OP/ED: Favours owed, favours due

The winner of the IHA laundry contract is a donator to the BC Liberal Party.

News this month that the Interior Health Authority had reached a 20-year agreement to outsource laundry services to Ecotex Healthcare Linen Service is the latest in a long string of odd coincidences involving companies that donate to the B.C. Liberal party and companies that do well by the B.C. government.

Ecotex has donated more than $125,000 to the B.C. Liberals, since 2005.
Its billings to the Fraser Health Authority – where it has a similar contract – have risen from $5.44 million in 2007 to $7.7 million in 2015, an increase of 41.6 per cent.

Discover Camping reservation service opens Tuesday

Ready, set  . . . book those favourite camp spots.

A reminder to all families, friends and outdoor enthusiasts to book your favourite campsites as the BC Parks online reservation system, Discover Camping, opens Tuesday, March 15, 2016, at 7 a.m.

At that time Discover Camping will begin accepting reservations for most campgrounds. Individual campsites in many provincial parks can be booked up to three months in advance through the Discover Camping website, or via the call centre.

There is new inventory for the 2016 camping season.

Raise the rates, leave our bus pass alone — Inclusion BC fights for people with disabilities

Faith Bodnar, Inclusion BC Executive Director, addresses the media outside the BC Legislature Wednesday. — Photo courtesy Inclusion BC

Nelson/Creston MLA Michelle Mungall helped deliver a 15,000-signature petition to the BC Legislature Wednesday as part of a fight by Inclusion BC and TAPS (Together Against Poverty Society) to help people with disabilities in BC.

The Raise the Rates, Leave our Bus Pass Alone petition was also delivered to Hon. Minister Michelle Stilwell's and Premier Christy Clark's constituency office in Parksville and Kelowna, respectively.

Discouraging behaviour that contributes to wildfire risks, BC Government triples fines

The Sitkum Creek wildfire in 2015 was not human caused. But anyone causing a wildfire now faces some of the highest wildfire-related violation ticket fines in the country. — The Nelson Daily

The B.C. government is taking a tougher stand to discourage behaviour that contributes to increased wildfire risks, to help protect communities, natural resources and infrastructure from wildfire damage.

Additional legislative changes will result in significantly increased ticket fines for 19 different violations under the Wildfire Act and for seven different violations under Wildfire Regulation.

Government reviewing fines for drivers passing stopped school buses

Government reviewing fines for drivers passing stopped school buses

Children's safety is of the utmost importance to all of us, which is why drivers are required to stop when school bus lights are flashing.

Despite the efforts to raise awareness, some drivers still fail to stop when children are getting on and off the bus.

"Failing to stop puts children at risk, and this is a concern to all British Columbians," said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Celebrating women in trades and technology

The percentage of women who are registered apprentices in BC is at 10.4%, up from 8.5% in 2009.

International Women’s Day is a day to celebrate the success of women in non-traditional and in-demand industries such as trades and technology.

“There has never been a better time for women to consider a career in the trades," said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour.

Vancouver Declaration on Clean Growth and Climate Change

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the First Ministers issued a joint declaration on clean growth and climate change.

Canada's First Ministers recently issued a joint communiqué following the First Ministers' Meeting and released a declaration on clean growth and climate change:

"In the spirit of cooperation and collaboration, we met today to discuss the economy and actions to address climate change and agreed on immediate work to support growth and create new jobs.

Police seize $500,000 in illicit drugs during road check stop

Police believed the seized drugs hold an estimated street value of over half a million dollars. — Photo courtesy RCMP

RCMP Trans Canada East Traffic Services seized drugs with an estimated street value of $500,000 during a routine traffic stop near Field, BC Wednesday (March 2).

Members of the Trans Canada East Traffic Services were conducting road safety checks in the area of Field, 58 kilometers east of Golden when one of the unit officers initiated a traffic stop with a suspected violator who was operating a Mitsubishi Outlander.

Up, up and away on Air Christy

Cost of Premier Clark's private jets has raised a few eyebrows.

News that Premier Christy Clark has spent $500,000 on private jets since assuming office has – not surprisingly – raised a few eyebrows.

It's a story that has as much to do with the symbolism as it does with the dollars. A political condition that the government seems increasingly tone deaf to as of late.

The story also broke at a particularly bad time.

Tough to defend private jets when you're clawing-back transit passes from the disabled at the same time.

Kimberley’s Molly Miller wins W.R. Bennett Award for Athletic Excellence at the 2016 BC Winter Games

Molly Miller (centre) receives her award from Donna Mihalcheon, BC Games Society Board Member (left) and Kelly Mann, BC Games Society President and CEO (right. — Photo courtesy Kevin Bogetti Smith

Kimberley cross country skier, Molly Miller was announced as the recipient of the W.R. Bennett Award for Athletic Excellence at the Closing Ceremony of the 2016 BC Winter Games.
Miller’s achievements in cross country skiing are unprecedented for an athlete of her age.  She competed for Team BC at the 2015 Canada Winter Games as a 13 year old in an under 23 category where many athletes were 10 years older than her. 

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