BC Ferries sells vessel
Queen of Burnaby has been sold by BC Ferries through auction for $653,000 to an undisclosed buyer. Bidding closed on Thursday, January 4. Opening bids started at $5,000 and a total of 281 were received.
Built in 1965, the 53-year-old vessel sailed the Comox to Powell River run until it was replaced by Salish Orca in May 2017.
The anonymous buyer still has to be proven legitimate by the ferry corporation and conditions are attached to the sale.
Currently docked in Richmond, Queen of Burnaby leaks oil and has hazardous materials onboard, including asbestos. Terms of the sale stipulate the ship is scrapped or kept mothballed because it is no longer fit for sailing. BC Ferries would not reveal what the buyer intends to do with the ship.
Flu season reaches peak
Vancouver Coastal Health facilities in Powell River, including Powell River General Hospital, Willingdon Creek Village and Evergreen Care Unit are experiencing strain as cases of flu begin to increase. The pressure is being felt most in the emergency room and on staff, according to Powell River director Melie DeChamplain.
DeChamplain said there was one outbreak in the hospital’s residential extended care unit over Christmas that required patients to be quarantined. It was lifted on January 7.
The number of cases are increasing as expected at this time of year, but not as severely as last year. Residents can still receive a vaccination for protecting against the flu, which is recommended for seniors, those with underlying health conditions and young children.
Catalyst passes hulk hurdle
Plans to sink the first of four iconic concrete ships, known as the hulks, are now in the final stage of approval, according to Catalyst Paper Corporation Powell River Division vice-president and general manager Fred Chinn.
Catalyst and Artificial Reef Society of BC have worked on achieving various levels of permitting over the last two years to sink the ships in order to create an artificial reef, said Chinn.
In mid-January, environmental studies will go to Environment Canada, which will have 60 days to review the documents and give a ruling. Chinn said he expects a decision by mid-March and is optimistically looking at an April event to sink the first vessel, known as YOGN 82.