Comox Valley creates local flavours for B.C.

From water buffalo yogurt and gelato to estate-grown wines and distilled honey-based spirits, the agrifoods industry continues to thrive in Courtenay and Comox.

The provincial government’s Buy Local Program helps B.C. fisheries, farmers and food processors promote their products and supports food-supply security in British Columbia. The program is providing up to $44,000 of funding to several companies located in the Comox Valley to help increase sales and brand awareness.

Wayward Distillation House is bringing Canada’s only honey-based spirits to shelves all over the province. To stand out from commercial distilleries, the company sources local, natural ingredients from the Comox Valley to create Wayward distilled spirits. The use of B.C. honey adds subtle and intricate flavours to its products, while supporting local growers and producers.

Local winery, 40 Knots Vineyard and Estate Winery is promoting their Stall Speed non-estate brand of wines to British Columbians who are looking for hotter-climate grapes that cannot be grown in the Comox Valley’s cool climate. With ethically and traditionally farmed Okanagan grapes, the wine is produced and bottled in the Comox Valley. 40 Knots is not only known for its wines, but also for the scenery and tasting room.

Water buffalo milk products continue to make waves in the agrifoods industry, with McClintock’s Farm being on the forefront of producing water buffalo yogurt and gelato. The Courtenay based operation is one of three operating water buffalo dairies, offering British Columbians new options for old favourites.

The Buy Local program has received $8 million in B.C. government funding since 2012 to increase sales of locally grown and processed agrifood and seafood products within the province.

The B.C. government’s Agrifood and Seafood Strategic Growth Plan supports the building of domestic markets and maintaining a secure food supply. The plan is a component of the BC Jobs Plan, and the roadmap to leading the agrifoods sector to becoming a $15-billion-a-year industry by 2020.

The provincial government’s Buy Local program is administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia. Applications are available at: http://iafbc.ca/funding-opportunities/buy-local/

Gaming grants support local Choir

SURREY – The Lyric Choirs of Surrey Society has received $6,000 under the B.C. government’s community gaming grant program.

“Music is a great way to encourage creativity in our community,” said Surrey-Fleetwood MLA Peter Fassbender. “These grants help to expand the services that groups like Lryic are able to offer and this means more people in Surrey will have access to the enriching programs they offer.”

These grants are awarded under the Sport and Arts and Culture category of the community gaming grant program, which allows non-profit organizations to apply for provincial gaming revenues from the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. Gaming grants are also awarded in the categories of Public Safety, Human and Social Services, Parent Advisory Councils and District Parent Advisory Councils, and Environment.

Every year, the provincial government approves $135 million in gaming grants that benefit more than 5,000 local non-profit organizations that serve communities throughout British Columbia.

 

Governments of Canada and British Columbia investing in Highway 16 improvements

The Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia (B.C.) today announced $37,737,949 to improve Highway 16.

From visiting friends and relatives to getting goods to market, we rely on our roads, bridges and highways to support a vibrant economy and great quality of life. Investing in modern transportation infrastructure will help create jobs and grow the middle class now, while building the foundation for a strong economic future.

“One of the commitments we made in B.C. on the Move was to increase the number of passing lanes on highways 16 and 37. We’ve already built three and this new investment means five more safe opportunities to pass slower vehicles. Another one of our provincial priorities is to provide better access into communities, and upgrading the junction of highway 16 and 37 will ease congestion and improve traffic flow through Terrace.” says Todd Stone, B.C. Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

That is why the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia (B.C.) today announced $37,737,949 to improve Highway 16. The project includes the construction of five additional passing lanes along Highway 16, as well as an upgrade to the junction of Highway 16 and 37 in Terrace, where there is currently a four-way stop.

“The Government of Canada is working in close partnership with British Columbia to ensure we make smart infrastructure investments that create safer roads for travellers, help grow the middle class, and promote sustainable development. By supporting improvements to Highway 16, we are helping local businesses move their goods to market and fostering long-term prosperity in the region for years to come.” Said The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.

Once completed, the project will improve safety and traffic flow for all highway users, including local residents, tourists and commercial drivers by providing additional opportunities to safely pass slower-moving vehicles. It will also support future economic development in the region by contributing to a more efficient transportation network in northern British Columbia.

Wi-Fi coming to Highway 16 rest area near Mt. Terry Fox

Free, public Wi-Fi will soon be installed at the Highway 16 Mt. Terry Fox rest area six kilometres east of Tete Jaune, thanks to a partnership between the Province, TELUS and ICBC, announced MLA for Prince George-Valemount, Shirley Bond. Approximately 81% of B.C.’s 177 rest areas are wheelchair accessible and  72% are open year-round.

“This is not only about providing important support for travellers and commercial truck drivers, it also demonstrates this government’s commitment to improving safety, comfort and convenience at rest areas throughout the province and this kind of connectivity is an important part of that,” said Bond. “This rest area, along with the other four locations that we announced, demonstrates that partnerships like this one with TELUS and ICBC deliver valuable services to British Columbians.”

In total, 25 rest areas throughout the province will have Wi-Fi installed. The following rest areas will have Wi-Fi installed by the spring of 2017, with the additional 20 sites being delivered in the coming years.

  • Britton Creek   Hwy 5 – 67km south of Merritt
  • Mt Terry Fox    Hwy 16 – 6km east of Tete Jaune
  • Galena Bay      Hwy 23 – 49km north of Nakusp
  • Glacier View    Hwy 16 – 7km north of Smithers
  • Taylor River     Hwy 4 – 37km west of Port Alberni

Travellers will be able to identify which rest areas have Wi-Fi by the Wi-Fi graphic on the rest area sign. For an example of what the signs look like, click here: https://flic.kr/p/M5eykS or here: https://flic.kr/p/M5ey8Y

The expansion of public Wi-Fi at rest stops illustrates that technology and innovation supports a wide range of industries throughout British Columbia. Helping businesses such as commercial trucking companies grow is an important part of the #BCTECH Strategy and a key component of the BC Jobs Plan to strengthen British Columbia’s diverse innovation economy.

As part of B.C. on the Move, the province’s 10-year transportation strategy, the ministry is committed to delivering up to 30 rest-area improvement projects per year.

Canadian Minister of Health announces revision of the Food Guide

Minister of Health announces revision of the Food Guide, Healthy Eating initiatives, as part of a vision for a healthy Canada

Staying healthy is about more than visiting a doctor. It is the result of the choices we make every day. The Government of Canada is taking action to help Canadians make healthy choices for themselves and their families.

Today, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, announced that Health Canada has started a process to revise Canada’s Food Guide to reflect the latest scientific evidence on diet and health, and to better support Canadians, including Indigenous peoples, in making healthy food choices. The announcement was made at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress.

“Everyone can agree that eating well, staying active and living a healthy lifestyle are important to reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Our Government’s actions are aimed at ensuring positive and meaningful impacts on the overall health of Canadians for generations to come,” the Honourable Jane Philpott Minister of Health.

As part of the Food Guide revision, Health Canada today launched a consultation with Canadians, which will run to December 8, to determine how Health Canada can provide better dietary guidance that meets the needs of Canadians.

In Canada, four out of five Canadians risk developing conditions such as cancer, heart disease or Type 2 diabetes; six out of ten adults are overweight and one-third of youth are overweight or obese. Poor diet is the primary risk factor for obesity and many chronic diseases, and places a significant burden on the health of Canadians and our health care system.

This revision is part of a multi-year Healthy Eating Strategy. As part of the Strategy, Health Canada will use every tool at its disposal—legislation, regulation, guidance and education—to create conditions to support healthy eating. In addition to revising Canada’s Food Guide, the Healthy Eating Strategy outlines how Health Canada will achieve the commitments set out in the Prime Minister’s mandate letter to the Minister of Health related to sodium, trans fat, sugars, food colours, marketing to children, and the Nutrition North Program. Health Canada will continue to engage with stakeholders and experts to further refine the strategy as it moves forward.

The Healthy Eating Strategy is a component of the vision for a healthy Canada, which focuses on healthy eating, healthy living and a healthy mind.

Halloween Safety tips

Halloween is a very exciting time for children and often the last thing on their minds as they head out the door for an evening of trick or treating, is safety. This is where parents, guardians and care givers need to step up to ensure their evening is not marred by an accident which could have prevented.

Here are a few safety tips to follow.

Parents

  • ensure your little goblins can see from behind their mask, make sure they are wearing comfortable footwear and their costumes are reflective
  • only trick or treat at houses where lights are on
  • never eat treats until an adult has inspected them
  •  Adults should carry a flashlight with them
  •  walk only on the sides of roads or sidewalks

Motorists

  •  slow down and expect children to pop out at any time from any direction
  •  be prepared to react, stay alert

Homeowners

  •  when handing out candy, ensure your porch light is left on and your walkway is clear of debris that could cause a child to fall.

Nanaimo Police Department

Meeting strengthens India-B.C. partnerships

Minister of Finance Michael de Jong met with Indian Finance Minister, Minister of Corporate Affairs in the cabinet of India, Arun Jaitley, today in New Delhi to discuss ways to continue to strengthen economic ties between India and British Columbia.

“I was impressed by Minister Jaitley’s interest in mutual economic investments in both India and Canada by companies, such as Indian Oil. India is an important economy with a young and growing middle class that represents an important opportunity for B.C. partnership, trade and investment, particularly in the areas of forestry, energy, international education and clean technology,” says Minister of Finance Michael de Jong.

The meeting builds on bilateral discussions and activities since the visit by Prime Minister Modi to Vancouver in 2015, where the prime minister and senior Indian government officials showed great support and enthusiasm for formalizing relations between India and British Columbia. Meeting topics included: the recent approval by the Canadian federal government of the Pacific North West LNG project; the successful issuance of B.C.’s Indian Rupee (INR) bond; and future opportunities to expand two-way trade and investment.

 

By 2030, India is expected to be the world’s third-largest economy behind the United States and China. B.C. exports to India have jumped from $201 million in 2011 to $623 million in 2015, making India B.C.’s fifth-largest trading partner. Real GDP in India was 7.2% in 2014, and estimated to grow to 7.6% in 2015, and in 2016 is expected to be 7.4%.

 

The Government of British Columbia has been actively working to make India and B.C. long-term partners in economic and social prosperity. It’s a strategy that’s focused on:

  • Building the foundation of the India-B.C. relationship based on mutual economic growth;
  • Identifying targeted opportunities for B.C. to help address specific needs of the Indian market and;
  • Making India top-of-mind among B.C.’s exporters.

On Sept. 9, 2016, British Columbia was the first foreign government to issue a bond in the Indian Rupee (INR) offshore market – or what is known colloquially as a Masala bond. The bond issue demonstrates the Province’s confidence in the outlook for India, and positions B.C. to participate in internationalization of the INR and India’s economy.

In addition, with Budget 2016, the Government of British Columbia committed $5 million over three years to promote a stronger B.C. wood brand in India. This investment is helping B.C. companies establish themselves as the world’s leading suppliers of sustainably harvested wood products to a market that includes the world’s largest middle class.

British Columbia’s work to build a strong relationship with India has proven successful. Earlier this week, Air Canada launched a direct flight from Vancouver to Delhi, demonstrating that India and B.C. are closer than ever before. This flight now provides a direct link for businesses to come together, and families to stay connected.

Meeting strengthens India-B.C. partnerships

Minister of Finance Michael de Jong met with Indian Finance Minister, Minister of Corporate Affairs in the cabinet of India, Arun Jaitley,  in New Delhi to discuss ways to continue to strengthen economic ties between India and British Columbia.
“I was impressed by Minister Jaitley’s interest in mutual economic investments in both India and Canada by companies, such as Indian Oil. India is an important economy with a young and growing middle class that represents an important opportunity for B.C. partnership, trade and investment, particularly in the areas of forestry, energy, international education and clean technology, ” says Minister of Finance Michael de Jong.

The meeting builds on bilateral discussions and activities since the visit by Prime Minister Modi to Vancouver in 2015, where the prime minister and senior Indian government officials showed great support and enthusiasm for formalizing relations between India and British Columbia. Meeting topics included: the recent approval by the Canadian federal government of the Pacific North West LNG project; the successful issuance of B.C.’s Indian Rupee (INR) bond; and future opportunities to expand two-way trade and investment.

By 2030, India is expected to be the world’s third-largest economy behind the United States and China. By 2030, India is expected to be the world’s third-largest economy behind the United States and China.

The Government of British Columbia has been actively working to make India and B.C. long-term partners in economic and social prosperity. It’s a strategy that’s focused on:

  • Building the foundation of the India-B.C. relationship based on mutual economic growth;
  • Identifying targeted opportunities for B.C. to help address specific needs of the Indian market and;
  • Making India top-of-mind among B.C.’s exporters.

On Sept. 9, 2016, British Columbia was the first foreign government to issue a bond in the Indian Rupee (INR) offshore market – or what is known colloquially as a Masala bond. The bond issue demonstrates the Province’s confidence in the outlook for India, and positions B.C. to participate in internationalization of the INR and India’s economy.

B.C. exports to India have jumped from $201 million in 2011 to $623 million in 2015, making India B.C.’s fifth-largest trading partner.  Real GDP in India was 7.2% in 2014, and estimated to grow to 7.6% in 2015, and in 2016 is expected to be 7.4%.

In addition, with Budget 2016, the Government of British Columbia committed $5 million over three years to promote a stronger B.C. wood brand in India. This investment is helping B.C. companies establish themselves as the world’s leading suppliers of sustainably harvested wood products to a market that includes the world’s largest middle class.

British Columbia’s work to build a strong relationship with India has proven successful. Earlier this week, Air Canada launched a direct flight from Vancouver to Delhi, demonstrating that India and B.C. are closer than ever before. This flight now provides a direct link for businesses to come together, and families to stay connected.

Karman Singh Grewal, and Elson Blue Joy charged in Fentanyl and Cocaine bust

By Caley Ramsay

Global News

Two people from British Columbia have been charged following a drug seizure in Grande Prairie earlier this month.

More than one kilogram of cocaine and nearly 150 fentanyl pills were seized from two Grande Prairie homes on Oct. 13.

The seizure came following a month-long investigation by members of the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams and Grande Prairie RCMP.

The following items, worth more than $150,000, were seized from the homes:

  • 1 kilogram of cocaine
  • 146 fentanyl pills
  • 155 grams of marijuana
  • 175 millilitres of GHB
  • Two body armour vests
  • $56,120 cash proceeds of crime

“The seizure and the disruption of this criminal group will help to reduce the negative community impact created by the local drug trade,” Supt. Don McKenna with the Grande Prairie RCMP said.

“This seizure highlights the importance of a coordinated provincial effort to stem the movement and sale of controlled substances.”

Karman Singh Grewal, 24, of Langley, B.C. has been charged with two counts of possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of drugs and possession of proceeds of crime.

Elson Blue Joy, 22, of Kelowna, B.C. has been charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of drugs, possession of proceeds of crime, possession of stolen property and possession of body armour.

Watch Below: A member of the RCMP Clandestine Lab Enforcement and Response Team demonstrates how fentanyl pills are made, during a conference in Edmonton Thursday.

The number of fentanyl-related deaths in Alberta has drastically increased over the past five years. In 2011, there were six deaths in the province connected to the drug; that number spiked to 274 deaths in 2015.

In the first six months of 2016, 153 people in Alberta died from apparent drug overdoses related to fentanyl.

A body has been found in Langley

Langley: RCMP in Langley is investigating Homicide after a body was found on roadside in Langley.

The Integrated Homicide Team has shut down Robertson Crescent between 240 and 244 Streets after a dismembered body was found early Wednesday morning.

Langley RCMP says the road will remain closed until they have completed their investigation of the area. A passing motorist discovered human remains on the side of the road and called the police.

No details are being provided by police at this time.