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BC's premier says getting families out of poverty will be a main focus of tomorrow's throne speech.

Christy Clark says the BC Liberals listened to voters in May and the message was to do things differently.

That includes a promise to spend $1-billion over four-years to add 60,000 more child care spaces, in addition to the 13,000 already promised.

"We're going to move forward with this plan. And, there will be those that we are only doing it for votes. And, what I would say to them is that the voters have spoken. They told us what they wanted us to do."

The throne speech will also include higher welfare benefits, and a poverty reduction plan.

"We're going to talk about our province wide poverty reduction plan. We're going to join the rest of the country n tackling this broadly. And, we are going to find every way we possibly can, including creating jobs and investing in education. All to make sure families find their way out of poverty in this incredibly rich province we live in ."

Clark believes the throne speech, which takes the best ideas from all the parties in the recent election, will be able to find that difficult balance between fiscal fundamentals and looking after British Columbians.

 

After a record setting freshet, the Nicola Lake Dam is back in 'normal' operation mode.

As of today, Flood safety engineer at the dam Jeptha Ball confirms lake levels are back to normal operating perimeters, after a record amount of water passed through the dam this spring.

At its peak, he says inflow to Nicola Lake was measured at 240.75 cubic metres per second, which is nearly double the historical average high of 125.52.

"There is other years where the total volume by the end of July has been higher, but because of the late melt, this one came a lot faster. That's why we saw all the flooding."

Outflow from Nicola Lake is currently at 19 cubic metres per second which is below top of bank in the City of Merritt, and will be down to normal seasonal flows of less than five cubic metres per second within the next week.

 

Merritt residents now have access to the fastest internet speeds in western Canada.

Telus spokesperson Liz Suave says their Gigabit Internet service is now available to residents within the city.

At 1000 Megabits per second, its nearly seven times faster than what is currently available.

"It means you can upload high-definition photos and videos in near seconds. You can download an entire album in less than five-seconds, or a high definition TV show in less than two-seconds. And, as far a s Netflix goes, you can stream over 300-hours a month with no buffering or delays."

Merritt is one of 28 communities in BC that is receiving Telus Gigabit Internet service.

National Aboriginal Day no more...

Hence forth, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says June 21st in Canada will be known as 'National Indigenous Peoples Day'.

"In the spirit of the United Nations declaration on the rights of Indigenous peoples, we are pleased to announce National Aboriginal Day with be officially renamed National Indigenous Peoples Day."

Trudeau also announced this morning that the federal government is turning the former US embassy building near Parliament Hill into a space dedicated to indigenous people.

 

Some displaced Upper Nicola Band residents could return home next week.

The flood waters have subsided, and Chief Harvey Mcleod says early assessments show at least two homes have suffered damage.

"We still have all of our people out. But, we are doing assessments on some homes. We're hoping to get that completed in the next four-to-five days. And, if all goes well we could see some people back in their homes soon after."

21 homes, and four RV parks in Quilchena remain under an evacuation order due to flooding from both the Nicola Lake and tributaries began back in May.

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