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Fatal stabbing in Burnaby

Police are investigating a fatal stabbing at a Burnaby restaurant.

The Independent Homicide Investigation Team has set up a tent on Kingsway after the late-night altercation, and a stretch of the busy road is closed to traffic as officers comb the area.

Police were called to the 5100 block of Kingsway about 11:30 p.m. Monday, and a suspect was arrested across the street at a 7-Eleven store.

Three victims were located suffering from stab wounds, and one succumbed to the injuries.

IHIT believes the attack was not targeted, but that public safety is not a concern.

No information has been released about the victim.

– with files from CTV Vancouver



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Climate plan written in oil?

B.C.'s former Liberal government asked oil and gas corporations to "refine" the language of recommendations made by an advisory panel before it finalized its Climate Leadership Plan, documents show.

Meeting agendas and presentations obtained under freedom-of-information legislation by the left-leaning Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives provide insight into the extent of industry consultation on the plan that was released in August 2016.

The government-appointed Climate Leadership Team released its own recommendations in the fall of 2015 that included increasing the carbon tax rate and moving up the timeline to reduce emissions.

None of the recommendations put forward were fully adopted by the government.

The documents show that after the team released its proposals, the Ministry of Natural Gas arranged meetings with companies and industry groups at the Calgary office of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers in January and February 2016.

Three working groups made up of industry members and government officials were created to tackle three distinct issues: the carbon tax; methane and fugitive emissions; and electrification.

The documents say the methane and electrification working groups were instructed to "refine the language" of the related Climate Leadership Team recommendations, while the carbon tax working group was tasked with determining "the art of the possible (how much and how fast)."

While the government said at the time it would consult with industry, these meetings and working groups have only now been made public, and only after many freedom-of-information requests, said Shannon Daub, associate director of the CCPA's office in British Columbia.

"They should have been far more transparent about what they were doing," she said.

Clean Energy Canada executive director Merran Smith, who sat on the team, said she was surprised and disappointed to see how government consulted with the oil and gas industry.

"It's the government's responsibility to design good climate policy, good energy policy that has the best interests of British Columbians in mind," she said. "They abdicated that responsibility by basically asking one sector, the oil and gas sector, to rewrite the recommendations that were given to them by their own team of experts."

Brad Herald, vice-president of Western Canada operations at the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said the industry had no control over either the substance or language of the climate plan.



Balloon ban voted down

A proposed ban on balloons at any beach, park or community centre has been rejected by the Vancouver Park Board.

The ban was proposed as a way to stop balloons from entering the ocean and harming animals.

The motion, put forward by board commissioner Stuart Mackinnon, said sea and land animals frequently see deflated balloons as a source of food, especially sea turtles, birds and dolphins.

It also said strings or ribbons attached to balloons are just as harmful to animals.

Proponents of the ban said it takes years for the rubber to break down in the environment and these products also create choking hazards for children.

But critics, including several children’s entertainers, argued that community events would suffer and businesses would lose money if the ban was adopted. They said proper education is a better solution. 



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Lost hikers rescued

A father and son were rescued Monday in a remote area north of Indian Arm, near Coquitlam.

The hikers departed Thursday and were expected to return Sunday, but spent an extra night in the woods after becoming lost in cold, rainy conditions.

​The men were hiking from Jones Creek to Norton Lake when they got disoriented.

They pitched their tent and used a satellite phone to call for help.

Coquitlam Search and Rescue members went in by land, water and helicopter, and spotted the missing men on a logging road Monday afternoon.

By then, they were already hiking out.

“They were very cold but in good spirits it seems,” SAR spokesman Mike Coyle told CTV.

– with files from CTV Vancouver



Skiff of snow on wildfires

An area that has been a focus for BC Wildfire Service recently has received some relief with snowfall, but not enough.

The Southeast Fire Centre has seen an extreme drought this summer and wildfires continue to burn.

“Any precipitation is always welcome on the wildfire front, however we need significant amounts of precipitation to impact the forest fuels after the prolonged drought we have experienced this summer," said fire information officer Karlie Shaughnessy.

There has been a couple skiffs of snow along some fires near the Rockies and the showers felt in that area have been quite spotty.

“We do have a lot of fires near the Rockies, not necessarily burning on the peaks but the majority of fires in that area are definitely showing a decrease in fire behaviour as a result of cooler temperatures and in some cases precipitation,” she said.

There isn't a magic number, but a large amount of precipitation would be needed to have an impact on the wildfires.

“All of our fires are still active and burning and definite going to be burning into the winter,” said Shaughnessy.

She added that the wildfires are definitely seeing fall weather patterns and a decrease in temperatures which is definitely a sign that the fire season could potentially be over, but it is hard to say.



Fire ban lifted for some

A ban on campfires has  been lifted in the Coastal Fire Region of the province.

The BC Wildfire Service made that announcement Monday.

Along with campfires, the  use of tiki torches (and similar kinds of torches), outdoor stoves, gas stoves and other portable campfire equipment is also now permitted.

However, fireworks, sky lanterns, binary exploding targets and burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description are still prohibited.

The current prohibition on Category 2 and Category 3 open fires also remains in place throughout the Coast Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, except for the Fog Zone on Vancouver Island.

People are reminded that local governments may have their own burning bylaws in place and campfires may still be prohibited within those areas. You should always check with local authorities before lighting any fire of any size.

Some parts of southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands have received very little rainfall in recent weeks. Campers and other outdoor recreationalists are reminded to take the following precautions when lighting a campfire:

  • Select the campfire site carefully and remove all leaves, twigs and other flammable material from the area.
  • Create a fire break by scraping away debris right down to the dirt all around the fire.
  • Use a fire pit or put a ring of rocks around the campfire site that is at least three metres away from trees, shrubs, structures and other flammable materials.
  • Campfires must not be bigger than a half-metre wide and a half-metre high.
  • Never leave a campfire unattended.
  • Keep at least eight litres of water or a shovel close by at all times to extinguish your campfire properly.
  • Make sure that your campfire is completely extinguished before going to sleep. Ensure that the fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

A fine of $1,150 can be imposed for people in contravention of an open burning ban.



Standoff ends peacefully

A seven-hour standoff in the Queensborough area of New Westminster ended peacefully Monday.

New Westminster Police were called to the area about 5 a.m.for a male uttering threats.

The man had barricaded himself inside the home and refused to come out.

Police say they believed the man was armed with a weapon, and a lengthy standoff ensued.

“Patrol officers at the initial stage made numerous attempts to communicate with this individual,” said media relations officer, Sgt.Jeff Scott,

“From phone calls to loud speakers, we tried different ways to reach out to ensure his safety.”

Early in the afternoon, the man exited the home peacefully and was arrested without incident.

The unidentified man is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday on unspecified charges.



Brazen baseball bat beating

A brazen attack involving a baseball bat beating has police asking for anyone with information to come forward.

Four youths were walking home on 20th Street in New Westminster Friday, about 8 p.m., when their soccer ball crossed paths with a passing vehicle.

The vehicle came to a stop and a man allegedly got out of the passenger side and chased the four youths with a metal baseball bat.

One of the youths was struck with the bat and needed to be hospitalized.

“This is a gross overreaction on the part of the motorist,” said New West PD Sgt. Jeff Scott. “We want to hear from anyone who may have witnessed this incident.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the department at 604-525-5411.



NDP bans big money

B.C. political parties will receive an annual allowance over the next five years in an effort to help wean them off unlimited corporate, union and individual donations.

Attorney General David Eby introduced amended Election Act legislation today that will ban big money from politics, saying the May election will be the last campaign under finance rules that earned B.C. a Wild West nickname.

The NDP government would not reveal how much cash the parties will get from government until after a media briefing later this afternoon.

Eby says the legislation will limit individual donations to $1,200 a year, the second lowest figure in Canada.

He says the amended legislation bans out-of-province donations and caps contributions to third-party advertisers.

Elections BC, the agency that monitors provincial elections, reported the B.C. Liberal Party raised $13.1 million in 2016, while the NDP took in $6.2 million and the Greens raised $757,268.



Offensive reading removed

A package of education materials used in B.C. secondary schools has been removed for review after a First Nations woman learned her 14-year-old daughter had been asked to define the word "squaw," an offensive term for a First Nations woman.

A woman took to social media to express her outrage over the weekend about exercises of "violent colonialism" that her daughter was being asked to complete at Templeton Secondary School in Vancouver.

The material centres around the book "Susanna Moodie: Roughing it in the Bush," which was originally published in 1852 and has language that a teaching guide developed in 2016 describes as racist and discriminatory.

The word squaw shows up in the original publication 39 times, and an exercise asks students to match the term with its "appropriate language" definition, which in this case is "an Aboriginal woman."

Second Story Press, which publishes the teaching material, says it has removed the material for review and sincerely regrets any pain it has caused.

A single-sentence statement from the Vancouver School Board, where the book is used, says the board is looking into the context in which these materials were used in the classroom.



Who will lead BC Liberals?

The interim leader of the B.C. Liberal Party says while no one has officially declared they will seek the party's top job, several high profile candidates appear interested.

Rich Coleman says Mike Bernier, Todd Stone, Mike de Jong and Andrew Wilkinson, all former cabinet ministers in B.C.'s previous Liberal government, have been considering their chances.

Coleman also says Conservative member of Parliament Dianne Watts, two-term Liberal MLA Sam Sullivan and newly elected Vancouver-Langara Liberal Michael Lee are all mulling leadership bids.

He says all seven potential candidates have been approaching the caucus and the business community as they gauge support for a bid and begin to raise money.

Leadership of the B.C. Liberal Party became vacant in August when former premier Christy Clark stepped down as leader and the member for Kelowna-West.

Her government had earlier lost a confidence vote in the legislature following the May provincial election that saw the New Democrats and Greens agree to work together to hold a single-seat edge over the Liberals.

Coleman says he's confident a number of candidates will come forward to replace Clark.

"I think they will all come into the race at some point. The question is when and what their timing will be, and that will be up to themselves," Coleman says.

The deadline for candidates to enter the leadership race is Dec. 29.

Three days of online and phone voting by party members is slated to begin at the start of next February and a leader will be announced on Feb. 3 at a convention in Vancouver. 



Hiker dies in crevasse

RCMP in Whistler say efforts will continue Monday to recover the body of a man who died while on a day hike near the resort municipality.

A news release from the Whistler detachment says the 27-year-old victim who was visiting Canada was reported overdue on Saturday.

Searchers found his body Sunday and Staff Sgt. Paul Hayes says attempts to contact his family are underway.

Rescuers say it appears the man fell into a crevasse while hiking near Iceberg Lake, along a rugged trail in the high alpine near Rainbow Mountain, northwest of Whistler.

Efforts to recover the man's body Sunday were hampered by poor conditions and low cloud.

Hayes says crews were hoping for a break in the weather Monday and intended to try again if conditions improved.



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