B.C. to invest $10 million in Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast economies

proxy.jpegAhead of the Provincial Budget presentation next week, Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation, on behalf of Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, announced an investment of $10 million in 2017-18 to the North Island-Coast Development Initiative Trust – referred to as Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) to support job creation and economic diversification in the Central South Island Region and the North Island-Sunshine Coast Region.

Stillwell made the announcement at the Nanaimo Port Authority’s Welcome Centre to showcase one of the many great projects funded in part by ICET. Other examples of ICET-funded projects include the Deep Bay Marine Field Station, the Cowichan Farm Incubator, Gibsons Public Market, the Salish Sea Marine Trail, the Sunshine Coast Trail, the Remote Regions Enhanced Marketing Plan and the Sunshine Coast Regional Signage Strategy.

The trust was established in 2006 as an entity independent from government to support the economic development of the Central South Island Region and the North Island-Sunshine Coast Region and is guided by a board of directors and two regional advisory committees (RACs) which include more than 50 locally elected officials and MLAs and five appointees.

Funding the Island Coastal Economic Trust is one of the key ways the B.C. government is taking action to strengthen and grow rural communities. To further support the needs of rural communities and grow local economies, the Province will be releasing a Rural Economic Development Strategy in the near future.

On Feb. 21, 2017, Finance Minister Michael de Jong will introduce the Province’s fifth consecutive balanced budget.

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BC Home Sales Return to Historic Average

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that a total of 4,487 residential unit sales were recorded by the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in January, down 23 per cent from the same period last year. Total sales dollar volume was $2.79 billion, down 36.5 per cent from January 2016. The average MLS® residential price in the province was $621,093, a 17.5 per cent decrease from the same period last year.

“Housing demand across the province returned to long-term average levels last month,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “However, regional variations persist, with Victoria posting above average performance and Vancouver falling below the average.”

“A marked decrease in the average MLS® residential price is largely the result of relatively more home sales occurring outside of the Lower Mainland,” added Muir.

Home sales from Vancouver fell from 43 per cent of provincial transactions in January 2016 to 35 per cent last month. In addition, fewer detached home sales in Vancouver relative to multi-family units has skewed the average price statistic down in the province’s largest urban area. In contrast, the MLS® Residential Benchmark Price in the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver area has declined 3.7 per cent over the past six months, but is up 15.6 per cent from January 2016.

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Laszlo Tamasik Dance Academy Closed Today Due To Weather

Unfortunately, Laszlo Tamasik Dance Academy will be closed today due to the weather. No classes will be running today.

Laszlo Tamasik Dance Academy will be closed on Monday, February the 13th for Family Day. All Monday classes will be cancelled that day. Everything will resume as normal the following week. All of the staff at LTDA hope you have a great long weekend and hope you enjoy some quality time with your loved ones this Family Day.

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Look what made the CBC homepage

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/welcome-to-lund-draft-dodgers-1.3968147

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Inquest recommendations concerning illicit drug death in Powell River

A coroner’s inquest jury has issued 21 recommendations to try to reduce the toll from illicit drug deaths in B.C.

The recommendations focus on improved treatment options for those struggling with drug dependency issues, including: better access to the opioid replacement therapy Suboxone; expansion of treatment programs using diacetylmorphine (pharmaceutical grade heroin) and hydromorphone (Dilaudid) for chronic opioid users; and improved standards and outcome measures for centres providing treatment for drug-dependent persons.

Other recommendations centre on the need for appropriate transition planning when those who suffer from drug dependency are released from custody.

The jury was looking into the death of Brandon Juhani Jansen. Mr. Jansen, aged 20, of Coquitlam, died while a resident at a substance abuse treatment centre in Powell River in the early morning hours of March 7, 2016.

The jury found that Mr. Jansen died from “a mixed opioid drug overdose”, and classified his death as Accidental.

Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe thanked Presiding Coroner Michael Egilson and the five-person jury for their work throughout the eight days of the inquest. “These thoughtful and thorough recommendations show the value of the inquest process in which a key social issue, such as the growing number of illicit drug deaths, can be explored from a variety of angles to provide a context from which a jury can make such excellent recommendations.”

Here is the full text of the jury recommendations:

Jury recommendations

To:  The Minister of Health

1. Develop specific substance use treatment facility regulations under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act, including with respect to educational qualifications for persons working in such facilities.

2. Ensure free opioid maintenance drugs in the community for people leaving correction  centres.

3. Review the need for increasing the number of supervised consumption sites rather than overdose prevention sites.

4. Explore options to create a shared database for the treatment of substance abuse to include medical, psychiatric, criminal and substance abuse treatment  records.

5. Explore options for critical incident information sharing with respect to unexpected deaths in substance use facilities among licensees and Health Authorities with the goal of enhancing client safety and risk prevention.

6. Develop standards of practice for treating persons with opioid addictions.

7. Provide, develop and improve adolescent substance abuse treatment facilities.

To: The Minister of Health and CEOs of Regional Health Authorities

8. Consult with persons with lived experience with substance use dependency in policy and program development.

To:  The CEOs of Regional Health Authorities:

9. Require all substance use treatment centres to educate clients with opioid use disorders about opioid maintenance treatments, the risks of relapse, ensure the understanding of tolerance levels, training for the use of naloxone, and provision of naloxone kits upon discharge.

10. Require all substance use treatment programs to report back to health authorities on client outcomes.

11. Provide opioid dependent users ready access to opioid replacement interventions.

12. Expand diacetylmorphine and hydromorphone treatment programs for chronic opioid users

To: The Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General:

13. Develop a standard of practice for inmate community release, including the requirement that inmates on opioid maintenance treatment are assigned to community physicians capable of treating them. Inmates also need the ability to apply for social assistance and housing prior to release.

To: The Minister of Education:

14. Conduct a review of approved drug education resources in line with current evidence based research. Implement into the education curriculum a substance abuse and addiction program, starting at the elementary level by giving the teachers the resources and tools needed.

15. Have Noloxone kits available in the school system with trained personal on site.

To: The Director of the BC Centre on Substance Use:

16. Embark on comparative research of substance use treatment modalities with the goal of determining the features that lead to better client outcomes.

To: The Registrar of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia

To: The Chair of the British Columbia Medical Association

To: The Board Chair of the College of Regi stered Nurses of British Columbia, and

To: The President of the British Columbia Nurse Practitioner Association

17. Ensure membership is aware that Suboxone is a first line treatment option for opioid use disorder, as well as the risks and benefits of Suboxone relative to methadone.

To: The CEO Sunshine Coast Health Centre

18. Review security procedures and training with all staff.

To: The CEO all Licensed Substance Use Treatment Centres

19. Review guidelines regarding cell phone / Electronic device polices.

20. Ensure all baggage is searched on entering the facility including clients and visitors.

21. Consider greater security measures for monitoring clients and visitors. e.g.- Fob System for door; – Video System

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B.C. continues Moody’s Aaa credit rating record

BCMoody’s Investors Service has confirmed British Columbia’s Aaa credit rating for the 12th year in a row, as well as a stable outlook, thanks in part to the Province’s track record of prudent fiscal planning and diversified economy leading to economic growth, Finance Minister Michael de Jong announced today.

“We have maintained a focus on prudent controlled spending while attracting investment, and diversifying our industries and export partners,” said de Jong. “The external economic situation remains uncertain, which means we must be vigilant and continue to put B.C. on solid economic footing to weather any downturns. The upcoming budget will continue on this path to bring opportunities that create jobs and continued economic growth that pays for health, education and social programs for British Columbians.”

In affirming the Aaa-stable rating — the highest possible — Moody’s writes: “The Aaa issuer and debt ratings assigned to British Columbia reflect the diverse and relatively strong provincial economy, track record of prudent fiscal management and a high degree of flexibility to accommodate revenue and expenditure pressures. These positive elements helped the province return to balanced budgets in 2013-14 following the 2009 recession faster than most other Canadian provinces, and the province has posted a plan of continued balanced budgets across its rating horizon.”

Moody’s also says that, “The economy of British Columbia, along with a level of taxation that is at the lower end of Canadian provinces, represents an important credit positive for the Aaa rating. The large and diverse economy provides the province with a large base on which to apply a productive tax base, ensuring that provincial revenues are not strongly impacted by a decline in one particular sector,” Moody’s adds. “While Canada typically sees over three-quarters of exports flow to the U.S., this market accounts for about half of British Columbia exports. Other key markets for the province include China (17%), Japan (10%) and other Asian countries (9%). This wide diversification of sectors and markets reduces the vulnerability of the provincial economy from sector-specific or trading partner-specific shocks.”

Moody’s also writes: “British Columbia is rated at the higher end of Canadian provinces, which span a range of Aaa to Aa3. British Columbia has demonstrated strong fiscal management and performance in recent years, as evidenced by the quick return and maintenance of balanced budgets following the 2009 recession and limited increase of its debt burden during the years it produced deficits. The province’s diverse economy, in both industrial mix and external trade partners, has also helped British Columbia avoid the economic difficulties impacting several other Canadian provinces presently.”

Since November 2004, the Province has received seven credit rating upgrades and is now the only province rated triple-A by each of the international rating agencies. Standard & Poor’s most recently affirmed its AAA rating in April 2016, following Budget 2016. The Dominion Bond Rating Service affirmed B.C.’s AA (high) credit rating in April 2016, and Fitch affirmed the Province’s AAA rating in April 2016.

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Coming Up At The Evergreen

alfierosselliheadshotAMUSINGS COMEDY IS THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE THEIR FEBRUARY SHOW ‘LIVE AT THE EVERGREEN WITH ALFIE ROSSELLI’, ON FEBRUARY 4TH, 2017.

AMUSINGS COMEDY IS A GROUP OF LOWER MAINLAND COMEDIANS THAT HAIL FROM ALL OVER THE GLOBE AND THEY ARE THRILLED TO BE BRINGING A LIVE SHOW TO THE POWELL RIVER COMMUNITY.

‘LIVE AT THE EVERGREEN WITH ALFIE ROSSELLI’ IS PRODUCED BY AMUSINGS COMEDY AND THE SHOW WILL FEATURE BIG LAUGHS FROM SEASONED AMUSINGS COMICS, INCLUDING JAMES IDOL, BRANDY LE AND ALFIE ROSSELLI.

THE SHOW HEADLINER, ALFIE ROSSELLI BEGAN HIS COMEDIC JOURNEY FOUR YEARS AGO AFTER A STINT at THE SUNSHINE COAST HEALTH CENTRE helped him find a NEW direction in life and gave him the fresh start he’d been looking for.

Rosselli SAid, “I’M THRILLED TO BE PART OF A NIGHT THAT BRINGS SOME OF VANCOUVER’S funniest COMEDIANS TO POWELL RIVER.  I can guarantee it will be the BEST ATMOSPHERE IN TOWN. i can think of no better way to give my thanks to the people that gave me my fresh start than by hosting my first comedy special in the heart of their community. I hope people come out and enjoy a laughter-filled evening.”

THE SHOW TAKES PLACE ON FEBRUARY 4TH AT THE EVERGREEN THEATRE, 5001 JOYCE AVENUE, POWELL RIVER. DOORS AT 7PM. show starts at 8pm.

TICKETS ARE $10 on the door.

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION:

Show: ‘LIVE AT THE EVERGREEN WITH ALFIE ROSSELLI’.

WHEN: FEBRUARY 4TH, 2017.

WHERE: THE EVERGREEN THEATRE, 5001 JOYCE AVENUE, POWELL RIVER.

TICKETS: $10 ON THE DOOR.

COMEDIANS: JAMES IDOL, BRANDY LE AND ALFIE ROSSELLI.

Show rating: SUITABLE FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY.

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