National Newswatch

John Horgan calls an election in British Columbia for Oct. 24

Sep 21 2020 — Dirk Meissner — LANGFORD, B.C. — Premier John Horgan called an early election Monday, saying British Columbia needs stability during the COVID-19 pandemic as opposition leaders accused him of putting politics ahead of the province's response to the virus. Horgan said he struggled over whether it is the right time to call an election during the pandemic but there are […]

COVID-19 controls tightened as cases rise and possible second wave looms

Sep 15 2020 — Dirk Meissner — VICTORIA — The looming prospect of a second wave of COVID-19 this fall has governments cautiously monitoring daily infection rates as economies restart and students return to school. A widespread return of economic and social restrictions that closed businesses and schools and cancelled public events in March is not the preferred option, but there may be no choice, say politicians and health officials. […]

Member of the legislature Sonia Furstenau elected B.C. Green leader

Sep 14 2020 — Dirk Meissner — VICTORIA — The Green party's new leader in B.C. wants the premier to focus on COVID-19 and overdose deaths instead of fuelling speculation about an early election this fall. Sonia Furstenau, 50, one of two Green party members in the legislature, said now isn't the time for Premier John Horgan to take steps to dissolve the house. […]

Nightclubs ordered closed in British Columbia after spike in COVID-19 cases

Sep 8 2020 — Dirk Meissner — VICTORIA — British Columbia's top doctor ordered nightclubs and banquet halls to close on Tuesday to control the spread of COVID-19 and placed new restrictions on the sale of alcohol at pubs, lounges and restaurants. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said she amended the orders after recent spikes in cases linked to establishments where alcohol is sold. The revised health […]

Victoria mural sponsor says anti-police acronym inappropriate, but fuels debate

Sep 4 2020 — Dirk Meissner — VICTORIA — A group that sponsored an anti-racism mural that was called disrespectful by Victoria's police chief says part of the work is offensive. The African Heritage Association of Vancouver Island said Friday it cannot condone the appearance in the mural of the acronym ACAB, which is commonly held to mean "All Cops Are Bastards" or "All Cops Are Bad." "While we […]

University of Victoria law centre to train generation of Indigenous lawyers

Sep 3 2020 — Dirk Meissner — VICTORIA — A new generation of Indigenous legal scholars will be trained at the University of Victoria, which announced the expansion of its law school to house Canada's new National Centre for Indigenous Laws. The federal and B.C. governments and the Law Foundation of B.C. are contributing $27.1 million to fund the expansion for the centre. […]

B.C. government undermines information rights: privacy commissioner

Sep 2 2020 — Dirk Meissner — VICTORIA — The British Columbia government routinely undermines the rights of its citizens by delaying requests for information, says a report by the information and privacy commissioner. The extension of timelines by the government for responses to access to information requests is being done without legal authority and could impair the public's trust in the […]

City-sponsored justice awareness mural ‘deeply disrespectful,’ says police chief

Aug 28 2020 — Dirk Meissner — Victoria's police chief says a city-sponsored mural on justice issues disrespects members of the police department, but a community organizer is defending the artwork because it is meant to spark challenging conversations about race, power and inequality. Chief Del Manak said the large "More justice, more peace" mural located in downtown's Bastion Square includes an anti-police slogan that is "deeply disrespectful" to […]

Cut B.C. health regulatory colleges to six to improve public protection: report

Aug 27 2020 — Dirk Meissner — VICTORIA — A report recommends reducing the number of regulatory colleges governing health professionals in British Columbia from 20 to six to improve public protection and implementing a new oversight body that oversees them. British Columbia has 20 colleges with more than 120,000 members representing chiropractors, physicians and surgeons, dental surgeons, nurses and other health professionals. Health Minister Adrian Dix […]

BC Hydro says pandemic hits Site C project, expect delays, cost increases

Jul 31 2020 — Dirk Meissner — VICTORIA — Construction delays and rising costs on British Columbia's Site C dam project are being blamed on the impact of the pandemic, but it's prompted the provincial government to appoint an adviser to look over the operation. Energy Minister Bruce Ralston said Friday he's concerned by the news and will await a revised budget from BC Hydro, […]

Horgan says B.C. restart making gains as more people come out of their homes

Jul 9 2020 — Dirk Meissner — VICTORIA — British Columbia's gradual restart is gaining ground as some industries resume operations and more people leave their homes to participate in the economy, Premier John Horgan said Thursday. He said B.C.'s successful efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 and the willingness of people to spend more time out in public leave him optimistic. Horgan made […]

B.C. names all-party police reform committee to examine scope of systemic racism

Jul 8 2020 — Dirk Meissner — VICTORIA — A special committee of the B.C. legislature was appointed Wednesday to examine the scope of systemic racism in policing as part of the province's plans to modernize the Police Act. Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said the all-party committee has until May 14 to complete its report and present findings and recommendations to the […]

Some visitors can return to B.C. long-term care homes after COVID-19 closures

Jun 30 2020 — Dirk Meissner — VICTORIA — Four months after COVID-19 surfaced in British Columbia's long-term care homes, residents are finally allowed to see a loved one, health authorities announced Tuesday. Isobel Mackenzie, B.C.'s advocate for seniors, said people were in tears after hearing government health restrictions will be eased to permit one designated person to see a long-term care resident […]

B.C. says show us evidence safe to fly if airlines drop in-flight distancing

Jun 29 2020 — Dirk Meissner — VICTORIA — British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix says he wants to see the evidence that it's safe for the country's two largest airlines to drop their in-flight distancing policies during the pandemic. "What I'd like to hear from Transport Canada, from Health Canada is do they agree with this," Dix told a news conference on […]