E-Comm lists top 10 worst reasons to call 911 in 2019 - BC News - Castanet.net - Canada News Media
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E-Comm lists top 10 worst reasons to call 911 in 2019 – BC News – Castanet.net



A bad hair cut, a parking spot deemed too small, and neighbours who vacuum too late at night – these were among the worst reasons to call 911 during 2019.

Others, according to B.C.’s E-Comm call centre, included not being allowed to use the washroom at a gas station, complaining that a coin laundry machine didn’t have enough water, and to enquire why traffic was so bad. 

Every year, there’s no shortage of examples of calls E-Comm staff have handled that aren’t based on a genuine life-or-death situation in need of emergency care.

Operator Chelsea Brent says an alarming trend has emerged in 2019, where people call 911 to seek general information, knowing full well their situation is not an emergency. 

“Sometimes, it feels like people may have forgotten that the reason to call 911 is to get help in a life-or-death situation. 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. But when I’m answering calls that aren’t an emergency, it means I’m not available for someone else who really does need critical help.” 

E-Comm communications manager Jasmine Bradley says although such calls may be absurd, all call takers must treat every call as an emergency unless they can establish there isn’t one, and this takes time away from helping those in genuine need. 

Here’s the full list of E-Comm’s top 10 reasons not to call 911 in 2019: 

  • To complain a hotel parking spot was too small
  • To complain a hair salon didn’t style their hair properly
  • To complain their neighbour was vacuuming late at night
  • Because they were upset a coin laundry machine didn’t have enough water
  • To enquire 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 and requesting they should come back in the morning
  • 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 is responsible for 99 per cent of British Columbia’s 911 call volume and handled more than 1.6 million 911 calls in 2019. 

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Uber driver says he was ticketed by bylaw officers in Surrey – CTV News



A Vancouver Uber driver says he was shocked to get a bylaw infraction ticket after he accepted a ride request in Surrey.

While other Metro Vancouver cities have welcomed the long-awaited ride hailing services Uber and Lyft, Surrey’s mayor, Doug McCallum, has steadfastly opposed the business model, saying it poses unfair competition to taxi companies.

Carlos Altamirano Medina started driving for Uber as soon as B.C.’s Passenger Transportation Board approved Uber and Lyft last week.

On Sunday, he had picked up a passenger at Vancouver International Airport and driven them to Surrey. A little before 2 p.m. he got another ride request: a passenger at the Safeway on King George.

As Altamirano Medina approached, the passenger waved him over; he stopped and the woman asked if he was Carlos. As soon as he said yes, two uniformed bylaw officers approached him, told him they were from the City of Surrey, and informed him he didn’t have a licence to operate in Surrey.

They also asked him to cancel the requested ride so the pretend passenger would not be charged, according to Altamirano Medina .

They then gave him a warning notice, which says he’s in violation of Surrey’s business licence bylaw: “No person will carry on business in the city without holding a valid and subsisting licence.” The notice says the possible fine is $500.

The officers also asked to see his drivers licence and car insurance.

Altamirano Medina said he was shocked, and even asked two nearby RCMP officers if the bylaw officers had the right to ask to see his licence and insurance.

The interaction ended with the bylaw officers telling him he can drop passengers off in Surrey, but Uber drivers can’t pick anyone up.

Altamirano Medina has only driven a handful of passengers so far, and said he had gotten consistent five-star reviews. But, he says, he ended up getting a poor review for the cancelled ride, which has pulled down his overall average.

CTV News has reached out to the City of Surrey and to Uber’s Western Canada representative, Michael van Hemmen. The City of Surrey had not responded as of 7 p.m. Sunday.

In an email, van Hemmen reiterated his company’s position on the issue.

“Premier Horgan has been clear that municipalities do not have the authority to prevent ridesharing companies from operating,” he said. “Uber and drivers have all the required approvals from the provincial government and the Passenger Transportation Board to operate in Metro Vancouver. We do not believe there is any legal basis for drivers to be fined by the City of Surrey.”

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'To be expected': Patience urged over limited supply of cannabis edibles – Calgary Herald



Adam Chammorry displays some of the edibles available at Queen of Bud in Calgary on Monday, Jan. 13, 2020.

Darren Makowichuk/Postmedia

Cannabis retailers say the appetite for pot-infused edibles is outstripping the supply — and the provincial distributor can’t say when that will change.

It’s a replay of what occurred a year ago when logistical and regulatory hurdles created a shortage of cannabis in stores, a bottleneck that led to a six-month halt on new pot shops being approved by regulator-wholesaler Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis.

“This was definitely to be expected in a brand new industry,” said AGLC spokeswoman Heather Holmen.

She noted 406 cannabis stores have now been approved by the AGLC — by far the most of any province — that share the limited supply.

“I can’t confirm that it will further strain the supply, as Alberta is one of the leading jurisdictions with the most LPs (licensed producers) providing for our market,” said Holmen.

“We are confident that variety and quantity will increase as LPs receive their licences to manufacture 2.0 products.”

The provincial regulator has now signed up 45 licensed producers to supply the Alberta market, with more than half of them expected to add to the edibles supply sometime this year, said Holmen.

She said the AGLC has yet to receive cannabis-infused beverages and coffee/tea packets from licensed producers.

“Anything we can get our hands on, we’ll put into the inventory system,” said Holmen, adding that’s dependent on how quickly licensed producers make them available.

Retailers say some of the edible products they receive from the AGLC are far less than they order, one saying it’s just over 50 per cent.

The most popular items — chewable candies — are quickly sold out, say store operators.

“Edibles are selling very well but there’s definitely been some challenges with the regulatory system,” said Nathan Mison, chairman of the Alberta Cannabis Council, which represents retailers and producers.

“The challenges we’ve seen in legalization 1.0 are the same as 2.0.”

He said Health Canada approvals of edibles processors has been slow, while the large number of stores in Alberta has limited what’s available.

“Everybody’s fighting over the good products everybody wants, and the AGLC is struggling to fill our orders due to all the competitors in the market,” said Mison.

The looser regulatory regime in Saskatchewan, he said, had retailers selling edibles and vaping products there on Dec. 18, four weeks before most of those products appeared on Alberta shelves.


That supply squeeze is due to a smaller number of edibles producers than there were bud growers at the start of legalization in late 2018, said Ryan Hellard, chief marketing and products officer for Olds-based Sundial Growers.

But he said Health Canada’s relaxation of regulations governing edibles producers should ease that.

“They no longer have to do any cultivation . . . there are a lot of people either getting their processing licences or close to it, so the supply should increase in the next few months,” said Hellard.

For now, Sundial is focused on producing cannabis vape cartridges it supplies to several other provinces.

The provincial government has delayed the addition of cannabis vape cartridges into the Alberta market pending a review of their safety, a move retailers and producers have decried.

The AGLC’s Holmen said she expects a decision on those products to come in a few weeks.

There are a number of Alberta businesses that hope to fill any supply gap with their offering once they’ve either been granted a processing licence from Health Canada or have their production line going.

Canopy Growth unveiled the company’s edible offerings including these vape products at Hotel Arts in Calgary on Monday, December 9, 2019.

Darren Makowichuk /


Edmonton-based Aurora Cannabis said the response to their new products “has been positive.”

“We are working closely with provinces and retailers as these new categories develop,” company spokeswoman Michelle Lefler said in a statement.

Calgary firm Choklat expects to add its chocolate bars, drinks and cannabis-infused sugar packets to the Alberta market in March and is hiring up to 25 new staff to ensure it.

Edmonton-area craft grower Freedom Cannabis is also positioning itself to feed the province’s appetite for pot treats.

“We’re encouraged by the demand for them and we’re in the process of buying land and building a lab,” said owner Troy Dezwart.

“We plan on expanding and hiring new people.”


Twitter: @BillKaufmannjrn

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GRT strike, 'horrific' crash on Hwy. 401, 97 cats found in residence: Top stories of the week – CTV News



Grand River Transit strike halts buses in Waterloo Region

Talks broke down between the Region of Waterloo and the union that represents hundreds of Grand River Transit workers Monday night and has resulted in strike. No GRT buses have hit the road in that time and no talks between the union and the region have been scheduled as of Saturday.

Students, those with physical handicaps, and commuters have all voiced their concerns with the job action. Meanwhile, alternative transportation has seen a spike in business.

LRT continues to be in service during the strike.

Ingersoll man killed in ‘horrific’ three-vehicle crash on Hwy. 401

A three-vehicle crash on Highway 401 eastbound in Newcastle, Ont. has left a 40-year-old man from Ingersoll dead.

Police say that a transport truck was broken down or disabled on the right shoulder of the eastbound lanes. A straight truck heading east collided with it from behind, becoming wedged underneath it.

The drivers got out to speak to one another about the crash when the third vehicle, another transport truck, collided with the side of the straight truck. One of the drivers who was outside of his truck was pinned between the vehicles. Police say he was the one killed.

“The collision scene here is obviously horrific, as you can see,” Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said in a video posted to Twitter.

Laurier, Waterloo, and Guelph crack top-20 list of ‘sugar baby’ schools in Canada

A list of Canadian universities with the most registered student “sugar babies” features three area schools. The list published by Seeking Arrangement has Laurier as the fifth school with 459 registered student members, University of Guelph at 11 with 396 and University of Waterloo at 13 with 312.

The numbers are gathered based on accounts registered to the site with student email addresses. The service is described as primarily for young women who are financially pampered by “sugar daddies” in exchange for companionship and negotiable sexual favours.

Guelph home had 97 cats inside, not 80: humane society

The Guelph Humane Society says that a total of 97 cats have been rescued from a home in Guelph, and that most of them are pretty healthy. Originally, it was believed that about 80 cats had been living in the residence on Huron Street.

The landlord of the building, who didn’t want to be named, told CTV on Wednesday that a woman had lived in the apartment for about four years. He says that the woman’s eviction led to the discovery of the cats, which prompted the humane society to begin removing them.

Cat getting wellness check

Trio of Boston Pizza locations close in Waterloo Region, but company hopes to reopen

Three Boston Pizza restaurants in Waterloo Region have closed, but fret not, the company says. According to a spokesperson for the chain, the current local owner decided to close the restaurants.

“However, given the continued popularity and success of the other Boston Pizzas in the area and all across Canada, we will work quickly to find new owners and return more Boston Pizza restaurants to the area as soon as possible,” a statement from the company reads.

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