Vancouver police find cash, drugs in a Quebec Street apartment

Vancouver police found several hundred thousand dollars cash as a result of search warrant execution (Olsy Sorokina/BCIT News)

Vancouver police found several hundred thousand dollars cash as a result of search warrant execution (Olsy Sorokina/BCIT News)

VANCOUVER (BCIT NEWS) – Hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and over fifty kilograms of cocaine were seized as a result of a search warrant execution in Vancouver on Saturday, November 9.

The raid was conducted after two men were arrested on Friday afternoon at the corner of Expo Boulevard and Smithe Street. The men were suspected to be in possession of drugs; they led the investigation team to an apartment on the 1100 block Quebec Street.

The team has acquired a search warrant, and found several safes after entering an otherwise empty apartment.

After they opened the safes, police found several hundred thousand dollars in Canadian polymer bills, as well as some American currency.

They also found 54 kilograms of cocaine with estimated street value of over three million dollars. Superintendent Mike Porteous says this might be the biggest cocaine seizure Vancouver police has ever seen.

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BC Ombudsperson office is here for the people

Ombudsperson Kim Carter visited BCIT as part of her provincial tour. (Courtesy BC Ombudsperson Office)

Ombudsperson Kim Carter visited BCIT as part of her provincial tour. (Courtesy BC Ombudsperson Office)

VANCOUVER (THE LINK) – British Columbia Ombudsperson Kim Carter made a stop at the BCIT Burnaby campus on her recent tour of the province.

One reason for Carter’s visit to various parts of the province was to make the office’s services better known to British Columbians.

“A lot of people don’t know we exist,” Carter told The Link in an interview. “They don’t realize that if they have gone through everything, they think, ‘Well, that’s the end, the institution says there is nothing we can do,’ they can come to our office.”

An Ombudsperson office is an independent agency that ensures that people of the province get fair treatment from government organizations. The British Columbian office was set up in 1979, and is part of 9 provincial offices across Canada.

According to the province’s Ombudsperson office, the purpose of the October tour was to give British Columbians a chance to voice the concerns they may have with various government agencies in person.

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Burnaby Art Gallery adds a touch of art to every day routine

Haydn Thomas' artwork is partly inspired by patterns he was surrounded by in his childhood. (Courtesy Harry Booth)

Haydn Thomas’ artwork is partly inspired by patterns he was surrounded by in his childhood. (Courtesy Harry Booth)

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of every day life,” Pablo Picasso once said.

Residents of the Lower Mainland are surrounded by local art in their daily routines: on SkyTrain platforms, downtown street corners, and on the walls of numerous coffee shops.

Burnaby Art Gallery found a new way to share art in its community. The gallery has made it a tradition to display art in public libraries, adding a touch of aesthetic beauty to a place of knowledge.

Three offsite exhibitions have been launched at the Burnaby libraries in November: The Natural Numeral at McGill; Rare Books at Tommy Douglas; and ESC CTRL at the Bob Prittie library. While the first two exhibitions draw from the gallery’s permanent collections, ESC CTRL displays some of the works of the local artist Haydn Thomas for the first time.

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Watermark takes a novel perspective on Earth’s most precious resource

Watermark tells the story of human interaction with water in over 20 countries. (Courtesy Mongrel Media)

Watermark tells the story of human interaction with water in over 20 countries. (Courtesy Mongrel Media)

VANCOUVER (THE LINK) –  “We are water.”

If there was a concise way to summarize Watermark, this quote from Oscar Dennis comes pretty close. Words do a poor job of describing a film of such overwhelming visual beauty, but the Tahltan linguist captured the simple and yet loudest message of the film.

Watermark is the second cinematic collaboration between Canadian director Jennifer Baichwal and photographer Edward Burtynsky. In its ninety-minute run, Watermark takes the viewers on an aquatic journey from the Colorado River Delta, to a dam in China, and back home – floating down Stikine River in British Columbia.

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BC government plan for species at risk a clever public relations move, says Wilderness Committee

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Northern Spotted Owl, one of the vulnerable species in British Columbia.
Image courtesy of USFWS Pacific

VANCOUVER, BC (Mar 27) – British Columbia Ministry of Environment has recently released a five-year draft plan for species at risk. The plan emphasizes the importance of biodiversity in the province, and suggests various “themes for success” that combine the economic, environmental and community priorities to help protect the vulnerable species.

Minister of Environment Terry Lake said the plan outlines a clear path for the future of species-at-risk management in B.C.

“[The plan] brings together the numerous activities that the Province undertakes for species at risk and presents them as a coherent program, and it celebrates some of our key successes in protecting and managing B.C.’s vulnerable species,” Lake said in a news release.

The Wilderness Committee, Canada’s largest citizen-funded non-profit wilderness protection society, doubts the plan’s effectiveness.

Committee’s policy director Gwen Barlee called the draft plan nothing more than a clever public relations move, and says it lacks specific strategies to ensure its success.

“[The government] says, Yes, we recognize that species are in trouble, Yes, we love our wildlife in British Columbia, but when it actually comes to a plan to recover species at risk in this province, that plan is missing in action.”

According to the Wilderness Committee, there are currently 1900 species at risk in the province. British Columbia and Alberta are currently the only Canadian provinces with no specific vulnerable species legislation.

Barlee said that the right approach to ensure survival of the species at risk would be to create a stand-alone law protecting their natural habitats.

“We want to continue to live in beautiful British Columbia, and have a British Columbia that includes wild salmon, that includes Vancouver Island marmots, that includes spotted owls. We need to start planning for that, and we need to introduce legislation that protects those species.”

– Gwen Barlee, Wilderness Committee Policy Director

“We want to continue to live in beautiful British Columbia, and have a British Columbia that includes wild salmon, that includes Vancouver Island marmots, that includes spotted owls,” Barlee said. “We need to start planning for that, and we need to introduce legislation that protects those species.”

The draft plan is currently available for public review on the government website. The Wilderness Committee urges the public to come forward with their comments before the submission deadline on April 12, 2013.

Listen to my radio story about the draft plan for species at risk for Evolution 107.9 News here.

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Exploring Vancouver’s glow-in-the-dark past

How the rise and fall of the neon capital of Canada affects our discussion of city heritageImage

Vancouver’s tumultuous relationship with neon signs has been a subject of much discussion over the years, in both academic and popular platforms. Once the Neon Capital of Canada, the only remnants of the city’s once vibrant sign culture are the few restored signs and the infamous “Great White Way” of Granville Street.

Neon history of Vancouver was once again a topic of discussion at the Vancouver Heritage Foundation movie night showing of Glowing in the Dark, a 1997 documentary produced & directed by two local talents, Harry Killas and Alan Goldman. The film was shown in the venue formerly known as Hollywood theatre, which can suitably be found by means of one of the oldest neon signs in the West Side.

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Vancouver Noir book review

Vancouver Noir tells the tale of crime and corruption in the City of Glass

Two local writers explore the gritty lives of Vancouverites from the 1930s to 1960s

The Vancouver Police Museum is the perfect venue for learning about the city’s criminal past, but that is not the only reason Diane Purvey and John Belshaw chose it to host the reading of their newest book, Vancouver Noir. The museum, which had formerly been the Vancouver Coroner’s Office and the city morgue, was also one of the biggest sources for the research material used in the book. Continue reading

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