Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B-C Update

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B-C Update

Article excerpt

(NOTE: new figure of number missing in lead item)

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(BC-Landslide)

Four people are missing after a landslide engulfed three homes near Kaslo in southeastern B-C.

The slide roared down near the community of Johnson's Landing, about 70 kilometres north of Nelson.

Bill MacPherson of the Central Kootenay Regional District says it's not known if anyone was inside the homes when the slide occurred around 11 this morning.

A search and rescue team has been sent to the scene and an emergency operations centre was set up in Nelson. (The Canadian Press)

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(BC-Drunk-Driving-Laws)

Attorney General Shirley Bond is welcoming a ruling that denies refunds to people fined under a drunk driving law that was later overturned by the courts.

B-C Supreme Court Justice Jon Sigurdson says the law was still valid when the fines were handed out, so people slapped with penalties of a thousand dollars or more are stuck with them.

The government amended the law after Siguadson ruled parts of it were unconstitutional because it didn't allow drivers to appeal roadside suspensions and fines if they blew a certain level on a breathalyzer.

Bond says the B-C government remains committed to its hard line on drunk drivers, saying alcohol-related deaths on the road have plunged 44 per cent since the law came into force. (The Canadian Press)

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(BC-Liquor-Privatization)

Labour Minister Margaret MacDiarmid denies the government's plan to privatize the Liquor Distribution Branch has been tainted by the actions of lobbyists.

N-D-P critic Shane Simpson says documents obtained by the Opposition show the government wasn't thinking about privatization until an overture from a company with connections to Liberal insider and lobbyist Patrick Kinsella.

But MacDiarmid says the government has been toying with privatization has far back as 2002, and it asked civil servants to study the idea more recently as part of its efforts to balance the budget.

She also insists the process to evaluate private bids for the liquor branch will be conducted by top bureaucrats, not elected government members, and it will be fair. …

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