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“It was my perception that the amount harvested was far greater than what was reported.” ––Mike Morris A veteran MLA and former B.C. cabinet minister says a lack of oversight of the forest industry has cost British Columbians “millions or billions of dollars” in lost revenues, as well as damage to the environment, wildlife habitat, […]

“This is once again about government making decisions behind closed doors without talking to 95 per cent of people in my region.” –Mike Bernier Chetwynd Mayor Allen Courtoreille didn’t find out the province had created a massive new park near his district in northeastern B.C., directly impacting the livelihood of his residents, until his phone […]

Reacting to public backlash and stymied in its attempts to restrict illicit drug use, the B.C. provincial government backtracked on decriminalization last week, asking the federal government to make public consumption illegal. But whether this strategy will work or withstand court challenges any better than B.C.’s previous ill-fated legislation remains to be seen. Premier David […]

B.C. and federal government-funded safer supply drugs are being sold into the illicit drug market and trafficked in multiple B.C. communities by organized crime, the commanding officer of the province’s RCMP “E” Division told the Canadian parliamentary health committee on Monday. “In many cases, safer supply drugs may be diverted from one area through the […]

Three weeks after the Eby government pushed back against allegations safer supply diversion was a widespread problem, a RCMP surveillance operation revealed trafficking of safer supply pharmaceuticals outside a Prince George drugstore, and a Northern Beat investigation confirmed a similar pattern of behaviour in front of drugstores in four more cities. “I am confident that […]

In the wake of several high-profile police drug seizures of suspected safer supply that put the BC NDP government on the defensive last month, BC RCMP “E” division issued a gag order on detachments, directing them to run all communications on “hot button” public safety issues through headquarters in the lead-up to the provincial election. […]

B.C. is quadrupling financial aid for the agriculture sector to help it secure more water, as the province projects a second consecutive summer gripped by severe drought. But whether the money can be deployed quickly enough to make a difference this year, and whether the province continues its policy of cutting off farmers first during […]

“Anything that’s being diverted and then resold, is being sold with a profit going to organized crime groups.” –Rob Christenson B.C.’s premier and ministers spent days defending, denying and deflecting after police in two cities seized thousands of drugs believed to be diverted from their government’s publicly funded safer supply program.  Now, Northern Beat has learned a […]

After police in two separate B.C. cities seized thousands of suspected safe supply pills, Alberta’s addiction minister threw down the gauntlet to the BC NDP government, challenging them to prove their publicly-supplied drugs aren’t being diverted to other jurisdictions. “We believe that safe supply is coming to Alberta,” Alberta Addictions and Mental Health Minister, Dan […]

While the B.C. government considers whether to appeal a court decision recognizing two nations’ Aboriginal right to fish in a damaged river and the province’s fiduciary obligation to protect that right, the communities behind the lawsuit call on governments and industry to work with them to improve the health of the watershed. “Now that the […]

A few hours after BC Finance Minister Katrine Conroy stood in the legislature to announce $250 million in new funding for a revenue-sharing agreement in the northwest, glasses clinked at a nearby restaurant where mayors and their staff gathered to celebrate a hard-won victory.  “I feel good. I’m really happy. It’s not as much money […]

A proposal allowing First Nations to collect a portion of the resource development taxes paid by industry got a credibility boost this week when Conservative Party of Canada Leader Pierre Poilievre endorsed the unprecedented tax-sharing change, which he dubbed “a First Nations-led solution to a made-in-Ottawa problem.” “This is a historic change in how First […]

“It’s a scary time. We hope we dodge a bullet.” ––John Skinner B.C.’s wine sector is reeling from a one-two punch to its economic viability, after a wicked cold snap decimated some vineyards at the same time as Alberta cracked down on cross-border direct wine purchases from British Columbia. Grape growers and wineries are appealing […]

“There’s no debate that this process creates a veto power, there’s no dispute about that.” ––Robin Junger B.C.’s minister responsible for Crown land is apologizing for the confusing reveal of new Indigenous co-governance legislation that critics say could dramatically reshape decision-making on public land across the province. Land, Water and Resource Stewardship Minister Nathan Cullen […]

When Ellis Ross first considered a life in politics outside the Haisla Nation, he saw himself at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, fighting to have the voice of his people heard at the highest level. He may soon get that chance, after accepting federal Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre’s offer this week to become the candidate for […]

Fort St. John CAO shares multi-faceted view of city’s public safety issues

News Feature

Written By Tania Finch, Special from The Broken Typewriter

As a former RCMP officer who worked in both general duties and serious crimes in Fort St. John, the city’s chief administrative officer, Milo MacDonald, has a unique perspective on the social issues and crime facing city residents and businesses. “The crime that we’re seeing today is different than the crime I was seeing when […]

Geothermal race heats up in BC… slowly

News Feature

Written By Keith Norbury

The race is on to establish B.C.’s first geothermal electrical generation plant. Among the front runners is Tu Deh-Kah, wholly owned by the Fort Nelson First Nation in the province’s northeast. The goal is to generate its first electrons by mid 2027, says Jim Hodgson, chief executive officer of the project’s parent company, Deh Tai Limited Partnership, the […]

For two weeks, B.C. Premier David Eby and his ministers have been adamant – their government severed ties with a Vancouver-based drug user group immediately upon learning it was involved in illicit drug trafficking last month. Yet several NDP MLAs, including Eby’s parliamentary secretary when he was Attorney General, were personally briefed on drug user groups’ […]

“This is reconciliation in action.” ­–Owen Torgerson A ground-breaking agreement will soon bind together Simpcw First Nation and four communities across its territory in a shared commitment to work together and build prosperity for everyone in the North Thompson-Robson Valley. “I see a lot of benefits to working together,” said Simpcw chief George Lampreau. “As […]

“Local governments are well placed to [determine] … what’s required for community safety.” ––David Eby When it comes to regulating drug use in public, most B.C.’s municipal councils fall into one of two camps.  They’re waiting to see if upcoming provincial legislation restricts public drug use to a level they can live with, or they’re […]

The Conservative Party of BC will enter the Fall legislative session with official party status, making it the first time since 1996 that four parties will be recognized in the legislature. “We’ve already made history!” Conservative Party Leader John Rustad declared after former BC United MLA Bruce Banman crossed the floor, doubling Rustad’s caucus to two […]

“If you severed your femoral artery, they wouldn’t put you on a bus with a tourniquet and send you to Prince George for vascular surgery.”  ––James Cordeiro Last week, Premier David Eby lobbed a lifeline to northern residents, committing his government’s support to a First Nations-led, local government-backed detox proposal for Terrace, in what would […]

BC promises ‘action’ as municipalities struggle to deliver housing

News Feature

Written By Northern Beat staff

Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon had scant details for local leaders at the annual Union of BC Municipalities conference about what exactly is coming in his housing legislation when the session resumes next month, but it sounds like push is coming to shove on some fronts as far as the province and local governments go.  Kahlon […]