Forest Practices Board Releases Annual Report for 2006
January 10, 2007
VICTORIA - The Forest Practices Board has released its annual report for
2005/2006. The annual report details the key findings and topics the
board has examined during the past fiscal year. The annual report gives
the public an idea of the diversity of issues brought to the board
through random audits, investigations of public complaints, special
projects, and administrative appeals.
The board's primary role is to assess how well forest licensees and
government agencies are complying with legislation on the ground. The
annual report also includes projects and new initiatives that will
ensure that the board will be ready when the Forest and Range Practices
Act is fully implemented in 2007-2008.
The report is available on the board's website at www.fpb.gov.bc.ca, or
by contacting the board at 1-800-994-5899.
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
HEAVY SNOW IN PEACE REGION STRANDS MOTORISTS
January 10, 2007
VICTORIA - Heavy snow and gusting winds overnight are affecting travel on roads in
East of British Columbia, including Braden Road between the Hart Highway and the
Highway near Dawson Creek stranding a number of motorists on that road.
Emergency crews, RCMP and highway maintenance crews are currently working to reach
motorists in the area. Those individuals stranded by the snow should remain in
until emergency crews can reach them and do the following:
* Periodically run your vehicle to stay warm.
* Keep a window slightly open to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.
* If you have a cell phone, call 911 or 1 800-461-9111 to let personnel know where
you are, how
many people are with you and what your situation is.
RCMP and local road maintenance crews are advising the travelling public in the area
to stay off
the roads unless absolutely necessary. For further information on road conditions
Ministry of Small Business and Revenue
NEW CONSTRUCTION SETS $19.5-BILLION RECORD
Jan. 9, 2007
VICTORIA - New construction and development throughout British Columbia
has hit a record assessed value of $19.5 billion, up 55 per cent from a
year ago, Rick Thorpe, Minister of Small Business and Revenue and
Minister responsible for BC Assessment, announced today.
"We've just finished a year in which the assessed value of new
construction reached nearly four times what it was in 2001," said
Thorpe. "Record construction, small-business job creation and retail
sales are just a few indicators of British Columbia's booming economy,
which is benefiting every region of our province."
Regional gains in the value of new construction and development, by BC
Assessment area offices, are as follows:
* Capital (Greater Victoria and Southern Gulf Islands): $1.77 billion on
the 2007 assessment roll, up 93 per cent from the value of new
construction and development shown on the 2006 assessment roll.
* Central and Northern Vancouver Island: $1.43 billion, up 27.6 per
* Fraser Valley: $2.37 billion, up 40.5 per cent.
* Kamloops Region: $513 million, up 139.4 per cent.
* Kootenays (including Nelson, Trail and Cranbrook): $536 million, up
49.7 per cent.
* North Fraser (including Burnaby and Coquitlam): $2.13 billion, up 48.6
* North Shore/Squamish: $1.19 billion, up 28.1 per cent.
* Okanagan (including Vernon, Penticton, Kelowna): $2.66 billion, up
56.2 per cent.
* Peace River: $317 million, up 6.4 per cent.
* Prince George: $146 million, up 57.9 per cent.
* South Fraser (Surrey, White Rock, Richmond, Delta): $3.48 billion, up
95 per cent.
* Vancouver: $2.69 billion, up 49 per cent.
BC Assessment calculated the most recent totals in completing its
assessment roll for 2007. The new record smashes the $12.4 billion in
new construction on the 2006 assessment roll and represents more than
3.6 times the $5.3 billion in new construction on the 2001 roll.
"It's been another phenomenal year for builders and tradespeople in
every facet of construction and in every region of the province," said
Philip Hochstein, executive vice president of the Independent
Contractors and Businesses of British Columbia.
"British Columbia is increasingly attractive to investors, and the
strong economy is encouraging people to enter or move up in the real
estate market - all of which is creating unprecedented opportunities in
residential construction," said M.J. Whitemarsh, CEO of the Canadian
Home Builders' Association of British Columbia.
The total value of British Columbia property has also hit a record high
of $808 billion, according to the 2007 assessment roll. This represents
a rise of 23 per cent from $658 billion in 2006. Between 1997 and 2001,
British Columbia's total roll value hovered between $396 billion and
On Jan. 2, BC Assessment began sending 2007 assessment notices to more
than 1.78 million British Columbia property owners provincewide. More
information about BC Assessment and the 2007 roll, including area office
news releases detailing growth in individual communities, is available
at www.bcassessment.ca online.
Ministry of Economic Development
ALBERTA AGREEMENT WILL HAVE POSITIVE EFFECT ON ECONOMY
Jan. 4, 2007
VICTORIA - The Province has released a Conference Board report on the
impact of the B.C./Alberta Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility
Agreement (TILMA) on B.C.'s economy.
The provincial government commissioned the report before signing on to
the agreement, which was finalized at a joint B.C.-Alberta cabinet
meeting in April of 2006. The 46-page report, entitled An Impact
Assessment of the B.C./Alberta Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility
Agreement, concludes that:
"Overall, this agreement has the potential to make a real difference in
B.C.'s economic performance. After all the net benefits are realized,
the TILMA has the potential to add $4.8 billion to real GDP and create
78,000 new jobs in the province."
The report highlighted a number of advantages B.C.'s economy will gain
from TILMA's full implementation. Specifically, a more open economy
* Attract new business and investment as it will create the
second-largest market in Canada;
* Allow B.C. firms operating in the goods and services-producing sector
to benefit from better access to the Alberta market, creating new
business and investment opportunities;
* Open up the market for B.C.'s primary and agricultural sectors by
streamlining regulations and standards;
* Enhance the position of B.C.'s strong financial services sector;
* Result in a more efficient allocation of resources between the two
provinces, which in turn will lead to higher incomes due to productivity
* Create more opportunities for workers through the reconciliation of
The report also found that all regions of the Province will benefit from
implementation of the proposed agreement: especially the northeast,
Lower Mainland and southwest regions.
An Impact Assessment of the B.C./Alberta Trade, Investment and Labour
Mobility Agreement is available from the Ministry of Economic
Development web site: www.gov.bc.ca/ecdev
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General Office of the Fire
Commissioner B.C. Coroners Service
SAFETY FIRST CAN PREVENT NEEDLESS DEATHS
Jan. 3, 2007
VICTORIA - Fifteen British Columbians needlessly lost their lives due to
smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in 2006, a number
that needs to be reduced in the New Year, said Minister of Public Safety
"Sustained public education is the key to preventing these kinds of
accidental deaths," said Les, who is responsible for the Office of the
Fire Commissioner and B.C. Coroners Service. "It's not enough to talk
about safety tips and alarms during the holidays when severe weather
often causes people to use alternate sources of heat and energy.
"The proper use of smoke and CO detectors as well as generators is
something we should practice year round to ensure not just our personal
safety but that of family and neighbours."
British Columbians are advised to:
* Ensure their home is equipped with fully functioning smoke alarms and
carbon monoxide detectors. Batteries should be changed every six months
and tested regularly.
* Portable camp stoves, barbeque grills or generators should never be
used indoors, even if ventilation is provided. These devices deplete
oxygen and produce large amounts of CO.
* Do not use the oven to heat a room.
* Candles are a serious fire hazard and are not recommended as an
emergency lighting source. Light sticks, flashlights and flameless
battery operated candles are recommended.
"It takes the average home under five minutes to become engulfed in
flames, said Fire Commissioner David Hodgins. "Far too often, when
people lose their lives in a house fire it was because the home did not
have a working smoke alarm."
"Death by smoke inhalation occurs within six to eight minutes,
high-level CO poisoning in one to three minutes," added Chief Coroner
Terry Smith. "In the case of CO, early warning via a detector is the key
to survival." Smoke inhalation and CO poisoning pose serious health
problems in acute and long-term exposure.
There were 15 fatal house fires in B.C. in 2006.
The Office of the Fire Commissioner, BC Coroners Service and the
Provincial Emergency Program will continue to co-ordinate efforts with
partner agencies and municipal government to ensure the public has
access to safety information and resources. For additional safety tips
and information, visit:
Office of the Fire Commissioner: www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/firecom BC Coroner's
Provincial Emergency Program (PEP): www.pep.bc.ca/index.html
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