Court annuls B.C. hairdresser’s ‘sham’ marriage

The B.C. Supreme Court has approved an annulment for a hairdresser who was forced to marry her boss’ relative.

Not long after Pardeep Kaur started working as a hairdresser this summer, her boss suggested she marry his relative, Harpreet Singh Jhamb, who lived in India at the time, according to the Surrey Now-Leader.

Kaur’s boss threatened to fire her if she refused, the Surrey Now-Leader reported. Her boss subsequently sponsored Jhamb to immigrate to Canada.

The court found that the marriage was a “sham” and the Kaur had not entered it of her own free will.

“I find that she was coerced into marrying the respondent and participated in the civil ceremony under duress,” the judge wrote.

Conservationist group discovers ‘Mossome Grove’

Photos courtesy of the Endangered Ecosystems Alliance

Conservationists have found what they are calling the “most magnificent and photogenic” forest on Vancouver Island, but for the moment it’s for their eyes only.

The Endangered Ecosystems Alliance said it first came across the 13-hectare area, populated by ancient-looking trees covered in thick green moss and ferns, in October. The conservationists later returned in December to explore more.

The group posted photos of the lush forest — which it nicknamed Mossome Grove — but said its location will remain hidden until the provincial government provides assurances that the land will be protected from commercial logging and trampling.

Ken Wu, the executive director of the Endangered Ecosystems Alliance said in a press release that the forest was the “most magnificent and stunningly beautiful” old-growth forest he had ever seen.

“Hollywood could not make a more stunning, picture-perfect forest than this one,” Wu said.

The group said it should be able to keep the location secret due to the grove’s limited size and the fact that there are no trails leading to it.  

Human-induced climate change played major role in B.C. wildfires: Study

Stock photo/

Researchers have concluded that human-induced climate change is largely to blame for the severity of forest fires that ripped through British Columbia in 2017.

A new study published in Earth’s Future has found that the 1.2-million hectare area that burned that year was seven to 11 times larger than it would have been without human influences on climate.

“As the climate continues to warm, we can expect that costly extreme wildfire seasons—like 2017, in BC—will become more likely in the future,” said Megan Kirchmeier-Young a research scientist with Environment and Climate Change Canada. “This will have increasing impacts on many sectors, including forest management, public health, and infrastructure.”

The 2017 wildfire season displaced 65,000 people and exposed millions to smoke-filled air. The area burned that year was record-setting, but was later surpassed in 2018, the study said.

Researchers found that extreme temperatures in B.C. during the 2017 summer were made more than 20 times more likely due to human-induced climate change.

Scientists from Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium at the University of Victoria led the study and warned that extreme forest fires resulting from human influences on climate change will intensify in the future without further action.

Saskatchewan man walks across Canada because he ‘just felt like walking’

Zayell Johnston stands by a map of Canada that shows his route. Photo/Zayell Johnston

A Saskatchewan man was channeling his inner Forrest Gump in 2018.

Zayell Johnston walked all the way across Canada last year just because he felt like it.

The Yorkton, Sask. man started his journey in Victoria, B.C. in February 2018 and dipped his feet in the Atlantic Ocean by the end of the year.

Others who have made similar treks have usually done so to promote a cause or to raise money for charity. Johnston’s voyage was rooted in something more simple.

“I just felt like walking,” he told Yorkton This Week.

Johnston said the longest part of his cross-country trip was Ontario, which took him two months to walk through.