BC has given new targets to 10 municipalities for building units over the next five years to address the province’s housing crisis. Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon says the province will assess the progress in six months and that an “independent person” may be put in place in municipalities where actions toward increasing housing aren’t being taken. The 10 municipalities are mostly located in Metro Vancouver and Greater Victoria but also include Kamloops. The target calls for the City of Vancouver to build more than 28-thousand housing units in the next five years, while other municipalities have to reach targets ranging from 664 units to about seven-thousand.
BC has 18 months to fix its mineral rights system after a Supreme Court ruling sided with a First Nations challenge claiming they were owed a duty to be consulted. Despite the court victory, Gitxaala (GHEET’-khat-lah) Chief Councillor Linda Innes says the court didn’t quash existing mineral claims and left the nation’s territory open for continued staking without consultation for the time being. The nation filed a petition in October 2021 challenging the province’s online mineral tenure registry, which automatically granted mineral rights on its territory without consultation. The Ehattesaht (eh-HAT’-eh-sat) First Nation filed a similar petition in June 2022, and the B-C Supreme Court heard the cases together this spring.
Gurdwara councils in BC and Ontario are calling for a public inquiry into the murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar (NIH’-jar) in Surrey last June, and for the immediate suspension of all security and intelligence agreements with India. The councils say it is clear, based on public reports, that intelligence agencies were aware of the threat to Nijjar’s life, which “suggests a concerning failure of Canada’s security agencies to prevent a foreseeable violent crime and gives rise to wider concerns within the community.” Meanwhile, Premier David Eby, who spent Monday and Tuesday in Ottawa meeting with federal ministers, says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Public Safety Minister Dominic LeBlanc have assured him BC will get the information it needs to ensure the safety of its residents. The premier had previously said Friday that he strongly suspected the federal government was holding back information that could help the province protect its residents with connections to India from foreign interference.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is identifying the victim in what it has classified as a suspicious death. It says a 58-year-old man was found with serious injuries on Klein Lake Forest Service Road in Egmont on Saturday and while first responders provided first aid, he died of his injuries. I-HIT says it is now identifying the man as Henry Doyle of Vancouver in hopes of advancing its investigation. It says investigators have learned that Doyle had travelled to the area on his dirt bike, which was located near his body, and is asking anyone who was in the area or saw anything suspicious to contact I-HIT.
Officials are lifting the campfire and other open fire bans previously in place along much of BC’s coastal areas. The Coastal Fire Centre says it is rescinding all category 1, 2 and 3 open fire prohibitions in its region at noon today. The lifting of bans in the region covering Vancouver Island, BC’s southern and central coast as well as Haida Gwaii allows for the use of items such as tiki torches, outdoor stoves, fireworks and sky lanterns to return. Campfire bans in the region have been in place since July 7th, and other bans since May 18th.
Police in Delta are asking for the public’s help in their investigation into a crash between motorcycle and white sedan on Sunday. They say the 17-year-old motorcyclist had serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Police say they have not yet determined the cause of the crash and are now looking for witnesses or video that may be useful to investigators. They say pre-collision driving footage of both vehicles is of particular interest.