National Newswatch

California family rushes through home purchase before B.C.’s foreign tax

Aug 5 2016 — Tamsyn Burgmann — VANCOUVER — The Pate family was terrified their offer on the Vancouver condominium would be accepted. Just hours after riding rented bicycles to a bank and transferring enough U.S. dollars for the 50 per cent down payment, the Californians learned the British Columbia government had introduced a new tax aimed at them — foreign home buyers. The 15 per […]

B.C. to change human rights code to protect transgender rights

Jul 21 2016 — Tamsyn Burgmann — VANCOUVER — British Columbia's government is reversing its position and aligning itself with the majority of Canada to enhance protection for the rights of transgender people just days before Vancouver's annual Pride parade. The government will introduce amendments under the B.C. Human Rights Code next week to include "gender identity and gender expression" among the protected ground its covers, Attorney […]

Vancouver mayor pushes B.C. to tax empty homes or he will act alone

Jun 23 2016 — Tamsyn Burgmann — Vancouver's mayor says he's prepared to go it alone if the British Columbia government doesn't help boost the city's near-zero vacancy rate by establishing a tax on empty homes as leverage against property investors. Gregor Robertson announced Wednesday that he wants to give the province a deadline of Aug. 1 to join the city on a vacancy tax. "The […]

B.C. first in line for major transit upgrades as Trudeau hands over vowed cash

Jun 17 2016 — Tamsyn Burgmann — BURNABY, B.C. — British Columbia has become the first province to reap dollars for its transit system under the federal government's ambitious multibillion-dollar infrastructure program, with more deals expected to be signed elsewhere in Canada next week. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Ottawa will hand B.C. its previously earmarked $460 million to help pay for upgrades to existing transit infrastructure, including […]

B.C. premier says one step at a time to prevent sexual violence

Jun 10 2016 — Tamsyn Burgmann — BURNABY, B.C. — British Columbia Premier Christy Clark says she is finally speaking out about a sexually motivated attack that happened 37 year ago in an effort to chip away at the culture of silence.  "It wasn't the worst thing that ever happened to anybody by a long shot. And I had to ask myself why I didn't want […]

Fort Mac fire losses underscore import of resources to Canadian economy: Clark

May 6 2016 — Tamsyn Burgmann — VANCOUVER — The catastrophic wildfire devouring Fort McMurray, Alta., underscores the vital contribution of natural resources to Canada's economic prosperity, say leaders of Western provinces and the three territories. British Columbia Premier Christy Clark wrapped a two-day summit in Vancouver on Friday by emphasizing their concerns that the wildfire has charred the integral oil sector. "As Fort […]

Pot culture crash? Marijuana legalization in Canada may extinguish drug cachet

Apr 21 2016 — Tamsyn Burgmann — VANCOUVER — Stoner subculture will likely take a hit with the incoming legalization of marijuana in Canada because as the cause vanishes, so will celebration of the drug, say experts. The declaration comes as the federal government announced a spring 2017 deadline for introducing new marijuana laws and while thousands of people gathered across Canada for the annual April 20 'Weed […]

‘Third-class citizens:’ Canadian cities seek more power as demands rise

Apr 21 2016 — Tamsyn Burgmann — VANCOUVER — When a tiny town in northeast British Columbia couldn't get federal funding for bicycle lanes, Greg Moore says it fudged the paperwork. Officials applied to pave the roads again instead, and when the cash flowed from Ottawa the town made over its streets with wider shoulders to circuitously achieve its goal, said the mayor of Port Coquitlam, who was told about the […]

Vancouver pot protest ‘necessary’ despite legalization promise, activist

Apr 19 2016 — Tamsyn Burgmann — VANCOUVER — Optimism mixed with thick clouds of pot smoke in downtown Vancouver last year as tens of thousands of people gathered for the annual "4-20" marijuana legalization rally under a massive banner featuring Justin Trudeau's face on a rolling paper. But this year, the event's chief organizer, Jodie Emery, says "inaction" by the newly elected federal Liberals makes the protest "more necessary than […]

Panama Papers leaks show change doesn’t happen by itself, says Edward Snowden

Apr 6 2016 — Tamsyn Burgmann — VANCOUVER — A trove of leaked data about offshore tax havens in Panama highlights more than ever the vital role of the whistleblower in a free society, says one of the tech era's most prominent figures to expose state secrets, Edward Snowden. The former U.S. intelligence contractor said Tuesday that the so-called Panama Papers, which were given to journalists by an anonymous source, demonstrate that "change doesn't […]

Premier reveals new protections for B.C. pets in wake of animal-abuse cases

Feb 22 2016 — Tamsyn Burgmann — VANCOUVER — Catherine King has encountered a few distressing situations among fellow dog breeders over the 14 years she has been raising standard poodles in North Vancouver. In one instance, she said a vendor held by many in high esteem didn't leave any water out for her dogs. In another case, she came across a breeder whose dogs had feces […]