Good morning! It’s Morgan here with your daily edition of the Tri-Cities Dispatch.
Last week I had a near brush with death. Ok, that might be a tad dramatic … but I did come face-to-face with a coyote. As it turns out, I’m not the only one. Keep on reading to find out why there’s been a recent increase of wild animal sightings, and what to do if you encounter a wild animal.
Metro Vancouver has reported a recent influx of wild animal sightings. Coyotes and bears have been spotted all over Metro Vancouver, and cougars have been identified in the Tri-Cities area.
Why is this happening? Sgt. Simon Gravel with the BC Conservation Officer Service says that it’s difficult to say if the increase in animal sightings is linked to human behavioural patterns being affected by the pandemic. He hypothesizes that more animals are not infiltrating urban areas, but rather people are at home more and have more opportunities to notice wild animals.
How to help: Residents living near Burke Mountain are being urged by fellow community members to take cohabitative measures in order to prevent euthanization of cougars.
What you can do: If you spot a cougar, bear, or a coyote generate noise in order to scare the animal off and then report the incident.
- Sgt. Alicia Stark of the conservation service on what to do if a cougar is spotted in your area: “Keep your kids close to you. You can definitely be outside with them, but keep them close and be aware of what you need to do if you see a cougar”.
WildSafeBC has a helpful map to find wildlife sightings in your community.
Sky-high costs: The housing market continues to escalate in BC as residential homes are being sold for far above the listed price. Bidding wars have resulted in homes in the Metro Vancouver area being sold for $1 – $2 million higher than asking price.
Real estate agents say that low interest rates are a contributing factor to these bidding wars.
- Benchmarket price for a residential home in Jan 2021:
- Coquitlam: $967,200 → 46.0% increase from 2016
- Port Coquitlam: $804,800 → 53.1% increase from 2016
- Port Moody: $954,000 → 44.0% increase from 2016
Going, going, gone: The Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley real estate boards revealed a record number of reported sales in 2020. An increase in remote work opportunities has provided people with the ability to move outside of the metropolitan area and purchase a home in more rural locations.
The Migrant Rights Network is urging authorities to ensure safe access to the COVID-19 vaccination for migrant and undocumented workers, many of whom are in high risk populations
What’s the current situation?: Police presence at vaccine clinics across Metro Vancouver is causing migrant workers and other marginalized groups to be fearful of obtaining the vaccination. In order to receive a vaccination in BC, personal identity that acts as proof of Canadian citizenship is required.
- The numbers: Most Canadians may not realize this, but there are over 500,000 undocumented people in Canada
How the pandemic has affected migrant workers: Migrant workers are an at risk group. Last summer the Superior Poultry Plant in Coquitlam saw a massive outbreak that affected temporary workers
- The Migrant Rights Network: “The racism underpinning this denial of freedom is clear: even as employers went in and out, workers – primarily South-East Asian, as well as Caribbean, African and South Asian women – were treated as vectors of disease”
As the report points out, many of the care workers in communities are in fact migrants. Migrant care workers often live with their employers.
Workers report that they have been expected to increase their workload throughout the pandemic but have not seen their wages reflect their extra effort.
- Coding for Girls: Today from 10 – 11 AM (virtual) Hakergal is hosting a free online Zoom webinar. This program is intended to be an introduction into coding for girls Grades 6 to 9.
- Celebrate Love and Kindness: This Saturday at 6 PM Coquitlam’s United Way is hosting an online Zoom event that celebrates love and acts of kindness.
- Heritage Live! Love is Eternal: Today from 12 – 1 PM Coquitlam Heritage is hosting a Facebook live event that will explore the history of Valentine’s Day across different cultures and traditions. Find out more here.
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In Other News
- A new study from Simon Fraser University says that moving essential workers up the vaccine queue would reduce transmission significantly.
- Port Moody police reduced their proposed budget increase.
- Coquitlam native Matteo Polisi goes pro as he signs a contract with Pacific FC for the Canadian Premier League’s 2021 season.
- A Coquitlam police officer was deemed not responsible for his involvement in a car crash that injured two children.
One More Thing
“Florida of Canada” became a trending topic on twitter yesterday after an American scientist tweeted and named BC the “Florida of Canada”. A flood of Canadians responded claiming that their home provinces are actually the “Florida of Canada”.
What province do you think is the real “Florida of Canada”? Answer this poll to share your input.