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September 07, 2017 - 3:56 PM

VANCOUVER - B.C. LEGISLATURE TO RESUMES WITH THRONE SPEECH FRIDAY

The governing deal between the New Democrats and Green Party will face its first test when the British Columbia legislature resumes with a speech from the Throne Friday.

It will be the first session of the legislature since the two parties combined to topple the minority Liberals after 16 years in power.

The first order of business will be the election of a speaker, which has been made easier after the resignation of former premier Christy Clark gave the NDP and Green party two seats more than the Liberals.

Lieutenant-Governor Judith Guichon will deliver the throne speech in the afternoon, setting out the plans and priorities of the fledgling New Democratic Party government.

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EXPONENTIAL LEAP IN OPIOID-RELATED DEATHS IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

The BC Coroners Service said the deadly opioid fentanyl has been detected in more than four of every five overdose deaths in British Columbia in the first seven months of this year.

The coroner's office said that's an increase of 143 per cent from the same period last year.

A total of 876 people died in B.C. between January and July, up from 483 fatalities in the first seven months of 2016.

The overdose-reversal drug naloxone has been widely distributed across the province but chief coroner Lisa Lapointe said most of the fatalities have been among those who use drugs alone and are unable to get help.

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NO PLANS FOR DRUG LEGALIZATION DESPITE OVERDOSE CRISIS: PM

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he's aware of B.C.'s struggles dealing with the rising tide of opioid deaths, but there are no plans to legalize illicit substances like heroin as part of the response.

He said it makes more sense to support front-line emergency responders and make sure people have the necessary tools to respond to the crisis.

Trudeau made the comments in Kelowna on Thursday, where he was attending a two-day Liberal caucus retreat.

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PROTESTERS BUILD TINY HOMES IN PIPELINE PATH

First Nations activists in B.C. have come up with a new plan for protesting the $7.4 billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion — tiny houses.

They said their goal is to stop the pipeline and the houses are symbols of sustainability in the face of what they see as an environmentally damaging project.

The idea of building the tiny houses is based on tactics used at a protest in North Dakota by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

The protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline drew international attention and was credited with achieving a temporary halt to construction.

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POLICE INVESTIGATE SUSPICIOUS DEATH OF MAN FOUND DEAD IN BURNED HOME

The death of a man in a Thursday morning fire in Surrey is suspicious and homicide detectives have now taken over the case, Surrey RCMP said.

The cause of the fire in Surrey's Bridgeview neighbourhood, is also considered suspicious, police said in the news release.

The investigation is in the early stages but RCMP doubt the fire was a random incident and said those involved are known to each other.

Two people escaped from the home but Surrey RCMP have not said how the two might be linked to the death or the fire, and there's no information on whether any suspects have been identified.

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B.C. ECONOMY FORECASTED TO REMAIN HEALTHY THROUGH 2020: CREDIT UNION

British Columbia's economy has "fired on nearly all cylinders" this year, a financial institution says.

The Central 1 Credit Union is forecasting growth for 2017 at 3.5 per cent and said the province's economic situation will remain healthy through 2020.

Deputy chief economist Bryan Yu said the forestry sector continues to face potential headwinds due to the softwood lumber trade dispute and this summer’s record wildfire season.

He also said tourism, the film industry, technology and business investments will remain steady due to "favourable currency."

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TOXIC ALGAE BLOOM INVESTIGATED NEAR KAMLOOPS, B.C.

A Kamloops woman is calling for warning signs to be put up at a popular lake after she says her dog nearly died after drinking water from Tunkwa Lake.

Anita Ashton said she and her family rushed their dog Rufuss to a vet after he suddenly collapsed last weekend and the vet determined he had likely consumed something that contained blue green algae.

The bacteria can make people ill but can be lethal to dogs, other animals such as cattle and even wildlife.

BC Parks posted a notice online Wednesday warning it was testing for a possible outbreak of the algae but Ashton said she's heard of at least one other dog that became very ill and the B.C. Cattlemen's Association confirmed three cattle died this summer after drinking from the lake.

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B.C. LAWYER SUSPENDED OVER QUESTIONABLE TRANSACTIONS

A lawyer from West Vancouver, B.C., has been suspended and fined over his involvement in a number of questionable transactions, said the Law Society of B.C.

The society found Donald Franklin Gurney committed professional misconduct between May and November of 2013 by using his trust account to receive and disburse a total of nearly $26 million for a corporate client without making reasonable inquiries about the circumstances.

Gurney’s lawyer said he did nothing wrong, but the society said there was no way to tell if the money was being laundered because the funds were being held in his trust account.

The society has ordered Gurney be suspended for six months starting in November and must surrender the $25,845 he was paid for the use of his trust account so he doesn't benefit financially from his misconduct.

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(The Canadian Press)

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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