What B.C. travellers need to know about new rules for bringing dogs into the U.S. – BC News

Glen Korstrom / Business in Vancouver – May 14, 2024 / 2:36 pm | Story: 487388

Sales for new vehicles jumped in March in B.C. and across Canada as inventory levels surged and consumers had plenty of models to choose between. That inventory was likely also at least partly behind the trend of lower purchase prices. 

Data from Statistics Canada show dealers sold 19,542 new vehicles in B.C. in March, up 27.5 per cent from the 15,327 new vehicles sold in February, and 16.4 per cent from 16,795 new vehicles sold in March 2023.

Trucks continue to be far more popular than cars, as more than 83.8 per cent of all vehicle purchases in B.C. in March were for trucks, according to the national number cruncher. In March 2023, more than 84.4 per cent of all new vehicles sold in B.C. were trucks. There were only two categories: trucks and passenger cars, with SUVs considered to be trucks. 

Evidence that inventory levels were high come from the online marketplace Autotrader. 

The number of new vehicles for sale in Canada on AutoTrader’s online marketplace hit a record high of 168,000 vehicles in February – a 78-per-cent, year-over-year increase, according to that sales platform. Inventories then stayed high in March, according to Autotrader.

Today’s Statistics Canada data did not break down the March new vehicle sales to show sales for electric vehicles, compared with traditional gas guzzling ones. 

Premier David Eby’s government introduced legislation in October that forces automakers to meet escalating annual targets for the proportion of their overall new vehicle sales that are light-duty, zero-emission vehicle sales and leases within the province.

The legislation puts into law Victoria’s aspiration that 10 per cent of vehicle sales be EVs, or plug-in hybrids, by 2025, and 26 per cent of those sales be EVs, or plug-in hybrids, by 2026.

B.C.’s mandate for EV and plug-in hybrid sales then soars to 90 per cent by 2030, and 100 per cent by 2035.

Any automaker that does not meet those percentages for their own sales in the province by those designated years is set to face fines equal to more than $20,000 on each vehicle sold above that threshold, New Car Dealers Association of British Columbia president and CEO Blair Qualey told BIV last year. 

March new vehicle sales were significantly more than recent months 

While the 19,542 new vehicles sold in B.C. in March was the highest monthly total since June, when 20,433 new vehicles were sold in the province, Canada-wide, the new vehicle sales total in March was higher than any month since September 2020. Across the country, 172,104 new vehicles were sold in March, up about 26 per cent compared with February, and up 12.5 per cent compared with March 2023. 

Trucks were even more popular nationwide than they were in B.C., with more than 86.4 per cent of all new vehicle sales across Canada in March being trucks, according to Statistics Canada.

The average truck tends to cost more than the average car, both in B.C. and across the country.

In B.C., truck buyers spent an average $59,088 on their purchase, or about 6.7 per cent more than the average $55,380 spent per purchase on new trucks countrywide in March. B.C. car buyers spent about $43,998 on average on their purchases, or about 1.36 per cent more than the average $43,408 spent on new car purchases across the country in March.

The average truck purchase price in B.C. in March was down more than five per cent from the same month one year ago, when the average purchase cost $62,212. The average new car purchase in March 2023 was $53,375, or more than 21.3-per-cent more than in March. 

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Brendan Kergin / Vancouver is Awesome – | Story: 487387

Canadians with dogs who travel to the U.S. will need to make a new digital pal: the DogBot.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have created new regulations for all dogs arriving in the U.S., including Canadian canines (except wild wolves, who famously ignore borders and all human laws). 

For those learning the new regulations, a DogBot is a digital tool to help guide people to the right forms.

“If you don’t follow CDC’s rules, your dog won’t be allowed to enter the United States,” states the CDC’s website. “If denied entry, your dog will be sent back to the last country of departure at your expense.”

Though the term the CDC uses is “import,” the new rules apply to anyone, be they going to Bellingham for gas and groceries or flying to Hawaii for a destination wedding with the family pooch in tow, or moving to the U.S. with a dog.

The rules apply to all dogs, “including puppies, service animals, and dogs that left the United States and are returning.”

What are the new rules for bringing a dog into the U.S.?

Prior to the rule change, to bring a pet or service dog into the U.S. a simple statement about the dog’s travel past was needed to determine eligibility for entrance into the U.S. if it hadn’t been to a country deemed to have a high risk of dog rabies. The rules were not necessarily enforced by border agents, and dog owners may have made many trips without being asked to show paperwork. 

Canada is considered free of canine rabies by the CDC.

The new rules have several requirements. One is the dog’s age; it must be six months or older.

The dog also must have an International Organization for Standardization (ISO)-compatible microchip implanted in it, and documented.

A free form called a CDC Dog Import Form will need to be filled out; they won’t be available until July 15. Once it is available it should be filled out two to 10 days before arriving in the U.S. (though it could be done at the border crossing, though requires internet access). The form requires a clear photo of the dog taken recently showing its face and body.

Once the form is sent in a receipt will be sent back. The receipt needs to be printed out and kept with whoever is travelling with the dog.

For dogs arriving from Canada that haven’t been to a high-risk country a few things are needed. Dog owners will also need one of the following forms for each animal, which will likely require a trip to a veterinarian and are only valid for 30 days:

When arriving at the border the dog must be visibly healthy; dogs carrying a disease contagious for humans will be turned back.

On the CDC’s website a simple digital tool called “DogBot” is there to help people figure out exactly what is needed for their dog. There’s also a checklist Canadian travellers to the U.S. can use to prepare for a border crossing.

Coming to Canada with a dog

Currently, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which deals with people travelling with pets, says it’s reviewing the new regulations from the CDC.

Right now people bringing dogs into Canada need a valid rabies certificate (for the dog).

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Castanet and The Canadian Press – May 14, 2024 / 2:00 pm | Story: 487284

UPDATE 2 p.m.

No homes have been lost as a wildfire nudges toward the northeastern B.C. community of Fort Nelson, where the weather will play a key role in determining the fate of the firefight, Premier David Eby said Tuesday.

Approximately 4,700 people from the community and neighbouring First Nation remain under an evacuation order due to the 84-square-kilometre Parker Lake fire burning just a few kilometres west of town.

“The situation is still very fluid and very dependent on weather over the next 24 hours,” Eby told an unrelated news conference, while assuring residents that fire crews would “continue to do what is necessary to protect their homes.”

An updated estimate from the BC Wildfire Service says the blaze saw a significant increase in size since Monday, when it was mapped at about 53 square kilometres in size.

Forecasts are calling for wind that may blow the fire closer to Fort Nelson, which has been under an evacuation order since Friday.

Fort Nelson resident Bud Streeper posted a video update on Tuesday showing some rain falling in the area.

“Definitely not a downpour, but a steady little sprinkle right now,” he said in the video.

Ken Dosanjh, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, said the community is not likely to see significant rain over the next few days, though up to five millimetres is possible.

He said areas south of town could see up to 20 millimetres Wednesday.

“We do have a Gulf of Alaska low that’s crashing into the coast as we speak, and then it’s going to start to move through the Interior by Wednesday. And so for Wednesday, we’re going to start to notice that low eventually make it to the northeastern parts of the province,” he said Tuesday.

“As it does, it’s going to be unstable, and it’s going to bring some rain associated with it, and possible risk of thunderstorms. However, so far things have been fairly consistent in showing most of the precipitation will kind of lie south of Fort Nelson.”

The Parker Lake fire is also contributing to woes south of the border, with smoke from it and other Canadian fires leading to health warnings across the Upper Midwest and Montana.

Fires in B.C. and Alberta filled the skies with haze over parts of Montana, the Dakotas, Minnesota and Wisconsin on Sunday, lingering into Monday.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency warned residents to avoid heavy exertion outdoors in its first statewide air-quality alert of the season.

Environment Canada has posted notices for parts of B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories warning about wildfire smoke.

Forecasters say the fine particles in smoke pose health risks and are more likely to impact seniors, pregnant women, people who smoke, infants and young children, as well as those with chronic illnesses.

“Those who are more likely to be impacted should reduce or reschedule strenuous activities outdoors or seek medical attention if experiencing symptoms,” the notices say.

The Parker Lake fire is not the only significant blaze burning in British Columbia.

On Monday, evacuation orders were issued for the Doig River First Nation and part of the Peace River Regional District as a separate 597-hectare fire burns near the community about 70 kilometres northeast of Fort St. John.

The district told residents to grab what they need and drive south to an evacuation centre in Fort St. John.

An update from Doig River First Nation Tuesday said the area is seeing an increase in humidity and lower temperatures “which is promising, but we are remaining vigilant.”

“Sprinklers have been activated amongst the community for additional structural protection measures. Currently the community is safe, animals are taken care of,” the statement says.

Northern Rockies Regional Municipality Mayor Rob Fraser, who represents Fort Nelson, said emergency operations centre staff have been calling as many residents who stayed behind as they could and managed to convince some to leave.

Fraser said he suspected about 50 residents were still in town, along with essential and critical staff.

“This is really going to be weather dependent, and so far the weather has been holding with us,” Fraser said in a video posted to Facebook. He said winds Sunday kept the flames from moving any closer into town.

He also said there is still electricity and water in Fort Nelson, but power is of particular concern for evacuees worried about their homes.

Fraser said it has been challenging for essential staff, including firefighters, to find food since the evacuation.

Several significant fires are burning across Western Canada.

A fire close to Cranberry Portage in northwest Manitoba forced about 550 residents from their homes, while a fire that prompted an evacuation alert in Fort McMurray, Alta., appeared to be holding about 16 kilometres southeast of the city.


UPDATE: 9:16 a.m.

Firefighters managed to hold off a fast-moving wildfire overnight and protect the community of Fort Nelson, but the threat is far from over.

That’s what B.C. Premier David Eby said Tuesday morning, updating reporters on the status of the Parker Lake wildfire, which covers 84 square kilometres near Fort Nelson in northern B.C.

“Overnight, our wildfire team managed to hold the fire and ensure no structural loss overnight, which means no homes lost, which is very positive news,” he said.

“The situation is still very fluid and very dependant on weather over the next 24 hours.”

Eby said crews worked through the night to protect the community.

“We are doing all we can to respond to fight that fire, including crews working through the night,” he said. “And we will continue to do what is necessary to protect their homes.”


ORIGINAL STORY: 5:42 a.m.

More and more evacuation orders are being issued in northeastern British Columbia due to wildfires.

The latest came late Monday night, when the Peace River Regional District issued an evacuation order affecting residents around Doig River 206.

It’s a small community about 60 kilometres northeast of Fort St. John.

The regional district says people should be grabbing what they need and going to an evacuation centre in Fort St. John, where help is waiting.

This comes as pressure to get residents affecting by wildfires in the area increases, so much so that in Fort Nelson, the mayor of the area says they’ve been calling holdouts directly.

Forecasts called for winds late Monday into Tuesday to blow the Parker Lake wildfire toward Fort Nelson — a risk that has triggered the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality and the Fort Nelson First Nation to expand mandatory evacuation orders to a wider swath of northeastern B.C.

As of early Tuesday morning, the fire had swelled to over 84 square kilometres, marking significant growth from Monday morning.

Northern Rockies Regional Municipality Mayor Rob Fraser says the municipality’s emergency operations centre called as many people as they had phone numbers for, and managed to convince some of the people who’ve remained to leave.

Fraser says he suspects about 50 of what he calls “civilians” are still in Fort Nelson, a community of about 4,700 people, but he says there’s plenty of other essential and critical staff still in town.

“This is really going to be weather dependent, and so far the weather has been holding with us,” Fraser said in a video posted to Facebook on Monday evening, where he explained that winds Sunday night kept the flames from moving any closer into town.

He also said the electricity and water remain on in Fort Nelson, noting that power is of particular concern for evacuees who are worried about their homes.

One drawback of evacuating non-essential people, he said, was that it was becoming challenging for essential staff such as firefighters to get food.

The blaze is one of several burning across the West from Manitoba to B.C.

Elsewhere, a fire in the northwestern part of Manitoba is singeing the community of Cranberry Portage and has forced about 550 residents from their homes, while a fire that’s prompted an evacuation alert in Fort McMurray, Alta., appears to be holding about 16 kilometres southeast of the city.

Alberta Wildfire says the blaze that has had 68,000 people in Fort McMurray on notice to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice since Friday grew yesterday when the sun came out and the humidity dissipated during the afternoon. Shifting winds also contributed to the growth “in multiple directions,” the agency said.

It said on Tuesday, winds are expected from the northwest at 10-15 km/h, shifting to the northeast later in the day, with a high of 19 C.

Another 14-square-kilometre blaze near the hamlet of Teepee Creek in northwestern Alberta was facing extreme wildfire conditions, with gusty winds and no precipitation in the forecast.

Manitoba’s wildfire director says in the 40 years he’s been working with wildfires, he’s never seen one move like the blaze threatening Carberry Portage.

Earl Simmons said the fire was started by lightning and boosted by very dry conditions and strong winds on Saturday, and was growing two kilometres an hour on the head, or the front of the fire.

But with reduced winds, the size of the fire has been holding at more than 300 square kilometres and it has not encroached further toward Cranberry Portage.

— The Canadian Press

defaulted on about $65 million to the three creditor companies listed above.

In January, the three companies put in what’s called a stalking horse bid of about $80 million, which sets the floor for bids on an insolvent company. With no other qualified bids, the transaction went ahead with a reverse vesting order, which is the part of the transaction that the province opposed.

According to the decision, a reverse vesting order (RVO) is a recent method in insolvency cases to “avoid the purchaser assuming an insolvent debtor’s unwanted assets and liabilities.” The RVO sends the unwanted components of an insolvent company to a third company to hold them, in this case a company called Excluded Co., and then the company will be assigned to bankruptcy. The decision notes RVOs should be only used in “exceptional circumstances.”

“RVOs have typically been granted where the debtor operates in a highly regulated environment where it is difficult to impossible to transfer licenses, permits, intellectual property, non-transferable tax attributes, or other intangibles under a typical asset purchase agreement,” reads the decision.

The province, however, opposed the use of the RVO. The decision states the province argues there is no jurisdiction under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act to approve the transaction with the RVO nor was it well enough established that an RVO was necessary in the case.

According to the decision, the province argued, “As a stakeholder, it is worse off under the RVO as opposed to a transaction involving a traditional asset vesting order (AVO).”

Yet, Walker ultimately disagreed with the province, saying there was enough “evidence-based rationale to approve the RVO” and “exception circumstances exist to warrant approval.”

“They arise from the urgency to complete the construction pre-conditions (in order to preserve value to the Garibaldi entities and their stakeholders, including the province) coupled with the lack of any meaningful response from the province that would allow for an expeditious AVO transaction,” concluded Walker.

What’s next?

Notably, there are approximately 40 construction pre-conditions from an environmental assessment certificate that must be completed before Jan. 26, 2026. The decision says the three companies taking hold are committed to paying for the construction pre-conditions, which are estimated at $5.5 million over the next 12 months.

In general, the project would occur in four phases over 30 years, with the addition of 4,000 long-term operational jobs when completed plus 2,000 construction jobs. It is proposed to have 21 chairlifts and over 120 runs on top of over 5,000 residential units between hotels, condos, townhouses and detached dwellings. The Squamish Nation maintains a 10% interest in the partnership and did not oppose the sale, according to the decision.

Since the decision was levied, a note on the Garibaldi at Squamish website says, “Aquilini remains committed to developing a world-class all-season resort that achieves the highest environmental performance in North America, while responsibly meeting the growing demand for outdoor recreation infrastructure in BC’s South Coast.”

Nick Laba / North Shore News – May 13, 2024 / 6:56 pm | Story: 487232

Someone stole the lion’s share of mascots from outside a pub in West Vancouver.

They’ve withstood bitter cold and a coronavirus pandemic, but fell prey to the paws of a prowling thief late Friday evening.

When Red Lion Bar & Grill owner Mario Corsi came into work on Saturday, it looked like something was missing. Then his bartender told him the red lions that usually guard the front entrance were gone.

“They’ve been here for 20 years,” he said.

“My first suspicion was that it was a graduation prank until a nurse from St. Paul’s (hospital) sent me this picture,” Corsi said.

The image showed one of the red statues in the West End of Vancouver. But the people around the pub’s mascots didn’t match the description of high school students, he said.

“By the time I called (the nurse back), she said they were already gone,” Corsi said.

The restaurant owner said he didn’t call the police, as the lions have more sentimental than monetary value.

Instead, he hopes that the story getting out there pressures the poachers into returning them.

“I just would like for whoever has them to bring them back, no questions asked,” Corsi said. “Do the right thing.”

Already, he’s gotten questions from people in the Dundarave neighbourhood asking where the statues are.

If they’re not brought back, Corsi said he’ll have to replace his pub’s scarlet guardians.

“We can’t have the Red Lion without the red lions,” he said.

Anyone with information on the lions’ whereabouts is asked to call the pub at 604-926-8838.

issued an evacuation alert Monday morning for the south side of Carpenter Lake due to the blaze.

Olive Norris-Leite, BCWS fire information officer, said the wildfire was showing rank two behaviour — a low vigour surface fire — as of Monday morning, and no update has been received since then on the fire’s activity.

“The 150 hectares is just an estimate at this time, as we’re still waiting for the track of the fire perimeter to come through,” Norris-Leite said.

Currently, there are 22 firefighters, two field staff, fire origin and cause personnel, and three helicopters deployed to the wildfire.

“We did request air tankers today and they did try to attend, but due to visibility they were unable to safely action their objectives,” Norris-Leite said.

“We’ll have operations and field staff continually assessing. If visibility does improve, we’ll be able to have those air tankers come back out and hopefully have some actionable objectives.”

She said a structure protection specialist has also been deployed to “proactively assess” the area.

BCWS personnel on the fire line are currently working on the fire’s west flank, the flank closest to a nearby property.

“At the moment, they’re creating a fuel free (line) and just trying to put in the hose lay to be able to have the water delivery system around the perimeter on that side of the fire,” Norris-Leite said.

The fire is currently believed to be human caused.


ORIGINAL 5:39 a.m.

A new out of control wildfire has flared up west of Lillooet.

The BC Wildfire Service responded Sunday evening to the Truax Creek Wildfire, located approximately 12 kilometres northeast of Gold Bridge.

The fire was discovered around 4:45 p.m. and was estimated at 50 hectares in size. It was showing rank 3-4 fire behaviour with moderate to highly vigorous surface fire and some torching.

BCWS personnel where onsite late into Sunday evening. The wildfire was expected to remain active and visible overnight.

At this point, BCWS says the Truax Creek wildfire is suspected to be human caused.

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