First all-electric commercial plane successfully flies in B.C.
The world’s first all-electric commercial aircraft has successfully managed to take flight in British Columbia.
According to Vancouver based Harbour Air, their commercial seaplane with a 750 horsepower all-electric magni500 propulsion system and lithium-ion batteries that were also used on the International Space Station managed to take flight on the Fraser River Tuesday morning.
The flight lasted for three minutes before returning to the launching area.
The successful flight is expected to be the beginning of a two-year process to get the e-plane certified for full commercial use.
Uber and Lyft have been approved to operate in the Metro Vancouver area, according to the Vancouver Sun.
The two Goliath ride-hailing companies will launch their operations imminently—perhaps within weeks or even days. Cars have been approved for the Lower Mainland and Whistler. The only thing they now have to do is to receive insurance from the ICBC and local approval.
In a victory for the ride-hailing giants, there will also be no set quota for the number of cars in the area, which was an original point of contention for British Columbian taxi drivers.
Uber has stated that its operations in Metro Vancouver will begin “very soon … once we have obtained a business licence from the City of Vancouver and purchased insurance from ICBC. In the meantime, we encourage all qualified drivers with a Class 4 licence to sign up on the Uber app.”
Lyft also began to put in place the companies infrastructure. In a statement, Lyft thanked “the provincial government and the Passenger Transportation Board for their dedication.”
This decision will come as a blow to the taxi sector in British Columbia, who has campaigned actively to stop Uber and Lyft from competing with them. The British Columbian government has vowed to work with the taxi industry so to ease the transition.
Meghan Markle is looking into real estate in the prestigious West Vancouver market according to The Sun. One particular mansion has caught her eye: a beautiful 6,900-square foot waterfront home selling at just over $35 million dollars according to the Vancouver Sun.
There are a total of six bedrooms and five bathrooms in the four-story mansion complete with full-length panoramic windows that offer breathtaking views of both the ocean and the city skyline.
Security is clearly a concern for the rogue royals but it won’t be a concern at this estate which is surrounded by gates, screen hedges and a 20-foot beachside wall behind the property.
“The neighbourhood is a known haven for wealthy people and has a very laid-back atmosphere. I’m sure they would be very happy there, and they would be welcomed with open arms.” said one estate agent source. “Meghan has expressed an interest in this beautiful house. It would be perfect for her, Harry and little Archie.”
The house is located in Kitsilano, one of the most desirable neighbourhoods in Vancouver. The residence is 108-years-old runs along a street of prized billionaire’s dubbed “Golden Miles.”
“The area is particularly sought after by super-rich and image-conscious young achievers.” said one real estate expert. “But best of all for Harry and Meghan, it’s quiet and locals respect each other and value their privacy. They’d fit in very well.”
Canadian billionaire founder of the uber-trendy Lululemon Athletica yoga gear brand, Chip Wilson, would be a neighbour should the couple decide to buy. His mansion is worth about $64 million. Meghan Markle has been public about her love for yoga, pilates, and the Lululemon brand.
The new mansion is a long way from the Frogmore Cottage in the grounds of Home Park, Windsor. The Queen is apparently “privately furious” at the couple for the money spent to renovate the Frogmore Cottage prior to the decision to move to Canada. Frogmore has been the home of the couple ever since their publicly-funded wedding that came in at $40 million dollars. The Queen is said to be “privately furious” at the money spent on Frogmore Cottage renovations following Prince Harry and Meghan’s announcement they are moving abroad. The royal couple have lived there since their publicly-funded $40-million-dollar wedding.
Vancouver is conducting an experiment to counteract the growing number of opioid overdoses.
The experiment is named the MySafe Project. It started in December of 2019 in the Downtown Eastside area of Vancouver. The pilot project has introduced the world to the first biometric opioid machine.
A public health emergency was announced in B.C. in 2016 and over 5,000 people have lost their lives due to drug overdoses since then. In the past years, many people have been asking for access to a supply of safe drugs in order to avoid the negative aspects that come along with street drugs.
With the program, users who have been tested and registered can be prescribed hydromorphone as an alternative to heroin and can receive it at scheduled times.
According to Global News, The machine, which resembles an ATM is 800 pounds and dispenses after scanning the palms of the user’s hand. It is located on East Hastings Street close to the Overdose Prevention Site.
The leader of the project is Dr. Mark Tyndall, a professor at UBC. When announcing the project on video he said, “You just put your hand up to the machine, it welcomes you and dispenses a drug in a little box in the bottom and you take them and leave.”
“There’s two points to a safe supply,” he said, “One is the obvious thing that in one hand you have deadly fentanyl and the other hand you have a pharmaceutical drug with a known dosage, the person who takes the known dosage will not overdose.”
Tyndall says that the machines helps users “break the cycle … and the hustle they go through”
The idea was first brought to light by Tyndall in 2018. He introduced his plans to carry out the project in September.
He noted that the eight-milligram pill dispensed by the machine costs approximately 35 cents.
Users can receive the drug at Vancouver clinics as well.
The video shows Tyndall saying, “I believe if we do allow people to stabilize their routine a little bit more by having a secure, safe place where they can get their drugs and cut into the activities they have to do to get their drugs there will be a lot more time for connection.”
B.C.’s Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions who does not have any involvement, commented on the project saying, “As with any independent research project, we will await the results.”
“The Ministry is focused on our own work to scale up access to medically-supervised prescription alternatives to toxic street drugs as just one part of establishing a full continuum of care and delivering an urgent, comprehensive response to this crisis – including prevention, enforcement, harm reduction and treatment and recovery.”
The Vancouver police are in support of the project as they deal with overdoses on a daily basis.
In an email, Const. Tania Visintin wrote, “These machines dispense a known substance which has a known strength and are not contaminated.”
“These machines are a locked safe which people are able to access their prescriptions.”
Some people are skeptical of the idea. Dr. Launette Rieb said, “People can still overdose on [hydromorphone]. It’s an unsupervised model.”
“Also, this doesn’t purify the stimulant use supply, which is also tainted with fentanyl. And to hand out stimulants is also a very unproven tactic. So is giving take-home doses to inject.”
Rieb also claims that this method does not solve the addiction problem that users face.
For now, the MySafe project only includes five users. Mysafe noted that future members of the program will be people with an overdose in their history as well as people with fentanyl found in their urine samples.
Meghan Markle made an appearance at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre to discuss women’s issues according to Global News.
A Facebook post complete with pictures read, “Look who we had tea with today! The Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, visited us today to discuss issues affecting women in the community,”
Queen Elizabeth confirmed that Markle and Prince Harry would be splitting their time between the U.K. and Canada last week and the two wasted no time settling in.
The move to Canada comes after the royal’s decision to step away from their official duties and take a more relaxed role in the royal family. The couple claiming that they want to be “financially independent” and hope to create a more “progressive new role” within the royal family.
The Queen gave her thoughts as well as her blessings about the decision to move. “Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family,”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have spent a lot of time on the west coast since their sojourn began, although they have yet to confirm exactly where they will call home within Canada. However, the couple did choose to spend Christmas with their son, Archie Harrison on Vancouver Island.
Many people in Vancouver were impressed with Markle’s attempt to integrate herself into the Vancouver community.
“What an awesome place for her to come and discuss these kinds of issues. She is so lucky to be speaking to the passionate women of the DTESWC,” one user said.
“Well if this is where the exited royals are going to be maybe having them around will be a wonderful thing. No bling in sight. I bet her mother-in-law would have been happy to see this. Raising awareness where it is needed is always a good thing,” another user wrote on Facebook.