A man whose downtown Vancouver condo was allegedly used for repeated large parties and illegal alcohol sales in violation of COVID-19 restrictions could lose his property under B-C’s civil forfeiture act. The director of civil forfeiture says the 2.8-million dollar condo was allegedly used for additional illegal activities and it should be sold, with proceeds going to the government, once the roughly two-million dollar mortgage is paid. The registered owner of the penthouse unit is Mohammad Movassaghi who was sentenced to one day in jail, fined and placed on 18 months probation in April for violating B-C’s COVID-19 restrictions. He has until mid-October to answer the claims, which haven’t been proven in court, and his lawyer has not responded to a request for comment
Residents of long-term care and assisted-living facilities in B-C will start receiving booster shots of COVID-19 vaccine starting next week. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says the latest data show a third dose is most effective about six months after the second, and seniors will be getting the extra jab in conjunction with influenza shots. Henry has already announced plans for a third dose of vaccine for people who are most immunocompromised, with plans to provide more information on third doses for those whose health is not as compromised. She’s encouraging everyone who’s eligible to get vaccinated to protect those most vulnerable to infection, as well as children under 12 who aren’t eligible for immunization.
A new report suggests Canada’s labor shortage is not going away any time soon. The report from the Business Development Bank of Canada says 64 per cent of Canadian businesses say labour shortages are limiting their growth. But it notes the pandemic didn’t create the labor shortage, it only made an existing situation worse. Canada’s aging population means more workers are retiring and there are fewer young workers to take their places. The B-D-C report says employers who want to attract and retain workers should look at offering perks like benefits, training, flexible hours, and work-from-home privileges
Mining company Vale reports all 39 miners who’d been trapped underground since Sunday at a mine in northern Ontario are back above ground. Vale reported just after 5:30 a.m. Eastern Time that the rescue operation had been completed. The final four workers resurfaced from the Totten Mine west of Sudbury this morning. All 39 had been helped by a crew of nearly five-dozen responders in their long climb up a series of ladders to the outside. Workers became trapped in the mine on Sunday,some 1.2 kilometers down, when a scoop bucket being sent underground detached and blocked the mine shaft.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to speak with Alberta Premier Jason Kenney today to offer federal help in battling soaring COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations. Yesterday, Kenney rejected introducing the firebreak economic lockdown that doctors are seeking. Alberta’s more than 20-thousand active cases dwarf totals in other provinces and hospitals are struggling to cope with overflowing intensive care units. The province reported 12-hundred and 46 new infections yesterday and another 18 deaths.
July was another terrible month in B-C for deaths linked to suspected illicit drug deaths. A report from the B-C Coroners Service says 184 people died in July — almost six deaths every day — tying with January of this year for the second deadliest month on record — just behind June 2020 when 186 people died. The coroner said in August that the period from January to June was the worst ever in B-C for overdose deaths and — with numbers from July added — total deaths have now edged past 12-hundred — pushing them 28 per cent higher than the same period last year. Drugs tainted with fentanyl have been linked to 86 per cent of deaths so far this year and the coroner says extreme concentrations of fentanyl are being found in an increasing number of samples while ultrapowerful carfentanil has been detected in 113 deaths in 2021 — up from 65 over the same period last year.
Residents of a Squamish neighbourhood were told to stay inside and lock their doors yesterday afternoon as R-C-M-P tried to find a man who was allegedly carrying a rifle. Heavily armed officers patrolled the area and police say a suspect was arrested for a weapons offence about two hours later. A statement from the Squamish detachment says no one was hurt and public safety was not at risk. It doesn’t say what charges, if any, the suspect could face or what caused the situation.
The B-C Lottery Corporation says someone who bought a Lotto Max ticket in Burnaby is 70-million dollars richer today. The ticket was the only winner in last night’s draw — and the payoff is so big it even eclipses the odds against winning — which were more than 33-million to one. The 70-million dollar Lotto Max haul is the largest lottery prize ever won in B-C. A release from the lottery corporation says the name of the winner and the location of the lucky purchase will be announced once the ticket holder comes forward.
An increase in cases of a rare heart condition in young adults who have received the COVID-19 Moderna vaccines has prompted Ontario to recommend Pfizer shots for those between the ages of 18 to 24. The province says the rise of heart inflammation cases has been particularly observed among men in that age group. Between June and August, the province says the risk of the ailments for the age group following a second dose of Moderna was one in five thousand. For those who received the Pfizer, the rate was one in 28 thousand.
The union representing about 30-thousand workers in B-C’s public education sector is applauding the Vancouver school board’s decision to extend a mask mandate to all students. The board sent a letter to parents today saying it’s extending the mask mandate to students in kindergarten to Grade 3 starting Monday due to concerns about rising COVID-19 cases among children. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has rejected calls to make masks mandatory for all students — citing improved school ventilation and restrictions on intermingling between classes. But CUPE B-C says the Delta variant has clearly changed the situation in schools and all other boards should follow Vancouver’s lead.
BC health officials announced 813 new test-positive COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 186,245. In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said that there are 6,185 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Of the active cases, 340 individuals are currently hospitalized, 146 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.
New cases and total active cases, broken down by health region, are as follows:
- Fraser Health: 303 new cases, 2,316 total active cases
- Vancouver Coastal Health: 102 new cases, 911 total active cases
- Interior Health: 208 new cases, 1,281 total active cases
- Northern Health: 118 new cases, 915 total active cases
- Island Health: 82 new cases, 704 total active cases
- Outside of Canada: No new cases, 58 total active cases
There have been 11 new COVID-19-related deaths over the past 24 hours, for a total of 1,953 deaths in BC. Two deaths occurred in Fraser Health, three in Island Health, one in Northern Health, and five in Vancouver Coastal Health. From September 21 to 27, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 71.9% of cases and from Sept. 14-27 they accounted for 80.8% of hospitalizations.
Past week cases (September 21 to 27) – Total 5,121
- Not vaccinated: 3,324 (64.9%)
- Partially vaccinated: 361 (7%)
- Fully vaccinated: 1,436 (28%)
Past two weeks cases hospitalized (September 14 to 27) – Total 438
- Not vaccinated: 318 (72.6%)
- Partially vaccinated: 36 (8.2%)
- Fully vaccinated: 84 (19.2%)
Past two weeks, cases per 100,000 population after adjusting for age (September 14 to 27)
- Not vaccinated: 46.8
- Partially vaccinated: 15
- Fully vaccinated: 1.9
After factoring for age, people not vaccinated are 24.6 times more likely to be hospitalized than those fully vaccinated. To date, 87.9% of all eligible people 12 and over have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine; 80.8% have received their second dose. 177,729 people who tested positive have now recovered.