Provincial

B.C. Liberals' electoral finance reform package doesn't amount to much

MLA Vicki Huntington likes to call the Premier Christy Clark the "Diva of Deflection".

Last week Premier Christy Clark heard the four letters that every politician dreads, particularly when it's hitting close to home: RCMP.

Only five days after announcing its investigation into the Globe and Mail's report that some lobbyists may have had their personal donations to the B.C. Liberal party and NDP reimbursed by unknown third-parties, Elections B.C. called on the RCMP to take over.

Health-care spending more than doubled since 2001; projected to keep growing

Health care is projected to consume an even larger portion of program spending over the next 15 years.

Health-care spending by provincial governments has increased by 116 per cent since 2001, and even though increases have slowed recently, health care is projected to consume an even larger portion of program spending over the next 15 years, according to a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

Recovery of our most endangered plants and animals is possible

Dan Kraus is Weston Conservation Scientist with the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

I lost my Cracker Jack wildlife cards sometime in the 1980s, but the images printed on the cards are still vivid in my mind. The small cards came wrapped in clear plastic and featured a holographic image of a wildlife species in danger.

I can still see the pencil marks in the top drawer of my old desk where I marked lines to keep them organized. There was a special area in my drawer reserved for the handful of species that lived in my country, and were at risk of extinction.

One simple rule and it still gets messed up

The RCMP has now been brought in to investigate the claim that lobbyists in the province have been making political donations on behalf of their clients, which is contrary to B.C.'s Elections Act.

This past weekend the Globe and Mail reported that lobbyists in the province have been making political donations on behalf of their clients, effectively camouflaging the identity of the real donors and breaking B.C.'s Elections Act in the process.

On Sunday, Elections B.C. announced it was conducting an investigation into the Globe's findings. Five days later, the entire matter was referred to the RCMP.

BCTF vote results on implementation of restored language

There were 21,156 BCTF members participating for a 98.4% vote in favour of ratification.

BC Teachers' Federation members voted overwhelming to ratify the agreement to implement their restored collective agreement language a BCTF media release said on its website Friday.

The BCTF said the agreement will see all the substantive working conditions that were unconstitutionally stripped from teachers' collective agreements restored.

“With this vote, BC schools are finally on the verge of having better working and learning conditions back in place,” said BCTF President Glen Hansman.

It pays to be a government employee in Alberta

 The study finds that government employees in Alberta — including federal, provincial and municipal workers — received 7.9 per cent higher wages. — Fraser Institute graphic

With the Alberta government set to unveil another large budget deficit next week, a new study by the Fraser Institute finds that all public-sector workers in the province — including federal, provincial and municipal employees — receive higher pay, on average, than comparable workers in the private sector and enjoy more generous non-wage benefits, too.

Be well rested for Daylight Savings Time

Be aware of how your body adapts to the time change.

ICBC is calling on drivers to get some extra rest this weekend to prepare for the shift to Daylight Saving Time, which kicks in Sunday (March 12) at 2 a.m.

Losing an hour of sleep may have an impact on your alertness and reaction time when driving. That's why ICBC is reminding drivers to be make an extra effort to adapt to the spring time change.

B.C. Green Party announces platform to end unethical fundraising

Andrew Weaver of the B.C. Green Party is incredibly disturbed over the allegations published in the Globe and Mail.

The B.C. Green Party is making life as difficult as it can for the to mainstream parties after party leader Andrew Weaver announced Tuesday a number of measures to deal with ethics in the upcoming provincial election.

Weaver, the member for Oak Bay-Gordon Head in Victoria, said during a press conference the B.C Green Party would commit to a number of measures to address ethics, transparency and accountability in its platform for the upcoming election on May 9.

ICBC increases fairness of basic insurance rates

Drivers having more accidents will pay higher premiums.

ICBC is updating basic insurance to increase the accountability of drivers who cause crashes by changing how much an at-fault crash affects their basic insurance rates. This will help to alleviate the pressure on future rates paid by customers who don’t cause crashes.

Going forward, drivers who cause multiple at-fault crashes will lose their safe driving discounts faster than they do today. ICBC is applying to the BC Utilities Commission to have these changes take effect May 6, 2018.

B.C. farmers’ markets benefit from Buy Local funding

The next Winter Market organized by the West Kootenay EcoSociety is March 25. — Submitted photo

Farmers’ markets all over the province are enticing British Columbians with locally grown and produced products, fresh from their own backyards.

The B.C. government’s Buy Local program is providing six local farmers’ markets with a combined total of $57,055 in funding.

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