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What's making news in British Columbia

November 30, 2017 - 4:21 PM

VANCOUVER - KELLY ELLARD GRANTED CONDITIONAL DAY PAROLE

A B.C. woman who was involved in a shocking teen murder 20 years ago has been granted conditional approval for day parole.

Kelly Ellard was 15 when she killed 14-year-old Reena Virk near a Victoria-area bridge, and was eventually handed a life sentence for second-degree murder.

Now 35, she has been granted day parole for six months but must first complete a residential treatment program for substance abuse, among other conditions.

Ellard became pregnant last year and the baby lives with her in prison.

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COMPANY PRESIDENT SAYS PIPELINE EXPANSION DEBATE DONE

Kinder Morgan president Ian Anderson says the company's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion has undergone a rigorous environmental review and debate about it should be over.

Speaking to a business gathering in Vancouver, Anderson says it's time to get on with construction of the $7.4-billion expansion, which will nearly triple the pipeline's capacity between the Edmonton-area and Burnaby.

Critics say the project greatly increases the chance of a land or marine oil spill and they have vowed to continue their protests.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley also attended the event as part of her cross-country tour supporting pipeline construction and the energy industry.

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HORGAN SAYS AFFORDABLE HOUSING KEY IN NEXT BUDGET

Premier John Horgan says February's budget will make affordable housing a top priority.

Horgan says the latest figures from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., show rental vacancy rates are close to zero across the province.

He says the lack of rental units and family homes hurts the economy because people will not move to a new city for a job if they can't find a place to live.

His government has promised to build 114,000 new rental, non-profit and co-op housing units over the next 10 years.

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OPPAL APPOINTED TO ORDER OF B.C.

Retired Supreme Court and Court of Appeal judge Wally Oppal is among 16 people who are being appointed to the Order of British Columbia.

The province says Oppal has dedicated his life to public service as an elected official and in the legal profession, focusing his efforts on improving the lives of society's most vulnerable people.

Others being honoured include legendary Vancouver blues singer, actor and philanthropist Jim Byrnes, human rights advocate Jennifer Wade and Paralympian Gary Birch.

Lawyer Joseph Arvay of Victoria is also on the list, credited with advancing civil liberties and defending many life-saving cases before the Supreme Court of Canada.

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STUDY SAYS 90 PER CENT OF HIV PATIENTS IN B.C. TO BE DIAGNOSED BY 2020

A new study suggests B.C. is on track to meet the United Nations' 90-90-90 target designed to accelerate efforts to end the AIDS epidemic.

The study conducted by the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS says 90 per cent of people living with HIV in the province will be diagnosed by the year 2020.

It says 91 per cent of those people will be on treatment and 90 per cent will be virologically suppressed, meaning they are unable to pass on HIV.

Data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows B.C. currently leads all provinces with 80 per cent of people living with HIV diagnosed, 76 per cent of those on treatment and 89 per cent virologically suppressed.

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HIGH WATERS EXPECTED TO HERALD "KING TIDE"

Cities on the Lower Mainland are getting ready for the possibility of high waters and flooding, with a "King Tide" expected to happen next week.

Delta Mayor Lois Jackson says the Boundary Bay area has been hit hard in the past, but this time, instead of putting a large sand berm out in the bay to slow down the swells, the city has moved it closer to the shore.

The City of Vancouver says people in low-lying areas could be flooded if the tide combines with a storm so sandbags have been placed along part of Northwest Marine Drive.

The King Tide is forecast to begin around Tuesday and to last for about four days.

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RESTAURANT INDUSTRY GETS HELP TO RETAIN RECRUIT AND REWARD STAFF

The province has introduced a program to help smaller, independent restaurants improve working conditions and retain staff.

The government says restaurants' traditional sources of entry-level and skilled labour are diminishing, and labour supply is insufficient to meet current demands.

The B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association is creating a tool kit to help independent restaurant owners recruit, retain and reward staff.

The tool kit, which will be available online, will contain fact sheets and best practices, quizzes and links to specialized industry resources, including one-on-one coaching opportunities.

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By The Canadian Press

News from © The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press

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