What's making news in British Columbia
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VANCOUVER — WAGES FOR CONSTRUCTION WORKERS EXPECTED TO CLIMB
A group representing building contractors in British Columbia predicts a strong demand for labour to boost the wages of construction workers by nearly 10 per cent over the next two years.
That's the finding in the 2018 Wage and Benefits Survey released by the Independent Contractors and Business Association.
Survey respondents said they expect to give their workers a 4.5 per cent raise this year followed by another 5.1 per cent increase next year.
Wages are growing more than twice as fast as inflation, and association president Chris Gardner said that makes it increasingly difficult for companies to find skilled workers.
NEW AREA CODE COMING TO BRITISH COLUMBIA
Canada's telecommunications regulator has announced British Columbia is getting a new 672 area code.
The new code is needed because the existing 604, 778, 250 and 236 area codes are expected to be filled with phone numbers by April 2021, said the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.
The 672 code is slated to go into effect in May of 2019.
That should give phone companies enough time to put the new area code into rotation before the province runs out of phone numbers, the commission said.
PARENTS ALLOW INFANTS AND TODDLERS TOO MUCH SCREEN TIME
A new study of Vancouver parents finds the majority are ignoring Canadian Pediatric Society recommendations that young children not be allowed any access to electronic devices likes smartphones or tablets.
A team of nurses mentored by University of British Columbia nursing professor Wendy Hall surveyed 242 parents of children aged two and under at community health centres throughout the city after noticing a lot of younger kids using screens.
Forty-two per cent of those surveyed said they did not allow their children any screen time, but 40.5 per cent allowed up to 30 minutes per day and the remaining 17.5 per cent gave infants and toddlers an hour or more a day.
Hall said she's not surprised that parents use screens to distract children so they can get chores done, but said adults must understand screen time can have negative effects on children’s language development and sleep patterns.
TOXINS FROM PLASTIC LEFT ON BEACH GOES INTO OCEAN
Researchers at Simon Fraser University say something as innocuous as a child's toy left on a beach can lead to toxic metals being released into aquatic ecosystems.
Leah Bendell and Bertrand Munier said their study shows even micro plastic particles of less than five millimetres can release toxic metals that are a significant risk to coastal ecosystems.
Munier, who is an environmental engineering masters student, spent four weeks picking up plastic debris from nine beaches along the Burrard Inlet.
He collected more than 150 plastic items including children's toys, personal hygiene items and food packaging, and found traces of metals in all of them.
HEDLEY NO LONGER PERFORMING ON JUNOS SHOW
B.C.-based band Hedley has been dropped from the upcoming Juno Awards TV show as its members face allegations of sexual misconduct.
The move by the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences came as band members issued a statement addressing claims of impropriety involving young fans.
It says allegations, which were posted on social media, are unsubstantiated.
The pop rockers are up for three Junos this year, including fan choice, group of the year and pop album of the year.
The Canadian Press, Vancouver