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What's making news in British Columbia

September 13, 2017 - 1:24 PM

VANCOUVER - CENSUS DATA SHOWS B.C.'S MEDIAN INCOME UP SINCE 2005, BUT PROVINCE FALLS TO SEVENTH OVERALL

The latest figures from the 2016 census show the median household income in British Columbia was up 12.2 per cent over the previous decade.

Statistics Canada says median income was $69,995 in 2015, seventh among the provinces and territories and down from sixth in 2005.

It says fewer manufacturing and agricultural jobs coincided with employment increases in utilities, health care and social assistance, and forestry and construction sectors.

That's reflected in varying median income gains across the province, ranging from 31.6 per cent in Dawson Creek, more than 20 per cent in Prince Rupert, Terrace, Fort St. John and Cranbrook to 11.2 per cent in Vancouver and two per cent or less in Powell River, Port Alberni and Quesnel.

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PRIVACY AUDIT GIVES POSITIVE NOD TO INSURANCE CORPORATION OF B.C.

British Columbia's privacy commissioner says there is still room for improvement but an audit has found the Insurance Corporation of B.C. is, for the most part, fulfilling its duty to protect the personal information of drivers.

Acting commissioner Drew McArthur says he's pleased by the finding of the audit examining the information-sharing practices of B.C.'s public auto insurer.

But he still makes 12 recommendations, including better tracking and review of third-party access to information.

The findings are a bit of good news for the beleaguered Crown insurer, which is raising the basic auto insurance rate by 6.4 cent later this year amid serious financial issues the New Democratic Party government says were caused the previous Liberal government.

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PORT MOODY POLICE BUST IDENTITY THEFT RING IN SURREY

Police in Port Moody, B.C., say they've busted an identity theft ring that was using stolen identification, including driver's licenses, care cards, social insurance numbers and passports from numerous victims.

Sgt. Brad Sheridan says officers uncovered the Surrey-based ring as they investigated the theft of a purse from a car parked at a Port Moody beach and subsequent efforts to use the victim's credit cards, and open bank accounts or cellphone accounts in her name.

Sheridan says video surveillance led them to a woman with multiple outstanding warrants who was arrested in Surrey driving a car with stolen licence plates, and although charges have not yet been laid, her arrest led them to a prolific identity theft operation at another Surrey home.

Police found several people using the identity of the first victim, and say many other victims could be identified through the computer and 20 flash drives that have not yet been searched after being seized from the house.

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MORE THAN HALF OF TRUCKS FAIL RECENT SAFETY INSPECTIONS IN VANCOUVER

Vancouver Police say they pulled 40 commercial vehicles off the roads during a recent road-safety blitz.

The department says that's more than half of the trucks that were checked.

Drivers of the remaining 35 rigs were ticketed for at least one infraction with the total value of fines amounting to nearly $12,000.

The release says most commercial vehicles are well maintained but further inspections will be carried out around the city this week focusing on trucks that are in an obvious state of disrepair.

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BALLOON BAN UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR VANCOUVER PARKS, COMMUNITY CENTRES

A Vancouver Park Board commissioner has tabled a motion to take the air out of balloons in parks, community centres and other areas in its jurisdiction.

Stuart Mackinnon says balloons should be banned because they're non-renewable, clog landfills and pose a risk to birds, sea turtles, dolphins and other wildlife that may eat the deflated remains or become tangled in the strings.

Mackinnon's motion also says young children are at risk, noting a study from the United States found balloons cause more childhood deaths than any other toy.

The commissioner hopes the board will vote on his motion Monday night.

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METEORITE SLEUTHS TRACK FRAGMENTS TO SOUTHEASTERN B.C.

Researchers at the University of Calgary are asking for help from the public to locate parts of a meteorite that lit up the sky before crashing to earth in southeast B.C. on Labour Day.

University researchers have travelled to the Kootenay area to interview eyewitnesses and locate video taken by security cameras, but they're looking for more help to pinpoint where fragments of the meteorite may have landed.

They say the largest rocks may have fallen into Kootenay Lake but they estimate other meteorites fell on the east side of the lake in an area stretching from the Village of Riondel to Garland Bay.

They're asking anyone running security or wildlife cameras in the area to pass on any video that may have captured the light and shadows cast when the meteorite entered the atmosphere as a brilliant fireball.

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The Canadian Press, Vancouver

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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