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Burnaby General Practice Law Blog

A drunk-driving mistake could jeopardize your Canadian immigrant status

Canada has taken a hard stance against drunk and drugged driving in recent years. Many provinces have passed increasingly strict laws with harsh penalties for drunk – or otherwise impaired – driving, in an attempt to curb the rise in impaired driving-related accidents and fatalities.

British Columbia has the harshest drunk driving laws in the entire country. In British Columbia, anyone who is pulled over for suspected drunk driving and either refuses a breathalyzer test or tests over the legal limit could face:

A path for foreign nationals to visit their Canadian (grand)children

The decision to immigrate can be life changing. It can bring about dramatic benefits – but also some challenges. Maybe you married a Canadian citizen, or perhaps you moved to Canada for work. While you may love the new life you’ve established here, the sense of loss you feel for your loved ones in your home country is very real.

Fortunately, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offers a special visa – known as a super visa – that can enable your parents or grandparents to visit you in Canada. This visa is not subject to the same rules and restrictions as a standard visitor visa.

Obtaining student visas can be challenging for certain countries

Prospective students from all over the globe apply to Canadian colleges and universities each year in the hopes of studying abroad. However, due to stringent Canadian immigration laws, obtaining a student visa has become challenging, frustrating and altogether difficult for certain applicants to achieve, according to an article from earlier this year.

Visa applications can be complex in general, and each type of visa, such as student visas, come with certain types of criteria that need to be met. Because this process can be complicated, it’s best to consult with an immigration lawyer experienced in helping students from abroad complete their visa applications.

Better Protections for Foreign Workers

Concerns have been raised about wages, living conditions and the general treatment of foreign workers when they arrive in Canada. However, British Columbia aims to curb these difficulties with the passing of Bill 48.

This bill, known as the Temporary Foreign Worker Protection Act, helps to make sure that temporary workers receive their proper documents and provide improved scrutiny over the treatment of employees coming from overseas.

Car vs. bicycle accidents can have devastating consequences

The fact that bicyclists have none of the protection vehicle drivers have makes them extremely vulnerable on British Columbia roads. Even with wearing helmets, victims of bicycle accidents can suffer catastrophic or even fatal injuries when struck by cars. Distracted or impaired vehicle operators cause a significant percentage of recorded bike accidents every year.

Intersections are said to be particularly dangerous areas for car and bicycles. Drivers can prevent hitting cyclists by keeping a safe following and passing distance, yielding for them when necessary, and shoulder checking for bicyclists before turning right or opening the door -- the latter applies to passengers as well. Drivers must also scan for bicycle riders before turning left across bike lanes and before they enter the road from a driveway, parking lot or a side street.

Increased car accident costs and rates concerning for ICBC

According to recent statistics from ICBC, car accident rates in British Columbia are at an all time high. The numbers have prompted the release of an online tool, the Drive Smart Refresher Test, aimed at helping people refresh their knowledge of car safety and avoid a car accident themselves. This free quiz highlights the bad driving habits and potentially outdated knowledge, an issue ICBC points to when discussing the increase of collisions in British Columbia.

Currently, ICBC is facing a $1.3 billion financial loss. Some say loss is due to a surge in car accident claims with increasingly expensive price tags. In 2017, 350,000 crashes let to claims totalling $4.8 billion. Broken down, that is 960 crashes and $13 million per day in 2017.

Keeping pets loose in vehicle can increase car accident risk

Whether it's an occasional trip to the vet or a daily drive together, most people travel with their pets in the car from time to time. However, many do not take the correct precautions to avoid a car accident when travelling with an animal. According to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), a safety device is critical to secure pets can prevent distractions and save the pet in case of a collision.

According to a recent ICBC survey, only half of British Columbia pet owners own a safety device. Cat owners were more likely to own one at 85 percent, while only 45 percent of dog guardians had such a device. Of those dog owners who do own a safety restraint, only 55 percent say they always use the device.

Are you a Canada Day drunk driving accident victim?

The arrival of summer, along with the Canada Day long weekend likely brought celebratory moods to many people in British Columbia. Because this typically goes along with alcohol use, the police teamed up with ICBC ahead of the weekend to enhance enforcement of campaigns like CounterAttack that aim to limit impaired driving. Every impaired driver that is stopped can prevent someone from being a car accident victim -- making the efforts of law enforcement worth their while.

Traffic safety authorities say an average of 730 crashes occurs across British Columbia on Canada Day every year -- some of them fatal. They urge people not to get into a vehicle with an impaired driver, reminding them of the potential consequences. Those who survive drunk driving accidents often suffer life-long financial and physical trauma.

Car accident prompts warning about summer and motorcycles

A Burnaby RCMP statement used a recent crash as an example to remind motorists to take care on the roads. It says the warmer weather in British Columbia encourages bikers to get their motorcycles out after months of storage. It also warns that both motorcyclists and vehicle operators must not forget about the posted speed limits, and it added that motorists must remain vigilant and always expect the unexpected. This reminder followed a car accident that also involved a motorcycle.

Reportedly, the collision occurred shortly before 5 p.m. on a recent Saturday in a Burnaby intersection. Although the accident is still under investigation, a preliminary report indicates that a southbound motorcycle crashed into a car. The impact caused the biker to be ejected from the bike. The victim was rushed to a hospital with serious injuries. It was later reported that the motorcyclist's injuries might be life-threatening.

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