Manitoba RCMP charge Headingley jail guard after inmate's death

Manitoba RCMP say they have laid charges against a Headingley jail guard after an inmate died there in February of 2021.

On the night of Feb. 7, 2021, there was a standoff between corrections officers and William Ahmo, 45, of Sagkeeng First Nation inside one of the jail’s common areas, said RCMP.

The prolonged standoff ended when officers eventually moved in and removed him.

Ahmo “became unresponsive following the extraction and was transported to hospital in medical distress,” said RCMP.

He died in hospital a week later.

The Chief Medical Examiner’s Office of Manitoba did an autopsy and said he died due to homicide.

“Following an extensive investigation by officers within Major Crime Services, a detailed investigative report was sent to the Manitoba Prosecution Service for opinion. The Manitoba Prosecution Service subsequently forwarded the investigative report to Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General for opinion,” said RCMP.

Robert Jeffery Morden, 43, from the RM of Rockwood, faces charges of criminal negligence causing death and failing to provide the necessities of life.

Read more:

Indigenous man dies in hospital after ‘incident’ at Headingley jail

Ahmo’s family says in a statement they have hope now that the corrections officer may be held accountable for the death.

“The RCMP has been respectful to our family through this process, and we are grateful for the professional manner that they conducted the investigation and stayed in contact with us,” Ahmo’s mother, Darlene Ahmo, said in the statement Friday.

The family also said they will be monitoring the criminal proceedings and will assist prosecutors whenever they can.

“We expect an inquest will also be announced shortly but will not begin its proceedings until after the criminal charges are dealt with,” the statement said.

“This is only the first step in a long journey to justice and accountability.”

In February, Sagkeeng First Nation chief Derrick Henderson confirmed Ahmo was a member of the First Nation, and said he was at “Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg under guard by corrections officers until his death last night.”

Henderson said they were not told the details surrounding Ahmo’s death.

“The Sagkeeng First Nation Government is committed to supporting William’s family now in the time of their terrible grief and hereafter in order to ensure that all the facts of this matter are disclosed and that justice is done,” said Henderson in a statement sent to media.

“We await the results of the RCMP investigation and demand that all necessary steps are taken immediately by Manitoba Corrections to ensure the safety and humane treatment of the inmates of correctional centres.”

“First, I wish to offer my condolences to the family and friends of William and I extend my appreciation to them and Chief Derrick Henderson, Sagkeeng First Nation for pushing for justice and an investigation into his death,” said Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Arlen Dumas.

“There have been countless deaths in all the correctional facilities in this province – both federally and provincially operated. How many more of our First Nations people must die because of the racism encountered in these so-called correctional facilities? How can the system that prides itself on protecting people, allow for so many people to die?”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Design phase of new Saskatoon central library nears completion

The vision for a new downtown Saskatoon library continues to take shape.

Saskatoon Public Library (SPL) released updated design and floor plans on Thursday.

They include an updated exterior rendering and detailed floor plans for each level.

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Carol Cooley said they are excited to have reached the final stage of the design phase.

“We’re confident this new library will reflect our diverse community and meet the wide-ranging needs of Saskatoon’s residents for decades to come,” said Cooley, chief executive of SPL.

The $134-million project remains on budget.

Two independent costs estimates indicate the design is within the $73.3-million construction budget, taking into account inflation and COVID-19-related increases, library officials said.

Another cost estimate will be undertaken at the end of the design phase, they added.

Read more:

Changes made to new Saskatoon central library design following feedback

The final design will be unveiled later this year.

A final public consultation takes place on Jan. 26 where residents can share feedback and ideas with the project team. It is being held at 7 p.m. on Zoom and people wanting to take part can register at splconnect.ca.

The schematic design report is available online at the SPL’s central library site.

The new central library is scheduled to open in 2026.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

More multiple-death fires in Ontario this year: Office of the Fire Marshal

WATCH ABOVE: A family and community are mourning the loss of three boys who were killed after a fire broke out in a townhome in Brampton. As Erica Vella reports, the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

A fire that left three boys dead in Brampton yesterday is just the latest in a string of blazes that have together claimed 15 lives across Ontario so far this month.

The Office of the Fire Marshal, which is tasked with investigating such fires in the province, says the numbers of both fatal fires and deaths have dipped compared to January of last year, but there are significantly more deaths than in January 2020.

Read more:

3 young boys dead after townhouse fire in Brampton

Deputy Fire Marshal Tim Beckett says that in January 2020, there were 10 fatal fires that left a total of 11 people dead, while in January 2021, 15 fires left 22 people dead.

Beckett says fire deaths are always more common in the colder months, but this year, the number of fires that have left more than one person dead has increased.

In addition to the Brampton fire, the OFM is investigating a blaze that left two people dead in Toronto on Wednesday night, one that left three children dead on Sandy Lake First Nation last week, and an explosion in Ottawa that killed six.

Beckett says fires are more common in the winter because people are more likely to use space heaters or smoke indoors.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

'We will arrest': Peterborough police continue to probe protests at MOH's home

The medical officer of health for Peterborough Public Health says he remains resolved following incidents of protesters twice arriving at his private residence this week.

“I think I would be lying if I said I was ‘OK’,” said Dr. Thomas Piggott during Friday’s media briefing to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more:

Protesters return to Peterborough medical officer of health’s residence

“But I’m here and doing my job and we’re doing the best we can. I know lots of health-care workers are, and our whole team is.”

Piggott was asked about two protests by individuals claiming to be advocates of anti-vaccination and/or anti-lockdowns on Saturday, Jan. 15 and on Wednesday night. Videos circulating on social media show individuals outside Piggott’s residence Wednesday night delivering a dubbed “Cease & Desist Order” letter to Piggott at his door, demanding that he stop advocating the administration of COVID-19 vaccines and what they call “ongoing crimes against humanity.”

Two people were arrested Thursday under the new federal Bill C-3 which includes a provision of offences for intimidating or obstructing health-care workers and patients from providing or receiving health care. The bill also says any offence impeding health care should be used as an “aggravating factor” during a sentencing hearing.

Peterborough Police Service Chief Scott Gilbert says as far as he’s aware, it’s the first arrests in Ontario under the new legislation which went into effect on Jan. 17, two days prior to the first gathering outside Piggott’s home in East City.

Gilbert says the incidents remain under investigation and a “number of suspects” have been identified. The police will work with the Crown’s office on how to proceed if charges — such as criminal harassment and mischief — are laid.

He says police are keeping a watchful eye on locations that may be targeted.

Under Bill C-3, if found guilty, an individual could face up to 10 years in prison, similar to a criminal harassment, he noted.

“Ignorance of the law is no excuse,” Gilbert said when a reporter inquired if the two accused were “oblivious to the new law,” as they claimed in subsequent videos following their arrests and release for future court dates.

Gilbert says he hopes Bill C-3 can be a deterrent.

“Granted some people may not want to change and may want to continue their behaviour,” he said. “At which point in time we will continue to lay charges as appropriate.”

Read more:

Peterborough politicians condemn protests outside home of medical officer of health

Gilbert said attending a health-care worker’s home and causing them fear is “just unacceptable.”

“We will arrest as necessary; we will lay charges,” he said. “And we will put you before the court.”

Peterborough County Warden J. Murray Jones joined the city’s mayor, MP and MPP in condemning the gatherings outside Piggott’s home, stating he was “disgusted with it all.”

“Give me a break — I suggest those individuals have a collective look at a great big mirror. I don’t think they’ll like what they’ll see,” said Jones.

He said the entire community is supporting Piggott and his team.

“The rest of us are doing the right thing — we’re standing behind you 100 per cent,” said Jones.

“Don’t ever feel you alone, we are with you.”

Piggott said he thanked the community, police and online (including those correcting misinformation and flagging concerns to police) for the “tremendous outpouring of support” for his team and himself in an “especially difficult time.”

“I know my team appreciates that and we continue to do the best job we can,” said Piggott.

“The remedy to violence is not more violence, the remedy is justice. The remedy to hatred is not more hatred, it’s love,” he concluded.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Canada commits $50M in effort to help Haiti rebuild from earthquake, political turmoil

Haiti’s Prime Minister Ariel Henry was rushed to safety as gunmen opened fire at an event celebrating the country’s independence. Video shows the prime minister and his entourage scrambling for cover outside the event, which marked the 218th anniversary of Haiti’s independence.

Canada is committing an additional $50 million in humanitarian aid to help embattled, poverty-racked Haiti, International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan said Friday.

Sajjan announced the new funding at the start of an online meeting convened by Canada to help the Caribbean nation, which has been roiled by unrest since the summer, when President Jovenel Moise was killed in a shooting at his house that also injured his wife.

“In line with our feminist international assistance policy, it means focusing on the empowerment of Haitian women and girls,” Sajjan said in opening remarks of the online meeting where he was joined by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly.

Read more:

Canada’s ambassador to Haiti says security needed before elections

“These projects will support security, health, economic growth, and humanitarian assistance for the people of Haiti,” Sajjan added.

The new spending will include $12 million for humanitarian services and food security for people still feeling the effects of the 7.2 magnitude earthquake last August, one month after the country was rocked by the assassination of its president.

Haiti’s National Police Academy will receive another $15 million to help “support for professional and inclusive policing,” said Sajjan.

“These projects aim to increase the participation of women in policing and increase integrity. Because we all know that when women are involved, it improves peace and security.”

In opening remarks, Trudeau spoke about the need to improve security in the Caribbean nation.

“In order to address Haiti’s humanitarian needs, we must also address the challenging security situation. The increase in violence is only worsening the already precarious humanitarian situation,” Trudeau said.

Trudeau and Joly stressed the importance of bolstering Haiti’s police in the face of rising violence and corruption.

“Clashes between armed gangs are making an already precarious humanitarian situation worse. They’re making the delivery of aid to the most vulnerable populations more difficult,” Joly said.

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry was also scheduled to speak at the virtual summit.

Joly is convening the online event while she is in the midst of a three-country European trip to talk with leaders there about the Russian military buildup on the Ukraine border.

The U.S. State Department said Thursday it was looking forward to a productive meeting with Central American leaders and Joly on the future of Haiti. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman represented the U.S. at the meeting.

On Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden said Los Angeles would play host this June to the Summit of the Americas, where leaders from across the two continents and the Caribbean gather every three years to talk about shared priorities.

The causes of — and potential solutions to — irregular migration will be a priority item on the agenda.

Migrants from Haiti and a number of Central American countries have been regularly moving northward, putting pressure on the southern border of the United States and creating widespread instability in the Western Hemisphere.

“Canada will host a ministerial meeting, and we look forward to a strong commitment from countries, both within the Americas and around the world, in support of the Haitian people,” said Brian Nichols, the assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, on Thursday.

Nichols was briefing reporters on Biden’s priorities for the Summit of the Americas, which is taking place in the U.S. for the first time since the inaugural event in Miami in 1994.

Read more:

Journalist for Montreal online radio station killed on the job in Haiti

“As we approach the summit, I expect that we will continue efforts among the nations of our hemisphere, as well as partners from around the world, to support those nations in the Americas that need more help, and Haiti’s obviously very much among them,” he said.

“I hope that the Haitian people will come together around a unified way forward that will put that nation back on the path to democracy and economic growth.”

Friday’s summit included representatives of the United Nations, the Caribbean Community, or CARICOM, the International Organisation of la Francophonie and the Organization of American States for what Global Affairs Canada describes as an attempt to co-ordinate security efforts and foster political stability and sustainable development.

Joly also confirmed Thursday that her counterpart from France, Jean-Yves Le Drian, would be in attendance, and that the pair “agreed on the importance of international collaboration to address the challenges faced by Haiti and Haitians particularly with respect to security issues.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2022.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Declared COVID-19 outbreaks in Saskatchewan

WATCH: Saskatchewan unions are banding together in a call for more restrictions as Omicron cases surge.

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) had been alerting the public about businesses that have likely been exposed to COVID-19 by an infectious person since the start of the pandemic.

According to SHA, these alerts will be issued based on the clinical discretion of the local medical health officer.

“(Alerts will be issued) when the following three key criteria are met: all contacts cannot be notified within 48 hours, there is a resulting increased risk to the public, and the direction is needed for public members in attendance to immediately self-isolate as a result of this increased risk,” the SHA said.

Here is a list of all the active COVID-19 outbreaks posted by the province as of 8 a.m. each morning, broken down by region.

Far north

North

Central

Saskatoon zone

Regina zone

South

 

Candle Lake

Dec. 26, 2021: Candle Lake Golf Resort (Convention Centre) — workplace

Cut Knife

Nov. 15, 2021: Hillsvale Hutterite Colony — communal living setting

Hafford

Jan. 17: Hafford Special Care Home — long-term care facility

Hague

Dec. 27, 2021: Hague Royals Senior Hockey Team — sports team

Lloydminster

Jan. 11: Amigo’s Nightclub and Lounge — restaurant/bar

Melfort

Jan. 17: Plus Industries — workplace

Neilburg

Jan. 7: Neilburg Pork Farm — workplace

North Battleford

Jan. 11: Child Protection Services Office — workplace

Jan. 6: U13 Battlefords Baron Provincial Hockey Team — sports team

Jan. 2: River Heights Lodge — long-term care facility

Paradise Hill

Dec. 10, 2021: Norwest Contracting — workplace

Prince Albert

Jan. 17: Victoria Hospital – Level 6 (Medicine and COVID Ward) — health facility

Jan. 14: Herb Bassett Home — long-term care facility

Jan. 10: Prince Albert Raiders Hockey Team (WHL) — sport team

Jan. 10: Prince Albert Group Home Society – McDonald Robson Home — personal care home

Jan. 10: Prince Albert Correctional Centre – Unit 5 — correctional centre

Dec. 28, 2021: CSC Saskatchewan Penitentiary — correctional centre

Nov. 5, 2021: LG Private Day Home — child care

Oct. 30, 2021: YMCA Rendalyn Home — group home

Oct. 20, 2021: The Army and Navy Centre (ANAVET) — restaurant/bar

Aug. 28, 2021: Body Mechanics Salon — workplace

Spiritwood

Dec. 29, 2021: Thompson Agencies — workplace

Weldon

Jan. 12: Weldon Country Villa — personal care home

Canora

Dec. 21, 2021: Senior Men’s Hockey Team — sports team

Humboldt

Oct. 4, 2021: Humboldt Cooperative Daycare Centre — child care

Melville

Oct. 21, 2021: Mitchell Stv’s Daycare — child care

Oct. 21, 2021: Caleb Village — assisted living facility

Norquay

Jan. 14: Norquay Health Centre LTC — long-term care facility

Preeceville

Jan. 13: Preeceville Personal Care Home — personal care home

Dec. 30, 2021: Preeceville LTC — long-term care facility

Saltcoats

Jan. 5: Lakeside Manor Care Home — long-term care facility

Spy Hill

Jan. 4: Christmas gathering at Spy Hill Curling Rink — event

Strasbourg

Sept. 27, 2021: Tiny Tots & Helping Hands — child care

Wynyard

NEW Jan. 19: Golden Acres LTC – Gold House — long-term care facility

Yorkton

Dec. 30, 2021: Yorkton Crossing — personal care home

Oct. 14, 2021: Community Connections Daycare — child care

Saskatoon

NEW Jan. 20: Interval House — group home

NEW Jan. 20: Brief and Social Detox Unit — group home

NEW Jan. 20: St. Paul’s Hospital – 6 Medicine — health facility

Jan. 19: CBI Health – Robertson Cove Location — group home

Jan. 18: Sunnyside Adventist Care Centre — long-term care facility

Jan. 18: Stonebridge Crossing Retirement Community — personal care home

Jan. 17: Porteous Lodge — long-term care facility

Jan. 17: Elmwood Residences 2012 — long-term care facility

Jan. 15: Cedar Gardens – Home House 1 — personal care home

Jan. 14: Golden Health Care Inc. Diamond House — personal care home

Jan. 11: Elmwood Residences 2413 — group home

Jan. 11: Elmwood Residences 2749 — group home

Jan. 10: Samaritan Place – Park Neighbourhood — long-term care facility

Jan. 10: Elmwood Residences 2902 — long-term care facility

Jan. 10: Parkridge Centre – Northridge 1, Southridge 1, Southridge 2 — long-term care facility

Jan. 7: Rehoboth Elder Care Homes — personal care home

Jan. 7: Luther Care – Trinity Personal Care Home — personal care home

Jan. 6: Baraka Care Home-Marguire Court #2 — personal care home

Jan. 5: Luther Riverside Terrace — assisted living facility

Jan. 5: St. Paul Hospital – 5B Surgery — health facility

Jan. 4: Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital – Pediatrics — health facility

Jan. 4: Central Haven — long-term care facility

Jan. 1: Regional Psychiatric Centre — correctional centre

Dec. 31, 2021: St. Paul’s Hospital – Medical Imaging — health facility

Dec. 30, 2021: Case New Holland — workplace

Dec. 29, 2021: Saskatchewan Rush Business office — workplace

Dec. 29, 2021: Canada Post West Depot — workplace

Dec. 29, 2021: Granite Curling Club — workplace

Dec. 27, 2021: Rainbow Housing — community centre

Dec. 23, 2021: CN Curling Club — sports

Dec. 18, 2021: Saskatoon Provincial Corrections Centre — correction centre

Dec. 13, 2021: Luther Riverside Terrace (Third Floor) — retirement home

Oct. 12, 2021: The Lighthouse Supportive Living — group home

Sept. 9, 2021: Nutrien Cory Potash — workplace

Sept. 9, 2021: Parent Child Development Cooperative (Glow Worm and Kinder Care Rooms) — daycare

Sept. 3, 2021: Elizabeth & Tito Clements Personal Care Home — personal care home

Warman

Jan. 11: Warman Mennonite Special Care Home — long-term care facility

Jan. 7: Charlene’s House — assisted living facility

Regina

Jan. 18: Group Facility — group home

Jan. 18: Wascana Rehab Centre – Unit 3-6 — health facility

Jan. 17: Wascana Rehab Centre – Unit 2-5 — health facility

Jan. 16: Regina Provincial Correctional Centre (RPCC) — correctional centre

Jan. 16: Dove House – 2220 Cameron Street — personal care home

Jan. 14: Riverbend Crossing Memory Care Community – Aspen Neighborhood — assisted living facility

Jan. 14: Regina General Hospital – 3F — health facility

Jan. 13: Selo Gardens Personal Care Home — personal care home

Jan. 10: Brightwater Senior Living — personal care home

Jan. 8: Helping Hands Personal Care Home — personal care home

Jan. 7: Earls Kitchen and Bar – Victoria Ave — restaurant/bar

Jan. 7: Regina Housing Authority — workplace

Jan. 7: Security Lock and Key – Dewdney Ave — workplace

Jan. 6: Leopold’s Tavern – 2330 Albert St. — restaurant/bar

Jan. 5: Parkside Extendicare — long-term care facility

Jan. 5: Harbour Landing Village – 2nd Floor — personal care home

Jan. 4: Regina Pats Hockey Team — sports team

Dec. 31, 2021: Sunset Extendicare — long-term care facility

Dec. 30, 2021: Prairie Sun Solar — workplace

Dec. 26, 2021: RCMP Academy Depot Division — workplace

Dec. 23, 2021: Kitchen Craft Cabinetry — workplace

Nov. 10, 2021: Becky’s Daycare — child care

Arcola

Jan. 5: Arcola Health Centre — health facility

Estevan

Jan. 3: Estevan Regional Nursing Home — long-term care

Jan. 3: SPCA Boxing Day Cabaret — event

Jan. 3: St. Joseph’s Addiction Recovery Centre — health facility

Fort Qu’Appelle

Jan. 19: All Nations Healing Hospital — health facility

Jan. 17: Echo Lodge Special Care Home — long-term care

Midale

Jan. 19: Midale Mainprize Manor — health facility

Montmartre

Jan. 8: Montmartre Health Centre — long-term care

Moose Jaw

Jan. 5: Extendicare — long-term care

Jan. 5: Christian Horizon Group Home — group home

Jan. 3: Chez Nous Senior Citizens Home — personal care home

Jan. 3: Moose Jaw Warriors Hockey Team — sports team

Dec. 30, 2021: Pioneer Lodge – Prairie View and Golden Road — workplace

Nov. 17, 2021: Liberte Light School of Dance — workplace

Moosomin

Jan. 4: Southeast Integrated Care Centre Long Term Care — long-term care

Radville

Jan. 3: Radville Marian Health Centre House 1 — health facility

Redvers

Jan. 16: Redvers Activity Centre (Warner, Walker and McBain Group Home) — group home

Rocanville

Jan. 14: Nutrien Mine — workplace

Wawota

Dec. 3, 2021: Kaitlin’s Day Home — child care

Weyburn

Jan. 6: Tatagwa View — long-term care

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Port Hope woman wins $100,000 on holiday gift lottery ticket: OLG

A stocking stuffer gift turned into a $100,000 lottery win for a Port Hope, Ont., woman.

According to the OLG, Marianne Kennedy, 35, earned the top prize on an Instant Holiday Magic lottery ticket.

Kennedy says the ticket was a stocking stuffer gift from her husband.

Read more:

Ontario casinos fully close again due to province’s latest COVID-19 measures

“I was chatting on the phone with my mom while I was playing my ticket,” she shared while at the OLG prize centre in Toronto. “When I matched three snowmen, I couldn’t believe it. I told my mom and she told me to call my husband to double-check. He scanned the ticket using the OLG App and confirmed.”

Kennedy, who works in finance, says she was shocked and excited about the win.

“I was also nervous about keeping the ticket safe knowing how valuable it was,” she said.

Kennedy plans to invest some of her winnings, complete home renovations and plan a family vacation somewhere in Canada when it’s safe to travel again.

The winning $5 ticket was purchased at Davis’ Your Independent Grocer on Jocelyn St. in Port Hope, the OLG said.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Canadians feel waves of nostalgia as Red Cross swim program winds down

Jaime Gonek doesn’t remember what happened to the yellow jacket she had as a kid, the one adorned with sewed-on swimming badges she’d earned from years of lessons with the Canadian Red Cross.

But the Edmonton-based fitness instructor still remembers how it made her feel — and those memories flooded back this week when she heard the Canadian Red Cross was axing the program at the end of the year.

“Good grief did I wear that thing with pride,” Gonek said with a laugh.

“I vividly remember grabbing the card (after testing at the end of a lesson) and feeling whether or not the badge was in there because that’s how you knew you’d passed. And yeah, I saved them all.”

Read more:

COVID-19 and lack of lifeguards result in kids not getting swimming lessons in Alberta

The Canadian Red Cross announced earlier this month it was “winding down” its swimming and lifeguard lessons through 2022, saying it would direct more of its attention to disaster relief, pandemic response, opioid harm reduction and care-giving for seniors.

The transition will mark the end of a program that taught water safety to millions of Canadians over a 75-year stretch.

Those like Gonek who took the program in the 1980s and 1990s, earned water level safety badges as they completed each lesson stage. The eight tokens were small, square patches featuring the outline of a swimmer on coloured waves with the Red Cross symbol etched on the top left.

Each colour denoted the level the swimmer had completed, beginning with yellow and progressing to orange, red, maroon, blue, green, grey and white — for those who mastered rescue breathing, the sidestroke and an endurance swim of 500 metres.

The colour badge program ended in 1996, though students continued to earn patches with other designs.

Read more:

Diving in to help someone struggling to swim should be a last resort: Lifesaving Society

Gonek began the program at age seven in the early-to-mid ’80s and earned all eight colour badges before progressing further through the lifeguard program. She eventually joined her high-school swim team and competed in triathlons as an adult. Now she trains swimmers in lower fitness levels for their first triathlons.

Gonek said her love of swimming began as a child with her first Red Cross lessons in Edmonton, about an hour’s drive from where she grew up in Smoky Lake, Alta.

“My parents didn’t trust the people who taught lessons out on the lake, so we used to drive every weekend into Edmonton,” she said. “I was a total water baby. They always had a hard time getting me out.”

Gonek said she was “nostalgic” and “a little sad” to hear the Canadian Red Cross program was ending, but the organization’s swimming and lifeguarding lessons will transition to other forms.

The Canadian Red Cross said it was encouraging its water safety partners to shift to swim and lifeguarding programs with Lifesaving Society Canada through the course of this year.

Read more:

Swimming lessons, CPR training, buddy system help prevent drownings: Lifesaving Society

Red Cross swimming and lifeguard training will also continue in First Nations communities as part of the Red Cross Indigenous Peoples Framework, the organization said.

Rishona Hyman, owner of Aqua Essence Swim Academy in Winnipeg, said she was “shocked” to hear of the program shuttering, calling it “the best kept secret in aquatics.”

Hyman’s academy had been one of the Canadian Red Cross’s training partners since opening in 2002. Her instructors will go through crossover programs this year to teach lesson plans from Lifesaving Society Canada.

“At the end of the day they both teach swimming lessons, but it’s no question it’s a different program,” Hyman said “But … if you’re signing your child up for a swimming lesson, you probably won’t notice the difference.”

Hyman said the Canadian Red Cross is trying to make the transition easy for instructors, but feels ending the programs was “another jab at aquatics” following a difficult pandemic that left many pools shuttered for long stretches of the last two years.

Canadian Red Cross CEO Conrad Sauve said in a Jan. 12 statement the decision to halt the programs was driven by “regular assessments” of the organization’s services and “evolving humanitarian needs.”

The Red Cross’s swimming and lifeguard programs began in 1946, and the organization said it has offered water training and skills to more than 40 million Canadians.

Hyman took Canadian Red Cross swimming lessons as a child, adding she still has all her badges from the water safety program.

“I remember getting my red and my green and my grey and being very proud,” she said. “Even as a young kid I was able to recognize this was part of something bigger.

“There was a commonality — everyone could talk about their Red Cross badges. It was like an identity.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Life sentence handed down to man convicted in cold case murder of girlfriend

A man convicted for killing his girlfriend in 2002 has been handed a life sentence.

Stephane Parent will not be eligible for parole for 17 years.

Parent was found guilty of second-degree murder last October in the death Adrienne McColl.

Read more:

Stephane Parent remains in custody, court case put over a month for 2002 death of Adrienne McColl

She was just 21 years old when her body was found in a ditch near Nanton on Feb. 17, 2002, after she went missing on Valentine’s Day.

McColl had been strangled and beaten to death.

Parent was arrested and charged 16 years to the day her body was found, thanks to advancements in forensic technology which allowed police to discover new evidence in the cold case.

Read more:

Stephane Parent convicted of 2nd-degree murder in Calgary girlfriend’s death nearly 20 years ago

Sentencing had originally been scheduled for Nov. 29, 2021, but was adjourned to Friday.

Parent did not have a defense lawyer present and didn’t submit a suggested sentence, but shook his head as the decision came down.

When asked if he had any objection to the Crown’s written submission, Parent continued to defend himself, saying he was not guilty.

He was also handed a lifetime firearms ban.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Company facing charges over dust cloud from demolition at Hamilton's Specialty Bar

The Ministry of the Environment is investigating after the demolition of an old steel mill building sent a massive dust cloud into the air in Hamilton's north end.

A demolition company is facing multiple charges in connection with the toppling of a Hamilton building that sent a dust cloud swirling over parts of the city in late 2019.

Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment confirmed to Global News that Delsan-A.I.M. Environmental Services Inc. is the company facing offences under the provincial Environmental Protection Act.

A spokesperson for the ministry says the three offences are related to discharge of dust, a demolition carrying dust beyond limits of a property, and failure to report the release of a potential contaminant.

The building that came down was a large green structure, estimated to be 37 metres high (120-feet), on the former site of Hamilton Specialty Bar at 319 Sherman Avenue North.

Read more:

Demolition of old Hamilton Specialty Bar building results in massive dust cloud

A video of the demolition on Sept. 30, 2019, filmed by Patrick Ferguson and posted to Smash Salvage’s Instagram, showed clouds of dark black matter billowing out of the tower as it crumbled to the ground.

Test results on matter from the cloud, that floated over Hamilton’s east end minutes after the demolition, were consistent with ordinary minerals and metals found in a simple dirt sample, according to a Hamilton Public Health probe completed months later.

Following a joint testing initiative from the province and the city, associate medical officer of health Dr. Bart Harvey told Global News the particles in question were about 20 to 40 microns in size and ‘too big’ to be deeply inhaled into human lungs.

“These particles are so large that they would get caught up in the mucous lining of the nose and the throat and essentially would be sneezed out or coughed out,” said Harvey

Harvey also said the amount of dust they believe was spread into the community was “relatively modest.”

Read more:

Adverse health affects from Hamilton demolition dust cloud ‘unlikely’: city

The executive director of Environment Hamilton, who urged residents affected by the dust cloud to contact the ministry, says she was not surprised to hear the province was moving forward with charges.

“Certainly our provincial environmental legislation is designed so that if there is an off-site impact caused that that’s a violation,” Lynda Lukasik told Global News.

“I don’t think anybody would argue that there wasn’t an offsite impact caused by this problem.”

The incident sparked talk amongst councillors at City Hall with Hamilton’s planning committee approving a motion to seek policy changes in early 2021.

Read more:

Hamilton councillor seeks stricter rules for demolishing industrial buildings

Ward 3 Coun. Nrinder Nann, who brought the motion forward, said soot from the demolition was deposited on homes, cars, gardens, outdoor furniture and playground equipment throughout the affected communities.

Nann’s motion asks the province for a wide-ranging expansion of demolition requirements including mandatory notification to all neighbours of the date and time, and a list of any contaminants that could enter the air, water and soil, as well as their potential health impacts.

Lukasik hopes any fine that might be collected through the court process will be spent by the city to make improvements in neighborhoods that were directly impacted by demolition.

“Whether it’s planting trees or doing something to help to green up the neighborhood or improve it in some way to us just seems like the appropriate thing to do,” said Lukasik.

The Ministry of the Environment revealed the matter will be addressed by a court on March 24.

Global News has reached out to Delsan-AIM for comment on the charges.

The company has yet to respond as of Friday afternoon.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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