Changes to camping reservation system take effect in January

The province is hoping changes to Discover Camping Reservation Service will making booking a site easier.

With the 2017 camping season just around the corner, those looking to experience BC Parks are reminded to become familiar with new changes to the Discover Camping Reservation Service.

The Province announced significant changes to the Discover Camping Reservation Service in November 2016, to enhance fair access for everyone looking to book a campsite in B.C.’s world-renowned provincial parks.

 These changes take effect on Jan. 2, 2017, and include:

Illicit drug death numbers hit new record

From left, Dr. Perry Kendall, Provincial Health Officer; Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe; Clayton Pecknold, Director of Police Services release the latest information regarding illicit drug deaths in B.C. during a media conference Monday. — Photo courtesy BC Government

The month of November brought the highest number of illicit drug deaths in B.C. for a single month in recent memory, according to the latest statistics from the BC Coroners Service.

Provisional data shows that a total of 128 persons died as a result of illicit drug use during November, an average of more than four a day. The previous high for a single month was 82 in January, 2016.

The November numbers bring the total illicit drug deaths for the year to 755, an increase of 70.4% over the number of deaths occurring the same time period last year.

Revelstoke RCMP rescue injured bald eagle

Revelstoke RCMP rescue injured bald eagle

Shortly after 2 p.m. on Dec. 16, the Revelstoke RCMP were informed of an injured bald eagle near the Illecillewaet River and Simpson Street. Upon arrival, locals Dorn Crowe and Terry Duncan were attempting to apprehend the eagle, who later became known as Illy. The bald eagle appeared to be suffering from a damaged wing.

Wilderness preparedness and safety tips

Anyone who makes the decision to go into the backcountry must be able to take care of themselves and their companions.

British Columbia is full of opportunities and unforgettable recreational experiences. But to safely enjoy this province, everyone venturing out into the wilderness has the responsibility of adequately preparing for the trip.

As the number of people in the wilderness has increased in recent years, so have the number of search and rescue operations undertaken by volunteers. Emergency Management BC (EMBC) is encouraging all outdoor enthusiasts to make good decisions in order to stay safe.

Not everyone jumping on first-time homebuyers program

Christy Clark announced the new first-time homebuyers program Friday.

Not everyone is jumping on the Christy Clark Liberal government B.C. Home Owner Mortgage and Equity Partnership rolled out Friday the the sitting BC government.

NDP housing spokesperson David Eby said instead of taking real action to bring down the cost of homes for young families struggling with record debt levels, the Christy Clark government is encouraging people to take second mortgages for down payments.

"People can't afford housing because Christy Clark sat on her hands for two years while prices spiraled out of control," said Eby.

B.C.'s propaganda department cranks up production

Dawson Creek Secondary School – in Minister Mike Bernier's riding – is getting new floors.

It's official.

After hitting send to more than 2,680 news releases this year, the B.C. government's Communications and Public Engagement Office is now scraping the bottom of the barrel for an excuse – any excuse – to trumpet the government's prowess.

If you're not on the distribution list, you may not appreciate the leave no stone unturned – Todd or otherwise – gusto they bring to the job.

Charitable giving in Canada hits 10-year low

The study finds that 21.3 per cent of Canadian tax filers claimed charitable donations in 2014, the last year of available data, down from 25.1 per cent in 2004.

The percentage of Canadians claiming charitable donations on their taxes—and the amount they’re giving as a percentage of their income—is the lowest it’s been in a decade, finds a new study by the Fraser Institute, an independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank.

Handful of West Kootenay communities receive grants-in-lieu of property taxes

The City of Nelson received $176,528 as part of the grants-in-lieu of property taxes distributed by the BC government.

A handful of communities in the West Kootenay were recipients of the nearly $16 million in compensation for municipal property taxes distributed by the B.C. government.

Nelson, Rossland, Castlegar and Nakusp received grants-in-lieu of property taxes that are distributed every November and reimburse municipalities for services that benefited government properties, such as municipally run sewers, roads and fire protection.

BC statement regarding new Canadian drugs and substances strategy

Officials are seeing illegally produced fentanyl and its analogues imported in varying amounts and mixed with other drugs.

Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Morris and Minister of Health Terry Lake, along with the co-chairs of the Joint Task Force on Overdose Response, Dr. Perry Kendall and Clayton Pecknold, issued the following joint statement today in response to the federal announcement regarding a new Canadian drugs and substances strategy:

Keep the season merry – plan ahead before you drive

Local police will be on patrol during the holiday season, setting up a few road blocks looking for impaired drivers.

Christmas is a festive time of the year.

However, as Mike Morris, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General says, it's not an excuse to drive while affected by alcohol or drugs.

Which is why motorists have seen increased of police on the highways throughout the province.

“Having fun and being festive is encouraged but risking lives doing it won’t be tolerated,” said Morris in a media release.

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