Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Victoria Viewpoints: Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Provincial scene for  Wednesday  October 31, 2018

Globe and Mail 

Mayor of New Westminster says Surrey should pay back money spent on LRT
Federal government pledges new measures to protect endangered killer whales off BC's coast
BC government issues first recreational cannabis shop licence in Kimberly
Repairs completed on ruptured gas pipeline near Prince George: Enbridge
Mother of murdered BC teen gets interpreter for court proceeding but group questions why she had to ask


Leading BC surgeon denies negligence, arrogance led to operating room death
Province issues 1st licence for private, non-medical cannabis retail store in BC
BC Human rights tribunal finds resort owner schemed to replace Caucasian workers
BC government opens extreme weather shelter spaces for winter
Rachel Notley warns BC steelworkers their jobs are at risk without Trans Mountain
Bad drivers to face higher fines in BC starting November 1
Recount ordered for West Vancouver election results
BC paramedic launches pocketbook translator to address language barrier issues for first responders
With Greyhound gone, no alternative in place for several parts of BC

Vancouver Sun

There are more crucial issues than the colour of Vancouver's Council
Risky drivers will be hit with hefty ICBC increases starting November 1
Ottawa offers funding to help rural BC bus service

Vancouver Province


Victoria Times Colonist

Bad BC drivers to face increased penalties; fines to jump 20 percent annually
Unions object to being shut out of agreement

Victoria News

Many of Saanich's 102 parks not 'appropriate' for overnight sheltering
BC Green leader Andrew Weaver says electric car drivers should pay
BC government lobbying rules to be tightened
BC works to prepare for future wildfire, flood seasons

Global BC

Vancouver parents cry foul over 'devastating' plan to bus kids across town during seismic upgrading
Kimberly BC dispensary gets treen light as province's first private cannabis shop
Senate committee on agriculture drops by Kelowna 
BC anti-fish farm group claims sea lice are growing more resistant to drug
Court rejects secrecy bid in court case over alleged spying on anti-pipeline activists
Last Greyhound to roll through Penticton today; lack of replacement strands passengers in South Okanagan, Simikameen
Federal government says help on the way for remote, Indigenous communities amid Greyhound shutdown

Georgia Strait

Councillor-elect vows to fix outgoing Vancouver mayor's broken housing promise at 58 West Hastings
Are there any psychopaths in the BC legislature? If not, what's the best voting system to keep things that way?
Vancouver Green Council candidate David H.T. Wong looks forward to the future after disappointing defeat

Vancouver Courier

Vancouver's chief election officer talks jammed ballot machines, long lineups
Maverick former Green leader, NDPer says electoral reform vote doomed
Jailed Trans Mountain pipeline protestors appealing sentencing
Vancouver rolls out new online kindergarten registration to avoid lineups
Former NDP premier Clark votes No on electoral reform
Former church land in Killarney may be used to build a seniors' care facility
'I hope you won't put me out of school' - SFU Burnaby students protest proposed tuition hikes
Vancouver's at-large system to blame for low voter turnout, lack of diversity on council
Enbridge says repairs done on ruptured gas pipeline
Bad BC drivers to face increased penalties, fines to jump 20 percent annually
Alberta premier tells BC steelworkers jobs at risk without Trans Mountain

The Tyee

Ottawa Observations: October 31, 2018

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene for  Wednesday,  October 31, 2018

Globe and Mail 

Canada joins U.S., Britain in calls to Saudi Arabia for ceasefire in Yemen
Canada must stand up or Khashoggi and press freedom through targeted sanctions
UN asks Canada to resettle more refugees displaced in Horn of Africa
Labour leader says Pay Equity Act should also address income disparity in minorities, disabled
Swiss philanthropist donates $1 billion to conservation efforts, including an Indigenous Protected Area in the Northwest Territories
Feds 'violating' Canadians' privacy with data request: Scheer
Liberals taking use of omnibus legislation to new extreme with release of budget bill, opposition says
Canada Border Services Agency should speed up removals of failed refugee claimants: Goodale
Feds say Canadians isolated by Greyhound shutdown will have to wait two years for potential permanent replacements 
Privacy commissioner launches investigation into Statscan's efforts to obtain banking records
Canada to increase annual immigration admissions by 40,000 to 350,000 by 2021, Hussen says
Federal government to review funding for former governors-general: Trudeau


Canada to increase annual immigration admissions to 350,000 by 2021
Opposition parties 'like to shout' at 'respectful' Liberals, Trudeau tells students
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh attends USMCA celebration despite opposing new trade deal
Liberal MP Nicola Di Iorio's absence from Parliament puzzles colleagues
Maxime Bernier's People's Party claim 30,000 'founding members'
Former governors general must be more accountable on spending, Trudeau says
Privacy commissioner launches probe into StatsCan over collection of financial data
'The situation is shocking'; Senator leads charge against for profit blood collection
Midweek podcast: Pay equity and juror's mental health
Pacific Rim Trade deal to kick in December 30 including Canada, Australia
Federal parties grilled about protecting voter privacy
Liberals offer bridge funding to fill Greyhound service gaps

Toronto Star

Synagogue shooting spurs calls for Ottawa to fund police protection for worshippers
Metis leader supports rights framework with the federal government
Bernier calls Tory rally in his riding a "compliment"
Ottawa announces new protections for BC's Southern resident killer whales
Canadian resident jailed in Iran suffers heart attack, family says
Trudeau should give Jagmeet Singh a chance to get into Parliament
Ontario has ended its cap-and-trade alliance with Quebec and California
Here's the trouble with Trudeau's election debate plan
Andrew Scheer and Doug Ford are copying Trump's playbook
Canada, U.K. invited Facebook CEO to joint hearing of Parliamentary committees
Government to review funding for former governors general, Trudeau says

Toronto Sun

Understanding PM's convoluted carbon-tax defence
Tories can do much better on ISIS returnees file
Trudeau gets tough on border mess? Seriously?

National Post

Even the Queen is more accountable for her expenses than Adrienne Clarkson
Planned Windsor Detroit bridge a waste of billions in taxpayer dollars, says new report funded by opponent
Conservative war on media fizzles in Canada, but war on truth remains
House committee blasts official over 'incomprehensible failure' involving $2.4B in Indigenous jobs funding
Canada to increase immigration target to 350,000 by 2021: 'The hunger for workers is huge'


Calgary's make-it-up-as-they-go-along Olympic bid lives on
Former governors general are billing Canadians - and we deserve to know the details
Greyhound says goodbye to western Canada


CBSA told to 'pick up the pace' on removing rejected refugee caimans
McClintic's brother says 'she's no more Indigenous than I am green from the planet Mars"
BC Steelworker jobs at risk without Trans Mountain: Alberta premier
Conservatives push back when asked why they cracked open bottle, launched into song at meeting
Rhodesian flags, white supremacist podcast appearance prompts Canadian Forces Investigation
Privacy Commissioner of Canada launches investigation into StatCan over controversial data project
Ottawa argues it has authority to impose a carbon tax on Saskatchewan



Commercial Fishing industry makes for major focus for Transportation Safety Board's Watchlist 2018

The Commercial Fishing industry has been flagged for some special attention by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, with the Agency's annual Watchlist for 2018 taking note of the growing number of accidents and fatalities that have been noted from their investigative work in recent years.

The Federal agency has tracked the number of fishing vessel incidents and fatalities across Canada from 2011-2017, with 2011, 203 and 2015 particularly bad for loss of life.

Expanding on the data to 2004 and including those findings from 2018 to mid October, shows that despite more awareness of safety issues, the fatality rate of this year, is the same as that of fourteen years ago.

The Watchlist, highlights the major safety focus for the agency in all of the transportation elements from across the nation.

Their work this year has identified the Commercial fishing industry as one which needs to address safety and at sea procedures as something that requires action by all stakeholders.

Developing and sustaining a strong safety culture is required to foster greater compliance with regulations, in particular with respect to vessel stability and the use of life-saving equipment.

The main thrust of the report identifies the risks to those in the industry and then offers up its recommendations towards better safety practices from all who participate in the fishery.

The Risks for fish harvesters
(Click to enlarge)

The recommendations from the Safety Review
(Click to enlarge)

While there are new safety policies in place and measures are reassessed regularly, the report notes that it will take leadership from industry and communities to help in reversing the startling findings of the dangers to those in the industry in 2018.

Some fishing associations have taken increasing leadership in developing guidelines for vessel modifications and stability. Some workers compensation boards have imposed fines to encourage safe work practices, and various organizations have launched education initiatives. 

As a result, there are signs of behavioural change among fish harvesters, but it is not consistent across regions and fisheries. Unlike other provinces, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island still do not have workplace legislation that is applicable to fishing vessels. Cultural change takes time, and it is slowly evolving one wharf and one fish harvester at a time.

The full report of the fishing industry can be reviewed here,

The document is part of the larger Watchlist 2018 document on Safety which features a range of material and video presentations to help get the word out on safety issues.

The report was released on October 29th.

As we noted earlier today, the issue of marine safety in the fishing industry was explored in more detail with a report into the sinking of the Western Commander in April of this year, that incident resulted in the loss of one life owing to a medical emergency at the time.

You can review more notes on the North Coast fishing industry from our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Transportation Safety Board of Canada releases findings in sinking of the Western Commander

The sinking of the Western Commander is the subject
of a recently released report from the Transportation Safety Board

(photo from TSB of Canada report)

The timeline of events that led to the sinking of the Western Commander near Triple Island earlier this year and the tragic loss of life of a crew member, makes for the bulk of the review of a report into the marine incident released by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada last week.

The vessel with its crew of three had been harvesting sea urchins off the West Coast of Graham Island in the days prior to the marine incident.

As it was returning to home port in Port Edward it began to take on water in the open water off of Triple Island on April 9th, the vessel's Mayday launching an extensive rescue effort in the waters west of Prince Rupert.

During the course of the April 9th emergency one crew member suffered a medical emergency as the situation unfolded and was transported to Prince Rupert, he was later pronounced dead at Prince Rupert hospital.

The journey of the Western Commander in the days leading up
to it's April 9th sinking off of Triple Island

(from TSB of Canada report)

The Transportation Safety Board report examines a range of items pertaining to the Western Commander, including the past history of the vessel, the background of the crew and the nature of the voyage which began on April 4th when the Western Commander set out from Port Edward for the west side of Graham Island.

Poor weather conditions, some equipment issues and the vessel making bottom contact in the area of Hippa Island all were made note of in the report. 

As well, observations related to the nature of the stacking of the load all were included as part of the review of events leading up to the sinking.

Part of the Transportation Board report provides some background into the frantic efforts for the crew of three during the incident.

Around 09004 on 09 April, the mate, who was on watch, noticed that the vessel was not fully returning upright when it was heeled over by the swell. Water was coming over the port railing and remaining on deck, and the vessel developed a port list. 

At some point, water had entered the port forward fish hold. In an attempt to reduce the list, the master started pumping the port forward fish hold and repositioned the boom as far as possible to starboard; however, the list continued to increase.

At 0945, the master made a Mayday call and requested assistance. Shortly afterward, Marine Communication and Traffic Services (MCTS) Prince Rupert broadcast a Mayday relay, and the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) vessels and the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue 64 (RCMSAR 64) vessel were deployed. 

The master and deckhand left the wheelhouse to locate and don their immersion suits and ready the life raft. The mate remained in the wheelhouse where he attempted to don his immersion suit but, at this time, he experienced a medical emergency. At 0955, the deckhand returned to the wheelhouse and found the mate incapacitated. The master immediately reported the medical emergency to MCTS. 

While waiting for assistance to arrive, the deckhand attempted to comfort the mate and monitored vital signs while the master attempted to complete a number of tasks alone. These included communicating with MCTS and the vessel owner, attending to the engine room and pumping duties, monitoring other areas of the vessel for water ingress, and maintaining command of the vessel.

The report notes four factors that could have potentially affected the vessel's safe passage among them:

A rudder shaft leak
Adverse weather conditions
Lack of a damage assessment following bottom contact
An uneven load distribution

The final observations from the report also highlights the status of the crew at the time of the sinking and the general safety observation that all vessel operators need to review their safe operating procedures.

Given a crew of 3 and the critical time lines required for transporting the sea urchins, it was difficult to maintain an adequate navigational watch and work-rest schedule, which could have affected the vessel’s safe passage.

Although the master recognized and took action to reduce some risks (e.g., the potential for weather related damage to the vessel), this occurrence highlights the need for routine use of safe operating procedures to help identify and address risk in all aspects of the operation.

The Transportation Board Report is noted as one that is a fact gathering investigation to advance transportation safety through the greater awareness of potential safety issues. The report further notes that it is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine if civil or criminal liability exists.

You can review the full report here.

For further background on the North Coast Fishing industry see our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review.

Land clearing complete, Prince Rupert Supportive Housing site sits ready for construction phase

Land to the west of the Transition House on Park Avenue
has been cleared in anticipation of the start of construction
for supportive housing units in the city

The land has been cleared and levelled off, the required infrastructure of pipes and other supplies stands ready to the side for the start of construction for the modular units for the Supportive Housing  project for Prince Rupert's homeless population set to be built at 1450 Park Avenue.

The land which was donated by the City of Prince Rupert will be the home for a modular unit style facility which will offer 36 units of supportive housing with support staff on site.

The Park Avenue units are to be installed by Horizon North, which was recently announced as the company that is building the Pembina worker's camp at the Watson Island site for Pembina's LPG shipment terminal.

Once complete, the Park Avenue housing complex will be operated by the North Coast Transition Society which is located next door, which will offer the residents access to the staff around the clock, those staff members will provide for a meal program, life and employment skills training, health and wellness service, as well as the opportunity for volunteer work.

In anticipation of  the Park Avenue housing work getting underway shortly and the completion of the housing units in early 2019, Transition House recently issued a call for applicants for some of those staffing positions.

The last known timeline for work on the project was that the construction phase would move through the fall and into the winter months, with the building to be completed and the new tenants able to move in sometime in early 2019.

For this fall and winter, the homeless shelter will continue to operate at the old McLean and Rudderham building on Third Avenue West, that emergency shelter location opened last year in November, that after a week of protest on the lawn at City Hall where a Tent City had been set up to protest the lack of affordable housing in the community.

The Prince Rupert supportive housing project which was originally supposed to have been in place by the spring of 2018, it was one of a number of similar supportive housing plans in the Northwest that was announced by the NDP government.

A similar supportive housing project for Smithers was also promised for the Bulkley Valley in January of this year.

And the Smithers project is making some significant progress, with the modular units now in place and the finishing work on the site now underway.

It's anticipated that the 24 unit Smithers facility will open in January 2019.

Initiative to combat homelessness is under construction
Construction begins on Smithers Supportive Housing project

A similar housing project is underway in Terrace, where 52 units of modular housing will be put in place for that community, with a move in date hoped for in early 2019.

Terrace Council votes to ignore Sunday construction restriction on affordable housing project
Supportive Housing in Terrace Breaks ground

For more items of interest related to housing in the Northwest see our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Victoria Viewpoints: Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Provincial scene for  Monday,  October 29, 2018

Globe and Mail 

Report says experts should monitor BC's efforts to protect at-risk species
Kelly Ellard, killer of BC teen Reena Virk, has day parole extended


Longtime illegal midwife says she's retiring after BC court renews injunction
Reena Virk killer Kelly Ellard changes her name, has day parole extended
Washington state border town cashes in on high Metro Vancouver gas prices
Ombudsperson 'encouraged' by progress after wrongful firings of BC health researchers
Transportation Safety Board pushes for stricter equipment used after deadliest fishing year since 2004
BC bans big money from influencing campaigns to recall MLA's
West Kelowna winter shelter desperately seeking new location
SFU students grill administrators over proposed tuition increases, executive salaries

Vancouver Sun

Bogus Vancouver academic conference erupts with outrage, police
Chilliwack First Nation writes its own cannabis law
Kelly Ellard, killer of BC teen Reena Virk, has day parole extended
Referendum's $14.5 million price tag is 65 per cent higher than 2011 vote
Failed mayor council candidates want a judicial recount in West Vancouver
Cash contributors to BC's electoral reform referendum highlight partisan nature of fight
BC leaders to debate electoral reform November 8
Risky drivers will be hit with hefty ICBC increases starting November 1

Vancouver Province


Victoria Times Colonist

End of Greyhound service widens rural-urban gap

Victoria News

BC aims to limit donations on MLA recall campaigns
'Progressive' contractors, unions call for share of BC public construction
BC leaders' referendum debate set for November 8

Global BC

New UBC research suggests flashing casino lights promote problem gambling
Four bus companies approved to serve Okanagan as Greyhound leaves
Teacher shortage leads Abbotsford French Immersion school to use instructor who can't speak the language
With little warning, increased penalties for high risk BC drivers to go into effect this week
BC bans union and corporate donations in recall campaigns, opposition calls it a conflict of interest
BC's ombudsman says government doing well at implementing recommendations following health firings
Premier John Horgan, Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson to debate electoral reform on Global on November 8

Georgia Strait

Vancouver Green Council candidate David H.T. Wong looks forward to the future after disappointing defeat
Few heritage keepsakes to be saved from demolition of 1913 Vancouver school
West Vancouver mayor Michael Smith and council candidate Jim Finkbeiner apply for judicial recount
Say good bye to free parking on Granville Island
New Vancouver condo tower on Robson Street will have separate lobby for social housing
Sea lice affecting BC salmon populations increasingly resistant to drugs, researchers warn

Vancouver Courier

Councillors get emotional at Vancouver City Hall as term expires
Province announces fine increases for distracted driving, excessive speeding
Say goodbye to Granville Island's daytime free parking
Generations of charity behind $6.5 million, St. Paul's Hospital donation
'I feel healthier already': Emotional Derek Corrigan says farewell at final council meeting
Stewart promises to tackle housing crisis 'as fast as possible'
Horgan, Wilkinson to talk electoral reform in BC in televised debate November 8
UBC to give honorary degrees to Grand Chief Stewart Phillip and Kim Cattrall
Balancing $1 billion-plus budget first major test of new Vancouver council

The Tyee

Ottawa Observations: Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene for  Tuesday,  October 30, 2018

Globe and Mail 

China Telecom diverted internet traffic in U.S. and Canada, report finds
Negotiations under way to save Calgary 2026 Olympic bid ahead of key city council vote on funding
Ottawa changes requirements for new fighter jets to help European firms to qualify
Canada has no legal obligation to repatriate its citizens detained in Syria, Goodale says
Critics call for cancellation of Munk debate featuring Steve Bannon
Is Andrew Scheer itching for his own war with the press?
When it comes to carbon taxes, suburban voters will decide whether Liberals or Conservatives win
There's plenty of blame to go around on Saudi arms deal - and it starts with the secret contract
Canada will be hooked on Saudi oil for a long time yet
Opposition leaders unite to press Trudeau to call by-elections
Putin critic fights to remain in Canada, fears for safety if sent back to Russia


Meeting of Conservative and Liberal MPs over NATO association descends into chaos - and singing
Canada Border Services Agency moves to 'substantially' increase deportations
Tegan and Sara talk LGBT issues on Parliament Hill
Conservatives maintain fundraising edge over Liberals
Father of 'Jihadi Jack' says he can clear his son's name - but the evidence is sealed
NATO wants to keep tensions low in the High North, says Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg
Raitt says her privilege was breached by Liberal minister's 'tweet' non-answer
MPs looking into whether RCMP are in contempt of Parliament for gun bill post
Opposition demands proof documents in Mark Norma's case haven't been destroyed
Ex-governor general David Johnston nominated as Canada's first debates commissioner
NB Power to dodge major carbon taxes after Ottawa proposes looser rules on coal plants
CRA reaps more than $1B through clawbacks of federal benefits over 5 years
Chair of Calgary Olympic committee recommends pulling plug on 2026 bid
Delaying Jagmeet Snigh's byelection might be calculated, but isn't unprecedented
NDP wants Steve Bannon debate cancelled
Shooting reshapes Liberals' apology for 1939 refusal of ship of Jewish refugees
Doug Ford meets Andrew Scheer as carbon tax fight heats up

Toronto Star

New government funding proposal for Calgary Olympics could revive troubled 2026 bid: BidCo
Scheer says media 'essential' in holding politicians to account
Calls to cancel Steve Bannon's Toronto debate intensify after Pittsburgh massacre
Politicians are dragging their feet on privacy rules
Liberals say political parties need privacy rules, but have no immediate plans to impose them

Toronto Sun

StatsCan has already seized reams of private financial data
Bank info grab will make government more expensive
Facts matter more than opinion when it comes to vaccines

National Post

Heated political rhetoric on carbon tax does disservice to Canadian voters
No reason to believe Liberals' new federal Debates Commission will solve anything
Former governor general Adrienne Clarkson still bills more than $100,000 a year in expenses
'I learned a lot of things today': Conservative senator wades into rapper fight after Twitter annount hacked
NDP politicians join call for Toronto debate featuring ex-Trump strategist Steve Bannon to be cancelled
One last, slim chance for Calgary's Olympic bid to escape the axe
Some MPs worry as election looms without 'any enforceable rules' for parties on privacy


Putting Calgary's Olympic bid out of its misery


Asia-Pacific trade pact to come into force December 30 after 6 countries ratify deal
Andrew Scheer meets with Doug Ford to discuss carbon tax, Justin Trudeau
Critics call for cancellation of Toronto debate featuring Trump strategist, Steve Bannon
Liberals announce pay equity legislation aimed at ensuring equal pay for women and men



Daughters of the Vote seeks applications from Young Women in the Northwest for Skeena-Bukley Valley representative for Ottawa initiative

A program designed to help young women become more engaged in politics is looking to every federal riding across the country to send delegates to Parliament in April of 2019, all as part of the Daughters of the Vote initiative.

The program is the creation of Equal Voice, an organization dedicated to electing more women to all levels of political office in Canada.

A message which might have some resonance in Prince Rupert considering the results of the most recent Municipal election.

That municipal step back in time, perhaps a project for the Daughters of the Vote for another day.

For the moment however, the focus is on the invitation to young women from the age of 18 to 23 to apply for one of the 338 spots for representation at Canada's Parliament in April of 2019.

As the prospective for the program notes:

One participant from every federal riding in Canada will be chosen to represent her community and vision for Canada. 

 All delegates will take their respective MP’s seat in Parliament during a historic sitting of the House of Commons in April 2019. 

They will be addressed by every federal party leader, and engage with an array of Ministers, critics and advocates.

The Federal Government is taking steps to ensure the success of the program, with Maryam Monsef, federal Minister for the Status of Women, announcing that the Government of Canada will make a significant investment in the program, contributing $ 3.8 million to support the delivery of two DoV programs, one in April 2019 and another one in the spring of 2021. 

Additionally, 2019 delegates will be able to access $1,000 micro grants, subject to approval by Equal Voice, to accelerate advocacy efforts in their community. 

The selection of the dates of the 2019 program, also have some historical significance for the nation,  as they coincide with the anniversary of Indigenous women obtaining the right to vote – the last group of women to be granted the franchise in Canada on March 31, 1960.

You can learn more about the program here, and put in your application for the initiative here.

For more items of interest related to the Federal political scene see our House of Commons archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

MLA Rice hails advances, recounts history on themes of highway transportation across Northern BC

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice rolled out the highlight reel for members of the Legislature on Monday morning, recounting some of the success in transportation issues that have been found across Northwestern British Columbia in the last year or so.

As part of her statement to the Legislature, Ms. Rice noted for the Members of the House how transportation along Highway 16, the Highway of Tears, had been a priority for her since her arrival in the House back in 2013.

Her quest for improved options coming from the calls of families of the missing and murdered women of the region, for some action on transportation concerns along the highway.

It was a frequent discussion topic for the new MLA upon her arrival in Victoria, one where she would often end her comments in the Legislature with one simple question of "Where is the Bus" ... a call for action to develop a Highway 16 corridor connection service from the North Coast to Prince George.

Things have changed significantly since those early days for Ms. Rice in the Legislature and on Monday she outlined just how much things have advanced when it comes to transportation:

Now, I'm proud to say that this government has been working hard to provide northern B.C. with safe, reliable transportation. We've expanded the inter-community transit along Highway 16. We've introduced B.C. Bus North, and we've also expanded the Northern Health Connections service to include more people that can take advantage of the health bus service. 

We've also improved cell service along the corridor, which improves safety not just for women but for everyone travelling Highway 16. This weekend the Minister of Citizens' Services was in northern B.C. to announce that another 22 kilometres of the highway, serving over 5,000 people, will now have cell service. Witset, the community known as Moricetown, is the last remaining First Nations community along the corridor to gain cell phone service. And as I just said, increased cell service not only benefits the community of Witset but improves the safety for all travellers along the Highway 16 corridor. 

 Now, in just over a year and a half, the new inter-community transit service along Highway 16 has provided safe, affordable travel for approximately 12,000 passengers in northern British Columbia. The B.C. Transit program has been so successful that we introduced three new larger-capacity buses into the Burns Lake–to–Smithers and the Burns Lake–to–Prince George routes this past May.

The list of successful initiatives and future engagements to come, carried forward as part of her five minute presentation.

But one area of note that should stand out for folks back in the home constituency on the North Coast, comes from her account of the BC Transit Highway program across the Northwest.

And how from her observations as to how that option has become so successful that it has required larger capacity buses on some routes; is that the service stops in Terrace and travels no further west.

 Nor did she indicate that there is any plan for that popular and successful service to come to the North Coast any time soon.

Ms. Rice's narrative for the House also left out some of the history of why the BC Transit service stops at Terrace.

A situation which as we've noted in the past came as a the result  of a decision by the City of Prince Rupert, Regional Government and other other area governments to choose not to participate in the service that connects residents from Terrace through to Prince George.

While Prince Rupert is served with twice a week transportation through the Friendship House, the BC North Bus and the Northern Health Connections option.

We continue to remain absent from the BC Transit concept that has proven to be so popular in those communities that it has been introduced to, with Prince Rupert City Council and their partners seemingly sticking to their path of what they called the right fit for the needs of the North Coast..

It made for some interesting political theatre on Monday for Ms. Rice, rising to praise the work of the government she is a part of and what they have accomplished in pretty well every corner of the Highway 16 corridor, except that one area of the Northwest which she represents.

Particularly as she noted for the Legislature, that it was that frequent call of "Where is the Bus" that has finally been acted on, first by the Liberals and then expanded on by the NDP government.

It's a call that some in the community looking for a service that will take them past Terrace may want to take up again, both on the provincial and municipal levels.

Perhaps with a new council membership set to take their place at City Hall, the newly elected, re-elected and acclaimed representatives on Council may want to review that decision.

Taking a second look at the prospect of moving towards adopting a regional transit plan that seems to have served every other community well and will help to provide for the final leg of that long sought for public transportation network for those in the most need that Ms. Rice once championed.

The Transcript of her comments for the Legislature can be reviewed here starting at the 10:10 AM mark.

The video presentation to the House is available below:

For more notes related to Transportation along the Highway 16 corridor see our archive page here.

Further background on the provincial scene from  Victoria see our Legislature archive here

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Monday, October 29, 2018

Victoria Viewpoints: Monday, October 29, 2018

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Provincial scene for  Monday,  October 29, 2018

Globe and Mail 

Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart's plan to triple vacancy tax rouses skeptics
New Children's Minister monitoring overhaul of B.C.'s residential care facilities
Incumbent mayor wins BC election decided by pulling a name out of a box
Burnaby mayor-elect opposes Trans Mountain expansion over possible 'boil over'


Stanley Park ecosystems and seawall at risk of rising sea levels
Majority of B.C's Greyhound bus routes covered, but gaps remain
Luck of the draw: Cindy Fortin remains Peachland's mayor after name picked out of a box after tie vote
Surrey sees spike in overdoses during Halloween party season
Vancouver library receives historic $5 million donation to expand children's spaces
TSB calls out fishing industry after deadliest year in more than a decade
Time for your flu shot: Vaccinations now available at clinics across BC

Vancouver Sun

Incumbent Peachland Mayor wins election decided by pulling name from box
New bus operators step in to replace 83 percent of Greyhound's lost lines in B.C.
Experts weigh in on the costs of Skytrain vs LRT in Surrey
Elections BC confident referendum safe from fraud
Which electoral system for B.C.? Any option is better than the status quo
Vote NO in NDP's badly flawed electoral reform referendum

Vancouver Province


Victoria Times Colonist

Fishing industry blasted for lax safety, rising death toll
Some referendum vote packages ending up in condominium lobbies
Scales tipping against BC homeowners

Victoria News

Namegans housing protest pops up at Cedar Hill Park
BC communities lose bus service as Greyhound shuts down
Campbell River area wants Island united against commercial water extraction
BC NDP ministers defend proportional representation vote

Global BC

Surrey councillor wants to set up resource centre to help keep kids out of gangs
Trail users oppose logging in Carmi recreation area near Penticton
VPL receives $5M in largest donation to public library in Canada
British Columbia will have 83% of Greyhound's routes filled when company 'abandons' routes Wednesday
Incumbent Cindy Fortin wins draw and will continue on as mayor of Peachland
Fragmented bus service market emerges as Greyhound exits Western Canada this week
LRT will be cancelled at new council's 1st meeting Surrey mayor-elect Doug McCallum says

Georgia Strait

The north matters - and that's why I support the LNG Canada project
Incoming Burnaby Mayor signals he's going to be as big of a thorn in the side of TransMountain as Derek Corrigan
White people can expect a backlash if they refuse to acknowledge racism when it's staring them in the face
B.C. says it's found other bus companies to cover most of Greyhound's cancelled routes, still working on the rest
Reporter Sunny Dhillon quits Globe and Mail after being instructed to focus less on race in Vancouver election results
Pro rep will indeed mean more minority governments - bring it on!

Vancouver Courier

Most Greyhound routes in BC to be covered by year end says province
Metro Vancouver municipal elections clarify cannabis retail rules
Tsawwassen Springs development blocked by Agricultural Land Commission
VPL to expand its Children's Library thanks to $5 million donation
Kamloops set to approve first of B.C.'s private legal pot shops

The Tyee

Ottawa Observations: Monday, October 29, 2018

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene for  Monday,  October 29, 2018

Globe and Mail 

China's military scientists target Canadian universities
New Mexican trade secretary fears USMCA could face opposition in next U.S. congress
Ottawa sticking to F-35 program as it gets ready for full fighter competition
Ottawa launches national pay equity legislation and Department for women and gender equality
Labour Minister says she's 'proud' of pay equity legislation
Canadian Forces looking into allegations of white-supremacist material being sold at military-surplus store run by soldiers
Trudeau has learned to embrace the manipulative election tactics he bemoaned
Canadians are 'horrified' by Pittsburgh synagogue shooting: Trudeau
Ottawa launches national pay equity legislation and Department for Women and Gender equality
The Liberals should give Jagmeet Singh his chance to enter Parliament


Canada issues terse statement after far-right candidate elected president of Brazil
Don't sign NAFTA 2.0 while steel tariffs remain in place, NDP says
Government ushers in pay equity legislation for federally regulated workers
Conservative known for confrontational approach to media leaves Scheer's office, citing health
Canada's sprint to ratify sets up Trans-Pacific trade deal to take effect this year
Yazidi refugee woman urges government for help navigating new world
Ottawa releases draft tender on purchase of new fighter jets
Doug Ford attacks 'terrible tax' on carbon alongside Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe

Toronto Star

How Doug Ford become Captain Canada - our carbon-tax-fighter-in-chief
NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh accuses Justin Trudeau of 'petty political games'
Only a few medical evacuations is good news for Mali Mission: Vance
Inuit will not support 'symbolic' language law: Obed
Justin Trudeau makes Jagmeet Singh play the waiting game
Safety watchdog urges Ottawa to update rules to combat pilot fatigue

Toronto Sun

Big Brother Feds want your private banking info
Grits in no hurry to see Singh in Commons
The Real choice on carbon taxes

National Post

Which electoral system for B.C.? Any option is better than the status quo
NDP MP calls for CBC to review source protection in Vice-Admiral Mark Norman case
Let ISIL fighters come back to Canada. Then arrest them




Liberals announce pay equity legislation aimed at ensuring equal pay for women and men
Record number of fishing industry deaths, employee fatigue highlights 2918 TSB safety watchlist
Ontarians fed up with cannabis delivery delays are complaining to the provincial ombudsman
Days ahead of Safford family protest, Tories set to thrust McClintic transfer back into spotlight