Island braces for more snow and cold, parents pack a Saanich school in open house on proposed changes to catchment boundaries and Canadian diplomats are suing Ottawa that became mysteriously ill while stationed in Cuba. Those stories and more on Morning CHEK.

Snow Thursday, cold winds Friday in latest winter blast to hit Island: More snow and frigid wind chill temperatures are forecast to hit Vancouver Island, starting Thursday night. An Environment Canada special weather advisory is for east and inland Vancouver Island, Greater Victoria and the Southern Gulf Islands, with overnight accumulations of around five centimetres and more to fall Friday. Snow will ease off, but very strong arctic winds are forecast later in the day and into Saturday, bringing with it bitterly cold wind chill temperatures.

Parents show frustration at an open house in Saanich on proposed catchment boundaries: Some parents showed displeasure at Spectrum Secondary School in Saanich, which was packed for the first of three open houses on new catchment boundaries. The Greater Victoria School District is proposing new school boundaries due to increased enrollment. Many that attended were parents from South Park Family School and Cloverdale Elementary, which are alternative schools with high parent involvement and are being turned into regular catchment schools and parents aren’t happy. Parent advisory councils at Cloverdale and South Park plan to submit a written proposal on other solutions to the boundary issue.

Figures out Thursday on suspected overdose deaths in 2018: Figures on illicit drug overdose deaths in 2018 will be released by the BC Coroners Service Thursday morning. Through November of last year, there were 1,380 suspected overdose deaths, just one death off the record-setting pace of 2017, in a year that saw 1,486 overdose deaths in the province.

Canadian diplomats file $28 lawsuit against Ottawa after becoming sick while posted in Cuba: Five Canadian diplomats and their relatives who became mysteriously ill while posted to Canada’s embassy in Havana, Cuba are suing Ottawa for $28-million, claiming the federal government failed to protect them. The families developed unusual illnesses, for which a cause is not yet known. Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says the health and safety of Canadian diplomats is a priority.

Privacy commissioner says B.C.’s three major political parties are collecting too much voter information without consent: B.C.’s privacy commissioner is giving the province’s three major political parties six months to start doing a better job telling people about the information they are collecting about them. Michael McEvoy will then determine if a more detailed audit of party systems, databases or practices is required. A report by McEvoy says the New Democrats, Liberals and Greens are collecting too much information from potential voters without getting proper consent, are retaining that information indefinitely and have inadequate privacy training to protect it.

ENTERTAINMENT
Grande reportedly to skip Grammy’s in song choice disagreement with producers:
Don’t expect to see Ariana Grande at Sunday’s Grammys. The singer is up for two awards and was set to perform on the telecast, but reportedly clashed with show producers who tried to tell her which songs to sing. Now, the word is she won’t even attend the show.

SPORTS
Philip Schultz records hat-trick in Royals’ 5-3 win over Seattle: 
After a 5-3 loss Tuesday to Seattle, the Victoria Royals returned the favour Wednesday night with a 5-3 win of their own. The victory was paced by a hat-trick from Philip Schultz, who scored a goal in each period. The Royals are back on the road for a game at Spokane tomorrow night.

Bulldogs pick up road win in Nanaimo: In the BCHL Wednesday night, the Alberni Valley Bulldogs collected a 5-2 win in Nanaimo. Ryan Miotto led the attack with a goal and three assists for the Bulldogs. Victoria hosts Cowichan Valley Thursday night.

Canucks try to snap a two-game slide in Chicago Thursday: After back-to-back one-goal losses in Philadelphia and Washington, the Vancouver Canucks are in Chicago Thursday in a clash with the Blackhawks. The Canucks hold the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference but are only three points up on Chicago.

Cole calls final game in Toronto: Wednesday night’s Toronto Maple Leafs broadcast was the last in Toronto in the Hall of Fame career of Hockey Night and Canada’s Bob Cole. He got a standing ovation when the Leafs paid a tribute video to Cole, who is in his 50th and final season in the booth.

CHEK News