Thursday, January 18, 2018

Victoria Viewpoints: Thursday, January 18, 2018

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

Globe and Mail 

BC Green Party's Andrew Weaver threatens to take down NDP over LNG
Horgan tells truck loggers he wants to reconnect communities with B.C. forestry industry
Vancouver Aquarium will no longer display whales or dolphins
Vancouver builders test 'locals-first' policies


Fentanyl test strips need to get into hands of users on the streets, says public health officer
Surrey group opposed to light rail plan says Sky Train option better
Pot-dispensary manager builds budding relationship with B.C. community
New dispute resolution rules for TransMountain pipeline permits company to skirt local rules, says critic
B.C. Green Party leader promises NDP government will fall if it pursues 'LNG folly'
Some EpiPens, used to treat life-threatening allergic reaction, in short supply
'We need transparency': professor believes UBC should release details of allegations against Stephen Porter
Vancouver Aquarium will no longer keep whales, dolphins in captivity
TransLink buses wrapped in Chinese language ads cause a stir in Richmond

Vancouver Sun

Vancouver expanding free public Wi-Fi network
Vancouver Aquarium bows to pressure to ban whales, dolphins
NDP up to speed on black top politics
Four months after bridge tolls removed, drivers owe millions in unpaid bills
Metro Vancouver's developers brace for NDP policy, changes on municipal councils
TransCanada forges ahead on $2 billion gas pipeline
NEB will create process to resolve permitting issues for Kinder-Morgan

Vancouver Province


Victoria Times Colonist

Action urged to govern float-plane noise in Victoria Harbour
Two protestors arrested after chaining front doors at DFO office in Saanich
Renewing B.C. Liberal party means renewing ideas

Victoria News

Protestors chain doors shut at DFO office in Saanich
No crackdown, just education as BC Ferries enacts smoking ban

Global BC

Aqua development in Kelowna celebrated for vision, panned for addition to traffic problems on Lakeshore Rd.
Lawsuit against Marpole modular housing dismissed
Think twice before lighting a smoke on BC Ferries next week
Number of new BC Liberal Party member applications rejected not clear
City of Burnaby doubles down on anti-pipeline stance after NEB hearing announcement
B.C. Addictions Minister dealing with chronic pain issue from opioid crisis: Health Minister
Vancouver Aquarium will no longer house whales and dolphins
Vancouver City Council approves Women's Equity Strategy

Georgia Straight

In a valuable civics lesson, a high school quarterback wins fight to save spares
Vancouver Aquarium announces it will cease keeping whales and dolphins in captivity in Stanley Park
What's behind the Tomo name of a new Vancouver co-housing project

Vancouver Courier

Report concludes twinning Massey Tunnel is feasible
Vancouver Aquarium will no longer display cetaceans

The Tyee

Why the Housing Crisis is really about Globalization


B.C's housing debate is political. A foreign investment ban is politics

Ottawa Observations: Thursday, January 18, 2018

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene for Thursday, January 18, 2018.

Globe and Mail 

Former commanders are urging authorities to charge or exonerate Vice-Admiral Norman
Liberals must remember their values aren't the only ones that count
Canada to provide $12 million to humanitarian groups in Yemen
The PQ has a problem: Everyone's leaving the party


Members of Far-Right Storm Alliance attend Trudeau's town hall in Quebec City
Jagmeet Singh's question-popping photo op and the vague of touch-feely transparency
Bonuses, performance pay for government executives rose in Trudeau's 1st year
Facebook's newsfeed changes mean political parties need to adapt - or pay up
Canada to reconsider Extradition Act in wake of Diab case
NAFTA uncertainty could be pausing business investment in Canada, Morneau says
Federal government looks to lease icebreakers from Quebec shipyard Davie
Arts agencies without 'best practices' to address harassment could risk federal funding, minister says
'Insanity' to allow nuclear waste disposal near Ottawa River, Indigenous groups say
Foreign spouses hit snags with 'streamlined' sponsorship program
Gloom over debts and NAFAT threats trounced by 'positive surprises'

Toronto Star

The misguided attempts to bar Donald Trump from Canada
Russia condemns Canada's North Korea summit as 'propaganda'
Let residential school survivors share their stories
Canada must stop deporting kids who were taken into care

Toronto Sun

Girls family apologizes to every Canadian for hijab hoax
The hijab hoax was a damaging incident
It's regular Canadians who'll be paying for the green agenda

National Post

Royal Canadian Mint sues Royal Australian Mint in row over poppy coin printing
Canadian airport security won't stop you from wearing 10 layers of clothing to avoid baggage fees. The airlines might
Canadian, U.S. hostages in 'good spirits' and kidnappers have demanded ransom: Nigerian police
Hijab hoax episode far bigger than it should have been
Liberal foot-dragging on prostitution law may lead to Charter challenge
Trudeau defies the truth with nonsense as effortlessly as Trump
Trudeau's love of dictatorships is showing again at home
Ottawa planning for strengthened tri-party NAFTA, but runs models for Plan B


China the winner after pointless Canada-U.S. meeting on Northern Korea
The Kinder Morgan pipeline and Pacific salmon: Red fish, black gold


Here's what powers U.S. border guards have when it comes to your cell phone
Bank of Canada rate hate sinks in twenty-four hours later
Farmers to address Supreme Court in fight against abandoned wells
Hearings set to begin on Trans Mountain pipeline's route through the Lower Mainland
What's the plan if NAFTA tanks? Bill Morneau won't say



Latest pedestrian/vehicle incident keeps road safety concerns in the spotlight in Prince Rupert

The Second Avenue Corridor through downtown Prince Rupert has
seen yet another pedestrian/vehicle incident in the city

(photo from Google Street View)

Wednesday morning saw yet another incident in the city's downtown core where a pedestrian was struck by vehicle, the most recent occurrence taking place at the crosswalk at Fourth Street/Fulton and Second Avenue West, located but a few steps from Prince Rupert City Hall.

Accounts from the site of the incident note that a 71 year old woman was struck by a cab as she was walking with the right of way across the busy arterial road in the heart of the downtown core.

As a result of the incident the driver of the cab has reportedly been issued a violation ticket, the woman was attended to at the scene by members of the Prince Rupert Fire/Rescue Service and the BC Ambulance service, prior to their arrival bystanders that witnessed the incident offered assistance as they awaited Emergency Services.

Wednesday's incident marks just the latest case file or near misses for the RCMP, both in the downtown area and elsewhere and brings home a message that  has been delivered by residents for a number of months now for the city and the province to bring more attention towards road safety in the community.

That was a theme that Mayor Lee Brain addressed on Monday evening, speaking at the end of the City Council session on the night, the Mayor outlined that city staff had recently met with representatives of the Ministry of Transportation to review some of the safety issues along the Highway through the city.

Mayor Brain noted that a follow up meeting with Council is anticipated to take place sometime in the near future and clearly that gathering can't come soon enough, as nervous residents cross the city streets with no shortage of trepidation.

The Mayor's brief comments on the issue can be reviewed from the City's Video Archive from Monday's meeting starting at the seventeen minute mark.

A local group, Complete Streets for Prince Rupert, that has been raising awareness of road safety and making for more complete streets, their most recent work on that theme has seen the group compiling a list of those intersections that raise the most concern for local residents.

The current project is designed to identify problem areas in the city, you can learn more about that initiative here.

We outlined some of their work in 2017, more on those initiatives can be found below:

Complete Streets for Prince Rupert group wants your input on city's most dangerous crossings/intersections
Local group begins process of seeking safer streets in Prince Rupert

The issue of road safety is not unique to Prince Rupert, our neighbours to the north in Ketchikan appear to be suffering many of the same issues as we have on the North Coast, the Ketchikan Borough Assembly has been addressing the issue this month as well, recently hosting the State of Alaska Transportation Department to provide an update on what measures they might be able to take to reduce the risks for pedestrians.

You can review some of those notes from the Southeast Alaska city below:

Crosswalk safety up for Ketchikan City Council Discussion
DOT, City, public discuss crosswalk safety improvements for Ketchikan

More background on some of the past incidents or notes on road safety in Prince Rupert can be found below.

Road Safety concerns remain on the mind of City Council
Friday night fatality linked to poor weather, visibility
Downtown paving project has Councillor Cunningham reinforcing need for container truck bypass route
Port outlines planning for Fairview Terminal container truck bypass route

A wider review of road safety issues in Prince Rupert can be found from our Council Discussion Archives.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Canadian Labour split will reach Prince Rupert

The next labour day gatherings for Canada's workers may make for a bit of an uncomfortable family reunion, that after a notice to Members was released on Wednesday by the Canadian Labour Union's leadership.

In a two page announcement, the national labour organization outlined why it had taken steps to dis-affiliate from the Canadian Labour Congress, the national body that serves as the umbrella group for all labour unions in the nation.

The main thrust of the decision to break away from the CLC is related to what Unifor calls a lack of action by the Canadian Labour Congress to address aggressive and undemocratic tactics shown by American based unions towards workers in Canadian Locals.

Unifor leadership outlined for its members that it was the reluctance of the CLC to address issues to allow for the democratic process for workers to change unions that was at the heart of the dispute, as well Unifor leadership called out the umbrella group for its inability to to ensure that  U.S. based unions hold legitimate elections of Canadian leadership.

After a meeting of the National Executive Board for Unifor on Thursday, the union announced it had reached a unanimous decision  to discontinue their affiliation and membership in the CLC.

As part of their announcement, Unfior provided a copy of their letter to CLC  President Hassan Yusuff, which outlined further the reasons that led to their decision to make the split. (click to enlarge)

For his part, Canadian Labour Council President Hassan Yussuff issued a statement that provided for the CLC view of the Unifor action, calling the news deeply disappointing, the short statement from the CLC included a commitment to resolve the issue and reunite the labour movement in Canada.

As well, the CLC president vowed to not let the current situation become a distraction when it comes to the ongoing work on labour issues that the CLC is currently working on.

CUPE, the nations largest public service union also issued a statement that encouraged the Unifor leadership to sit down with CLC representatives to work out their differences for the good of the labour movement.

Unifor is Canada's largest private sector union, and has more than 315,000 members across the nation working in every major sector of the Canadian economy.

Locally, the largest membership for Unifor in the region is found from the North Coast fishing sector through the UFAWU-Unifor membership.

There so far has been no information provided, from the local office related to the national announcement from yesterday, nor has there been any indication as to what the split may mean on the local labour scene.

Some more background on the dramatic developments from the national labour scene can be found below.

Unifor breaks with Canadian Labour Congress
Unifor announces split with Canadian Labour Congress over workers' rights to choose

For more items of note related to labour issues on the North Coast see our archive page.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review.

For further notes on the national aspect of the labour split, follow our notes from our political blog D'Arcy McGee.

CityWest outlines the blue print for subsea fibre plans

Prince Rupert had a large delegation on hand for Wednesday's announcement
of Federal/Provincial Funding for CityWest's subsea fibre optic project

(Photo from )

Prince Rupert's communication company has provided some further background to yesterdays announcement of Federal and Provincial funding for a major sub sea fibre optic initiative.

As we outlined on the blog on Wednesday, CityWest has received over twelve million dollars in funding from towards a project to create a sub sea fibre optic link between Prince Rupert and the Lower Mainland and across to Haida Gwaii.

In a media release from Wednesday CityWest officials outlined some of the key elements to the project which is expected get underway in the early part of this year, it will begin with more detailed studies and engagement.

It is anticipated that it will take three years to be completed as they take to a phased in approach to the construction of the secondary backbone to the CityWest fibre optic network.

Chris Marett, CityWest President and CEO highlighted what the announcement means for coastal communities.

"By building this infrastructure, we're bringing the benefits of improved telecommunications to providers in communities along the coast. I'd like to thank the provincial and federal governments for their support in connecting geographically remote communities in British Columbia." 

For the CityWest project, the fibre optic cables will go undersea through the Inside Passage from Prince Rupert to Port Hardy and will link up with a network owned by the Strathcona Regional District.

Once completed and in operation, the combined network will connect 154 communities along the North Coast and Vancouver Island, including 44 First Nations communities.

The total length of the fibre optic cable for both undersea and below ground installation is estimated at over 3.4 million metres.

CityWest's President of Sales and Project Management Donavan Dias, made note of the support that CityWest has received as they worked towards Wednesday's announcement.

"We have received tremendous support from all levels of government, including from First Nations communities, businesses and community organizations all along the coast.  In total, we received over 60 letters of support in very quick fashion. This level of interest illustrates the importance of this infrastructure project"

Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain who was in attendance for the announcement as part of the North Coast delegation offered up some thoughts on the news of the day through his Facebook page, noting how the funding will move CityWest into a global arena.

As a company wholly-owned by the City of Prince Rupert, Citywest is now scaling up to a truly global arena to provide modern reliable internet connectivity at speeds comparable to what customers in the city enjoy.

The announcement has also been hailed by residents of Haida Gwaii, with the Council of the Haida Nation calling the prospect of improved connectivity as a transformative event for Coastal First Nations Communities.

Peter Lantin, the President of Council of the Haida Nation and Director of the Coastal First nations highlighted a number of areas where the improved connectivity will make for significant change in communities, among some of those themes include:

“We have more than 100 watchmen who patrol our territories each day. They gather data using iPads. Today, uploading the data can take between 1-3 hours each day. Faster connectivity is going to have an enormous impact on how they do their jobs.”

“The lack of broadband contributes to fragmentation of our communities. Often students are forced to move for training and education because online training is impossible to get on the coast. Faster Internet connections will change that,” ... “Broadband connectivity will facilitate a greater sharing of our cultures by allowing schools to download large data files related to traditional use studies or cultural centre historical materials.”

The full announcement from the CHN and CFN can be reviewed here.

The creation of the sub sea fibre optic network will also add to the ability of CityWest to add to redundancy of its service to the Northwest, which Mr. Marett noted will provide for additional reliability of their services to residents of the region.

"Redundancy is something we've been looking at for a long time. Residents and businesses in the North will definitely benefit from this project, purely from a reliability perspective"

You can review our original notes from Wednesday here.

Further background on items of interest related to CityWest can be reviewed on our archive page.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Victoria Viewpoints: Wednesday, January 17, 2018

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

Globe and Mail 

B.C. judge rules indefinite solitary confinement unconstitutional
Vancouver tenants hang in the balance as Sahota family properties face foreclosure
BC NDP rejects recommendation to lower auto-insurance rates
Horgan calls Kelowna West by-election to fill Clark's former seat


Health officials urge Vancouver to distribute safe opioids
B.C. Premier John Horgan seeks to bridge urban-rural divide in visit to Prince George
Real estate companies top list of Vision Vancouver donors
Kinder Morgan says Trans Mountain project could be a year behind schedule
Indefinite solitary confinement in Canadian prisons rule unconstitutional by B. C. court
Premier calls byelection for Christy Clark's former seat
High speed internet coming to over 100 coastal B.C. communities
Gregor Robertson's broken promises for DTES low-income housing infuriates residents

Vancouver Sun

Liberals directed Brian Bonney, but not to break the law: Defence
Horgan's hands full with week, Weaver, real estate, LNG
Fears of gang war renewed after innocent teen killed in shootout crossfire on busy Vancouver street
B.C. criminals still have easy access to firearms, former cop

Vancouver Province

Premier Horgan flunks foreign real-estate file

Victoria Times Colonist

It's a very aggressive agenda
Hitting reset on iHealth

Victoria News

B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement
Lawyer says former B.C. government aide 'barely guilty' in ethnic vote scandal

Global BC

Cambie Bridge bike lane approved by Vancouver city council
'The Trump of his time': Movement to change Victoria street named after colonial B.C. politician
Young B.C. MLAs step into the spotlight with ride hailing on people's minds
North Okanagan high school run down, underutilized; may be replaced
Trans Mountain project could be a year behind schedule: Kinder Morgan
The City of Vancouver says more than 330 people died of an overdose in 2017
B.C. government calls Kelowna byelection to fill former Premier's vacant seat

Georgia Straight

Vancouver council votes along party lines for a separated bike lane on the Cambie Bridge
B.C. Premier John Horgan calls Kelowna West by-election for Christy Clark's former seat
Vancouver city council told fentanyl meant 2017 saw a record number of drug-overdose deaths
Site C's economic justifications unconvincing and it's time we made decisions differently

Vancouver Courier

City Council approves Cambie Bridge bike lane
Council moves toward making Vancouver a 'fair, safe and inclusive city' for women
Attitudes toward casinos soften over years
Has Vancouver become bike-friendly enough?
Vancouver overdose deaths reached 'historical high' in 2017
Horgan pours cold water on idea of foreign buyer ban
Mayor Robertson told to 'man up' on pledge for $90 million social housing project

The Tyee

Horgan supports cheaper Hydro for Low Income Residents
First Nations seek injunction to Halt Site C work


CityWest to receive share of Federal/Provincial funding for improved internet services

Ottawa Observations: Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene for Wednesday, January 17, 2018.

Globe and Mail 

China's state-owned Aecon buyer to install Communist Party unit
Ottawa's unlikely to halt China's deal for Aecon - but Canada's construction giants can
Bank of Canada hikes interest rate again, but warns of NAFTA fallout
BofC rate hike, coming on heels of new mortgage rules, hits home buyers
Solitary confinement: How four people's stories have changed hearts, minds and laws on the issue
Trade Minister plans to confront CEOs over human-rights rules
Federal government eyeing post-2022 carbon-price hikes
Melanie Joly discusses harassment, workplace safety with entertainment groups
Liberals try to relieve fears of faith-based groups over summer jobs program
Ottawa professor released from French prison calls for inquiry into extradition


After years in French prison, Diab fighting to fix Canada's 'lousy' extradition laws
Trudeau, John Kerry discussed incoming U.S. administration during Aga Khan trip
Liberals to invest $20M to tackle sexual violence against Indigenous, LGBT, immigrant populations
Senate wants court to remove upper house from Duffy's $8M lawsuit
Minister uses profanity as he criticizes companies' excuses not to hire diverse leaders
Child-care benefits need to be updated, says Canada-U.S. council on women in business
Unifor breaks with Canadian Labour Congress
Big banks move to match Bank of Canada's rate hike
Indefinite solitary confinement in Canadian prisons rule unconstitutional by B.C. court
Ottawa to create new ombudsperson to keep tabs on corporate behaviour abroad
Not much wriggle room for Canada to introduce new sanctions against North Korea
Loblaws in $400M tax fight with CRA over claims it set up bogus offshore bank
2 Canadians kidnapped on road to capital in Nigeria
Ottawa long way from restarting or scrapping missing, murdered women inquiry: PM
Monsef calls #MeToo momentum against sexual violence 'inspiring'
Tory MP Brad Trost ready to go 'all the way' in legal fight with Conservative Party
Confusion reigns at pay centre as Phoenix deadline looms

Toronto Star

Family offers 'sincere apologies' for 11 year old girl's false hijab- cutting story
Opposition stands with government on NAFTA, Conservative leader Scheer tells Washington
Battle fatigue? Or the prospect of a return to the opposition benches?
Kinder Morgan says Trans Mountain pipeline project could be a year behind schedule

Toronto Sun

Trudeau Liberals play it 'stupid' with country's economy
Why can't politicians admit mistakes?
Stay vigilant about Sharia in Canada
Hijab hoax must bring us together

National Post

Interest-rate hike could turn aspirational voters away from Trudeau's Liberals
Discussions afoot about reworking Canada's 'progressive trade agenda'
You already pay to use roads - just not in a way that would fix traffic congestion
Group of four Canadians and Americans kidnapped in deadly highway ambush in Nigeria
Mark Norman case transferred to Halifax prosecutors as RCMP reinterview government employees
Canadians don't need a "National Day" scolding us for being Islamophobic
Liberals launch a fresh attack on corporations. They may not win.
Under Chretien's Liberals, government was reasonably sized. Now look how big it has become.


Everyone's mortgage is about to get more expensive
Could the Trudeau government change Canada's extradition law?
The lessons Canada should learn from Britain's anti-immigrant politics
MPs should put down their phones and get back to governing


Family of 11 year old girl in hijab cutting incident issues apology: reports
Trans Mountain project could be a year behind schedule: Kinder Morgan
Liberals attempt to calm fears of faith based groups over summer jobs program
Ottawa quiet on whether Canada will support new U.S backed Syrian border fence
There's evidence sanctions are 'really starting to hurt' North Korea, Rex Tillerson says
The Bank of Canada's interest rate hike has made it all the more difficult for home buyers
Unifor splits with Canadian Labour Congress over lack of action regarding U.S. based unions


Girls False Claim of Hijab Attack brings ugly response