Provincial

Getting big money out of BC politics

We need strict limits on individual donations to political parties so wealthy people do not have an advantage.

While British Columbians were divided over which of the main parties to support in the provincial election, most seem to agree on one thing: the need to get big money out of our politics.

But it’s not enough to stop cash donations by corporations and unions.

Any ban must be comprehensive, meaning no contributions of property and services, prohibiting loans or guaranteeing loans, and banning institutional contributions to party leadership and constituency nomination races.

FORMER MLA AND DEPUTY PREMIER GRACE MCCARTHY PASSES AT 90

Grace McCarthy received the Order of Canada in 1992 and the Order of British Columbia in 2004 and holds many honourary degrees.

Former MLA and Social Credit cabinet minister and Deputy Premier Grace McCarthy passed away peacefully at her home in Vancouver last night after a lengthy battle with a brain tumor.  Mrs.  McCarthy, 90, was surrounded by her family.

Funeral details and arrangements will be announced in the coming days.

McCarthy was born in Vancouver, and at the age of 17, she cashed in a $50 war bond and opened her own flower shop, Grayce Florists, which she developed into five retail locations across the city.

Final Count — Liberals 43, NDP 41, Green Party 3

When the legislature is back, BC will have its first minority government more than 60 years.

BC’s three political parties were all jockeying for position after Elections BC released the final numbers Wednesday following the May 9 Provincial vote.

After the final riding was tabulated, giving the NDP Courtenay-Comox by 189 votes, the count leaves the B.C. Liberals with 43 seats — one short of a majority — the NDP at 41 and the Green Party at 3. 

Hunter-Funded Wildlife Agency Quietly Announced Before BC Election

Steve Thomson, Former Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations announcing the new wildlife agency proposal on March 22, 2017.

By Judith Lavoie.  This article is from DeSmog Canada.

A plan to form a new, independent wildlife management agency in B.C., which would relieve the provincial government from managing contentious wildlife issues such as grizzly, wolf and caribou populations, is generating anxiety among some conservation groups who fear the structure of the new program could prioritize the interests of hunters over wildlife.

UPDATED: Coquihalla opens following dangerous goods spill

Smoke could be seen from the Ministry truck following an incident involving a burning semi-trailer truck carrying dangerous goods.

DriveBC is the Coquihalla Highway 5 between Hope and Merritt has opened in both directions Tuesday morning following an incident involving a burning semi-trailer truck carrying dangerous goods.

A hazmat team spent most of the night cleaning the spill.

MOTI reports Coquihalla near Merritt closed in both directions

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure issued a traffic advisory Monday saying the Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt is closed following an incident involving a burning semi-trailer truck carrying dangerous goods.

2017 BC Provincial Election — The Goldilocks edition

The verdict is in — “Voters always know best.”

It was a pretty safe bet going into election night that regardless of how the vote broke that there were four words from Premier Christy Clark's 2013 victory speech which would be left unsaid this year: “Well, that was easy.”

Something else telling between Clark's two speeches?

In 2013, it fell on then-NDP leader Adrian Dix to deliver that oft-cited line by political runner-ups: “Elections belong to the voters and the voters decided.”

Slow down this Victoria Day long weekend

In the Southern Interior, 69 people were injured in 270 crashes.

As B.C. roads are expected to be busy with the unofficial start of the summer road trip season this May long weekend, ICBC and police are asking drivers to slow down and maintain a safe speed now and throughout summer.

Crashes and injuries increase on long weekends because of many factors, including unsafe speed as people may be rushing to reach their destination. Last year over the Victoria Day long weekend, 490 people were hurt in 1,900 crashes in B.C. — including 69 people in the Southern Interior injured in 270 crashes.

Elections BC approves two district electoral officer recounts

The votes are in but a final count is needed in two ridings, which will take place May 22 to 24.

Elections BC said in a media release it has approved two district electoral officer recounts as part of the final count in the ridings of Courtenay-Comox and Vancouver-False Creek, which will take place May 22 to 24.

Elections BC said under the Election Act, candidates or their official agents can request a recount of some or all of the ballots considered at initial count within three days after General Voting Day.

The ridings that did not meet criteria were Coquitlam-Burke Mountain, Maple Ridge-Mission, Richmond Queensborough and Vancouver-False Creek.

Fraser Institute annual rankings reveal declines at some B.C. secondary schools

Some schools with relatively high numbers of ESL and special needs students have improved their ratings. — Submitted photo

A greater number of secondary schools in British Columbia have experienced declines in performance than have improved over the past four years, according to the Fraser Institute’s annual B.C. secondary schools rankings released today.

“Our annual report card reveals how schools perform year over year, so parents can quickly see if there are problems that must be corrected,” said Peter Cowley, director of school performance studies at the Fraser Institute.

Avoid driving in flooded areas and respect the power of water, ICBC advises

Be prepared and plan out an alternative route in case the road you want to use is closed.

With the threat of more flooding in parts of B.C. this week, ICBC is urging drivers to be cautious in and around flooded areas.

ICBC recommends finding a safe location on high ground for the temporary storage of vehicles and seasonal vehicles such as motor homes, trailers or snowmobiles located in low-lying areas that may be subject to flooding.

Customers must ensure that vehicles are properly licensed and insured before they're operated on any road or highway. Customers can purchase temporary operation permits from any Autoplan broker.

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