Newspaper article The Canadian Press

What's Making News in British Columbia

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

What's Making News in British Columbia

Article excerpt

What's making news in British Columbia

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MINES MINISTER DEFENDS SITE C

Energy Minister Bill Bennett says Amnesty International is just the latest group to speak out against B.C. Hydro's Site C dam project without knowing all the facts.

The respected human rights organization wants all work halted on the project in northeastern B.C. until there is free and informed consent from affected indigenous peoples.

But Bennett contends that while Amnesty accuses the Site C venture of threatening the rights of indigenous peoples, it has ignored the benefits such as First Nations employment and a long-term supply of affordable power for all B.C. residents.

He also says there has been a long-term consultation process -- although several challenges of the project have been launched by aboriginal groups.

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DRONES TAKE FLIGHT IN B.C. FIRE FIGHT

The BC Wildfire Service says it's ready to put drones into firefighting service after conducting two seasons of trials.

Spokeswoman Erin Catherall says the remotely controlled aircraft are cheaper and safer than piloted aircraft and can also be used at night, when most helicopters and planes are grounded.

Catherall says that allows firefighters to identify hot spots for immediate action at first light.

She adds drones have already been an important part of the battle against recent wildfires in northeastern B.C.

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LOGGING TRUCK SAFETY IMPROVES

The B.C. Forest Safety Council says there's been a sharp drop in logging truck rollovers but curbing injuries related to tree falling has been more difficult.

Council CEO Rob Moonen says there have been just three logging truck rollovers this year, compared with 51 in 2013.

But he says the injury rate among tree fallers reached 29.6 per cent last year.

The council says there have been five fatalities in the industry so far this year -- compared with eight for all of last year. …

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