National Newswatch

Indigenous youth chant ‘stand up, fight back’ at B.C. anti-pipeline protest

Jan 24 2020 — Dirk Meissner — VICTORIA — Indigenous youth who rallied at the British Columbia legislature say their arrests earlier this week are minor when compared to the sacrifices of hereditary Wet'suwet'en chiefs who oppose a liquefied natural gas pipeline running through their traditional territories. About 100 people attended a protest Friday at the B.C. legislature to urge Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and B.C. Premier John […]

Transportation board approves Uber, Lyft ride-hail services in Lower Mainland

Jan 23 2020 — Dirk Meissner — VICTORIA — Vancouver is poised to join most major cities in Canada in offering ride-hailing services with the long-awaited approval Thursday of licences for companies Uber and Lyft to operate in British Columbia's Lower Mainland and Whistler. The independent Passenger Transportation Board said the next steps for Uber and Lyft before getting vehicles on the road involves securing […]

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Jan 19 2020 — Dirk Meissner — VICTORIA — The crisis facing British Columbia's forest industry is intensifying as markets decline, mills shut and a strike involving 3,000 forestry workers enters its seventh month. The multiple threats are deeper than the global meltdown of 2008 and may rival the damage wrought by B.C.'s 1980s recession, setting off massive industry restructuring, says an insider who is hearing from […]

North Saanich mayor says duke and duchess chose ideal spot to ponder future

Jan 10 2020 — Dirk Meissner — VICTORIA — Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chose the perfect place to rest and relax with their young son, Archie, over the holiday season before announcing they plan to step back as senior members of the Royal Family, says a Vancouver Island mayor. North Saanich Mayor Geoff Orr said privacy is one of the hallmarks of the district, just […]

Mom’s challenge of Indigenous smudging ceremony denied by B.C. Supreme Court

Jan 8 2020 — Dirk Meissner — VICTORIA — British Columbia's Supreme Court says a mother has failed to establish that Indigenous ceremonies performed in her children's classrooms interfered with their religious freedoms.  Candice Servatius of Port Alberni argued the religious freedoms of her daughter and son were infringed upon by having to participate in smudging and hoop dance ceremonies, but the court ruled Wednesday she did not establish infringement […]

B.C. solicitor general forecasts better year ahead for cannabis products, revenue

Dec 25 2019 — Dirk Meissner — VICTORIA — Premier John Horgan says it's the best of times for cannabis users in British Columbia, but they could be even better. Since recreational cannabis became legal in Canada in October 2018, access to marijuana has become a matter of waiting for the mail to arrive or visiting a licensed dispensary, but something's still missing, says the […]

B.C. board launches public effort to rename school named after ‘racist’ federal MP

Dec 18 2019 — Dirk Meissner — VICTORIA — A Vancouver Island school district is embarking on what could be a difficult exercise to rename an elementary school named after a long-serving, controversial former municipal, provincial and federal politician. The Alberni School District in Port Alberni, B.C., is setting the stage for a public consultation to rename A.W. Neill Elementary School, named for Alan Webster Neill, […]

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

Dec 7 2019 — Dirk Meissner — 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 — 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 […]

B.C. proposes cutting number of health regulatory boards from 20 to five

Nov 27 2019 — Dirk Meissner — VICTORIA — A plan to streamline the regulatory colleges overseeing health professionals in British Columbia includes broader public access to disciplinary proceedings involving doctors, dentists and others, says Health Minister Adrian Dix. There are 20 professional colleges in B.C. with more than 120,000 members, including the College of Chiropractors, College of Physicians and Surgeons and the College […]

Finance minister says B.C. budget still on track for surplus despite uncertainty

Nov 26 2019 — Dirk Meissner — VICTORIA — British Columbia's economy remains strong and resilient despite global uncertainty revolving around trade tensions, says Finance Minister Carole James in a financial update at the halfway point in the fiscal year. James said Tuesday that B.C.'s budget is on track to deliver a surplus and the province is forecast to lead Canada in economic growth […]

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

Nov 25 2019 — Dirk Meissner — 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 […]

Horgan says all sides have weekend to end Metro Vancouver transit dispute

Nov 21 2019 — Dirk Meissner — VICTORIA — Premier John Horgan says the best way to settle Metro Vancouver's transit dispute is for all sides to return to the bargaining table and negotiate a new contract. His advice came Thursday as a strike looms next week by one transit union representing 5,000 bus, SeaBus and maintenance workers, while another union representing 900 SkyTrain workers […]

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

Nov 20 2019 — Dirk Meissner — 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 — VICTORIA — The British Columbia government introduced a 10-point plan Thursday to protect youth from health risks of vaping, including reducing nicotine content in vapour pods, increasing taxes on vaping products and supporting youth-led anti-vaping campaigns. Health Minister Adrian Dix said youth vaping rates are increasing, putting young people at risk of serious illness, prompting […]