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Music to Buble's ears

Feb 11, 2016 / 12:34 pm
British Columbia crooner Michael Buble has helped announce a new fund supported by a $15-million government grant to protect and promote the province's music industry. Buble thanked Premier Christy Clark for helping create the B.C. Music Fund and says it will help musicians start their...

Syphilis hits 30-year high

Feb 11, 2016 / 12:22 pm
The rate of syphilis in gay men has reached its highest level in 30 years in British Columbia, and Vancouver Coastal Health is urging regular testing. Medical health officer Dr. Reka Gustafson says there were nearly 500 cases of infectious syphilis reported to the health authority last...

ICBC fraudsters snared

Feb 11, 2016 / 12:21 pm
Motorists hoping to chisel a few extra dollars out of an auto claim are being warned that the Insurance Corporation of B.C. has its cyber eye on them. A release from ICBC notes it is fighting fraud by taking many of its investigations online. A release from the Crown corporation says 2,350...

MSP owed $462M

Feb 11, 2016 / 10:04 am
B.C.'s Medical Services Plan system is broken and needs to be fixed. That's the opinion of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, after learning more than 850,000 MSP bills are at least 31 days past due. That amounts to more than $460 million in outstanding payments to the MSP system in...

One dead in fire

Feb 11, 2016 / 10:01 am
Foul play is not suspected after a body was discovered in a pool house destroyed by fire in Langley Wednesday night. Fire investigators have concluded the fire, which broke out about 9 p.m., was not suspicious. By the time Langley fire crews arrived at the home, in a rural portion of the...

Marijuana meet-up

Feb 11, 2016 / 9:32 am
A group that hopes to bring B.C.’s marijuana industry into the mainstream is holding a gathering in Cranbrook March 3 for anyone interested in the pot industry. Women Grow is an organization started in Colorado in 2014, that looks to bring people in the industry together to “connect,...

BC firm wins Oscar

Feb 11, 2016 / 6:26 am
As Godzilla rises from the ocean depths and attacks the Golden Gate Bridge, movie audiences suspend disbelief at the captivating on-screen spectacle. But strip out the immense monster that's clawing apart cables and what's left is a corps of actors in military fatigues and one...
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Divided over wolf cull

Feb 11, 2016 / 5:00 am
A Castanet reader poll on B.C.'s controversial wolf cull has drawn more than 10,500 votes – and sharply divided opinions on the matter. The cull involves shooting the animals from helicopters to save endangered caribou herds. It's currently on again in the Kootenays. The cull...

Who's drinking what where

Feb 11, 2016 / 5:00 am
Drinkers in the Okanagan embrace the region's wine country reputation, sales data from the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch shows. While Budweiser is by far the go-to beverage in the province, wine reigned supreme in the Central Okanagan Regional District and Okanagan-Similkameen Regional...

Cherries jubilee

Feb 11, 2016 / 5:00 am
It was a record-breaking year for B.C.'s cherry industry. According to figures released by the province Wednesday, cherry exports in 2015 increased to 13,600 metric tonnes. That's an increase of more than 50 per cent over the previous year. That translated into more than $91 million...

Text message confession

Feb 10, 2016 / 8:16 pm
Victoria police say a cellphone text message held the confession of a driver who rear ended a police car. Const. Matt Rutherford says the collision occurred Saturday night at a busy intersection northeast of the city's downtown. He says police recovered the phone of the suspect driver,...

LNG project deemed threat

Feb 10, 2016 / 4:40 pm
Canada's environmental approval body has concluded that greenhouse gas emissions from a proposed liquefied natural gas facility on British Columbia's North Coast pose a significant ecological threat. The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has released its draft environmental...

Capital to regulate pot shops

Feb 10, 2016 / 4:37 pm
The City of Victoria has laid out some ground rules as it moves to regulate medical-marijuana businesses, and included is a licensing fee that is a fraction of the Vancouver charge. The city is asking for public input on more than a dozen proposed regulations, including a fee ranging from $4,000...

Dirtbike victim ID'd

Feb 10, 2016 / 3:38 pm
The B.C. Coroners Service has confirmed the identity of a man who died after a motor vehicle incident in Chase on Feb. 6. Austin Logan Schmidt, 19, of Chase was the operator of a dirtbike that was involved in a head-on collision with a semi-trailer unit on Highway 1 in Chase at 9:30...

Shooting not random attack

Feb 10, 2016 / 3:27 pm
RCMP investigators are still investigating a shooting in Celista that sent three men to hospital on Sunday. Investigators confirmed Wednesday the people involved in the shooting knew each other before the incident. “We can state that the violence seen was not a random act directed at...

No insult meant, Alberta

Feb 10, 2016 / 3:05 pm
British Columbia cabinet ministers say comments in a throne speech about Alberta's economic state were not insults but cold, hard facts about governments who don't control spending or diversify their resources. Housing Minister Rich Coleman suggested many of B.C.'s homeless are from...

Inside 'shadow flipping'

Feb 10, 2016 / 3:01 pm
British Columbia's housing industry has been jolted by allegations that real estate agent are taking part in so-called shadow flipping. The controversial practice involves brokers reselling a property multiple times before a deal closes and profiting from each transfer using the assignment...

Human remains in shoe

Feb 10, 2016 / 1:29 pm
UPDATE: FEB. 10 The BC Coroners Service is now saying that the foot that washed up this past weekend is from someone who died within the last few years. The foot washed up on Botanical Beach on Feb. 7. The foot, which was encased in a sock and a running shoe, was found by a hiker walking...

Carr promises collaboration

Feb 10, 2016 / 12:58 pm
Canada's natural resources minister says the Liberal government wants to collaborate with indigenous communities to develop natural resources based on a low-carbon, sustainable energy economy. Jim Carr told an energy forum organized by the Assembly of First Nations today that Aboriginal...

New CEO for TransLink

Feb 10, 2016 / 12:55 pm
Metro Vancouver's transit authority has hired a new CEO who currently heads the public transportation system in Seattle. Kevin Desmond starts his job with TransLink on March 21, replacing an interim CEO who stepped in after a management shakeup following a failed referendum for extra...

Risk of seasonal flooding

Feb 10, 2016 / 12:30 pm
A wet January combined with an above-normal snowpack means the Okanagan could face seasonal flooding this spring. The River Forecast Centre snow survey indicates the Okanagan snowpack is at 122 per cent of normal for February. Except for the Okanagan and Boundary areas, the rest of the province...

Hazing ends team's season

Feb 10, 2016 / 10:53 am
Bullying has ended the season for a high school boys' basketball team on Vancouver Island. Supt. Piet Langstraat of the Greater Victoria School District says an indecent photo shows one member of the Oak Bay Secondary junior boys' basketball team posing with another player. The...

Resort sets record pace

Feb 10, 2016 / 6:42 am
Whistler Blackcomb resort is having a strong ski season and is on track to have a record number of visits, according to its parent company's latest financial report. Whistler Blackcomb Holdings Inc. says it has been getting more visits from skiers within the region and beyond, as well as...

Pride flag burned at UBC

Feb 9, 2016 / 8:30 pm
The University of British Columbia is speaking out after a rainbow Pride flag raised for the school's annual OUTWeek was found burned on the flagpole. In a statement released Tuesday, the university condemned the incident as an act of hate that violated the school's deeply held values of...

Legislature back to work

Feb 9, 2016 / 3:17 pm
British Columbia's Liberal government is promising better opportunities for buyers to get into the housing market, but warns there is no single solution to soaring prices in some communities. In a throne speech read Tuesday in the legislature by Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon, the government said...

Top civil servant to retire

Feb 9, 2016 / 3:08 pm
British Columbia's top civil servant is headed for retirement. Deputy Minister to the Premier John Dyble will step down as of March 24. Dyble spent five years at the helm of B.C.'s civil service following his appointment by Premier Christy Clark in 2011. His time with the province...

Woman survives avalanche

Feb 9, 2016 / 2:26 pm
The skills and formal training of a group of skiers may have been the reason one woman is still alive, after she was buried in an avalanche. RCMP received a report on Feb. 7, at about 3:40 p.m., that a large avalanche had occurred near the Wendy Thompson Hut in the back country north of...

Eby slams real estate probe

Feb 9, 2016 / 11:21 am
The housing critic for British Columbia's Opposition New Democrats is questioning plans for an investigation into allegations of unethical and fraudulent practices by some real estate agents in Metro Vancouver. David Eby says the Real Estate Council of B.C. should not lead the probe into a...

Puppy mill crying shame

Feb 9, 2016 / 10:49 am
The SPCA has seized 66 sick, injured and malnourished dogs from an alleged puppy mill in Langley. The society says the seizure last Thursday is one of the largest in B.C. history. Thirty-two adult dogs and 34 puppies are now being treated for everything from broken limbs and missing eyes or...

Inquest into police shooting

Feb 9, 2016 / 6:42 am
An inquest is being held this week in Burnaby, examining a police-involved shooting of a man outside a Metro Vancouver casino more than three years ago. Forty-eight-year-old Mehrdad Bayrami died in November of 2012, 10 days after he was shot by Delta Police Const. Jordan MacWilliams. It...

When art, science collide

Feb 9, 2016 / 6:25 am
Art is colliding with science inside Canada's home for particle and nuclear physics. The artist-in-residence program at TRIUMF in Vancouver is bridging the divide between the two disciplines, allowing artists to interpret science, while bringing those scientific ideas to the public in a more...

Insider trading and fraud

Feb 8, 2016 / 5:15 pm
The independent office charged with overseeing the British Columbia real estate market will investigate allegations of fraud and insider trading by some Metro Vancouver real estate agents, the provincial government said Monday. Superintendent of Real Estate Carolyn Rogers will work with an...

Woman violently attacked

Feb 8, 2016 / 3:51 pm
A woman is recovering in hospital after she was violently attacked in Surrey, Sunday evening. According to Surrey RCMP, one man is in custody following the assault of the woman with a weapon inside a home. On Feb. 7 at 7:40 p.m., RCMP received a call from a witness who heard a commotion at an...

Canada depends on B.C.

Feb 8, 2016 / 1:44 pm
Premier Christy Clark says her government is returning to the legislature determined to stick to its big-picture goals of pursuing a liquefied natural gas industry and completing the $9-billion Site C hydroelectric dam. The British Columbia Liberal government will lay out its plans in...

Three men shot in Shuswap

Feb 8, 2016 / 12:47 pm
Three men suffering gunshot wounds were rushed to hospital Sunday. According to RCMP, the Southeast District General Investigation Section and Chase RCMP are investigating the shooting incident, which occurred in Celista Sunday evening. “At about 6:55 pm the Chase RCMP responded to...

Dog saved from house fire

Feb 8, 2016 / 9:06 am
A Vancouver family's pet dog is expected to survive after being rescued from a burning home. Crews were called to a house in East Vancouver around midnight Sunday when the homeowners returned to find smoke coming out of a second floor window. Firefighters found a dog inside the building...

2 stabbed in Surrey

Feb 8, 2016 / 7:50 am
Two people were taken to hospital overnight after a stabbing incident in Surrey. About 10:15 p.m., Surrey RCMP responded to the 11300 block of Surrey Road. A 62-year-old man and 30-year-old woman were found suffering from apparent stab wounds. They were both taken to hospital in stable...

Man a dangerous offender

Feb 7, 2016 / 7:03 pm
A predator with a history of sexual assaults against young girls has been labelled a dangerous offender, meaning Ibata Hexamer, 48, will be kept in prison indefinitely. Hexamer's record of assaults dates back to 1995 when he attacked teenage girls in Metro Vancouver. Hexamer was arrested...

Protest in swanky 'hood

Feb 7, 2016 / 6:45 pm
Protesters gathered in one of Vancouver’s swankiest neighbourhoods to decry of the actions of one of their own. The owners of a 7,300 square-foot, $7-million, newly renovated mansion want to tear it down – a decision that dozens protested Sunday afternoon. “It’s greed,...

Arrest in strange hit and run

Feb 7, 2016 / 6:19 pm
RCMP in Pemberton have made an arrest in a bizarre hit-and-run that happened on the weekend. “Whistler Pemberton RCMP have located the vehicle and parties involved in the hit and run incident. A 35-year-old Port Douglas male has been arrested in relation to this incident,” police...
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