A group of graduating Coquitlam students had a virtual discussion with Justin Trudeau

Good morning! It’s Morgan again with your daily newsletter.

I’m really loving the warmer weather. The problem? It also makes me want to eat a lot of ice cream. I made a pretty dangerous discovery yesterday when I found out that the cup holder on my bicycle can actually hold an ice cream cone or a cup of fro-yo. Keep reading to find out where to get the best ice cream in the Tri-Cities! Plus, find out about how Justin Trudeau paid a virtual visit to a group of Coquitlam grads.

What happened: Earlier this week, Justin Trudeau paid a virtual visit to a group of Coquitlam grads. The Prime Minister of Canada offered support and consolation for Gleneagle Secondary students expecting to graduate in the spring.

  • The virtual event was organized by Ron McKinnon – the Liberal MP for Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam.

Tuning in: During the virtual call, the Coquitlam students expressed their disappointment in not having the opportunity to attend an in-person graduation ceremony.

  • Trudeau discussed the implications of navigating senior year during the COVID-19 pandemic and the effects the pandemic has had on youth mental health. The group also spoke about how their futures would be affected.

Missing milestones: High-school students who graduated throughout the pandemic have missed out on milestones they expected to partake in.

  • This year’s graduating class is not only missing out on an in-person graduation, but on the extra-curricular events that students often look forward to in senior year. 

Psychologists say that missing out on these critical events can have an adverse effect on mental health as these events can represent key transitional phases in adolescence.

BC will be officially requesting an exemption from Health Canada regulations to officially decriminalize drugs for personal use. Five years have passed since B.C. declared a public health emergency for overdose deaths, but death counts have not subsided.

  • Here in the Tri-Cities: A local advocacy group, the Tri-Cities Opioid Overdose Community Action Team, hosted a rally yesterday to draw attention to the need for safer drug supply and harm-reduction strategy.

The COVID-19 effect:
 The pandemic has resulted in a spike in overdose deaths. This is largely due to stigma that has been generated due to self-isolation restrictions. More people are using drugs alone and the drug supply has become more lethal mostly due to borders closing.

The numbers:

  • In 2020, BC reported a 74% increase in overdose deaths compared to the previous year
  • At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a 93% increase in overdose deaths affecting indigenous people than at the same time in the previous year
  • In 2020, more people died from overdoses than from COVID-19
  • In 2020, 46 people died from overdoses in the Tri-Cities

Local landscape: 
The Tri-Cities Opioid Overdose Community Action Team was first launched in 2019 and have been working hard to combat stigma ever since. Yesterday they hosted an outdoor rally, calling on people to honk in support of drug decriminalization.

Coquitlam’s only permanent homeless shelter was evacuated last Friday due to a fire. All the residents of 3030 Gordon shelter exited the building safely with no one being injured. The fire department said that the fire originated in a single unit and was contained on arrival.

Searching for shelter:
 Bill Briscall, a spokesperson for RainCity Housing and Support Society, said that no one will be displaced as a result of the fire. A city bus was also provided so residents could stay warm while the fire was being put out.

  • Bill Briscall: “We will be able to accommodate everyone … we are very happy that everyone is fine and that we can keep everyone inside and nobody is needing to be rehoused at this time.”

What is it: The 2021 Festival du Bois is a free online music festival, based in Maillardville / Coquitlam, celebrating all things French Canadian.

  • The festival starts Friday April 16th and goes until April 30th.

Performers include Innu singer/songwriter Florent Vollant, the electrifying zydeco of Le Winston Band, Pierre Schryer and Andy Hillhouse, and fiddle dynamo, Jocelyn Pettit. Check out the list of artists.

Is it kid friendly? Absolutely. There’s special Children’s Programming for kids of all ages.

How to watch: All free online concerts and performances begin streaming tomorrow at 5pm, and can be watched online here.

COVID-19 Roundup

The two-week ban on indoor dining has been extended. The ban will now be in place until “at least” after the May long weekend 

The AstroZenaca vaccine has now been deemed safe for use by Health Canada as the risk of blood clots is minimal 

In and around the Tri-Cities:

  • New cases in Fraser Health region: 632
  • Active outbreak: Dufferin Care Centre in Coquitlam
  • School exposures: 26 exposures between April 6 to 9 at Central Community Elementary, Ecole Glenayre Elementary, Gleneagle Secondary, Ecole Riverside Secondary, Pinetree Way Elementary, Heritage Woods Secondary, Birchland Elementary, Minnekhada Middle, Suwa’lkh School, Ecole Pitt River Middle and Terry Fox Secondary.

The rest of BC:

  • New cases: 1,168
  • Hospitalizations: 397 (120 in critical care)
  • Deaths: 6
  • Total deaths: 1,521
  • Vaccines administered: 1,190,832
  • Second doses: 87,820

Everywhere else: 

The RCMP gave $17,000 worth of tickets to people in Surrey for violating COVID-19 restrictions

Happening Around Town

In Other News

One More Thing

Warmer weather means colder desserts. And what’s everyone’s favourite frozen treat? You guessed it – ICE CREAM! Check out this list of the best ice cream across The Lower Mainland.

Rocky Point Ice Cream has locations in both Coquitlam and Port Moody. The owners are ice cream experts – they went to university to learn how to make the perfect scoop from scratch!

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