Provincial

Government charges up incentives for zero-emission vehicles

Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett (center) announced a $40 million investment to encourage British Columbians to make the switch to zero-emission vehicles.

Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett Friday announced an investment of $40 million to encourage British Columbians to make the switch to zero-emission vehicles, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and support investment in made-in-B.C. green technology.

“Zero-emission vehicles are clean, quiet and reliable, and help drivers reduce fuel and maintenance costs and tailpipe emissions, and are a growing economic sector in the province,” said Bennett.

Canada matters on World Wetlands Day

Canada is a country of wetlands, swamps, fens, marshes and bogs – all of which cover about 13 percent.

Canada proudly has a wetland engineer as its national animal. While other nations have picked wetland wildlife, such as Finland’s whooper swan or Pakistan’s Indus crocodile, only our Canadian beaver reshapes the land by making it hold more water.

By damming small creeks and streams, Canada’s five to 10 million plus beavers build and maintain millions of acres of shallow ponds and meadows across our country. These are not only good for beavers but for other species ranging from moose to wood ducks.

Wage premium for government employees over comparable private-sector workers hits 13.4 per cent in Ontario

Eight of 10 government employees in Ontario (79.7 per cent) are covered by a defined benefit pension plan.

Government employees in Ontario get higher wages, on average, than comparable workers in the private sector and they retire earlier and take more days off per year, finds a new study by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

Lab test confirms carfentanil is being ingested

Carfentanil is a drug is similar to fentanyl but can be 100 times more toxic – one or two grains the size of salt grains can be fatal.

As part of the surveillance related to the opioid overdose public health emergency, the province has confirmed through laboratory testing that carfentanil is present in the illegal drug supply in the Lower Mainland and being ingested.

In a media release Wednesday, the province said urine lab testing found carfentanil present in 57 of 1766 urine drug tests conducted from Jan. 10-24, 2017.

Great Day for SPCA

The SPCA was a big winner after the government announced an additional $5 million to support o replace or renovate aging shelters, keeping vulnerable animals safe.

The B.C. government announced Tuesday an additional $5 million to support the BC SPCA’s eight-year Facilities Development and Service Plan to replace or renovate aging shelters, keeping vulnerable animals safe.

North Vancouver-Seymour MLA Jane Thornthwaite joined with members of the BC SPCA for the announcement. This $5-million funding announcement will allow the BC SPCA to embark on the initial stages of Phase 2 of its facilities plan, which includes a new Vancouver campus.  

IIO BC called to Salmon Arm following police involved shooting

Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia is in Salmon Arm after man was shot.

The Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia (IIO BC) has been called in to investigate a Salmon Arm police involved shooting.

While all aspects and circumstances around this incident will be subject to independent investigation and verification, police can advise that Monday (January 30) shortly before 12:20 a.m., Salmon Arm RCMP received a complaint of a theft in progress at a local car wash.

Police attended the car wash located in the 2300 block of 10th Avenue SW and located the suspect, a lone male, in one of the wash bays.  

Remember to buy your new BC Parks licence plate

All net proceeds from the sale and ongoing renewals of BC Parks licence plates will be re-invested back into provincial parks through the Park Enhancement Fund.

The public is encouraged to purchase their new BC Parks plates at Autoplan broker offices starting Monday, and show their support for provincial parks through images of a Kermode Bear, Purcell Mountains or scenic Porteau Cove.

In partnership with the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, the specialty licence plates were unveiled by Environment Minister Mary Polak and Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone in Vancouver earlier this month.

OP/ED: Spending is to blame for Alberta's $10.8 billion deficit

This year’s deficit is expected to top $10.8 billion.

The Alberta government could have posted a small budget surplus this year if successive governments had kept program spending increases in line with population growth and inflation, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

But Alberta’s new government is continuing its predecessors’ trend of rapid spending increases, which has seen nearly uninterrupted deficits in the province since 2008/2009 — even during years when oil prices were at historic highs.

B.C.’s tourism sector sees spike in visitors

The latest numbers from Statistics Canada show that from January to November 2016, a total of 5,143,414 international visitors arrived in B.C. to date last year, for an increase of 546,632 over 2015.

In the first 11 months of 2016, more than 5.1 million international visitors arrived in British Columbia, a 12.2% increase over the same time frame in 2015.

The latest numbers from Statistics Canada show that from January to November 2016, a total of 5,143,414 international visitors arrived in B.C. to date last year, for an increase of 546,632 over 2015. The same visitor numbers show in November 2016, a 13.1% increase in international visitor arrivals over November 2015, showing a total of 31,675 more visitors. 

Canada’s inadequate patent protections for pharmaceuticals hampering innovation and economic growth

Both the U.S. and European Union provide a patent restoration term of up to five years beyond a patent’s 20 year life.

Strengthening protections of intellectual property rights for pharmaceutical drugs would encourage innovation of new medicines, create high-skilled jobs and grow the economy, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

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