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BC MPs say: ‘We need help’

“We’re talking billions of dollars of economic loss right now.”




BC MPs said flood damage in their province is comparable to a much-feared massive earthquake and say the clean-up costs will run into the billions, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

“We haven’t had anything like this ever happen before,” said Conservative MP Brad Vis (Mission-Matsqui).

“In British Columbia, we have heard for many years that we are going to have a big earthquake one day and the Lower Mainland could be cut off from the rest of the province. Well, that just happened.”

All rail service is suspended to the Port of Vancouver, the largest port in the country that handles 144 million tonnes of cargo annually.

“The Port of Metro Vancouver is cut off from the rest of the country,” MP Vis told reporters.

“We’re talking billions of dollars of economic loss right now.”

A downpour last weekend that dumped five to nine inches of rain in two days prompted declarations of a state of emergency in BC and neighbouring Washington State.

Cabinet on Wednesday dispatched the Canadian Armed Forces to B.C.

“All the major roadways in British Columbia are destroyed,” said MP Vis, whose riding includes flooded districts.

“We don’t have rail infrastructure right now.”

Conservative MP Ed Fast (Abbotsford, B.C.) said repairs will be costly.

“We need help,” said Fast.

“There are many things that are going to have to take place going forward to rebuild all the infrastructure that has been damaged. There is infrastructure that needs to be upgraded to seismic standards.”

The Government of British Columbia counted 42 flood alerts in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Merritt, Nanaimo, Okanagan-Similkameen, Princeton and other cities and districts.

There were 39 road and highway closures by official estimate, and 12 landslide alerts from Williams Lake to Quesnel.

Similar damage was forecast in a 2017 Department of Public Safety scenario that attempted to gauge the impact of a major earthquake in B.C.’s Lower Mainland.

Disruption to transport by road and rail would “lead to a shortage of food in the most affected areas,” said the analysis.

“Hospitals in the affected areas will not only be impacted as a result of sector-specific disruptions, but also in other sectors such as energy, utilities and transportation,” wrote analysts.

Utilities estimate storm-related blackouts this week affected 246,000 homes in British Columbia and Washington.

“If there is a significant seismic event in either British Columbia or in the Ottawa-Montréal-Québec City corridor we would be looking for an all-of-society approach to make sure probably rather devastating impacts to the economy could be responded to,” Peter Braid, CEO of the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada, said in 2019 testimony at the Senate banking committee.

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  1. Andrew Red Deer

    November 19, 2021 at 6:31 am

    Bunch of whiners, stop the tyranny, let the people and businesses back to work. Open the borders, build pipelines and then I might consider helping.

  2. The Real Kevin

    November 18, 2021 at 6:41 pm

    And I need a pipeline. Cash on the barrelhead, no credit.

  3. Ken

    November 18, 2021 at 12:39 pm

    Oh man I’d love to help but just can’t afford it right now plus I’m busy

  4. Baron Not Baron

    November 18, 2021 at 12:24 pm

    Drop the vax mandates, restrictions, fire up the economy, and you’ll be fine.

  5. Barbara

    November 18, 2021 at 11:25 am

    Maybe if they didn’t have everyone ,(emergency workers) not vaccinated fired they’d have more help for real emergencies.

    Maybe if B.C hadn’t lost BILLIONS of dollars destroying their economy while ruining small businesses and EMERGENCY JOBS THEY would have been more prepared.

    Two years of focusing on NOTHING BUT COVID have left them unprepared for natural disasters like this, like the fires last summer, like Lytton burning down.

    But not to worry Bonnie Henry and Horgan will blame this on Global warming and the spoilt Vancouver babies will believe them and their new fear campaign.

    What a mess we have gotten ourselves in.

  6. Left Coast

    November 18, 2021 at 9:57 am

    Just saw a picture of the Whatcom Overpass on Highway 1 from 1990 . . . the water was higher then on the Sumas Prairie. That was 30 years ago & don’t remember this level of excitement.

    “Earthquake” ? ? ?
    That is just an insane comparison . . . a 7+ Earthquake in the Lower Mainland would have much of West & North Vancouver in Burrard Inlet . . . what are these Politicians smoking?

    One thing for sure . . . while the Provincial NDP are great at causing Disasters . . . they have No Clue how to respond to one.

    Rail Service is down . . . until they inspect all the railbeds & bridges . . . Obviously!

    I understand the Kinder Morgan Pipeline is also shut down till further inspection . . . maybe Vancouver can start up their Solar Panels & Windmills now . . . lol
    Going to be fun . . . but fortunately much of the Lower Mainlands Gas, Diesel & Jet Fuel comes from Cherry Point Refinery north of Bellingham.

    While it is sad that so many people are affected by high water . . . the number of New Homes built on floodplains today is much higher than say 30 years ago.

  7. berta baby

    November 18, 2021 at 9:44 am

    Eat shit , sign a binding document supporting Alberta oil and gas and Agee to a pipe line or fuck off

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Maskless teen student with asthma ostracized at Calgary Catholic school

“Kids in my class called me an ‘outsider’ which made me feel worse than I already felt,” said 14-year-old Darius.




A Calgary Catholic school has segregated and since banned a student from attending school for not wearing a mask, says the student’s parents.

And before that, teachers had even taped off an area around the boy’s desk “like a crime scene.”

Darius Lynn, a Grade 9 student at St. Helena Junior High School in Calgary, suffers from asthma and was permitted to go maskless at his desk during the 2020-2021 school year.

When Darius returned to St. Helena for the 2021-2022 school year, without his parents’ knowledge, he was advised he would be required to wear a mask full time.

He complied for the first few months but eventually reported to his parents in late November he was struggling to breathe while wearing the mask.

“I had no idea he was told to wear a mask again this year,” Darius’ mother Stephanie told the Western Standard.

“My husband and I just assumed he wasn’t needing to wear a mask again this year.”

Stephanie said she and her husband Paul reached out to the new principal and Darius’ teachers to request they allow their son the same exemption as the previous year.

They were told he would need a doctor’s note, which Stephanie said they have been unable to acquire.

“Mask exemptions are impossible to get,” said Stephanie.

“Right now, doctors are just too scared to write them.”

Stephanie said the school’s solution was to, “move my son’s desk into the hallway.”

Darius also spoke with the Western Standard and said the teenagers in his class referred to him as an “outsider” after he was moved into the hallway.

“When they did group projects, they would just send me to the library and I had to work on my own,” said Darius.  

“Kids in my class called me an ‘outsider’ which made me feel worse than I already felt.”

Stephanie said she and her husband tried to appeal to the principal, but “she wouldn’t budge,” so they reached out to the superintendent.

“We begged for her to let Darius back into the classroom but he ended up sitting out there for two weeks where he was discriminated against and basically ridiculed so we contacted the superintendent,” said Stephanie.

Stephanie said she emailed Chief Superintendent Bryan Szumlas with the Catholic School Board who helped the Lynns get their son moved back into his classroom.

“So, he was moved back into the classroom, which was good, but what we didn’t know was that his teachers taped off the floor around his desk like a crime scene,” said Stephanie.

“After they put tape on the floor around my desk, some of the kids in my class would step past the tape and pretend they couldn’t breathe,” said Darius, explaining the teasing he endured.

Darius said his teachers had witnessed some of the teasing, but said, “most of the time the teachers didn’t do anything about it.

“They (teachers) also made me wait a few minutes before I could move to my next class because there were basically a bunch of students in the halls.”

“It was just awful what they were doing to him. They were treating him like a walking disease and visibly segregating him,” said Stephanie.

Stephanie said Darius had to stay within his taped boundaries for about a week until Christmas break.

“After the break, the principal notified us that Darius wouldn’t be welcome back if he wasn’t willing to wear a mask,” said Stephanie.

“In fact, one of the communications with the school referred to his asthma as his ‘apparent asthma’ like we were making it up or something.

“They said he could move to the online schooling system or do their D2L system from home,” said Stephanie referring to a web-based learning system offered throughout the school division.

“He doesn’t do well online so we are just trying to do the best we can. He’s in Grade 9, he should be able to be with his peers to finish off his last year in middle school.”

Darius said he has mixed feelings about not returning to school.

“I’m just really upset that I don’t get to see my friends anymore, but I also feel like I have less distractions at home,” said Darius.

Stephanie said it’s been a hard year for Darius as he also had to walk away from community hockey due to the vaccination mandates and additional costs associated with frequent rapid testing.

“He is totally destroyed,” said Stephanie.

The Lynns have two other sons — both attending Notre Dame High School — one in Grade 11 who is special needs and one in Grade 12.

“The real kicker for us is that we have a special needs son who has never worn a mask, doesn’t social distance and we have never been required to show a doctor’s note for him,” said Stephanie.

“They have totally humiliated my son and I’m angry. We just want our son to be treated with dignity and compassion. He has lost hockey because of the mandates and now he isn’t allowed to go to school.”

The family has since been referred to Area Director Deana Helton with regard to their son’s situation.

The Western Standard has contacted the school principal along with Helton but hasn’t heard back yet.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard

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Copping strikes EMS advisory committee amid system strains, red alerts

The Alberta Provincial EMS Advisory Committee will provide recommendations on a provincial EMS service plan by May.




Health Minister Jason Copping has appointed MLAs R.J. Sigurdson (Highwood) and Tracy Allard (Grande Prairie) to co-chair a new EMS committee to address “unprecedented” demands on the healthcare system.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) is also rolling out a 10-point plan to maximize EMS system capacity.

The government listed many aggravating factors driving the system strains including “EMS staffing fatigue and illness, hospital offload delays, more requests for patient transfers, delays in receiving new ambulances and specialized vehicle parts caused by global supply issues.”

The province has seen a plethora of “red alerts” reported by EMS members and tweeted by the Union of Health Care Professionals @HSAAlbertaEMS. A red alert is when there are no available ambulances for emergency calls.

The government also reported a 30% increase in 911 calls in recent months. There was no mention of personnel shortages caused by the government’s COVID-19 mandate.

“Alberta’s government has been supportive of EMS throughout the pandemic. As we approach the peak of Omicron cases, we know the EMS system is seeing significant strain, which impacts service. We recognize this is a challenge and are taking immediate steps to improve emergency care access while we explore longer-term solutions,” said Copping.

AHS will immediately hire more paramedics, transfer low-priority calls to other agencies, and stop automatic ambulance dispatch to motor vehicle accidents with no injuries. AHS is also “launching pilot projects to manage non-emergency inter-facility transfers, and initiating an ‘hours of work’ project to help ease staff fatigue.”

Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO of AHS is confident these actions “will allow us to better support our EMS staff and front-line paramedics, and in turn this will ensure our patients receive the best care possible.”

Additionally, AHS will issue a request for proposals in February to conduct a third-party review of Alberta’s provincewide EMS dispatch system.

“The objective review by external health system experts will provide further opportunities to address ongoing pressures, improve effectiveness and efficiency through best practices, and provide the best outcomes for Albertans who call 911 during a medical event,” the government said.

The Alberta Provincial EMS Advisory Committee will provide recommendations on a provincial EMS service plan by May. Committee representatives include “contracted ambulance operators, unions representing paramedics, municipal representatives and Indigenous community representatives.”

Sigurdson said the committee will consider taxpayers’ needs.

“Albertans expect that when they call 911 in their time of greatest need, EMS will always answer. The committee’s goal will be focused around ensuring and improving service to Albertans while supporting the most critical piece of that equation: our EMS staff across all of Alberta.”

Amber Gosselin is a Western Standard reporter.

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WATCH: O’Toole will not be welcoming the truckers in Ottawa

“It’s not for the leader of the Opposition to attend a protest on the Hill or a convoy, it’s up to politicians to advocate for solutions, in a way that’s responsible and respectable to the health crisis we are in.”




Conservative leader Erin O’Toole was asked six times during a Monday press conference about his stance on the truckers Freedom Convoy 2022, before giving a vague answer.

“We have been talking with the Canadian Trucking Alliance for several months,” said O’Toole told reports.

“We’ve seen a crisis in the supply chain coming for several months and we’ve proposed policies to try to help alleviate that. The most important of which is vaccines. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated.”

O’Toole press conference

Other specific. questions on the truckers’ comments were left with vague answers.

But the end of the conference O’Toole said it’s not his place to get involved.

“It’s not for the leader of the Opposition to attend a protest on the Hill or a convoy — it’s up to politicians to advocate for solutions, in a way that’s responsible and respectable to the health crisis we are in,” O’Toole said.

“We’ve been trying to tackle the supply chain crisis, encourage vaccination, not ignore problems and divide the country like Mr. (Justin) Trudeau does.”

O’Toole said policies cannot be put in place which could contribute to supply chain issues, as Canadians are already worried about their grocery bills.

O’Toole said he was focused on the economic strain Canadians are having, with record inflation, cost of living, 30% higher gas prices and the housing market’s rising costs,.

Ewa Sudyk is a reporter with the Western Standard

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