City of Penticton says 25 properties in a mobile home park will remain on evacuation order over fears of a potential rock slide after it was notified Tuesday morning about a large rock that may break off a cliff. The city says a geotechnical engineer’s review prompted the evacuation of the properties in the Pleasant Valley Mobile Home Park. Shane Mills with the city’s emergency operations centre says it’s unknown how long residents will be out of their homes as the threat of the “precariously perched” rock is assessed. A photo posted by the city on social media shows the rock with a large crack on a slope near the evacuated properties and the city says it plans to remove the rock after assessing the area.
The City of Surrey says it has appointed Robert Costanzo as city manager, a post he’s been in on an acting basis since August following the retirement of Vincent Lalonde. Surrey Mayor Brenda Locke says Costanzo brings three decades of experience to the post, holding a number of different roles in the city government during his tenure. The city says he’s worked in several departments prior to taking on the city manager role, including corporate service, bylaw service, human resources and leadership roles in Surrey’s engineering department. Costanzo says he’s grateful to be appointed to the post and looks forward to working with Surrey’s council, calling the posting an “incredible opportunity.”