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What's making news in British Columbia

February 26, 2018 - 3:56 PM

VANCOUVER - MINISTER SAYS COQUIHALLA CRASH AREA PLOWED MINUTES BEFORE CRASH

Transportation Minister Claire Trevena is sending wishes of sympathy to people who were involved in a major crash on the Coquihalla Highway on Sunday night.

She says it has been a tough winter on the highway and contractors were in their highest state of readiness for a storm that passed through the area about 25 kms north of Hope.

Trevena says the area where the accident occurred had been plowed 20 minutes before the crash.

The accident involved 165 people, 29 of whom were hospitalized with conditions ranging from stable to critical following the crash that involved at least six vehicles.

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WORKER TELLS COURT HE SAW OIL IN HARBOUR

A port worker says he suspected large plumes of oil that were shining on the surface of the water in Vancouver's harbour nearly three years ago was bunker fuel, based on the smell.

Mark James of the Port of Metro Vancouver responded to reports of a leak on April 15 in 2015 and told a provincial court judge Monday he knew from the smell it was a serious spill of bunker oil.

The charges were laid after 2,700 litres of fuel leaked into English Bay, but the Greek shipping firm Alassia NewShips Management Incorporated was not represented in court because it denies owning the MV Marathassa.

The company and the ship face 10 environmental related charges, including alleged violations under the Fisheries Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act.

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PARKING CHANGES AMID CONSTRUCTION AT YVR

This week marks the start of significant parking changes at Vancouver International Airport as the parkade closest to the terminal is being torn down to make way for a new six-level facility and car rental centre.

The airport's Scott Norris says a larger temporary space opens Wednesday near the Canada Line's Templeton Station.

The shuttle service will run every 30 minutes when transit services are down.

The new facility is slated to open in 2021.

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WARNING ISSUED ABOUT SAFETY OF SHIPPING CONTAINERS

WorkSafeBC is warning of the unseen risks workers and the general public can face when reusing shipping containers for workplace or residential storage.

The safety agency has released new video and safety bulletin reminding people that the containers are designed to be watertight, which means they have little or no ventilation.

Dan Strand is the director of prevention field services at WorkSafeBC and says vapours or gases from flammable or combustible substances, when combined with an ignition source in one of the containers, can produce a catastrophic incident.

Other risks highlighted by WorkSafeBC include floorboards that might have been treated with toxic chemicals to protect cargo during shipping, or chemicals that could have spilled in transit.

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A 12-member task force of industry, Indigenous and labour leaders is being asked to measure the state of B.C.'s mining sector.

Mines Minister Michelle Mungall says the group will provide an economic analysis of the mining sector and offer the recommendations to ensure job security for the industry during times of commodity price fluctuations.

Industry lawyer Brian Abraham says many people are under the impression mining is a largely rural and remote industry but much of the traffic in the Port of Vancouver is connected to the mining industry.

The government says mining provides more than 30,000 jobs and generates more than six billion dollars annually to the provincial economy.

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OLYMPIANS RETURN TO VANCOUVER

Freestyle skier Cassie Sharpe had her gold medal tucked in the pocket of her Team Canada sweater when she arrived at Vancouver's airport from South Korea on Monday.

The Comox native says it was worth all the years of training, and winning gold can now be ticked off her bucket list.

She says feeling the pride from Canadians has been an incredible experience.

Sharpe was among a number of Olympic athletes who returned to B.C., including figure skater Patrick Chan and women's hockey player Meghan Agosta.

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By The Canadian Press, Vancouver

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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