Vancouver vegan cheese shop told they can no longer use the word ‘cheese’ in packaging – BC


A vegan cheese shop in Vancouver has found itself at the centre of a fight over the definition of cheese.

The Blue Heron Creamery makes and sells plant-based cheeses, yogurts, and butters.

However, after receiving a complaint, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has ordered them to stop calling their products ‘cheese’.

The legal definition of cheese states that it is made from milk.

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Blue Heron has also been told they can’t even describe their products as either plant-based or dairy-free vegan cheese, which are terms other similar Canadian businesses have used.

Chef and co-owner Karen McAthy said “what we are seeking is clarity on what we can and cannot do.”

“Is there room to expand what the word means or are we going to be stuck in industry battles?”

The company is still trying to figure out how to proceed.

“The feeling is obviously full of frustration and confusion,” Colin Medhurst from Blue Heron Creamery told Global News.

The CFIA did not provide a statement to Global News Monday but did send a link to labelling standards of food in Canada.

“We’ve always labelled and made it really clear in our packaging that we are dairy-free and plant-based,” Medhurst said. “So for us the frustration is that we’ve tried to show a lot of clarity and work within the process to not fool consumers.”

“So to be told that cheese itself is this unattainable and unusable word, unless you are using the tradition dairy-based form, is a little ridiculous.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Vancouver Police search for missing senior with dementia  – BC


Vancouver Police are asking for the public’s help to find 67-year-old Glen McKim.

He was last seen Sunday, February 17 at 2 p.m. in the area of Granville Island. Mr. McKim has a number of medical issues, including dementia.

Mr. McKim is described as white, 5’8” tall, medium build, and with balding salt-and-pepper hair. He was last seen wearing a grey jacket over a grey shirt, and black pants. He is not expected to be using a walker.

Anyone who sees Glen McKim is asked to call 9-1-1 and stay with him until first responders arrive.

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Offbeat marathon runner Yuki Kawauchi to race in Vancouver


Even if you’ve never run a step in your life, there’s lots to like about Japanese marathoner Yuki Kawauchi, who will run his first race in Canada in May at the BMO Vancouver Marathon.

Of course he’s fast and has represented his country at international events — even winning the 2018 Boston Marathon — but it’s how he approaches the sport that has delighted runners and non-runners alike.

Yuki Kawauchi, of Japan, hoists the trophy after winning the 122nd Boston Marathon on Monday, April 16, 2018, in Boston. He is the first Japanese man to win the race since 1987. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola) (The Associated Press)

Kawauchi, 31, has a penchant for dressing in costume while running. He once ran a half marathon in a panda suit and also completed a race dressed in a black business suit and tie — for fun.

His offbeat reputation is one of the reason race organizers wanted him at their event.

« What I like the most about him in some ways is that he’s very modest in his approach, »  said Eric Chene, Vancouver’s race director.

« He also likes to have fun with it, like he also has the fastest half-marathon time running in a panda suit. He’s such an interesting story and and he’s still a regular Joe if you will, » said Chene.

In Japan, Kawauchi is known as the ‘citizen runner,’ because he is not sponsored like most professional elite runners. He works full time as a school administrator and runs between 10 and 12 marathons a year.

That’s unheard of for people serious about marathons, which are 42.2 kilometres. Most elite marathoners do no more than two marathons because of the toll the races take on their bodies.

‘Enjoy your running’

In an email interview from Japan, Kawauchi had a word of advice to other runners.

« Enjoy your running and stay injury-free so that you can always enjoy it, » he wrote.

Kawauchi’s fastest marathon time is 2:08:14, which he ran six years ago in Korea. It’s an extremely fast time for average runners, but it’s still nearly seven minutes off the world record set by Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge in September.

In April 2018, Kawachi catapulted into the international spotlight when he won the Boston marathon in cold windy and wet conditions fuelled by eating Japanese curry rice, his pre-race ritual.

« You know I think he speaks not only to the elites, but also to the common person … those weekend warriors, » said Chene.

‘That dude is nails’

Vancouverite Rob Watson won the 2018 Vancouver marathon and says he’s excited to be able to race Kawauchi here.

« I’m looking forward to rolling a bit with Yuki, » he said in a release from race organizers. « That dude is nails. »

Race organizers say they attracted Kawauchi to Vancouver by emphasizing the city’s beauty and the scenic course.

The BMO Vancouver Marathon is one of the most picturesque marathons in North America. (Maylies Lang/RUNVAN)

Kawauchi, who says maple syrup and ginger ale come to mind when he thinks of Canada, will arrive in Vancouver only three weeks after trying to defend his title in Boston.

He will also come as a full-time athlete. In April, he will stop working to focus on athletics full time. 

While here, Kawauchi says he wants to run some trails on the North Shore — and find a good restaurant.

« After a race, wherever I am, I like going to a delicious restaurant and eating as much as I like of whatever I like, including dessert, » he said.


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Feds to fund 3 Vancouver temporary modular housing projects for the homeless


The federal government announced plans Monday to develop three projects in Vancouver that will create new affordable housing, helping those who are homeless and expanding the number of shelter spaces available in the city.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his government is providing funding to the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency for a temporary modular housing initiative that is aimed at helping those without a home to transition into longer-term housing.

WATCH: Nov. 9, 2018 — Housing crisis leaves many homeless living in vehicles in Metro Vancouver

Once completed, the project is expected to provide more than 600 pre-built units that can be relocated where they are needed across the city.

The funding will also help with the redevelopment of the Union Gospel Mission’s Women and Families Centre in the Downtown Eastside. The centre is expanding to more than 60 units, which will provide shelter for women who are recovering from addiction.

Trudeau made the announcement at the site of the $40-million project that will provide 115 rental-housing units in the city later this year.

“By investing in affordable rental housing, temporary shelters for people who are living on the streets, and support centres for women battling addiction, we’re not just investing in our communities – we’re investing in people,” he said.

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The funding is part of the government’s National Housing Strategy, a 10-year, $40-billion program announced in 2017 that Ottawa has billed as a plan to provide more social housing and affordable rental units.

The New Democrats said in a news release that Trudeau’s government has neglected the housing crisis. One in five Canadians is paying more than 50 per cent of their income on housing and a growing number of people are one paycheque away from being homeless, the party said.

Later Monday, Trudeau joined Liberal candidate Richard T. Lee for a second straight day of campaigning in Burnaby South, the federal riding where NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh is seeking a seat in a byelection.

WATCH: Trudeau says justice minister to provide recommendations on possibly waiving solicitor-client privilege

The prime minister and Lee mingled with patrons at a restaurant before chatting with commuters and posing for selfies outside the Metrotown SkyTrain station. Trudeau said Lee’s experience as a provincial legislator representing Burnaby made him a strong candidate.

“We know that having someone grounded in the community, who’s served Burnaby for more than 16 years as an elected politician already, is the kind of strong voice we need to represent Burnaby South in Ottawa,” Trudeau said.

Asked how he felt the prime minister visiting the riding could sway the byelection, Singh said he hears on doorsteps that people are disappointed with the Trudeau government’s approach to the housing crisis, pharmacare and the environment.

“On all these issues, this government and Mr. Trudeau have let people down,” Singh said. “I’m confident that what we’re talking about, what we’re proposing, are solutions that will make their lives better.”


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In Vancouver, a haven for money laundering, some people use ‘bags of cash’ to pay their property taxes


VANCOUVER—A councillor’s chance encounter with a taxpayer in the parking lot of city hall toting “bags of cash” to pay his property taxes has sparked a renewed focus on whether B.C. cities are doing enough to fight money laundering.

Counc. Melissa De Genova drafted a motion to council last week after a man carrying a bag of cash approached her outside of city hall and asked her where to go to pay his taxes.

The City of Vancouver accepted 19 cash payments in excess of $10,000 in 2018, and has received about 15 a year over the past six years, usually to pay property taxes, according to the city’s finance department.

After De Genova’s motion passed asking city staff to examine whether they should investigate the source of large cash payments for property taxes and business licences, the city said it would no longer accept cash payments over $10,000.

Vancouver has a reputation for being a haven for money laundering, said Christine Duhaime, a lawyer who specializes in financial crime. Under the direction of Attorney General David Eby, the province is currently investigating the extent of money laundering in B.C.’s real-estate sector.

Duhaime said De Genova’s worry about cash payments is probably misplaced, because it’s not an area that has been flagged as high-risk by international anti-money laundering bodies, and Duhaime said many people who now live in Canada come from countries where corruption is common and are averse to using the banking system.

But based on what she sees regularly in her practice, Duhaime said the public is right to be concerned about money laundering in British Columbia and there are things cities could do to help deter the practice.

“I have files I’m working on right now where people from China defrauded a bank over there, left China, somehow get immigration status here, and buy a bunch of houses in Richmond (a suburb of Vancouver), and then the banks in China trace them here,” said Duhaime. “And we’re not talking $10,000. It’s more like $10 million.”

One of her current files involves someone who was on a wanted list.

“I just shake my head,” Duhaime said. “How did he get a bank account? How did he get a mortgage? How come all these banks in China want him, but we can’t figure out that he’s on a wanted list?”

She said Metro Vancouver cities could work proactively on money-laundering risk in three areas that do fall under their jurisdiction: casinos, real estate and policing.

For instance, cities could make casinos sign agreements that require operators to report on what they are doing “to ensure our cities are not safe havens for money laundering.”

Cities could ask developers who apply for rezoning to provide their anti-money laundering policy, setting out how, for example, they can reassure the city that the proceeds of crime won’t be used to purchase unit in a new highrise.

Like casinos and banks, real-estate developers are subject to federal proceeds-of-crime legislation.

On policing, municipal governments set the mandate and budget for city police forces, Duhaime said. The motion passed by Vancouver city council includes working with the Vancouver Police Department to explore ways the city can implement a bylaw to require all people or companies involved in property transactions to provide “specific information to the city in the interests of deterring money laundering and the business of organized crime.”

The motion also directs city staff to work with the VPD to see whether the city could legally require information from property owners and business-licence applicants to help it prevent money laundering.

Jen St. Denis is a Vancouver-based reporter covering affordability and city hall. Follow her on Twitter: @jenstden


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Collapsed crane at Port of Vancouver is removed – BC


A crane that collapsed at the Port of Vancouver has finally been removed.

An update from Global Container Terminals, which owns the crane, says recovery work is now complete, adding that the impacted ship-to-shore crane boom was removed Tuesday morning from the vessel that came into contact with it.

WATCH: Crane collapses at Vancouver port

Spokesperson Louanne Wong said in an email that the ship was relocated to the appropriate position on the berth and is also being worked on.

Crane topples at Vancouver container terminal

Wong said it’s expected the vessel discharge will be finished by early Thursday, allowing it to depart for the next port of call.

Two large floating cranes were brought in to help after the crane crashed down onto a container vessel on Jan. 30.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Puppy from Iran that had acid thrown on face to have surgery in Vancouver


On a chilly January afternoon, Mugsy zipped across a green lawn like a whitish-brown arrow playing catch.

Her owner, Sam Taylor, a resident of Burnaby, B.C., threw a brown, stuffed hedgehog and the seven-month-old pup chased it, tail wagging, just like any other dog would.

But Mugsy is not like any other dog.

« She looks like Voldemort but has the heart of Harry Potter and his friends, » said Taylor with a laugh, as she cuddled the pup.

On Feb. 12, Mugsy will undergo the third surgery of her life to repair damage from acid that was thrown on her.

Dog to undergo surgery

This surgery, to take place in Vancouver, will create nostril openings and use the tip of her ear to replace the melted bone and skin on the top of her nose, Taylor said.

The dog will be temporarily blind as the ear is folded over her face and attached over her nose so a blood supply forms from the ear onto the nose, she said, adding that the ear acts as a graft.

The next surgery will attach stents in place of nostrils and unfold the ear, she said.

The two surgeries are expected to cost up to $7,000.

« It’s no guarantee but (the doctor) seemed optimistic, » Taylor said, smoothing the dog’s left ear, which will be used to create the bridge of her nose.

Mugsy, a rescue dog from Iran, had a man douse her with a corrosive cleaner when she was around six weeks old. The attack burned much of her face and caused her to loose a eye, most of a ear and her nose. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

Mugsy was born in Iran, and when she was 40 days old somebody threw acidic cleaner on her face as she played outside. Most of the pup’s face was melted — including her lip, right eye and right ear.

Although her Iranian family loved her, they could not afford all the treatment that Mugsy would need, so they decided to put her down.

But at veterinarian’s office in Iran, a volunteer from Persian Paws Rescue and Loved At Last Dog Rescue intervened.

She also offered to pay for the Maltese-Japanese spitz mix’s eye removal, which was causing the pup the most pain.

The volunteer was worried about an infection in the dog’s nasal cavity and decided that the best chance for her survival would be if she was adopted by someone in North America who could afford the care, Taylor said.

‘I really want to help this dog’

Last fall, Taylor, who works as a lab assistant at a hospital in downtown Vancouver, was browsing Loved At Last Dog Rescue, which finds homes for local and international stray dogs.

She was looking to make a donation on the site when she saw a blurred-out image that read, « graphic injury. »

« I thought it can’t be that bad, » she said.

She clicked.

« It was very, very graphic. I read her story and just and felt, ‘Oh I really want to help this dog. »‘

Mugsy was flown from Iran to Canada and now lives in Burnaby with Sam Taylor, who adopted her. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

She thought it over for about an hour — just a donation wouldn’t help because the dog needed surgery not available in Tehran — and then asked her roommate, who agreed to having a dog in the house.

« And I showed her a picture, and she said, ‘Whoa, OK. »‘

After filling out an application in late October, Taylor waited for about two months for Mugsy. A family visiting Vancouver brought Mugsy over with them, she said, noting that they had brought over other dogs before.

When Mugsy arrived she was very scared, Taylor said. She barked and howled and didn’t come out of her travelling kennel for about an hour.

And even after she came out, she didn’t eat or drink much.

‘She’s very spoiled’

« But now she’s very spoiled, » Taylor said, holding Mugsy close. « She gets squash and brown rice and sweet potato in her food. She’s pretty well-loved. »

Mugsy was called Hapoochi in Iran, which means tiny puppy, but Taylor said she wasn’t pronouncing the name right so her roommate came up with the name Mugsy.

« She does have the mug for it, » she said, with a chuckle.

Asked why she adopted a dog from another country when there a lot of dogs in Canada that need help, Taylor said it is « incidental » that Mugsy is from Iran.

Once she saw Mugsy on the website, she said she couldn’t stop thinking about her.

« I don’t think animals have boundaries and borders. They don’t have a nationality, » Taylor said. « I can understand if people think it’s a bit corny. »


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Charges laid after 2-year-old killed by snake venom in North Vancouver


Charges have been laid nearly five years after a two-year-old Aleka Esa-Bella Scheyk Gonzales was poisoned and killed by snake venom in North Vancouver.

RCMP said Henry Thomas, 51, had the girl in his care on May 18, 2014 and returned her to her mother that same day.

Hours later, at 5 a.m., the child’s mother phoned RCMP and said the toddler was dead.

A statement said Mounties searched Thomas’ home in Agassiz and seized snakes and « related equipment » in July 2015.

Further biological DNA testing was run in 2016 and 2017, confirming the two-year-old’s cause of death.

Thomas, 51, was arrested at his home on Friday. He’s been charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life.

« This is a very tragic incident that resulted in a complex, unique investigation by police and support agencies, » said Supt. Chris Kennedy, the officer in charge of the North Vancouver RCMP. 

« Our condolences are extended to the family and community of the deceased child. »


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‘Small explosions’ start scrap yard fire in East Vancouver – BC


A second alarm fire in an East Vancouver scrap yard began with a series of small explosions before spreading to a neighboring commercial building Monday night.

That blaze, which Vancouver Fire Chief Darrell Reid described in a tweet as “difficult to access”, was brought under control by about 11 pm.

Reid tweeted that the blazes in the 1900 block of Triumph Street near Powell and Victoria attracted a large number of police and fire units to the scene, and a large number of onlookers as well.

There were no injuries. The cause of the fires is under investigation.

Powell is closed from Semlin Drive to Salsbury, and Victoria is closed from Powell to Triumph, while fire crews clean up.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Fallen Vancouver Island firefighter honoured with full line of duty service


Hundreds of people turned out in foggy Port Alberni weather for an honour guard procession to pay tribute to a fallen firefighter.

Carla Kulczycki died earlier this month at the age of 46 after a 16-month battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive form a brain cancer associated with her work as a firefighter.

Thousands attend funeral for RCMP officer killed in crash

Friends and colleagues remembered her Sunday as a team player and someone who was heavily involved in both the department’s social activities and the community.

“She’s a dedicated, hard-working, loyal person who she just got it done and she was there for everybody all the time and she’s going to be deeply, deeply missed,” said Const. Jennifer Maher with the Saanich police.

WATCH: Thousands attend funeral service for RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett in Colwood

“Carla was a teammate. She was the champion of the underdogs, she was the person who you could call on for anything, anytime, anywhere, anyhow. She wanted to make a difference in her life and she certainly did,” said Jeannette Badovinac, a Port Alberni teacher.

University of Lethbridge researchers studying glioblastoma, the brain cancer that killed Gord Downie

Kulczycki was a 16-year veteran of the Sproat Lake Volunteer Fire Department and was given a full line of duty service.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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