Witnesses sought after crash that killed 28-year-old motorcyclist in Richmond Hill

York Regional Police say they’re looking to speak to witnesses after a crash in Richmond Hill on Sunday that left a 28-year-old motorcyclist dead.

Police said that at around 9:30 p.m., officers were called to Highway 7 East and Silver Linden Drive for a serious crash involving a 2020 white Acura and a 2018 Yamaha motorcycle.

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Motorcyclist dead after collision with sedan in Richmond Hill: police

The motorcyclist, a 28-year-old man from Stayner, Ont., was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries and later died.

The driver of the Acura, a 22-year-old Vaughan woman, wasn’t injured.

No charges have been laid.

Police said they’re looking to speak to any witnesses who haven’t already spoke to investigators and are urging anyone with video footage of the crash to come forward.

A damaged white sedan at the scene of the crash in Richmond Hill.

A damaged white sedan at the scene of the crash in Richmond Hill.

Global News

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

Large fuel spill sopped up in Vernon, B.C. Tuesday

More than 80 litres of fuel was spilled across a Vernon parking lot adjacent to Highway 6 on Tuesday morning, but crews made sure it was sopped up quickly.

Vernon Fire Rescue Services and city utilities arrived at a parking lot in the 2600 block of Highway 6 following reports of a vehicle fuel tank breaking down and leaking.

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Price of gas jumps above $2 mark for the first time in the Okanagan

“Crews worked together to contain the spill with the use of a vacuum truck and absorbent materials,” the City of Vernon said in a press release.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has been notified of the incident.

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

Man arrested in Manitoba community after weekend house fires

RCMP in Camperville, Man., have made an arrest after two weekend house fires in the community, which is located on the western shore of Lake Winnipegosis.

Manitoba RCMP said they were called to Spruce Bluff Road in Camperville around 2:45 a.m. Saturday, where a house was completely engulfed in flames.

No one was hurt in the incident, and firefighters were on scene tackling the blaze.

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Main Street hotel fire forces 15 people into temporary shelter

Just over an hour later, police checked a home on Gospel Bay in the community as part of their investigation and found the front porch on fire. The occupants were rescued from the home with no injuries.

Police said a 37-year-old man was arrested a short distance from the scene of the second fire. He was charged with arson with disregard for human life and taken into custody.

RCMP continue to investigate with the help of the Office of the Fire Commissioner.


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

High River flood-damaged homes auctioned off for well above starting bids

As a golfer, Lee Bakken has always thought about how great it would be live beside the Highwood Golf and Country Club in High River.

Now he will, thanks to a successful bid on a house earlier in May.

“I’m pretty excited. It should be good. There’s a lot of work to do, but it will be nice once it’s all done,” Bakken said.

Fourteen homes in the area have sat vacant since the flood that devastated High River in 2013.

They weren’t badly damaged, most just had flooded basements.

They were initially bought out as part of the provincial government’s flood relocation program.

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High River flood homes listed under $500 in Alberta government auction

Last year, they were purchased by the Town of High River so they could be sold and lived in again.

The town is selling two properties every two weeks though a sealed bid process.

“It’s going very well,” said High River mayor Craig Snodgrass.  “The houses are all selling and we are getting good dollars for them over what the reserve bids are. It’s turning out better than I thought it would, but the housing market is what it is right now so we got very lucky with timing,”

Snodgrass said there are a number of benefits to the sale of the homes.

“Number one, we save those houses. Number two, we save the province about $4.5 million in cleanup at least, and we are getting those houses back into private ownership for people that want to be there and take care of it and continue with the beautiful neighbourhood that those houses sit in. We will make a few dollars on the side too,” Snodgrass said.

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‘High River will never flood again’: Construction underway on new floodgate in Alberta town

Four homes have sold so far, all well above the reserve bid. One of them went for $127,000 more than asking.

But with a winning bid of $468,000 dollars for a house that backs onto the golf course, Bakken’s house is still far less than the house next door that just sold privately for $690,000.

“I still think it was a pretty good deal,” said Bakken with a laugh.

Town officials said there is no longer a risk of flooding in the area because of approximately $200 million in flood mitigation work.

“The mitigation infrastructure that we have in place now has been built to mitigate flooding to the 2013 water flow of 1820 centimeters plus one metre of additional freeboard protection,” said Snodgrass.  “High River is now the most well-protected community from flood risk in Canada,”

“I think the town has done a pretty good job of protecting our community. I’m not concerned at all to be living here,” Bakken said. “I think everyone in town wants to close that chapter. We’re tired of thinking about it and hearing about it so I think this is kind of the final chapter so we can move on.,”

The sale goes until the end of July. The next sale is on May 26.

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

'Legitimate political expenses': Del Duca defends riding association dinners

WATCH: With the election less than two weeks away, new polling from Ipsos done exclusively for Global News shows Ontario’s PCs continue to have a tight grip on the provincial election race. Erica Vella has more.

Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca is defending his use of riding association funds to pay for thousands of dollars in expensive dinners while he served as a cabinet minister, claiming they were used for “legitimate political expenses.”

A Global News investigation revealed that Del Duca’s Vaughan-Woodbridge riding racked up $50,000 worth of dinners at steakhouses and other upscale restaurants between 2013 and 2018 when Del Duca was being paid a six-figure salary as an MPP and minister.

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Del Duca riding association spent $50K on high-end restaurants over 6 years, filings show

Del Duca addressed the story during an unrelated election campaign news conference on Tuesday and suggested that his role as a “very active and very political MPP” justified the expenditures.

He highlighted his roles as the co-chair of the 2014 Liberal election platform, the caucus liaison for the Ontario Young Liberals and as an active fundraiser for his association and the central party.

“Yes, there were times when there were costs — legitimate political expenses — that were reimbursed,” Del Duca said. “That’s part of the job of being an MPP.”

Del Duca later ducked a journalist’s question about the appropriateness of dining at expensive restaurants on the taxpayer dime.

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Here’s how much money some politicians in Ontario made last year

The Ontario NDP were quick to pounce on Del Duca’s expenses, accusing him of using the riding association “like a personal ATM” and claimed it was evidence of “the same old Liberal entitlement.”

“This is the same old Liberals. Nothing has changed from their gas plant scandal or their cash-for-access fundraising,” NDP candidate Catherine Fife said in a statement.

Progressive Conservative Leader Doug Ford — whose own MPPs were discovered receiving an allowance from their riding associations to pay for child care and housing — appeared to defend Del Duca, while promising to overhaul the province’s elections financing rules.

“It’s all legal,” Ford told Global News on Tuesday. “It’s all gets audited and goes to Elections Ontario”

Ford added, however, that he’s “just not in favour of spending taxpayers’ money” and promised to strike an all-party committee to review the issue, if he’s returned to the Premier’s Office.

Del Duca also repeated his pledge to create a “citizens assembly” to review all aspects of election in Ontario.

“Working collaboratively, the way that people of Ontario expect us to, we will be able to strengthen political financing, political finance legislation and our democracy to deliver what the people of Ontario need.”

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

Conservatives ask for ethics probe into Liberal's $17K 'sweetheart' PR contract

A Global News journalist panel analyzes the fallout from Justin Trudeau’s testimony at the House of Commons Finance Committee. Maclean’s Associate Editor Marie-Danielle Smith observes that the same senior leadership was advising the Prime Minister on previous ethics controversies as well.

Conservative ethics critic James Bezan is asking the federal ethics commissioner to probe what he calls a $17,000 “sweetheart” deal given out by International Trade Minister Mary Ng’s office one month into the first COVID-19 lockdown in April 2020.

In the letter sent to Ethics Commissioner Mario Dion on Tuesday, Bezan asked for an investigation into whether Ng broke federal ethics rules when her office gave the deal for “media training” to the Toronto-area PR firm Pomp & Circumstance, whose founder previously worked for the Liberals.

“At a time when many Canadians were without a source of income, and many small businesses were peering into the abyss, one well-connected Liberal was thrown a nearly $17,000 contract by her close pal inside Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet,” Bezan wrote in the letter.

“It is well known that Ms. Ng and Ms. Alvaro are part of a longstanding group of close-knit friends, dating back to Toronto Liberal circles during the days of former premier Dalton McGuinty’s provincial government.”

The contract was disclosed in a recent government response to an order paper question requesting a breakdown of public relations or media training contracts.

Read more:

Trudeau did not break federal ethics rules in WE Charity scandal — but Morneau did: report

Bezan argued in the letter that Ng and Alvaro are “close friends,” citing social media posts of them together at events as well as one 2018 tweet from Alvaro calling Ng her “dear friend” when the latter was named to the federal cabinet.

He said federal ethics rules prohibit those in public offices from conflicts of interest where they exercise “an official power, duty or function that provides an opportunity to further private interests … of his or her relatives or friends.”

Bezan cited another provision that bars those in office from participating in decisions that could lead to a conflict of interest, and require the office-holder to recuse themselves from such decisions.

A spokesperson for Ng said all rules were followed.

“Minister Ng has always actively followed and fulfilled ethics guidelines and is in full respect of her disclosure obligations to the ethics commissioner,” said Alice Hansen, press secretary for the minister.

She said federal rules state that contracts under the amount of $25,000 “do not require soliciting bids.”

“Different contractors provided media training that were critical in supporting the Minister and members of her communications team to inform Canadian small businesses, workers, and families about the supports available to them at the height of the pandemic.”

Hansen did not clearly say when asked whether being in full respect of her obligations meant that Ng had recused herself from discussions about the contract.

Read more:

Trudeau broke ethics rules by trying to exert influence in SNC-Lavalin scandal: report

Federal contracts are a frequent subject of scrutiny from all sides of the political spectrum when it comes to alleged conflicts of interests.

The Liberals have faced several such accusations during their time in office, including a controversial $456-million contract — later cancelled — with WE Charity to run a student grant program that put the government under intense public scrutiny two years ago.

Close family ties were found between members of the Trudeau family and that of former finance minister Bill Morneau and the organization, leading to heated parliamentary committee meetings where MPs pressed for details on how the organization was selected to administer the program.

An ethics probe by Dion later found Trudeau did not break ethics rules, but Morneau did.

According to a listing of proactive disclosures from former Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, his office also gave contracts to people who appear to have previously worked with or supported Conservative campaigns.

In April 2021, O’Toole’s office reported giving a $7,000-contract for management consulting to Katerina Homolova, whose LinkedIn lists her previously working as community outreach and ethnic media adviser for the leadership campaign of O’Toole’s predecessor, Andrew Scheer.

That same month, the office also reported a $15,000-contract being given to Toronto-based Pathos Strategy. The firm’s website lists its founder as Dan Robertson, “the chief strategist for the Conservative Party of Canada 2021 election campaign” and “Director of Advertising for the Conservative Party of Canada’s historic victory in the 2011 general election.”

Contracts for the same amounts were also listed again in May 2021 disclosures.

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

Monkeypox patients should be isolated, health-care workers should wear PPE: Public Health Ontario

Monkeypox patients should be isolated, and those treating them should wear personal protective equipment (PPE), guidance from Public Health Ontario says.

The health agency made a series of recommendations for the treatment of Monkeypox patients in the health-care settings across the province, in an infection prevention and control document published earlier this month.

In the document, Public Health Ontario said the Monkeypox virus can be transmitted “from animals-to-humans (i.e., zoonotic transmission) or person-to-person by contact with infected lesions, skin scabs, body fluids or respiratory secretions.”

“It can also be transmitted by contact with materials contaminated with the virus,” the document said, such as through clothing or bedding.

According to Public Health Ontario, historically there has been “limited person-to-person transmission” of Monkeypox.

The agency said the “primary” mode of transmission between people is through respiratory secretions or direct contact with skin lesions or with items that have been contaminated.

“However, given the respiratory system involvement during infection, the possible transmission during the prodromal period and similarities to variola virus (smallpox), the potential for airborne transmission has been suggested,” the document reads.

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According to the document, the average incubation period is seven to 14 days but can range from five to 21 days.

The health agency said a person is “most commonly contagious from the onset of initial lesions (typically on the tongue and in the mouth), until scabs have fallen off and new skin (is) present.”

However, the document said some cases “may be contagious” during the early set of symptoms including fever, malaise and headache “before the rash develops.”

Public Health Ontario said in addition to “routine practices” several “additional precautions” used for airborne, droplet and contact viruses should be used in health-care settings when treating a patient with Monkeypox.

The agency said patients with the disease should be put in airborne isolation rooms with negative pressure ventilation.

When such rooms are not available, the patients should be put in a single room with “with the door closed” and should have a “dedicated toileting facility.”

“If neither option is feasible, then precautions should be taken to minimize exposure to surrounding individuals such as having the patient don a medical mask over their nose and mouth as tolerated and covering exposed skin lesions with clothing, sheet or gown as best as possible,” the document reads.

Health-care workers treating patients with Monkeypox should also wear PPE including a fit-tested and seal-checked N-95 respirator, gloves, a gown and eye protection such as goggles or a face shield.

According to Public Health Ontario, these additional precautions should be maintained “until all scabs have fallen off and new skin is present.”

Read more:

Monkeypox: Here are the treatments and what to do when infected

The recommendations come as health officials in Toronto are investigating the city’s first suspected case of the virus.

On Saturday, Toronto Public Health said a man in his 40s who had recent contact with someone who travelled to Montreal is being investigated.

In a news release, the department stated that although “the risk of infection to the general public is low, those who visited an event at the Axis Club at 772 College St. on May 14 and Woody’s bar, located at 476 Church St., on May 13 and 14 may have been exposed.”

On Tuesday, Rosamund Lewis, head of the Smallpox Secretariat within the World Health Organization (WHO) Emergencies Programme said there have been 131 confirmed Monkeypox cases and 106 further suspected cases globally, but the latest outbreak was “containable.”

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

Mass shooting inquiry: Two senior Mounties exempted from cross-examination

Two retired RCMP staff sergeants who helped lead the response to the Nova Scotia mass shooting took the stand today at the Mass Casualty Commission. Both are standing by the decisions they made, even though they ended up being wrong about the gunman's whereabouts. Graeme Benjamin has been following the proceedings and has the latest.

The commission of inquiry investigating the 2020 mass shooting in Nova Scotia has agreed to provide special accommodations for three senior Mounties when they testify about command decisions they made as the tragedy unfolded.

Two of the Mounties, Staff Sgt. Brian Rehill and Sgt. Andy O’Brien, will face questions from commission counsel via a Zoom call that will be recorded and broadcast at a later date.

Read more:

RCMP seeking accommodations for officers testifying at N.S. mass shooting inquiry

Josh Bryson, a lawyer who represents the family of two of the killer’s 22 victims, says this arrangement will make it impossible for him or other lawyers to directly cross-examine Rehill, who made key decisions as the first critical incident commander.

Meanwhile, Staff Sgt. Al Carroll will testify May 26 via a live Zoom call, and he will be provided with breaks during his appearance.

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Mapping program RCMP struggled to open could have helped contain N.S. mass killer

Carroll, however, could face direct cross-examination during his testimony.

Last week, the Nova Scotia RCMP issued a statement saying the federal-provincial inquiry would be violating its own rules if Mounties who endured trauma were called to testify without some form of accommodation.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2022.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

First-degree murder suspect in Saskatoon shooting makes first court appearance

Mohamed Ali, 35, made his first appearance in Saskatoon provincial court Tuesday morning after he was charged with first-degree murder in a shooting last week in the city.

Ali is in custody following the homicide of 29-year-old Brandon Baxandall on the afternoon of May 19.

He also faces charges of possession of a firearm and possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking.

Ali made his first court appearance via phone from a correctional facility.

Read more:

Saskatoon Police arrest suspect in mid-May homicide

Nicholas Stooshinoff, the lawyer representing Ali, told reporters on Tuesday that Ali was shot and injured, but had been already released from hospital. He speculated that is why his client did not appear in provincial court.

The court adjourned to June 13, when Ali is set to appear in Court of Queen’s Bench for his bail hearing.

Saskatoon police had received calls about an injured man on the 100 block of Main Street East at about 4:30 p.m. in Saskatoon’s Nutana neighbourhood.

Police later learned more shots had been heard on the 700 block of Melrose Avenue. Officers also learned that another injured man was transported to Saskatoon City Hospital.

Read more:

Saskatoon police investigate 29-year-old man’s death after shooting

Police discovered Baxandall’s body behind an apartment building on the same Melrose Avenue block where they received reports of gunfire.

Second suspect at large

Saskatoon police say they are searching for another suspect who has been charged with first-degree murder in this homicide case.

Jonathan Ouellet-Gendron, 33, who police say is believed to be in possession of a firearm, is described as five feet six inches tall and weighs about 140 pounds.

Police say he has black hair, brown eyes and multiple tattoos, including a Mayan statue on his right hand, a black rose on his left wrist and a gorilla on his upper torso.

Saskatoon police are asking the public to call 911 or 306-957-8300 if they have any information on Ouellet-Gendron’s whereabouts. Anonymous tips can be forwarded to Crime Stoppers.

Police are also requesting any information, including video evidence, that can assist them in this ongoing investigation.

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

Armed man barricaded with children during 4-hour standoff, Winnipeg police say

A 38-year-old Winnipeg man is in custody after a harrowing standoff situation early Sunday morning in the Maples area.

Police said they were called to the home just after 4 a.m. to address a domestic dispute. Once they arrived, officers found a man armed with a knife who barricaded himself into a bedroom along with several children.

The standoff, which lasted around four hours, was resolved peacefully by crisis negotiation officers.

Read more:

Six Winnipeggers face nearly 70 charges after North End standoff, gun seizure

The man, who isn’t being named by police to protect the family’s identity, faces three counts of forcible confinement, as well as charges of weapon possession and breaking and entering with intent.

Police said the family will receive victims’ services support in the aftermath of the incident.

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

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