Monthly Archives: June 2019

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Chilliwack woman takes pictures of B.C. teachers to put a human face on labour dispute – BC

A Chilliwack photographer hopes making portraits of B.C. teachers will remind the public ‘they are not faceless.’

Thirty-one-year-old Sarah Sovereign says she was overwhelmed by the amount of negativity toward teachers on public forums since the labour dispute escalated last month.

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B.C. teachers started voting this morning on whether to increase their job action to a full-scale strike. Teachers have been engaged in rotating strikes for several weeks now.

“What I heard the most is that teachers are being represented almost like a faceless group, like a faceless entity talking about wanting more money,” says Sovereign. “I thought it would be great if I could do something to remind people that they are not faceless, that they are part of our community. I think everybody knows a teacher.”

So she started a Facebook group and received a lot of feedback from teachers wanting to take part in her project.

Sovereign says she is directly affected. Her mother is a teacher, and she has taken education courses that gave her a perspective on the class size and composition issues that the teachers’ union keeps bringing up.

She’s taken 30 photos already, and the reaction has been mostly positive.

“I am excited about how much support it has created for teachers. I think I’ve been surprised about how popular it’s been. It started off as something very small and personal.”

She says she met dozens of teachers through the project and got to hear their stories.

“I hear stories about what life is like with a lockout. I am hearing how it is affecting them personally, and I think it reflects well on the project itself,” she says.

Sovereign plans to expand her project into other municipalities on the Lower Mainland and get more teachers involved in her project.

To view Sovereign’s work, go here.

Aaliyah biopic to be shot in Toronto – Toronto

TORONTO — A TV movie about the late R&B singer Aaliyah will be shot in Toronto, Global News has learned.

Cameras are scheduled to roll on the biopic, Aaliyah: Princess of R&B, from July 2 to 31.

The independent project will be based out of Dufferin Gate Productions and directed by Bradley Walsh (The Listener, Beauty and the Beast), who helmed the 2010 TV movie Turn the Beat Around.

Producers have not announced who will be cast in the title role but sources said Canadian singer Keshia Chanté is a likely choice.

A rep for the Ottawa-born singer could not be reached but late last month Chanté seemed to confirm on 桑拿会所 that she had auditioned for the role.

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Chanté, 25, is a Juno-winning recording artist who released three albums in Canada and currently hosts the BET series 106 & Park in New York City.

She has had some acting experience, including a guest role on the made-in-Toronto series Da Kink in My Hair in 2007 and the lead role in the Halifax-shot 2008 drama Soul.

Other actresses who were reportedly considered for the coveted role include Bria Murphy and Tristan Mays.

The family of Aaliyah, whose full name was Aaliyah Haughton, has objected to production of a biopic for several years.

Aaliyah was 22 when she and eight other people were killed in a plane crash in the Bahamas after filming a music video. The singer released three albums; collaborated with artists like Timbaland, Missy Elliott and R. Kelly; and starred in the 2000 film Romeo Must Die.

BELOW: Watch Keshia Chante perform “One In a Million” by Aaliyah.

This post has been updated.

UPDATE: Head-on crash causes delays on Highway 63 – Edmonton

EDMONTON – A serious, two-vehicle head-on collision on Highway 63 was causing traffic delays near House River on Monday afternoon.

RCMP explained that one person was airlifted to hospital in critical condition after the crash.  It involved a van and a pick-up truck that was hauling a third vehicle.

The RCMP remains on scene investigating the collision.  The cause is still being determined.

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  • Two killed in Highway 63 crash

  • UPDATE: Highway 63 reopens after fatal collision

  • Witnesses to multi-vehicle Highway 63 crash hailed as heroes

    Motorists growing increasingly concerned with dangers of Highway 63

Highway 63 has been reduced to one lane at House River, alternating traffic in both directions.  Drivers can expect delays, and were being asked to avoid the area if possible.

It is expected that the highway will be cleared in both directions by 6:30 p.m.

Earlier in the afternoon, traffic was being rerouted to Highway 881.

House River is more than 150 kilometres northeast of Edmonton.

Highway 63 – which has been dubbed the highway of death – is one of the main arteries connecting our city to Fort McMurray.

The condition of Highway 63 and its status as a two-lane road has been a major concern for many residents and workers commuting to and from the growing oilsands hub.

The province has accelerated twinning of the over 250 kilometre stretch of highway.

More to come…

Man charged with making police death threats in Moncton last month

MONCTON, N.B. – A man was charged in Moncton, N.B., on Monday with uttering a threat to cause death to peace officers, but RCMP issued a statement saying it is not connected to their investigation into the shooting deaths last week of three Mounties in the city.

A document from Moncton provincial court shows that Jasper John Stam was charged with uttering a threat in Moncton between May 10 and 18.

READ MORE: Public visitation held for fallen Mounties, funeral details released

Some media reports linked the Stam case with the investigation into the shooting deaths last week after an appearance he made in court Monday.

During his appearance, the judge reportedly ordered that Stam have no contact with the accused in shooting deaths of the three RCMP officers last Wednesday in Moncton at the request of a Crown attorney.

The public prosecution service in New Brunswick would not explain why the request was made.

Justin Bourque, 24, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of constables Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, Douglas James Larche and Dave Joseph Ross.

Bourque is also charged with two counts of attempted murder after two other officers were injured in the shootings last week Moncton.

The RCMP in New Brunswick used its 桑拿会所 account to clarify whether there is a link between the two cases, tweeting: “Jasper John Stam, charged with uttering threats to cause death to police between May 10-18, NOT CONNECTED to Moncton shooting investigation.”

A Jasper Stam is ‘friends’ with Bourque on Facebook and supported the young man in a post dated Saturday, describing him as “one of the most respectable of my friends.”

He also wrote: “he did not do anyone who deserved respect any wrong, not ever.”

The Canadian Press has not confirmed that the Jasper Stam in custody made the posts to Facebook.


©2014The Canadian Press

Province announces flood fighting help

CALGARY- Almost one year after floods devastated parts of southern Alberta, municipalities are getting some financial help from the province to protect their property from floods and other types of extreme weather.

The Alberta government announced a new grant program on Monday worth $325 million.

Municipalities, along with First Nations and Metis settlements, can apply for funds from the Alberta Community Resilience Program for projects that protect critical infrastructure.

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    Southern Alberta remembering one year after devastating flood

  • June flooding in Alberta called costliest natural disaster in Canadian history

  • Non-profit groups rebuilding from flood get help from province

“We are committed to improving Alberta’s resilience when faced with floods and drought by providing the resources needed to protect our vulnerable communities,” said Robin Campbell, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, in a media release. “Our aim is to put effective mitigation solutions in place while respecting taxpayers’ dollars.”

The program will be run on a cost-share basis and will fund projects such as berms, dykes, and riverbank stabilization.

The grants will cover 90 per cent of  the cost  up to $3 million and 70 per cent of costs over $3 million.

Municipalities have until September 30 to apply for the first round of funding.

The province is committing a total of $600 million to flood mitigation.

Does a drop in advance polls point to low voter turnout? – Toronto

TORONTO – Are the results of the advanced polls offering up a bad sign for voter turnout this year? Probably not, according to one expert.

36,940 fewer people cast a ballot in the advanced polls leading up to the 2014 Ontario general election.

A total of 566,845 people voted in advanced polls across the province.

Nelson Wiseman, a professor at the University of Toronto, said in an interview Monday that he doesn’t think voter turnout in advanced polls is necessarily indicative of turnout on election day.

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  • Ontario election: NDP bus offers a strange ride for reporters

  • Ontario election: Polls suggest tight race with just days left in campaign

  • New mandate, big headaches: Some of the challenges facing Premier Wynne

“I don’t think there’s much connection, although I am surprised because my sense is that most people will take advantage of advanced polls,” he said.

Fewer Ontarians than ever cast a ballot during the 2011 election: Only 48.2 per cent made it out to the polls, culminating a 13-year decrease in turnout. It was also the lowest voter turnout since 1867.

Wiseman doesn’t expect a high voter turnout this year either: it’s the summer and people are elsewhere.

“A lot of people are vacationing and a lot of people are just occupied by different things and that’s one of the reasons I think this election has got less traction maybe than the ones held in autumn or the very early spring,” he said.

Voters go to the polls June 12. Find details on how to vote, your riding profile and how to find your polling station.

Moncton shooting: Family of Const. Dave Ross shares goodbye message

Moncton residents will lay to rest three fallen RCMP officers in a public ceremony on Tuesday, six days after a gunman shot them in a rampage that shocked and terrified the New Brunswick city.

There have been vigils, tributes and an outpouring of grief for Constables Fabrice Gevaudan, Douglas Larche and Dave Ross, who lost their lives Wednesday night.

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Ahead of a regimental funeral for the three officers, which will be attended by thousands of police officers from across the country, the family of Const. Dave Ross, of Victoriaville, Que., has released a goodbye message via the RCMP.

READ MORE: Moncton shooting: Family of fallen officer says he ‘died a hero’

Ross’ wife Rachael and father Yvon remembered the 32-year-old as “a well-respected young man” and a “devoted and attentive father” to his son Austin.

They said it was Ross’ love of the outdoors, tracking and hunting that led him into police work.

It was also his fondness for dogs.

Ross became a police Dog Services handler and “took a lot of pride” in working with his canine partner Danny, a German Shepherd.

The family of fallen RCMP officer Const. Dave Ross said his “great love for dogs,” contributed to Ross’ decision to become a police officer.


The family statement said German Shepherds had a special role in Ross’ personal life, saying “Rachael and Dave’s relationships blossomed going for walks with Art [Ross’ first dog].”

“Art would often try to nose their hands apart because he wanted all of Dave’s attention,” the message read. “These were very special memories the couple shared. Dave loved Rachael unconditionally and he showed it every day by making sure she knew that she was the only one for him.”

Yvon Ross included a poem for his son, titled After everything he has done, he is who he is and finished the message saying “he will be forever in our hearts.”

After everything he has done, he is who he is.
Yes, a respectful son,
Yes, a responsible son,
Yes, a caring son, to Racheal and Austin.

But above all, my son, my son
Fate decided that Dave would die aged 32
What else can I add?

The Lord gave,
The Lord has taken away,
Blessed be the name of the Lord!
Goodbye my son.

WATCH: Hundreds gather to thank RCMP at emotional Moncton vigil

With files from Amanda Kelly

Premier Brad Wall reassigns Cabinet Secretary in wake of expense scandal

REGINA – There appears to be more fallout from the Sask Party’s expense scandal as one of their members has been removed from the Senior Staff.

Rick Mantey has been reassigned by Premier Brad Wall – he will no longer be the Cabinet Secretary / Usher of the Black Rod, but will now be a Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister Of Parks, Culture And Sports.

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  • Saskatchewan NDP asks for auditor review of travel costs

  • June Draude’s travel expenses raises red flag for NDP

  • June Draude says she’ll repay $3,600 car service cost

Mantey was involved in a recent expense scandal where government officials were accused by Sask. NDP of overspending, and using taxpayer money for personal costs while on business trips. Former Social Services Minister June Draude paid back $3600 spent on a car service in London, England after the expense was challenged.

Premier Brad Wall initially just put Mantey on probation for the expense scandal, but has now decided to re-assign him.

“The public deserves to know why a close advisor of Mr. Wall and one of the highest earners in government was quietly removed from his job,” said Trent Wotherspoon, Deputy Leader of the Opposition. “Were other inappropriate expenses or behavior discovered?”

Wall did not speak to Global News directly but did provide the statement below:

“Mr. Mantey will be moving to become the Special Advisor to the Deputy Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport, where he will have specific responsibilities for cultural and heritage projects.  While Mr. Mantey has served the government well as Cabinet Secretary over the past six and a half years, I was disappointed in some of the expenditure decisions he made related to the recent trips to London and Ghana.  That said, Mr. Mantey has a wealth of experience and skills that are of value to the government, so he will be moving to a position in Parks, Culture and Sport that is well suited to that skill set.”