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Opinion: Opposition to Trump costs would-be U.S. ambassador to South Korea his appointment

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 12:00

How many people have ever heard of Victor Cha?

Even most Americans probably know little about this well respected academic who reportedly was being considered by President Trump to fill the long overdue vacant position of America’s Ambassador to South Korea.

However, the Trump administration suddenly dropped his nomination despite the fact the South Korean government apparently had already agreed to his appointment.

The reason for the abrupt cancellation of Cha’s appointment is linked directly with statements he made criticizing Trump’s hardline policy towards North Korea and the US president’s repeated threats to use force against the government of Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang if Kim didn’t end his nuclear and long-range missile programs.

A key factor in cancelling the appointment apparently was his failure to confirm support for the Trump administration were it to carry out a pre-emptive “bloody nose” military action against North Korea.

Professor Cha, who previously served in the Bush administration, expressed his concerns and opposition to Trump’s hardline position and intervention threats in The Washington Post.  

His criticism of Trump’s inflexible policy toward resolving the crisis with Pyongyang is a timely wake-up call for other countries, including Canada, that the international community cannot sit on the sidelines and allow tension with North Korea trigger an actual military confrontation with disastrous consequences for not just the Korean Peninsula but far beyond.

Nevertheless, many worry Trump may be setting the stage for carrying out a military strike against North Korea. Concerned about Trump’s unpredictable actions, some members of Congress are trying to win support for legislation requiring Congressional approval for use of nuclear weapons.

Turmoil in Korea would have extremely serious consequences for trading nations, including Canada which sees East Asia, including South Korea, as increasingly significant export markets.

However, Trump has ignored such realities. He insists the only way to deal with North Korea is through threats of potential military action, up to and including total destruction of the rogue nation. 

The escalating threats between Trump and North Korea’s leader come despite calming efforts by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and others, including Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, who organized the recent high-level international meeting in Vancouver of countries that support resolving the issue of North Korea’s nuclear and long-range missile programs through diplomacy.

The mutually bellicose threats reached the point where South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in became increasingly concerned actual military action could erupt if something wasn’t done to break the rising tension.

His concern wasn’t unfounded, especially since Trump had publicly stated that Tillerson’s peaceful approach was pointless and bound to fail.

President Moon recognizes that if the situation continues it could escalate out of control. In such an eventuality, it would be the two Koreas that would suffer, as during the bloody 1950-1953 Korean Police Action.

The leaders of North and South Korea have compelling reasons to find some way to defuse the tension between their countries. Indeed, the two leaders took the occasion of this month’s Winter Olympics to raise the possibility of some North Korean athletes participating as members of a joint Korean team under one flag.

(Ironically, one or more Canadians who’ve been playing hockey in South Korea for several years may be on the Korean Men’s Hockey team and a North Korean figure skating pair trained in Montreal.)

While such cooperation at the Olympics seems promising, some may regard it with wariness.

While Kim Jong-un’s openness to reducing tension with South Korea appears a positive move for both Koreas, it’s obvious a key goal of the North Korean leader is to undermine the close relations between South Korea and the US. Kim Jong-un has stressed that his nuclear weapons capability is intended solely as a deterrent against the US.

Fully aware of this objective, President Trump can claim that given his role to defend the security of the United States and its allies, the threat posed by North Korea justifies any move on his part to protect US interests.

However, Professor Cha clearly didn’t agreed with Trump’s unwillingness to open a dialogue with North Korea to seek a peaceful resolution of the crisis.

But he’s not the only one concerned about Trump’s possible use of force. Former high-ranking military members in the Trump administration are reportedly divided. And they’re not alone. According to Democratic Senator Tammy Duckworth: “I’ve been ringing the alarm bells about Donald Trump recklessly pushing us toward war with North Korea for months and this is yet another reason for every American to worry.”

Senator Duckworth’s concern regarding the potential dangers inherent in President Trump’s intentions towards North Korea should not be forgotten in coming days.

Harry Sterling, a former diplomat, is an Ottawa-based commentator.  He served in South Korea.

Categories: Vancouver Sports News

Fab 5: Bring the love with these Valentine's Day gifts

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 12:00

Buying gifts for Valentine’s Day is a bit of a strange one. Chocolate and flowers are safe zones without a doubt, but oh so predictable, leaving very little room for your own personality to shine through.

Thinking of veering into lingerie territory? Proceed with caution is all we can say. This year, stick to accessories — and don’t limit yourself to the jewelry box.

From shoes to bags and beyond, Rebecca Tay discovers five Valentine’s Day gifts to ensure you accessorize in style.

Acne Studios ‘Pansy’ beanie, $195 at Nordstrom,


This fun wool toque by Acne Studios is just what you want in an accessory gift: practical (meaning you know it’ll be used — and often), yet enough of an investment that she’ll appreciate that you’re the one that got it for her.

Nordstrom, | $195

Ladies Speedmaster 38mm, $11,600 at Omega, 


Why wait for a 30th, 40th or 50th birthday to splash out on a luxury watch? This Ladies Speedmaster Cappuccino’chronograph by Omega features a slightly refined 38mm case size and 18-karat gold details that complements its lovely brown leather strap — a nod, perhaps, to your first date together?

Omega, | $11,600

Sophia Webster red crystal sandal, $645 at The Bay, 


We have yet to meet a woman who wouldn’t love receiving a pair of designer shoes. With their crystal-embellished heel and red satin straps, these sandals by Sophia Webster are perfect for date night (it is Valentine’s Day, after all) and evenings out.

The Bay, | $645

Caraglio shoulder bag, $55 at Aldo,


Say goodbye to old receipts, bobby pins, loose, fuzzy mints and random candy and help her get ahead of spring wardrobe cleaning with this pint-sized, heart- and eye-emblazoned Caraglio shoulder bag.

Aldo, | $55

Saint Laurent Lou Lou sunglasses, $510 at SSENSE,


You can bet these splurge-worthy Lou Lou sunglasses (which also come in silver with highly reflective lenses) by Saint Laurent are pretty high up on her wish list. You can also bet she’ll love you forever (or at least, a very long time) if you get them for her now, before all her friends get them too.

SSENSE, | $510


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Categories: Vancouver Sports News

B.C. talent well-represented in Juno nominations

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 11:50

There will no shortage of hometown talent at the 2018 Juno Awards, which will be held March 25 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.

Veteran B.C. pop-rockers Hedley received three nominations for Juno fan choice, group of the year and pop album of the year for 2017’s Cageless, the Abbotsford group’s seventh studio album.


Delta hard rockers Theory of Deadman are nominated twice for best rock album (Wake Up Call) and Juno fan choice.



Vancouver crooner Michael Buble, who will host this year’s awards, earned two nods for album of the year (Nobody But Me) and adult contemporary album.

Nanaimo’s Diana Krall is nominated twice for best vocal jazz album (Turn Up the Quiet) and producer of the year.

Grimes, the Vancouver-born electro-pop genius, has been nominated for best video for Venus Fly, her collaboration with Janelle Monae.



Vancouver DJ and EDM producer Felix Cartal is nominated twice for dance recording of the year (Get What You Give) and producer of the year.

Dean Brody, who was born in Smithers but grew up in Jaffray, received a best country album nomination for Beautiful Freakshow.

Other B.C. nominees include: Anciients (best metal album – Voice of the Void); Archspire (best metal album – Relentless Mutation); Five Alarm Funk (best instrumental album – Sweat); Peregrine Falls (best instrumental album – Peregrine Falls); Brian Howes & Jason Van Poederooyen (producer of the year); Charlie Demers (best comedy album – Fatherhood); Ivan Decker (best comedy album – I Wanted To Be A Dinosaur); Jocelyn Morlock (best classical composition – My Name is Amanda Todd); Kid Koala (best electronic album – Music To Draw To); Shawn Hook (Juno fan choice); Bobs & LoLo (best children’s album – Blue Skies); Bria Skonberg (best vocal jazz album – With a Twist); Michael Kaeshammer (best vocal jazz album – No Filter); Williams, Wayne and Isaak (best blues album – Big City, Back Country Blues); and Christine & Ingrid Jensen (best jazz album – Infinitude).

Tickets for the Juno Awards, which start at $59 (plus fees), are available through the Rogers Arena Box Office (1-855-985-5000) or TicketMaster.

This is the fourth time that Vancouver has hosted the event. Previous years included 1991, 1998 and 2009.

Categories: Vancouver Sports News

Police investigating human remains found in Abbotsford

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 11:22

Police are investigating after human remains were found in Abbotsford on Monday.

Around 1 p.m., a citizen called Abbotsford Police after finding what appeared to be human bones in a field in the 1600-block of Riverside Road.

A forensics team and major crime investigators were called in to assist, as well as the B.C. Coroners Service.

“APD is in the earliest stages of this investigation,” said Sgt. Judy Bird in a statement shared Tuesday.

“Additional information will be available as further forensic work is completed and the investigation progresses.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact police at 604-859-5225 or text APD at 222973 (abbypd). Those who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Categories: Vancouver Sports News

Mayor apologizes for sharing 'urban myth' about teen vape death

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 11:02

The mayor of Lions Bay has apologized for repeating a false story at a council meeting about a local teen dying of fentanyl-laced vape juice.

Mayor Karl Buhr was participating in a Jan. 23 council strategy meeting when he brought up a story that purportedly illustrated the dangers of drug use. The meeting, as is usual practice, was recorded and posted online.

“Let me just tell you a sad story,” he said, closer to the end of the meeting. “My daughter is, as you know, 15. My son is 14. The kid who plays on his soccer team and baseball team last year, his best friend, died yesterday after taking one hit from a vape that had fentanyl in it.

“Bought the ‘juice’, they call it, from a dealer at Rockridge (School). One hit, fell down dead in front of his friends.”

Buhr commented that the individual in the story was a “nice kid except he’s dead now” and said the story was “a bit of a wake-up call.”

On Friday, Buhr posted a Village Update newsletter that included an apology about what he later learned was an “urban myth.” He explained that someone who had heard the audio brought up concerns with the school district and found that no such incident took place.

“Turns out much of the story I was told was an urban myth, perhaps based on the tragedy in Delta, and there are a dozen versions doing the rounds,” he wrote, referencing the death of Delta’s Kyle Losse last month.

“You’d think even an amateur, small-town politician would know better than to repeat hearsay, because upon further enquiry, I find that nothing happened at Rockridge, there was never laced vape juice, and what likely did happen was elsewhere and for other causes.

“I apologize to all affected by my incorrect statement.”

Buhr ended his apology by noting that there remained concerns over opioid use in Lions Bay and that officials would still consider banning vaping (“and toking if the Feds get their way,” he added) from Lions Bay beach parks this summer.

In a statement shared with media Tuesday, Buhr explained that he was under the impression the death was occurred to a friend of his son’s teammate.

“That story I told was hearsay doing the rounds at the local high school. It didn’t happen,” he wrote. Buhr said his hope was only to raise awareness about the dangers of opioid use and that Lions Bay is not “unscathed.”

“Which was of course the whole point.  I accept responsibility for poor execution, and again hope it won’t dilute the need for communities to acknowledge the danger present among us,” he said.

Categories: Vancouver Sports News

Beauty Bar: Gold Bond Eczema Relief Skin Protectant Cream

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 11:00

What it is: A hand and body cream for those who struggle with eczema. 

The formula features two per cent colloidal oatmeal, and is clinically proven to reduce or relieve five signs of the skin irritation including itchiness, dryness, the appearance of a rash, roughness and irritation. 

Safe for sensitive skin, this Gold Bond formula is also dermatologist tested, steroid free, fragrance free, and hypoallergenic.

What we say: Eczema. It may not be the sexiest subject to talk about, but it’s a skin concern that many Canadians face, especially during the long winter season. 

Our tester routinely struggles with eczema on her hands, and this lotion has helped to turn the tide on her most troublesome areas. Rather than use the thick formula during the daytime, she decided to use it as a soothing night treatment to give the rough stuff a serious dose of soothing hydration.

While the formula feels a bit heavy and greasy, our tester was so pleased with the result — “relief without the use of medication,” she says — that she was willing to look past the slippery surface. 

And the best part? She reports this lotion gives “quick relief,” so no waiting around for the formula to work its skin-saving magic. 

Where to get it: Mass retailers

What it will cost you: From $11.97


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One dead, three others injured in Highway 5 weekend crash near Merritt

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 09:20

One person is dead while three others were taken to hospital following an accident Saturday south of Merritt.

Around 11:20 a.m., Merritt RCMP were called to a car crash involving two northbound vehicles on Highway 5 near the Larson Hill exit, just 35 kilometres south of Merritt.

A broken down Ford SUV had been parked in the right lane of the Coquihalla Highway prior to be being struck by a tractor trailer. Police were told occupants inside the Ford were trapped and that one person had died.

A 29-year-old woman was declared dead at the scene, while a 28-year-old man was rushed to Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops by air ambulance. Two other men, aged 31 and 37, were taken to another nearby hospital by ground ambulance; the pair had serious but non-life threatening injuries.

Alcohol and speed are not believed to be contributing factors.

Merritt RCMP and collision investors were on scene for some time Saturday. the investigation is ongoing.

Anyone who has information about the accident but who has not spoken to police is asked to call Merritt RCMP at 250-378-4262 and cite file #2018-637.

Categories: Vancouver Sports News

Arrest made in 2017 Maple Ridge hit and run that killed motorcyclist

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 09:04

A man has been charged with eight offences related to a hit-and-run that left a motorcyclist dead in Maple Ridge last September.

Charges were sworn against Ryan Gerald Lowe on Friday and he made his first appearance in provincial court in Port Coquitlam on Monday for a bail hearing, during which he was released on his own recognizance on $2,500 bail. His next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 21.

Ridge Meadows RCMP and members of the motorcyclist’s family are expected to speak to media about the arrest at a news conference Tuesday morning.

According to online court records, Lowe, who was born in 1984, has been charged with dangerous driving causing death, impaired driving causing death, two counts each of dangerous driving causing bodily harm and impaired driving causing bodily harm, one count of failing to stop at an accident with a vehicle or vessel and one count of public mischief.

All of the offences are alleged to have taken place in Maple Ridge, except for the public mischief charge, which is related to something that took place in Chilliwack the same day.

The hit-and-run took place on the evening of Sept. 14, 2017.

Laura Jeglum-Woycheshen was struck head-on by an eastbound vehicle as she and some friends rode their motorcycles westbound in the 27800-block of Lougheed Highway in Maple Ridge. The vehicle that hit Jeglum-Woycheshen did not stop.

Jeglum-Woycheshen, a 48-year-old mother of three and grandmother to a toddler, died from her injuries.

Within a week of the hit and run, police recovered an abandoned grey 2003 Pontiac Sunfire they believed was connected to the incident. Police have not provided any updates since late September.

More to come.

Categories: Vancouver Sports News

Vancouver hair-colour expert talks going ultra violet

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 09:00

Ultra violet is taking over fashion design and home decor, but can we also expect the Pantone Colour of the Year to appear as the next big hair-hue trend? 

We asked Kara Gilbertson, a Goldwell National Artist and co-owner of the Vancouver-based salon The Attic Hair Studio, to dish on whether or not we can expect to see this punchy shade appearing in a salon near you, who wore it best in the past and whether or not the shade will work for, well, everyone:

Q: Ultra violet has been named the Pantone Colour of the Year for 2018. How can we expect to see this playing out in the hair world? 

A: I think colour in the hair world has had a huge shift. We are seeing colours that are more bold and creative. We are stepping away from pastels a bit and ultra violet gives us a dramatically vibrant shade that clients are not afraid of anymore. I see people becoming more playful with colour and I think ultra violet is a great shade for anyone wanting to introduce some new hues to their hair. 

Q: Is it a colour that can work for everyone?  

A: Violet is always a good colour for all, just by adjusting the warm/cool aspect for the client’s skin tone. Ultra violet is more on the blue-violet spectrum, so the vibrancy is off the charts. So, I would say to anyone to just go for it, whether it is full head or pieces, anyone can incorporate this colour in their hair. 

Q: What’s the best way to incorporate a “wild” colour without looking too over-the-top?

A:  For anyone looking to add a wild shade to their hair, I would always suggest adding it in behind the ear and in the interior of their hair, so you get glimmers of colour as the hair moves. 

Q: Is there a celebrity we’ve seen in the past who has worn purple well?

A: We’ve seen a lot of different levels of violet over the years, but the one celebrity that has rocked a lot of them is Kelly Osbourne. She does a great job making unconventional hair colours look sophisticated and almost natural. 

Q: Have you seen an increase in clients looking to go purple at all? 

A: In the salon, we cannot have enough Elumen (hair colour) to make ultra violet — as well as other fun shades. The demand is definitely there. 

Q: Lastly, what’s the best advice you’d give someone who is considering a big colour change like going ultra violet? 

A: For anyone wanting to have a big change with their hair colour, I would say totally go for it, but also consider the time, money and maintenance it will take to get there and keep it up.

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Categories: Vancouver Sports News

B.C. filmmakers awarded $30,000 prize to develop short films

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 08:59

Two developing filmmakers have been awarded cash prizes that will help further their careers in the first annual Directors Guild of Canada B.C. Short Film Awards.

Gabriel Correa was awarded the DGCBC Emerging Filmmaker Award for his short film pitch Beautiful Gun, while Jeremy Lutter won the DGCBC Legacy Award for his short film We Came From The Sea.

Each winner will also receive a $30,000 cash award as well as productive services valued up to $75,000. The prize money and services will help each director further their film and directing careers.

It is the first year the awards have been handed out. The awards were developed by the DGC’s B.C. district council for members in good standing to help winners create a top quality short film for the festival circuit.

A total of 18 Emerging Filmmaker and nine Legacy Filmmaker applications were narrowed down to three finalists in each category. Each of the six finalists then presented their film pitch to a panel of jurors last week before the winners were announced Monday.

Categories: Vancouver Sports News

Daily Poll: Do you support the B.C. government's pot plans?

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 08:54

On Monday, the B.C. government announced its initial plans for handling the expected legalization of recreational cannabis.

The province will create a network of public stand-alone stores operated by the B.C. Liquor Distribution Branch to sell marijuana, while the B.C. Liquor Control and Licensing Branch will oversee the licensing and regulation of new and existing private stores.

Personal possession will be capped at 30 grams, and the legal age limit to purchase marijuana will be 19 and older.

Recreational cannabis will be allowed to be smoked anywhere tobacco or vaping products are permitted, but illegal in vehicles and places frequented by children like beaches, parks and playgrounds.

There will also be a new 90-day driving ban for drug-impaired drivers.

However, municipalities will decide individually whether to allow for marijuana sales under these provincial guidelines; some may choose to ban it outright.

The federal government is expected to share details on the legalization of marijuana this summer.

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Categories: Vancouver Sports News

Concert Announcement: Paul Simon to start farewell tour in Vancouver

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 07:39

Folk icon Paul Simon is headed home – but not before one last outing.

Simon will kick off his Homeward Bound: The Farewell Tour at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena on May 16. The tour will cover North America, the United Kingdom and Europe, and feature songs from throughout Simon’s decades-long career.

“I’ve often wondered what it would feel like to reach the point where I’d consider bringing my performing career to a natural end,” he wrote in a message to fans sharing news of his farewell tour. “Now I know: it feels a little unsettling, a touch exhilarating and something of a relief.”

A message from Paul Simon — February 5, 2018

— Paul Simon (@PaulSimonMusic) February 5, 2018

Simon goes on to note that the death of his longtime friend and lead guitarist Vincent N’guini last month was a “contributing factor” to his decision to say farewell, but also that the time and travel required to tour has taken him away from his wife and family.

While he plans to take a step back, he does “anticipate doing the occasional performance” and to donate the earnings from those performances to philanthropic organizations.

“I love making music, my voice is still strong, and my band is a tight, extraordinary group of gifted musicians. I think about music constantly. I am very grateful for a fulfilling career and, of course, most of all to the audiences who heard something in my music that touched their hearts.”

Simon’s career encompasses 13 studio albums, five studio albums as part of Simon & Garfunkel, 16 Grammy Awards and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He has sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

He has also been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Frame and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, both as a member of Simon & Garfunkel and as a solo artist.

Tickets for the North America and U.K. portions of the tour will go on sale Feb. 9 at 10 a.m via

Tickets for the Vancouver stop of the tour go on sale to the public on Friday, Feb. 9 at 10 a.m. while pre-sale begins a day earlier on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 10 a.m. The Facebook pre-sale password is “MIC”. Tickets range from $55 to $631 plus service charges.

See the full list of North American tour dates below.

May 16 – Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena
May 18 – Seattle, WA @ Key Arena
May 19 – Portland, OR @ MODA Center
May 22 & 23 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Bowl
May 25 – Oakland, CA @ Oracle Arena
May 27 – Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Grand Garden Arena
May 30 – Denver, CO @ Fiddler’s Green
June 1 – Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Arena
June 2 – Houston, TX @ Toyota Center
June 4 – Austin, TX @ Frank Erwin Center
June 6 – Chicago, IL @ United Center
June 8 – St. Paul, MN @ Xcel Energy Center
June 10 – Detroit, MI @ DTE Energy Center
June 12 – Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Centre
June 13 – Montreal, QC @ Bell Centre
June 15 – Boston, MA @ TD Garden
June 16 – Philadelphia, PA @ Wells Fargo Center
June 19 – Greensboro, NC @ Greensboro Coliseum
June 20 – Nashville, TN @ Bridgestone Arena

Categories: Vancouver Sports News

Vancouver Island seismologist: Quake was ‘like a train’

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 07:29

Earthquake seismologist John Cassidy initially thought the 10 seconds of rumblings he felt in his Cordova Bay home Saturday night could have been caused by an earthquake, but he wasn’t certain.

“It wasn’t a distinct jolt, not waves, but more rumbling like a train,” said Cassidy, head of the earthquake seismology section for Natural Resources Canada.

“I heard as much as I felt it,” said Cassidy. “And I did wonder about the Growlers, or a helicopter can cause vibrations in our house. I thought it was an earthquake but it wasn’t a real distinctive one.”

Residents throughout the capital region reported rumblings when a magnitude-3.1 earthquake, as reported by the United States Geological Survey, struck Saturday at 10:57 p.m. in Washington state’s San Juan Islands. (It was first reported as a 3.2.) 

The quake hit about 20 kilometres east of Sidney.

“It was mostly just a reminder that we live in an active earthquake zone,” said Cassidy.

Southwestern B.C. is one of the most seismically active regions in Canada, with about 400 earthquakes each year. About a dozen are felt.

“Small earthquakes are happening every day that people aren’t feeling,” said Cassidy. “Then we have damaging ones that happen decades apart and then we have some of the world’s largest earthquakes centuries apart.”

The quake Saturday was a miniature North American crustal quake — one of three types of quakes that occur in subduction zones in southwestern B.C. and also in southern Alaska, Japan, Chile and Mexico, said Cassidy.

The North American crustal quakes have the potential to be the most damaging because they are closest to the Earth’s surface and closest to populated centres, said Cassidy.

Juan de Fuca Plate earthquakes stretching from the middle of the Strait of Georgia to southern Puget Sound have been the most frequent in the region. A 6.8 magnitude quake shook Seattle in 2001, causing major damage, and was felt in Greater Victoria, causing minor damage, he said.

Plate Boundary earthquakes that occur along the boundary between the North American Plate and the subducting Juan de Fuca Plate are called megathrust quakes because they can be up to magnitude 9 and cause large tsunamis. They occur every 200 to 800 years, with the last in 1700.

Seismologists can see that Vancouver Island is buckling under the pressure of this type of earthquake building. “We can measure that everyday,” said Cassidy.

There’s no correlation, however, between the quake Saturday and the so-called Big One. That quake is predicted to have a 10 to 15 per cent chance of occurring in the next 50 years. Overall, there’s a one-in-three chance of a damaging earthquake on southern Vancouver Island in the next five decades.

The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre solicits testimonials about quakes around the world. There, a Sidney resident wrote of the Saturday event: “First it felt like something hit the house and then the window rattled.”

Another Sidney resident described it as “a mini explosion” while a third thought a plane had crashed at the airport. Their dog was upset.

In Victoria, 25 km from the epicentre, a resident reported their headboard rumbling and walls shaking. Another said it was the “most alarming shaking I’ve felt in the 22 years since I’ve lived here.”

Others slept through it or didn’t detect it because, as one Colwood man said, his house is on a bed of rock.

Categories: Vancouver Sports News

Delta hospice rebels against Fraser Health's mandate to provide medical assistance in dying

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 04:00

The operators of the Delta Hospice Society say they’re victims of “bullying” tactics by Fraser Health and medical assistance in dying (MAiD) activists who want the service provided in all non-denominational, hospice palliative care programs. 

“Hospice palliative care is not about hastening death and we object to the bullying currently taking place in B.C.,” said Janice Strukoff, an administrative leader for the charitable, non-profit society that has a contract with the health region to provide 10 palliative care beds for the region. It derives just under half its income from the health authority; the other half comes from private donations.

“Hospice palliative care settings are designed for symptom management, the provision of comfort, and care for a natural death which is neither hastened nor prolonged,” she said, adding that providing MAiD in such settings would stoke fear and anxiety on the part of already vulnerable patients who aren’t necessarily ready to die. Nancy Macey, founder and executive director of the Delta Hospice Society said MAiD can be a traumatizing experience for staff, patients, and volunteers, and all groups might not want to stay or work there if the principals of palliative care are compromised. Hospices are already grappling with a shortage of health professionals in nursing so compelling the society to provide MAiD could exacerbate the problem.

Faith-based health facilities have been controversially exempted from obligatory MAiD provision but there is a more ambiguous situation with non-denominational settings. Health authorities get their funding from the provincial government and the former Liberal government had taken a pragmatic approach to MAiD in non-denominational hospices. According to former health minister Terry Lake: “The policy was if the hospice received more than half of the funding from the health authority, they should provide the service if requested. If they were mostly charity funded, they did not have to, but still had to inform patients when they entered the facility about the policy.”

It is not known how many non-denominational palliative care hospices may be affected but it appears the mindset on MAiD, at least in the Fraser region, changed late last year when, a week before Christmas, board chair Jim Sinclair sent a letter to Strukoff saying the region was proceeding with its final phase of the MAiD implementation process, including palliative care settings

Sinclair said patients should not have to transfer out of any facility where they’re receiving end of life care if they request MAiD. Later that same day — Dec. 19 —  the medical director of the Fraser Health Palliative Care Program, Dr. Neil Hilliard, resigned over the imposition of MAiD, as he took issue with the Fraser Health board decision.

Providing euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide is not in accordance with palliative care (which) “affirms life and regards dying as a normal process …” Hilliard wrote in his resignation letter obtained by Postmedia News. Another letter written to federal health minister Petitpas Taylor last week by Macey pleads for federal intervention that would protect palliative care hospices from being compelled to provide MAiD. She said her Delta hospice wants to remain a euthanasia-free, end of life sanctuary.

“Reasonable access is a requirement under the Canada Health Act and the pressure to provide MAiD everywhere is a bullying tactic of the Dying With Dignity activists,” Macey charges.

“Providers of hospice palliative care are extremely concerned about the negative impact of MAiD and hospice care being provided in the same facility,” she said, adding she fears people will not use such hospices if they think their deaths will be hastened.  

Michael Marchbank, CEO of Fraser Health, said in an interview Monday he knows about the objections. But the Fraser region is far from being the only health authority in Canada which wants to see MAiD available in hospice palliative care settings. Without naming regions, he said two B.C. health authorities have already implemented widespread service expectations, including in palliative care hospices, and two others are in the same stage as Fraser — in the process of making sure health region and contract facilities comply.

Vancouver Coastal Health says it “expects” non-denominational facilities will provide on-site MAiD services on demand, whether they are operated by the health authority or are a contract provider. Faith-based health care organizations can “conscientiously object and not participate in the direct provision of medically assisted deaths,” said spokeswoman Carrie Stefanson. 

While Strukoff and others from the Delta Hospice have tried, unsuccessfully, to persuade the health region to exempt non-faith based palliative hospices, they feel their protests have fallen on deaf ears. But Marchbank insists the consultation and dialogue process is ongoing. “I have no idea what the end point will be but the focus has to be on doing what’s best for patients,” he said.

Macey said she’s puzzled by Marchbank’s comments because the only message she’s heard is an inflexible one: “We have no choice, Fraser Health doesn’t want us to be transferring patients to other facilities.”

Macey will be pleading the case at a public Fraser Health board meeting on Wednesday in Surrey.

Health Issues Reporter











Categories: Vancouver Sports News

Review: Katy Perry brings energy to Witness tour stop in Vancouver

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 01:45

Katy Perry served fans a full evening of songs, stylish ensembles and outrageous stage designs, when the pop star, shoe designer and CoverGirl ambassador brought her Witness The Tour to Vancouver for back-to-back shows at Rogers Arena, Feb. 5-6.  

The Witness album, which was released in June 2017 and debuted at number one on the Canadian Albums Chart, features a few swift radio hits including Bon Appétit, Swish Swish and Chained to the Rhythm — many of which Perry performed during the Monday night performance.

But it was Perry’s older tunes that received the most raucous response from her Vancouver fans. 

Amidst a sea of glowing Katy Perry cat ears (yours for only $30 per pair) local favourite Carly Rae Jepsen took to the stage in a striking sparkly jumpsuit to get the night started.

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Her simple stage decor and stripped down band put Jepsen’s impressive vocals in the spotlight. Working her way through newer songs such as Emotion and I Really Like You, Jepsen worked to warm up the crowd for the main event.

“It’s great to be home,” she yelled to the crowd, which responded with a pleasant cheer.

Even on the songs that Jensen should, by all accounts, be sick and tired of singing (ehem, like Call Me Maybe) she gave it her all. And the audience gave it right back, boosting the energy in the arena.

Then, after a lengthy intermission, Perry kicked off her set with a space odyssey visual on the impressively large video screens that made up the backdrop of her set.

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As the screens parted, fans were given their first glimpse of the star as she soared on a giant glowing star above the roaring crowd to the title track of her new album, Witness.

“Did we save the best for last?” Perry shouted to her Vancouver fans, referencing the fact that the two-night tour stop marks the end of the North American leg.

Well, she just may have.

What followed was a healthy dose of the Katy Perry discography, ranging from the 10-year-old (yes, 10 years old) hit, Hot and Cold, to several of her latest singles including Chained to the Rhythm and Bon Appétit.

Keeping her energy consistent throughout renditions of crowd favourites such as Teenage Dream and I Kissed a Girl, Perry kept things interesting with choreographed dance moves and a clear sound.

Oh, and the eye-catching, ever-changing set design and brief, slapstick comedy routines didn’t hurt the overall mood, either.

Now, let’s talk about the fashion …

The night saw Perry in her fair share of costume changes (we lost count around five), with her transitioning from a metallic gold ensemble, to a windowpane check suit, which later transformed into the aforementioned printed pants and an LED-lit bra top.

While her black pleather bodysuit with polka dot ruffle accents and a rhinestone-encrusted fascinator for the song Déjà Vu, was inspired, it was the crystal-encrusted outfit Perry wore as she rode a planet around the arena — seemingly suspended from the sky — toward the evening that would have been any fashion fan’s clear favourite. 

Shimmering like the pop goddess most in attendance likely believe her to be, Perry delivered an entertaining evening that’s sure to be (if slightly over-) shared on many a social media feed for the foreseeable future. 

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Categories: Vancouver Sports News

Highway 1 reopened to eastbound traffic after crash in Coquitlam

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 01:38

Highway 1 has reopened after a collision east of the Brunette Avenue interchange closed it to eastbound traffic Monday evening.

The collision, involving a semi-trailer near the King Edward interchange, happened shortly after 8 p.m.

Drivers were stuck on the stretch of road for hours, causing traffic to back up as far as the Gaglardi Way exit.


Categories: Vancouver Sports News

Obituary: Real-estate analyst Richard Wozny fought for justice on housing and taxes

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 21:30

One of B.C.’s leading real-estate analysts, Richard Wozny, whose passion for housing justice was set out in a Jan. 27 column in The Vancouver Sun, died on Wednesday, surrounded by family. He was 62.

Wozny, who had been receiving treatment for non-smoking lung cancer for 18 months, received wide praise for devoting his fading energy to exposing the dangers of excessive, largely untaxed foreign capital in Metro Vancouver’s over-priced housing market.

The president of Site Economics, which has produced 1,200 studies for the public and private sectors on more than $100 billion worth of mostly commercial real-estate projects, believed it immoral that hard-working, taxpaying members of the middle class are being squeezed out of the city.

A second-generation Vancouverite, from the Kerrisdale neighbourhood, Wozny produced a major report in 2017 titled Low Incomes and High House Prices in Metro Vancouver, which concluded “a large, mysterious, untaxed pool of international capital” is being converted into speculative investment in the city’s residential real estate.

Michael Geller, a prominent Vancouver planner and property developer, said Wozny was highly regarded in the property development industry as a knowledgeable and professional real-estate analyst. 

“However I think he may ultimately be best remembered for his contribution to the affordable housing discussion in the final months of his life. During this time, in his writing and media conversations, he shared what many in the real estate and development industry knew, but were reluctant to say publicly,” Geller said.

“I admired him very much for this and hope that others will take his lead and put the interests of the general public ahead of colleagues and clients.”

Among other things, Wozny’s groundbreaking research revealed that residents of Metro Vancouver municipalities with the most expensive housing tend to report lower incomes than people in less-costly municipalities. Many property investors, both domestic and foreign, he suggested, are not paying their share of taxes.

“Canada has become a freeloader society,” said Wozny, in which some mansion owners have found ways to avoid reporting their total worldwide incomes to the Canada Revenue Agency.


Wozny’s dedication to housing fairness was also exhibited in a major housing report released Thursday by the Union of B.C. Municipalities, titled A Home for Everyone: A Housing Strategy for B.C., to which he contributed.

The hard-hitting report by the province’s mayors and councillors confronted those who have traditionally tried to deny the role played by speculators in jacking up housing prices. The UBCM came out with its sweeping list of recommendations in an effort to counter the damage being inflicted on average would-be homeowners by factors such as the offshore pre-sale of B.C. condos, rampant property flipping and numerous tax-avoidance loopholes.

UBC geography prof. David Ley, who worked with Wozny in developing the UBCM’s 32-recommendation report, said he found him to be “a warm and intellectually curious man,” whose hard-earned views were rooted in detailed knowledge of the land-development process.

“After a successful business career, he had acquired a passion for the public good and responsible citizenship. His own research showed an anomaly, a negative correlation between municipal house prices and taxes paid in Greater Vancouver,” said Ley, author of Millionaire Migrants.

“This inequity troubled him deeply, as non-enforcement of tax evasion laws rewarded unjust citizenship while penalizing just citizens who lived up to their civic duty. He had himself moved beyond the narrow bounds of economic utility toward a much fuller understanding of citizenship and its responsibilities. He deeply desired to advance this view to the development community and beyond.”

Richard Wozny at his home in North Vancouver, January 2, 2018.








Categories: Vancouver Sports News

Time's up, inventors: UBC needs you to synchronize 1,800 clocks

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 21:10

Time is of the essence for the University of B.C. in its search for a new clock system.

Turns out there are several time pieces on campus that are nearly a century old.

It also turns out that the 1,800 clocks scattered across the 100 or so building on the Point Grey campus are run on five different systems.

One of those systems is so out of date the manufacturer will not support it any more.

And so, the university is asking for ideas on how to replace all five systems on campus.

It will likely costs something like $200,000 John Metras, UBC’s associate vice-president of campus facilities, said Monday.

“We have a variety of legacy systems that really need to be replaced because they’re outdated and in some cases the manufacturers no longer support them.”

The ideal system will have digital displays, which can be used to relay messages to staff and students.

Anyone who has attended UBC knows that time can vary between buildings. Some of the clocks in the chemistry building date to the earliest days of the university.

“They’re definitely heritage time pieces,” Metras said of the clocks in question, which date from the 1920s and ’30s. (They’ve been refurbished over the years, he added.)

And it’s not just having unsynchronized clocks that the problem, it’s the cost of having so many clocks on campus that need to be re-set manually after a power failure, or to deal with daylight time.

“There’s a cost to doing all that.”

Setting up a new clock system in an age where everyone has a phone and often a watch may seem a bit goofy, but Metras said there are still many cases where having wall-mounted time pieces are needed.

“It comes down to situations where the phones aren’t allowed,” he said, such as exams, or labs that are running experiments using sensitive equipment. 

The current search for ideas will go on for the next four weeks.

Then university officials will review the proposals and assess technical availability and costs.

If a solution is quickly found, “we could begin work as soon as this summer.”

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Opinion: Scramble to sign Canada Into the CPTPP trade deal is short-sighted

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 21:00

NAFTA … CPTPP … CETA.  Trade deals are typically big on acronyms and short on details when it comes to the ramifications for our domestic economy. Modern trade agreements are built upon a sizable fallacy: The concept that they’re bringing new products to new markets. In reality, these agreements largely represent a shuffle of foreign product into pre-existing markets. This isn’t all negative of course. It can lead to lower prices for the consumer and increased market choice. But it can also lead to the off-loading of jobs to foreign shores, a decline in safety or animal welfare practices, environmental issues, foreign labour issues, etc. Long story short, Canada needs to move extremely carefully and strategically when considering new trade partnerships. 

Recent NAFTA negotiations haven’t been going well. President Trump and his rotating cast of characters are fond of expounding a “me first” attitude when it comes to the US trade perspective, and that isn’t particularly workable for Canada and Mexico. The likelihood of failure at the NAFTA negotiation table is growing due to the ongoing impasse with US negotiators. Perhaps as a result of these background pressures, Canadian negotiators recently hurried to move Canadian negotiations along with the CPTPP trade agreement. This framework excludes the US, and establishes a strengthened trade partnership with the Pacific Rim countries. Arguably, this in turn will weaken the US position at the NAFTA negotiation table in weeks to come, as Canada demonstrates an outward shift toward trade partnerships with other countries.

As part of the proposed CPTPP framework, Canada has reportedly agreed to a 3.25 per cent market concession of the Canadian dairy market. This was negotiated under the initial TPP framework last year when the US was part of the proposed deal. But upon US withdrawal from TPP, dairy access should have been significantly ratcheted downward in the revised framework. Canadian dairy operates under a supply managed economic structure, and has high import tariffs on foreign product. Accordingly, it’s oft viewed as a golden goose in trade negotiations. In short, other countries are always very anxious to push for increased access in this sector.

The Canadian dairy industry is already dealing with 2.2 per cent access recently given away under the CETA agreement. And with NAFTA negotiations ongoing, the threat of additional market concessions is looming. Dairy represents close to $20 billion of Canadian GDP on a yearly basis. Canadian dairy is not an industry supported by government subsidization (as it is in the US under the US Farm Bill). In Canada, dairy is a self-supporting system. And while the federal government is fond of stating that they want a vibrant, strong, and growing dairy sector that creates jobs and fosters investment, by continually giving away pieces of the industry, they are jeopardizing the well-being of the industry.

As we turn our heads toward NAFTA, the US currently benefits from a five-to-one dairy trade surplus with Canada. Under current international trade commitments, Canada already takes in three times more imports into our market (over 10 per cent) than the US does in theirs (approximately three per cent). In addition, many American agricultural stakeholders oppose the dairy-related demands being made by US negotiators and are calling for the adoption of supply management in the US. The Canadian system’s merits are obvious relative to the US industry model, which suffers from significant overproduction and price fluctuation. There is little argument for granting additional dairy access to the US under NAFTA, yet they are pushing hard for additional access in negotiations.

If you were a young Canadian dairy farmer today, how willing would you be to take over your parent’s farm and assume the mantle of next-generation farmer? Would you be willing to assume the sizable debt-load and responsibility when your market is being chipped away at on an almost yearly basis?  Three point two five per cent market access under CPTPP may not sound like a lot but the numbers add up quickly as one trade agreement after the next gets rubber-stamped. The Canadian dairy industry is a community industry. As Canadians, we all exist in a global economy, and Canada needs to continue strengthening our role as a player in global markets. But this needs to be balanced with the health of our domestic economy. Regional food security tomorrow means better consideration for the needs of Canadian agriculture today.

Trevor Hargreaves is Director of Producer Relations and Communications with the B.C. Dairy Association and President of the British Columbia Farm Writers’ Association.

Categories: Vancouver Sports News

How Andrew Wilkinson won the B.C. Liberal leadership race

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 20:42

VICTORIA — Andrew Wilkinson managed his narrow come-from-behind win in Saturday’s B.C. Liberal leadership race by relying on the power of his MLA endorsements and a co-operative deal with colleague Mike de Jong to narrowly put him over the top, his campaign strategists say.

Wilkinson won the six-candidate race on the fifth ballot Saturday, earning 4,621 points (53 per cent of the total) over Dianne Watts, who finished with 4,079 points (47 per cent).

“There were three elements to our path to victory,” Wilkinson campaign director Katy Merrifield said Monday. “One was caucus endorsement. Two was the deal with de Jong. And the third was the values of members. We saw early on party members were proud of being B.C. Liberals, and the values they stood for. We made a concerted decision to go for that, instead of apologizing and watering that down.”

The power of MLA endorsements was different during the 2011 Liberal leadership vote when MLAs largely failed to get out the vote for their candidates and Christy Clark won with only one endorsement from a sitting Liberal.

Wilkinson had 13 MLAs backing him, the most of any campaign. “Every single one of those caucus members delivered their ridings, which is in contrast to the 2011 race,” said Merrifield. The MLAs not only helped Wilkinson win their ridings, but worked the phones hard to pick up neighbouring communities as well, she said.

Andrew Wilkinson pauses while addressing supporters and party members after being elected leader of the British Columbia Liberal Party in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday February 3, 2018.

Those MLAs included: Michelle Stilwell (Parksville-Qualicum); Mary Polak (Langley); Ellis Ross (Skeena); Tracy Redies (Surrey-White Rock); John Rustad (Nechako Lakes); Joan Isaacs (Coquitlam-Burke Mountain); Norm Letnick (Kelowna-Lake Country); Laurie Throness (Chilliwack-Hope); Linda Larson (Boundary-Similkameen); Mike Morris (Prince-George Mackenzie); Doug Clovechok (Columbia River-Revelstoke); Tom Shypitka (Kootenay East); and Donna Barnett (Cariboo-Chilcotin). In addition, former Kootenay MLA and cabinet minister Bill Bennett served as campaign co-chair.

The MLAs were diverse enough to give Wilkinson a broad network of support from Day 1. That was key, said senior strategist Dimitri Pantazopoulos, because the campaign had identified early on that its path to victory required as much general support as possible across B.C., with the hopes that second-, third- and fourth-ballot votes from members would put him over the top.

“It would be hard to win with regional strength and general weakness elsewhere,” said Pantazopoulos, who also worked on Clark’s 2011 campaign. “In order to win this thing you needed to be as high as you could in as many places as you could be … the idea was to be as high as you can consistently across the board.”

Clark focused heavily on NDP-held ridings in 2011. Because of the Liberal party’s weighted vote system, influencing a few dozen members to win one of those ridings was worth the same 100 points as a heavily populated urban riding where a candidate needed hundreds of votes to win. By 2018, every campaign was trying to emulate parts of that strategy.

Another key issue in the race was the gap between membership sign-ups and voter turnout. The Michael Lee and Watts campaigns signed up the most new members to the party. But Watts’s thousands of sign-ups in the South Asian community were plagued by low turnout.

Wilkinson’s campaign signed up fewer than 5,000 new members, with a total turnout of his supporters in excess of 70 per cent. Pantazopoulos said they focused less on bulk registration and more on organic sign-ups and renewed memberships. “These folks would turn out to vote at the end of the day,” he said.

Also key to Wilkinson’s win was a deal he signed with de Jong, in which both candidates urged their supporters to make each other their second-ballot choice. De Jong was knocked out in the second round, giving Wilkinson an almost 35-per-cent bump in his points the following round, when the second choices of de Jong voters were redistributed. The deal was “a big contributor” to the campaign’s success, said Merrifield.

“Did it win it for us? Possibly,” said Pantazopoulos. 

The race ultimately came down to the fourth round, when Wilkinson finished just 30 points ahead of Lee to progress into the fifth and final round. The second choices of Lee voters were then calculated.

Some believed Lee’s votes would tend to tilt toward Watts because they were both outsider candidates compared with former cabinet ministers Wilkinson, Todd Stone and de Jong. But Pantazopoulos said he thinks the Lee supporters helped Watts in ridings she’d already won. Also, one of Lee’s South Asian organizers was federal Liberal Sukh Dhaliwal, who doesn’t support Watts, a former Conservative MP. That may have helped emphasize the swing among federal Liberals from Lee to Wilkinson.

The Liberal party released detailed statistics late Monday that emphasized Wilkinson’s strong performance in ridings in the Interior, the north, Kootenays and several Vancouver-area constituencies. The rival leadership campaigns said they needed time to analyze the stats before commenting.

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Categories: Vancouver Sports News

Amateur Sports Blog

Pros and Cons of Pet or animal Sports

What are the Pros and Cons of Pet or animal Sports
Pros and cons of Pet Sports, Cute dog playing soccer Pet Sports examples include pet soccer, horse racing, greyhound racing, rodeos, dog agility events, bull fighting, etc... Two of the most common animals involved in Pet Sports are dogs and horses. There are many types of animal sporting events, with varying levels of participation from humans. Some pet sport events are solely between the animals while others use the animals in a lesser role.

What are the top hobbies that make you smarter? Top Hobbies that make you smarter
  1. Exercising ( Play team sports, running, gym, bike , swim) will increase your stamina, make you physically strong , agile, athletic, fit and smarter.

Redefining Team Sports - Playing a game with 3 teams

What are the pros and cons of Playing a game with 3 teams? Playing a game with 3 teamsThe conventional wisdom tells us that a team sport's game requires 2 teams playing against each other in a certain amount of time. This has been going on for years  and it is the obvious way of playing and determining a winner for a game. In amateur sport, playing a game with only 2 teams  has a lot of flaws: