Provincial

New modern liquor laws create new opportunities

Regulations come into force Monday, January 23.

An updated Liquor Control and Licencing Act and regulation come into force Monday, January 23, that will create new opportunities for businesses, increase convenience for consumers and enhance the Province’s commitment to social responsibility.

“We’ve come a long way since we first began the process of updating B.C.’s antiquated liquor laws," said said Coralee Oakes, Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Minister Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch.

Bernie Sanders' style grassroots fundraising it's not

In a statement, the Liberal party reported that individual donors had outnumbered its corporate donors by a four-to-one margin in 2016.

Mere hours before the New York Times went to press with its look at the B.C. Liberal party's ethical scorecard, the party chose to get its 2016 fundraising results out ahead of the storm.

One last chance at political counter-spin and what a marvel of spin it was. U.S. Republican party strategist Karl Rove would have been proud.

In a statement released on Friday, the Liberal party reported that individual donors had outnumbered its corporate donors by a four-to-one margin in 2016, with 9,324 individuals and 1,876 corporations making donations.

BC Coroners Service Releases 2017 Illicit Drug Death Numbers

The December deaths bring the provisional numbers for the full year of 2016 to a total of 914.

The number of illicit drug deaths in B.C. continues to increase each month with December numbers the highest ever recorded in a single month in the province, according to the latest statistics from the BC Coroners Service.

Provisional data show that a total of 142 persons died as a result of illicit drug use during the month of December, an average of nine every two days.

The December deaths bring the provisional numbers for the full year of 2016 to a total of 914, an increase of almost 80% over the number of deaths in the previous year.

Money makes the world go around

It appears for politicians, time is money.

After 15 months on the job, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is embarking on a cross-Canada tour, ostensibly to reconnect with Canadians or at least those that can't afford $1,525 to bend his ear in private.

It seems Trudeau – and other federal cabinet ministers – have a fondness for political fundraising events held behind closed doors, far away from prying eyes.

In political slang better known as cash-for-access, not to be confused with its kissing cousin pay-to-play.

Government workers in B.C. paid 7.4 per cent higher wages than comparable private-sector workers

The study finds that government employees in B.C.—including federal, provincial and municipal workers—received 7.4 per cent higher wages, on average.

Government workers in B.C. receive 7.4 per cent higher wages on average than comparable workers in the private sector, and enjoy much more generous non-wage benefits, too, finds a new study by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

Five conditions secure coastal protection and economic benefits for all British Columbians

Premier Christy Clark said Wednesday the provincial government is approving the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

Following the Trudeau government’s approval of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline Project, the Province’s clear, consistent and principled position on its five conditions has resulted in tangible and significant investments that will protect British Columbia’s environmental and economic interests.

“The five conditions is an articulation of the way we do business in British Columbia,” Premier Christy Clark said.

Gitxsan chiefs add fourth lawsuit opposing Pacific Northwest LNG

Juvenile salmon at Flora Bank, by Lelu Island.  Photo by Tavish Campbell.

Inland B.C. hereditary First Nations chiefs joined coastal ones in announcing a fourth federal lawsuit against Ottawa’s approval of the Pacific Northwest LNG project, at a press conference in Vancouver.  They claim that the gas export terminal is an infringement of their Aboriginal fishing rights.

Two Gitxsan Nation hereditary chiefs—Charlie Wright with the Luutkudziiwus house group, and Yvonne Lattie with the Gwininitxw house group —filed the judicial review on Tuesday morning. 

Government lends helping hand to families with property taxes by increasing home owner grant

The Province is projected to spend $821 million on home owner grants in 2017-18, compared to an estimated $809 million in 2016-17.

The Province is increasing the home owner grant threshold to $1.6 million, helping keep property taxes affordable for families and ensuring most home owners will continue to receive the full grant this year, Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced Monday.

“This is a 33% increase over last year,” said de Jong.

B.C. extends free HPV coverage to boys

The program is being expanded to Grade 6 Boys to improve protection against a range of HPV-caused cancers that affect both females and males.

Beginning this September, British Columbia will become the latest province to provide the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination to boys, as part of B.C.’s publicly funded immunization program, Health Minister Terry Lake announced Friday.

“We need to do everything we can to help girls and boys grow up to be healthy adults,” said Lake.

First step after BCTF's landmark court win sees Province provides $50 million to hire teachers

Hopefully the winner in Thursday's announcement will be the students in the classroom. — Photo courtesy BC Government website

Surprisingly, two sides that have battled tooth and nail for more than a decade have reached an agreement to inject some life, and much needed funding, into the public school system.

The BC Teachers Federation has reached agreement with the BC Public School Employers' Association and government on an interim measure to immediately create more than 1,000 new teaching positions — 1,100 according to the Liberal government — while discussions continue on full restoration of teachers' unconstitutionally stripped collective agreement language. 

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