August 26, 2014

Women in Energy to host workshops on opportunity, barriers


Energetic City: “The British Columbia Women in Energy Network will be having workshops in Dawson Creek and Fort St. John. The workshops, ‘Women in Energy – Opportunities and Barriers in the North’ will be held on October 16 and October 17 respectively.”

“BCWEN is a non-profit organization and they have received funding from the federal government for a three year project that will look at how to increase the number of women employed in the Northern B.C. energy sector. According to BCWEN women make up 49 per cent of Canada’s workforce however, when it comes to the energy sector less than 25 per cent make up the work force, and that number dips lower when it comes to Northern B.C.”
August 25, 2014

BC agrees to share Jamie Creek Hydro revenue with three First Nations

JaimeCreek 01

BC Newsroom: “A new agreement with the B.C. government will allow three First Nations to share provincial revenue from the Jamie Creek Hydroelectric Project: the Bridge River Indian Band, the N’Quatqua First Nation and the T’it’q’et Nation.”

“The revenue-sharing agreement is through B.C.’s First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund, which promotes increased First Nations’ participation in the clean energy sector. Developed by Borolex Inc., the Jamie Creek Hydro Project is 18 kilometres west of Gold Bridge near Downton Lake. It is a run-of-river generating facility with an estimated capacity of 22.2 megawatts.”

August 22, 2014

Surrey RCMP to cut gang and homicide posts amid $4.2 million budget shortfall


Surrey Now: “There has been a flurry of reaction following news Wednesday that the B.C. RCMP is facing $4.2 million in provincial funding cuts for the coming year. In an emailed statement Wednesday, Deputy Commissioner Craig Callens said the B.C. force has already cut down on travel, administrative and training costs in recent years, and the only area in which to find savings is policing services.”

“Callens said he’s being forced to cut $2.8 million from the budget for the anti-gang Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU), eliminating 12 positions. The Major Crimes program, which handles murders and missing persons cases, will see $1.4 million in cuts including the reduction of 13 full-time investigators.”

August 22, 2014

Education minister, BCTF president trade barbs despite media blackout

Peter Fassbender 02

The Globe and Mail: “With students and parents preparing for an extension of the ongoing teacher strike into the new school year, a public spat erupted Thursday after the province’s Education Minister said negotiations are impossible because the leaders of the B.C. Teachers’ Federation are at a conference in Kamloops. Despite a media blackout instituted by mediator Vince Ready last week, Peter Fassbender pinned blame on the striking teachers in an early morning interview.”

Times Colonist: “It is unhelpful that the minister is again playing politics in the media instead of allowing bargaining to resume behind closed doors,” union president Jim Iker said Thursday in a statement. “It shows a lack of integrity and highlights the government’s ongoing attempts to derail meaningful negotiations.”

August 21, 2014

Port Metro Vancouver approves plan to transfer 4,000,000 tonnes of U.S. coal

Fraser Surrey Docks 03

Surrey Leader: “Fraser Surrey Docks will soon be shipping coal overseas. Port Metro Vancouver announced this morning it has approved a proposed coal transfer facility at Fraser Surrey Docks. It would take at least four million tonnes per year of U.S. coal by train through White Rock and Surrey and send it by barge down the Fraser River to Texada Island for reloading to ocean-going ships.”

“The decision to permit the proposed coal transfer facility at Fraser Surrey Docks was not one we took lightly,” said Peter Xotta, Vice President, Planning and Operations at Port Metro Vancouver. “Through our comprehensive project review process, stakeholder consultation, as well as third-party validated environmental and health studies, it was determined there are no unacceptable risks and the project could be permitted.”

August 21, 2014

Ministry believes Mount Polley tailings cleanup could cost between $50-$500 million

Mount Polley 01

Vancouver Observer: “Analysts say cleanup costs for Imperial Metals’ Mount Polley tailings disaster could cost anywhere from $50 million to $500 million, but the security bonds available today to help cover that are now a fraction of that.”

“Documents from the Ministry of Energy and Mines on July 25, 2013 suggest that Mount Polley Mining Corporation (owned by Imperial Metals) was expected to pay security bonds of $38 million by 2023, and that it had deposited $14.5 million as of March 2014.”

August 21, 2014

NDP MLA faces defamation lawsuit from deputy jobs minister

Rob Fleming 02

CBC: “The province’s deputy minister for jobs, tourism and skills training is suing an NDP member of the Legislature for allegedly claiming the civil servant got her job because she was a bridesmaid for Premier Christy Clark.”

“Athana Mentzelopolous claims Rob Fleming damaged her reputation when the MLA for Swan Lake, Victoria, published comments in an email to NDP supporters and on an NDP webpage that suggested she obtained her position because she was a bridesmaid at Clark’s wedding in 1996 and doesn’t deserve her $247,000-per-year salary.”

August 21, 2014

Poll: Vancouverites unhappy with progress on homelessness and poverty

Vancouver City Hall 01

An Insights West poll has found voters have mixed reviews for the City of Vancouver and its municipal government.

Vancouver scored highest (“very good” or “good”) when it comes to promoting tourism to Vancouver (79%), protecting the environment (70%) and crime (62%). However, only 47% of Vancouverites believe the city is on the right track when it comes to managing development and growth (47%), handling the city’s finances (39%) and dealing with transportation (37%).

Only a third of residents believe the city is doing a “very good” or “good” job engaging with people like them (33%), and fewer are content with the way it is dealing with homelessness and poverty (31%) and making City Hall work in a transparent and unbiased fashion (25%).