TC Energy Corporation says it has made history by finishing Canada’s first pipeline to the West Coast in over 70 years. It says the Coastal GasLink pipeline is mechanically complete ahead of the company’s year-end deadline. Planning for the pipeline began a decade ago and the project has been delayed by protests, including train blockades by First Nations across the country. The pipeline, which stretches across northern BC, was originally estimated to cost 6.2-billion dollars, but that climbed to 14.5 billion-dollars in the most recent price tag released by TC Energy earlier this year.
BC’s auditor general says he continues to have problems with the way the province keeps its books. Michael Pickup says the province doesn’t record the money it receives for major projects correctly, and isn’t including some gaming revenue. This is the 16th time Pickup’s office has “qualified” its audit report, meaning it couldn’t say the financial statements were fairly presented. Finance Minister Katrine Conroy says the government “respects and appreciates” the auditor’s efforts on this issue, but feels BC is “doing what every other jurisdiction in Canada is doing.”
Finance Minister Katrine Conroy says British Columbia’s economy is expected to slow this year and next year due largely to global inflation factors and Canada’s interest rate. She says the ministry’s latest financial outlook forecasts economic growth of one per cent this year and less than one per cent for 2024. Conroy says this year’s budget deficit projection is expected to drop by about 1.1 billion-dollars from September’s deficit estimate of 6.7 billion-dollars. She says she will table next year’s budget February 22nd.
The Transportation Ministry is warning drivers that Highway 97 will be closed for about 90 minutes tomorrow between Callan Road and Okanagan Lake Provincial Park north of Summerland. It says that section of the highway will be closed from 11 am to 12:30 pm for blasting at a rockslide site. The ministry says the blasting must happen during daylight hours for the safety of workers. It says the highway will be opened as soon as work and safety assessments are completed.
Adoption requests to a Metro Vancouver animal shelter poured in from as far away as New Zealand, but in the end, the 17-kilogram sulcata tortoise will stay in BC. Frank the Tank was found wandering in a Richmond bok choy field last month. Kahlee Demers, manager at the Maple Ridge Community Animal Centre, says Frank was in poor shape when he was found suffering shell rot and respiratory problems due to being out in the cold. But, she says Frank slowly recovered and even put on some weight and was taken by ferry to his new home on Monday.
The BC SPCA says it has seized 44 animals from a home off the coast of Vancouver Island after they were found in unsanitary conditions. It says the animals included 37 small breed dogs, including two moms with seven puppies, and five cats. The organization says they were found living in a home that had no running water and was filled with feces, urine and garbage. It says the animals were transported by boat to Nanaimo and will be cared for at SPCA centres across Vancouver Island.