National Newswatch

Budget funding for BC Wildfire Service garners mixed reaction from experts

Feb 23 2022 — Amy Smart, The Canadian Press — VANCOUVER — A fire ecologist says new provincial funding to expand the BC Wildfire Service to a year-round endeavour is a welcome step toward preventing disasters, while others in the field say the funds could be better spent elsewhere.  Bob Gray said landscape-scale planning, prescribed burns and other tactics for reducing the risk of wildfires […]

Flower supply chain issues prompt some B.C. buyers to look local

Feb 12 2022 — Amy Smart, The Canadian Press — VANCOUVER — It was stubbornness that led a family farm on Vancouver Island to keep growing roses when competitors left the industry or shifted production to marijuana years ago.  Now, Kristen Bulk says international flower shortages combined with the Valentine's Day crunch is creating higher demand for local roses from Eurosa Farms, which bills itself […]

B.C. Speaker, adviser yelled at staff during misspending investigation: Trial

Feb 3 2022 — Amy Smart, The Canadian Press — VANCOUVER — A former employee of British Columbia's legislature says he was "screamed at like a dog" by the former Speaker and his special adviser during an investigation into misspending allegations against the then-clerk Craig James.  Randall Ennis, who served as acting sergeant-at-arms in 2018, told the B.C. Supreme Court in James's fraud and breach […]

B.C.’s legislature deputy clerk told to trust advice on retirement payment: trial

Jan 31 2022 — Amy Smart, The Canadian Press — VANCOUVER — The former deputy clerk of the British Columbia legislative assembly told a trial that she returned a retirement allowance despite receiving assurances from government officials that it was a valid claim.  The $258,000 retirement allowance that her then-boss, former clerk Craig James, also received in 2012 is the largest among several payments that […]

B.C.’s legislature deputy clerk told to trust advice on retirement payment: trial

Jan 31 2022 — Amy Smart, The Canadian Press — VANCOUVER — The former deputy clerk of the British Columbia legislative assembly told a trial that she returned a retirement allowance despite receiving assurances from government officials that it was a valid claim.  The $258,000 retirement allowance that her then-boss, former clerk Craig James, also received in 2012 is the largest among several payments that […]

B.C. clerk says she didn’t see rationale for predecessor’s retirement benefit

Jan 28 2022 — Amy Smart, The Canadian Press — VANCOUVER — British Columbia's clerk of the legislative assembly says she returned a retirement benefit that was also awarded to her predecessor because she felt "uncomfortable" with it and found the size "very concerning." Kate Ryan-Lloyd, who was Craig James's deputy at the time of the 2012 payment, told a B.C. Supreme Court trial that […]

B.C. Crown says recent documents identified could be ‘exculpatory’ in James case

Jan 27 2022 — Amy Smart, The Canadian Press — VANCOUVER — A surprise disclosure temporarily delayed proceedings at the B.C. Supreme Court trial of the former clerk of the legislature Thursday, while a key witness shed light on the controversial purchase of a wood splitter "for emergencies" that was stored at the clerk's home.  Craig James is accused of misspending public money for personal […]

Former B.C. legislature clerk’s cufflinks, whisky subject of indictment: Crown

Jan 25 2022 — Amy Smart, The Canadian Press — VANCOUVER — Former clerk of the British Columbia legislature Craig James claimed expenses ranging from malt whisky to pieces of luggage on the public purse, a special prosecutor said Tuesday.  Brock Martland told a B.C. Supreme Court Tuesday that James made dozens of personal purchases and claimed them as professional expenses during trips to the […]