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Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

"Today, we are announcing 97 new cases, including one epi-linked case, for a total of 7,376 cases in British Columbia.

"There are 1,590 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 3,001 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases, and 5,548 people who tested positive have recovered.

"Currently, 63 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 20 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

"Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 2,608 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 3,784 in the Fraser Health region, 195 in the Island Health region, 479 in the Interior Health region, 225 in the Northern Health region and 85 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

"There have been no new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 219 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There has been one new health-care facility outbreak at OPAL by Element in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. In total, 11 long-term care or assisted-living facilities and three acute-care facilities have active outbreaks.

"There have been no new community outbreaks, although there continue to be community exposure events.

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Merritt Flourish Under the Sun

This evening a pair of proposed developments will be debated at City Hall.

Both developments require a zoning amendment to proceed with one needing an Official Community Plan (OCP) amendment as well.

The first is a residential development along Voght.

 Voght Development

“This requires an amendment to the OCP because it’s currently listed in the plan as future development,” began Greg Lowis. “So, in order to do medium-density residential development instead of high-density future development, we need to amend the OCP before we can amend the zoning bylaw.”

The second is on Nicola and would be the home to the new Persistence Training Centre.

“Proposing putting in a mix-use facility at Nicola and Charters. I’m sure Council and then public will have their views on that,” added Lowis.

Should the development receive first and second reading this evening, Council will be required to hold a public hearing for the OCP and zoning amendments before proceeding.

Tonight’s meeting begins at 7 pm. Those not wishing to address the council are encouraged to watch the meeting online to allow for proper physical distancing inside the chambers.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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aaron same

The entire Fraser-Nicola riding association executive has resigned following the appointment of Aaron Sumexheltza as the local candidate.

Dennis Adamson was the VP of the riding association and joined Q101 to discuss why the resignations were tendered.

“We all joined the NDP because it was a democratic organization and with Craig Keating and Raj Sihota at the top positions they have just dictated how things go in our riding. Last time they interfered with the nomination for Harry Lali because they were pushing Aaron at that time,” said Adamson.

“He (Aaron) wasn’t our candidate, we never wanted him. We don’t feel like he portrays the true NDP spirit and we’re just being bullied on by Craig Keating and Raj Sihota who think they know our riding better than we do,” added Adamson.

Sumexheltza also spoke with Q101 and when asked about the resignations, spoke to bringing the party together.

“Since I was acclaimed at the candidate last Thursday, I’ve actually been very overwhelmed by the support that I’ve received from people excited about my candidacy. I’m really excited to be running and moving forward I’m going to continue building a strong team for whenever the election is called, and when it is, we will be ready,” said Sumexheltza.

“I intend to look and focus on the issues that are important to the people of Fraser-Nicola because that’s what I believe the people want,” concluded Sumexheltza.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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BC Greens

Yesterday Sonia Furstenau was elected the new leader of the BC Green Party. During her first remarks as leader, she made a point to say the party opposes an early election call from the NDP during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Simply put, with two overlapping health emergencies, Premier Horgan has a responsibility to govern, not play politics,” said Furstenau.

“This is not the time to dissolve government, to leave a province leaderless for over a month in hopes of securing more power for yourself. This is a time when we need our ministers of health and education to be working aside our public health officer to do all they can to protect the health and wellbeing of the people of British Columbia,” added Furstenau.

While they hope no election is called prior to the scheduled date next October, local Green Member Rob Mellalieu joined Q101 to discuss the work being done behind the scenes to prepare.

“We are ready. We actually have a lot of systems in place and we’ve had some cash flow for a change,” began Mellalieu. “We have systems in place ready to go like our phone calling system with our membership lists.”
“We’re going to do very well in the election. Whether we’re going to be able to get the seats that we had because the first-past-the-post system is so archaic is hard to tell. We’re going to do very well in the popular vote but to actually get over the first-past-the-post threshold is going to be difficult,” added Mellalieu.

When asked about an early election call, Premier John Horgan simply answered his party has been ready for an election since day one as a minority government, and would not confirm or deny his intentions.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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LNIB

Valard Construction and the Lower Nicola Indian Band have announced that the Kingsvale Electricity Transmission Line was successfully energized.

The line, south of Merritt, connects to BC Hydro’s distribution line to provide additional power to Trans Mountain’s existing Kingsvale pump station, as well as to a new Kingsvale pump station, as part of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.

“We are excited about the energization of this transmission line – it marks an important step towards this project being the first electricity transmission line to be majority-owned, operated, maintained, and financed by an Indigenous group in Canada,” said Lower Nicola Indian Band Chief Stu Jackson. “We look forward to the economic benefits this project provides as well as continuing to build a relationship with Trans Mountain and our partner Valard that is based upon on trust, respect, and teamwork.”

Valard and Lower Nicola will be partners in the operations of the line which will provide power to the Trans Mountain Expansion.

“We are very proud of this milestone for LNIBDC, Valard, and Trans Mountain. This has been a very unique partnership, and LNIBDC will benefit tremendously through the operation and maintenance of the Kingsvale Electricity Transmission Line. As we move forward with the Expansion Project, we are proud to be creating partnerships for Indigenous communities and are committed to making a positive impact in the communities where we build and operate,” added Ian Anderson, President, and CEO of Trans Mountain.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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