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. Fields closed until noon Saturday City crews have checked soccer fields and, while there is now very little standing water, surfaces are still quiet wet.  A number of baseball fields also have a considerable amount of standing water. And so, rather than risk turf damage because of saturated playing surfaces, City fields will remain closed for one more day.  The fields will be reopened at noon tomorrow. 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
The province and the feds are working towards getting a federally inspected beef processing plant operating in Prince George. The BC Cattlemen’s Association (BCCA) will receive up to $144,000 of federal and provincial government funding to identify supply-chain and investment partners, and develop business models for the ownership and operation of the plant. The BCCA will also contribute up to $16,000 for the development of the plan, which will incorporate a marketing and sales strategy, defined production and operation requirements, as well as financial, human resource and contingency plans. If it were to proceed, the plant would significantly boost the capacity to export B.C. beef directly to foreign markets. Currently, B.C. cattle are most often processed at federally licensed plants in Alberta or the United States when the beef is going to be sold to other provinces or countries. The business plan will support earlier BCCA research that predicted a federally inspected plant would potentially generate significant economic benefits for B.C.’s cattle sector and the Prince George area, including, within three years of operation, potential for: An additional $250 million in annual beef and byproduct sales. An increase in value-added exports of up to $180 million. Up to 180 new full-time-equivalent jobs within the plant and about 620 spinoff jobs. The plant could increase local food supply security and help supply beef to British Columbian families, as well as be exported to markets in Europe and Asia. The funding is provided under Growing Forward 2, a five-year agreement which launched in 2013, that provides a $3-billion, federal-provincial-territorial government investment in innovation, competitiveness and market development. “B.C. has a vibrant cattle industry that has opportunity for growth," said Kevin Boon, B.C. Cattlemen's Association general manager, in a press release. "The lack of a federally inspected packing plant restricts us from taking advantage of many aspects of the value chain. The investment of these dollars now is prudent for industry to make informed decisions as to whether this is a viable progression for the beef industry in B.C.”
Beef processing plant gets closer