National Newswatch

B.C. treaty commissioner expects UNDRIP bill to speed treaty talks, more deals

Dec 7 2019 — Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press — VICTORIA — The often bumpy and slow path toward treaty making in British Columbia has a new tool that can help glide over major obstacles and potentially help produce more than three dozen agreements near completion, says Treaty Commissioner Celeste Haldane. The B.C. government's recent passage of Bill 41, legislation implementing the United Nations Declaration on the […]

B.C. forest industry facing uncertain future as mills close across province

Dec 1 2019 — Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press — VICTORIA — It seems barely a day goes by without an announcement about layoffs, temporary closures or permanent mill shut downs in British Columbia's struggling forest industry. As a result, thousands of workers, their families and many communities have been left facing uncertain futures. The layoffs and shutdowns are causing widespread economic and social pain, says […]

Growing population, declining mortgage rates speed up B.C. housing recovery

Nov 25 2019 — Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press — VICTORIA — Housing sales in British Columbia are climbing faster than anticipated after a downturn, but a rebound won't be as inflamed as the sellers' market two years ago, says a report released Monday by Central 1 Credit Union. Declines in home prices, falling mortgage rates, a population increase and continued economic growth have prompted buyers to return to the […]

Politicians in B.C. watch supermodel’s transition journey on Transgender Day

Nov 20 2019 — Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press — VICTORIA — A Canadian male supermodel who walks the fashion runways of Paris and appeared on front covers of trend-setting magazines relayed his story to British Columbia politicians during a special screening of a documentary film that follows his life-changing surgical transition from a depressed and suicidal female to his true self inside and out. The screening of the documentary, […]

B.C. government moves to tax and restrict vaping products to protect youth

Nov 14 2019 — Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press — VICTORIA — The British Columbia government introduced a 10-point plan Thursday to protect youth from the health risks of vaping that includes cutting nicotine content in vapour pods, restricting flavours aimed at young people, increasing taxes on products and supporting youth-led anti-vaping campaigns. Health Minister Adrian Dix said youth vaping rates are increasing, putting young people at risk of […]

B.C. rental crisis goes far beyond impact of short-term rentals, say experts

Nov 10 2019 — Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press — VICTORIA — British Columbia's rental housing crisis goes far beyond factoring the impact of short-term rentals, say housing experts who say more building is needed to help families find affordable homes. Recent data from Airbnb Canada says the short-term rental company collected almost $43 million in provincial, municipal and regional taxes over the past year, which […]

B.C. climate plan improves target details, transparency, says minister

Oct 30 2019 — Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press — VICTORIA — British Columbia's environment minister says the province is trying to be more transparent in reporting its progress in fighting climate change through legislative changes introduced Wednesday. George Heyman said the amendments to the Climate Change Accountability Act mandate more detailed tracking of the ongoing status of carbon reduction efforts and would establish an independent […]

B.C. to introduce time-change law but not in time for Sunday’s fall change

Oct 30 2019 — Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press — VICTORIA — British Columbia is pushing ahead with a plan to eliminate seasonal time changes, but when it would happen remains a matter of timing. Attorney General David Eby says legislation is being introduced Thursday that would allow B.C. to stop moving between daylight and standard time every spring and fall. But before any changes are made, Eby said the government wants to ensure […]

Women’s recovery centre in B.C. faces eviction as farm rules enforced

Oct 29 2019 — Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press — VICTORIA — A farm home in the Fraser Valley that provides addiction treatment and life-skills recovery help for women has received an eviction notice after the pastoral property along the Canada-U.S. border was deemed not to have met regulations governing the use of British Columbia's agricultural land. Angie Appenheimer, a regional director at the Abbotsford Women's Centre, said Tuesday she's started looking […]

B.C. introduces law to implement United Nations declaration on Indigenous rights

Oct 24 2019 — Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press — VICTORIA — British Columbia has become the first province in Canada to introduce legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, mandating the government to bring its laws and policies into harmony with the principles of the declaration. The legislation does not set a timeline for achieving its goals, but the minister […]