British Columbians are on a shopping spree: StatsCan

Retail sales by province and territory

Plus, Vancouver Island needs a train and Quesnel needs doctors

Hey, big spenders
I’m talking to you, British Columbians. According to a new retail report released by Statistics Canada on Thursday, we’ve increased our retail spending more in the last year than any other province in Canada—by 8.3 per cent. That’s far above inflation—and the competition (not that it’s a competition). Second place goes to the Northwest Territories (6.9 per cent), and in last is Saskatchewan, which saw spending decline 2.6 per cent. Second last, unsurprisingly, is struggling Alberta (-1.7 per cent)—although in sheer dollars, our neighour still outspends us.

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’ on the river (or straight or whatever)
The B.C. government has announced $7 million in funding for the E&N rail line on Vancouver Island, which would include twice-daily passenger service between Nanaimo and Victoria. “The government understands the importance of the historic E&N rail corridor to communities across Vancouver Island,” Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone said in a release on Thursday. “We want to see the return of a fully operational passenger rail service on Vancouver Island and today we are one step closer.”

Quesnel: come for the free cars
The City of Quesnel, B.C., (population: 10,000) really needs doctors. It’s a common plight among small towns, but Quesnel has decided to sweeten the pot. For two doctors it recently enticed into moving there, the City is paying $4,800 to provide temporary housing in a fully furnished home, while a local car dealer has agreed to provide two cars for the MDs. Alas, the offer wasn’t valid for journalists. (via CBC)