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25 years of pride in Regina – Regina

REGINA –Twenty-five years ago, the City of Regina was a much different place for people part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

“We have certainly come a long way,” said Evanna Simpson, who was involved with planning Regina’s first pride festival in 1989. “People wouldn’t come because they said, ‘no we can’t be seen in public’.”

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In June of 1989, City Council voted 6-4 in favour of recognizing pride weekend but some councillors tried to rescind that proclamation after they reported receiving death threats. In 1990, Regina’s police chief refused to issue a parade permit but the march went forward on the sidewalk.

“It’s just how much things have changed and the wonderful thing about that is that’s exactly what we were working for and in those days we thought it would never happen,” said Simpson.

However, pride parades in Regina were still accompanied by protests only 14 years ago, which is a struggle Jett Brewer said he understands.

“Myself, I was kicked out of my church and things like that for being a lesbian at the time and trying to find those supports was very difficult,” said Brewer with TransSask Support Services. “Now we’ve got all kinds of grassroots organizations and individuals trying to provide the supports that are needed.”

In one of the most symbolic gestures at this year’s festival, Michael Fougere became the first Regina mayor to raise the pride flag.

“It’s about time,” said Mayor Fougere. “I speak on behalf of City Council and we’re all very proud by the presence of other members of council here as well to say that we support the community.”

The pride flag will fly in front of City Hall for the reminder of the week and the parade will travel through downtown on Saturday.

Queen City Pride events are being held all the week.

Suspect in Los Angeles high-speed pursuit in custody after chase, armed standoff with police – National

LOS ANGELES – Police have captured a wanted man who climbed onto rooftops in a Los Angeles neighbourhood while armed with a rifle after a freeway chase Monday, and then barricaded himself in a home for several hours. The incident prompted authorities to shut down nearby freeway on-ramps, lock down schools and evacuate at least one as police waited him out, authorities said.

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Five hours after the chase began, Special Weapons and Tactics officers fired a gas into the home, and television reports showed the suspect walking out with his hands up and lying face-down on the grass in the backyard of a home with his hands behind his head and two dogs nearby. Seven SWAT officers converged to take him into custody.

Prosecutors identified the suspect as 41-year-old Nolan Perez. A felony complaint for an arrest warrant says Perez was charged with seven felony counts including stalking and criminal threats against his ex-girlfriend between May 19 and June 6.

Perez has multiple prior convictions including for domestic violence, negligent discharge of a firearm and firearm possession as a felon, prosecutors said.

The chase began about 10:15 a.m. when police tried to arrest Perez on that warrant. But he drove off in his red Nissan Altima, leading to a 45-minute high-speed chase along several freeways that ended in North Hollywood, police said.

The suspect was dressed in white and carrying what appeared to be an assault-style rifle. He pointed the rifle at his pursuers several times during the chase, but police were investigating whether he fired it, Cmdr. Andy Smith said.

The man walked through several backyards and at one point climbed onto a roof, jumping from one to another, pacing along the spine and stopping to lean on the rifle multiple times, before climbing down and entering a home, police said. He was believed to be alone inside, Smith said.

Several blocks of the area were sealed off, nearby homes evacuated and a SWAT team called in.

About a half-dozen schools were locked down. Most schools are out of session for summer, but two campuses had a total of about 135 students who would be picked up by their parents, authorities said.

Shortly before 2 p.m., dozens of students from a nearby private school were evacuated to a park to meet their parents, holding hands, lugging backpacks and walking under a freeway overpass. Police guarded them. All lockdowns were lifted about four hours into the standoff, Smith said.

©2014The Canadian Press

Why you can’t see OPP’s gas plant scandal documents before the election – Toronto

Ontario Provincial Police made headlines last week when they sought documents from Queen’s Park staff as part of their investigation into gas plant emails.

Global News and several other media organizations have been trying to get the informations police filed to obtain those production orders and get the documents.

But no luck so far, and not because of a secretive sealing order.

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  • Hudak says Wynne abandoned principles with gas plants cancellations

    Wynne says she’s not surprised by OPP request for documents in gas plant scandal

  • OPP seek documents from Queen’s Park in gas plant investigation

The court documents are unsealed, which is unusual: Often, it can take weeks or months of negotiation between Crown, defence and media lawyers before these documents see the light of day  – even though they should be public by default.

This time, the holdup’s administrative: The documents will be available once police file paperwork cataloguing the information they got  – and that likely won’t happen until June 19, a week after Thursday’s election. (Queen’s Park staff were given 10 days to produce the required documentation)

“This is the way it should be: It should be inaccessible for a short time, for practical reasons, and then it should be unsealed,” said lawyer Iain MacKinnon, who is acting on the news organizations’ behalf.

“It was actually kind of a pleasant surprise. … It is unusual, yes, but unusual in a good way.”

IN DEPTH: Ontario election 2014

The gas plant scandal has been a recurring theme of this election, as Progressive Conservative leader Tim Hudak and NDP leader Andrea Horwath have slammed Premier Kathleen Wynne over the way the plants’ costly last-minute cancellation in 2011 was handled and disclosed. Wynne, for her part, has emphasized that this was her predecessor Dalton McGuinty”s decision and that she’s really sorry – but she’s had trouble changing the channel to focus on her solutions to present challenges facing the province.

Last week’s OPP document search at Queen’s Park put the issue into the public mind all over again and prompted the Liberals to emphasize that no one in Wynne’s office or her cabinet is under investigation.

Whatever police were looking for, voters will have to make up their minds not knowing precisely what it was.

Follow @amp6

Consumers about to get protection from spam email

CALGARY – Consumers should start seeing fewer spam emails popping up in their inbox when a new anti-spam law takes effect on July 1.

That’s when any business that sends emails, texts or electronic voice messages that include offers to purchase, sell or lease a product, must have your permission ahead of time.

The new law also includes offers of a business, investment or gaming opportunity.

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  • Disturbing online spam showing up in Southern Alberta

Thousands of Calgary businesses are scrambling to beat the deadline for the anti-spam law and are busy sending out consent forms to everyone on their contact lists to secure their permission.

“Everything we do today links back to this new legislation,” says Amish Morjaria of Forward Level Marketing. “So we have to become compliant in order to communicate with our prospects with our clients on a daily basis.”

Sending an email, text or voice message to someone who didn’t request it, can lead to fines in the millions of dollars.

READ MORE: CRTC says anti-spam law will be hard to police

“It affects an awful lot of businesses”, says Sandra McKee-Crozier of the Better Business Bureau. “It affects non- profits. It affects businesses and the fines are extremely heavy. So it’s a bill that has a lot of teeth.”

While the new law should help curb spam originating in Canada, it’s a different story if the spam comes from outside the country.

“Unfortunately there’s very little that can be done about those spammers that are outside of our national borders,” says lawyer Samantha Kernahan.

Click here for more details of the anti-spam legislation. 

75-year-old Rossland man murdered and items stolen from his home

WATCH: A 75 year old Rossland man in dead, his family pleading for any information. Aaron McArthur reports.

VANCOUVER – The community of Rossland is in mourning after a long-time resident was found dead in his home.

Seventy-five-year-old Thomas Feeney was found dead on Thursday, June 5, at about 11 a.m. at his home on Feeney Road near Rossland.

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On Monday, Supt. Tim Head, acting district officer – Southeast District, made an appeal to the public for information related to Feeney’s death and to find the items stolen from his home.

“I would like to take this opportunity to express my condolences to Tom’s family, in particular his son – Tom Feeney and son-in-law – Colin Lohrer– who are here today. On behalf of the RCMP, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you deal with this tragic loss,” says Head in a statement.

He says this appears to be a “break-and-enter type incident that ended in a violent and disturbing homicide.”

This does appear to be a random incident. “We know that crimes of this nature, especially one involving a great man, like Tom Feeney, is disturbing,” says Head. “I would like to assure the public that this is a priority investigation and any and all resources needed to identify the individual or individuals responsible are in place.”

A number of items are missing from Feeney’s home and police are releasing photos in the hopes someone may have information that leads to their recovery.

An Emerson 40 1080p LCD Television

5 Firearms including a unique one described as a Pedersoli/Cimarron Arms 1874 Sharps 45-70. This is an extremely unique (rifle) – with an octagon shaped barrel and a distinctive firing mechanism and sight

5 Firearms including a unique one described as a Pedersoli/Cimarron Arms 1874 Sharps 45-70. This is an extremely unique (rifle) – with an octagon shaped barrel and a distinctive firing mechanism and sight

5 Firearms including a unique one described as a Pedersoli/Cimarron Arms 1874 Sharps 45-70. This is an extremely unique (rifle) – with an octagon shaped barrel and a distinctive firing mechanism and sight

Ammunition reloading equipment – including a very distinctive 45 calibre projectile.

Police also want any other residents who have been the victims of a break-in or an attempted break-in to contact them as they have not been able to eliminate the possibility that there is a connection with the homicide investigation.

The RCMP have also set up a dedicated tip line for the public to call with any information about these items or this homicide. Anyone can call 1-877-987-8477.

Feeney’s family has also released a statement about Tom:

My name is Colin Lohrer (Son-in-law)

I am here today – on behalf of my family – to support the RCMP’s efforts in determining who is responsible for this unthinkable crime.

Dad was born and raised in Rossland. He was a father, grandfather and great grandfather who loved to hunt and fish and enjoy the outdoors. In his younger years he loved to curl and had the opportunity to curl at the Brier. More than anything he loved to sit and tell a good story.

We are all in shock to know he has been taken away from us in such a tragic way. It has been a devastating blow to our family.

We need to know why this happened and we need the individual or individuals responsible to be identified and charged.

On behalf of the Feeney family – I would like to express that we need your help. Please have a look at the photos of the items missing from Dad’s place. If you have any information about the items or about this murder investigation – please, please, please call the Tipline and police.

We would like to thank the public and friends for their thoughts and support. While we continue to work through our unimaginable grief, we do ask for the media to respect our privacy.

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.