During these scary times we all need a levity to lighten the day.  The late night talk show hosts are creating monolouges from home.  We thought you would enjoy them, we will be updating the videos regularly.

From The Management & Staff Of The Ridge

Update:
The government has mandated that all restaurants close their doors until further notice.

So, we will not be open for table service, but we will be open for pick up and delivery service.

We will update you when we know all the details, but rest assured Gold River, we will be there for you in these crazy times.

Thank you for your continued support!

***Corona Virus Updates Click Here***

MARCH 11TH & 25TH

Courtenay doctor confirms Comox Valley’s first case of COVID-19

January 01, 2020

Dr. Tanja Daws has told the Comox Valley Record that there is a positively identified case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Comox Valley.

”It hasn’t been confirmed on the wire or the news cycle yet, but it will be confirmed [soon],” she said, adding she expects the case will be reflected in Monday’s update. “What they will do is they will give increased numbers for Vancouver Island but they will not give location.”

The next provincial COVID-19 update with Health Minister Adrian Dix and Dr. Bonnie Henry is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday.

At Saturday’s update, Henry said there remains only one confirmed case on Vancouver Island.

RELATED: Nine new COVID-19 cases announced Saturday, bringing B.C. total to 73

“They may not be happy with me saying it’s in the Comox Valley, but we live in a community of 100,000 people… I do think by me saying the Comox Valley it would still be anonymous enough. But there are more confirmed cases on Vancouver Island, since what they [announced].”

Daws could not identify exactly where in the Comox Valley the confirmed case is, but did say the case did not come from her office. (She practices out of the Courtenay Medical Clinic at 788 Grant Avenue.)

“I actually don’t even know [which municipality]. All I know is that one person has been confirmed for the Valley.”

Daws posted an impassioned plea onto her Facebook page Sunday, which spread rapidly on social media.

Planning A Ferry Ride Soon- Read This!

March 13, 2020

The Daily Gold reached out to B.C. Ferries yesterday and had a long conversation with the Executive Director of Public Relations, Debra Marshall, regarding the policy of prohibiting staying in your vehicle while on route.

As it stands now, if you are on an upper deck you are permitted to stay in your vehicle, if you are on the lower deck you must leave your vehicle. During the current pandemic I asked if this policy would be temporarily waived as it would be much safer for everyone to stay in their vehicles. The answer, no, it would not be waived. This is not a B.C. Ferry decision, it’s a decision from some paper pushing bureaucrat from Transport Canada in Ottawa.

B.C. Ferries tried to get this policy changed but to no avail. So folks, we need to get our local political representative, Claire Trevena to make this a high priority and get Ottawa to make the common sense decision. No one wants to be forced into a crowded, enclosed area on a boat for a couple of hours.

The Daily Gold attempted to reach Transport Canada Marine Division, the phone rang and rang and rang. No answer, no voicemail, nothing! We have reached out Claire's office and ask her to reach out to Transport Canada to get this straightened out 250 287-5100. We'll keep you posted.

New kidney care clinic brings care closer to home

North and Central Island residents living with kidney disease now have access to integrated, specialized care closer to home, thanks to a new kidney care clinic at the North Island Hospital in Campbell River.

The clinic, funded by BC Renal and operated by Island Health, officially opened on Jan. 6, 2020, to support people living with kidney disease but who do not require dialysis or post-transplant care.

“March is National Kidney Month, so it is particularly appropriate that we recognize the excellent work being done here in Campbell River to support improved kidney health,” said Claire Trevena, MLA for North Island. “This is an excellent resource for the people of the North Island living with kidney disease.”

In the past, North Island residents had to travel to Nanaimo to see a kidney specialist or wait for travelling care teams to visit Campbell River or the Comox Valley. Now they have access to a new kidney care team that includes nurses, a dietitian, social worker and pharmacy technician.

“It’s excellent to see care provided in a way that works best for the patient, as we work on developing a health system that truly meets the needs of patients, where they are in the community, at home,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “By reducing the burden of travel for patients on the North Island, we’re helping them be empowered with their health to address the challenges of living with kidney disease.”

The clinic, located in the hospital’s wellness centre, operates from Monday to Friday. Kidney specialists, called nephrologists, will visit weekly.

The Campbell River kidney care clinic, which is the third such clinic in Island Health, provides patients with expert education, counselling and support with things like diet, medication and other important factors that influence overall health and disease progression. Approximately 250 patients benefited when their care was moved to the new clinic. Future patients will be referred by their nephrologist.

Visiting clinics, with travelling practitioners from Nanaimo, will continue to be held in the Comox Valley.

Corona Virus Now On Vancouver Island

First presumptive case of COVID-19 announced in Island Health region.

Health officials in British Columbia have announced seven new cases of COVID-19 in the province, including the first one to be reported in the Island Health region, bringing the provincial total to 46.

A man in his 60s who was in a  travel group to Egypt has tested positive for the virus in the Island Health region, which covers Vancouver Island. Following the announcement, Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps issued a statement saying that the municipality was in communication with the provincial government.

"I want to assure all Victoria residents and visitors that we are taking this issue seriously and are in communication with provincial health officials regarding standards and protocols," she said.

"We have stepped up cleaning protocols at the Crystal Pool and other City facilities in response to the COVID-19 health concerns."

Helps says that at this time, no municipal events or programs have been cancelled and that all public facilities were open as usual. However, the city may change its current policies as information continues to become available by public health officials.

The remaining case from Egypt is a man from that country who is visiting family in the Fraser Health region, Henry said.The final two cases are community cases in the Fraser Health region. Those cases are a man and a woman in their 60s, Henry said.

The seven new cases bring B.C.'s total to 46.

These new developments come on the day the World Health Organization officially declared COVID-19 a pandemic. "The pandemic declaration is something that's important," Henry said. "It's something that we've been talking about for several weeks."

The provincial health officer stressed that the pandemic declaration does not mean it's impossible to prepare for or contain the spread of the virus.

"It's not inevitable that everybody is going to be infected with this," Henry said. "It's not inevitable that our systems are going to be overwhelmed. We do not have to be in that position."

Henry emphasized the importance of social distancing: Increasing the space between yourself and others, staying home if you're feeling sick, washing hands frequently and thoroughly, covering your mouth when you cough and avoiding large gatherings of people.

"This is not forever," Henry said. "This is for the coming weeks when we know we have to do everything we can to prevent transmission of infection in our communities, to protect those people who are more likely to have severe illness and particularly our seniors and elders."

Though they encouraged social distancing, B.C. health officials did not issue any blanket statements against travel or large gatherings.

Sporting events in some U.S. states and in Europe have been played in empty stadiums, and numerous gatherings around the world and in B.C. have been cancelled because of concerns about the virus.

Henry said health officials are assessing such events on a case-by-case basis in B.C., adding that the virus tends to be transmitted more easily in close quarters, where people are sharing meals or meeting together in small spaces. Sporting events don't necessarily carry a high risk of transmission, she said, particularly if there's room to spread out people's seating.

Similarly, Henry did not recommend cancelling school province-wide, and said people with travel booked to the United States or elsewhere need to make a personal decision about whether to cancel.

"Right now, we need to think about it as a personal risk assessment," Henry said. "If you are older, if you are somebody who has underlying illnesses, in my opinion, you should seriously (re)consider travel internationally. You should seriously (re)consider attending events where there might be a possibility of transmission. Those are things that people need to make choices for themselves."

$295,000 coming to Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast for wildfire prevention

Communities on Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast are receiving funding to help prepare for wildfires.

The province is providing $295,425 to help local governments and First Nations make sure their homes, businesses and communities are better protected.

Three communities on the North Island are receiving some of that money. A total of $68,975 will be given to the Homalco First Nation, the Quatsino First Nation, and Port McNeill for education and emergency planning efforts.

North Island MLA Claire Trevena says the provincial funding will help educate residents about the importance of fire safety.

“People in the North Island want to be prepared for the risk of wildfires,” said MLA Trevena. “This funding will help communities put an emergency plan in place and make sure that people are familiar with wildfire prevention and response.”

The Comox Valley will also get $43,900 from the province to help with education and cross-training initiatives. Courtenay-Comox MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard says its important to fund initiatives like this so people feel prepared.

“It’s crucial that residents feel ready and able to deal with the risk of wildfires in their communities,” said MLA Leonard. “This funding will help inform people in the Comox Valley about the importance of wildfire prevention.”

Both the qathet Regional District and the Sunshine Coast Regional District are receiving a total of $182,550. The money will be used to assist with education, inter-agency cooperation, emergency planning, cross-training, FireSmart demonstration projects, and FireSmart activities for private land.

The funding is coming from the province’s Community Resiliency Investment program which launched in September of 2018 and replaced the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative.

Generous Offer From A Newcomer To Gold River

My partner Annie and I are planning to move to Gold river sometime near the end of this year. As a welcome gift to the town I am wondering if Gold River would benefit from a free Desalinization plant. I admit I had to look up on Maps to see if Gold river touches salt water and it does! I have access to one that needs minor attention and can produce 10000 US gallons a day of fresh water. It is very portable and designed to fit in a small shed. I have until May 01 to have it moved. Please message me if there is a team willing to band together to take on such a project. Thank you. Here is a picture of what it looked like new in 2005, it was shut down in 2012 when new owners took over the property and I became the new owner recently. I have lots of pictures and details.  Click the link to see the pictures

MP Gord Johns asks Liberals to keep their promise for fish farms

Courtenay-Alberni NDP MP Gord Johns is asking the Liberal government to stick to its promise of transitioning to closed pen fish farms by 2025.

Johns says things need to change now to help save salmon on the west coast.

“The Liberals promised they would move to on-land, closed containment salmon farms on the BC coast by 2025. Now they’re saying they won’t even have a plan until 2025. BC Wild salmon and workers can’t wait 5 years. The transition needs to get started now to save Pacific wild salmon.”

Johns adds that waiting until 2025 for a plan, isn’t enough.

“It’s too long to wait for a plan, people need action,” said Johns. “People across my riding depend on wild salmon, and with the historic lows in salmon returns the government has to act immediately to get the transition started as soon as possible.”

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Terry Beech responded to Johns in House of Commons explaining that fish farms are a complex issue that will take time to figure out.

“When it comes to thin fish open net-pen aquaculture specific to the BC coast, we are moving forward on our commitment to transition away completely independent from anything happening on the east coast.”

“This is a tricky issue, it going to mean working with the province, it’s going to mean working with indigenous peoples, it’s going to be making sure that we take care of the economic opportunities that coastal communities are depending on.”

Last year, the Liberal party made an election campaign pledge to phase out ocean net pen salmon farming in B.C. by 2025.

Latest Jurassic World movie lands in Vancouver Island park for filming

A movie production unit for the next Jurassic World sequel captured aerial scenes amid the giants of Cathedral Grove last week while letting no moss gather underfoot.

Word of the location shoot spread quickly after notices were posted in the park Wednesday advising that some trails might be briefly closed to the public “if a drone is in use.”

Gramercy Film Productions has begun shooting scenes for Jurassic World 3 in various B.C. locations over the next few weeks. One of the company’s mobile units had a two-day park use permit for the Vancouver Island provincial park.

“They’re here,” a Nanaimo fan, Neesha (@akajb84), tweeted. “Not much to really take pics of. Saw the drone. Would love to fly one of those.”

Gramercy maintains what is known in the industry as a “closed set,” meaning no media coverage is allowed anywhere near production activities. Evidently, the shoot also had a tight time frame because crew and signs were gone without a trace by Thursday morning.

Starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, Jurassic World 3 goes by the working title of Arcadia on Creative B.C.’s list of all current film and TV projects in the province.

This will be the sixth sequel in the long-running Jurassic Park franchise. The Jurassic World series began in 2015 and this last film in the trilogy is headed for release in June 2021.

In an interview Wednesday with Ellen Degeneres, Pratt revealed three members of the original 1993 Jurassic Park cast — Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum — reprise their roles in this sequel. Colin Trevorrow returns as director and executive producer alongside Steven Spielberg.

Production moved onto the B.C. Interior on Thursday. An open casting call was issued earlier this month in Merritt for area residents to play “workers, fishermen and townsfolk.”

While Gramercy obtained a special permit, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are not normally allowed in provincial parks. UAV operators have to obtain permission to take off or land in any B.C. park or protected area.

Joan Miller, director of Vancouver Island North Film Commission, consulted with the movie’s publicist Friday and confirmed she cannot comment on the production at this time.

Controversy grows as Vancouver Island’s herring fishery approaches

Anticipation is growing in French Creek’s harbour as herring boats began to fill it Wednesday ahead of the fishery opening. The opening could be any day. Fisheries and Oceans test boats have already recorded herring returning to spawn. “Could be any minute now, you know Mother Nature is temperamental,” said Captain of the Pender Isle Jason Roberts. “I’m a third-generation [fisherman] and I love it. I came back to do it and here I am and herring fishing means a lot to us.”Roberts is one of the hundreds waiting anxiously to start fishing.

 

A group is organizing against the herring fishery as well, due to declining salmon stocks and the dire state of the southern resident orca population. Herring Aid is planning a rally to oppose it on Sunday in Qualicum Beach. “It once was a celebration and we all enjoyed watching the fish boats and the fishers go out,” said Herring Aid member Sheri Plummer. “And I think at some point we realized that this was not sustainable.”

“I think DFO is failing us in this instance,” aid Herring Aid member Rich Ronyecz.

 

“They’re not using precautionary measures to protect chinook salmon, and the orcas and their food supply which is herring,” he said.Since the salmon fishery was so dismal in 2019, both sides of this debate say the stakes in the herring harvest are higher than ever. “Family at home depends on it,” said Roberts.

“Got a lot of skin in the game and if the fishery doesn’t happen, I might lose everything.”

Telus Brings New Wireless Service To Gold River & Tahsis

Vancouver, B.C. – TELUS has invested $2 million to build two new cell sites in Gold River and Tahsis, bringing vital wireless voice and Internet services to these west coast Vancouver Island communities for the first time. In addition to this investment, TELUS is collaborating with the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation to upgrade wireless services in the community of Tsaxana later this year.

“Tahsis and Gold River are vibrant communities with an entrepreneurial spirit – they are gateways to West Coast adventure that welcome visitors from all over the world,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure and MLA for the North Island. “This technology is important for our coastal communities and their strong tourism sectors. Improved connectivity will also help businesses.”

“Gold River is very excited to finally have cell coverage,” said Gold River Mayor Brad Unger. “This will definitely increase Tourism and business opportunities in the future. It will also be a huge benefit for our protective services (Police, Fire, Ambulance and Health Clinic). We have worked with TELUS for many years to achieve this strategic priority. Thanks for your investment in Gold River TELUS.”“Tahsis is celebrating the arrival of cell service as increased connectivity is central to promoting our community’s economic development, especially tourism. TELUS heard our pitch for cell service and delivered,” said Mayor Martin Davis of Tahsis.

Tiny Homes For Gold River? An Idea To Be Considered?

The small town of Stephenville in Newfoundland has been embraced the idea of small homes.  

Stephenville town council only had to change the wording to "smaller than 750 square feet" to allow Hickey to build tiny homes on his 13 tiny lots.

Property taxes are lower, but the mayor hopes this trendy living idea will attract new people to the area.

"That's good revenue to the town. It's bringing in new people and bringing attention to Stephenville, and I think it's the right thing to do," said Rose.    Read the full story here  https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/tiny-homes-turn-tiny-town-into-a-trendy-place-to-live-1.4828752?fbclid=IwAR0dv1nOM8YmX1nmqXwP9Ns3KLc9tUcH_7sdhTUvx6xmGeNoZFYIa2tGyJs

Support your fellow villager and vote for Nikida Donaldson

Nikida wants to be Ink Magazines Cover girl but she needs your vote.  Vote now and vote often.

City of Campbell River to host family events leading up to Hometown Hockey Tour

The City of Campbell River and several community organizations are hosting family fun events leading up to the arrival of the Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour.

And, it’s all free.

The tour is making a stop at the Maritime Heritage Centre on the weekend of Mar. 21st and 22nd.

“Everyone is welcome to get involved by joining in on pre-festival activities and events,” says Mayor Andy Adams. “This is a great opportunity to get together with family, friends and neighbours to celebrate our shared passion for hockey and sport in general.”

There will be a game of pop-up road hockey, musical entertainment at Spirit Square, as well as a free swim and skate at Strathcona Gardens on the Friday of the festival weekend.

Beginning Mar. 9th, you can register your family, school or workplace for the Paint the Town Red contest.

Prizes include VIP passes to tour the Rogers Sportsnet Mobile Studio for families and workplaces.

For schools or classrooms that participate, a pizza party will be awarded for up to 30 students at the Strathcona Gardens pool or arena.

“We encourage everyone to start thinking about how to show off your hockey spirit as part of this contest. Get creative with sports jerseys, hockey sticks and re-usable materials in all colours, and especially, lots of red,” Adams adds.

The city will be sharing more details about the contest in the near future.

Campbell River’s local organizing committee involves Minor Hockey, the Chamber of Commerce, School District 72, Strathcona Regional District, Destination Campbell River as well as the city.

Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour will visit 25 communities this hockey season and Campbell River is its only stop on Vancouver Island.

To learn more about the upcoming tour, visit this website.

Aquaculture vessel to remove sea lice from farmed salmon

A new 70-metre vessel equipped with technology to remove sea lice from farmed salmon has arrived in B.C. from Norway to work for Grieg Seafood B.C. Ltd.

The Ronja Islander is moored at Ogden Point near Victoria and will service Grieg’s Atlantic-salmon farms around Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

Lice occur naturally in the environment, but farm critics worry they multiply at fish farms and put wild stocks at risk.

“It is our responsibility to make sure we do not allow [sea lice] to harbour on farm sites and increase in number,” said Dean Trethewey, Grieg’s seawater production director. “Because when the smolts are ready to go back out to the ocean in March, April, May and June, we need to make sure our [sea lice] numbers are very, very low.”

The ship – a kind of closed aquarium – will be doing battle with parasitic lice latched onto farmed salmon.

Huge hoses will suck salmon out of net pens into the ship’s hold to be immersed in a solution of hydrogen peroxide and sea water for 20 minutes, before being flushed back into pens.

About 90 to 95 per cent of lice will be removed, Trethewey said.

Ultra-fine filters capture lice, which will be incinerated on board.

The entire process will typically take about two hours. It was designed to be as gentle as possible on fish, he said.

The latest technology is used on the custom-built 2019 vessel, which Grieg has chartered for five years, Trethewey said. That includes ultraviolet light to disinfect the water and kill viruses – a major concern among fish-farm critics.

About 50,000 fish can be treated at the same time in the hold, which has a capacity of 1,800 cubic metres, he said.

Norweigan Fish Farm Companies Face $850 Million Fine For Price Fixing

The fines for the Norwegian salmon giants with operations in the UK and continental Europe could be up to $850 million, if the European Commission (EC) finds evidence of a price-fixing cartel.  

e inspections took place at operations in “several” member states.

Although the EC said the probe is at a very early stage and the “unannounced inspections” are not indicative of any guilt, the stakes are high for the companies involved. If the EC finds evidence of cartel behavior, the fines can be up to 10% of global turnover. A whistleblower on the cartel can often receive no fine, however. 

For Mowi (formerly Marine Harvest), 2018 turnover was €3.81 billion ($4.32bn); Leroy, which has not reported its 2018 results yet, reported turnover of NOK 17.27bn ($2.013bn) for 2017; SalMar reported NOK 11.34bn ($1.32bn); and Grieg Seafood NOK 7.55bn ($875m).

So, Mowi could be fined up to $432m, Grieg $87m, and Leroy and SalMar $201m and $132m, respectively, totaling $852m. This does also not include Bremnes Seashore, which owns 40% of Ocean Quality, the sales arm which Greig controls the rest in. Bremnes Seashore, which does not have any farms in the UK, had a turnover of over NOK 2.6bn in 2017, so $302.72m. 

Expedition to probe Pacific salmon survival

An international scientific expedition aimed at unlocking the hows and whys of Pacific salmon survival in the Gulf of Alaska amid fears for their future is sailing out of Victoria in March.

“While we recognize that ocean and climate conditions are major factors regulating salmon abundances, the mechanisms regulating abundances in the ocean are not known,” B.C. scientists Richard Beamish and Brian Riddell said in a January report outlining this year’s cruise plan.

Ocean ecosystems are changing — the Blob has reappeared, bringing warm water to the Gulf of Alaska.

Don’t mistake this expedition for a luxury cruise. Winter storms and high seas are expected in the north Pacific Ocean.

Scientists are seeking to provide more accurate forecasts of salmon returns during what Beamish and Riddell say might be the most difficult time in recent history for stewardship of Pacific salmon. They want to understand what affects salmon out in the ocean, where they spend three-quarters of their lives.

The survey takes place as B.C. fishermen fear disastrous returns this year following poor returns for much of the coast last year.

The Pacific Salmon Commission said the 2019 Fraser River sockeye return of 485,000 was the lowest in recorded history. Numbers were far below the 2009 collapse which sparked the Cohen Commission.

The chartered 37-metre commercial trawler Pacific Legacy No. 1 will carry 12 scientists from Canada, Russia and the U.S. It leaves Victoria on March 11, returning April 4.

This is the second such survey. The first international expedition took place early in 2019 and a third is set for 2021.

Following the first survey, “What we did see was very consistent with what came back in 2019 for the adult returns,” Riddell said.

For example, when it came to chum salmon, “by country of origin and by age, our samples were exactly consistent to the lack of return in B.C.,” he said.

Scientists will be testing hypotheses as they collect a wide range of data, including ocean conditions, the depths at which salmon are found, and the types of tiny ocean creatures they consume. The latest survey will help confirm and build on interpretations from the first, including understanding how the winter ecosystem affects B.C. salmon numbers, the report said.

Scientists will be looking to identify rearing areas for different species of Pacific salmon and their numbers.

One objective is to study juvenile salmon in their first winter at sea.

“What we are learning is that [for] a fish to get out there and to survive that winter out there, it has to have an energy store that it would pick up in the early marine periods,” Beamish said.

Last year, they learned that young sockeye in their first year in the ocean will migrate out into the middle of the North Pacific, a distribution similar to steelhead.

DNA testing showed that a sockeye caught out in that area in February had made a mind-boggling journey.

That fish originated from Chilko Lake on the Chilcotin Plateau, Beamish said. It would have crossed the Chilcotin to Williams Lake where it joined the Fraser River.

The survey’s catch of Fraser River sockeye in their second (spawning) year were “very poor, possibly an indication of the resulting historic low return,” the expedition plan report said.

Beamish, emeritus scientist at the federal Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, and Riddell, science adviser for the Pacific Salmon Foundation in Vancouver, have raised more than $1 million in support for the upcoming survey from the provincial and federal governments, U.S. and B.C. seafood sectors, fish farmers, and non-profit groups, such the North Pacific Anadromous Fish Commission and the Salmon Foundation, which is managing the financial end.

Individuals donating to this year’s effort include Catie Bursch, of Homer, Alaska.

Every season, Bursch, her husband and two adult daughters travel 560 kilometres to fishing grounds in Bristol Bay on the eastern edge of the Bering Sea to go after red salmon — what we know as sockeye.

A desire to protect Pacific salmon and to give her daughters a future prompted Bursch to donate a percentage of her income after she flew to a Seattle conference and heard Beamish speak to industry. She’s keeping the total confidential.

“They’ve lost salmon everywhere and so if we do everything the same we are just going to lose them,” she said.

“But now we have climate change, too. For sustainable salmon, we’ve got to know what the changing ocean is going to mean to them.”

North Island MLA says throne speech ‘builds upon work’ NDP government started

February 16, 2020

North Island MLA Claire Trevena is pleased with the province’s latest throne speech.

The speech marks the start of legislative sessions in B.C., and details the government’s accomplishments and plans.

Trevena said the speech builds upon the work that the NDP government started two-and-a-half years ago.

“Really focusing on the people of British Columbia and trying to make life better for them,” Trevena said. “I think that people are starting to feel that difference of a government that puts people first and I think that will just continue on some of that work.”

The speech said that since July 2017, the government has moved forward on 13 hospital projects, and opened 12 urgent and primary care centres.

Trevena said these centres take the pressure off hospital emergency rooms, where people oftentimes don’t have their own doctor.

“They’ll go straight up to an emergency room and that really does cause problems for the healthcare system, so (with) these emergency, urgent care centres, you can go, you can get diagnosed and know whether you do need to go to hospital or not go to hospital. It is really a way of triaging for many people and a really excellent way of quick intervention.”

Also in the speech was our cellphone costs. It says that later this month, B.C. government representatives will travel to Ottawa to fight for more affordable cellphone plan options and transparency in billing.

Trevena said cellphone bills are a huge issue for British Columbians.

“You see the massive bills, you see different contracts offer different things, and nobody really knows what they’re getting, in addition to the fact that in Canada, we pay some of the highest cellphone fees pretty well anywhere,” Trevena said.

“So what we’re looking at is how we can make sure we have transparency so we know what’s happening so we can really start that next step to make sure people get a fair deal on their cellphone.”

The speech also spoke about the LNG Canada project – the largest private-sector investment in Canadian history.

It went to say that while work on the project gets underway ‘this government is seeking ways to reduce emissions overall.’

“We are committed to the project that we have for LNG, for the province,” Trevena said. “When proponents come forward it’s going to be really making transformational change for the province. The investment that we will be making there… it will bring literally billions of dollars to the province which will fund healthcare, it will fund education, it will fund all the things that people really depend on in British Columbia.”

She said having a “massive private sector development like this will really ensure that will go forward.”

Trevena said another topic of the speech, reconciliation, is a “very long process.”

“It’s not something that happens overnight and it takes everybody working together to achieve but we are absolutely committed to it.”

The speech also said ‘B.C. unemployment is the lowest in Canada, and has been for two years running.’

Trevena said this is thanks to a very healthy economy.

“It’s shown that that work that we as an NDP government has done has really helped ensure that we can continue to have a healthy economy, and we can continue investing in people. I think this is what’s key to us. It’s not just the healthcare and social services that people naturally assume goes hand-in-hand with an NDP government but we are investing in training and skills training, and making sure that we get the next generation of skilled workers so we can carry on having people working in a very competitive environment.”

Looking For Work

February 16, 2020

Looking for work? Strathcona Park Lodge, just 35 minutes from GR is hiring for the 2020 season! Our typical contracts run from April - November, some longer!

The Lodge is a rewarding & fun place to work if you love adventure & nature. We have a solid reputation in the tourism & guiding industry in BC & Canada.

Forestry workers ratify tentative agreement with Western Forest Products

Unionized forestry workers on Vancouver Island have voted in favour of ratifying a tentative agreement reached with their employer Western Forest Products earlier this week.

A total of 81.9 per cent of members of United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 voted in favour of the deal, the union announced Saturday. The vote officially ends a strike that lasted nearly eight months and wreaked havoc on communities across the North Island.

Union president Brian Butler told CTV News Vancouver Island earlier this week that his bargaining committee was recommending members accept the deal.

Pickup truck breaks through Highway 19 blockade near Courtenay

Wet’suwet’en supporters moved in and blocked the major roadway near exit 117 at 12:30 a.m. By Monday evening about 50 protesters are on the highway.

Both directions have been blocked. RCMP and traffic flaggers have detours in place.

 

It is in response to calls from some Wet’suwet’en members to stop Coastal Gaslink from building an LNG pipeline in northern B.C.

 

READ MORE: Bridges, buildings, railways, streets focus of anti pipeline protests

 

Demonstrators, who refer to themselves as land defenders, say drivers are still able to get through but will be delayed. They add that northbound traffic is being forced to go through the Buckley Bay ferry exit, while southbound traffic is able to get off on Exit 117 and take Highway 19a.

 

“We are here until the provincial and federal governments respond properly to the humanitarian crisis they have caused in violation of the law,” said Deraek Menard, a supporter with Extinction Rebellion Nanaimo.

 

“Of course we want attention. That’s why we are doing this no one is paying attention. They are destroying those people’s land which contains their natural heritage. It’s a continuation of cultural genocide.”

 

The blockade is part of a Canada-wide movement. Protests have shut down many roads, ports, bridges and railways.  Police arrested protesters Monday morning at the Port of Vancouver after an injunction was granted.

 

Tensions have been rising at the Highway 19 blockade, with one man arguing against the protesters.

Finnally! Western and USW Reach Tentative Collective Agreement

Western Forest Products Inc. (TSX: WEF) (“Western” or the “Company”) announced today that the Company and the United Steelworkers Local 1-1937 (“USW”) have agreed to the terms of a tentative collective agreement. The tentative agreement is subject to a ratification vote by USW membership. The USW bargaining committee has advised that they will be recommending that its members accept this agreement.

"With the assistance of special mediators, Vince Ready and Amanda Rogers, we have reached a fair and equitable agreement that balances the needs of our employees and our business," said Don Demens, President and Chief Executive Officer of Western. “This has been a particularly challenging time and I’m pleased that we were able to find common ground through the efforts of all involved.”

Commercial salmon fishery on brink

The West Coast commercial fishing sector has been pushed to the brink, and the union that represents fishermen blames climate change and poor management by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Unifor is calling on Canada’s new minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Bernadette Jordan, to step up with assistance for B.C. fishermen who are going under.

The West Coast commercial fishing sector has been pushed to the brink, and the union that represents fishermen blames climate change and poor management by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

Unifor is calling on Canada’s new minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Bernadette Jordan, to step up with assistance for B.C. fishermen who are going under.

Robert Bateman back in Campbell River this weekend

Meet and greet at Direct Art Gallery in Tyee Plaza starts at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

The show at Direct Art Gallery this weekend, will be especially fun for people to see, “because it will feature some work straight from their house,” Westergard says. “It’s extremely rare.”

And, of course, there’s the opportunity to meet one of the premier names in the Canadian art world himself.

Vancouver Island Makes CNN's Top 20 Best Places

You don’t have to leave the Island if you want to see one of CNN Travel’s 20 best places to visit in 2020.

In the annual list, CNN’s travel editors described Vancouver Island as a treasure chest with “pristine forest and beaches punctuated by small, artsy towns and a cosmopolitan capital city.”

 

“You could easily occupy an adventure-packed month there backpacking, camping and eating well. More manageable is an itinerary between two towns — the southern coastal paradise of Tofino and the capital, Victoria — with a five-hour, bear-sighting, picturesque drive in between,” David G. Allan wrote.

 

Allan describes Tofino as a pretty fishing village with excellent but affordable dining options.

He also recommends the Atleo River Air Service  “milk run” route, the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, the Common Loaf Bake Shop in TofinoTacofino in Tofino the Pink Dishrack, also in Victoria.

 

“Or orient your Vancouver Island visit by activity or theme: romantic getaway, rugged outdoor adventure, First Nation art and culture, foodie pilgrimage, nature nirvana, surf safari or a combination,” Allan wrote.

Here is the full list of CNN Travel’s 20 places to visit in 2020, in alphabetical order:

1. Chile Lake District
2. Copenhagen, Denmark
3. The Dead Sea
4. Dominica
5. Estonia
6. Galway, Ireland
7. Jamaica
8. Kyrgyzstan
9. Kyushu, Japan
10. Paraty and Ilha Grande, Brazil
11. New Caledonia
12. São Tomé and Príncipe
13. St. Petersburg, Russia
14. Sri Lanka
15. Tunisia
16. Vancouver Island
17. Washington, D.C.
18. Wuppertal, Germany
19. Wyoming
20. Zambia

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