OP/ED: BC Government patronage appointments mean little or no push back

The appointment by Brad Bennett as Chairman of the BC Hydro board is the latest patronage appointment made by BC Premier Christy Clark.

New York Senator William L. Marcy could have just as easily been referring to B.C. in 2015 – and not the 1828 victory of the Jackson Democrats – when he boasted "to the victor belong the spoils."

Even he would have marvelled at the spoils available in B.C.

Other provinces have their Crown corps and spots on various boards to reward the party faithful, but the B.C. government has taken it to a whole new level.

More students deciding independent schools better than public

Students are chosing private over public says a new Fraser Institute study.

Private school enrolment across Canada is up by almost 17 per cent while public school enrolment has decreased eight per cent, according to a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

The study, Where Our Students are Educated: Measuring Student Enrolment in Canada, finds that enrolment increased for independent schools and decreased for public schools in almost every province across Canada between 2000/01 to 2012/13 (the most recent period for which comparable data were available).

General Mills announces cereal recall

The recall covers 1.8 Million boxes that may contain gluten.

The company that produces Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios had decided to recall some of its product due to an undeclared allergen – wheat – with potential adverse health effects.

General Mills said Monday (October 5) it is voluntarily recalling several days of production of Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios cereal produced at its Lodi, California facility on certain dates in July of this year because an isolated incident resulted in wheat flour being inadvertently introduced into the gluten free oat flour system at its Lodi facility.

Violent inmate escapes custody while at Vancouver Island hospital

Violent inmate escapes custody while at Vancouver Island hospital

Shortly before 8 p.m. on Oct. 4, an inmate from the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre (VIRCC) escaped from the custody of provincial correctional officers while at the Victoria General Hospital (VGH) for medical treatment.

The West Shore RCMP was notified of the escape, prompting an investigation and search for the inmate, identified as Tyler Desmond Fong. Fong was incarcerated at VIRCC following convictions earlier this year for a string of property crime offences in the Ladysmith and Nanaimo areas. Fong has a history of fleeing from police.

October is Small Business month in BC

Small Business Roundtable’s tenth annual report highlights a decade of accomplishments and upcoming priorities.

Small Business Month celebrations kicked off at the B.C. legislature with the launch of a new award to recognize young entrepreneurs, and the release of the Small Business Roundtable’s annual report.

The new Celebrate Entrepreneurship Award – launched in partnership with Junior Achievement British Columbia (JABC) – will recognize the student-led company that demonstrates the most innovation in their business.

The winning company and recipient of a $3,000 cash prize will be announced at JABC’s awards ceremony in June 2016.

Failed government policies ultimate cause of Ontario’s dismal fiscal, economic performance

Failed government policies ultimate cause of Ontario’s dismal fiscal, economic performance

The roots of Ontario’s decline from economic powerhouse to economic laggard can be found in a decade of failed government policies, concludes a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

Brad Bennett appointed new chair of BC Hydro

Premier Christy Clark welcomes Brad Bennett (second from left) during a press conference Wednesday.

Premier Christy Clark announced Wednesday the appointment of Brad Bennett to the position of chair of the BC Hydro board of directors.

Bennett replaces outgoing chair Stephen Bellringer, whose term expires on Sept. 30, 2015.

“Brad Bennett's longstanding passion for reliable, affordable electricity‎ has served the BC Hydro board – and all British Columbians – well for three years. He’ll bring that same dedication, business experience, and acumen to his new role,” said Premier Clark.

Municipalities can start lining up for Small Communities Fund projects

Some of the projects can include drinking water, wastewater, solid waste management, green energy, highways and major roads, public transit, innovation, connectivity and broadband. — The Nelson Daily photo

The Small Communities Fund will accept applications for $90 million in support for infrastructure before the end of this year, Premier Christy Clark announced today at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities annual convention.

Cost-shared equally by the B.C. and federal governments with $45 million each, the fund will open for intake on Oct. 30, 2015, closing on April 30, 2016.

Applications will be reviewed and assessed by the fall of 2016 with approvals anticipated in the winter of 2016-17.

Cranbrook-Kimberley to selected to host 55+ BC Games in 2018

The BC 55+ Games are making a return to the Kootenays as Cranbrook/Kimberley will joint host the event in 2018. — The Nelson Daily file photo

Cranbook and Kimberley have been tabbed by the BC Senior Games Society to host the 55+ BC Games in 2018 said Wayne Naka, president of BC Seniors Games Society in a media release.

The announcement was made as the BC Senior Games Society scheduled its course for the next few years.

The City of Vernon will host the 2017 Games, supported by Greater Vernon and the City of Armstrong and the township of Spallumcheen.

BCNU supports call for long term mental health strategy

BCNU supports call for long term mental health strategy

In a media release, the BC Nurses' Union said it supports the Union of BC Municipalities in calling for the provincial government to create a comprehensive mental health strategy.

BCNU President Gayle Duteil said in the release that there is an urgent need for better services.

“The mental health care system in BC is in crisis," Duteil said.

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