Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Provincial scene.

There's a potential jackpot for companies that prequalify for B.C. government contracts
TransLink proposes a regional development fee
Fired school board chair Mike Lombardi says residents deserve more than a single trustee accountable to premier
Landlord registry set to launch in Vancouver in 2017
Fired school trustees say B.C. education minister defamed them
Vancouver area's empty-home rates have almost doubled since 2001
Conflict of interest allegations against Premier Christy Clark heading to B.C. Supreme Court
Parent groups ask feds to pay for seismic upgrades to schools
Vernon councillor says city wading into 'culture wars' with 'divisive' rainbow crosswalk
Emotionally vulnerable children on the rise in B.C., study says
Fired Vision Vancouver school board trustees allege education minister defamed them
Former constituency staffer pleads guilty to stealing from MLA's office
A new ice rink in Hazelton is more than a place to skate - it's 'a new sense of hope'
Flu strain stronger, earlier this year, warns B.C. Centre for Disease Control
Province launches report card consultations this week
Aboriginal, environmental groups to sue Canada over Petronas LNG approval
By the numbers: Flu season returns - and H3N2 is back with a vengeance
Northern B.C. resource towns' mobile home residents struggle amid energy boom
B.C. conflict commissioner accused of Clark bias in new court challenge
UBC study finds one-third of B.C. kindergartners vulnerable, more have emotional problems
Four fired Vancouver school board trustees demand B.C. minister apologize for 'defamation'
Kootenay Bill aced saying sorry, bearing down on critics
WHL being back-checked for possibly violating lobby law
B.C. backs down in fight against bear cubs' saviour
Province urges everyone to get flu vaccine
Ex-constituency assistant pleads guilty to fraud over $5,000
Liberals on target with real-estate tax
Co-operation beats competing
Former staffer for MLA Rob Fleming pleads guilty to fraud
Democracy watch wants conflict decision on Premier's fundraising overturned
Liberal MLA's linked to Killed Maple Ridge Shelter Plan, Documents reveal
Because it's 2016: Let's Drag Access-to-Info out of the Stone age
Christy Clark says her Government needs to do more to combat opioid crisis in B.C.
Fired trustees say education minister defamed them
Burnaby nabs secretary-treasurer from embattled Vancouver school district
Vancouver moves to shut down Donwtown Eastside homeless camp
Tis the season to get your flu shot

Ottawa Observations: Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene for October 26, 2016.

CETA talks 

Trudeau 'confident' CETA crisis is nearly over
Belgian talks on Canada-EU trade deal 'close,' but break for night without deal
Canadian delegation stays put as EU trade deal remains in limbo
How Charleroi's misery explains CETA impasse
CETA: Canada-European Union trade deal signing still possible Thursday, says EU Chief Donal Tusk

CMHC warns high house prices spreading to B.C., Ontario suburbs
Ford balking at cost of new labour deal
Mulroney announces $60-million institute in heartfelt return to St. FX
Ottawa urged to address long waits at Niagara border crossings
Trudeau defends Iraq mission secrecy, accuses Tories of endangering lives
NDP seeks to force Liberals to act on First Nations child welfare
'Cash-for-access' fundraisers are a necessary part of politics
Spurning the elites: The day our rank and file roared
Global Affairs increases security after gift of $2,000 watch to Canada is stolen
Frigate replacement program kicks off with design competition
Liberals to introduce incentives to retrofit homes, rules for more net zero new homes
Harassment at RCMP a 'deep-seated' problem, says Ralph Goodale
Amid shouting and jeering, Trudeau insists on a little etiquette
Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal doomed, ex-PM Brian Mulroney predicts
RCMP to face new class-action harassment lawsuit, this time on behalf of male employees
New Democrats try to force government action on First Nations child welfare
Brian Mulroney unveils plans for new St. FX institute
Former General Romeo Dallaire backs Canadian missions to Africa
Progressives have turned on Trudeau
RCMP's plan is to drain female accusers dry, not settle
Monsef said she wanted to keep Iran trip 'hush-hush'
Wide open Tory leadership race offers party a chance to remake itself
Ottawa willing to intervene on behalf of The Rebel after journalists banned from UNC climate conference
Canada orders anthrax vaccine, saying 'lethal' threat remains, but who would get it remains unknown
Opening of new governance centre a chance to rehabilitate Brian Mulroney's reputation
Canadians, Aussies, Kiwis trapped in 'commodity bust, housing boom' cycle and the unwinding is going to be painful
The answer that took days: Monsef used her Afghanistan passport for 2014 Iran visit
Feds can't overlook health risks of Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion: experts
Feds may impose gender quotas on corporations if numbers don't improve
Brian Mulroney: TPP bound to fail because of US protectionism
Trudeau defends Iraq mission secrecy, accuses Tories of endangering lives
Aboriginal, environmental groups to launch lawsuit against Ottawa over Pacific NorthWest LNG project
Canada isn't ditching the nickel yet, despite declining purchasing power: report

Province reveals design for Mile 28 rail crossing between Prince Rupert and Terrace

Transportation Minister Todd Stone
logged quite a few kilometres on Tuesday
as he travelled the Northwest with
funding announcements
As we outlined yesterday, (see here and here) the swirl of transportation announcements of Tuesday from Transportation Minister Todd Stone covered a number of funding initiatives both in Prince Rupert and the Terrace area, giving Mr. Stone the opportunity to explore much of the Northwest in one short visit.

However there was one other announcement made on Tuesday, as Ministry of Transportation officials provided an update on the major railway cross project between Terrace and Prince Rupert,  offering the first visual look at what the finished project will look like.

The project, located at Mile 28 will remove the last level rail crossing on the British Columbia stretch of Highway 16, along with the S curve that currently is the key feature of that stretch roadway.

The impressive project will be put to the tender phase shortly through the BC Bid process, with the expectation that construction will start in the Spring and be completed sometime in the summer of 2019.

The project will require the re-alignment of two kilometres of highway and the construction of a 120 metre bridge to carry traffic over the CN Rail line.

It will also include wider driving lanes and shoulders and an extensive rock bolting process to minimize rock-fall hazards on the highway. The estimated cost of the project is 37 million dollars and is funded by both the federal and provincial governments.

Below is the visual preview of the project provided by the Ministry of Transportation.

The Ministry of Transportation has also provided a video that offers another glimpse of the project.

More background on the project can be found from this item on the Ministry website.

Also announced this week was the plan to construct a replacement bridge over the Nass River south of Meziadin Junction.

Further items related to Transportation on the North Coast can be found on our archive page.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Federal Government facing legal challenge over Petronas project approval

The Federal approval of the
Pacific NorthWest LNG project
may be heading to court
The latest twist for the Pacific NorthWest LNG project will see the recent Federal approval for the project become the subject of a legal challenge, as First Nations and environmental groups combine forces to put the decision to a legal test.

 The lawsuit which is expected to be filed in a Vancouver court on Thursday, will seek to have the permit for the Lelu Island LNG Terminal project overturned.

In a story being reported by Global News, SkeenaWild Executive Director Greg Knox outlined that their group believes that there are "serious flaws in the environment assessment process" and the that Federal Government has failed to review the impact the impact on the climate of the project.
SkeenaWild is one of the groups
that are reported to be part of the
pending lawsuit

The Gitanyow and Gitwilgoots communities have also joined in on the legal challenge, telling Reuters that Canada has failed to meaningfully engage with the groups before granting the approval.

According to a number of reports the Malaysian energy company Petronas, the majority stake holder in the project will also be named in the Thursday filing with the court.

Those filing the lawsuit are noting the success of recent efforts against the Enbridge pipeline project which  resulted in the Federal Court of Appeal overturning the previous approval of that project, finding that the government had failed in its duty to consult with aboriginal groups.

Some items of note on the approach to the court can be found below:

Aboriginal, environmental groups to launch lawsuit against Ottawa over Pacific NorthWest LNG project
Aboriginal, environmental groups to sue Canada over Petronas LNG project

The pending lawsuit challenge comes as Petronas and its stakeholders continue to review their plans for the 27 billion dollar investment in British Columbia, the energy company has not outlined any form of a timeline as to how long that review process will take.

For more items related to the Pacific NorthWest LNG project see our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Provincial scene.

Aboriginal, environmental groups to sue Canada over Petronas LNG project
90,000 litres of diesel missing from sunken tug off Bella Bella
City of Vancouver to evict tent city in Downtown Eastside over health, safety concerns
Parents want Ottawa to spend on seismic upgrades for B.C. schools
Who killed Alberta Williams?
Critics call for more social housing as Vancouver set to dismantle homeless camp
Pressure ramping up for feds, province to ensure world class spill response
Opposition critic calls for policy review after reports of Ellard pregnancy
B.C.'s new superintendent of real estate vows change
Australian housing expert says Vancouver, Sydney facing similar issues
B.C. NDP big on bold ideas for election platform to challenge Liberals
VSB secretary-treasurer will end medical leave with move to Burnaby district
Reid hammers nail sickness home on armoury's scruffy status
Universality sticking point for child care
Put children before politics
Free wifi coming to highway rest stops
New system could help save lives in an earthquake
Some assembly required with Vancouver's housing pilot project
The causes and consequences of BC's Private School Growth

Ottawa Observations: Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene for October 25, 2016.

CETA talks 

Hope fading for signing of Canada-European Union trade deal
With CETA and TPP in limbo, here's how Canada can give trade a practical boost
CETA: After 3 missed deadlines, why isn't the Canada-EU summit cancelled?
Why trade deals like CETA have become a 'whipping boy' for anti-globalization forces
The ball is in Europe's court': Trudeau has spoken to EU president in attempt to salvage CETA deal

Trudeau defends cash-for-access fundraising
Johnston to set Canada's 'moderate' approach during Mideast visit
Shift away from coal power won't be cheap for Alberta
House votes unanimously to provide Yazidis refuge in Canada
Iraqi government delayed deployment of Canadian military hospital: Sajjan
RCMP to face new class-action harassment lawsuit, this time on behalf of male employees
Aboriginal, environmental groups to sue Canada over Petronas LNG project
Commons committee demands service record change for LGBTQ kicked out of the Forces
'Above Politics': MPs vote unanimously to bring Yazidi  refugees to Canada in 4 months
Supreme Court nominee Malcolm Rowe grilled on French, diversity and Aboriginal rights
Justin Trudeau gets rough ride from crowd at young workers summit
Federal byelection has good signs for Conservatives and Liberals, but not NDP
Defence minister stays mum on role of Canadian soldiers in Mosul offensive
Canada's two-track economy complicates rate cuts, says Stephen Poloz
Canadians caught up in the battle over health care
The coming Trudeau carbon tax is going to hurt
Tories, NDP spin their wheels despite Trudeau government's vulnerabilities
Defeated Harper Conservatives make it hard for Patrick Brown to distance himself from ... Harper Conservatives
Federal Government set to launch competition for Canada's next multibillion-dollar warship design
Supreme Court nominee shows passion for aboriginal rights as he faces parliamentary committee
Trudeau faces off with hecklers for 30 minutes at Canadian Labour Congress youth conference
Eight Ways to Fix Broken Politics in Canada, Without Electoral Reform
Birth control should be free for Canadians, NDP MP says
Tory MP Gerry Ritz continues personal attack on Chrystia Freeland

More Northwest sections of Highway 16 to see improvements in 2017

Transportation Minister Todd Stone was making like Santa Claus today, first with his 4.5 million dollar plus announcement for Prince Rupert, a project that will see McBride Street, 2nd Avenue West and Park Avenue all repaved sometime in the year ahead.

Mr. Stone then dug a little deeper into the shared infrastructure funding with the Federal government, delivering another significant highway announcement for the day.

Minister Stone also announced a 37 million dollar project that will see improvements to highway 16, with many of the projects taking place in the Northwest.

The major focus for the Northwest will be seen at the Junction of Highways 16 and 37 in Terrace, which is currently a four way stop and will be addressed to provide for safer conditions and easier flow of traffic.

As well, there will be five new passing lanes created along the highway between Prince Rupert and Prince George.

Three of them are found in the Northwest, including a new passing lane for Rainbow Hill 30 kilometres east of Prince Rupert.

The other two will be located in the Smithers, listed to be created at Toboggan Lake and Tyhee Lake.

37 million dollars in highway improvements are in motion for 2017
along Highway 16 from Prince George to Prince Rupert 

The infrastructure projects are coordinated effort between the province of British Columbia and the Federal Government, Amarjeet Sohi, the Federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities outlined the close collaboration the two levels of government are putting forward on the Highway 16 corridor.

"The Government of Canada is working in close partnership with British Columbia to ensure we make smart infrastructure investments that create safer roads for travellers, help grow the middle class, and promote sustainable development. By supporting improvements to Highway 16, we are helping local businesses move their goods to market and fostering long-term prosperity in the region for years to come."

You can review the full announcement here.

No timelines were provided as to when each phase would start, or when the completion date would be, but with the funding allocated further announcements and the appearance of traditional this work brought to you by ... signs, most likely will appear in early 2017.

More notes on Transportation initiatives on Highway 16 can be found on our archive page.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review