Special weather statement issued for Metro Vancouver due to heat wave

Heat warning on Coast

People are urged to be cautious today in Vancouver as a short heatwave will roll over Metro Vancouver Sunday and Monday.

Environment Canada issued the alert Sunday morning for the Metro Vancouver region along with the rest of the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast and eastern Vancouver Island. Temperatures are forecast to be up to 10 C hotter than seasonal norms.

"After a relatively cool start to the weekend, temperatures will be on the rise again today," states Environment Canada. "The current guidance indicates that the day time temperatures will peak in the low-thirties through Monday at locations away from the immediate coast."

Right now they're predicting a high of 24 C across Vancouver, but that will vary from location to location. Further inland, places like Abbotsford are expected to hit 33 C.

While it's expected to bring the heat, it won't last long.

"The ridge associated with this warm spell will start shifting inland on Tuesday, ushering the hot air into the Interior," states the federal agency.

Temperatures are forecast to remain in the 30s in the Okanagan through the week, with a forecast high of 37 C in Kelowna next Saturday.

Shots fired before Jeep crashes in Surrey: RCMP

Shooting leads to crash

UPDATE: 9:55 a.m.

Two people who were shot at in Surrey Saturday evening are in police custody, while officers seek out video footage of the targeted shooting.

The shooting, believed to be linked to the ongoing gang war in the area, occurred at about 8:45 p.m. near the Newton Athletic Park.

Police say shots were fired from a silver SUV at a white Jeep.

"Police located the white Jeep abandoned, crashed into a telephone pole," said Cpl. Vanessa Munn of the Surrey RCMP. "The occupants were tracked down and it has been confirmed that there were no injuries to those occupants. The silver SUV has not yet been located."

The driver and passenger of the Jeep remain in police custody, but it's not clear why.

Police are asking anyone who has surveillance footage or dashcam video of the shooting to contact police at 604-599-0502, or anonymously through CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

ORIGINAL: 6:55 a.m.

Police are investigating a shooting last night in Surrey, that they say preceded a car crash.

Local Mounties say in a news release that it happened in the Newton area at around 8:40 p.m.

They say officers were dispatched to investigate a report that the occupants of a silver SUV had fired shots at people in a white Jeep in the 7300 block of 128 Street.

Police say both vehicles sped away but the Jeep crashed near the intersection of 128 Street and 76 Avenue.

RCMP investigators say no one in the Jeep was injured, adding that they believe it was a targeted shooting.

No further suspect information, or word on possible charges was released, and police say they are still trying to determine a motive for the gunplay.

Baring it all, Naked Hiking Day just around the corner

Caution: nude hikers ahead

If you're planning on hitting any hiking trails on Monday, you might want to prepare for the unexpected.

No, not wild animals, but potentially naked hikers.

June 21st is best known as the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, but it is also, unofficially, known as Naked Hiking day.

As the name implies, it's a day when hikers take their clothes off and go hiking, which may be celebrated by naked hikers singly or in groups in the woods and mountains. Since it falls around the date of Father's Day, some are concerned about families encountering naked hikers.

Back in 2015, Coquitlam RCMP had to tell a nude hiker "to put some clothes on" after he was spotted sauntering through the woods naked. Reports by CTV News Vancouver at the time indicated police did not suspect the streaker was suffering from mental health issues or drugs and that he was often spotted hiking in the buff.

Public nudity is illegal in most parts of B.C., outside of designated nude beach areas.

"It is still illegal to be naked in public spaces," said Kelowna RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy.

"We have no record of anyone being ticketed for this sort of offence. I would assume that those who partake in naked hiking are most likely doing so well off the beaten track."

Hiking naked is more common in Europe than North America but hiker and author Colin Fletcher has written several books on so-called 'free hiking.' Fletcher wrote about the joys of hiking naked through the Grand Canyon on hot days in "The Man Who Walked Through Time."

If you decide to strip down there are things to be aware of, aside from local laws and sunburn:

  • Poison ivy, and poison sumac: These can produce rashes that are bad on arms and legs and worse on places usually covered by clothing.
  • Mosquitoes and ticks: You may want to think about using insect repellent.
  • Sunburn: Be sure to cover all of your bits with sunscreen. Even if you are in the forest or it is a cloudy day, exposed skin can get too much ultraviolet radiation.

Should you encounter a naked hiker it's best to try and determine if the person is an obscene exhibitionist or a nudist, an admittedly grey area.

Nude persons talking or yelling, gesturing, touching themselves, etc. are signs of criminal behaviour, which should be reported. Nude hikers who don't want to be misunderstood may want to limit their excursions to clothing-optional designated areas and resorts.

-with files from CTV News Vancouver


Fort St. John man arrested for allegedly trying to solicit sexual touching from two children in exchange for a video game card

Arrested for targeting kids

A 32-year-old Fort St. John man has been arrested and remains in police custody after allegedly inviting several children to touch him for a sexual purpose on Saturday morning.

At approximately 10:30 a.m. on on Saturday, frontline officers from the Fort St. John RCMP were called to a park in the 11000-block of 96 Street in Fort St. John, for a report that a man had tried to solicit the sexual touching from two children in exchange for a video game card.

When police officers arrived at the scene, witnesses identified a man in a nearby vehicle. He was arrested without incident. He remains in police custody but has not yet been charged.

"While we are thankful to have received the quick report and were able to arrest this man at the scene, this is reminder to speak to your children about such incidents. The children in this case did exactly as we would ask, and that is to immediately tell a trusted adult," Sgt. Janelle Shoihet of the BC RCMP said in a press release.

Police are asking any other witnesses to come forward, as the investigation into this incident is ongoing.

Anyone who was a witness and has not already spoken with police is asked to contact the Fort. St. John RCMP detachment at 250-787-8140 and cite file 2021-5571.

Crankworx announces return to B.C. in 2021

Crankworx set to return

Crankworx has announced that the mountain bike festival is coming back to B.C. in 2021.

At the beginning of June, Crankworx said that the Whistler leg of the mountain-biking festival that was set to take place in August was cancelled for the second year in a row.

Then on June 19, in a press release, Crankworx announced that they are adding a third stop to the 2021 World Tour with the addition of Crankworx B.C. from September 6 to 19.

While the event will not be returning to Whistler this year, it will be making stops at multiple B.C. locations including Silverstar Mountain Resort, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Golden and Sun Peaks Resort—the same locations as last year’s CLIF Crankworx Summer Series, “ but it will follow a format more closely related to a traditional Crankworx festival,” according to the release.

“Overall, Crankworx B.C. is a pivot that will provide a temporary replacement for Crankworx Whistler in the Crankworx World Tour calendar in 2021,” read the release.

“The Whistler festival is set to return to the Crankworx calendar in August 2022.”

Crankworx B.C. will consist of nine competitions over the 12-day time period and includes 32 king and queen contenders who are on the hunt for the overall titles, and 14 slopestyle riders who are qualified to compete in the Crankworx FMBA Slopestyle World Championship.

The full list of qualified and invited athletes will be released closer to the festival dates.

Prominent Canadians and international celebrities lend star power to old-growth cause

Star power for old-growth

Brian Mulroney, Margaret Atwood, Jane Fonda and Neil Young are among more than 100 public figures who are adding their voices to the call to protect all old-growth forests in B.C. from logging.

“Some things can’t be replaced,” begins the brief open letter to Premier John Horgan, signed by Indigenous leaders, scientists, foresters, authors, former and current politicians, musicians, actors, business leaders, Olympians and environmental advocates.

The letter says B.C. used to be “the land of giants, with trees towering 250 feet tall,” with forests that cleaned the air and water, stabilized the climate and housed wildlife.

It ends with a clear message: “Premier Horgan, protect the irreplaceable.”

The letter is a response to what’s seen as government inaction to protect iconic old-growth forests, leading to a months-long series of blockades to prevent Surrey-based forestry company Teal-Jones Group from logging old-growth in southwest Vancouver Island, near Port Renfrew and Lake Cowichan.

Horgan committed to implementing all recommendations in an old-growth strategic review during last fall’s election campaign, including the deferral of logging in old forests where ecosystems are at a high and imminent risk of irreversible biodiversity loss, but that work is moving too slowly for those camped out in the forest.

More than 244 people had been arrested as of Thursday for blocking logging roads in an attempt to prevent Teal Jones from cutting old-growth.

The group that signed the open letter was assembled by Canopy, an environmental non-governmental organization, which ran an ad with a similar message in the Globe and Mail a few weeks ago.

Prominent Canadians contacted the organization in response to the ad, expressing their concern about old-growth logging and saying they would be happy to support the cause, executive director Nicole Rycroft said from Canopy’s Vancouver headquarters.

“So it just became clear that, you know, that there are a lot of people, right across British Columbia and across Canada, who felt really passionately,” she said.

Rycroft said the variety and calibre of those who’ve signed on — from environmentalist David Suzuki and Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs president Stewart Phillip to British actor Emma Thompson and former NHL player Georges Laraque — is testament to the widespread support both in Canada and abroad to protect B.C.’s old growth forests from logging.

“I think it’s really indicative that there’s no longer social licence for this kind of logging anymore, that these forests are recognized as being critical in the fight against climate change,” she said.

Carole Tootill, a member of the grassroots group Rainforest Flying Squad, which has created the blockades, said it’s clear people across the country and the world are recognizing the urgency of the situation.

“We need this support. If government won’t listen to the people, maybe they’ll listen to celebrities,” she said.

A two-year deferral on logging in about 2,000 hectares of old-growth forest — requested by the Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht and Pacheedaht First Nations and approved by the provincial government last week — has done nothing to end the blockades or the arrests of those defying a court injunction.

Those blockading roads are pushing for a permanent end to old-growth logging.

In a joint statement, the three First Nations have asked people not to block approved logging in other parts of their territory.

Teal Jones said in a statement Friday that most of the work in Tree Farm Licence 46, where blockades are in place, is in second-growth forest.

“We do cut a modest amount of old growth as well, as it has characteristics needed for many value-added products such as musical instruments,” the company said.

The company also noted the province removed several large areas from the tree farm licence in the 1990s to set aside as parks, including what is now the 16,500-hectare Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park.

The B.C. Council of Forest Industries has said old-growth logging supports an estimated 38,000 jobs in B.C. and contributes approximately $3.5 billion to the province’s gross domestic product.

Following the deferral notice by the Pacheedaht, Ditidaht and Huu-ay-aht, Ditidaht First Nations, the Squamish First Nation also asked the province to defer old-growth logging in its territory.

Horgan has said additional deferrals are expected to be announced this summer.

Large fire rips through Surrey wharf on Fraser River

Wharf goes up in flames

Six units from the Surrey Fire Department responded to a vacant wharf on the south side of the Fraser River which went up in flames just before midnight Friday evening.

Surrey Fire Deputy Chief Mark Griffioen says around 20 firefighters responded to the blaze near an industrial area along 116 Avenue. The wharf was fenced off and not in service, no vessels were moored there and no other people were involved says Griffioen.

"It was burning pretty good, of course, it’s a lot of fuel,” said Griffioen adding a number of units were released from the scene fairly quickly. “While realizing that it wasn't going to be put out quickly we also recognized we didn't need everybody that was originally assigned."

Crews sprayed water on the wharf as best they could from the shore but there were some parts that remained smouldering through the night.

Griffioen says there were no spills as a result of the fire and there is no cause for any environmental concerns.

The Vancouver Port Authority is now managing the situation. The cause of the blaze is not yet known.

Hwy 5 is partially open again after collision

Traffic moving again: Hwy 5

The Coquihalla is once again open, following a crash at the Juliet Road exit.

On Saturday just after noon, all Highway 5 northbound lanes between Mine Creek Rd. and Juliet Rd were briefly closed.

According to DriveBC all traffic was stopped, as an air ambulance landed at the scene. The extent of the injuries suffered are still unknown.

DriveBC said the right lane will remain closed in order for crew members to recover the vehicles involved in the crash.

Drivers are being told to expect delays until all lanes are cleared.

VPD officer taken to hospital following arrest near English Bay

Tense arrest, cop injured

Reports of a multiple-person assault at a Vancouver beach Friday evening led to a Vancouver Police Department officer being sent to the hospital.

The VPD's beach patrol officers responded to a large fight and a possible assault involving 10 people just before 7 p.m. at English Bay, Sgt. Steve Addison said.

“The officers tried to disperse the crowd, but one of the aggressors refused to leave,” Addison said. “He became hostile, began causing a disturbance, assaulted at least one of our officers, and resisted arrest.”

Addison says a large and hostile crowd formed around the officers and additional officers were called to keep the crowd back.

Three officers were hurt during the incident and one was taken to hospital with a “significant injury.”

The suspect, a North Vancouver man in his 20s, was arrested and taken to jail. Police said multiple charges against the man will be recommended.

Video of the arrest was captured by YouTube user SusieKnucks. The video, shown below, contains strong language.

Under-construction tower in Burnaby will be the tallest in Western Canada

Tallest in Western Canada

The City of Burnaby will have bragging rights when a new residential tower is completed.

One of the towers under construction as part of the Gilmore Place development next to the Gilmore SkyTrain station in the Brentwood area will be the tallest in Western Canada at 64 storeys or more than 700 feet.

Once it's built, it will replace Vancouver's Shangri La hotel as the tallest in Western Canada. Technically, some of the residential towers in Burnaby's Metrotown area will look taller, but that's because Metrotown is at a higher elevation.

“Gilmore Place is a master-planned community that will transform Burnaby’s western gateway into an incredible urban hub for residents and visitors alike,” says a statement from developer Onni.

“Featuring one of Canada’s tallest residential towers, the seamlessly-integrated Gilmore SkyTrain Station, world-class shopping and entertainment, convenient office space and luxurious residential towers, Gilmore Place will redefine metropolitan living in one of Burnaby’s most up-and-coming neighbourhoods, Brentwood. Live above your own city centre, with stunning panoramic views, contemporary finishes, and unrivaled amenity spaces exclusive to residents.”

The first phase of the development will be home to three towers, with the remaining two towers being 43 and 51 storeys, totaling 1,550 units across all three buildings. A podium on the sixth floor will connect the three towers.

The IBI Group-designed development will include 500,000-square-feet of retail space and 1 million-square-feet of office area.

Future phases of the Gilmore Place project will see a total of ten towers surrounding Gilmore SkyTrain station.

According to staff reports, the properties planned for phases two and three are currently either vacant or occupied by older light-industrial buildings or by parking. At the northeast side of the Gilmore Place plan, where towers nine and 10 are planned to go up, sits a Honda dealership.

The Gilmore Place master plan was given final approval by council in July 2018, and it forms part of the city’s long-term plan for the Brentwood town centre.

Burnaby police investigate reports of shots fired near elementary school

Reports of shots fired

Burnaby RCMP officers are investigating after a report of gunshots near a local elementary school on Friday night.

Police tweeted out about having a police presence along Armstrong Avenue near Cariboo, close to Armstrong Elementary, at around 9 p.m.

Officers were called due to “shots fired” reports, police said.

“No victim has been found. No one is in custody. We’re continuing to investigate,” said police.

This story will be updated if police supply more information.

Burnaby has seen a series of shootings recently, including one person being killed and two others injured in May in the parking lot of Market Crossing shopping centre that police say was related to gangs.

This followed a 20-year-old man being charged with first-degree murder in what police say was another gang-linked shooting in Burnaby. Toni Dalipi, 19, was shot to death outside a vape store on Sixth Street near 13th Avenue.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team later announced charges had been laid against 20-year-old Ahmed Riyaz Tahir. IHIT confirmed an innocent bystander had also been injured in the “brazen daylight shooting” but sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

B.C. premier gets second AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Horgan gets second AZ dose

British Columbia's premier says he's received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

John Horgan shared a photo of himself to social media on Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card.

In the post on Twitter, he says the best vaccine is the first vaccine offered.

The news comes as more than 75 per cent of eligible adults in British Columbia have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as the province reported 109 new cases of the virus.

The province also reported 1,389 active cases of COVID-19 on Friday, along with one additional death.

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry say 76.7 per cent of eligible adults have received a vaccine, and the province has administered 4.29 million doses.

Of those, 823,371 are second doses.

The post from B.C.'s premier comes a day after Henry said there is no wrong choice for a second COVID-19 vaccine dose, despite recommendations from a federal panel that people who received the AstraZeneca shot first should choose Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna for the second.

"We still know from the information that we're seeing here in B.C., but also primarily in the U.K., where a lot of AstraZeneca has been used, that vaccine effectiveness is very good for both AstraZeneca and the mRNA vaccines," she said at a Thursday news conference.

Henry said anybody who received two doses of AstraZeneca can be assured they received a safe vaccine.

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