What’s making news in British Columbia

By on February 25, 2016

English Bay, Vancouver, BC. Photo by James Z via Wiki Commons.
English Bay, Vancouver, BC. Photo by James Z via Wiki Commons.

Tent city block party interrupted by police

A block party at a homeless camp on the grounds of Victoria’s courthouse got off to a rough start as police cars arrived with sirens blaring.

Campers are staging the block party as they face eviction Thursday from a tent city where more than 100 people have been living for months.

The police officers who arrived were investigating a disturbance at one of the tents at the camp but had no comment about an alleged assault.

The province gave campers until Thursday to move off the grounds but it’s hoped they will leave voluntarily and go to shelters instead of being forcibly evicted.


Lack of maintenance sunk tugboat: TSB

The sinking of a tugboat off B.C.’s Sunshine Coast last spring is being attributed to a lack of adequate maintenance on the vessel.

The Syringa sank north of Merry Island on March 18 after taking on water while towing a barge, and both of its crew members swam to safety.

A Transportation Safety Board investigation pointed to several issues, including a lack of preventive measures to stop deck water from flowing into the hull and a life raft that wasn’t serviced a year earlier even though it was mandatory.

The TSB is calling on Transport Canada to require all marine industry operators to have formal safety management processes, which is not currently required for smaller tugs.


Vancouver cop, motorcyclist injured in crash

Vancouver police say an officer has been injured after he was struck by a motorcycle he was trying to stop for speeding.

It’s alleged the officer was standing beside his own motorcycle when he tried to flag down the driver Thursday morning.

Police say the motorcyclist then lost control of the bike and crashed on the Knight Street bridge, a major artery in and out of the city.

Both the officer and the motorcyclist were sent to hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries.


Work halted on Kitimat LNG project

AltaGas says it has stopped work on a liquefied natural gas project near Kitimat due to low prices and an oversupplied market.

The company said in a conference call today that it had decided to shelve the Douglas Channel project because the consortium behind it had failed to secure any meaningful offtake agreements.

AltaGas had planned to begin exporting LNG in 2018 but the project was held up over a 25 per cent excise duty being charged on its floating LNG facility.

While the company says the issue is now resolved and no duty would be charged, unfavourable markets mean it couldn’t continue with the project.


Police investigating Chilliwack death

Mounties say homicide investigators are now involved in the case of a Chilliwack woman who was found dead in her home.

RCMP say officers went to the woman’s home Wednesday night after being called to check on her well-being.

Police would not release any further details.

However, they say there’s no evidence to indicate the public is at risk.


B.C. Winter Games kick off in Penticton

More than 1,200 of the best young athletes in the province have gathered in Penticton for this year’s B.C. Winter Games.

They’ll be competing in 17 different sports over the next several days at venues throughout the South Okanagan.

There will also be competitions for athletes with a disability, including basketball, figure skating and cross country skiing.

Along with the athletes, more than 330 coaches and about 180 officials will be taking part.