March 2017

It pays to be a government employee in Alberta

 The study finds that government employees in Alberta — including federal, provincial and municipal workers — received 7.9 per cent higher wages. — Fraser Institute graphic

With the Alberta government set to unveil another large budget deficit next week, a new study by the Fraser Institute finds that all public-sector workers in the province — including federal, provincial and municipal employees — receive higher pay, on average, than comparable workers in the private sector and enjoy more generous non-wage benefits, too.

Snowmaggedon baby recovering in hospital

Baby Elizabeth is pictured doing just fine with mom Ashley, dad  Matt, brother Finn, and sister Emma. — Submitted photo

A Nelson family is praising the staff at Kootenay Lake Hospital and Interior Health for saving the life of their premature baby, who had to be medevaced to Kelowna in the middle of February’s biggest snowstorm.

Officials with Interior Health say it was one of the most complicated medical transfers they’ve ever had to do- one that involved doctors and nurses from Nelson, Trail, Grand Forks and Kelowna, the provincial ambulance service, and even snowplough operators along Highway 3.

Spring forward into Daylight Savings Time Sunday

The practice, when time springs forward at 2 a.m., occurs the second Sunday in March.

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse with the extended winter weather that good old Time Change weekend comes along.

Sunday morning is the start of Daylight Savings Time — one of the most dreaded days on the calendar —  when clocks are pushed forward one hour.

The practice, when time springs forward at 2 a.m., occurs the second Sunday in March.

BCTF vote results on implementation of restored language

There were 21,156 BCTF members participating for a 98.4% vote in favour of ratification.

BC Teachers' Federation members voted overwhelming to ratify the agreement to implement their restored collective agreement language a BCTF media release said on its website Friday.

The BCTF said the agreement will see all the substantive working conditions that were unconstitutionally stripped from teachers' collective agreements restored.

“With this vote, BC schools are finally on the verge of having better working and learning conditions back in place,” said BCTF President Glen Hansman.

City’s chief administrative officer tenders his ‘unexpected’ resignation

CAO Doug Allin had been with the city for seven years, starting in 2012.

One of the city’s top bureaucrats is leaving his post this month, but it is not an expected departure.

On Feb. 27 the City of Grand Forks announced that chief administrative officer Doug Allin had tendered his resignation from his position, effective March 24.

The move came with no prior warning or fanfare in previous city council meetings or correspondence and leaves a sudden hole at the top of the municipal government structure, with no chance for overlap and training with an incoming CAO.

One simple rule and it still gets messed up

The RCMP has now been brought in to investigate the claim that lobbyists in the province have been making political donations on behalf of their clients, which is contrary to B.C.'s Elections Act.

This past weekend the Globe and Mail reported that lobbyists in the province have been making political donations on behalf of their clients, effectively camouflaging the identity of the real donors and breaking B.C.'s Elections Act in the process.

On Sunday, Elections B.C. announced it was conducting an investigation into the Globe's findings. Five days later, the entire matter was referred to the RCMP.

Recovery of our most endangered plants and animals is possible

Dan Kraus is Weston Conservation Scientist with the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

I lost my Cracker Jack wildlife cards sometime in the 1980s, but the images printed on the cards are still vivid in my mind. The small cards came wrapped in clear plastic and featured a holographic image of a wildlife species in danger.

I can still see the pencil marks in the top drawer of my old desk where I marked lines to keep them organized. There was a special area in my drawer reserved for the handful of species that lived in my country, and were at risk of extinction.

Canada Caught on Camera exhibit starts at Gallery 2

Canada Caught on Camera project opens Saturday March 18 at Gallery 2 in Grand Forks.

After five months of learning and working on their photos, participants of the Canada Caught on Camera project are ready to show their talents.

A small exhibit of 18 photos exploring the concept of inclusion and exclusion will open at Gallery 2 in Grand Forks on Saturday March 18 at 11 a.m.

Expect both literal and artistic explorations of the assigned themes. The exhibit includes everything from a photo of an ancient family orchard shrouded in a winter mist to the community gathering at the annual Christmas tree light up.

Fraudsters attempt to cheat public with CRA scam

RCMP warn of the public not to answer any of those emails that mimics the actual CRA.

As RCMP recognizes March as Fraud awareness month, and the fact that Canadians are locked into preparing their taxes, police would like to remind the public of the always problematic Canada Revenue Agency Scam.

RCMP said this scam involves an individual calling a person at home impersonating the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), claiming a recent audit has identified discrepancies from past filed taxes.

"The caller states that repayment is required immediately," the media release said.

Health-care spending more than doubled since 2001; projected to keep growing

Health care is projected to consume an even larger portion of program spending over the next 15 years.

Health-care spending by provincial governments has increased by 116 per cent since 2001, and even though increases have slowed recently, health care is projected to consume an even larger portion of program spending over the next 15 years, according to a new study released today by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

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