1) First off the weather. While it will continue to be mild down here at the valley floor today, up in the mountains, it’s a different story. Down here the temperature is expected to hover around a relatively balmy 8 C today with clouds and periods of rain. But Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning for mountain passes in the southern Interior, including on the Coquihalla and the Okanagan Connector. While the Penask Summit on the Connector could see 15 centimetres of snow today, the Roger’s Pass on the Trans Canada Highway could see much as 40 centimetres. Looking ahead into the weekend, temperatures will drop a little on Saturday and there is a chance of showers or brief wet snow overnight.
2) The big local news is that buses are running once again in the Central Okanagan. Following the ratification of a new collective agreement by striking bus drivers Wednesday, the service is back this morning. And, according to B.C. Transit, everyone can ride for free for the rest of the month. Meanwhile, the city will refund a portion of the cost of transit passes for November to cover the two weeks the service was suspended due to the strike.
3) ICBC is getting out the business of insuring high-priced vehicles. Owners of vehicles that cost more than $150,000 will have to buy their insurance from private companies, not the public insurance corporation, from now on, according to Transportation Minister Todd Stone. He said luxury cars like Ferraris and Lamborghinis are six times more costly to fix than other vehicles. Oh, and just so the rest of us don’t feel left out in the bad insurance news department, ICBC says basic insurance premiums for those of use who drive “regular” vehicles may climb as much as 42 per cent over the next five years.
4) Local MLA and B.C. Premier Christy Clark will get a little more exposure as she leads the Liberals into the upcoming provincial election. The party has hired former Globe and Mail photographer John Lehmann to chronicle her comings and goings, in public and behind the scenes. While Lehmann will be paid by the party, the government already has three photographers/videographers who chronicle Clark and other government officials as they do their work.