Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B-C Update

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B-C Update

Article excerpt

(BC-BCGEU-Vote)

The B-C government's unionized workforce has voted 64 per cent in favour of a new, two-year contract.

The deal covers 25-thousand workers -- ranging from clerical staff and social workers to jail guards -- who are members of the B-C Government and Service Employees' Union.

Under the contract, the workers will get a four per cent wage increase and better job security while the government gives up plans to privatize liquor distribution.

The government says the wage increases will be funded from savings found in existing budgets. (The Canadian Press)

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(BC-Destination-BC)

After scrapping a tourism marketing agency just three years ago, the B-C Liberal government is resurrecting the idea.

Premier Christy Clark has unveiled a Crown corporation called Destination BC, which will be an industry-led, government-funded marketing body similar to Tourism B-C, which was dismantled just six months before the 2010 Olympics.

Clark says the new corporation will be accountable to taxpayers and more responsive to the tourism industry.

She says B-C is holding its own in tourism despite the global economic crisis, but there's still work to be done to promote the province in areas like Asia, and her aim is to boost tourism revenue to 18 (b) billion dollars a year by 2016, almost five (b) billion over current numbers. (The Canadian Press)

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(BC-Cancer-Screening)

The province is preparing to roll out a new colon cancer screening program aimed at spotting the disease earlier so patients can be cured.

The program begins next April and includes a test patients can do at home under the direction of a doctor -- a test that's considered more accurate and less likely to produce false positives.

Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid says the government will pay for the testing, along with any extra colonoscopies that are needed, but she can't say how much it will cost because health officials don't know how many people will end up being tested.

Under the program, familiy doctors can recommend patients between the ages of 50 and 74 be tested once every two years. …

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