Tuesday, November 25th2.7°C

BCFED calls for $15 minimum wage

The BC Federation of Labour has launched a new campaign calling on the province to increase the minimum wage.

The campaign, 'Fight For $15' calls for an increase in the minimum wage to $15.

"At the current minimum wage, working full-time is not enough to lift a worker out of poverty,” says Jim Sinclair, President of the BC Federation of Labour.

“It has been almost three years since the last increase to the minimum wage. Workers fall behind when their wage is stagnant, yet the cost of living goes up each year.”

Currently, the minimum wage in BC is $10.25. It was last increased in May, 2012.

The federation says more than 120,000 workers in BC are earning the minimum wage. Of those, 47 per cent are over 25, eight per cent are 55 or older while 63 per cent are women.

Sinclair says BC has one of the lowest minimum wages in the country yet the province is the 'most expensive and unequal' according to Stats Can.

He says increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour would put a full-time worker 10 per cent above the States.

“Seattle and San Francisco know that increasing the minimum wage gives a boost to local economies,” says Irene Lanzinger, Secretary Treasurer of the BC Federation of Labour.

"Low wage earners are more likely to spend their money at businesses in their neighbourhood. Businesses may also experience improved employee retention and productivity when employees feel valued and respected.”

A recent public opinion poll, conducted by Insights West, suggests that British Columbians agree it is time to increase the minimum wage.

  • 72% support an increase to $15/hr
  • 75% support making a significant and immediate increase to the minimum wage
  • 93% support reviewing and adjusting the minimum wage on a regular basis

“A lift for our lowest paid workers is long overdue,” says Sinclair. “$15/hour is a fair wage. We need to build an economy that works for everyone.”

Ironically, it was back in March of this year that the BCFED called on the province to increase the minimum wage to $13 an hour.


Crash closes Highway 3

A multi-vehicle incident has closed Highway 3 between Hope and Princeton.

The road is closed in both directions south of the town, approximately six kilometres west of Saturday Creek.

DriveBC is reporting there is no estimated time of reopening -- an assessment is currently in progress.


Anti-pipeline grandma


An 84-year-old retired librarian says she's willing to violate a court injunction and go to jail as she and other anti-pipeline protesters take a stand against fossil fuels by interfering with survey work in Burnaby, B.C.

Barbara Grant joined activists near Burnaby Mountain on Tuesday to demonstrate against Kinder Morgan's proposed plan to nearly triple its pipeline capacity to transport Alberta oil to British Columbia.

Grant says she has the support of her three children and three grandchildren, some of whom have joined the protest as crews drilled two bore holes into Burnaby Mountain before a decision on the project by the National Energy Board.

Grant says she may walk past a no-go line on the mountain later Tuesday and risk being arrested to make a point against the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

She says B.C. stands to gain little from any pipeline project that would jeopardize the environment if there's an oil spill from more tanker traffic.

At least 78 people have been arrested since last week, and most of them have been charged with civil contempt.

The Canadian Press


Snow slams mountain passes

A frontal system bringing heavy precipitation will blanket BC’s Interior highways dumping as much as 30 cm.

Extending through tonight, conditions throughout the Coquihalla, Hope to Kamloops and the Hwy. 97C, Merritt to Kelowna are expected to be treacherous over the next 24 hours.

Environment Canada warns that the Coquihalla Summit will be particularly hard hit, as well as Highway 3, Hope to Princeton which expects up to 15 or more centimetres crippling Alison Pass.

Drive BC webcams show very limited visibility particularly approaching and descending the Summit on 97C all the way through to Brenda Mines. A reminder to drivers is being issued that all vehicles are required to have proper winter tires on all BC highways.

The snow is expected to turn to rain overnight as the front pulls northward potentially making for slushy conditions in lower elevations rising to icy patches higher up.

As the first warning of the season is issued, travelers should prepare for harsh winter conditions.  A collision near Revelstoke Monday evening due to poor road conditions resulted in one fatality.

Environment Canada advises anyone using Interior highways to be prepared and to monitor warnings and forecasts as they may be extended.

For current highway conditions and updates check DriveBC.

Hwy.1 reopened after crash

Update 11:30 a.m.

Hwy. 1 has reopened 30 kilometres west of Revelstoke after a fatal crash closed the highway Monday evening. 

Details below. 


An accident on the Trans-Canada Highway just west of Revelstoke has claimed one life.

Two commercial vehicles collided around 8:45 p.m. Monday night, with the driver of an eastbound semi dying at the scene.

According to Revelstoke RCMP, the westbound commercial tractor-trailer jack-knifed and crossed into oncoming traffic, and the eastbound vehicle struck the trailer at the axles, causing serious damage to the vehicle and killing the driver.

The accident happened approximately 20 kilometres west of Revelstoke, closing the highway all night. 

Tow companies were still in the process of clearing the roadway this morning and an RCMP traffic analyst and the BC Coroners Service were both on scene overnight.

The road is expected to reopen between 10 and 11 a.m.

Motorists can stay up to date on the current driving conditions by visiting DriveBC.

An earlier accident just east of Sicamous also delayed traffic Monday evening, and a lane closure was still in effect Tuesday morning.

Black Friday deals or 'white lies'?

Savvy Black Friday shoppers should pay attention to products’ final price, not just how much they’re supposedly saving.

That’s the takeaway from a new report released by Vancity Credit Union, which warns some major U.S. retailers inflate prices before Black Friday and Cyber Monday to make discounts seem deeper than they actually are.

Mo Ladak, vice-president of member services for Vancity, said shoppers should always do their homework before getting swept up in what seems like an exciting deal.

“They see these big signs saying 50, 60, 70 per cent off, but we’re just encouraging our consumers and members to look at the final price,” Ladak said.

Despite what the report calls “mounting evidence” of questionable sales tactics, a survey of Lower Mainland and Victoria residents suggests the vast majority of people believe they’re getting a real steal on Black Friday.

CTV Vancouver reports that 94 per cent of respondents said they believe Black Friday prices are lower than the rest of the year, by an estimated average of 23 per cent.

Seventy-six per cent said retailers are making less profit or losing money on Black Friday sale items.

But apart from a few door-crasher specials and other scattered savings, Vancity claims much of the Black Friday phenomenon is mere hype.

Ladak said there are some legitimate deals on big-ticket items, and shoppers can find them if they do a little homework about how much products normally cost.

“There’s some great deals to be had out there, whether it be on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or any other shopping period,” he said. “Take your smartphone with you, do your research, and look at the final price rather than the perceived savings on the product.”

The Vancity report, titled “White Lies on Black Friday: Pricing Integrity in Black Friday Sales,” focused exclusively on major US retailers. North of the border, Vancouver businesses assured there will be legitimate deals for people shopping at smaller, locally-owned stores.

“It makes such a big difference for the owner to be standing there and giving that discount to people,” said Jane McFadden of the Kitsilano-4th Avenue Business Improvement Association.

“We’re not necessarily looking for that 60 per cent off deal, we’re looking at 20 per cent off that brand we really like or supporting that retailer that we go and see all the time anyway.”

Hwy 1 closed near Sicamous

A traffic collision has forced closure of Highway 1, the Trans Canada, near Sicamous.

According to DriveBC, the closure affects eastbound lanes 17km east of Sicamous.

A detour is in effect eastbound via Oxbow Frontage Road and westbound via Malakwa Frontage Road.

There is no estimated time of re-opening

The situation was last updated shortly after 8 p.m.

Surrey shooters charged

Two people have been charged following an incident that prompted RCMP officers to open fire on a fleeing vehicle.

The confrontation happened last Friday in Surrey, where plain clothes officers used their cruisers to box in a suspect vehicle.

But police say the driver attempted to ram his way out, hitting the cruisers and prompting the gunfire.

The RCMP say 26-year-old Daniel Monaghan of Langley is charged a number of offences including assault of a peace officer, assault with a weapon and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

Fifty-two-year-old David Traill of Surrey is charged with resisting arrest and breach of a conditional sentence order.

A 21-year-old woman, who was arrested at the scene and later released, is also expected to face charges.

The Canadian Press

Police involved shooting

YouTube Ronn Dunnett, dunnettclassicdrums - Video allegedly shows the moments following the shooting.

Update -- Nov. 24

The BC Coroners Service has released the identity of a man shot and killed by police in Vancouver over the weekend.

Phuong Na (Tony) Du, 51, was a resident of Vancouver. He was shot by police on Saturday afternoon, shortly before 5 p.m. near the intersection of Knight Street and E. 41st Avenue.  

Du was transported from the scene to Vancouver General Hospital but died soon after arrival.

Police at the time said they were confronted by a distraught man shouting and waving a 2x4 piece of wood.

He refused to comply with the directions and officers shot him with bean bag rounds in an attempt to disarm him and take him safely into custody, but eventually the man was shot.

Original story -- Nov. 22

BC's police watchdog has been deployed after a person was sent to hospital following a police-involved shooting in East Vancouver Thursday afternoon.

CTV Vancouver reports the incident happened just after 5 p.m. at the intersection of East 41st and Knight streets.

One person has been rushed to hospital, but it was not a police officer.

The identity of the victim and the extent of their injuries remain unknown.

The Independent Investigations Office tweeted at around 6:15 p.m. it had been deployed to the scene of the shooting.

The watchdog examines all matters where serious injury or death results during cases handled by any police agency in the province.


High risk sex offender released

The BC Ministry of Justice has a warning for the general public in advance of the release of Jason Beaudry.

According to the ministry, Beaudry, 37, is a high risk violent sexual offender.

He is currently in Kamloops and plans to reside in the City of Cranbrook.

Beaudry has a lengthy and varied criminal history of offending in an opportunistic manner against males, females, strangers and acquaintances that include violent and sexual offences and weapon use.

He was earlier released in 2012 and arrested again in 2013 for assault and breach. He was again released in March of this year and stated at the time he planned to live in Creston.

Beaudry is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. He is Aboriginal with black hair and hazel eyes.

The ministry says Beaudry is subject to close monitoring and 13 court-ordered conditions, including:

  • You shall not possess, own or carry any weapons
  • You shall not attend at any establishment where the primary commodity for sale is alcohol
  • You shall abstain completely from possession, purchase or consumption of any alcohol or drugs
  • You shall not be outside your residence between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.


Missing sailor found

Update -- Nov. 24

Vancouver police say that missing boater Rui Yamamoto has been found safe and sound on the Gulf Islands.

Original story -- Nov. 23

A 31-year-old man is missing after leaving Vancouver on a sailboat and failing to return as expected.

Police say Rui Yamamoto was last seen on Nov. 9, when he left Vancouver on a solo sailing trip aboard an eight-metre Contessa boat named the Skibo.

He was believed to be heading to the Sunshine Coast community of Gibsons and to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.

He was expected to return after six days, but police say he has not been at work or had any contact with friends.

Police are asking mariners to be on the looking for the missing man and his sailboat.

The Canadian Press

Winter road report

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for parts of the Okanagan today, and for those traveling over the mountain passes.

Motorists can expect heavy snow on the Coquihalla Highway from Hope to Merritt, and also Highway 3 between Hope and Princeton via the Allison Pass.

A Pacific frontal system will bring the snow beginning this morning. It’s expected to ease to a few flurries late in the day as the system moves further south.

Up to 15 centimetres of snow can be expected by this evening and for Tuesday morning.

The Trans Canada Highway from Eagle Pass to Rogers Pass is also expecting heavy snow to fall over the next 24 hours.

Drive BC is reporting slippery sections and limited visibility due to fog between Enderby and Revelstoke. And compact snow and slushy sections mixed with black ice east of Revelstoke towards the Alberta border.

Girl, 11, arrested in Burnaby

Several protesters including an 11-year-old girl have been taken into custody at a work site related to a proposed pipeline expansion near Vancouver.

The RCMP have arrested dozens of people in the past week as officers enforce a court injunction ordering protesters to clear the way for Kinder Morgan workers.

The company has been conducting drilling and survey work related to its proposal to expand its Trans Mountain pipeline, which transports Alberta oil to a terminal in Burnaby.

The first arrests happened on Thursday morning, and there has now been about five dozen protesters arrested since then.

Some of the arrests have followed physical clashes with police, but many have involved protesters who deliberately crossed the police line after announcing their intention to be arrested.


The Canadian Press

BC police honoured for service

Police officers who braved armed suspects, flames and icy waters to save others, and whose remarkable work enhanced safety in their communities, were recognized tonight at Government House.

Each fall, government recognizes members of independent municipal police forces, the RCMP, and First Nations and transit police services who have acted in an exemplary manner, through Police Honours Night.

At B.C.'s 34th annual Police Honours Night, Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon and Attorney General and Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton presented awards to 87 outstanding officers, who include:

  • Eight officers who helped workers escape their maze-like, smoke- filled office after an armed ex-employee set a fire and created additional hazards by wrecking furniture and equipment.
  • An officer whose first-aid efforts likely saved the life of a man whose femur had been shattered by a rifle shot at close range.
  • Two officers who waded into an ice-cold, fast-moving river to save a suicidal, hypothermic woman.

In all, 19 officers received the award of valour, the highest award for a police officer in B.C.

These officers made a decision to place themselves at substantial risk to save others.

"The depth of commitment, clear-headedness and skill demonstrated by these officers - in perilous moments, and over longer periods of service - are examples to their colleagues and those who aspire to policing and other first responder roles," said Minister of Justice Suzanne Anton. "Officers like these directly contribute so much to the safety of our communities, and their accomplishments are worthy of recognition and celebration."

Sixty-eight police officers were awarded meritorious service honours. This recognizes exemplary performance that exceeds expectations and enhances the public image of police officers.

"As British Columbians, we are fortunate to have such outstanding members of our police agencies delivering exemplary service to our communities," said Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon. "I extend my thanks and congratulations to these men and women for their commitment to the safety and care of our citizens."

In all, about 9,000 members of these services deliver policing throughout B.C. Representatives from the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police and the ministry's Police Services Division comprise a committee that selects the award recipients.


  • Vancouver Police Department Sergeant Dennis Scally, Detective Constable Jennifer Daniel and
  • Constables Michelle Allen, Pablo Cian, Geoff Gaudette, Kyle Marynick, Courtney Srigley helped victims to escape a fire set by an armed man.
  • Constables Brian Chernoff and Graeme Wells - saved a combative, suicidal woman from hanging herself.
  • Detective Constable Craig Look - single-handedly dealt with an advancing, armed suspect.
  • Golden Detachment Constable Kevin Johnson - worked to save a passenger from a vehicle as it became fully engulfed in flames. 
  • Nanaimo Detachment Corporal Phyllis Nielsen and Constable Martin Kortas - rescued a suicidal woman from a fast-moving river.
  • Oceanside Detachment Constable Rochelle Carr (currently with RCMP Criminal Intelligence Section) - stopped two thieves who were using their vehicle as a weapon.
  • Surrey Detachment Constable David Francoeur (currently with "E" Division Headquarters) - rescued a neighbour in New Westminster from her burning home.
  • West Kelowna Detachment Constable Kent Hall and Reserve Constable Sean Lloyd - seized and saved a suicidal woman as she leapt from a bridge.
  • West Shore Detachment Reserve Constable Scott Rothermel - searched a burning home for occupants.


  • Delta Police Department/New Westminster Police Department Constables Joe Da Silva and Names Withheld (x2) (Delta Police Department), Roger Rempel (New Westminster Police Department) - restrained a drugged, agitated and suicidal male who claimed to have a gun.
  • New Westminster Police Department Corporal Sean Schultz and Constables Sean Hackman, Stu Hagen, Ryan Long, Fiona Reid and Justine Thom (currently with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team) - judiciously used less-lethal force options to save a man who was armed and suicidal.
  • South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Police Service Staff Sergeant C.J. Kyle - while recovering from a broken shoulder, helped to stop a man from jumping in front of a SkyTrain.
  • Vancouver Police Department Sergeant Hal Hamilton - undertook meticulous evidence-gathering and research critical to solving a brutal murder.
  • Sergeant Leah Terpsma, Detective Constables Glenn Burchart, James Hamade and Dan Murphy, Constable Rob Mitchelson and Names Withheld (x2) - identified and apprehended a serial child predator whose crimes spanned 14 years.
  • Constables Daniel Ames and Tyrone Sideroff - stopped a crazed, armed man threatening many people with a large knife.
  • Constables Peter Hooper and Mark Mann - stopped a rampaging man who had slashed seven people.
  • Constables Paul Kemp and Sam Primerano - stopped a mentally ill, suicidal man who was slashing himself.
  • West Vancouver Police Department Sergeant Timothy Kravjanski and Constables Kieran O'Reilly and Gregory Trenholm - saved a woman from potential death at the hands of her partner.
  • Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit Deputy Chief Constable Andrew Richards (currently with the Port Moody Police Department), Staff Sergeant Michael Coyle (currently with Langley Detachment), Sergeant William Whalen, Name Withheld, and Detectives Timothy Rayner and Andrew Wooding (currently with Abbotsford Police Department) - collaborated to take down the leader of B.C.'s most powerful gang and six gangsters convicted of conspiracy to commit murder.
  • Sergeant Ryan Element, Corporal Joel Hussey and Names Withheld (x2)- worked on a major operation over 10 months to stop a trafficker of illegal firearms.
  • Sergeants Brad Moller (currently with Delta Police Department) and William Whalen, Detective Christopher Atwell (currently with the Vancouver Police Department), and Constables Stephanie Taylor and Kevin Thomson - brought considerable expertise and dedicated long hours to a complex, multi-jurisdictional drug sting.
  • Burns Lake Detachment and Prince George Police Dog Service Corporal Christopher Ivany (currently with Salmon Arm Detachment) and Corporal Ryan Drohomereski (currently with "F" Division, Prince Albert Police Dog Service) - saved a suicidal, hypothermic man from near death.
  • Kamloops Detachment Staff Sergeant Benoit Rodrigue (currently with North Vancouver Detachment) - displayed superior crisis negotiation skills during an incident involving an armed hostage-taker.
  • Lake Country Detachment Corporal Tess Guay (currently with Kelowna Detachment) - delivered life-saving first aid to a shooting victim who had lost a considerable amount of blood.
  • Corporal Mike Loerke (currently with Penticton Detachment) and Constable Carl Stene - endured hypothermia to save a motorist from a vehicle submerged in a lake.
  • Merritt Detachment Corporal Kelly Bartch and Constable Tracy Dunsmore - in support of community relationships, voluntarily developed an accredited university course on the history and relationship of the RCMP and Aboriginal police perceptions.
  • North Cowichan/Duncan Detachment Constable William Craig Ligget - helped to talk an unfocused, suicidal man away from his knife.
  • Oceanside Detachment Corporal Stuart Foster (currently with Port Hardy Detachment) - helped to safely conclude an intoxicated man's shooting rampage.
  • Port Hardy and Port McNeill Detachments Constables Fletcher Chisholm (currently with Sooke Detachment), Cedric Gnyp and Ian McLeod (currently with Vernon/North Okanagan Detachment) - Port Hardy Detachment; and Andrew Bachmann (currently with Castlegar Detachment) and Christopher Voller (currently with Comox Valley Detachment) - Port McNeill Detachment - saved two people from a potentially deadly attack on a vessel at sea.
  • Salmon Arm Detachment Constable Micah Chan - quickly attended to a canoeist and her dog who were drowning in cold waters.
  • Southeast District Police Dog Service Corporal Phillip Sullivan - tracked and rescued a traveller lost in the wilderness and at risk of hypothermia.
  • Summerland Detachment Constable Jordan Luscombe (currently with Shawnigan Lake Detachment) - talked a suicidal teen away from a 91-metre-high (300-foot-high) drop.
  • Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment Corporals Lee Dyson and Layne Penner (currently with Surrey Detachment), and Constables Kevin Morris and Matt Wright - rescued a distraught woman from her vehicle, which was submerged in a water- filled ditch.
  • West Shore Detachment Corporal Bryson Hill and Constables Melissa Gorman and Harrison Teed (currently with RCMP Musical Ride) - worked tirelessly to save a young woman from a wrecked vehicle that was upside-down in a ditch.

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