The federal government says a Canadian has been killed in Peru.Global Affairs Canada says the death was related to the reported assassination of Indigenous elder Olivia Arevalo Lomas.Arevalo Lomas was a human rights activist of the Shipibo-Konibo people in the Ucayali region.The federal government says it is providing consular assistance to the family of the Canadian, whom they did not identify.A Peruvian news agency identified the Canadian as Sebastian Paul Woodroffe.The government extended its condolences following Arevalo Lomas’s death.
EDMONTON – A judge wants more education and oversight to come with prescription opioids following the suicide of an Edmonton soldier six years ago.A fatality inquiry heard that Lt. Shawna Rogers became dependent on opioids, and later street drugs, after injuring her back during basic training.Doctors, family in Ontario and a military supervisor all suggested she go into a paid-for residential treatment program, but she refused.The 27-year-old was found dead in her apartment in October 2012.Provincial court Judge Susan Richardson says the Alberta College of Pharmacists has since made changes to the way opioids are prescribed, and their use is monitored as well.But she recommends prescriptions for opioids treating anything but cancer come with mandatory addictions education and regular psychological reviews.She further suggests pharmacists encourage patients to return unused medications and require all medical information to go through a “patient navigator,” who can offer family and social supports.“There is no ability to force someone into treatment,” Richardson wrote in her report released Tuesday.“Although family and medical professionals were suggesting that Shawna could benefit from residential treatment, and the Canadian Forces would make that option available to her, Shawna saw drug treatment as imperilling her career.”The judge said Rogers initially sought various forms of help for her back. She went to physiotherapy and occupational therapy, attended a pain clinic and went to the United States for surgery. She also regularly saw her military doctor.In 2010, she was assigned work that accommodated her chronic pain. She was also being prescribed increasingly more potent painkillers.Months before she died, she saw a psychologist and a psychiatrist for depression.“Shawna did not want to be using narcotics. She tried to wean herself off them more than once, and was unsuccessful,” said Richardson.The judge described Rogers as intelligent, strong and ambitious — qualities that made it difficult for her to seek treatment for her addiction. She wanted to manage it on her own.Richardson noted that she has no jurisdiction to make recommendations aimed at the Canadian Forces.The military has already conducted a board of inquiry and quality of care review into the death.
A man from British Columbia wanted in connection to allegedly impersonating a police officer and sexually assaulting a woman in the Greater Toronto Area may have committed similar offences in Calgary.A spokesperson with the Calgary Police Service said the images of the suspect caught in both cases via CCTV are similar in nature.Earlier this month, police were called to a business in the 2800 block of Sunridge Way N.E. over reports of an assault.The woman had agreed to meet a man there and when the man arrived, he immediately identified himself as police and told her he had a warrant to search her for drugs.She asked for his badge number and it was at that point, he grabbed and pushed her, yelling at her to stop resisting arrest. She then asked him to get more officers to execute the warrant and he fled the scene in an older black Volkswagen Jetta.The man was described as being of Middle Eastern descent, approximately 20 to 30 years old, 5’8″ to 5’10” tall, with a slim to medium build, short black hair and a day’s growth of facial hair.The suspect was also wearing a dark-coloured, long-sleeve shirt and a black vest that said “POLICE” in large letters underneath a dark blue jacket.It’s also believed he had a belt with a flashlight, baton and a gun in the holder.A few days later, a similar incident unfolded in the City of Vaughan at Highway 7 and Interchange Way.A suspect met with an 18-year-old escort after arranging a date at a hotel.He reportedly told her he was a police officer and was executing a warrant and then proceeded to sexually assault her, leaving some money behind.York Regional Police issued a Canada Wide Warrant for 33-year-old Asif Choudry, also known as Brandon, from Sechelt, B.C.Police are warning the public he should be considered armed and dangerous; if you see him don’t approach and call 911.Calgary police tell 660 NEWS the Calgary and York region suspect may be the same individual, and they are planning to issue a similar warrant in the coming days. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Calgary Police Service, the York Regional Police or Crime Stoppers.
TORONTO – A notorious bank robber who was dubbed the “Vaulter” for his technique of jumping over bank counters has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.York regional police say Jeffrey James Shuman pleaded guilty last month to seven counts of robbery with a firearm.They say the 55-year-old French-American citizen was sentenced by a judge on Tuesday and was given a 34-month credit for time already served.Police said at the time that he was wanted in connection with 21 bank robberies between 2010 and 2015 — 15 in the Greater Toronto Area, four in Calgary, and one each in Hamilton and Ottawa.Police had spent years trying to catch Shuman without success. The Canadian Banking Association also put out a $100,000 reward for his capture.Shuman was arrested on an international warrant in Switzerland in September 2015.He was extradited to Canada in February 2016 to stand trial.
TORONTO – One of the world’s largest tobacco companies is rolling out a smokeless cigarette in Canada that it contends is less harmful than conventional combustible products, but some critics call the device merely a ploy to maintain — or even increase — market share in the face of dwindling smoking rates.Philip Morris International has developed a heat-not-burn product called IQOS, or I-Quit-Ordinary-Smoking, that the tobacco giant says retains a high level of nicotine while reducing carcinogenic components found in the smoke of regular cigarettes.PMI, along with its Canadian subsidiary Rothmans Benson & Hedges, says it is committed to a smoke-free future — one that eliminates the burning of cigarettes and helps Canada reach its goal of reducing the smoking rate to less than five per cent by 2035.“Basically if you eliminate the combustion and the smoke in a product that is still satisfying to adult smokers, that’s where we’ll probably see a true impact of reduction on public health,” PMI medical adviser Mikael Franzon said after travelling to Toronto this week from the U.S.The IQOS product is comprised of a heating blade that’s inserted into a cigarette-like stick called a HEETS, which contains ground tobacco. The blade heats the stick to about 350 degrees C., compared to the more than 800 degrees with a combustible cigarette, creating an aerosol instead of smoke.“Because it is actually heated and not burned, the tobacco rod is intact after you have used it and it lasts six minutes or 14 puffs, whatever comes first,” said Franzon, a smoking cessation expert who joined PMI about two years ago.“But it still gives you the same amount of nicotine as you find in conventional cigarettes,” he said, maintaining that testing by PMI scientists has shown there is a more than 90 per cent reduction in harmful components in the aerosol compared with smoke from regular cigarettes.But Rob Cunningham, senior policy analyst for the Canadian Cancer Society, suggested the company is only blowing smoke when it touts its heat-not-burn technology as a means of reducing Canadians’ tobacco use.“Philip Morris is engaging in double-speak, saying that they want to decrease cigarette sales yet at the same time opposing legislative measures that would reduce cigarette sales, such as plain packaging, a menthol ban and higher (tobacco) taxes,” said Cunningham.“When they say they want to stop selling cigarettes, it is nothing more than a public relations stunt to distract attention from the regulatory measures that would be effective at reducing cigarette sales, measures that they oppose … and to provide cover as they continue to aggressively sell and market cigarettes.”Given Big Tobacco’s long history of denying smoking’s link to cancer and other harmful health effects, Franzon said he understands there is skepticism about PMI’s intentions.“But I think also there is a new generation of people working in the tobacco industry, transforming it, and our main mission is to develop and deliver these smokeless products with the potential to reduce smoking-related risks,” he said.The company began selling IQOS in B.C. late last year and has since expanded availability to Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec. The heating unit and holder costs about $125, with a pack of 160 HEETS retailing for about $90, Franzon said.The product is sold in 20 countries and PMI is seeking approval from the Food and Drug Administration to market IQOS in the U.S. In Canada, companies do not need to seek Health Canada approval to sell new products under the Tobacco Act.Federal Health Minister Jane Philpott was not available for an interview Tuesday to comment on PMI’s assertion that its heat-not-burn cigarettes could help Canada reach its 2035 smoking rate target. The latest estimates from 2015 put that rate at 17 per cent of the population aged 12 and older, or roughly 4.5 million Canadians.While it’s too early to know the specific health effects related to heat-not-burn technology, Philpott said by email that “the harms of tobacco products are indisputable … New technologies such as vaping products present challenges and opportunities, as do emerging tobacco products reported by industry to be less harmful.”In fact, a study by independent Swiss researchers published in JAMA Internal Medicine in May found IQOS vapour also released carcinogenic chemicals — some of them in much higher concentrations than conventional cigarettes, principal investigator Dr. Reto Auer of the University of Bern reported at the time.Franzon said PMI has sent a letter to JAMA criticizing the methodology used by the researchers to test its smokeless product against combustible cigarettes.David Hammond, an expert in tobacco policy at the University of Waterloo, said PMI and other tobacco companies have been making claims about minimizing health risks for decades, going back to the 1950s when filtered cigarettes were introduced.“If they think combustible cigarettes are killing people and they would rather not sell them, then I would ask them why they continue to sell them?” he said.Still, Hammond agreed that any nicotine product that doesn’t involve smoke inhalation “is almost certainly going to be less harmful than regular smoked cigarettes. That includes e-cigarettes and it probably includes these products.”But that doesn’t mean they carry no risk, he said.“To be clear, smokeless tobacco is less harmful than smoking cigarettes, but that does not mean that it’s safe. We definitely know that there’s some serious harms.”– Follow @SherylUbelacker on Twitter.
OTTAWA – During the CFL regular season, Conrad Brock and Mike Hassel are bitter rivals.Brock, a Saskatchewan native who lives in New Brunswick, bleeds Roughrider green. His long-time friend Hassel carries a small plastic horse wherever he goes in honour of his beloved Calgary Stampeders.At Sunday’s Grey Cup, however, they will be on the same side.With Brock’s Roughriders not in the big game, he’ll support his friend’s club when they face off against the Toronto Argonauts in the CFL showcase.“I think it’s a bit of a love-hate relationship,” Brock said of his friendship with Hassel.The two pals take verbal jabs at each other when it’s game time, but tone down the taunts when the footballs are put away, said Brock’s wife Sally, a convert to CFL fandom after she met her husband in Moncton.“Part of the friendship is being able to trash talk each other’s team during the season and then (other times) they still do that, but it’s good natured,” she said.While the Brocks are favouring Calgary, the same can’t be said of another Roughriders fan.Moose Jaw’s Elaine Johnson arrived in Ottawa on Thursday, just in time to celebrate her 70th birthday. And since she can’t see her beloved Roughriders play, she’ll cheer for the Argonauts instead.“I was hoping that Saskatchewan was in it, but now I’m a Toronto fan all of a sudden,” said Johnson, who laughed as her young grandson David piped in to predict a Calgary win.“Once it comes to Grey Cup time, it’s just a great opportunity to meet fans from all across the country, really,” she said as members of a Roughriders pep band pursed their lips to trumpets and other cold brass instruments outside Ottawa’s TD Place Stadium.Some Calgary fans, including Hassel, see this year’s championship as a rematch of the 2012 finale that saw Toronto defeat Calgary 35-22.“It is payback time,” said Hassel, who was there five years ago and at last year’s championship, where Calgary was defeated by the Ottawa Redblacks.“They know better now,” he said of this year’s Stampeders. “They’ve learned their lessons twice. Third time’s the charm.”The Grey Cup is just one of many big ticket events Ottawa is hosting this year, including celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation and the NHL’s 100th anniversary. But that doesn’t mean football has taken a back seat.“It’s a big deal for us from a celebratory point of view, but also from a tourism and economic development point of view,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson.“This is big dollars that are coming into the local economy.”Since the arrival of the trophy Tuesday, there have been a number of activities leading up to game day, including a four-day-long street party at the city’s Lansdowne Park and concerts until Sunday.Canadian pop-country star Shania Twain will perform at halftime Sunday and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, along with his family, is expected to be among the VIPs in attendance.It will be the first Grey Cup for Julie Payette since being sworn in as governor general. She’ll kick off the game with the traditional coin toss.The weather forecast for game day calls for a few flurries and temperatures reaching -2 C.
Canadian snowboarder Laurie Blouin has won a silver medal in the women’s slopestyle at the Pyeongchang Olympics.Sporting a black eye after a nasty crash in training a few days ago, Blouin overcame high winds to nail a clean second run for 76.33 points.The reigning world champion from Stoneham, Que., Blouin was second behind American Jamie Anderson, who scored 83.00 on her first run.Enni Rukajarvi of Finland took bronze with a score of 73.91.Brooke Voigt of Fort McMurray, Alta., finished 21st and Spencer O’Brien of Courtenay, B.C., was 22nd.The start of the competition was delayed for about 75 minutes due to the conditions at windswept Phoenix Park.High winds forced the cancellation of the qualification on Sunday. Organizers decided to instead allow all competitors direct entry into the final.Blouin took a hard fall Friday when her board got stuck in a crack after she landed a double jump. She resumed full training Sunday.Canada won two medals in the men’s slopestyle competition on Sunday. Max Parrot of Bromont, Que., won silver and Regina’s Mark McMorris took the bronze.
KINGSTON, Ont. – Via Rail says its trains are back on schedule after a freight train derailment delayed trips between Toronto and Montreal or Ottawa for hours on Saturday.The widespread delays came about when two cars at the back of a Canadian National Railway train carrying paper derailed just east of Kingston at 1:20 p.m.The incident caused hours of delays for rail passengers across the province on Saturday, but Via spokeswoman Marie-Anna Murat says there aren’t any delays expected between Toronto and Montreal or Ottawa.Murat says 647 people were on passenger trains at the time of the derailment, and more than a thousand were believed to be affected by Saturday’s delays.Murat says all trains on the route were cancelled that evening, and passengers were given the option of either exchanging their tickets or receiving a full refund.She says Via Rail provided buses and other forms of alternate transport for most of the passengers stranded at the time of the derailment.
NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C. – An apartment fire in North Vancouver has killed two people and sent a dozen to hospital for treatment of various injuries.The victims were trapped when the blaze tore through one of four buildings in the 170-unit complex around 2:30 a.m. Monday, said Wayne Kennedy, deputy chief with District of North Vancouver Fire and Rescue.“One half of the building was fully affected by the fire and the other half was affected by smoke and water,” Kennedy said.RCMP said in a news release that 17 units in the wooden, two-storey complex were extensively damage, leaving about 70 people permanently displaced.Flames were visible as firefighters pulled up, Kennedy said, but residents from other suites were already rushing to assist people and that was a huge help to crews.As a precaution, crews evacuated other buildings in the sprawling 4.5-hectare complex and sent more than 100 residents to a nearby reception centre.Fire crews didn’t immediately realize two people were trapped, Kennedy said.“There was some mention to us, early on, that there were a couple of people who weren’t accounted for, but due to the intensity of the fire and the amount of units that were involved it wasn’t a safe alternative for us to get into some of the units until we had a better control of the fire.”Firefighters were able to check the suites several hours later and found both people in the same unit.The BC Coroners Service confirmed via email that it is in the early stages of an investigation into two deaths.The victims were from the same family, but their names and ages have not been released, police said.Mounties added that 12 survivors were treated in several area hospitals for injuries ranging from smoke inhalation to burns.Most residents were allowed to return to their suites in unaffected parts of the complex within hours.Crews continued to douse hot spots on the fire Monday, and Kennedy said an assessment of the structural integrity of the building would also be required.He said it was still unclear what sparked the blaze and work to determine a cause would begin as soon as possible.An RCMP arson unit, the fire department and the coroners service are all working on the investigation.
LETHBRIDGE, Alta. – A southern Alberta man with mental health issues has been sentenced to five years in jail for stabbing his parents.Nigel Vermeulen, who is 29, had pleaded guilty in Lethbridge court to one count of attempted murder and another of assault with a weapon.Court heard he stabbed his 72-year-old father in the neck and his 62-year-old mother in the leg.The sentence was recommended as part of a joint submission by the Crown and defence.An assessment at the Southern Alberta Forensic Psychiatry Centre determined that he was fit to stand trial and did not meet the criteria to be found not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder.Vermeulen has been diagnosed as having autism spectrum disorder, selective mutism, delusional disorder and an unspecified personality disorder.“It seems to me there is no rational explanation for the perpetration of these crimes by Mr. Vermeulen,” Provincial court Judge Eric Peterson said Wednesday before delivering the sentence.“He is mentally ill, but not to the extent that it would excuse his conduct.”Court heard that Vermeulen’s parents became aware of his mental health problems when he was still very young.He continued to live with them as an adult, having quit school early and never got a job.Vermeulen would only leave the house to go for walks with his father or to get groceries with his mother.On Feb. 11, Vermeulen’s mother woke to her husband screaming and a sharp pain in her knee.She called out to Vermeulen but then found her husband bleeding heavily from the neck and called 911.The Crown says he was lucky to survive the wound.Lethbridge Police later found Vermeulen not far from home and took him into custody.During an interview in which he would only respond by writing, Vermeulen said he felt the only way he could start his own life was by killing his parents.Police also found a journal entry that Vermeulen had entered into his computer before the stabbing attacks.“Can’t sleep, hungry, so might as well kill my parents,” he wrote according to the agreed statement of facts. “Going to knife them and hope it works … all that matters is killing them.”The Crown also noted that aside from the remorse demonstrated by entering a guilty plea, Vermeulen hasn’t shown any other signs of empathy towards his parents. (LethbridgeNewsNow)
HALIFAX – The Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. offered a glimpse inside one of its coming cannabis stores Wednesday, showcasing a unique retail hybrid not likely found anywhere else in the world.NSLC president and CEO Bret Mitchell took media on a tour of the cannabis store that’s inside the NSLC on Joseph Howe Drive in Halifax, saying Nova Scotia is the only jurisdiction that brings cannabis and alcohol sales under one roof.“We have a very unique situation here in Nova Scotia and one that’s definitely going to be setting the stage for the world,” said Mitchell inside the new cannabis store, located in a renovated section of the liquor store.“It hasn’t been done to my knowledge anywhere else in the world, and so it’s going to make it a very different retail environment than you’ll experience in any other jurisdiction.”The entrance to the 130 square-metre rectangular-shaped store — which will be one of the largest in the province — is located in the back left corner of the liquor store beneath large letters that read “cannabis.”Customers walk through an opening with frosted glass and around a corner into a brightly-lit space with light-coloured walls.Behind the counter and spanning an entire wall are dozens of white boxes that will eventually contain types of cannabis. The available products will be displayed on TV screens and are divided into four distinct categories: relax, unwind, centre and enhanced.Mitchell calls this a “discovery guide approach.”“The four categories are how we will be grouping our assortments to hopefully help those who are new to the category have an ability to choose what they’re looking for when they buy cannabis,” said Mitchell.For example, a sign on the wall explains that, “relax” products offer “relaxing and calming experiences that are generally more focused in the body than the mind.”There are a number of tablets at wood grain countertops that will contain information to help customers choose a product. Mitchell said “hosts” will greet customers as they come in, firstly to determine if they’re legal age, and secondly to show them how to shop.The cannabis will be provided in a sealed bag, and must be purchased before leaving the cannabis store boundaries.Products and accessories will be displayed in cabinets on the walls. Customers will not be able to smell the product, except for at its Clyde Street store in downtown Halifax. NSLC says the products will have descriptions regarding their “nose.”There are also a number of safety messages posted on signs throughout store, including warnings against smoking and driving.Barriers that weave in front of the checkout counters will help control the expected lineups, but Mitchell said the hope is to eventually remove them once the initial rush dies down and customers become more familiar with the process. The store can comfortably accommodate roughly 60 people.Mitchell conceded that the store’s opening would not come without growing pains.“This is a new experience for us and it’s going to take time to figure out,” he said.He said in order to have a cannabis store within the liquor store, they must abide by a number of federal regulations, including that it be totally separate from the liquor store. No one under the age of 19 is allowed in the cannabis section.“There’s going to be some learning. Do people shop the same way? Do they come at the same time of day? How do they interact with staff? It’s going to be a very different experience,” he said, adding the average alcohol transaction is three minutes, whereas cannabis transactions will take up to 20 minutes.Twelve cannabis stores will be opening inside NSLC locations on Oct. 17, said Mitchell. He said they’re anticipating up to 90 people an hour will use the cannabis store at the Joseph Howe Drive location once it opens.The introduction of cannabis is expected to double that location’s retail sales, from $11.5 million a year to $22.5 million, said Mitchell.
SASKATOON – A court hearing related to money raised following the Humboldt Broncos bus crash will be the first real test of Saskatchewan’s efforts to regulate crowdfunding campaigns, says a lawyer for the fund.The Humboldt Broncos Memorial Fund Inc. is to ask Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench on Wednesday for an initial order that would declare a GoFundMe campaign a public appeal, authorize the money to be held in trust and approve an interim payment of $50,000 each to the 13 survivors and the families of the 16 people who died after the April 6 crash.The GoFundMe campaign raised $15.2 million in donations from all over the world.The money has yet to be distributed because Saskatchewan has legislation known as the Informal Public Appeals Act, which outlines court-supervised payouts.“This is a new law that was enacted in Saskatchewan in 2015,” said Jeff Lee, a lawyer who represents the Humboldt Broncos Memorial Fund Inc.The legislation was recommended in 2012 by a national body called the Uniform Law Conference, which proposes changes when gaps are identified in existing laws.“Saskatchewan was the only province that stepped up and actually enacted that statute into law and this would be the first occasion in which it’s been considered in court,” said Lee.Under the law, a court hearing can be requested by a trustee, a donor, a person who benefits from a fund, the attorney general or anyone the court considers has a sufficient interest in a fund. In the Broncos case, a hearing was requested by the Humboldt Broncos Memorial Fund Inc.Some have expressed concerns that the courts could take too long, but Lee said that’s why there will be a request for an interim payment.He and other legal experts said the law is meant to improve the overall process and deal with any disputes that could tie money up for years.Peter Lown, chair of the committee on program development and management with the Uniform Law Conference, said the law was initially recommended because of an increasing number of public fundraisers.“Everybody says, that’s terrible, that’s the most awful thing that’s happened — I should help out with that,” he said. “So what does that mean? How are they going to be helped? Is there a differential for survivors and non-survivors or families? What can it be used for? How much of it can be used?“Somebody has to take responsibility for doing all of that. Otherwise it’s just total chaos.”Lown, who’s also a retired law professor at the University of Alberta, said courts can act as guides by introducing “some structure without suffocating it and without turning it into a long process of litigation.”Potential legal traps identified included questions about what to do with a surplus if too much money is raised or an insurance company picks up some costs. The Saskatchewan law also offers legal protection to people who spearhead fundraisers.As part of the initial order Wednesday, the court will be asked to approve a committee to determine how the rest of the Broncos GoFundMe money is to be distributed.It would be made up of retired Saskatchewan justice Dennis Ball; Mark Chipman, chairman of the company that owns the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets; Olympic gold medallist Hayley Wickenheiser; Dr. Peter Spafford, who’s in charge of head and neck surgery at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine; and Kevin Cameron, executive director of the Canadian Centre for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response.The committee would prepare a report with recommendations to the memorial fund board within the next couple of months. The board would then return to the courts for final approval.— By Colette Derworiz in Edmonton. Follow @cderworiz on Twitter
TORONTO – Ontario’s correctional services minister said he was “shocked and disappointed” that a woman convicted in the 2009 murder of an eight-year-old girl has reportedly been transferred from prison to a healing lodge in Saskatchewan.Michael Tibollo told the legislature on Tuesday that he will be speaking with federal officials about the decision involving Terri-Lynne McClintic.“Decisions like this made by our federal government can seriously impact the public’s confidence in our correctional systems,” he said. “My ministry will continue to monitor this matter as it unfolds to see what we can do in this unfortunate situation … and try to correct what has been done.”McClintic was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Tori Stafford in 2010 and was sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 25 years.The London Free Press reported Stafford’s grandmother saying Correctional Service Canada notified her family of McClintic’s move to the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge.The lodge in Maple Creek, Sask., is run by Correctional Service Canada and is for offenders that require a minimum to medium security level. Women at the facility learn how to live independently by cooking, doing laundry, cleaning and doing outdoor maintenance chores, according to Correctional Service Canada’s website.Tori’s father expressed his frustration at McClintic’s move in several Facebook posts.“She gets her life back in multiple ways and we will NEVER see our little Victoria again,” Rodney Stafford wrote. “Do we not get a notice or a say in ANYTHING?”A spokeswoman said in an email that the Correctional Service of Canada could not comment on the reported transfer due to the Privacy Act.Correctional Service Canada’s website says such lodges are correctional institutions where Aboriginal values, traditions and beliefs are used to design services and programs for offenders.Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal offenders can live at the facilities but all must follow Indigenous programming and spiritually, the website said.“In all cases, we thoroughly assess an offender’s risk to public safety before a decision is made to move him or her to a healing lodge,” the website said.McClintic’s co-accused Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 for kidnapping, sexual assault causing bodily harm and first-degree murder in Tori’s death.
VANCOUVER — The Liberal candidate running against NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh in a Burnaby, B.C., byelection has bowed out of the race after singling out Singh’s ethnicity in an online post.Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background and her choice of words wasn’t well-considered and didn’t reflect her intent.She says she “sincerely” apologizes to Singh and has deep respect for him as the leader of his party and for his public service.Wang says after consideration with her supporters she has decided to step aside as the Liberal candidate in the Burnaby South byelection.She says she believes in the progress that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal team are making, and doesn’t wish for her comments to be a distraction.StarMetro Vancouver reported Wednesday that Wang wrote on Chinese social media platform WeChat that she was the “only” Chinese candidate in the riding, rather than Singh, who she identified as “of Indian descent.”More to come.The Canadian Press
OTTAWA — The parents of Jack Letts, a British-Canadian man imprisoned in northern Syria, are chastising Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer for saying he wouldn’t lift a finger to help their son.John Letts and Sally Lane say in a newly released statement that Scheer might react differently if his own child was locked in a foreign dungeon without access to a lawyer or contact with his family.They say it is time for Canadian politicians to show leadership and demonstrate that Ottawa is able to protect the rights and freedoms of all citizens.Questions about the fate of Jack Letts, who is being held in a Kurdish jail in Syria, recently resurfaced following word that Britain had revoked his citizenship.Letts’ parents say their son, who still holds Canadian citizenship, went to Syria for religious and humanitarian reasons, not to fight for the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.They say it is irresponsible of Scheer, and the U.K. government, to ‘pass the buck’ and let other countries deal with the westerners being held in Syria following the demise of ISIL.The Canadian Press
Sparked by her arrival in New Zealand, a major destination for China Southern Airlines, and upset that the airline is one of two remaining major airlines that still ship primates to laboratories, where they are caged, cut into, poisoned and killed, Baywatch babe Pamela Anderson has written on PETA Asia-Pacific’s behalf to the president and CEO of China Southern Airlines via its New Zealand office to urge him to use his influence to help end this cruel practice.“You may not be aware that after being torn from the wild or rounded up at dreadful breeding farms, the monkeys you ship from China to laboratories in the U.S. and elsewhere end up imprisoned in tiny, desolate laboratory cages, where they are cut open, addicted to drugs, infected with debilitating diseases, intentionally poisoned, and crippled in cruel experiments”, Anderson writes. “I … urge you to have a heart for animals this Valentine’s Day and stop shipping monkeys to their deaths in laboratories.”She also makes a promise: until China Southern stops shipping primates to laboratories, she says, “as a frequent traveler, I will avoid flying your airline and am also encouraging my friends, family members, and fans to do the same”.Many of the largest and best-known carriers in the world – including Air China, China Eastern Airlines, Vietnam Airlines, Philippine Airlines, EVA Air, Singapore Airlines, Korean Air, United Airlines and American Airlines – now refuse to ship primates to laboratories.Source:PETA Asia-Pacific
Celine Dion is offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win a trip for two to Las Vegas to meet her backstage before her show, have a photo taken with her by her personal photographer, and watch her new show from VIP orchestra seats!The winner will be flown in from anywhere in the world and treated to hotel accommodations.To enter, all fans need to do is make a small donation ($5 per entry) to Aid Still Required to help women, children and farmers who are still struggling after Haiti’s devastating earthquake four years ago. Proceeds from this offer will support ASR’s programs for women who have been attacked in Haiti’s notorious shantytowns; at-risk kids in the northern slums; and farmers battling the effects of massive deforestation.If fans choose to donate more or share the campaign with their friends, they can increase their chances to win prizes. The top 3 sharers will each get a CD signed by Celine. Fans can also earn a campaign-exclusive t-shirt for a larger donation.Visit www.prizeo.com/celine for all of the details and to enter to win!
Jaclyn Stapp, children’s book author, national anti-bullying spokesperson, philanthropist and wife of the Grammy-award winning lead singer of Creed, Scott Stapp, is excited to launch the children’s foundation CHARM (Children Are Magical) whose mission aims to heighten awareness of children’s issues and provide underprivileged youth with the tools of life through education, mentoring, and community resources.CHARM officially launches this month as 501c3 non-profit organization at www.childrenaremagical.org.“The name ‘CHARM’ speaks to my heart and is part of my own personal philosophy. I believe children are magical, spirited, full of promise and can be encouraged and challenged to fulfill their dreams,” Jaclyn says. “I learned as a child, that people with a big heart and a little time could make a big difference in my life. The goal of developing CHARM is to reach out to many others with even bigger dreams, because dreams do come true as they have for me.”Jaclyn’s charity will partner with other foundations to support children and their families by providing resources to overcome many of life’s obstacles caused by neglect, abuse, lack of education, and other hardships at home.Jaclyn has also tagged on to CHARM her motto, “I AM STRENGTH” as her personal reminder of hope and encouragement to adults going through tough times. Jaclyn learned to persevere and search within herself for a beam of strength to face her own challenges. I AM STRENGTH offers a community of support and a sounding board for adults and families of all backgrounds.“Children need safe environments, healthy guardians and happy homes to thrive. The vision of ‘I AM STRENGTH’ will target needs because parents, families and children speak a universal language,” she says. “With access to the proper resources and support, folks can better handle issues while developing a purpose for creating the healthy, positive home life that every child deserves.”In the spirit of hope and fun, Jaclyn invites all fans to join her I AM STRENGTH mission with a photograph (selfie) of themselves and the words I AM STRENGTH written on their hand or any favorite part of their body. Jaclyn will share your creative photos on social media with the hashtag #I AM STRENGTH. Selfie supporters will have the opportunity to be featured on the CHARM website. With enough support from local communities and the public, Jaclyn hopes to ensure that every unsupported child in this country will one day be properly nurtured and cared for.Please support CHARM’s mission with your donation or with the purchase of the beautifully designed Masonharlie, ‘I AM STRENGTH’ ID bracelet. Visit the CHARM website at www.ChildrenAreMagical.org to get involved, make a donation or purchase your customized bracelet; 20% of proceeds will benefit CHARM.
David Arquette, Kristin Chenoweth, Whitney Cumming and Natalie Jawher attended “FOX’s Cause for Paws” event in Santa Monica, Calif. where they got an exclusive look at Banfield Pet Hospital’s first children’s book, “My Very, Very Busy Day!”David Arquette With My Very, Very Busy Day!Credit/Copyright: Coyne PR“FOX’s Cause for Paws” is the first-ever rescue dog telethon aiming to find homes for the thousands of shelter dogs in need. The two-hour special, hosted by Hilary Swank, will air Thanksgiving night, Thursday, Nov. 27.Kristin Chenoweth With My Very, Very Busy Day!The book, “My Very, Very Busy Day!” was written to entertain and educate children on what it means to be a responsible pet owner and the importance of preventive veterinary care. Actress Quvenzhané Wallis contributed to the book’s foreword, sharing her love of animals and aspiration of becoming a veterinarian. The book is available at all Banfield Pet Hospital locations nationwide for a suggested donation of $10 to Banfield Charitable Trust, to provide preventive care to pets in need.
It was a sparkling night for wildlife at the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s annual Wildlife Ball.Kerry Ellis and Dr Brian MayCredit/Copyright: CPG PhotographyHosted by The Dorchester in London on Friday October 9th, 300 guests mingled with celebrities to help raise over £150,000 for endangered wildlife. A stunning set from legendary Queen guitarist, Dr Brian May and singer Kerry Ellis – which included the premier of Brian’s launch video for Cecil’s Law and an acoustic version of Crazy Little Thing Called Love – was followed on the big screen by a heartfelt appeal from former Spice Girl, Melanie C, for everyone to play their part to help save wildlife.“It was an incredible night for wildlife,” says CEO Sally Case. “The depth of support that we, as a small charity, generate illustrates just how important wildlife is to so many people and to the sustainable future of our planet and all of us, where ever we live.”Calling for supporters to be part of the generation that cares, David Shepherd’s granddaughters – the artist Emily Lamb and the Foundation’s event manager, Georgina Lamb – echoed the call for the younger generation to take up the baton to protect precious wildlife and wild spaces.Adding additional excitement to the evening were Mark King from Level 42 (who sang happy birthday to a guest raising £1,000), TV presenter and auctioneer Charlie Ross who helped command almost £60,000 in the live auction of artwork donated by the Shepherd family, British designer and supporter Elizabeth Emanuel, TV presenter Kate Silverton and Olympic gold medal winning rower Alex Gregory.