Province increases fines for failing to stop for a school bus

When a school bus stops, motorists should stop also.

Fines for drivers passing school buses with flashing lights in British Columbia are more than doubling to $368, announced Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Todd Stone.

This follows a review of the penalties conducted in March 2016 that found the previous fine of $167 was one of the lowest in Canada and not enough to deter drivers.

This increase in fine amount is designed to discourage drivers from ignoring flashing school bus lights. Drivers will continue to receive three penalty points on top of the increased fine.

Federal deficits could total almost $200 billion over next five years

The government of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has provided no details with regard to how they will reduce the growth in spending after such significant increases in the first two years.

The federal government’s plan to run $113.2 billion in deficits over the next five years is premised on unrealistic assumptions regarding future spending restraint, which will likely result in much larger deficits and debt accumulation, finds a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

BC Coroner releases fatal drug overdose statistics

Fentanyl powder seized by a Lake County Deputy Sheriff in Painesville, Ohio, where a male subject had been discovered unresponsive and struggling to breathe. Source: Wikipedia

The BC Coroners Service has posted the most recent statistics on illicit drug overdose deaths in B.C. to its website.

The total number of illicit drug overdose deaths in B.C. to April 30, 2016, is 256. This represents an increase of 88.2 per cent from the 136 deaths that occurred in the same period last year.

Care for a dose of accuracy with that spin?

It seems Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett mistook a “comparative index of prices” with dollars.

Ever sense that the B.C. government is trying to pull the wool over your eyes sometimes?

Political spin that can politely be described as light in the accuracy department.

A good example is a recent letter to the editor in the East Kootenay News Online Weekly, by Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett.

Nurses and health employers ratify agreement

It turned out to be a great week for nurses as nurses, and health employers, voted in favour of a new five-year agreement. — The Nelson Daily photo

British Columbia’s nurses and health employers have voted in favour of a new five-year agreement that aims to improve health care for patients and families.

“The ratification of this agreement is a great example of what can be achieved when we work cooperatively with our health care partners,” Health Minister Terry Lake said.

“We look forward to moving ahead in a spirit of collaboration with B.C.’s nurses as we continue to transform and improve the delivery of health services – for the benefit of patients and staff.”

BC Government steps up penalties for safer roads, uping ante on distracted driving

New base fine of $368 for motorists changed with distracted driving.

Significantly higher fines, more penalty points, and earlier interventions for repeat offenders – including driving prohibitions – will reinvigorate the Province’s push to eliminate distracted driving, a leading factor in deaths on B.C. roads.

The new financial penalties for distracted driving will be calculated using the base fine of $368 combined with escalating Insurance Company of British Columbia (ICBC) driver penalty point premiums, which start at $175 for the first offence and climb for any additional offence within a 12-month period.

Penticton RCMP ask for assistance in locating missing person Kees Van Egmond

Kees Van Egmon . . . reported missing by family May 6

The Penticton RCMP is requesting the public's assistance in locating a missing Penticton resident, Kees Van Egmon, who was last heard from on (Wednesday) May 4th.

The 76-year-old man was reported missing late Friday evening on May 6 by family. 

Police and family are very concerned for Kees Van Egmond's health and well-being and friends and family report that it is out of character for him to be out of contact for this long.

B.C. update on continued support for displaced Albertans

The wildfire that ripped through Fort McMurray destroyed homes and left parts of the city looking more like a war zone. — Submitted photo

British Columbia continues to marshal emergency management resources and support to assist neighbouring Albertans who have fled the devastating wildfires.

Friday, Premier Christy Clark announced a $300,000 donation from the Government of British Columbia to the Canadian Red Cross to support relief efforts in Fort McMurray, Alberta, adding to donations by British Columbians including at BC Liquor Stores.

More tnhan $73,000 has already been raised to date from donations at BC Liquor Stores.

Crews continue efforts on wildfires in northeast B.C., most of which were human-caused

Crews continue efforts on wildfires in northeast B.C., most of which were human-caused

Recent warm, dry conditions have led to increased fire activity in the Prince George Fire Centre. Scattered showers are forecasted for this weekend which should aid fire suppression efforts.

There are currently seven wildfires of note, which are all located in the Peace Region. The Beatton Airport Road wildfire, which is located 45 kilometres north of Fort St. John, is estimated at 12,000 hectares in size. The Siphon Creek wildfire, located 40 kilometres northeast of Fort St. John, is estimated at 24,000 hectares and has crossed the Alberta border.

Minimum wage increases coupled with new training supports

Shirley Bond, Minister for Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, and Minister Responsible for Labour watches Premier Christy Clark announce the increase to BC Minimum Wage. — Submitted photo

The British Columbia government is increasing the minimum wage in two stages to better reflect the province’s overall economic growth and ensure all workers benefit from B.C.’s success. 

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