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Posts Tagged "burnaby"

19Jul

Man, dog broke into a Fortis BC facility, Mounties allege

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Mounties on the Sunshine Coast are asking for the public’s help to identify a suspect they say broke into a Fortis BC facility.

According to the RCMP, a man entered the location on Port Mellon Highway in Gibsons by digging a hole under a fence.

Security camera footage released by police shows the suspect and a dog that appears to be accompanying him in the facility.

Investigators said two brand new Honda EU2000I generators were taken during the break-in.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Mounties at 604-885-2266 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.


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18Jul

Blind man with guide dog denied service, arrested at Kamloops gas station

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A man who’s blind was told his guide dog wasn’t allowed inside a Kamloops gas station, and when RCMP arrived, he thought they would defend his rights, but instead, the officers put him in handcuffs.

“I was very shocked and appalled,” said Ben Fulton. “I was just really surprised at how quickly it spiraled out of control.”

The Toronto man was on a road trip to celebrate after graduating law school, but things took a turn when he made a pit stop at the Shell gas station on the Trans-Canada Highway around 11:30 p.m. on June 16.

All Fulton can see is a grey blur since losing his vision to a rare disorder called retinitis pigmentosa two years ago. He relies on his guide dog, Abbie, to be his eyes.

He said the gas station clerk was adamant his manager gave him “strict instructions” that pets were not allowed.

He said when he tried to show the guide dog identification card and explain that Abbie is not a pet, but rather a working dog, the clerk did not change his position.

“When I was showing him the card, he didn’t want to look at the card. He didn’t want to hear what I was saying about Abbie being a guide dog. He didn’t seem to understand the law,” Fulton said.

“He asked me if I wanted him to call the cops I responded by saying that I would love it if he called the cops. I was expecting them to show up and enforce the law.”
 

Fulton handcuffed and put in police cruiser

Kamloops RCMP said they received a call about a man and woman who were yelling and threatening the clerk.

“When the officers attended at first, they noticed the man and woman. The dog was off to the side and behind them; they didn’t even notice the dog, they were focused on the man and woman,” said spokesperson Cpl. Jodi Shelkie.

Shelkie said the two officers asked Fulton and his friend to step outside because there were other customers inside the store, and when they refused, Fulton was arrested.

“The man and woman began yelling at them and the man was unco-operative. So to prevent continuation of the offence, the officers arrested the male and took him outside,” she said.

Fulton denied he was confrontational, maintaining that he was speaking calmly and he had simply wanted to show the officers his guide dog identification card.

“I was very calmly standing at the counter when they came in. I wasn’t yelling, I wasn’t saying anything,” he said. “The female officer asked me, ‘Why don’t we go outside and talk about this?’ So, I answered her question and I said, ‘I don’t want to go outside because I’m standing at the counter trying to get service.'”

Soon after, the other officer stepped in and put him in handcuffs and he was told he was being arrested for mischief.

He said he was overcome with fear when they placed him in the back of the cruiser.
 

‘Deficiency’ in RCMP training: Fulton

Kamloops RCMP defended the actions of the officers, saying protocols were followed.

“We have a lot of diversity training both for accessibility, cultural and racial situation and we deal with these on an ongoing basis. In this situation, as soon as they found out he’s blind, they removed him from handcuffs and he went on his way without charges. In this situation, the training very much worked,” said Shelkie.

Fulton believes the situation clearly demonstrates a lack in training because the officers were not able to recognize immediately that Abbie is a guide dog.

“I really think they should have known that I was blind just by seeing me by my guide dog. They should’ve known that she’s a guide dog by the fact that she’s wearing a harness. The fact that they weren’t able to identify that shows a deficiency in their training,” he said.

The CEO of B.C. Guide Dogs believes the Mounties unnecessarily escalated the situation.

“To put a person who has a guide dog in a police cruiser is just beyond my comprehension. I can’t understand how that would be the first step taken by a police officer. It’s atrocious,” said Bill Thornton.

He said when Fulton offered the officers his guide dog identification card, they should’ve taken a look at it.

“We’ve had guide dogs and service dogs in Canada for such a long time. It’s very disappointing to hear this type of event taking place.”

According to the B.C. Guide Dog and Service Dog Act, a guide and service dog is allowed to enter and use any place where the public is invited or has access to.

A Shell Canada spokesperson said they are working to understand what happened in the situation.

“Sales associates are expected to treat all customers with care and respect…We have reached out to the independent retailer who operates this site, along with the local RCMP, to further understand this incident,” said spokesperson Kristen Schmidt.

To prevent a similar situation from happening to anyone else, Fulton is in the process of filing a complaint with the BC Human Rights Tribunal.

“It’s the best venue for having human rights enforced in the province. It’s important for me to not let this go unnoticed – for it to be swept under the rug,” Fulton said.


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18Jul

New report calls for overhaul of chronic pain treatment

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A new report from the Canadian Pain Task Force is calling the issue of chronic pain a “significant public health issue” and says the health sector has a chance to overhaul how it is treated to better help Canadians.

The report notes that one in five Canadians are thought to live with chronic pain, with two-thirds of those reporting their pain as moderate to severe.

“People living with pain have limited access to the services they require and often face stigma and undue suffering as a result of their condition,” the report reads.

Chronic pain has been recognized by the World Health Organization as a disease, and is defined as pain persisting or recurring for longer than three months, associated with significant emotional distress, significant functional disability and the symptoms are not better accounted for by another diagnoses.

It notes chronic pain more often afflicts those in populations living in poverty, Indigenous peoples and women, among others.

The opioid overdose crisis has also complicated the treatment options for those suffering from chronic pain.

The task force claims people who could benefit from opioids to manage pain are now facing barriers to obtain a prescription.

“There is a need to promote shared decision-making between health care professionals and people living with pain. Prescribing decisions must be based on the unique needs of the individual, but this is not supported by the current environment.”

The report calls for better co-ordination between the provinces and territories as a starting point.

“Provincial/territorial policies and efforts could be better coordinated to reduce duplication of effort, maximize efficiency and implementation of best practices, and ensure people living with pain have the same level of care across Canada,” the report reads.

Pain BC – an organization that looks to help those suffering from chronic pain in British Columbia – welcomed the report and its conclusions.

“This report makes Health Canada aware of what Canadians with pain have known for too long: that pain care is largely not accessible, many health care providers lack the knowledge and skills to manage pain and breakthroughs in research are hampered by lack of funding,” said Executive Director Maria Hudspith in a statement. “We hope this report lays the foundation for a national pain strategy that will improve the lives of Canadians who live with pain.”


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16Jul

These 5 washrooms are finalists in an annual search for Canada’s best

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What’s your favourite local loo?

It might seem like a strange question, but the restrooms in five Canadian businesses are finalists in an annual contest to find the country’s best.

Two of the top contenders in this year’s search, put on by restroom supplier Cintas Canada, are located in Vancouver.

Bauhaus Restaurant was named one of Canada’s best 100 places to eat earlier this year. 

A few months later, the West Cordova Street spot that specializes in contemporary German cuisine is being recognized for a different feature: its bathrooms.

“Bauhaus Restaurant was inspired by the early 20th-century design movement ‘Bauhaus’ which was famous for its unique approach to architecture and design, where every form had a function,” a statement announcing the finalists said.

“The restaurant’s Berlin street art-inspired washrooms were commissioned by Olliemoonsta, an art duo from Spain with a background in Fine Arts and Graphic Design.”

Its walls include quotes from Bauhaus School founder Walter Gropius, original graphic designs and graffiti that all match the theme.
 

Bauhaus Restaurant
 

Also in the top five is Laurence and Chico Cafe, named after designers Laurence Li and Chico Wang.

The coffee shop on Bute Street is described by Wang as a “surreal opportunity…through a space that combines elements of design, furniture and home décor with a culinary experience.”

Those behind the Best Restroom contest praise its whimsical wallpapers, tiles and furnishings that replicate the clothing designers’ signature prints.

“You can Instagram every corner of the café, including the washrooms, which offer customers an escape from reality,” the statement issued by Cintas Canada Tuesday says.

“One of the washrooms is rubber ducky themed where if you look up, you’ll see the ceiling adorned with them. Another is a floral-themed washroom featuring paper mache flowers.”
 

Laurence and Chico
 

Heading east, the next restaurant to make the top five is located in a gas station in a hamlet in northeastern Alberta.

Lac La Biche is home to a population of about 2,300 and, apparently, one of Canada’s best restrooms. The loo that made the list is at the Beaver Hill Shell station.

It was designed with comfort in mind, contest organizers say.

“Unlike conventional rest-stops, they feature luxurious details throughout. Clean lines like herringbone-patterned wall and floor tile, paired with sleek wall sconces, shining chandeliers and large, decorative mirrors create a modern yet rustic look,” Cintas Canada said in the statement.

“Meanwhile, simple details like relaxing artwork and warm, wooden stall doors make the washrooms stand out.”
 

Beaver Hill Shell
 

Cluny Bistro, in Toronto’s Distillery District, is also a finalist, praised for its solid oak walls, cement flooring and white marble countertops.

The restrooms in the restaurant located within the heritage site of the Gooderham Building were designed by Studio Munge, Cintas says.

“The washrooms feature warm woods, delicate gold fixtures and frosted glass. Meanwhile, the tiled floor is decorated in shades of yellow, orange and duck-egg blue.”
 

Cluny Bistro
 

Rounding out the top five is Cosmos Cafe in Quebec City.

“With its eclectic décor and modern style, the Cosmos Cafe carries an atmosphere worth experiencing,” contest organizers said.

“The artistic elements found throughout the cafe flow into the washrooms where you’ll find sinks made of rock with waterfall faucets and touchless amenities.”

Among the features highlighted in the announcement were the restrooms’ one-way mirrored fish tanks.
 

Cosmos Cafe
 

The top five were selected based on criteria including cleanliness, visual appeal, innovation, functionality and unique design elements, organizers say.

Votes from the public will determine which toilet triumphs, which facility flushes out the competition.

Lavatory lovers can cast their bathroom ballots online.

The winner will be given a place in Canada’s Best Restroom Hall of fame, and a prize of $2,500 in facility services from Cintas.

Last year’s winning washroom was St. Albert Honda, which beat out four others including Vancouver’s Anh and Chi


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14Jul

Tiny Village of Deep Cove needs big solution to address ‘growing problem’ of crowds

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Hundreds, if not thousands, flock to the tiny Village of Deep Cove each day in the summer to enjoy the area’s picture-postcard beauty.

The crowds in recent years have increased so much that officials had to introduce new parking rules and a limit on how many people can use the local trail.

But some businesses and locals believe more measures are needed to handle the influx of visitors.

“The locals, for lack of a better word, have resigned to the fact that they have no ownership of the cove for six to seven months of the year,” said Arash Memarzadah, who runs the family-operated Pomegranate Grillhouse and Café.

Memarzadah said many of his regular customers avoid the village in the summer because of parking and overcrowding issues.

He said the experience isn’t always a positive one for visitors, either.

“You spend 20 minutes trying to get down into the cove. You spend another 20 minutes trying to find parking. You get out, it’s way too busy. There’s no corner store, there’s no tourism centre, you go down to the restaurants and everyone has wait times.”

The District of North Vancouver has been trying to combat the overcrowding on its popular hiking trails.

For the second year in a row, it introduced a restriction on the number of hikers for Quarry Rock.

It also implemented new parking rules, including adding more permit parking spots and overflow parking lots; limiting how long people can stay in some lots; and increasing enforcement.

District Mayor Mike Little said the issue is not unique to Deep Cove.

“It’s a growing problem. It’s a growing concern. It’s something that we’re going to have to manage traffic in more than just Deep Cove — in several sites across the District of North Vancouver,” he said.

But Memarzadah said parking is just one of the issues and businesses are finding themselves having to deal with other tasks.

“We just have people walking in needing an ATM, needing cigarettes, needing washrooms, needing to know which direction is Quarry Rock,” he said. “We didn’t sign up for that. It’s not Pomegranate Café and Public Washroom.”

Little said none of the recreation destinations on the North Shore have publicly funded information centres, including Grouse Mountain and Capilano Suspension Bridge.

He said many of the visitors are from other parts of the Greater Vancouver Area and a long-term solution would require collaboration from the region and the province.

“We’re seen as the backyard playground for much of the Lower Mainland. It’s something that’s going to take a regional response,” he said.

Memarzadah said he would like to see a big-picture solution that changes the dynamic of the village.

“It’s not that we don’t want people coming down to the cove. We have to decide, what do we want to be? The infrastructure was not built to handle this many people,” he said. 


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12Jul

Forestry workers reject mediator after asking for help: union

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VANCOUVER – The union representing as many as 3,000 British Columbia forest industry workers on strike at Western Forest Products says now that it’s willing to work with a mediator, the company has rejected the plan.

The strike began July 1 and involves the firm’s timberland operators and contractors and affects all of its manufacturing and timberland operations in the province.

Western Forest Products said after the strike began that it applied for a mediator in June to help with negotiations, but the union had not agreed to meet.

United Steelworkers local president Brian Butler says in a news release that they are ready to negotiate and well-known mediator Vince Ready has agreed to make himself available this weekend for talks.

Butler says the company’s refusal to use someone as qualified as Ready indicates it’s not serious about reaching an agreement.

A spokesperson from Western Forests Products wasn’t immediately available for comment on the union’s claims.

The B.C. Federation of Labour issued a so-called hot edict on the company earlier this week, asking its members to no longer handle Western Forests Products coastal lumber, logs and wood products.

The union says it’s on strike over the potential loss of pensions, seniority rights and long-term disability.


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12Jul

Mediator rejected after forestry workers asked for help: union

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The Canadian Press


Published Friday, July 12, 2019 1:17PM PDT


Last Updated Friday, July 12, 2019 3:52PM PDT

VANCOUVER – The union representing as many as 3,000 British Columbia forest industry workers on strike at Western Forest Products says now that it’s willing to work with a mediator, the company has rejected the plan.

The strike began July 1 and involves the firm’s timberland operators and contractors and affects all of its manufacturing and timberland operations in the province.

Western Forest Products said after the strike began that it applied for a mediator in June to help with negotiations, but the union had not agreed to meet.

United Steelworkers local president Brian Butler says in a news release that they are ready to negotiate and well-known mediator Vince Ready has agreed to make himself available this weekend for talks.

Butler says the company’s refusal to use someone as qualified as Ready indicates it’s not serious about reaching an agreement.

A spokesperson from Western Forests Products wasn’t immediately available for comment on the union’s claims.

The B.C. Federation of Labour issued a so-called hot edict on the company earlier this week, asking its members to no longer handle Western Forests Products coastal lumber, logs and wood products.

The union says it’s on strike over the potential loss of pensions, seniority rights and long-term disability.


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9Jul

‘Displacement to nowhere’: Surrey tent city residents vow to fight city’s plan to dismantle encampment

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A homeless encampment in Surrey will need to be dismantled for safety reasons, according to the city, but the campers that call the wooded area home say they plan to stay.

Residents of what’s known as the “Sanctuary” tent city on King George Boulevard between Bridgeview Drive and 132 Street say bylaw officers told them last week that the site would need to be dismantled by this Tuesday.

Video taken by homeless advocates shows bylaw officers in a truck near the site Tuesday morning.

“Eventually it might happen, but not this morning” a bylaw officer told members of Alliance Against Displacement when asked if they were there to begin removing the tent site.

The City of Surrey’s Acting Manager of Public Safety Operations, Kim Marosevich, told CTV News by phone Tuesday that the city is monitoring the situation closely and is concerned about structures on site as well as the use of open flame and propane.

“We’re concerned about safety on the property,” Marosevich said.

Residents living on the site told CTV News on Tuesday they do use fire for cooking, but say it’s used safely and they have fire extinguishers and shovels.

“When I do make a fire it’s so small and minute, it’s just enough to cook on,” said Jennifer Rouse, who moved into the camp after previously living alone in a tent in Newton. “This is my home so I take very good care of it. If anything were to happen to it, it would devastate me.”

According to the Alliance Against Displacement, the camp has been up and running for several years and about 50 people are currently living there.

Many of the campers, including Wanda Stopa, who moved to the site about five months ago, say they ended up there after being displaced from a stretch of 135A street in Whalley that served as a homeless encampment for years before being cleared out by the city.

 

“The amount of stress you go through every day is unreal,” Stopa said Tuesday. “A person shouldn’t have to live like that. They shouldn’t be treated the way we’re treated by bylaw. It’s just not right.”

The city says it’s working with the Surrey Outreach Team to try and support residents and find safe housing for the residents before the camp is dismantled.

But Dave Diewert with Alliance Against Displacement says housing options for the homeless in Surrey are limited and modular housing brought to the area simply cannot support the number of homeless people in the city.

“This is a displacement to nowhere,” Diewert said. “This is an absolutely crucial site for survival, for organization, for support, for human community in the midst of what is a terrible housing crisis in Surrey.”

The City of Surrey could not give a timeline of when it would move in to dismantle the site, calling the situation “fluid”, and noting they are working with multiple agencies to make sure the campers have somewhere else to go.

Residents are not only vowing to stay at the camp, they are also asking the city for amenities including water, garbage pickup and washroom facilities as they wait for what they consider adequate housing solutions.

“People are still in shelters. People are still in the bush. We need real solutions. We need real housing,” Diewert said.




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8Jul

Uber in B.C.? Regulations give ride-hailing service the green light

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The B.C. government says the Passenger Transportation Board will start accepting applications as of Sept. 3 in order to have the service in place this fall.

ICBC says it will offer a blanket, per kilometer insurance product and will only apply when a driver is offering the service. All other regulations will come into force on Sept. 16, which means ride-hailing is a go once the PTB approves applications.

PTB will need to consider appropriate operating areas, fleet sizes, and rates.

Other regulations announced via a government release include requiring drivers to have criminal and driver record checks. Those operating illegal services could be fined up to $100,000 a day. A 30-cent “per-trip” fee is also being added to help fund programs to increase accessibility.

The regulations released today come after a number of studies and consultations into the issue of ride-hailing.

Earlier this year, a legislature committee issued recommendations including there be no boundaries or limits on how many ride-hailing vehicles are allowed on the road. The committee also suggested the minimum cost for ride-hailing needs to be more than the cost of taking transit.

Another recommendation – that drivers be required to hold a Class 5 license was previously rejected by the minister.

In June, a report from B.C.’s Passenger Transportation Board found there was a “public need and desire for ride hailing.”

In 2017, the NDP government commissioned Dan Hara to speak to the taxi industry and stakeholders about how to move forward.

Parties have fielded the issue as a political hot potato for years. The Liberals, in power for 16 years failed to introduce regulations and the NDP broke a promise to bring in ride sharing by the end of 2017. Observers and critics accuse politicians to bowing to the taxi lobby and refusing to alienate voters in key battlegrounds like Surrey.

An overview of the regulations provided by the government follows. Viewing this on our mobile beta site? Tap here for a compatible version.


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