China not confirming the detention of a former Canadian diplomat, wind warning still in effect for parts of Vancouver Island and Team Canada faces USports all-stars in Colwood. Those stories and more on Morning CHEK.

China not confirming a Canadian’s detention as tensions escalate: China’s Foreign Ministry is not confirming the detention of former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig. His employer, the International Crisis Group, says Kovrig was taken into custody Monday night, but China says the group is not registered there and its activities in the country would be illegal. It’s not clear if Kovrig’s detention is related to the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver airport. She is now free on bail and could face extradition to the U.S., where she is wanted on fraud charges.

French authorities continue to hunt for mass shooting suspect: French police have taken the father and two brothers of the man suspected of attacking the Strasbourg Christmas market into custody but 29-year-old Cherif Cherkatt is still on the run. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner told parliament that 720 security officers are searching for Cherkatt, who killed at least two people and injured about a dozen others last night. Cherkatt was on a police watch list for radicalism and other family members are also known to police for their radical views.

Group delivering a petition to CRD over trees on the chopping block for new sewage project: A group of Saanich residents trying to save dozens of trees on Grange Road, will be at the CRD building in downtown Victoria today to announce results of a neighbourhood petition, the group says will help the CRD in assessing public sentiment. The plan to remove the trees is to make way for the region’s new sewage project.

Wind advisory for west and east Vancouver Island Wednesday morning: Wind storms causing problems yesterday for BC Ferries, with cancellations and delays. It’s going to be another windy one today, and the wind advisory is still in place for West and North Vancouver Island this morning, with wind gusts expected to reach 80-to-90 kilometres per hour.

Province looks to improve wildfire budgeting: B.C.’s finance minister is looking for a way to improve how the province budgets for the wildfire season. Carole James says it’s not easy to budget for the unknown of Mother Nature, although one idea is to possibly use a 10-year average to project the cost. Last summer $64 million was allocated to tackle wildfire with a final bill of $572 million.

British Prime Minister faces no-confidence vote: Conservative MPs have forced a no-confidence vote on Prime Minister Theresa May Wednesday. The threat to May’s leadership has been building as pro-Brexit MPs in the Conservative Party grow increasingly frustrated with the Brexit deal she negotiated with the European Union. The challenge throws Britain’s already rocky path out of the E-U, which it is due to leave in March, into further chaos.

Nanaimo charity calling for more volunteers: The 7-10 club in Nanaimo is calling for help. The group serves breakfast to the hungry and says it takes an average of eight volunteers to properly serve each client, but it’s averaging about five volunteers right now and some can’t stay the full shift. The group says about 15 more volunteers are urgently needed.

ENTERTAINMENT
Reynolds lends voice to ‘Great Bear Rainforest’ IMAX film: 
“Great Bear Rainforest” has added an appropriate voice! Ryan Reynolds has signed on to narrate the latest MacGillivray Freeman I-MAX film. Reynolds is from B.C. and the movie is set in the secluded wilderness north of Vancouver that is home to one of the world’s rarest bears. “Great Bear Rainforest” opens in Victoria February 12.

SPORTS
Fizer hat-trick lifts Royals to win over Winterhawks:
The Victoria Royals fell behind 2-0 Tuesday night to the Portland Winterhawks, but Tarun Fizer recorded a hat-trick including the winner in the second period to help lift the Royals to a 7-4 victory. The two teams square off again Wednesday.

Late comeback in Columbus produces third straight Canucks’ win: Jake Virtanen’s goal late in the third period stood up as the winner in a come from behind 3-2 win in Columbus. The Canucks have won their last three games and are in Nashville tomorrow night.

Team Canada squares off with USports All-Stars in Colwood Wednesday: Wednesday night at 6 p.m. at the Q-Centre, Team Canada faces the USports All-Stars during Canada’s selection camp in Colwood. It’s the first of three straight games between the sides as Canada decides its final World Junior roster.

CHEK News