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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B.C. PROMISES FUNDING FOR PARAMEDICS, AMBULANCES

British Columbia's health minister has announced that the province will spend more than $91 million over the next three years to beef up emergency services.

Terry Lake said 60 paramedics and 20 emergency dispatchers will be hired, and six new ambulances purchased.

Lake said the extra staff and equipment will help meet goals for faster response times in emergencies, such as the nine-minute goal for urban centres.

The province has also implemented a program that will allow paramedics to provide minor health services in dozens of rural communities.

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MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL SOFTWOOD LUMBER AGREEMENT POSSIBLE: B.C. TRADE ENVOY

British Columbia's trade envoy on softwood lumber said his meetings this week in Washington, D.C., and Ottawa are a good start.

But David Emerson said the province wants to find a lasting solution to the long-lived trade dispute and he is ready to fight for its lumber producers.

The former federal cabinet minister this week met with trade officials, U.S. senators and the National Association of Homebuilders, as well as Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.

The 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement between Canada and the U.S. expired in 2015 but Emerson said he believes a negotiated solution can be found that will benefit both countries.

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OTTAWA URGED TO REPEAL DEPORTATION LAW

Former B.C. premier Ujjal Dosanjh has called the deportation of a 59-year-old man with bipolar disorder "heartless."

Dosanjh and Green party Leader Elizabeth May are urging Canada's immigration minister to intervene in the case of Len Van Heest, who has lived in Canada since he was a baby.

The B.C. resident was deported to the Netherlands this week after a string of criminal convictions for uttering threats, mischief and assault --offences his lawyer said were linked to Van Heest's mental illness.

May and Dosanjh want the federal government to repeal a law that prevents non-citizens sentenced to more than six months in prison from appealing deportation. …

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