Sunday, November 28, 2021
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Traffic delays expected near Vancouver International Airport during Black Friday sales event

RICHMOND RCMP are anticipating higher than normal traffic on Sea Island as a result of the Black Friday sales event at McArthur Glen Designer Outlet Mall. They are recommending those traveling to the Vancouver International Airport to give themselves extra time to catch their flights this coming weekend.

Richmond RCMP will have additional officers on the roadways around the mall and airport to assist with traffic flow. Ensure you follow the directions of officers/flag persons on scene.

Higher volumes are expected from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Friday to Sunday.

Richmond RCMP recommend following @yvrairport or visiting yvr.ca for updates regarding impacts for those travelling to the Vancouver International Airport.

IN PHOTOS: Surrey Holiday Lights at Surrey Civic Plaza

Surrey Holiday Lights immersive light and music experience at Surrey Civic Plaza (13450 104 Avenue) from November 27 to January 2, 2022. The mesmerizing display includes the Taj Mahal. For more info and tickets, visit surreyholidaylights.com. All photos by JAY SHARMA of Mahi Photo Studio

Public appeal by New Westminster Police for video footage in suspected child luring

THE New Westminster Police Department is appealing to the public to assist in providing CCTV footage or dash cam footage that may help in an investigation of suspected child luring.

The incident occurred on Sunday, November 21 at approximately 5:30 p.m. in the area around Sapperton Park.

The call to police came after two boys were walking home from Sapperton Park. It is alleged that as the boys passed a parked, brown minivan, a man exited the passenger seat of the van. This man asked the boys if they’d like to see a puppy that was inside his van. The boys ran away to tell a trusted adult about it.

The suspect is described as a white, between 45 years and 55 years of age, with a medium build and a short beard.

“We’re asking anyone who lives or drives through the area to please check to see if they have footage of the Sapperton Park area on November 21 between 5 and 6:30 p.m., specifically of Sherbrooke Street and Fader Street,” said Sgt. Sanjay Kumar. “Investigators have been approaching local businesses in the area for footage and we are inviting the public to contribute any possible evidence they may have.”

If you believe you have CCTV or dash cam footage of the location at the time specified above, you’re asked to download it and call Constable Dynes at the New Westminster Police Department referencing file number 21-18600.

424 new cases of COVID-19 and three more deaths in B.C.

B.C. is reporting 424 new cases of COVID-19, including one epi-linked case, for a total of 216,758 cases in the province.

In the past 24 hours, three new deaths have been reported, for an overall total of 2,316.

The new deaths include:

* Fraser Health: two

* Interior Health: one

As of Thursday, 91% (4,218,099) of eligible people 12 and older in B.C. had received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 87.5% (4,056,728) had received their second dose.

In addition, 91.4% (3,953,383) of all eligible adults in B.C. have received their first dose and 88.1% (3,808,967) have received their second dose.

Since December 2020, the Province has administered 8,609,643 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.

From November 17-23, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 58.9% of cases and from November 10- 23 they accounted for 68.5% of hospitalizations.

There are currently 3,061 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 211,202 people who tested positive have recovered. Of the active cases, 295 individuals are in hospital and 112 are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.

The new/active cases include:

* 140 new cases in Fraser Health
– Total active cases: 1,092

* 62 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health
– Total active cases: 512

* 93 new cases in Interior Health
– Total active cases: 608

* 66 new cases in Northern Health
– Total active cases: 414

* 63 new cases in Island Health
– Total active cases: 429

* no new cases of people who reside outside of Canada
– Total active cases: six

There have been two new health-care facility outbreaks at Ridge Meadows Hospital (Fraser Health) and St. Paul’s Hospital (Vancouver Coastal Health). The outbreaks at Royal Inland Hospital (Interior Health) have been declared over.

There is a total of 10 facilities with ongoing outbreaks, including:

* long-term care:
– Queens Park Care Centre, Tabor Home, Maplewood House, George Derby Centre, and Dufferin Care Centre (Fraser Health); and

– Peace Villa (Northern Health)

* acute care:
– Abbotsford Regional Hospital, and Ridge Meadows Hospital (Fraser Health); and

– St. Paul’s Hospital (Vancouver Coastal Health)

* assisted or independent living:
– Laurier Manor (Northern Health)

The outbreaks at Mar Jok Elementary and M.V. Beattie Elementary School (Interior Health) have been declared over.

 

 

 

 

 

India’s National Investigation Agency files chargesheet against Surrey’s Hardeep Singh Nijjar

Hardeep Singh Nijjar and Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.

THE IANS and other Indian media report from New Delhi that on Thursday India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a chargesheet against Hardeep Singh Nijjar, originally a resident of Jalandhar in Punjab, now residing in Surrey, Canada, for his alleged involvement in terrorist activities in India.

He was chargesheeted under the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act before the NIA Special Court in New Delhi.

As reported in The VOICE previously, Nijjar has said several times over the years that he has nothing do with terrorist activities and is only exercising his right to freedom of speech in Canada.

In 2018, the Sikhs for Justice organization in North America said that lawyer Gurpatwant S Pannun would defend Nijjar. Pannun tweeted at the time: “SFJ To Defend – Nijjar is termed as “terrorist” and framed in false criminal cases only because he is engaged in a political campaign for a referendum in Indian occupied Punjab. “We will defend Nijjar against any attempt to extradite him to India.””

(According to legalservicesindia.com, “A charge sheet is distinct from the First Information Report (FIR), which is the core document that describes a crime that has been committed. It usually refers to one or more FIRs and charges an individual or organization for (some or all of) the crimes specified in those FIR(s). Once the charge sheet has been submitted to a court of law, prosecution proceedings against the accused begin in the judicial system.”)
The case pertains to a conspiracy allegedly hatched by Nijjar of the proscribed terrorist organization Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and others to carry out terrorist acts in India.

The NIA alleges that Nijjar used to send funds to India through various Money Transfer Service Scheme (MTSS) services and hawala channels for developing a network of sympathizers for undertaking targeted killings in Punjab and was trying to arrange arms and ammunition from his Pakistan-based associates for executing his plans. He is also associated with ‘Sikhs For Justice’ and has been trying to radicalize the Sikh community across the world in favour of the creation of ‘Khalistan’.

He has also been accused of trying to incite Sikhs to vote for secession, agitate against the Government of India and carry out violent activities, through various posts, audio messages and videos posted on social media.

He has been designated a ‘terrorist’ under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, the probe agency said.

 

 

READ ALSO:

Indian agency files another case against Hardeep Singh Nijjar of Surrey (full background)

India attaches properties of Canada’s Hardeep Singh Nijjar and U.S.’s Gurpatwant Singh Pannu

Male shot in South Surrey

ON Thursday, November 25, at approximately 12 p.m., Surrey RCMP responded to a report of a shooting in the 2900-block of 160 Street. One man was shot in the driveway of a residence. The victim was taken to local hospital with what is believed to be non-life-threatening injuries.

The suspects fled the area in a white SUV, possibly with Washington licence plates. The investigation is in the very early stages and the motive is not known, police said.  Based on the initial information, the shooting does not appear to have any connection to the Lower Mainland Gang Conflict.

Police are actively searching for the suspect vehicle and will be in the area conducting further investigation.

If you have any information regarding this incident or the suspect vehicle, or were in the area and have dash camera footage, call the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502.

Highway 1 to reopen through the Fraser Valley

HIGHWAY 1 will reopen through the Fraser Valley between Chilliwack and Abbotsford at 2 p.m. (Pacific time), Thursday, November 25, following cleanup, repairs and geotechnical assessments of the highway and its structures, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has announced.

This reopening will help connect the Lower Mainland through to Highway 3 and the Interior. While this will help to reduce congestion on Highway 7, travel restrictions will remain in place on Highway 7 to ensure the safe movement of essential goods and services.

Although it is not subject to the essential travel order, people are asked to stay off Highway 1 through Abbotsford unless necessary. Drivers can expect slow traffic with reduced speed limits. When the highway reopens, the interchange at No. 3 Road will not be accessible due to closures on the municipal road network.

Commercial vehicles over 63,500 kilograms are prohibited from travelling on Highway 1 between Abbotsford and Chilliwack at this time.

Highway 1 through the Fraser Valley and Fraser Canyon was closed by flooding and debris slides on Sunday, November 14.

Repairs to Highway 1 at the Sumas River Bridge were completed on November 24, after the westbound approach failed during the heavy rain events. Additional repairs along the highway corridor will be ongoing throughout the coming weeks.

The section of Highway 1 through Bridal Falls between Highway 9 and Hope was reopened the evening of November 20. This section of highway remains one lane in each direction for essential travel only, with cleanup and repairs ongoing.

Into the Fraser Canyon, Highway 1 between Hope and Boothroyd, just east of Boston Bar, has been open since November 21. Highway 1 remains closed from Boothroyd through to Spences Bridge and damage assessments are ongoing.

Environment and Climate Change Canada has special weather statements in effect for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Squamish to Whistler and the Sunshine Coast from now into next week. Flood conditions may arise in the areas over the period of these storms. The River Forecast Centre has issued high streamflow advisories for all regions of the Coast.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is monitoring the weather and the performance of the highway. People should be aware that Highway 1 and others could be closed at any time, should conditions deteriorate.

Learn More:

The Service BC Flood Response Info line is (toll-free): 1 833 376-2452

For a list of Essential Purposes for travel and routes to which the order applies, see: www.gov.bc.ca/floodresponse

For updated road conditions, go to: www.DriveBC.ca (http://www.drivebc.ca/)

Applications can be submitted for multiculturalism grants program

COMMUNITY organizations can now submit applications for the 2021-22 multiculturalism grants program as the Province extends support for projects tackling racism and discrimination.

“Throughout the province, we’ve seen organizations stepping up to fight racism and discrimination in their communities,” said Rachna Singh, Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-racism Initiatives, on Thursday. “These grants will give British Columbians additional tools and resources to address hatred, learn and celebrate diversity, and come together to make this a more inclusive, welcoming province for everyone who lives here.”

The funding is provided to community organizations that build intercultural interaction, trust and understanding, or challenge racism, hate and systemic barriers faced by Indigenous and racialized communities.

“Too many communities in B.C. are facing barriers as a result of discrimination and systemic racism,” said Niki Sharma, Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development and Non-Profits. “This program is part of government’s broader commitment to tackle racism in B.C. The funding will support our vital non-profits in creating workshops and training sessions, documentaries and other essential resources to help British Columbians understand the key part they play in this work.”

The Province has allocated $300,000 to support this year’s grants for projects that help to reduce systemic racism and incidents of hate, as well as build capacity to address these issues in racialized communities.

Applications will be accepted until December 20.

Woman who posed as a nurse in a Vancouver hospital charged

CHARGES have been approved by BC Prosecution Service following a Vancouver Police investigation of a woman who impersonated a registered nurse while working inside a Vancouver hospital.

The VPD launched an investigation in June, after learning that an employee at BC Women’s Hospital had fraudulently identified herself as a nurse while working there between June 2020 and June 2021. The investigation, led by VPD’s Financial Crime Unit, found the woman fraudulently used the name of a real nurse while providing medical care to patients at the hospital.

“Our detectives worked collaboratively with the Ottawa Police Service, which was conducting a parallel investigation into the same suspect,” said Constable Tania Visintin on Thursday.

“We don’t yet know how many people in Vancouver may have received treatment from the fraudulent nurse, but we’re working with the Provincial Health Services Authority to identify patients who may have had contact with her.”

Brigitte Cleroux, 49, has been charged with fraud over $5,000 and personation with intent. She remains in custody until her next court appearance.

TransLink Reindeer Buses roll out for the holidays

Photo: TransLink

NINE Reindeer Buses are sleighed into service on Thursday, continuing a beloved holiday tradition in Metro Vancouver.

In addition to spreading cheer and making spirits bright, the red-nosed reindeers will collect and deliver donated toys for Metro Vancouver families in need.

The Reindeer Bus is part of a 36-year initiative known as Toys for Tots. Each year, toys and cash donations from staff at Coast Mountain bus depots and TransLink offices are delivered from the Reindeer Bus to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau to be distributed to low-income families.

“The last two years have been especially challenging for many families in our region and giving back to our community is incredibly important,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn. “I’m proud of the contributions made by our employees and hope that these buses and the donations will bring a smile to many faces this holiday season.”

Reindeer facts:

  • Over the years, 86,912 toys and over $50,500 have been donated
  • Each Reindeer Bus is named after a different reindeer guiding Santa’s sleigh
  • The routes the Reindeer Buses will travel on will vary each day based on scheduling by elves in each bus depot
  • The buses have been decorated by Santa’s elves at each bus depot

Customers who would like to donate to Toys for Tots can drop off unwrapped toys until December 14 — before the toys are delivered to the Lower Mainland Christmas Bureau by Santa and Mrs. Claus on the Reindeer Bus — at the following locations:

  • Compass Customer Service Centre outside of Stadium–Chinatown Station
  • SkyTrain Customer Assistance Counter at Commercial–Broadway
  • Leave them with SeaBus staff at Waterfront or Lonsdale Quay SeaBus Terminals

Customers who spot the Reindeer Buses are encouraged to upload a picture to social media, using #ReindeerBus.

TransLink has also launched a new line of holiday merchandise featuring the Reindeer Bus in its online store.

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