Auction held for injured Saskatchewan chuckwagon driver

Posted on 11/09/2018

Watch the video above: Auction for Sask. chuckwagon driver

CALGARY – The Calgary Stampede has wrapped up for another year but one Saskatchewan chuckwagon driver’s career has wrapped up for good.

Tim Haroldson’s barn was auctioned off, just days after he was injured in a training exercise in Calgary.

It was a bittersweet day for his wife Melissa, who is focused on his recovery.

It’s been less than a week since her husband, Tim Haroldson, 48, was rushed to hospital.

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“I didn’t realize he was hurt at first, I just heard there was an accident so I went to go out and help with the horses and they told me Tim was still in the infield so I went running over there and he was getting loaded in to an ambulance,” said Melissa.

The auction would have finalized Haroldson’s retirement after 15 years in chuckwagon racing but on July 8 the wagon rolled while coming around one of the barrels during morning training.

READ MORE: Horse dead, driver injured following incidents at Calgary Stampede

He has concussive symptoms, bleeding on his brain and a collapsed lung.

The Stampede reviewed the incident and initial indications are that there was nothing out of the ordinary in regards to the wagon, the horses or the tack.

One wagon horse collapsed and died after competing in the team’s training run. Results indicate the horse experienced a ruptured aneurysm.

“It’s to understand why he wasn’t able to finish off his last stampede of his career. I know there’s a reason for everything but I just know there’s no way I could ever understand it,” said Melissa.

The auction was planned before the crash and everything must go horses, wagon and all.

“This chuckwagon racing is not just a sport, it’s a passion and it becomes a way of life and to disperse of these horses and to do what they’re doing today is very emotional and for Tim not be here is even more so,” said Rob Bergevin, of VJV Foothills Livestock Auction.

Four horses are auctioned off Sunday, two of them were snagged by Tim’s friend Jerry Bremner. Bremner was driving the wagon when it rolled.

He hopes one day Haroldson, of Melfort, Sask., might want his horses back.

“I’ve trained with Tim for several years now and I know his horses and I’m just happy to have a couple of them and it keeps our connection together as well,” said Bremner.

Melissa says her husband remains in hospital and is improving daily.

“We’re not exactly sure what life holds for us but we’re going to get Tim home and healed up and figure things out from there,” said Melissa.

The auction netted close to $300,000.

New charges against B.C. gang leader

Posted on 11/09/2018

VANCOUVER – An alleged gang leader already accused in a high-profile murder case in British Columbia is facing new allegations that he attempted to convince someone to kill a member of the same gang, according to a court document.

The new charges against Jamie Bacon were revealed Monday, just as the trial for two men involving the October 2007 murders of six people in Surrey, B.C. wrapped up in Vancouver. Bacon is awaiting trial in the same case.

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Bacon was in court for his first appearance on three charges, including counselling someone to commit murder, as well as two other charges related to acting for the benefit of a criminal organization.

An indictment filed with the court identified the alleged target as a man who has figured prominently in the ongoing murder trial. The man, whose name is covered by a publication ban in the Surrey case and can only be referred to as Person X, pleaded guilty in April 2009 to three counts of second-degree murder and is serving a life sentence.

The indictment alleges Bacon counselled another man to murder Person X sometime between Nov. 30, 2008 and Jan. 2, 2009. The indictment notes that the murder did not occur.

Person X was expected to testify against Cody Haevischer and Matthew Johnston, who are each charged with conspiracy and six counts of first-degree murder in the Surrey shooting.

However, the judge in the Haevischer and Johnston trial ruled last year that Person X’s evidence was inadmissible for reasons that have never been made public.

Bacon is also charged with conspiracy and one count of first-degree murder in that case. The Crown has suggested Bacon’s murder trial could be heard early next year.

As Bacon appeared in court on Monday, Haevischer and Johnston sat in a secure courtroom four floors below for the final day of their trial after nearly 10 months of testimony.

The Crown’s theory in the murder trial has been that the leaders of the Red Scorpions gang — Bacon and Michael Le — ordered the execution of a rival drug trafficker but five others were killed to eliminate potential witnesses.

Le also faced charges in the same murder trial, but pleaded guilty to conspiracy midway through the trial and testified against his former co-accused.

The Crown contends Haevischer, Johnston and Person X carried out the killings.

The trial heard from 73 witnesses, including several former gangsters, and offered a rare inside look inside one of the B.C.’s most violent street gangs.

The mass shooting, which is often referred to in local media simply as the “Surrey Six,” came to define a bloody gang war that continued for another two years.

B.C. Supreme Court Judge Catherine Wedge said she planned to deliver her verdict Oct. 2.

The victims of the shooting included 55-year-old Ed Schellenberg, who was in the condo where the murders occurred servicing a gas fireplace, and 22-year-old Chris Mohan, whose family lived across the hall from the murder scene. Neither had anything to do with gangs or drugs.

Mohan’s mother, Eileen, has been a constant fixture at the trial.

“It was my duty to represent him, to be here for him because he cannot talk for himself,” she said outside the courthouse on Monday.

“I had to come to court every day to sit in front of (the judge) to tell her what I had lost. I’ve just not lost my only precious son, but I’ve lost my life, too.”

The other victims all had links to gangs and drugs: Corey Lal, who the Crown alleges was the intended target, his brother Michael, Eddie Narong and Ryan Bartolomeo.

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Shipment of 67 live giant African snails intercepted at U.S. airport – National

Posted on 11/09/2018

LOS ANGELES – Inspectors at Los Angeles International Airport seized an unusually slimy package – 67 live giant African snails that are a popular delicacy across West Africa.

The snails – which are prohibited in the U.S. – arrived from Nigeria and were being sent to a person in San Dimas, said Lee Harty, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Customs and Border protection.

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The snails were confiscated July 1 and a sample was sent the next day to a federal mollusk specialist in Washington, D.C., who identified them as a prohibited species, Harty said.

The mollusks are among the largest land snails in the world and can grow to be up to 8 inches (20 centimetres) long. They are native to Africa and can live for up to 10 years.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture incinerated the snails after they were inspected, Harty said. The animals are prohibited in the U.S. because they can carry parasites that are harmful to humans, including one that can lead to meningitis.

The snails are also agricultural pests, said Maveeda Mirza, the CBP program manager for agriculture.

“These snails are seriously harmful to local plants because they will eat any kind of crop they can get to,” Mirza said.

The person the snails were destined for is not expected to face any penalties, Mirza said. She said authorities are investigating why a single person would want so many snails.

“We’re investigating what happened, but it doesn’t seem like there was smuggling involved. When someone doesn’t know a commodity is prohibited under USDA regulations there is usually no punishment,” she said.

Although the agency has found one or two snails that may have accidentally gotten into a traveller’s luggage in Los Angeles, this is the first time that they have confiscated the snails in such a large quantity, Mirza said.

©2014The Canadian Press

UPDATE: Man charged with attempted murder following attack at Stony Plain Road business – Edmonton

Posted on 11/09/2018

WATCH: Two people are in hospital with knife injuries after a troubling incident at a business on Stony Plain Road. Fletcher Kent has the story.

EDMONTON – A 62-year-old man has been charged with a number of offences, including attempted murder, after a troubling incident at a business on Stony Plain Road Monday.  

Shortly after noon Monday, police were called to Helm Property Management on Stony Plain Road and 155 Street after neighbouring businesses heard a commotion outside.

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Police say the man entered the business earlier and got into an argument with the staff about the property he was renting. 

After the man left, the supervisor sent the staff home and locked the doors, suspecting he would be back.

The suspect returned, this time with a knife, which he used to smash the front window when he realized the doors were locked, police said.

“When he found the building was locked, he began raising a ruckus, hammering and screaming, swearing and yelling,” EPS Duty Officer Brian Nowlan said. “Other businesses came out to see what the problem was.”

READ MORE: Workplace attacks: tips to keep staff safe

Once inside, the suspect tracked down the only person inside, who police believe is the supervisor.

He reportedly got into a fight with the victim, who is believed to be in his forties, and allegedly slashed his neck with the knife.

WATCH: Raw footage of the incident captured by witness Anna Stachal

The victim was able to escape when police arrived.

“He came outside holding his hands on his neck,” said witness Anna Stachal.

“It was scary, we were scared. We were asked to go a little bit further away.

“The gun was really, really scary, when I saw the gun in the policeman’s hands,” said Stachal.

Police witnessed the suspect cutting himself with the knife and then laying down on the floor in surrender.

The suspect was arrested and taken to hospital. Both the victim and suspect suffered significant injuries, but are expected to survive.

Police are currently investigating the incident and will be looking at a number of factors including the suspect’s mental health. 

Allan Andkilde has since been charged with attempted murder, break and enter to commit, possession of a weapon, uttering threats, and mischief under $5,000.

Edmonton police respond to weapons complaint on Stony Plain Road July 14, 2014

Supplied, Global News

Edmonton police respond to weapons complaint on Stony Plain Road July 14, 2014

Supplied, Global News

Edmonton police respond to weapons complaint on Stony Plain Road July 14, 2014

Supplied, Global News

Edmonton police respond to weapons complaint on Stony Plain Road July 14, 2014

Supplied, Global News

Edmonton police respond to weapons complaint on Stony Plain Road July 14, 2014

Supplied, Global News

Edmonton police respond to weapons complaint on Stony Plain Road July 14, 2014

Supplied, Global News

Edmonton police respond to weapons complaint on Stony Plain Road July 14, 2014

Supplied, Global News

Edmonton police respond to weapons complaint on Stony Plain Road July 14, 2014

Supplied, Global News

Edmonton police respond to weapons complaint on Stony Plain Road July 14, 2014

Supplied, Global News

Edmonton police respond to weapons complaint on Stony Plain Road July 14, 2014

Supplied, Global News

 *Editor’s note: This story was originally published Monday, July 14, 2014. It was updated at 2:04 MT Tuesday to include charges laid against the suspect. 

Advocates ask Quebec to protect temporary foreign workers – Montreal

Posted on 11/09/2018

WATCH ABOVE: Quebecers are fighting to protect foreign workers’ rights, making sure they don’t get left behind during Ottawa’s labour reform. Rachel Lau reports.

MONTREAL – When temporary foreign workers come to Canada, they make many sacrifices. Many have left behind their families for the tiny wage they get for some very physical work.

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Now, several groups are working together to protect these workers’ rights and make sure they don’t get left behind in Ottawa’s foreign labour reform.

“All that the federal government has done is say to hundreds of thousands of workers: ‘You will be here, stranded without legal status, without any ability to find decent work,’” said Mostafa Henaway, a community organizer for the Immigrant Workers Centre.

READ MORE: Protest over free education for all Quebec children ends peacefully

It was a small gathering, no more than ten people, but each one represented hundreds of thousands of voiceless foreigners.

“We are still working class,” said Evelyn Calugay, a representative of Pinay for Filipino Women’s Rights.

“We are still in the same conditions.”

They walked to provincial Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil‘s office in NDG in the hopes of convincing her to lobby her federal counterpart.

“Inclusion and multiculturalism means actually giving everyone an equal chance to be able to live a decent live in the society,” said Henaway.

READ MORE: Immigrant unemployment: The more education, the bigger the gap

In June of this year, the federal government announced they were making changes to the application process for temporary workers.

Federal Minister of Employment Jason Kenney said this was to ensure Canadian workers were put first when it came to hiring.

But it makes finding work much harder for foreign workers.

“It used to be this program in Quebec just required six months of experience in Quebec before they could apply for permanent residency,” said Joey Calugay, a coordinator for the Immigrant Workers Centre.

READ MORE: Rights groups to challenge immigration bill

“In 2011, they raised it to one year. Why don’t we bring that back to six months?”

In the letter to the Weil, the group writes “the changing nature of work reflects a growing reality of a changing economy of Quebec . . . Our laws need to reflect such changes in order to ensure that all workers enjoy equal rights and protections.”

“Migrant labour is important to us because they’re part of the working people here in Quebec,” said Calugay.

“They contribute to the economy, they can contribute to the social development of Quebec.”

Weil’s office is actually closed for the next two weeks, but these advocates said this small step is just one of many to come.

Scorching heat increasing fire danger across B.C.

Posted on 11/09/2018

Searing heat has increased the fire situation in B.C. to high and extreme values are making firefighting efforts all the more challenging.

On Monday, temperatures in Kamloops and Prince George are expected to reach 36 C. On Tuesday and Wednesday it will likely be close to 40 C.

These temperatures are more than 10 C higher than average for the region.

READ MORE: B.C. wildfire grows to 5,000 hectares

“The heatwave we’re having has increased the fire danger rating significantly,” said Navi Saini, a fire information officer for the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch. “So most of the province is sitting at high to extreme danger rating, and about a third of the province is at the extreme and that’s the highest danger rating you can get.”

“It’s definitely the highest we’ve seen in at least four to five years.”

There are 73 active fires in the province, most of which are in the Prince George and Kamloops areas. Over the weekend firefighters responded to 25 new fires.

A map indicating the fire danger across B.C.

Courtesy B.C. Wildfire Management Branch

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“These hot, dry conditions are definitely not conducive to firefighting efforts,” Saini said.

Environment Canada meteorologist Allan Coldwells said that a ridge of high pressure – associated with sunny skies and great weather – is what’s responsible.

“A ridge of high pressure…will typically build a low-level southerly flow that draws air [up] – in this case from the desert southwest U.S. So that’s what’s bringing the heat up.”

Kamloops reached a new high for July 13 with a temperature of 40.3 C. The previous record was 39.4 C, set in 1961.

Of the significant fires, most have been caused by dry lightning strikes, Saini said. On Sunday, the agency responded to 16 new fires, 11 of which were deemed to be human-caused.

WATCH: Osoyoos wildfire contained

On Monday, thunderstorms are expected in the southwestern part of the province, while in the north, high winds are expected. Both factors contribute to an increased fire threat.

Fortunately, no one has been injured during the battle against the flames, but the hot conditions are also taking their toll on firefighters who are walking into flames while battling the elements.

Forest fires rage in Red Deer Creek, B.C.

Courtesy B.C. Wildfire Management Branch

“Hydration and safety is always key,” Saini said. As well as keeping the crews hydrated, they also ensure that crews are taking breaks as necessary.

In Red Deer Creek, three oil and gas camps have been evacuated, affecting 200 people. In Euchiniko, an evacuation order was put in place for a fishing lodge, affecting only two people.

The Kluskus Reserve was also affected after the Wildfire Management Branch suggested that residents evacuate. The Band Council agreed, issuing an evacuation for 66 people.

Temperatures in the interior aren’t expected to drop to near seasonal values until the weekend.

WATCH: Provincial Fire Information Officer Navi Saini has an update on the wildfires burning over the weekend

Magrath triathlon has sweet finish – Lethbridge

Posted on 11/09/2018

It’s a race that almost didn’t happen. The Magrath Triathlon was nearly cancelled after sign up numbers were low. But after a late surge of entries the small town of Magrath pulled off a great Triathlon for the 11th straight year. Shawna Strong’s been helping coordinate the event for the past nine year and says the small town race brings in a unique mix of competitors.

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“There’s groups from Calgary, Toronto. We’ve had competitors as far away as from Atlanta Georgia in some of the years that we’ve done it. it’s pretty amazing to see people come to this town of 2000 people.”

The Magrath Triathlon was appealing to a wide range of skill levels. Both the hardcore and the casual racer, could test their ability with either a sprint distance, or an Olympic distance.

Most of the athletes trained in all aspects before the race, but for some the thought of a long distance swim through open water, was a little a little intimidating. Jon Macneil usually does the bike portion of the Triathlon, but is competing in the full Triathlon this weekend. Macneil hopes race volunteers take the appropriate precautions saying,

“I’m a little nervous about going in the water there. I’m not the best of swimmers, so I’m hoping they do a head count so the same number come out that go in.”

A team as loyal as any to the Magrath Triathlon is the healing mochas. The team of fifteen has been coming to Magrath for the Triathlon the past eight years and say they had to keep the tradition alive,

“When we heard that it was potentially not going to happen this year we took a rampage to get everybody we knew, any stranger, or anybody else and we’re just like, you got to sign up for Magrath.”

Finishing a long race is a fantastic feeling, but at Magrath it’s particularly sweet, says Race Director Shawna Strong,

“We have great Butterhorns at the end of the race, made by a local lady. And actually to be honest that really draws a lot of people here.”

A sentiment echoed by the Mochas,

“Oh! they’re brilliant! That’s why we drive two and a half hours to get here. Those Butterhorns are better than Scottish Shortbread.”

Organizers plan to hold the Triathlon again next year.

Mysterious lights over Vancouver Sunday night was not a UFO

Posted on 11/09/2018

VANCOUVER – No, it wasn’t a UFO…

A spectacular lights and fireworks show over English Bay on Sunday night had lots of people talking, but that display is like no other.

Two planes from Alberta-based Team Rocket took off from Abbotsford and practiced using their pyrotechnics they will display at this year’s Abbotsford International Airshow.

The two planes have fireworks strapped underneath their wings and let loose over English Bay.

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The result was a breathtaking fireworks display as the planes crisscrossed over the city. The typical fireworks show lasts up to five minutes and costs eight dollars, per airplane, per second.

It’s an extremely rare and risky show.

The two pilots fly only a few metres apart at more than 300 kilometres per hour.

But they say they’ve mitigated the risks and the end result is worth it.

“It is the coolest thing,” says Ken Fowler, Team Rocket pilot. “Flying formation at night, it is very difficult. Formation flying with two aircraft is very difficult. Formation at night is that much more difficult. Now to light polytechnics off of our aircraft while we’re doing that can make it extremely difficult.”

“But it is so much fun.”

The light show was documented on social media with people wondering what it was:

The full fireworks display will be launched at the Abbotsford International Airshow on the evening of August 8.

Check out some footage here:

$110 million for doctors to promote cancer screening didn’t help: study

Posted on 11/09/2018

Ontario doctors are handed an annual bonus based on how many of their patients are screened for three cancers. But even with this financial incentive, cancer screening rates aren’t improving, a new study suggests.

Between 2006 and 2010, the Ontario government doled out $110 million in bonuses meant to encourage doctors to screen their patients for cervical, breast and colorectal cancer. A St. Michael’s Hospital study released Monday warns that the payout hardly changed screening rates, though.

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“So if you’ve screened more of your patients, you get a bigger bonus and if you’ve screened less, you get a small bonus. And there’s a threshold you have to meet to qualify for any money at all,” Dr. Tara Kiran, lead researcher and family doctor, told Global News.

“There’s actually very little evidence that pay for performance for family doctors improves quality of care,” she said.

READ MORE: How healthy is your city? 7 findings about Canada’s best and worst cancer-fighting cities

Yet using bonuses to motivate doctors is a tactic governments around the world are using. In the U.K., for example, Kiran said the “biggest experiment” is taking place: 25 per cent of physicians’ income is linked to certain targets they have to reach.

As far as Kiran knows, Ontario is the only jurisdiction in Canada with these preventative care cash bonuses. It started about a decade ago as the provincial government ushered in a string of reforms to primary care.

Kiran’s study tracked screening rates for cervical, breast and colorectal cancer across the province between 2000 and 2010. If doctors tested 60 per cent of their patients eligible for cervical cancer screening, they received $220 a year. If they hit 80 per cent of patients, it rose to $2,200. About 22 per cent of doctors cashed out with an extra $8,400 in 2010 in screening bonuses.

READ MORE: Breast cancer foundation urging women to get screened for disease

But the increase in screening rates was hardly significant: cervical cancer screening increased from 55 to 57 per cent over a decade. Breast cancer screening rates increased from 60 per cent to 63. And screening for colorectal cancer rose from 20 to 51 per cent.

The spike in the colorectal cancer category was expected, though – even before the incentives were phased in, screening was increasing on its own by three per cent each year.

READ MORE: Where $5 million of your Movember fundraising went

So why didn’t the incentives work? For starters, the researchers guess that the bonuses were targeting the wrong doctors – most were already on top of screening patients.

“The theory behind pay for performance is more money is going to motivate doctors to do a better job. But all the doctors I know are motivated to provide excellent care to begin with,” Kiran said.

(In one case, Toronto doctor Dr. Alisa Naiman said the bonus had “no impact” on how she practices. “The problem that I have with pay for performance is that sometimes it’s really about the process of informing somebody to go for it,” she told Global News.)

Instead, it may have to do with lack of the right tools to do a better job. Only 70 per cent of Ontario doctors have electronic medical records, and sometimes they’re not as helpful in keeping tabs on patients.

Patients in the meantime could be declining screening tests because of myths and misconceptions floating around. Others might not want the screening test conducted by their doctor of the opposite sex.

But some programs have helped – reminders that you’re due for a screening test is a good start.

So far, Kiran has shared her findings with the Ontario Medical Association and the province’s health ministry.

Her full study was published Monday afternoon in the Annals of Family Medicine.

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Tributes pour in, as search for missing Calgary family turns to heartbreak

Posted on 11/09/2018

CALGARY- Calgarians are reacting with shock and grief, just hours after Calgary Police said the search for a missing family has turned into a murder investigation.

Five-year-old Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents, Alvin and Kathryn Liknes, have not been seen since June 30. Despite an Amber Alert, hundreds of tips from the public and an exhaustive search, they have not been found.

On Monday, police announced that murder charges were pending against a person of interest in connection with their deaths.

“I, like all Calgarians, am terribly saddened to learn about the murder charges that were laid today related to the missing persons investigation in our community,” said Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, in a statement. “My heart goes out to the Liknes and O’Brien families, and I know that they will continue to have the support they need from all of us at this very difficult time. My thanks go to my colleagues at the Calgary Police Service and the women and men of the RCMP for their hard work on this investigation.”

A memorial in front of the Liknes’ home.

Global News / Reid Fiest

Flowers on the Liknes’ front porch.

Craig Hooper/Global News

A memorial in front of the Liknes’ home.

Gary Bobrovitz/Global News

A mother and her son at a memorial for a missing Calgary family.

Gary Bobrovitz/Global News


Prime Minister Stephen Harper also extended his condolences:

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People began visiting the Liknes’ Parkhill home on Monday, shortly after the police news conference. Flowers were left on the front porch, in a tribute to the family.

“I have a grandson his age, so, you know, it’s heartwrenching,” said neighbour Tim Taylor. “I can’t imagine what they’re going through. The whole thing is just a terrible, terrible situation.”

“It’s obviously hard for everyone,” adds neighbour Natalie Stevenson. “Everyone’s pretty upset over it and this is a really family-oriented community.

“To have such a young child taken from a home here is really horrifying.”

Green ribbons also line area streets, in a sign of solidarity.

Green ribbons line a street in Parkhill in support of the missing family.

Police Chief Rick Hanson said news that murder charges have been laid have devastated the family.

“Unfortunately with the laying of the charges, we’ve taken that hope away from the family. So they’re devastated,” he said. “Ultimately we want to be able to find the bodies, so the family can have final closure.”

Nathan’s parents Rod and Jennifer O’Brien both work at Cenovus. The company’s president and CEO Brian Ferguson has released the following statement:

“All of us at Cenovus are deeply saddened by the recent developments in the search for Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents Kathy and Alvin Liknes. My thoughts are with Rod and Jennifer O’Brien, who work for Cenovus. It has been a heart-wrenching two weeks for them, and I can only imagine how devastating this news has been. On behalf of everyone at Cenovus, I offer them my deepest sympathy and condolences.”