Parking spot a bit of a squeeze? Got a bad haircut at a salon?
Every year, British Columbians call 911 for issues that are not emergencies, and this year was no different.
The top 10 worst calls of 2019 were released Monday by E-Comm, British Columbia’s largest emergency call centre.
“Although these calls may seem absurd at the surface, our call-takers must take the time to investigate each one to make sure there isn’t a real emergency,” said Jasmine Bradley, E-Comm corporate communications manager.
“That takes time away from helping those in crisis.”
Here is E-Comm’s list of the top 10 most ridiculous 911 calls for 2019
- To complain that a hotel parking spot was too small.
- To complain that a hair salon didn’t style their hair properly.
- To complain their neighbour was vacuuming late at night.
- Because they were upset the coin laundry machine didn’t have enough water.
- To inquire why traffic was so bad.
- To request police bring a shovel to dig their car out of the snow in front of their house.
- Because police are being “too loud” responding to an emergency.
- To get information about water restrictions.
- To report a broken ATM machine.
- Because a gas station wouldn’t let them use the washroom.
E-Comm, which deals with 99 per cent of the province’s 911 calls, handled more than 1.6 million calls in 2019.
“Sometimes, it feels like people may have forgotten that the reason to call 911 is to get help in a life or death situation,” said Chelsea Brent, the call taker who handled the call on the list about the small parking spot.
“I take a lot of 911 calls where, ‘I know this isn’t an emergency’ are the first words out of the caller’s mouth.”
Bank of Canada decides against launching digital currency, but leaves door open – The Globe and Mail
The Bank of Canada doesn’t yet see a need to create its own digital currency, even as some central banks advance toward e-money.
“We have concluded that there is not a compelling case to issue a CBDC [central bank digital currency] at this time,” Bank of Canada deputy governor Timothy Lane said in a speech in Montreal Tuesday. Nevertheless, the bank is developing a contingency plan so that it is prepared for the possibility of such a digital option down the road.
“The Bank will build the capacity to issue a general-purpose, cash-like CBDC should the need to implement one arise,” the bank said in a background note published on its website in conjunction with Mr. Lane’s speech.
“While we don’t know what the future may bring, we need to move forward to work out what a potential CBDC might look like and how it could be managed, if the decision were ever taken to issue one,” Mr. Lane said in his speech. And he noted that the decision wouldn’t be up to the Bank of Canada.
“That’s a choice that Canadians and their elected representatives would need to make at the time,” he said, adding that “the bank would need proper legislative authority to issue a CBDC.”
The background paper indicated that it would take “several years” before the central bank would be in a position to launch its own digital currency.
The Bank of Canada has made a bank-issued digital currency a key research priority over the past year, as the development of private-sector alternatives, especially Facebook’s proposed Libra cryptocurrency, have accelerated the urgency among the world’s central banks to respond. The bank published a series of papers on the issue Tuesday. It has also formed a working group along with the central banks of England, Japan, the European Union, Sweden and Switzerland to combine their efforts on understanding the implications of CBDCs.
But many central banks look to be further down the road toward pursuing their own digital currencies than Canada is. In a recent survey by the Bank for International Settlements, about one in 10 central banks said they are likely to issue a digital currency within the next three years. China’s powerful central bank is believed to be considering a launch of a digital currency within the year. Last week, Sweden’s Riksbank announced the launch of a pilot program over the next year to test a new “e-krona” using blockchain technology, though it stressed that no decision has been made regarding introducing the currency.
Sweden is considered one of the world’s most cash-less societies, with cash used for only about 15 per cent of retail payments. By comparison, Mr. Lane noted that, while Canadians’ use of electronic payment methods has risen substantially in recent years, cash is still used in about one-third of transactions.
He said the case for a Bank of Canada digital currency would become more compelling “if we ever reach the tipping point where cash could no longer be used for a sufficiently wide range of transactions.”
He added that another key factor would be if private digital currencies became widely adopted, something that could pose a risk to the stability of central bank currencies and the conducting of monetary policy.
“If either scenario came to pass, society may be well-served with a digital currency,” he said.
Your time is valuable. Have the Top Business Headlines newsletter conveniently delivered to your inbox in the morning or evening. Sign up today.
Hong Kong Budget 2020: HK$10000 cash handouts for all adult permanent residents among raft of relief measures – Hong Kong Free Press
Hong Kong’s financial secretary has announced a HK$10,000 cash handout to all permanent residents over the age of 18 in a bid to boost local consumption and ease economic woes in light of a fiscal deficit.
The relief measure involving an estimated expenditure of around HK$71 billion came amid negative economic growth since the second half of last year and the city’s first deficit in 15 years as the economy took a hit from the US-China trade war, large-scale protests and the coronavirus outbreak.
But Paul Chan remained confident that fiscal reserves, previously estimated at HK$1.1 trillion, could weather the cost of the handout.
“I consider that, with ample fiscal reserves, the government has to increase public expenditure amid an economic downturn to stimulate the economy and ride of the difficult times with members of the public,” he said as he delivered his fourth budget blueprint at the legislature on Wednesday.
Chan also announced a salary tax cut of 100 per cent for the 2019-20 year up to a ceiling of HK$20,000 – set to benefit 1.95 million taxpayers and cost HK$18.8 billion.
Other relief measures for the public:
- Rates for residential properties for 2020-21 will be waived up to a ceiling of HK$1,500 per quarter – estimated to involve 2.93 million properties and cost HK$13.3 billion.
- Eligible social security recipients will benefit from an extra month of Comprehensive Social Security Assistance payments, Old Age Allowance, Old Age Living Allowance or Disability Allowance. A similar arrangement will be rolled out for the Work Incentive Transport Subsidy. It will cost around HK$4.23 billion.
- Lower-income tenants in government public housing will have a month of rent waived, with a total cost of HK$1.83 billion.
- Exam fees for students sitting the 2021 Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination will be waived, at a cost of about HK$150 million.
Relief measures for business:
- Profits tax will be reduced by 100 per cent for the 2019-20 year to benefit 141,000 taxpayers at a cost of HK$2 billion.
- Business registration fees will be waived for 2020-21, benefitting 1.5 million business owners at a cost of HK$3 billion. Company registry fees for annual tax returns will be waived for two years to benefit 1.4 million firms at a cost of HK$212 million.
- A concessionary low-interest loan of up to HK$2 million will be provided to enterprises under the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme.
- Rates for non-domestic properties for 2020-21 will be waived up to a ceiling of HK$5,000 per quarter in the first two quarters and a ceiling of $1,500 per quarter in the remaining two quarters for each non-domestic property. 420,000 properties will benefit, at a cost of HK$3.2 billion.
- Non-domestic electricity accounts will enjoy a 75 per cent discount up to a ceiling of HK$5,000 for four months, at a cost of HK$2.9 billion. Likewise, water and sewage costs will be discounted by 75 per cent up to a cap of HK$20,000 and HK$12,500 respectively, costing HK$340 billion.
- Local recycling firms will see a rental subsidy for six months, costing HK$100 million.
- Tenants of government properties, government land and EcoPark will see rent discounts of 50 per cent, costing HK$573 million. Rent and fees for eligible operators of properties will be slashed by 50 per cent, costing HK$265 million.
- Hirers of civic centres under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department will enjoy discounts of 50 per cent for six months, costing HK$23 million.
“In preparing this budget, I put the focus on ‘supporting enterprises, safeguarding jobs, stimulating the economy and relieving people’s burden,’ Chan said.
“Hong Kong may have all sorts of shortcomings, but it is our home which allows diversity and freedom of development. Even if we have been disappointed, we can choose to feel hopeful for our future. Even if we are striving for different goals, we can work together to put aside our differences, make room for resolving conflicts, and drive Hong Kong forward,” he said in his concluding remarks.
GO Transit service disrupted after blockade near Kipling GO Station, several people arrested – CTV News
Thousands of GTA commuters faced a difficult time getting home Tuesday as rail protests hampered GO Train service.
New protests cropped up Tuesday on several rail lines, affecting service on the Milton, Lakeshore East and Lakeshore West lines.
At around 6:15 p.m., Metrolinx said that all service was resuming across all lines, but advised customers to expect longer travel times, residual delays and some cancellations throughout the evening.
The protests have been set up in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs in British Columbia, who are opposing a pipeline project and infringements on their territorial rights.
A number of people set up a blockade west of Aldershot GO Station on Monday night and had remained on the tracks throughout Tuesday, forcing Metrolinx to suspend GO train service between Hamilton and Aldershot stations and replace it with buses.
Police served the protesters with an injunction ordering them to leave on Tuesday morning but did not forcibly remove them from the premises.
At around 5:15 p.m., CP24’s cameras captured the protesters peacefully leaving the area in two large groups.
However their departure came about an hour after another blockade formed on the tracks near Lambton Arena, in the area of Dundas Street West and Scarlett Road.
Service was completely suspended along GO Transit’s Milton line due to that blockade.
Police said that severl people have been arrested at the demonstration.
Metrolinx said that it was unable to provide buses to supplement service along the route because it does not have enough of them to carry the 20,000 commuters that utilize the line each night.
The agency later said that the resumption of service would not rely on buses, but would involve trains taking a longer route to make use of a detour.
As of 10 p.m., a large crowd was still at the site of the blockade, along with a large number of police officers.
“We are on scene to keep the peace and ensure public safety for all involved and limit disruption to critical infrastructure,” Toronto police said in a tweet.
Service was also suspended between Union and Pickering GO stations on the Lakeshore East Line for close to an hour due to a disruption near Guildwood. Service resumed on that line at around 5 p.m.
She said that while trains are moving, some are moving very slowly, resulting in backlogs. Other trains also had to turn around and return to Union because of the protests, resulting in a surge of customers waiting to get home.
“There’s just congestion all throughout our corridor,” Aikins said. “It’s an extremely difficult situation for all involved. We’re doing the best we can.”
She advised customers to stay tuned to the latest updates.
Aikins said Metrolinx is planning for the possibility of further disruptions in the coming days.
“We’re planning farther in advance right across our system,” she said. “These are security incidents that we just don’t know when they’re going to happen, when they’re going to end.
“They are out of our control and we’re doing what we can to make sure everybody stays safe. That’s our first priority. We want you to stay safe around our tracks.”
The transit agency said late Tuesday that it is anticipating a normal morning commute for Wednesday morning, but warned that could change if there are circumstances beyond its control.
5 students arrested in social media-linked Port Moody brawl – Vancouver Courier
Countries must shift mindset to virus preparedness: WHO expert – EJ Insight
Bank of Canada decides against launching digital currency, but leaves door open – The Globe and Mail
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Popular Richmond BBQ spot speaks out about coronavirus rumours after man collapses outside restaurant – Vancouver Is Awesome
Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reports January housing sales up 42.4 percent
- Health9 hours ago
The coronavirus is unstoppable. Now what do we do? – Science Magazine
- Real eState7 hours ago
Montreal real estate: Luxury home prices spiked in 2019, and will continue to in 2020, Royal Lepage forecasts – CTV News
- Health10 hours ago
Here's why health officials are only sharing limited details about COVID-19 patients | CTV News – CTV News
- News5 hours ago
Air Canada cancels flights to China until April as government braces for domestic coronavirus outbreak
- News24 hours ago
Chinese Canadians plead for third Canadian rescue flight from Wuhan
- Media3 hours ago
5 students arrested in social media-linked Port Moody brawl
- Politics9 hours ago
Politics Briefing: Conservatives lead national poll – The Globe and Mail
- Tech23 hours ago
Huawei P40 Pro rumors: Release date, specs, 5G support, colors and 10x optical zoom – CNET