Name of Prince George man killed released The BC Coroners Service has confirmed the identity of a man who died in a motor vehicle related incident near Bear Lake north of Prince George on July 9, 2016. Dead is Gino Lino Margherit, 56, of Prince George. Margherit was the driver and sole occupant of a car which, shortly before 7 p.m. on July 9, 2016, left the roadway, went down a steep embankment and rolled on Highway 97 about 10 kilometres south of Bear Lake, which is about 70 kilometres north of Prince George. Margherit was deceased at the scene. The BC Coroners Service and RCMP continue to investigate this death. New commander for Canadian Army Today on Parliament Hill, Lieutenant-General Paul Wynnyk assumed command of the Canadian Army from Lieutenant-General Marquis Hainse. The Chief of the Defence Staff, General Jonathan Vance, presided over the event. Lieutenant-General Wynnyk is transitioning from leadership of the Canadian Forces Intelligence Command and Lieutenant-General Hainse will be moving on to become Canada’s senior military representative to NATO in Brussels, Belgium. The Canadian Army maintains a high state of training and readiness to provide land surveillance and combat-ready forces to protect Canadians and Canadian interests at home and abroad. Victims services funding announcement today Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C., Q.C., M.P., Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, accompanied by Suzanne Anton, Minister of Justice and Attorney General for British Columbia, and Mike Morris, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General for British Columbia, will make a funding announcement regarding funding for victims' services. EI changes are now in effect Changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) program are now in effect. The changes include the elimination of EI eligibility requirements for new entrants and re-entrants. Instead of having to accumulate 910 hours of insurable employment, claimants newly entering the workforce or returning after an absence of two or more years must now meet the same eligibility requirements as other claimants in the economic region where they live. Job search responsibilities for EI claimants have been simplified. Rules enacted in 2012 forcing unemployed workers to commute farther or take lower-paying jobs have been reversed. Canadians living in the 15 identified regions hardest hit by the commodities downturn and that have experienced a sharp and sustained increase in local job losses have started to receive extended EI regular benefits.
Briefing Room
Northern B.C. isn’t bucking any provincial trends when it comes to the number of people who overdose on illicit drugs. According to data released by the B.C. Coroner’s Service, there were 29 overdose deaths in northern B.C. in 2015, more than double the 14 deaths reported in 2007. In fact, following 2007, the number declined to eight in 2008 and eight again in2009. Since then there has been a steady increase in the number of deaths. Fourteen of those deaths were linked to fentanyl. In addition, 2016 is on pace to be the worst year for drug deaths in the North ever with 25 reported during the first six months of this year. The majority of those deaths are in the 30-39 years old age group and men outnumber women almost four-to-one. Prince George, being the largest city in the North, has the lion’s share of those deaths with 13 of the 29 overdoses in 2015. During the first six months of 2016, there have been eight deaths in the city from illicit drugs. Over the last 10 years, 2010 was the best year with only one death in the city. That jumped to 10 in 2012 and 2014. Province-wide there were 371 apparent illicit drug overdose deaths from January to June 2016. This is a 74.2 per cent increase over the number of deaths occurring during the same period in 2015 (213). • From January to June 2016, an average of 61.8 apparent illicit drug overdose death occurred each month. • Preliminary data suggest that individuals aged 20-29 and 30-39 have accounted for the largest percentage of illicit drug overdose deaths in January – June 2016 (23.2 per cent and 31.3 per cent, respectively). Males accounted for 81.1 per cent of apparent illicit drug overdose deaths in January – June 2016 • Preliminary data for January 01 – May 31, 2016, suggest that the proportion of illicit drug overdose deaths for which fentanyl was detected (alone or in combination with other drugs) increased to approximately 60 per cent in 2016. The statistics also show that fentanyl-detected deaths are now occurring regularly throughout the province, rather than being concentrated in the Lower Mainland as in previous years. For both Vancouver Island and the southern Interior, the number of deaths in which fentanyl was detected in five months in 2016 has exceeded the number for all 12 months of 2015. In light of these numbers and the high risk posed by fentanyl, those using illicit drugs are urged to exercise extreme caution. Chief coroner Lisa Lapointe stresses the critical importance of calling 911 immediately if someone appears to be overdosing as rapid intervention, including the use of naloxone, (either by professionals or the use of take-home naloxone) can often prevent an overdose from becoming fatal. The BC Coroners Service continues to work with health, community and law enforcement agencies to try to find all ways possible to reduce this unacceptably high death toll. Provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall declared a state of emergency in April 2016 in response to the rising number of overdose deaths in B.C. Since that time, Dr. Kendall and chief medical health officers have been working with health authorities, emergency room staff, first responders and the BC Coroners Service to prevent future overdoses. In addition on July 1, 2016, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC made changes to prescribing requirements, making is easier for doctors to prescribe Suboxone to treat opioid addiction. The College has also recently adopted new professional standards to help doctors prescribe opioids more safely.
Twenty-five drug deaths in the North