Vancouver pedestrian dies in parallel parking incident

A collision involving a white SUV and a 75-year old woman on Dec. 13 resulted in Vancouver’s fifth pedestrian fatality of 2017.

Shortly after 11:30 a.m. the driver was parallel parking on Slocan Street near East 20th Avenue, when he reversed into the woman crossing the street.

The woman later died in hospital.

The Vancouver Police Department are investigating the incident, and have said speed and alcohol do not seem to have played a part.

The driver of the SUV stayed at the scene, and is cooperating with police.

Pedestrian deaths are down from last year, when the city had 11 total in 2016.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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RCMP say missing Alberta man may be travelling to Victoria or Toronto

Canmore, Alta. RCMP have received information that lead them to believe a missing man may be travelling to Victoria B.C., or Toronto, Ont.

Vernon “Allan” Pickard has been missing since late November, and was last seen on Dec. 1 in Canmore when he checked out of the hotel and has not been in contact with friends or family since.

Police have received many tips about where Pickard might be but they do not know his current location.

Pickard is described as Caucasian, 53 years old, 5’2”, 110 lbs, bald with blue eyes.

The most recent photo available of Pickard is from 2011.

Anyone with information is asked to phone Canmore RCMP at 403-678-5516.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

UBC researchers using drones to look at aftermath of forest fire season

University of British Columbia (UBC) is using drones to look at the impact on B.C. forests after the worst forest fire season in the province’s history.

“The 2017 wildfire season was the worst fire season on record both in terms of overall area burned, as well as the largest single fire British Columbia has ever seen,” said Jeremy Arkin, one of the students working on the project and a UBC masters student in forestry.

The research team, Nicholas Coops, UBC professor of forestry and his students are working with FYBR, a Vancouver-based drone company.

“We are working on a range of sites in B.C. that address the needs of the forest industry. We have some spots on the coast where we’re going to be taking inventory of high-value timber, and in the Interior where we are capturing the 2017 fires,” Coops said in a statement.

Images taken with the drones will be used to make 3D models of the affected areas. This will be able to provide detail that satellite imagery and other surveying techniques can’t provide.

“Drones are a really exceptional technology that we’re starting to use more and more of: we can observe the effect and severity of the fire on each individual tree and use all this information to really understand the general patterns in which fires occur in B.C.,” Coops said.

It can be used for “other information like how much timber is left standing? Can that be salvaged and the condition of the dead timber? Whether that’s likely to be a good habitat for animals in the future?”

Patrick Crawford, FYBR CEO, said this is one other use for drones in a world that is turning towards using technology.

“I think just like a lot of industry today, big data and machine learning is key to how businesses are going to be optimal in the future,” he said.

“Drones are another tool to gathering huge amounts of data to better understand how our forests grow [and] how our world is changing.”

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

You get more out of giving a gift if you don’t expect anything in return, say SFU researchers

A new study from Simon Fraser University (SFU) suggests that you get more out of giving a gift, if you don’t expect anything in return.

SFU psychology PhD student Dylan Wiwad said that there are benefits to giving “selfishly” — like when you buy pizza for someone who helps you move — but it’s even better with no further expectations.

“Sometimes giving for selfish reasons can backfire, so to speak, in terms of our own our own well-being,” Wiwad said. “It’s just not as beneficial.”

Wiwad said he hopes to do another study that looks at the actual act of giving, but there are challenges that need to be addressed first.

“It’s really hard to tell somebody, ‘go and give for this reason,’” Wiwad said. “We can tell them how to spend the money, or how to give, but we can’t necessarily tell them why.”

Wiwad’s research is an extension of a 2008 study done by the overseeing professor, Lara Aknin, which found that more enjoyment is received out of spending money on other people, rather than yourself.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Feelings of failure affect mental health of immigrants in Vancouver: UBC study

Immigrants who have moved to Canada may have their mental health affected if they feel like they’re failing in their new home, according to a UBC study.

The study called “Just as Canadian as Anyone Else”? Experiences of Second-Class Citizenship and the Mental Health of Young Immigrant and Refugee Men in Canada explored the effect of failure and performance in male immigrants in the Metro Vancouver area.

“Within this narrative, the young men saw themselves as agents for fulfilling their dreams, as well as the aspirations of their families,” the study states.

“The fear of failure was aggravated by the young men’s worries over disappointing their parents together with the desire to realize the collective family aspirations.”

The participants came from Afghanistan, China, Brazil, and South Africa among others and some were escaping from dangerous situations.

Many of the participants said they either felt indebted to their parents or the government for bringing them to Canada. Therefore, if they weren’t doing well, it affected their mental health as they felt they should be doing better.

“I’m not forced by my parents to do anything, but I know I’m obligated to them just ‘cause I feel like I owe them that much at least – so when I do poorly…it really stresses me out and it kind of just gets all the bad thoughts coming…you just want it to end and how else is it going to end, right?” an anonymous participant said.

Parents and the government weren’t the only pressures the participants worried about. Some were concerned by teachers’ perception and wanting to excel in classes.

“A really bad day for me is when some of my teachers got mad at me when I forget to do homework or I couldn’t answer the questions,” said Peter, a participant in the study, which didn’t identify any last names.

“Even though they might not notice it, it will make me depressed for the whole day.”

The study also looks at the effect on mental of searching for a better life in Canada and starting over in a new country as immigrants or refugees.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Mild weather allows Grouse Grind to open for at least today

Winter hikers can rejoice, the Grouse Grind has been reopened for at least today following recent mild weather.

Metro Vancouver tweeted Thursday morning that the trail would be open, but they recommend hikers to wear appropriate clothing, carry drinking water, snacks, and a headlamp.

Trail in has reopened due to mild conditions. Wear cold-weather clothing, hiking boots & carry drinking water, snacks and a headlamp. Park staff will reassess on Friday when the next weather system rolls through.

Usually the trail would be closed for the season at this time until around April, but due to unusually moderate conditions, it has allowed for an exception.

The Grouse Grind will be open Thursday from 6:15 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The popular hiking trail has been closed since Nov. 4 when the trail was covered in snow and ice and was therefore too dangerous to hike.

Anyone hoping to hike the trail may want to head out early though, as park staff will reassess on Friday if the grind will remain open through the next weather system.

Rain is expected to move across the South Coast Saturday.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

North Van RCMP release sketch of suspect in break-and-enter

North Vancouver RCMP have now released a sketch of the suspect in a break-and-enter that happened on Dec. 11.

The masked suspect broke into an apartment in the 3rd Street E and St. Andrews Avenue area around 6 p.m.

A woman was home at the time of the break-in and yelled for help. The intruder tried confronting her, and she managed to pull the mask from his face.

He is described as Filipino, around 30 to 35 years old, medium build, around 5’5” and wearing dark blue pants, a blue windbreaker and a black ski mask.

The man did not manage to steal anything from the home, and the woman was not harmed in the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to call the North Vancouver RCMP at 604-985-1311, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) with the reference number #2017-32370.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.