Andrew Kurjata Profile picture
Your friendly neighbourhood public broadcaster | It's pronounced “ker•ya•ta” | Lheidli T'enneh/Prince George, British Columbia, Canada | he/him
12 Jun
A friend, who is also a person with disabilities, sent me this. It's part of a broader letter they are writing attempting to access supports. It's been sitting heavy with me and I'm glad they shared "COVID was the first t...
They sent if after reading this story about a man who attempted to access mental health supports multiple times but did not receive the care he needed. cbc.ca/news/canada/br…
Full text of the note: "COVID was the first time the general population had restrictions placed on their daily activities. I hoped it would facilitate a greater understanding from friends/family of my daily experience as a PWD. It did facilitate a level of understanding at first"
Read 8 tweets
11 Jun
wow can't believe canada day is illegal this year they just took away my flag and everything
Can you imagine what it's like to feel like you shouldn't celebrate your culture? Gosh.
it is amazing how many people think this actually happened and i am actually complaining
Read 8 tweets
11 Jun
For weeks, people in Prince George have been calling for the city to set up a permanent space for homeless campers.

Instead, the city starts serving eviction notices tomorrow. cbc.ca/news/canada/br…

#cityofPG Image
Earlier this spring, a rally and march were held by people wanting a permanent homeless encampment somewhere away from the downtown. The city says there are enough shelter spaces that it is not needed. cbc.ca/news/canada/br…
There are a wide variety of reasons people don't want to use shelters including rules around sobriety (which is difficult when you are managing addiction) and a desire to stay with partners cbc.ca/news/canada/br…
Read 7 tweets
11 May
Dr. Bonnie Henry interview on CBC @daybreaknorth this morning. First question: CBC (@j_mcelroy) asked multiple times for community COVID-19 data but you're only sharing it after last week's data leak. Answer: Henry says she didn't know CBC had been requesting the info.
Why wasn't this data being shared already?
A. We only started putting together this dataset in April, and wanted to wait for transmission levels to be high enough(?) before sharing. It takes time.

Says they want interactive data
(as an aside, this past week is the first I've heard Dr. Henry talk about her eagerness and desire to post better and more detailed data, rather than saying they are sharing all they can/what they are sharing should be enough)
Read 13 tweets
11 May
B.C.'s interior and north could be getting less electoral power in this process. Rural ridings already have significantly less people than urban ones, which in some ways mean those votes count for more. But I'd argue it's not as simple as that #bcpoli
cbc.ca/news/canada/br…
When you consider the way representation works, geography does matter to a certain extent. If you have five MLAs for Urban City, and one MLA for Multiple Rural Communities, even if Rural MLA has fewer constituents you could argue urban voters have more representation
Urban City has five MLAs to work for better roads, advocate for hospital upgrades, or push for a new community center. Rural Communities have one shared MLA who has to do that for all of them
Read 6 tweets
16 Apr
One thing I haven't seen much about but I think is interesting is how many times B.C. has let perfect be the enemy of potentially good in pandemic response (short thread)
Most obvious example in interprovincial border restrictions. Argument is it would be too tough to enforce perfectly, so they didn't try

But also federal COVID app: Henry expressed concern it might not work perfectly, so never used bc.ctvnews.ca/covid-19-alert…
Masks in schools: While other provinces were implementing, B.C resisted because some kids might not be able to wear them properly all day.
Read 6 tweets
16 Apr
They could have closed ski hills
They could have provided alerts when there were localized outbreaks
They could have set up checkpoints on busy highways
Instead they said the strategy was working and this is the result
But let's not pretend there were no other tools to use
"What are we going to do, arrest people?"

Before going there you could take away incentives to engage in behaviour you are strongly encouraging people not to engage in. Don't want people traveling for spring break? Make it harder or less enticing
Even now the dominant message is "what we are doing as government is good enough, we just need the people to listen to us"

As long as the situation worsens, that is a demonstrable failure of the strategy
Read 7 tweets
15 Apr
Live update and modeling from Dr. Henry on B.C.'s COVID-19 response. I'm not doing a full breakdown, just things that stand out to me, from the north. cbc.ca/news/canada/br…
Good news: Rates of new infections in northwest are going down, particularly because of targeted vaccinations in Prince Rupert.
Bad news, but not suprising if you've been paying attention: Peace River South (Dawson Creek) has second highest rate of new cases in the province, behind Howe Sound.
Read 9 tweets
15 Apr
My hot take is that even if everyone has vaccines by the end of the summer we should still question Canada's approach to the pandemic because we are seeing record-high case counts and hospitalizations NOW, as vaccines are being distributed and with a year's worth of knowledge
The thing I keep thinking about is: Those vaccines were made fast. Faster than most people predicted. It is very possible we could have been in this position with vaccines still a year away. How effective would our response look then?
Because I have bad news: theconversation.com/the-next-once-…
Read 4 tweets
15 Apr
Nov. 17, 2020: Premier John Horgan says a Vancouver Island travel ban is a possibility — B.C. leader says he will 'absolutely' tighten travel restrictions if necessary cbc.ca/news/canada/br…
Nov. 18, 2020 — B.C. premier calls for restriction on non-essential travel between provinces

But he said B.C. would not... attempt to create a provincial "bubble."

Feds: 'The federal government encourages Canadians to adhere to health advice'

cbc.ca/news/canada/br… Image
Jan. 21, 2021 — John Horgan says legal review has shown 'we can’t prevent people from travelling to British Columbia'
cbc.ca/news/canada/br…
Read 8 tweets
12 Apr
I think the coolest thing about the way B.C. is handling the pandemic is how the people in charge never think they could have done things better and always disagree when people ask why things are confusing or unclear
It's just really neat how despite me getting messages from people all weekend confused about whether they should be allowed to book appointments or not, the Minister just says "no, I think it's clear" when asked about it
You just really get the sense that they are willing to learn and get better when every time a question comes up about how people are confused by the rules or mesaging, the idea that they could be communicated better is dismissed out of hand
Read 6 tweets
12 Apr
Well, just to add to the confusion of what is going on in Terrace with vaccinations, Dr. Bonnie Henry just listed it alongside Prince Rupert and Terrace as a "hot spot" where community-wide vaccinations are being given (they aren't unless something changed since this morning)
For those not following along:
- Vaccine clinic in Terrace was cancelled Friday after not enough people 70+ signed up
- Next day, after outcry, vaccine registration was opened to everyone 18+ in the community
- People thought this meant everyone 18+ could get vaccines and booked
Then Northern Health clarified that NO, they were only inviting people to REGISTER, not get vaccinated... and appointments for people in younger age groups were cancelled

and now... Terrace is listed in the daily briefing as a place getting full vaccines like Rupert and Whistler
Read 5 tweets
12 Apr
This whole vaccine registration in B.C. is a bit odd. You see it's opened to 60+ and might think — oh, people 60+ can get a vaccine now! Or at least book an appointment. But it's not necessarily the case. What you can do is REGISTER to be alerted when you can make an appointment
My question is: If registering is just registering... why not open it to everyone? Why the slow rollout to different age groups, even if some of those aren't going to get to book yet? Is the system not capable of handling more?
It's really causing confusion. A city councillor in Terrace - not unreasonably, imho - saw registration in Terrace open up to everyone 18+ and told people it's time to book their appointment.

Apparently people did... and then later had them cancelled?

Read 11 tweets
11 Apr
The Guardian has published a story about P1 variants in Whistler and (some) people are using it to dunk on B.C. media as if the issue hasn’t been covered. That isn’t true but I also want to talk about some of the dynamics of this that go into local vs national vs int’l reporting
I’ve seen this happen so many times: Local media is covering an issue for days, weeks, even months. Then some big outlet does a single story about it and a bunch of people go “Why hasn’t this been covered by local media?”

I’m not laying blame on anyone here: We all miss stories
There are three main issues that I think go into this dynamic:

1. Source
2. Framing
3. Timing
Read 17 tweets
11 Apr
Wow, for all the noise the B.C. Human Rights commission made about businesses not being allowed to ask people to prove they can't wear a mask, they sure are tossing out complaints from people for not being able to prove they can't wear a mask
Read 6 tweets
12 Jan
So I'm going to try and explain what's going on here as best I can at this late hour. I'm not going to look up exact dates right now, but just the gist of things is as follows. Back in 2017 a developer wanted to build something the city has long wanted: downtown condos
To make the deal the city agreed to contribute construction of a parkade.

The pricetag approved for this was $12.4M

cbc.ca/news/canada/br…
Now, somewhere along the way that pricetag went up, but it didn't go to council for approval. This is b/c changes had been made to a system called "delegated authority" which allows the city manager to approve budget increases within certain limits without having to go to council
Read 14 tweets
12 Jan
Prince George city councillors are openly discussing legal options against staff members after it's been revealed budget increases to a downtown project were approved in secret #cityofpg
The cost overruns on this project are insane. It is now projected to be nearly triple the original price, from $12.4M to $34M. You can do a lot with $22M in a city of this size. #cityofpg
Read 6 tweets
12 Jan
I'm watching Prince George's first city council meeting of 2021. Tonight's agenda is very much focused on downtown with reports from RCMP, the poverty reduction committee, the business improvement association and committee on safe and inclusive downtown #cityofPG
Among decisions expected to be made last night:

* Additional funding to downtown RCMP patrols
* The opening of a downtown safety office staffed by new bylaw officers
* Contracting of a company to clean up biohazards in camps and around shelters
* Increased housing #cityofPG
Read 46 tweets
10 Jan
the canadian cpc is not the u.s. republican party, pass it on
I mean feel free to criticize them (or the liberals or the ndp or whoever) on their own grounds but grafting everything onto american politics is intellectualy lazy
a lot of standard Canadian Conservative policy would be derided as radical left in the States. Likewise, there are many Democrat policies that Canadians would see as extremely right. Almost like they are two different countries
Read 10 tweets
8 Jan
What.
The.
Actual.

The person in charge of Canada's Office of Border and Travel Health has been doing international travel during the pandemic on her side gig as an "influencer" theglobeandmail.com/politics/artic…
Putting aside THE PANDEMIC, why is a senior civil servant accepting FREE TRIPS from ANYONE???
Also not for nothing but @AirCanada can't provide refunds in a timely manner but can give out free trips apparently
Read 4 tweets