University of Maryland’s sociology professor Dr. Rashawn Ray shares insight on the verdict in George Floyd’s murder trial and what it means for meaningful change.
University of Maryland’s sociology professor Dr. Rashawn Ray shares insight on the verdict in George Floyd’s murder trial and what it means for meaningful change.
Questions are still outstanding around what Ontario will do with its AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses.
As the province starts to provide COVID-19 vaccinations for everyone aged 18 and above, Island Health's chief medical officer said he's relieved to see the number of active cases in the Vancouver Island Health region continuing to trend down. "What we are seeing is a general decrease both in south and central Island," Dr. Richard Stanwick said on CBC's On the Island on Friday. "The numbers are absolutely bang on ... and that means our contact tracers are able to make sure we get a hold of anybody who has been exposed at this point." On Friday, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Arian Dix reported 494 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C., including eight that were reported in the Vancouver Island region. The region has now recorded 4,875 cases since the pandemic began, and on Friday, there were 149 active cases, including 16 people in hospital and five in critical care. Stanwick said the warmer spring weather could be a contributing factor to the overall downward trend as more people head outside to enjoy the sun. "Fortunately, people are taking advantage of our spectacular weather and amazing things to see on the Island," he said. "So that reduces the ability of the virus to spread." He said over 400,000 vaccines have been administered to more than half of the population and approximately three per cent have received a second dose. "I think the key word ... is register, register, register," Stanwick said. "Our immunization clinics have been doing phenomenal." On Thursday, more than 11,000 people received their vaccine at the immunization clinics. Stanwick said he is advising the provincial heath office that vaccine administration for students can be done more effectively and efficiently at the larger clinics rather than at schools. "This could be a totally different approach because we've got other vaccines we would like to administer to students and we normally do that in the schools," he said, "so we may have a different program, a different look in the fall." LISTEN | Dr. Richard Stanwick talks about the number of active COVID-19 cases on CBC's On the Island.
Prince Albert police have released more details about their investigation into the death of Braden Herman. They say that on May 11, veteran RCMP officer Cpl. Bernie Herman phoned a co-worker and said he had "killed someone." He agreed to go to his co-worker's house, located just north of Prince Albert. The RCMP, whose district the house was in, were then contacted and Bernie Herman was taken into custody. On May 12, 53-year-old Bernie Herman was charged with first-degree murder. He had served on the force for 32 years. He and Braden Herman are not related but knew each other for several years, according to police. During the initial RCMP response, Bernie Herman provided information as to where police could find the victim. Police say that when they located 26-year-old Braden Herman on the edge of Prince Albert near Little Red Park, he was dead and appeared to have been shot. At that time, the Prince Albert Police Service took over the investigation. Braden Herman, 26, was found dead on the edge of Prince Albert near Little Red Park. (Braden Herman/Facebook) Investigation continues, motive unknown Braden Herman's siblings have told CBC News the 53-year-old Mountie was known to them as having a "personal" and oftentimes "controlling" relationship with their brother. Braden Herman came from Clearwater River Dene Nation and Bernie Herman comes from the neighbouring community of of La Loche. Police say they cannot confirm what weapon was used in the homicide at this time. But Prince Albert police have seized Bernie Herman's service pistol and other "use-of-force equipment." Police say he was not on duty at the time of the offence. But upon investigation it was been determined that he left work in full uniform and utility belt after finishing his shift at 5 p.m. on May 11. Police have taken statements from family members of both Bernie Herman and Braden Herman. Investigators are continuing to gather statements in order to gain insight into the nature of their relationship, as well as the possible motivation for the offence. Bernie Herman made his first court appearance on May 13. His next court appearance is expected to be on May 26.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Chicago on Sunday to show support for the Palestinian people against Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. The mass protest called for an end to U.S. support for the Israeli military, among other demands. (May 17)
VANCOUVER — A former British Columbia government cabinet minister who left politics almost a decade ago to work in the private sector says he's entering the Liberal party's leadership contest. Kevin Falcon announced his leadership bid Monday, saying he wants to rebuild, renew and rename B.C.'s Liberal Party, which has lost its way since the 2017 election. Falcon is the third candidate to enter the Feb. 5, 2022 leadership race, joining Ellis Ross, the Liberal member of the legislature for Skeena, and Gavin Dew, a Vancouver entrepreneur and former Liberal byelection candidate. Liberal transportation critic Michael Lee signalled Monday he is also preparing a leadership bid with a social media post declaring he was "ready to run." Falcon, a former B.C. finance, health and transportation minister, says he left politics in 2013 to spend more time with his young family, but he's now seeking the leadership to protect both his family's and the province's future from what he says is NDP mismanagement. Falcon, first elected in Surrey-Cloverdale in 2001, is making his second bid for party leader after being defeated by former leader Christy Clark in 2011. "My belief is if you share our principles of a private sector driven economy, generating sufficient revenues to support first-class public services, then you ought to be part of our party regardless of your sexual orientation, regardless of your gender, regardless of your ethnic or socio-economic background," says Falcon. "I'm just genuinely really concerned about the direction the NDP is going in," he says in an interview. "They're just essentially reprising their playbook from the 1990s and I know where that's going to lead and I'm very concerned about it." This report by The Canadian Press was first published Monday, May 17, 2021. The Canadian Press
A controversial Quebec singer who used his platform to share conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and HIV/AIDS, has died. Bernard Lachance, originally from Montmagny, Quebec, garnered fame for his ambitious pursuit of performing. He would rent out theatres with his own money and sell his CD and tickets to his concerts on the streets, regardless of not having any representation.
Pharmacists on Prince Edward Island are now delivering first doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Islanders 40 and over. Last week they stopped administering AstraZeneca-Oxford shots, on the direction of the province. Twelve pharmacies across P.E.I. are part of the vaccine program. "The use of AstraZeneca was suspended," Erin MacKenzie, executive director of the P.E.I. Pharmacists Association, told CBC News: Compass host Louise Martin Monday. "Any of the AstraZeneca doses that they had on hand has been returned to [the] provincial pharmacy." Pharmacies are only giving first doses of vaccines for now, and are continuing to give shots of Moderna. Moderna uptake has been good The province does have enough AstraZeneca to deliver second shots to anyone who received it in the first round, but MacKenzie said the Chief Public Health Office will let pharmacies know around the end of May whether that will happen. She said the uptake of Moderna vaccines at pharmacies has been very good, especially since those 40 and over can now book appointments either at pharmacies or through the province's mass clinics. She said she is excited to hear pharmacies will be getting more Moderna delivered by the end of this week. Watch for online bookings at pharmacies to open up soon as the vaccine supply arrives, she said. She said pharmacists are getting a lot of questions about which vaccines are best, but she believes they are all safe and people should get vaccinated as soon as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19. More from CBC P.E.I.
BEIJING (Reuters) -China will tread carefully in relaxing its birth policies for fear of harming social stability, even as the latest census highlights the urgency to address the country's declining birth trends and ageing population, policy sources said. Expectations for birth policy reforms are rising after the 2020 census last week showed China's population grew at its slowest in the last decade since the 1950s as births declined and ageing accelerated. A fertility rate of 1.3 children per woman in 2020, on par with ageing societies like Japan and Italy, underscores the risk for China: the world's second-biggest economy may already be in irreversible population decline without having first accumulated the household wealth of G7 nations.
OTTAWA (Reuters) -Canadian home sales, prices and starts all fell in April compared with the previous month, as some of the frenzy of recent months began to unwind, though activity remains strong, data showed on Monday. Canadian home sales fell 12.5% in April from March, while the average selling price was down 2.9% in April from the previous month, according to data from the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Housing starts, meanwhile, fell 19.8% in April compared with March on a sharp decline in multiple urban starts, though starts remain well above pre-pandemic levels, separate data from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) showed.
As the United States searches for a path back to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, it is tiptoeing through a minefield laid by former U.S. President Donald Trump. The mines are Iran-related sanctions Trump imposed on more than 700 entities and people, according to a Reuters tally of U.S. Treasury actions, after he abandoned the nuclear deal and restored all the sanctions it had removed. Among these, Trump blacklisted about two dozen institutions vital to Iran's economy, including its central bank and national oil company, using U.S. laws designed to punish foreign actors for supporting terrorism or weapons proliferation.
Schooling Under Stress: CBC News sent a questionnaire to thousands of education professionals to find out how they and their students are doing in this extraordinary school year. Nearly 9,500 educators responded. A pandemic-marred school year is entering its final weeks and for many B.C. teachers the question now is how it will impact students, academically and psychologically. According to responses to CBC News's Schooling Under Stress questionnaire from over 1,500 B.C. educators, including 1,100 classroom teachers, the long-term effects on students are a major concern and teachers badly want help so the pandemic does not limit their students' futures. "Student needs are ever-increasing. There are more students displaying signs of trauma," wrote one B.C. respondent. "I feel overwhelmed and I do not see things improving for next year." Questionnaire sent to Surrey, Nanaimo, Kelowna CBC sent the questionnaire to 52,351 email addresses of school workers in eight provinces, across nearly 200 school districts. Email addresses were scraped from school websites that publicly listed them. The questionnaire was sent using SurveyMonkey. CBC chose provinces and school districts based on interest by regional CBC bureaus and availability of email addresses. As such, this questionnaire is not a representative survey of educators in Canada. None of the questions were mandatory, and not all respondents answered all of the questions. Almost three-quarters of B.C. respondents to the questionnaire — sent to educators in the Surrey, Nanaimo and Kelowna school districts — somewhat or strongly agreed that with the pandemic school year experience in mind, some students will not catch up academically. About half said fewer students are meeting learning objectives. Half said their students were a bit behind schedule and one-quarter said their students were far behind schedule. Nine out of 10 agreed that the challenges of the pandemic year would have a psychological impact on some students. "Worried for my students' well-being, learning and progress," another respondent wrote. "I am doing my best and it is just hard seeing students stressed, their potential hampered with this pandemic, and joy limited." CBC spoke to several respondent teachers who said that while some students may be permanently affected by the pandemic, most will overcome it. They want more support for students and teachers so fewer slip through the cracks. 'Academics and mental health are hugely connected' At Peace Arch Elementary School in Surrey, French immersion teacher Rachael Froese said academic problems were apparent back in September. Most kids had been away from in-person school for about five months and skills like oral French were especially poor. "We really had to work on that, especially at the beginning of the year," Froese said. Most students were able to catch up but stress and anxiety, especially those from less stable homes, was common. "Academics and mental health are hugely connected," she said. Teacher Rachael Froese said the individual situations of kids — especially the stability of their home lives — has influenced how successful they've been during this school year.(Maggie MacPherson/CBC) "They need to feel safe. They need to feel secure. They need to feel respected. They need to feel loved … if they're too busy trying to work out how to get those needs met they're not really able to be present in class." North Surrey social studies teacher Mark Bomba said his focus, more than other years, has been preparing his high school students for university. That and the demands of a sometimes-online, sometimes-in-person school year has meant students have had to mature quickly. "We've seen some amazing students who are ... resilient," he said. "But it's also exacerbated a lot of problems." Teacher Mark Bomba said his biggest concern is for students in grades 10 and 11, who are preparing for university. (Maggie MacPherson/CBC) One of those problems is that he's not seeing some students in person. Over two-thirds of CBC's questionnaire respondents agreed that some students have stopped coming to class entirely, which may lead to learning gaps going forward, especially for post-secondary ambitions. "Some students you just don't hear from and nothing gets handed in," Bomba said. Christina Smith, who teaches English and social studies online at Lord Tweedsmuir secondary, is also concerned about becoming disconnected from her students, especially because it's been more difficult to see who is struggling with their mental health. "A lot of students that I have talked to are feeling overwhelmed with concerns about their family, concerns about their health, concerns about their learning," Smith said. Teacher Christina Smith, who teaches English and social studies online at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary in Surrey, B.C., is concerned students will suffer poorer learning outcomes following the stress of the pandemic.(Submitted by Christina Smith) "They're really struggling to be able to manage a load that is, quite honestly, very difficult for adults to manage right now and that I think is going to have long term effects." She's concerned that for some students, a poorer school experience now could lead to fewer opportunities later in life, less desire to pursue life-long learning and create less engaged citizens. Minister evaluating needs Froese, Bomba and Smith were optimistic most students would overcome this year's challenges but some — likely those already at-risk — might not. The teachers want more support: counsellors to help students' mental health; support teachers to work with them on the gaps in their learning; and training and professional development for teachers. Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside said she is looking at what gaps have emerged or become more pronounced during the pandemic. Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside said keeping schools open during the pandemic has been important for young peoples' mental health.(Belle Puri/CBC) "There were pre-existing needs before COVID and we know that those needs will be likely increased as we try to return to a more normal state in September," Whiteside said. "We're certainly looking at what those needs are." Discussions are ongoing for what summer programs and September will look like, she said. She highlighted $56 million in spending from the latest provincial budget for child and youth mental health teams. Smith believes with more help for at-risk students, more will rise above this challenging year. "It's not going to destroy a generation of children," she said. "Students are really resilient and teachers really care about them." CBC Vancouver's Impact Team investigates and reports on stories that impact people in their local community and strives to hold individuals, institutions and organizations to account. If you have a story for us, email email@example.com. If you're experiencing suicidal thoughts or having a mental health crisis, there is help out there: In Quebec (French): Association Québécoise de prévention du suicide: 1-866-APPELLE (1-866-277-3553) Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention: Find a 24-hour crisis centre
Calgary police have released surveillance images of a suspect after several people were robbed on the street by an armed man in the downtown core last week. Police say nine robberies or attempted robberies happened from May 10 to May 12 in the core, mostly on the LRT platforms or along Eighth Avenue S.W. One incident happened in the Beltline near 12th Avenue and 11th Street S.W. "In each instance, a man approaches a female victim, shows a knife and then robs the victim of cash, their wallet or their purse," police said in a release. The culprit has been described as being in his early 20s, five foot six to five foot seven with a slim build and distinctive light blue to grey eyes. He was wearing dark clothing with his face and head covered during the robberies. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 403-266-1234 or contact Crime Stoppers.
CALGARY — A Calgary mayoralty candidate and a pastor who were both arrested for allegedly violating COVID-19 laws over the weekend were released from custody Monday pending future court appearances. Calgary police allege Kevin J. Johnston, who is running in this fall's municipal election and has been a vocal supporter of anti-lockdown protests, was in violation of a court order when he attended illegal gatherings Saturday. An injunction obtained by Alberta Health Services on May 6 mandates that event organizers comply with public health restrictions, including masking, physical distancing and attendance limits. The Court of Queen's Bench also imposed a restraining order on Johnston last week. It required that he stay at least 100 metres away from health officers and not publish any threats or hate speech directed at them. Johnston's lawyer asked the court if his client's interim release would preclude him from continuing to campaign for mayor. He was assured it would not. "From AHS' interests, as long as there is compliance with the two orders enjoining conduct, it doesn't matter to us what Mr. Johnston does or doesn't do," said Mark Jackson, who was representing Alberta Health Services, the agency that delivers healthcare in Alberta. Johnston has appeared regularly online, promoting far-right ideology, and AHS has said he has been aggressive and threatening towards two particular health workers as well as to its general workforce. He expressed concern from the prisoner's docket Monday about being required to wear a mask. "I simply cannot wear a mask. I'm already feeling the anxiety of this right now and I'm sweating. I'm bothered by having to have this on. I could not possibly wear a mask for that entire amount of time," he told the court. Johnston has been ordered to return to court June 16 to deal with contempt charges for violating the directive. About 20 people, meanwhile, gathered outside the Calgary court in support of Pastor Tim Stephens, who was arrested Sunday for organizing a church service at Fairview Baptist Church. Police allege the service did not comply with public health orders. Holding signs that said "Free Pastor Tim" the supporters prayed and sang hymns prior to the court appearance. Police said they received repeated calls from concerned citizens about services at Fairview Baptist Church in recent weeks, and that Stephens was proactively served a copy of the May 6 order last weekend. But his lawyer said the order has been modified by a judge, which narrows its scope, and Stephens was not in violation. "The effect of that amendment to our understanding was essentially that the May 6 order would only be applicable to the respondents and people who were under their direction. That would not include Mr. Stephens," said Leighton Grey. The contempt matter will also be heard June 16. Edmonton Justice Adam Germain said he has been directed to deal with all matters related to violations of the COVID-19 court orders. "The reality may be there are going to be other arrests in the Calgary area and elsewhere and that I may see the same personnel appearing in front of me," Germain said. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2021. Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
BRDO, Slovenia (AP) — Serbia and Kosovo clashed Monday at a summit of Western Balkan nations over state border changes, a thorny issue in a region that is still recuperating from bloody civil wars in the 1990s. The largely ceremonial annual gathering in Slovenia of the presidents of two EU-member states, Slovenia and Croatia, with leaders of six Balkan nations that formally seek membership in the bloc was to adopt a resolution that calls for unchangeability of the existing borders in the region. However, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic rejected such a wording in the resolution because it would indirectly mean that Serbia recognizes the borders of its former breakaway province of Kosovo, which unilaterally declared independence in 2008. He has proposed that only the borders recognized by the United Nations be declared as fixed. Kosovo, which is not an UN member, has been recognized by the United States and most of the West, while Serbia and its allies Russia and China refuse to do that. Kosovo “would like to interpret the borders as it wishes, or like a part of the world has already done,” Vucic told reporters after the meeting in the Slovenian resort of Brdo. Kosovo “did not want to talk about the U.N. at any price … for us to accept anything like that is absolutely impossible,” he said. In her speech at the summit, Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani said she wants to be “loud and clear: The Republic of Kosovo as a sovereign and independent country is a permanent project.” “There is nothing and no one that can reverse this reality. Dangerous adventures on border changes should be resolutely rejected by all of us, if we truly desire peace and stability in our region,” she said. The clash at the summit came several weeks after the publishing of a document allegedly drafted by the Slovenia's populist Prime Minister Janez Jansa, which proposed border changes across the Western Balkans. That is something highly controversial, because such attempts to forcefully change borders between former Yugoslav nations triggered the worst carnage in Europe since World War II. Jansa reluctantly denied that he was the author of the document handed over to the EU that triggered the political storm. The alleged “non-paper” was reportedly intended to settle lingering ethnic tensions by forming nearly ethnically pure states and thus help the Western Balkan nations in their long-term goal of joining the 27-nation European Union. The summit's hosts, Slovenian President Borut Pahor and Croatian President Zoran Milanovic, said a “compromise” wording was adopted in a joint statement by the participants that reaffirmed their commitment to EU enlargement. “There were many differences, voices were raised,” Pahor said. “But in the end we signed a document with which I’m very happy.” The meeting, marking the 10th anniversary of the initiative, was attended by the leaders of Slovenia, Croatia, Albania, Montenegro, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Serbia and Bosnia. The in-person gathering was postponed twice last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. ___ Dusan Stojanovic and Jovana Gec in Belgrade, Serbia, and Llazar Semini in Tirana, Albania contributed. Darko Bandic, The Associated Press
BEIJING (AP) — China on Monday renewed calls for the U.S. to play a constructive role in ending the conflict in Gaza and stop blocking efforts at the United Nations to demand an end to the bloodshed. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said China, as rotating head of the Security Council, has urged a cease-fire and the provision of humanitarian assistance, among other proposals, but that obstruction by “one country” has prevented the council from speaking with one voice. “We call on the United States to assume its due responsibility and take an impartial position to support the council and play its due role in cooling down the situation and rebuilding trust for a political solution,” Zhao said at a daily briefing. At an emergency high-level meeting of the Security Council on Sunday, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on the U.S. to join the 14 other council members and support a statement urging a halt to the violence and reaffirming support for a two-state solution to the decades old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Wang, who chaired the virtual meeting, said the “dangerous and urgent” situation calls for an immediate cease-fire. “The international community must take action right now and make further efforts to avert a deterioration of the situation, prevent the region from backsliding to turbulence, and protect peoples’ lives,” he said. Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao said Monday that China “strongly condemns” violence against civilians and calls for an end to air strikes, ground attacks, rocket fire and “other actions that aggravate the situation.”. Israel should “exercise restraint, effectively comply with the relevant United Nations resolutions, stop demolishing Palestinian people’s houses, stop expelling Palestinian people and stop expanding its settlement program, stop threats of violence and provocations against Muslims, and maintain and respect the historical status quo of Jerusalem as a religious holy site,” Zhao said. Calls have grown for the Biden administration to take a more active stance on the Israeli-Palestinian violence. Thus far, the United States, Israel’s closest ally, has blocked efforts by China, Norway and Tunisia to get the Security Council to issue a statement, including a call for a cessation of hostilities. China has long portrayed itself as a strong supporter of the Palestinian cause, while building closer political, economic and military links with Israel. Wang told the council that “China will scale-up efforts to promote peace talks” and he reaffirmed Beijing’s invitation “to Palestinian and Israeli peace advocates to continue their dialogue in China.” He welcomed “representatives of the two sides to come to China for direct negotiations.” The Associated Press
Karine Spénard, the coroner investigating the death of Candida Macarine at the Lakeshore General Hospital in Montreal's West Island in February, has stepped aside after Macarine's family suggested she was in a conflict of interest. Macarine was found dead on the floor of a negative pressure isolation room in the emergency room at the hospital Feb. 27, a few hours after being admitted. Nurses had repeatedly warned managers it was difficult to monitor patients in the room because of visibility problems. The hospital did not tell Macarine's family about the circumstances of her death, which they only learned of two weeks later after seeing a CBC story. The family was hoping the coroner's investigation would finally bring some answers, but at a news conference Monday morning they said they were worried about Spénard's ability to look at the case impartially. Spénard's profile on LinkedIn shows that directly before she joined the coroner's office in 2017, she was the head of legal affairs for the CIUSSS de l'Ouest de l'Île de Montréal, the health agency that oversees the Lakeshore. "We are concerned that with the possible conflict of interest, the coroner's investigation will not shed light on all the facts and circumstances of my mom's death," Gilda Macarine, Candida Macarine's daughter told the news conference. Coroner steps aside Late Monday, Jake-Lamotta Granato, a spokesperson for the coroner's office, told CBC in an email that while the chief coroner still has full confidence in Spénard, she's no longer on the case. "She hasn't been an employee of the CIUSSS for several years. She has all the independence necessary to carry out this investigation," Lamotta-Granato said. Karine Spénard asked the Chief Coroner Monday to appoint another coroner to the case, saying she had lost the trust of the family.(LinkedIn) "However, as Ms. Macarine's family members withdrew their trust in Coroner Spénard, the latter requested that the investigation of the death be transferred to another coroner," Lamotta-Granato said. "The Chief Coroner accepted his request and a new coroner will be appointed to pursue the case," he added. Important to 'rebuild confidence' Emmanuelle Marceau, associate professor at Université de Montréal's school of public health, told CBC that while Spénard wasn't in a direct conflict of interest, it's probably best that a new coroner will be appointed. "Considering that the person (Spénard) was at the job for a certain number of years, maybe she made connections, she knows people internally, so perhaps she might not have been able to lead this investigation in the most objective fashion," Marceau said. "In situations where people have lost a loved one, and where they've lost confidence in the system, they have doubts because they don't understand what happened, there's miscommunication, it's important to rebuild that confidence," Marceau said. "It's important for this family, but also for Quebec society, to maintain confidence in our CIUSSSes and our health-care system," she added.
Vancouver police have released the names and photos of six known gangsters they believe pose a significant risk to residents as the Lower Mainland gang war continues to claim victims and play out during the daytime in busy public places. Vancouver police Chief Const. Adam Palmer said the men are being identified because, according to police intelligence, they are the most likely next targets of rival gangs and a danger to anyone who happens to be nearby. "I want to make it clear that today's announcement is not about naming and shaming," he said on Monday. "We are providing these photos and names so Vancouverites can know them and take steps to ensure their own safety and safety of friends and family." The Lower Mainland has recorded 20 gang-related homicides in 2021 and 20 gang-related attempted murders. In the past three weeks alone, seven men tied to gangs have been shot dead in public settings that include Vancouver International Airport, a recreation centre, a community park, a mall parking lot and outside shops and restaurants. The men identified by the VPD are Garinder Deo, 35; Harjit Deo, 38; Barinder Dhaliwal, 38; Meninder Dhaliwal, 28; Ekene Anigbo, 22; and Damion Ryan, 41. 2015 murder attempt Ryan, a full-patch member of the Hells Angels, was the target of a wild 2015 murder attempt at the Vancouver airport food court, carried out by a teen disguised in a black burka. Would-be killer Knowah Ferguson was from Ontario, had no previous criminal record and was promised $200,000 for the hit. WATCH | Surveillance video shows failed assassination of Hells Angels member: Security video played at his trial shows a burka-clad Ferguson walking up to Ryan and putting a gun to his head. The gun jams and both men flee. The 18-year-old was later sentenced to seven years in prison for attempted murder and four years for conspiracy. Palmer said neither Ryan nor the other five men identified on Monday are currently wanted by police. He said releasing their names is in the interest of public safety, similar to when police release the name and photo of a sex offender who has moved into the community. "[The six] not only pose a risk to friends, family and acquaintances, but also to people who don't even know them every time they go to the gym, go shopping, to the grocery store, to a restaurant or a bar, when bars are open." Palmer said he expects other police agencies to follow Vancouver's lead and release more names and photos of gang members in their jurisdictions. He said the VPD is deploying a suite of overt and covert operations in an attempt to tamp down the violence and that officers would be seizing gang members' cars, homes and other valuables gained through crime. RCMP officers stand near a body covered with a tarp in the parking lot of a shopping complex in Burnaby, B.C., on May 13. Police later said the victim, Jaskeert Kalkat, was connected to gangs and targeted.(Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press) A new department task force that was recently formed to react quickly to gang activity stopped a retaliation shooting last week, according to Vancouver police Supt. Lisa Byrne. Two men were arrested in a stolen car loaded with gas canisters. One of the individuals was a youth, the other had a loaded firearm. Deputy Chief Howard Chow said citizens should report any suspicious cars they notice to police. "We know gang members park stolen cars in neighbourhoods in advance of targeted hits that they later use as getaway vehicles that we find later burned," he said. Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers announced Monday that it is reviving its gang violence awareness campaign.(CBC) Earlier Monday, Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers announced it is reviving a gang violence awareness campaign thanks to new funding. The campaign encourages people with information on gangs and illegal guns to report anonymously. "If you see something, say something," said Crime Stoppers executive director Linda Annis. "We only want your information so we can pass it on to police. We do not want to know who you are." The widow of Paul Bennett, who was killed in 2018 in what police believe was a case of mistaken identity, said she is pleased the Crime Stopper guns and gang campaign is coming back. "Every arrest, every gun seized means a threat to an innocent life will be reduced," Darlene Bennett said. "Next month marks three years since Paul's life was so senselessly taken. Our lives will never be the same."
A Saskatchewan man who brutally attacked a woman and set her on fire has been denied parole. Leslie Black, 35, pleaded guilty to attempted murder in the beating, burning and sexual assault of Marlene Bird in Prince Albert, Sask., in 2014. Bird's injuries resulted in the amputation of both of her legs and the Indigenous woman also lost much of her eyesight. She died in 2017 at the age of 50 from heart, liver and kidney failure. Her death was only a few months after Black was sentenced to 16 years for the vicious assault. He was given credit of four years, eight months for time already served, so faced just over 11 years in prison. “Your actions were unpredictable, brutal and indifferent,” said a decision released Monday by the Parole Board of Canada. Black told a parole board hearing last week that the attack on Bird happened around the anniversary of his own mother’s murder and he’d been drinking more frequently. He didn’t know Bird and told the board the sexual assault was “out of the blue.” After setting Bird’s shirt on fire, Black left the woman in flames and went to a store to get candy. He walked past Bird again, who was still on fire, and ignored her. Bird was found several hours later with burns so severe her facial bones were exposed. Black told the hearing that the decision to light Bird on fire “just happened” because he had a lighter in his coat pocket. He told the parole board that he prayed with an elder for Bird and her family when he learned of her death. The board’s decision said Black still shows “limited insight into the underlying factors that allowed (him) to engage in this level of violence.” Black has continued to have issues with violence behind bars, including fights with other inmates and weapons found in his cell, the board said. “Your inability to follow institutional rules raises concerns for the board about your ability and willingness to abide by conditions in the community." Psychological assessments presented at the hearing said Black presents a risk for future sexual offences and suggested any form of conditional release would be premature. After Black was sentenced, Bird, a member of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation, said she thought she “could forgive him” but friends said she was upset by the length of his incarceration. “I’m doing my best, because my mom told me to forgive people that do wrong,” Bird said at the time. This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2021. Kelly Geraldine Malone, The Canadian Press
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has barred his cabinet from talking about the South China Sea in public, but said the gag order did not mean the country was wavering in its defence of its sovereign rights. His decision follows weeks of strong rebukes of China by his ministers over the presence of hundreds of fishing vessels in the Philippines' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), fuelling tensions that have gone against Duterte's policy of rapprochement and non-confrontation with Beijing. "This is my order now to the cabinet, and to all and sundry talking for the government, to refrain from discussing the West Philippine Sea with anybody," Duterte said in a televised address, using the local name for its EEZ.
The Yukon government has delivered on one of its promises to the NDP — a residential rent cap that came into effect over the weekend. The move has already drawn fire from the opposition Yukon Party, and some landlords who say they won't be able to afford their properties anymore. The cap came into effect on Saturday, and it limits any residential rent increases this year to one per cent, which is the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Whitehorse in 2020. The percentage will be reviewed each year after the CPI is published. Housing was a central focus of the NDP's campaign platform this spring, and the party later made a rent cap a condition in their agreement to prop up the Liberals' minority government until at least 2023. Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn said the Liberals didn't support rent caps during the election campaign, but a deal's a deal. 'We're going to honour the agreement we signed with [the NDP],' said Richard Mostyn, Yukon's minister of Community Services.(Jane Sponagle/CBC) "Yukoners have spoken. They want us to work together with the New Democratic caucus. The New Democratic caucus wants a rental cap," Mostyn said. "We're going to honour the agreement we signed with them." 'I'm going to keep falling behind' The rent cap is already proving unpopular with some residential landlords. Louisa Williams says it's the "catalyst" for her selling her rental property. She bought a two-bedroom condo in Whitehorse two years ago as part of her retirement plan, and she's been renting it out for $1,600 per month. Now, she doesn't feel like she can afford to keep it any longer. "I'm going to be losing the small profit margin I had, because of the rent freeze. I am not going to be able to keep up with the fixed and variable costs that are being imposed. So I'm going to keep falling behind," she said. Williams is not evicting her tenants — she said they were already moving out. Now she'll take the opportunity to sell the place. Costs are going up all the time, she says, and rent is the only way to help cover those costs. "To make it fair, I think the government should impose a freeze on electrical fees, on Northwestel fees, on oil and renewable energy and on anything else, like insurance. So a freeze on all that, just like the rent, and then it would be fine, [it] would all equal itself out," Williams said. Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon said the rent cap is simply bad policy, and it's not going to improve Yukon's housing market for anybody. "It's going to result in fewer people wanting to be landlords, and therefore fewer rental properties, and fewer rental properties means fewer options for people in the housing market," Dixon said. Dixon also called the introduction of the rent cap a "masterclass in poor governance and bad policy-making." 'It's been messy, it's been ugly,' said Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon.(Mike Rudyk/CBC) "I mean, nobody seems to know what's going on ... there's been absolutely no communication with the public, there's been no consultation, there's no implementation plan, no communication plan. It's been, quite frankly, terrible," Dixon said, just before the change came into effect. "It's been messy, it's been ugly. And unfortunately, it's going to result in a whole lot of negative implications for our housing market." Tenants are relieved, says NDP leader NDP Leader Kate White dismisses the doomsaying. She says she's heard from landlords who are concerned about the change — but she's also heard from tenants. White argues that vulnerable tenants are rarely as outspoken as landlords, and don't have any sort of organization comparable to the Yukon Residential Landlords' Association. "I can tell you that I have heard from tenants who are relieved because those increases that they were facing are not going to come into effect right now," White said. White says the rent cap is in place until 2023, allowing plenty of time for the government to review it and also plan and consult about any long-term changes to rental legislation. White said it was important to do something now, and not wait to consult. "If there's a tenant right now facing a $300-a-month increase, and there's no flexibility around that, do they have the time to wait for that consultation? And my answer is no," White said. "Right now, this is a measure of protection and it's in place for 20 months."