Wai Young says she received distracted-driving ticket by mistake

A Vancouver mayoral candidate who has vowed to crack down on “lawless” cyclists and pedestrians failed to appear at a scheduled hearing Friday over a ticket she received last year for using an electronic device while driving. When asked about the ticket Tuesday, Wai Young said the officer who issued it to her had mistaken her makeup compact for an electronic device. “My compact … is about the same size as an iPhone or a phone. So I was stopped at a red light and I was going to an event so I was powdering my nose — like literally. So they gave me this ticket,” Young said. She described… Read More

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Supreme Court Lets Stand a Decision Requiring ‘Dark Money’ Disclosure

Secret money in politics will soon be a lot less secret. The Supreme Court on Tuesday let stand a lower court ruling forcing politically active nonprofit groups to disclose the identities of any donor giving more than $200 when those groups advertise for or against political candidates. Until now, such nonprofit organizations—generally, those of the 501(c)(4) “social welfare” and 501(c)(6) “business league” varieties—could keep secret their donors under most circumstances. It wasn’t immediately clear whether nonprofit groups that advocate for and against political candidates must retroactively disclose their funders or only do so going forward, contingent on their future political spending. Nevertheless, disclosure advocates hailed the Supreme Court’s “dark money”… Read More

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Colorado’s Charismatic Governor Is Pondering a Run for President

DENVER—John Hickenlooper sits in the backseat of his official SUV, poring over a speech he’s about to deliver before the One Colorado Education Fund. He’s slated to receive an award from the group for his leadership on LGBT issues. It’s a busy Saturday night in the life of Colorado’s popular Democratic governor, who is dressed in a royal blue, pin-striped zoot suit, having just left the annual Dancing With the Denver Stars fundraiser in late August. He shows off a few steps from his dance routine to a small group of acquaintances once he arrives at the Four Seasons hotel. By the time he’s made his way to the lectern… Read More

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Douglas Todd: Popular Canadian student visas leading to exploitation

Senior Indian politicians are warning tens of thousands of young Punjabis about the dangers of trying to take advantage of student visas to try to become Canadian citizens. Indian nationals — some of whom are using student visas primarily to work rather than study in Canada — are being exploited in both countries for their money and cheap labour, say South Asian media outlets and officials in both India and Canada. The Punjab’s education minister, Charanjit Singh Channi, says he recently travelled to Canada and “saw the plight of students there,” with many working 16 hours a day to make ends meet and attending fly-by-night colleges with just five students… Read More

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Park board votes to consider Indigenous names for Vancouver parks

Some Vancouver landmarks may be getting new names after the park board voted Monday to identify traditional Indigenous place names within park jurisdiction as the next step toward reconciliation. Up for renaming are the westside beaches Spanish Banks, Jericho Beach, Locarno Beach and Kitsilano Beach, as well as communities around the edges of Stanley Park. “I’ve been told all along the banks of Burrard Inlet, there were either communities or gathering places or food collecting places, and many of them would have names,” said park board chair Stuart Mackinnon, who put forward the motion, which was approved unanimously. Mackinnon said it was important to recognize that First Nations people had… Read More

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Park board votes to consider Indigenous names in Vancouver parks

Some Vancouver landmarks may be getting new names after the park board voted Monday to identify traditional Indigenous place names within park jurisdiction as the next step toward reconciliation. Up for renaming are the westside beaches Spanish Banks, Jericho Beach, Locarno Beach and Kitsilano Beach, as well as communities around the edges of Stanley Park. “I’ve been told all along the banks of Burrard Inlet, there were either communities or gathering places or food collecting places, and many of them would have names,” said park board chair Stuart Mackinnon, who put forward the motion, which was approved unanimously. Mackinnon said it was important to recognize that First Nations people had… Read More

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Vaughn Palmer: Broadway Subway’s half-a-billion dollar a kilometre estimate fraught with risk

VICTORIA — The Ministry of Transportation has provided an explanation of sorts for the cost estimate of half-a-billion-dollars a kilometre for extending SkyTrain along Broadway in Vancouver. The budget for the 5.7-kilometre-long Broadway Subway was estimated at $2.83 billion when Premier John Horgan greenlit provincial funding for the project earlier this month. Presuming that number holds — count me as a skeptic — the Subway would cost almost four times as much per kilometre as the Evergreen Line, completed just two years ago. But the ministry says that is not a fair comparison. “In order to compare the cost of the Evergreen Line with the Broadway Subway, both projects should… Read More

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B.C. government cannabis workers could be barred from entering U.S.

VICTORIA — B.C.’s solicitor general says he’s extremely concerned that the United States might bar provincial government employees from travelling across the American border because they work in the province’s new legal cannabis branch. Mike Farnworth said Monday he’s aware of a threat by U.S. border officials to deny entry to anyone involved in Canada’s marijuana industry, which will become legal Oct. 17. That’s raised the risk that hundreds of B.C. government employees could find themselves unable to travel to the United States because they staff the new public cannabis retail stores and distribution branch, including front-line workers, managers and even ministry officials. The first B.C. government store, in Kamloops,… Read More

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Ian Mulgrew: Dr. Brian Day takes the stand in court, has his say on access to private health care

Denounced by many as the Great Satan of Medicare, Dr. Brian Day is finally getting his day in court — two years into the marathon B.C. Supreme Court trial he launched. The man behind the constitutional challenge to B.C.’s restrictions on access to private health care took the stand Monday in his fight to end the existing putative single-tier medical system. The scrappy, 71-year-old, Liverpudlian and a founder of the private Cambie Surgery Centre nearly a quarter century ago wants to call a spade a spade. In spite of attempts to deal with dangerous, too-long surgical waiting lists, Day insisted that after two decades the situation in the province is… Read More

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Rob Shaw: New local grant programs are political wins for Victoria and Ottawa

VICTORIA — Premier John Horgan’s government sailed through last week’s municipal convention without delivering any big-ticket announcements, except for a new grant program that is clearly designed to deliver major political benefits to future federal and provincial election campaigns. Horgan’s housing minister, Selina Robinson, announced two building funds during her speech at the Union of B.C. Municipalities — a $95-million pot for rural and northern communities, and a $134-million program for community, culture and recreation projects. The funding is roughly a 60/40 split between Ottawa and B.C., and will allow towns, cities, regional governments, non-profits and First Nations to apply for money they can use to upgrade roads, airports, skating… Read More

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