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Found dead in donation bin – BC News

The B.C. Coroners Service is investigating the death of a man who was found inside a clothing donation bin in West Vancouver.

CTV News says the man was discovered by a passerby at about 8:30 am on Sunday at the entrance to Ambleside Park.

The cause of death has not been confirmed, but police said there was no indication that foul play was involved.

"An off-duty physician walking in the area had found an unresponsive male in the opening of a clothing donation," West Vancouver Police.

Police said the 34-year-old Vancouver resident was pronounced dead at the scene, and they would not be releasing his name.

– with files from CTV Vancouver


The deck is a great place to relax – for humans and wild cats.

Maple Ridge resident Kevyn Helmer had a full-grown cougar kick on his deck on Sunday, CTV News reports.

"There's a big, scary kitty cat out front," Helmer says in a video posted to Facebook video.

He looked his house cat in the bathroom and grabbed a baseball bat for protection as the predator nonchalantly lounged by the door.

"I hope no kids or nobody walks their dog goes by the front gate," said he filmed the wild animal.

Authorities scared the cougar off without incident.

– with files from CTV Vancouver

Rescuers were called out Sunday night to help a lost father and son in Vancouver's North Shore Mountains.

The man and his five-year-old son had been hiking near Whyte Lake, CTV News reports.

They lost their way while looking for one of their dogs, which had run off.

North Shore Rescue volunteers walked out of late Sunday.

The family did not have a flashlight, said search manager Peter Haigh.

It was the 142nd callout of 2018 for the search and rescue group.

– with files from CTV Vancouver


The most popular name for babies born this year in British Columbia has been announced.

According to the Ministry of Health, the name Liam is in the lead for the most popular name in 2018.

Following Liam is Olivia, Emma, ​​Lucas and Oliver as reported by Vital Statistics Agency's preliminary statistics from Jan. 1, 2018 to Dec. 18, 2018.

In 2018 the most popular names for girls are Emma, ​​Amelia, Charlotte, Chloe, Ava, Sophia, Isla, Emily and Hannah. For boys this year it is Lucas, Oliver, Benjamin, Ethan, Noah, Logan, William, James and Leo.

Last year, Olivia was the most popular name overall and has been the favorite name of a girl in British Columbia for six of the past seven years.

In B.C., there have been 40,565 babies born in B.C. in 2018, of those 19,821 are girls and 20,744 are boys.

Dec 31, 2018 / 8:48 am | Story:

Say a final handful of customers on B.C.'s southern Gulf Islands await the return of a windstorm more than 10 days ago, residents of one hard-hit island are making plans to say thank you.

Salt Spring Island residents Kathryn Anderson and Dan Olson decided to start 2019 with an event thanking the hundreds of BC employees, first responders and community members who worked tirelessly during the crisis.

The storm left more than 700,000 customers in B.C. Without power and salt Spring endured some of the most severe damage, so Anderson says when the plan for an appreciation brunch on New Year's day was posted on social media "it just became a firestorm."

In less than a week, she says businesses have donated food and are gathering while residents are organizing everything from a silent auction to a project aimed at weaving branches from fallen trees into a huge memorial wreath.

Most of the BC Hydro crews left Salt spring as power was restored over the weekend, but Anderson says all who have been personally invited to the brunch while the ceremony will also be livestreamed so departed crews can tune in, if they wish.

Anderson is the storm's legacy leaves an awareness that much must be done to prepare for future catastrophes, such as an earthquake, but it also has turned strangers into friends and helped unite the island's roughly 11,000 residents.

Dec 31, 2018 / 7:06 am | Story:

Dayton Wilson's drug-taking routine ended when he was overdosed on heroin laced with fentanyl, but was able to walk and talk normally as part of his struggle with brain damage from drug-linked to thousands of deaths.

Wilson, 24, used illicit drugs for the last time in August 2016 on Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, according to his mother, but he doesn't remember anything about the day he was taken to hospital.

It was the first of two facilities where it would spend three months learning to take a few steps and some words.

The latest figures available from the Public Health Agency of Canada say over 9,000 people fatally overdosed across the country between January 2016 and June 2018. British Columbia's coroner service recorded nearly a third of those deaths.

But there are no comprehensive statistics for people who have survived the brain-damaging effects of opioids. Doctors say that information is imperative to understand the magnitude of the "forgotten" victims of the opioid crisis and to provide them with care and resources so they can become as functional as possible.

More than two years after speech, physical and occupational therapy, Wilson speaks haltingly and is difficult to understand. He paused before responding to a question about what he might recall after he was transported to St. Paul's Hospital in an ambulance.

"I don't remember this, but I wasn't breathing for about five minutes," said of the length of time his brain is believed to have been deprived of oxygen.

While talking can be frustrating, what he really is is not able to rap, one of his passions.

"Balance is child or hard for me now," he said, adding he sometimes falls backwards and has hit his head.

Wilson said he started experimenting with drugs at age 15 before becoming addicted to heroin two years later. The brain damage he experienced at age 21 has helped him understand the power and life-changing effects of his addiction.

"I really like the person it's made me," he said of his ordeal. "I just don't like what it's done to me."

His mother, Valerie Wilson, said she and her ex-husband had refused to let their son live with them as he continued to overdose at their homes even after treatment as they were about the effects of his addiction on their other children.

The impact of the final overdose was tough on the family.

"He was trying to eat and it was like watching a severe Parkinson's patient," Wilson said of seeing her son in hospital. "He was shaking and couldn't keep food on his fork."

Wilson said there is little awareness about the consequences of brain injury on those who have survived the opioid crisis.

"He wants to be a contributing member of society," she said, adding her son, recently got a job as a cleaner at a Kamloops hotel, where he now lives with his father.

Dr. Adam Peets, a physician in the intensive care unit at St. Paul's Hospital, where Wilson was initially treated, said brain cells can be affected in as little as 30 seconds after someone overdoses and the level of damage can vary from mild to severe.

An estimated 25 to 33 per cent of patients are admitted to ICU because of complications from stronger drugs such as fentanyl and carfentanil but there is currently no way to adequately collect that information, Peets said.

"It's embarrassing, quite frankly," Peets said of the lack of data on overdose-induced brain injuries, which he would like to see tracked nationally. "It's something that the whole health-care system needs to do a better job on."

Dec 31, 2018 / 6:50 am | Story:

It's a sip that can take you across continents from California to the vineyards of Romania.

The Vancouver International Wine Festival celebrates its 41st year starting Feb. 23 as it offers the chance to taste more than 700 wines tension 16 countries.

For the first time this year, wines from Romania will be featured alongside those of Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Portugal, Spain, France, Germany, Italy and Croatia, said Harry Hertscheg, the festival's executive director.

The festival focuses on a different region or country every year, and the featured region this time is California.

"It's kind of like a dance. You can't tell anyone to dance with you. You have to invite them and they have to be interested," said Hertscheg. "Last year we were dancing with Portugal and Spain and we had a great time, and the timing just seemed right with California. It was the theme since 2013 – for six years. A lot has happened since."

The featured region has its own section in the tasting room and offers seminars, as well as food and wine events throughout the week.

British Columbia was celebrated last year when the festival shone a spotlight on Canada as it celebrated its 150th birthday.

Although both British Columbia and California share the coast, their wines are markedly different, said Hertscheg.

While climate plays a major role in the color and taste of wines, he said the soil is also a significant factor.

"The reason is so interesting and special is because it comes from a place that has a certain kind of soil, a certain kind of climate."

In B.C., the cool nights of the Okanagan don't allow the grapes to get as ripe and sweet as they do in California, so the style of wine is a little more firm and structured, said Hertscheg.

John Skinner of Painted Rock Estate Winery in the Okanagan said the region's cool climate gives the grapes bright acidity with crisp flavors that jump out at you.

"Because of hot days and cool nights we get very specific nuances to what we produce," he said. "We aim at the premium market. That's where we compete."

The industry is young in B.C. and is just getting onto the world stage, he said.

"It's not just ice wine that we produce," Skinner said, adding that the province produces some of the highest quality wines in the world.

Hertscheg said the international festival, which runs to March 3, will attract about 25,000 people. More than 30,000 bottles will be sold and tasted.

Hertscheg is looking forward to trying wines from Romania, which includes some that feature Dracula in their marketing.

"I'm not very familiar with Romanian wines so excited to go and try them out," he said. "They seem to like rich reds and they have Dracula themed wines. It says Dracula on the label."

Dec 30, 2018 / 5:23 pm | Story:

Firefighters say one woman was hospitalized after a tent caught at a homeless camp in Maple Ridge, B.C.

Maple Ridge Fire Chief Howard Exner says that the woman managed to escape the tent, which was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived on stage at the Anita Place tent city Saturday morning.

He says the woman suffered first- and second-degree burns to her hands and feet.

She has since been released from hospital.

Exner says investigators are looking into the cause of the blow, but they don't believe it's suspicious or see any evidence that it was set or accelerated intentionally.

He says fires in homeless camps are often caused by the use of heating devices, which can unintentionally spark fires or even cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

UPDATE: 11:30 am.m.

Police are investigating after a vehicle that was elderly couple was hit by a train and dragged.

The couple died after their car was struck on Sunday morning.

Staff Sgt. David Brown with the Langley RCMP says the incident occurred Sunday morning at an intersection that frequently sees train traffic.

"There's flashing lights and arms so it's hard to understand why the vehicle would've stopped on the tracks," he said. "The couple is elderly, that may have contributed to the accident."

He says investigators are still trying to figure out how the car ended up on the tracks between two traffic arms that prevent vehicles from approaching when a train is coming.

Brown says the vehicle was dragged for some distance by a CN train.

He says police came to find the couple in medical distress.

They gave CPR to the couple but they both died at the scene.

CN spokesman Jonathan Abecassis says railway police from both CN and CP are assisting RCMP with the investigation.

"Our thoughts are with those affected by this incident," he said in a statement.

– with files from The Canadian Press

ORIGINAL: 11 a.m.

An elderly couple is dead after their car was struck by a train in Langley.

Police tell CTV News it appears the vehicle got stuck on the track when it was struck by a westbound train.

The incident unfolded just before 10 am. near the Langley Bypass and Glover Road.

Paramedics were on scene and police are speaking with witnesses.

– with files from CTV Vancouver

Dec 30, 2018 / 2:48 pm | Story:

Victoria firefighters have overheated at Government House after some aging elevator equipment overheated.

Batallion chief Brian Elvedahl says firefighters arrived Saturday night to find smoke on both the second and third floors.

He says they had to shut off power and force the elevator by open on the third floor so they could extinguish the fire in the overheating engine on top of the elevator car.

Elvedahl says it was challenging to ventilate the building but no one was injured. The damage is estimated at $ 5,000.

Government House is the office and official residence of the province's lieutenant-governor and often hosts special ceremonies and guests, such as members of the Royal Family.

There have been three Government Houses on the same site in Victoria's Rockland neighborhood and the first two were destroyed by fires.

The first, known as Cary Castle, was built in 1859 and became Government House when British Columbia entered the Confederation in 1871. It was destroyed in 1899.

The second, designed by architects Francis Rattenbury and Samuel Maclure, opened in 1903 and was destroyed in 1957.

Construction on the existing government building later on that year and closely matched the design of the previous building. The current residence officially opened in 1959.

UPDATE: 2 p.m.

A public meeting is being held for Vavenby residents after a water order was issued by Interior Health on Sunday.

The order comes after a tractor trailer crashed into the North Thompson River spill diesel into the water.

Additional information will be provided to residents at 6:30 pm on Sunday at Vavenby Community Hall.

Representatives from the Ministry and TNRD will be in attendance to answer questions.

Residents who draw water from North Thompson River should be checking their water for any sign of diesel fuel.


A health warning has been issued to Vavenby to use water after a tractor trailer crashed and spilled into the North Thompson River on Sunday.

Interior Health is advising residents to check for signs of fuel contamination in their water.

Residents who draw their water from the North Thompson River, between 10 kilometers south of Avola and the confluence of North Thompson and Clearwater Rivers to be cautious and check their water for any sign of diesel fuel.

"The Avola community water system draws from Avola Creek, which is not impacted by this incident," said a spokesperson for Interior Health.

Residents should not use the river water if it smells or tastes like fuel.

"This means no drinking, showering or brushing teeth if fuel odor is detected," said a spokesperson.

TNRD says boiling the water will not make it safe and all water users are advised to use bottled water until further notice.

Water bottles and belt water will be provided at the Vavenby Fire Hall for residents on the Vavenby Community Water System.

It is not clear how long the order will be in place and the Ministry of Environment is monitoring the situation and working with an environmental consultant.

For further information, residents can call TNRD at 1-866-377-7188.

Dec 30, 2018 / 6:57 am | Story:

The federal Liberal Party has selected the owner of a daycare business as its challenger against NDP leader Jagmeet Singh in an upcoming byelection in the Lower Mainland.

Karen Wang, who owns Angels Playhouse and previously ran in the 2017 provincial election with the B.C. Liberals, was named the Liberal candidate at a nomination meeting in Burnaby on Saturday.

She defeated biotechnology scientist Cyrus Eduljee, who is product manager for Stemcell Technologies, after 123 members cast ballots.

"I'm so excited and I am so honored to be selected by you," Wang said, before reading a poem she was written by a Chinese poet.

"My eyes are full of tears because I love this country so deeply," the poem began.

Wang customs reporters she believes she has what it takes to take on Singh, because she has lived in the riding for 20 years and has strong connections in the community.

"He's not from our local community. She can't represent you," she said.

"I believe we will have a good chance to win in Burnaby South as I believe right now I'm very familiar with our community. I'm one of the people here."

Wang said top three priorities would be improving housing affordability by increasing supply, creating more jobs and improving public transit.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has no date for the byelection in Burnaby South, which was vacated by former New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart, now Vancouver's mayor. Trudeau is expected to call for the Burnaby South, Outremont, Que., And York-Simcoe, Ont., Early in the new year.

The byelection, expected for February, marks the largest political test to date, while also trying to calm party fears about fundraising, slumping polls and a growing list of veteran MPs who say they won't run in 2019.

Singh has said he plans to focus on campaigning in the riding over the next month, so he can check "off" his to-do list for the critical campaign year ahead.

In the 2015 federal election, the NDP won Burnaby South by just over 500 votes.

A party leader who can't win a seat customarily steps aside, although that hasn't happened in a byelection since the 1940s. Singh won't say what he'll do if he loses.

Corporate lawyer Jay Shin is running for the Conservatives in the byelection, while Green party leader Elizabeth May has said the Greens won't field a candidate.

Maxime Bernier's People's Party of Canada plans to name a candidate in the next two weeks, spokesman Martin Masse said. Because the party is so newly and only recently established electoral district associations, the candidate will not be selected through a typical nomination voting process.

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