AI stocks like Nvidia are surging. Should you buy into the hype?

WATCH: The surge in demand for artificial intelligence (AI) technology is driving semiconductor company Nvidia towards a market value of US$1 trillion, which would put it in an elite club with companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet.

The blockbuster growth of stocks such as chipmaker Nvidia in recent weeks shows investors are excited about the potential of artificial intelligence, some experts say.

There could be money to be made in artificial intelligence, according to wealth managers who spoke to Global News, but they say there are some risks tied to the sector that might have you thinking twice about going all in on AI.

Nvidia made headlines this past week as the California-based semiconductor company surpassed a valuation of US$1 trillion, joining an exclusive club with the likes of Apple and Microsoft who’ve crested that bar. The company’s stock on the tech-heavy NASDAQ was up roughly 175 per cent on the year as of Friday afternoon.

Allan Small, a senior investment advisor who runs his own firm with iA Private Wealth, says Nvidia’s rapid rise comes because of its commanding market position as one of the few companies building the chips capable of powering the artificial intelligence applications that have dominated headlines in recent months.

The advanced capabilities of ChatGPT, OpenAI’s chatbot that can write high schoolers’ English essays, recommend new recipes and even pass the bar exam, has some futurists imagining a world where AI revolutionizes business and everyday life, he explains.

Other chipmakers such as Advanced Micro Devices have seen share prices surges this year for a similar reason to Nvidia’s rise, Small tells Global News. Other big names in tech such as Google parent Alphabet and Microsoft are also seeing boosts, he says, as they talk up their own AI plans and look to compete with OpenAI.

“I think with all the talk about ChatGPT over the last six months or so, that has really brought artificial intelligence, at least the conversation about it to the forefront,” Small says.

“Any company that has mentioned AI in their most recent earnings statements or in any interviews by their CEOs, (their) stock prices really jumped because what many people believe is that artificial intelligence is the next thing.”

Derek Dedman, vice-president and portfolio manager with WDS Investment Management, tells Global News that whenever there’s a new trend in the markets, investors are going to look at which companies are well-positioned to ride a possible wave.

The high expectations placed on a company don’t mean there’s anything that’s fundamentally changed about their business or trajectory, Dedman notes, but they do set the stock up to reach new heights or, if they fail to meet the market’s new standards, a spectacular drop.

Ottawa-based Shopify, Dedman gives as an example, saw its stock explode over the course of the pandemic because its e-commerce platform was already well suited for the rush to online retail during COVID-19 lockdowns. The company’s ascendance was met with growing pains as lockdowns ended, however, as it has gone through multiple rounds of layoffs and seen its stock value retrench from pandemic highs.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean that those companies turn into poor companies or poor investments. It’s that they just can’t meet the outsized expectations that get put on them,” Dedman says.

If the hype around an entire industry rises too far and reality begins to hamper growth expectations, that might mean the trend was a bubble, which sends stocks cratering back down to their earlier valuations — or lower — when it pops.

Canada’s cannabis companies were heavily hyped-up ahead of the drug’s recreational legalization in 2016, Dedman says, as a brand new market was about to form.

The excitement around cannabis was not always grounded in reality, he argues, as investors and companies dreamed up market shares and production outputs that never materialized. Companies such as Smiths Falls, Ont.-based Canopy Growth and Edmonton’s Aurora Cannabis now trade at fractions of their share price highs on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

“The best way to look at a bubble is when that expectation gets so outlandish … it’s impossible for reality to meet the expectations. And once that reality sets in, then you see it kind of drop off the other edge,” Dedman says.

Fears that AI could pose an existential threat to society are also cropping up, with some of the pioneers who advanced the technology now becoming some of the loudest voices to rein it in.

Dedman says those concerns pose a serious risk to the growth of AI stocks. If those arguments are successful, it could mean states and regulators move quickly to crack down on AI and slow its ascent — putting a damper on companies that rode the promise of the technology to mind-boggling valuations.

Small agrees that artificial intelligence is the “buzzword” on the market today, but he says that doesn’t automatically mean it’s a bubble.

Nvidia’s dominant market position could justify its surging stock price if the AI future that’s being pitched does come to pass in some form or another, he says.

For true believers in that AI future — or those just looking to profit off its rise — there are some ways to get exposure to the market without sacrificing your entire portfolio.

Chasing companies that have already seen enormous gains can be a losing game, Small says, and one that’s played out in previous hype-driven market eras such as the “dot-com” bubble of the late 1990s.

“It was a long time ago, but I still remember when people would buy something because their next door neighbour made 30 per cent in three days. And then you get in and then it goes down 30 per cent in three days,” he recalls.

“So you’ve got to be careful. You want to do your homework.”

Small says that it’s smart to work with an advisor to identify whether AI-related stocks are “diamonds in the rough” or if they’re trading at a multiple that doesn’t make sense. Here, he advises checking the company’s PEG ratio — dividing a stock’s price-to-earnings ratio by its growth rate — with amounts under 1.0 implying a company is undervalued.

He says AI-related stocks such as Alphabet and Amazon still have some upside to them, in his opinion, though he warns investors have to be comfortable with the “volatility” that comes with holding big names in tech.

Dedman says that for investors who already had a company like Nvidia’s stock in their portfolio before the remarkable run it’s been on, it’s also important to rebalance how exposed you have become to the high-risk sector.

For instance, if the company represented a modest two per cent of your portfolio previously, the surging stock might mean it’s now worth roughly 10 per cent of your holdings.

At that point, rebalancing your portfolio is typically the best way to keep your long-term savings goals on track, Dedman says.

“When something’s on its rise, it’s kind of hard to do the right thing and take a risk-managed approach,” he says.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Want English services in Quebec? Prepare to attest in 'good faith' that you qualify

Seeking English-language services from various kinds of government services in Quebec just became trickier — and the latest change isn’t going over well.

The François Legault government’s linguistic overhaul, known as Bill 96, is designed to protect and bolster the French language in the province. The goal is to guard against its decline, the government says, especially in Montreal.

After delays, more provisions of the law came into effect Thursday — one of which heavily relies on a self-imposed honour system in some cases.

Under the law, civil servants must now use French in an “exemplary” manner, which means they must speak and write exclusively in the language, except in certain cases. The new rule does not apply to the health and social services settings, according to Quebec’s language watchdog.

The latest restriction means only designated groups — such as Quebecers who have the right to English-language schooling, Indigenous people and immigrants who have been here for less than six months — can receive government services in English.

The way it is being enforced has some scratching their heads.

For example, the City of Montreal’s 311 information line now plays a message that service in English is available but callers must “attest in good faith” that they belong to an exempt group. The city’s website also says English content “is intended for the public covered by the exceptions under Bill 96” and anyone browsing the site in English is acknowledging they belong to one of the designated groups.

Eva Ludvig, president of the Quebec Community Groups Network (QCGN), said the move “creates for more confusion.”

“It creates fear, anger. Am I being illegal by asking for services in English?” she said. “And I feel sorry for the government employees who have to deal with this.

“They will probably face angry citizens, confused citizens. And that’s not the purpose when you’re trying to provide services to citizens.”

Quebec’s Minister of the French Language said Friday that adjustments will be made where needed “in the coming days, in the coming weeks” and it’s important to respect the rights of those who have the right to be served in English.

But it’s important that in Quebec, as we know, the French language is the only official language,” said Jean-Francois Roberge. “It’s the common language, it’s important that normally, usually, the government and the cities discuss with citizens in French.”

Meanwhile, some anglophones say they are already being denied services in English.

Wade Wilson, a former city councillor, has lived for 60 years in Greenfield Park in Longueuil on Montreal’s south shore. He was with his wife at a local park with their grandchildren and the splash pad wasn’t functioning.

Wilson said his wife called their local 311 hot line about the issue but she was turned away when she tried to speak to someone in English.

“They basically told her, which still shocks me today, that she didn’t have the right to be communicated with in English and in the future to go on the city website to see if she meets the criteria,” Wilson said.

Montreal city mocks Bill 96

The City of Côte Saint-Luc, which is on the Island of Montreal, clapped back at the new rule Friday. Callers who want English services from the city are met with a cheeky and cheerful message when they dial.

“Oh and by the way, you don’t need to show us your Grade 3 report cards, or your family tree going back 10 generations, and you don’t have to pinky promise anything,” the message said.

“This is the City of Côte Saint-Luc and that’s how we roll.”

Meanwhile, social media users mocked how the new provisions of Bill 96 are being applied.

One Montrealer wrote they were ineligible for English municipal services, but asked who will stop them?

“I’m not an exception to this bill but I’m looking at the (city’s) website in English! Who’s gonna stop me now??” the message reads. “The resources that go towards this nonsense baffles me!!”

Don Macpherson, a retired columnist who wrote about Quebec affairs for the Montreal Gazette for decades, also weighed in on the latest change.

“Our property tax bill is in French. We’re too old to have the certificate of eligibility for English school. We’re not Indigenous. We’re not new immigrants. So we now are legally forbidden from even peeking at our municipality’s website in English,” Macpherson wrote on Twitter.

with files from The Canadian Press

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Mini-satellites by Canadian university students set for 'exciting' space mission

WATCH: 'NASA didn't know' – Ottawa elementary school students make breakthrough discovery

Canadian university students are setting their sights on space exploration, with the launch of miniature cube-shaped satellites that they designed and built over the past five years.

Teams from Concordia University, the University of Manitoba, the University of Saskatchewan, York University and Western University will see their work make its way to the International Space Station on Saturday.

A month later those mini-satellites will be deployed into their final orbit, allowing the students to collect data and imaging from space.

The launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida is part of the Canadian CubeSat Project that started in 2018, involving more than 2,000 students across Canada.

Its aim is to boost interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics while involving students in real space missions.

“(It’s) a very exciting moment for students in Canada who wish and dream of working in the space industry,” said Tony Pellerin, a Canadian Space Agency (CSA) manager and technical lead of the project.

Each satellite, which is roughly the size of a Rubik’s cube – will carry out a separate mission that will last about one to two years.

The team from Concordia built an imaging satellite that could help analyze the effects of climate change on Earth.

Gabriel Dubé, project manager at Space Concordia and a third-year electrical engineering student, said they will be taking images of the Earth to analyze aerosol particles that can be used to study climate change. A secondary mission will also conduct radiation analysis in its orbit, he told Global News

“One of the big advantages and … really cool thing about this project is we get a lot of practical experience, which is something that’s a bit difficult to get with the normal degree because there are so many theoretical things that we do in classes,” Dubé, 21, said.

York University’s satellite will observe snow and ice coverage in northern Canada to paint a better picture of climate change impacts on the region.

Meanwhile, students at the University of Manitoba will be looking at space weathering through their satellite, called “IRIS.”

Phillip Ferguson, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the U of M, said the satellite has several space rocks inside of it and they will monitor how the space weather changes their optical properties, like colors and reflectance.

This will offer important insights into the origins of asteroids and how space conditions affect their composition.

Mitesh Patel, a research associate and mechanical engineering technician at the U of M, helped test IRIS’s hardware and software as well as the assembly of the satellite.

As an international student, the 26-year-old said he’s relishing the opportunity to get hands-on space experience.

“I never thought when I came (to Manitoba) from Kenya that I would have something that I made go to space,” Patel told Global News.

satellite from the University of Saskatchewan will collect radiation data.

Dustin Preece, one of the technical project managers, said the cube satellite project has been a life-changing experience for him and many other students involved.

“Finding out as a student at USask that I could be a part of a project that would send a research satellite to space was an opportunity that fulfilled one of my life’s earliest goals,” he told Global News.

The CubeSat project has already sent seven student-made satellites to space, and after Saturday that number will move up to 12.

A total of 15 Canadian colleges and universities have been selected and awarded grants by the CSA, ranging from $200,000 to $250,000.

— with files from Brody Langager

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Peterborough Petes' quest for Memorial Cup ends with 4-1 semifinal loss

Kyle Crnkovic scored his tournament-leading fifth goal and added an assist as the Seattle Thunderbirds topped the Peterborough Petes 4-1 on Friday in Kamloops, B.C. to book their ticket to their first Memorial Cup final in franchise history.

Brad Lambert, Colton Dach and Nico Myatovic had the other goals for Seattle, which got 27 saves from Thomas Milic.

Brennan Othmann replied for Ontario Hockey League champion Peterborough. Michael Simpson made 43 saves.

The Western Hockey League champion Thunderbirds will next face the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Quebec Remparts in Sunday’s final.

Quebec earned a final berth after opening the tournament with consecutive wins in the round-robin stage over the host Kamloops Blazers  who — were eliminated in Thursday’s tiebreaker by Peterborough — and Seattle.

The Thunderbirds got into the semifinal after defeating Kamloops 6-1 on Wednesday.

After dropping their first two games — including a 6-3 loss to Seattle last Saturday — the Petes staved off elimination and forced the tiebreaker game with a 4-2 win over the Remparts on Tuesday.

Near the midway mark of the opening period, Thunderbirds forward Jared Davidson took a hard shot from behind into the end boards from Petes’ defenceman Cam Gauvreau.

Gauvreau and Thunderbirds blueliner Nolan Allan dropped the gloves but were stopped from fighting by officials. Gauvreau was given a two-minute penalty for a check from behind and another for unsportsmanlike conduct, while Allan was handed two minutes for the latter.

Dylan Guenther was stopped on a shot from the slot during the power play, one of several missed scoring chances for Seattle, which outshot Peterborough 14-5 in the scoreless frame.

Connor Lockhart had the best scoring chance for the Petes, firing a shot from the left faceoff circle and ringing the crossbar with just over three minutes left in the first.

Peterborough forward Avery Hayes was slow to get up after taking an elbow to the face from teammate Tucker Robertson late in the frame. Both tried to check Thunderbirds defenceman Luke Prokop by the end boards in Seattle’s zone.

Hayes returned to the game for the start of the second period.

Seattle Thunderbirds forward Reid Schaefer, left, looks for the puck in front of Peterborough Petes goalie Michael Simpson during first period semifinal CHL Memorial Cup hockey action in Kamloops, B.C., Friday, June 2, 2023.

Seattle Thunderbirds forward Reid Schaefer, left, looks for the puck in front of Peterborough Petes goalie Michael Simpson during first period semifinal CHL Memorial Cup hockey action in Kamloops, B.C., Friday, June 2, 2023.

Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press
Seattle Thunderbirds forward Jared Davidson, left, and forward Dylan Guenther, right, try to get the puck past Peterborough Petes goalie Michael Simpson during first period semifinal CHL Memorial Cup hockey action in Kamloops, B.C., Friday, June 2, 2023.

Seattle Thunderbirds forward Jared Davidson, left, and forward Dylan Guenther, right, try to get the puck past Peterborough Petes goalie Michael Simpson during first period semifinal CHL Memorial Cup hockey action in Kamloops, B.C., Friday, June 2, 2023.

Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press
Seattle Thunderbirds defenceman Jeremy Hanzel, left, checks Peterborough Petes forward Brennan Othmann during second period semifinal CHL Memorial Cup hockey action in Kamloops, B.C., Friday, June 2, 2023.

Seattle Thunderbirds defenceman Jeremy Hanzel, left, checks Peterborough Petes forward Brennan Othmann during second period semifinal CHL Memorial Cup hockey action in Kamloops, B.C., Friday, June 2, 2023.

Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press
Seattle Thunderbirds goalie Thomas Milic, right, blocks the net as Peterborough Petes forward Connor Lockhart, centre, tries for a rebound while defenceman Sawyer Mynio looks on during second period semifinal CHL Memorial Cup hockey action in Kamloops, B.C., Friday, June 2, 2023.

Seattle Thunderbirds goalie Thomas Milic, right, blocks the net as Peterborough Petes forward Connor Lockhart, centre, tries for a rebound while defenceman Sawyer Mynio looks on during second period semifinal CHL Memorial Cup hockey action in Kamloops, B.C., Friday, June 2, 2023.

Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press

Simpson _ coming off a 43-save performance in Thursday’s 5-4 overtime win _ became an even brighter spot for Peterborough for much of the middle frame as Seattle continued to press.

Simpson stoned Lucas Ciona and Davidson, among others, as Seattle had several great chances from the slot.

Lambert finally broke through for Seattle with 4:28 left in the second. He sent a backhand shot off a rebound that trickled through Simpson’s legs for his first of the tournament.

Dach added to the Thunderbirds’ lead 1:28 into the third period after a pass from Crnkovic.

Othmann put the Petes on the board just 1:13 later. Owen Beck sent the puck to Othmann with a turnaround pass and he beat Milic for his second.

Crnkovic – who had a hat trick in the teams’ previous game – made it a two-goal lead at 9:33 after a scramble in front following a stop on a tipped shot.

Myatovic scored an empty-netter with 2:09 remaining after taking a cross-ice pass from Reid Schaefer just outside of Peterborough’s zone.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Saskatchewan Roughriders top Winnipeg Blue Bombers in CFL pre-season finale

Trevor Harris made a brief – but perfect appearance for the Saskatchewan Roughriders as the visitors downed the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 28-16 in pre-season action Friday night.

The new Roughriders quarterback guided the offence on its first possession to a nine-play, 83-yard TD drive that ended with a Derel Walker five-yard touchdown catch at 7:46.

The big free-agent acquisition completed all four of his pass attempts for 72 yards and then made way for Mason Fine.

Saskatchewan played most of its projected starters, while the Blue Bombers sat key players on both sides of the ball and it showed in front of a crowd of 24,654 at IG Field.

Winnipeg starting quarterback Zach Collaros didn’t play, while receivers Dalton Schoen and Nic Demski also missed the contest.

On defence, Bombers defensive back Deatrick Nichols was absent, defensive lineman Jackson Jeffcoat is injured and middle linebacker Adam Bighill hasn’t practised during training camp.

Saskatchewan led 6-0 after the first quarter, 15-3 at halftime and 21-9 after the third.

Fine threw a five-yard TD pass to Kalija Lipscomb late in the second quarter. The backup QB ended the night 9-of-13 passing for 86 yards.

Roughriders veteran placekicker Brett Lauther had a rough first half, missing two converts and a field goal, but he made up for it by connecting on kicks from 51, 32 and 33 yards.

Bombers placekicker Sergio Castillo hit a 29-yard field goal at 1:38 of the second quarter.

Dru Brown started for Winnipeg at quarterback and was replaced by Tyrrell Pigrome in the third quarter. Brown completed eight of 15 pass attempts for 69 yards.

Pigrome, who’s fighting for the third quarterback spot, showed his scrambling strength again and guided the Bombers to two TDs.

The Alabama native engineered a nine-play, 70-drive capped by a five-yard TD catch by Amare Jones at 9:25 of the third. Chandler Staton missed the convert and Saskatchewan’s lead was cut in half to 18-9.
Pigrome also handed off the ball to Jordan Salima, who ran four yards untouched into the end zone at 1:40 of the fourth. Marc Liegghio’s convert made it 21-16.

Pigrome then made way for Josh Jones and finished 5-of-6 passing for 65 yards, along with five carries for 43 yards.

Saskatchewan short-yardage quarterback Shea Patterson plunged in for a one-yard TD with 4:10 left in the fourth. David Solie made the convert for the 28-16 lead.

NOTES: The Bombers were auditioning three punters, including returnee Liegghio and global players Jamieson Sheahan and Karl Schmitz … Bombers defensive back Matt Cole showed some fleet feet, returning a missed Roughriders’ kick 64 yards. The rookie out of Illinois also took a kickoff 20 yards until a Winnipeg illegal block penalty called it back.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Hamilton Tiger-Cats drop CFL pre-season finale in Montreal

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats wrapped up the CFL pre-season Friday night with a 25-22 loss against the Alouettes in Montreal.

Ticats quarterback Matthew Shiltz suited up for the first half and completed 10 of his 16 pass attempts for 162 yards and two touchdowns and added one run for 51 yards, which set up an 18-yard field by Jonathan Garibay just over three minutes into the contest.

QB Cody Fajardo played well in his first game with Montreal, going 7-for-14 for 77 passing yards and tossed a 3-yard touchdown to receiver Kaion Julien-Grant to give the Alouettes a 7-3 lead in the opening quarter.

After Hamilton’s Blake Hayes booted a punt single, Shiltz connected with receiver Richie Sindani on a 10-yard TD and then threw a 21-yard touchdown to Terry Godwin as the Cats grabbed an 18-13 lead late in the first half.

Two field goals by David Cote from 45 and 38 yards, and a  three-yard touchdown run by running back Walter Fletcher put the Alouettes back on top, 19-18 at the half.

Ticats punter Bailey Flint earned a single point with under a minute to play in the third quarter, the only scoring in that period.

Two field goals pushed the Alouettes to a 25-19 lead early in the fourth quarter before Ticats kicker Ethan Ratke split the uprights from 43-yards out to make it a three-point game again with just under five minutes remaining.

Backup QB Taylor Powell played the second half for Hamilton and went 9-for-15 for 122 yards and one interception while running back Tayon Fleet-Davis rushed a game-high seven times for 25 yards.

The Tiger-Cats will begin the regular season on June 9 in Winnipeg.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

'Genuinely stressed': Gibsons mayor wants B.C.'s help as Sunshine Coast prepares for drought

Summer is just around the corner, and for locals on the Sunshine Coast drought and water shortages are expected. Gibsons mayor sending a letter to B.C.'s premier outlining his concerns and urging the province to take action. Paul Johnson reports.

With residents of the Sunshine Coast under water-use restrictions once more, the mayor of the Town of Gibsons has penned a letter to the B.C. government, calling for aid in anticipation of drought conditions.

Silas White wants the province to clear some of the red tape that’s currently slowing down efforts by the Sunshine Coast Regional District to bolster its water supply this season, easing the pressure on its primary source, the Chapman watershed.

Last year, that watershed “completely dried up” under Stage 3 and 4 water restrictions, which are classified as “acute” and “severe” measures needed to preserve drinking water.

“Our annual water restrictions have only just begun and many Coast residents are genuinely stressed by the prospect of our community running out of water this summer,” reads the May 31 letter to Premier David Eby, several cabinet ministers, and local First Nations and municipal leaders.

“My primary reason for writing you is to share with you this significant mental health and social phenomenon that has become absolutely real in our community, because it does not show up in our water license applications or technical reports.”

Stage 1 water restrictions, which primarily limit plant and vehicle-watering, took effect in the Sunshine Coast Regional District on May 1.

White’s letter asks the province to “immediately” approve an amendment that would lower the designated environmental flow needs of Chapman Creek, which feeds the Chapman Water System, and green-light a final license for Church Road Well, which could add up to three million litres of water per day to the Chapman system once construction is complete.

The letter also asks the B.C. government to approve, without delay, the district’s request to siphon the Chapman and Edwards lakes this year and next year during Stage 4 water restrictions, should the need arise.

“We just had an unprecedented May in terms of how dry and hot it was, and I think we can all only reasonably anticipate that we’ll be in a water crisis again,” White told Global News.

“Certainly last year, when there was a state local emergency, the Town of Gibsons had to supply water to the rest of the Sunshine Coast because we’re on an aquifer system that does have sustainable water. Unfortunately, the rest of the coast is largely reliant on a system from Chapman Creek.”

In an emailed statement, B.C.’s Ministry of Forests confirmed it has received the mayor’s letter.

“We empathize with the concerns outlined by the mayor; the drought that persisted last year was hard on many communities in the province, and water availability is a very serious issue. We are reviewing the details in the letter and will respond as soon as possible,” it wrote.

White said the letter is an effort to be proactive and avoid the “panic” of requests and applications the moment an emergency hits.

“In the kind of trends we’re seeing in climate change, it would be so much better for everyone involved — especially residents of the Sunshine Coast, especially staff from our local government — to to be able to know that we have those approvals going into the summer,” he explained.

The letter thanks the province for its support last summer, and White said he didn’t think the province “was putting up roadblocks or anything,” there just hasn’t been a strong enough political push to prioritize and recognize the severity of region’s water challenges.

Longtime Gibsons resident Sa Boothroyd told Global News that the Sunshine Coast’s water crisis has become a “constant.”

“Whereas before, we used to have water restrictions ever three or four years,” she said in an interview. “It hasn’t hurt us, we have a brown lawn … I think people who have lived here for a long time are apprehensive, because we’re getting used to it getting worse and worse.”

Boothroyd said residents further up the coast, such as in Sechelt, likely have more anxiety about possible water shortages, without the aquifer to fall back on.

White said municipalities and First Nations in the district have collaborated on projects that will help prepare them, and he hopes the province will help them cross the finish line quickly.

— with files from Paul Johnson 

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

'Going to make the situation worse': B.C. mayor pushes back on housing targets

WATCH: Some mayors are speaking out and expressing their concerns about the B.C. government's new housing initiative, that will give municipalities targets for new housing. As Richard Zussman reports, they're worried about the extra infrastructure that will be needed.

A B.C. mayor is pushing back against the province after being “given housing targets” to fast-track more homes within the municipality.

District of North Vancouver Mayor Mike Little said transportation infrastructure needs to be addressed before the municipality focuses on building new homes.

“We are seeing on a daily basis traffic congestion. It’s long lineups to the North Shore and long lineups back off the North Shore. That challenge is seven days a week,” he told Global News.

“Any time we talk about growth in our community it has to be connected to investments in infrastructure — both in transit and in transportation, like an upgrade to the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge.”

On Wednesday, the B.C. government gave 10 municipalities “housing targets.”

Those chosen have the most significant housing needs and the highest projected population growth, according to the province.

Little said he has told the province about his concerns, especially centred around traffic congestion issues that have plagued the area for years.

“We do have a commitment from them to sit down and talk to us about it,” he said.

“I just don’t think we can have those conversations unless we have commitments to transit and bridge infrastructure improvements along the way.

“It is probably going to make the situation worse.”

The mayor said if the housing targets were more focused on affordable housing it could possibly help their traffic issues, as it could remove workers from their commute routes, but he said because it is not, it could be “disastrous for our community.”

All of the communities on this list have to prepare a five-year plan for growth that will be presented to the province.

The selected municipalities are:

  • City of Abbotsford
  • City of Delta
  • City of Kamloops
  • District of North Vancouver
  • District of Oak Bay
  • City of Port Moody
  • District of Saanich
  • City of Vancouver
  • City of Victoria
  • District of West Vancouver

B.C.’s Minister of Housing Ravi Kahlon said if those municipalities show signs of not meeting their given targets, the province could step in.

The housing targets will be set after consultations over the summer and the progress of municipalities will be assessed after six months.

“For those communities that are having challenges after six months, we have the ability to bring in an independent advisor who will help find where the barriers may be and help them make progress,” Kahlon said.

“If we find that that progress isn’t being made, then we have the ability as a province to step in and make the decisions we believe are necessary to ensure affordable housing in communities.”

The Housing Supply Act gives the province the ability to set housing targets in municipalities, which will help “encourage” them to “address local barriers to construction” so that housing can be built faster, the province said.

The Housing Supply Act is part of the province’s Homes for People action plan.

The province also announced amendments to end strata bylaws restricting owners from renting their units and to limit adult-only age restrictions in certain buildings, except seniors’ housing.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Suspect in B.C. Walmart stabbing found not guilty, despite being filmed on body camera

A Campbell River, B.C., man says the justice system failed him, after the person accused of stabbing him was acquitted. As Kylie Stanton reports, the violent encounter was caught on video, but that was not enough for a conviction.

A security guard who was stabbed by a man inside a Campbell River, B.C., Walmart in December 2021, is speaking out after the suspect was found not guilty on all counts – despite the incident being caught on body camera.

“I thought I was going to die,” Ron Beaven told Global News. “I could feel it.

Beaven and his wife were both working as security guards at the store when a man who had been banned from the store for threatening the couple on a regular basis, walked in.

“I got a call from on the radio from my wife saying this guy had threatened her with a knife,” Beaven said. “So, I said, ‘Back away, I’m on my way.'”

From there Beaven confronted the suspect and an altercation ensued with the entire event being captured on Beaven’s wife’s body-worn camera.

The suspect stabbed Beaven.

“He got me three times in the main artery, two over here and right up here,” he said pointing to his arm and shoulder.

“Blood was pouring out of my coat.”

As people rushed to Beaven’s aid, the suspect walked out of the store.

Later that day, the suspect was found and charged with assault with a weapon, aggravated assault and robbery.

The case went to trial in October but despite the entire incident being captured on video, the Beavens learned a judge ruled the suspect was not guilty on all counts.

“It was shocking,” Beaven said. “It was just like somebody came and stabbed me all over again or just let the air out of both of us.”

Global News was not in the court but the couple said the judge concluded that since the man could not be properly identified, there was enough reasonable doubt to acquit him.

“It was an attempted murder,” Beaven said.

His wife Leanne said the whole incident was just so surreal. “The justice system has big time failed us,” she added.

The couple no longer works at Walmart but wanted to speak out to help heal and move past what happened.

“And we’ll get through it, but it’s not fair and just,” Beaven said.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

WATCH: Global News Hour at 6 - June 2

What witnesses saw as an ultralight plane went down in Surrey Friday afternoon and the pilot's condition. A Campbell River man says the justice system failed him after the person accused of stabbing him was acquitted. And how B.C.'s e-bike incentive program was a victim of its own success.

What a witness saw as an ultralight plane went down in Surrey on Friday afternoon and the pilot’s condition. A Campbell River man says the justice system failed him after the person accused of stabbing him was acquitted. And how B.C.’s e-bike incentive program was a victim of its own success.

Click here to view more Global BC videos.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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