Douglas Garland remains tight-lipped about triple murder investigation

Posted on 29/03/2019

CALGARY- The man charged in the triple murder of a Calgary family remains tight-lipped, much to the frustration of both police and the devastated family.

Five-year-old Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents Alvin and Kathryn Liknes haven’t been seen since June 30, when Nathan’s mother dropped him off at the Liknes’ Parkhill home for a sleepover.

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Douglas Garland, 54, has since been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder in connection with the case, though no bodies have been found.

“While it is unusual for homicide charges to be laid without the bodies, and there’s obviously a huge amount of information that comes from being able to obtain that additional evidence, what it tells me is that the evidence the police have already collected points to this particular conclusion,” says forensic psychologist Dr. Patrick Baillie. “The prosecution can only go ahead when the crown believes there’s reasonable possibility of conviction, so there must be sufficient evidence in front of them.”

Garland was arrested early Monday at the Airdrie property police have been searching for days in an alleged violation of his bail conditions which included a curfew from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.

READ MORE: Who is Calgary triple-murder suspect Douglas Garland?

Calgary Police search a landfill on Wednesday, July 9.

Dani Lantela/Global News

Police search a property north of Calgary.

Sarah Offin/Global News

Police search a property north of Calgary.

Sarah Offin/Global News

Police scour a rural home near Airdrie as they investigate the disappearance of five-year-old Nathan O’Brien, 66-year-old Alvin Cecil Liknes and 53-year-old Kathryn Fay Liknes.

Global News

On Sunday, July 6, 2014 officers could be seen focusing their efforts on a pond about 500 metres north of the home, and brought in the K9 Unit and a boat to search the body of water.

Global News

Police search a property north of Calgary.

Jenna Bridges/Global News

Calgary police investigators check out the home where five-year-old Nathan O’Brien and his grandparents Alvin and Kathryn Liknes disappeared, in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, July 2, 2014. Police in Calgary say they’ve made a last sweep of the home owned by a couple who have been missing along with their five-year-old grandson since last month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

“We know that Mr. Garland made the decision to go back there, and we can assume he was aware of the conditions he wasn’t supposed to be in that area. So he must have had a reason for wanting to get back there.”

Baillie adds that police likely used the nearly 24 hours between the time Garland was arrested and when charges were formally laid to try and pry information out of him.

“From what I know, investigators attempted to use that time to have a conversation with him, so there may have been some discussions at that time. But I would suggest it’s far too early in the process for any negotiations.

When asked what line of questioning police would likely have for Garland to bring them closer to finding the bodies of the missing family, Baillie says the conversation would be limited.

“There have been other cases where favours have been given to people that have been convicted, but in Mr. Garland’s position, to my understanding there’s been no confession, no admission of responsibility, so he’s not in a position where he wants to give police additional information.”

READ MORE: 4 questions in the Calgary family disappearance-turned-homicide case

Garland also refused to answer any questions from Global News as he was taken by police to have the charges read against him late Monday night.

Police Chief Rick Hanson says officers continue to work hard on the case.

“The days of a couple of gumshoes with fedoras walking around smoking cigarettes and getting a confession from somebody at the end of the day are long over. What it takes is investigative teams that use the assets of the organization and tips from citizens and witnesses and all kinds of pieces of information.”

READ MORE: How you can support the Liknes and O’Brien families

He adds they remain hopeful that the family will get the closure they’re so desperate for.

“We know the family won’t have closure and many people in the community won’t be satisfied and won’t have closure themselves until we find the bodies. So we will relentlessly pursue any leads that may allow us to find the bodies sometime down the road.”

Garland is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday morning.

RCMP’s open letter to Alberta communities addresses ‘youth wreaking havoc’

Posted on 29/03/2019

Watch above: RCMP in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain issued a rare open letter this week about a surge in vandalism by youth. Eric Szeto reports.

EDMONTON – RCMP in Spruce Grove and Stony Plain issued an open letter to citizens on Tuesday about a “handful” of youth committing criminal acts in the last two weeks.

Officers say, since school has ended for the summer, a “small percentage of youth” have been “wreaking havoc on our communities.”

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    Stony Plain School Vandalism

RCMP say members have responded to more than 30 incidents of vandalism and property damage, including tipped over mailboxes, damaged playgrounds, deliberately set fires, and spray painting in a two-week period.

Officers are investigating these incidents and have arrested several youth in connection with the fires and damaged mailboxes.

Part of the open letter from RCMP reads:

“The vast majority of these incidents are occurring in the early morning hours, leaving many to wonder why these young people are roaming our streets throughout the night.  

“While summer holidays means more freedom and a break from the routine associated with school,

“this should translate to evening Slurpee runs and dips in the pool to cool off, not committing criminal acts on public or private property.”

RCMP say these issues tie up police resources that could be better used responding to emergency situations.

The open letter asks the community and parents to supervise Spruce Grove and Stony Plain youth and hold them “accountable for their whereabouts and behaviours.”

“This may include calling their children’s friends’ parents, to ensure that they are where they promised to be.  Having once been young ourselves, and being parents, we realize that sometimes, just sometimes, kids may not be entirely truthful with their parents.  The onus is on parents to monitor their activities, not police.”

“RCMP believe that long-term prevention of youth crime can only be accomplished in partnership with the community,” says Insp. Gary Graham, in a news release. “We work closely with local organizations and community services to ensure that young people who come into contact with the police, as either offenders or victims, receive the help they need to overcome challenges in their lives.”

Surrey family man has been missing for 5 years

Posted on 29/03/2019

Surrey man Yashpal Mehay has been missing for five years.

The 45-year-old husband and father went missing after leaving his home to drive to Clinton in the South Cariboo.

He was reported missing on July 15, 2009, when he failed to turn up in Clinton after leaving Surrey the day before. He operated a Petro Canada gas station with his brother-in-law and had made the drive from Surrey to Clinton every-other week for the previous three years.

RCMP say Mehay had no health problems, criminal affiliations or a criminal record and there is no evidence to suggest he met with foul play.

He was driving his grey 2004 Mazda MPV with BC licence plate number 494KVK at the time.

Police launched an investigation after he went missing and confirmed that the last known place Mehay was last seen was the Staples Office Supply in Chilliwack around 3 p.m. on July 14, 2009.

Police believe that Mehay would have travelled from Chilliwack to Clinton via Highway 1 to Cache Creek, then north on Highway 97 to Clinton. This route was searched extensively but no trace of the missing man was found.

Yashpal Mehay is described as a 45-year-old South Asian male, approximately 5’7”, 185 lbs, with short black hair, brown eyes, and a black moustache. He was last known to be wearing a striped green and white long-sleeved American Eagle shirt and khaki pants.

The Mehay family and the police are asking that anyone with information regarding the disappearance of Yashpal Mehay, no matter how seemingly insignificant, to come forward.

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Two years after mass shooting, Danzig community moves forward – Toronto

Posted on 29/03/2019

Watch above: Looking at the community centre some Danzig residents are crediting for helping the community move past the shooting. Mark Carcasole reports. 

TORONTO – The residents of Danzig Street don’t like to dwell on the deadly violence that thrust their typically quiet community into the national spotlight two years ago.

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The east-end Toronto neighbourhood where children play in driveways and toys litter front yards isn’t a bad one, they insist. It just happened to be a place where something terrible happened.

Wednesday marks the second anniversary of a shootout between two rival gangs at a barbecue held in the community. The bullets sprayed into the crowd killed a 14-year-old girl and a 23-year-old man while injuring more than 20 others.

The incident – called an “unprecedented” episode of violence by Toronto police – stunned the country and rocked the community to its core.

Two years later, those who live in the area are eager to move past the night which made the street synonymous with gang warfare.

“It’s peaceful, it’s good, it still is,” 22-year-old Kevin Danquah says of the community he grew up in.

“I never thought the neighbourhood was bad to begin with.”

Danquah now volunteers at a community centre which opened exactly a year after the shooting with the help of a grant from a local businessman. The converted townhouse is a place where kids participate in programs, get help with homework or use a computer lab, among other facilities.

The impact of the centre, called Our Space, is significant, Danquah says.

“When I was growing up, I had no one to help me,” he says of the neighbourhood which is home to a community-housing complex. “As a kid you get lost a lot, you definitely need someone for guidance and if you don’t have that you could easily make a wrong choice.”

The mentorship Danquah is helping provide to youth in the community is exactly the kind of effort Toronto police want to encourage.

“The biggest difficulty facing Danzig, I think like many areas of Toronto, falls back to the engagement of children and the services that are available to them,” said Staff Sgt. Peter Moreira, whose team deals with the neighbourhood’s issues on a long-term basis.

“Kids are always looking for something to do…those are the sort of challenges that appear.”

Danzig Street turned into a hub of police activity in the immediate aftermath of the 2012 shooting. Police tape crisscrossed laneways, cop cars were stationed in the area for days and four people, including two youth, were eventually charged in relation with the incident.

While a shocking event that wasn’t reflective of the community as a whole, it was a wake-up call, said Moreira.

“I think that people finally realized that minor things left unchecked, left unreported can lead to bigger problems,” he said.

“It’s not just a wake-up call for the residents in the area but also the Toronto police in respective of how we were going to approach it. Our emphasis is preventing those things from happening in the first place.”

Moreira said the community’s collaboration with police is arguably one of the largest changes that’s taken place over the past two years.

“We have parents who call us and talk about ‘my son’s running with the wrong crowd, can you talk to them?’ That’s powerful stuff,” Moreira said.

“What that does is that allows us to be proactive in our approach and surgical in our approach. So we’re only dealing with the people that are victimizing our community instead of casting a wide net.”

Like those who live in the community, Moreira is also determined to change the way Danzig is perceived.

“The aftermath of the shooting made it sound like war zone…Danzig is populated by families and good decent people,” he said.

Police have said the shooting on Danzig two years ago was triggered when members of the Galloway Boys, a local street gang who allegedly “took ownership” of the barbecue, turned away a member of the Malvern crew, a rival gang. That individual then allegedly returned to the gathering with a number of associates to confront the Galloway Boys, sparking the shootout.

Two years later, Moreira said street gangs in the area have been dramatically diminished, but for the families of the two bystanders who were killed in the shooting, however, it’s been harder to move past the violence.

In Remelinda Yasay’s Ajax, Ont., home, her son Joshua Yasay’s room is exactly as he left it on the day he died.

“We don’t want to touch it yet,” she said in a soft voice.

“It’s really hard. Sometimes I’m OK, sometimes I’m not.”

Joshua wanted to be a police officer one day and had recently graduated with a degree in criminology from York University, which now has a scholarship in his name. He also volunteered as a youth basketball coach and had recently opened a barbershop with friends.

His mother doesn’t think the courts are being strict enough with those who were arrested in connection with his death.

“I hope one day the law will change,” she said. “I guess more lives have to be wasted.”

Fourteen-year-old Shyanne Charles, who lived in the Danzig Street community, also died in the shootout.

Her family moved out of the neighbourhood, but her grandfather wants her memory to live on, which is why he’s involved with setting up a scholarship at Centennial College in her name.

“I don’t just want to remember her by how she died. I want something good to come out of it…Even though she’s not here she can still contribute to other people who need help,” said Tyrone Charles.

“Shyanne was a child who loved to laugh. We’re not going to cry no more.”

©2014The Canadian Press

Updated: Motorcyclist “lucky to be alive” after crash pins her under SUV – Regina

Posted on 29/03/2019

REGINA – A Regina woman believes she’s lucky to be alive after her motorcycle was trapped under an SUV following a crash in the south end of the city on Monday night.

“I’m in shock that I’m alive. I’m in shock that I’m here. I’m in shock that I’m at home not even 24 hours later,” said Rhonda Cwynar.

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Cwynar, who is the president of an advocacy organization for motorcyclists, suffered a cracked collarbone and a broken ankle after she was hit by a car while riding her motorcycle on Albert Street and Gordon Road.

Regina police were called to the scene at 9:51 p.m. They eventually charged the driver with impaired driving causing bodily harm and driving while exceeding 0.08.

At court on Tuesday morning, a publication ban was put in place as part of the request for release conditions for the accused. Global News is therefore not allowed to name the person charged, but eyewitnesses report that the female driver of the SUV was given a breathalyzer at the scene.

Cwynar said she lost consciousness during the collision but believes she was dragged underneath the car for about half of a block.

“I know I’m lucky to be alive. People have died in crashes that are less [severe] than that,” she said.

Cwynar was on her way back from a trip outside the city at the time.

Emergency crews had to elevate the SUV before they could extract her.

Cwynar said she’s suffered “minor” injuries and hopes there are no further problems, though “time will tell.”

Rejuvenating Lethbridge one fence at a time – Lethbridge

Posted on 29/03/2019

Everyone wants to maintain a beautiful yard, but for those who are disabled or elderly, that can be a challenge. Project Paintbrush is looking to help.

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Armed with sandpaper, paintbrushes, and good hearts, volunteers work to spruce up properties with good old fashioned paint jobs. Scott Weber is the Rural Development Coordinator at Project Paintbrush. “The objective of Project Paintbrush is to paint fences, single story homes and garages for seniors and people who are physically and/or financially unable to do the work themselves at little to no cost to them. The fence painting rejuvenates the property so it really gives the homeowner more enjoyment out in their yard. Sometimes a coat of paint is all a fence needs to last another couple years, and it increases the property value of the neighbourhood.”

The organization has been around for a number of years now, but it still surprised people that such a unique initiative exists. However, once the job is done, those who have had their property rejuvenated quickly appreciate the difference it makes. Kelsey Ronne is a Project Paintbrush Assistant and recalls one satisfied homeowner. “Even after we finished her garage, which was about 60 years old when we painted it, she was calling me for the next week after saying, ‘I just wanted to let you know that all the neighbours came by and they really liked it’, and she’ll call and thank us which is so nice. It just makes it feel really worth it to get that appreciation and know that we’re doing something to make them feel better. So it’s awesome.”

The volunteers have no shortage of potential projects in the city, but are now looking to expand outwards to the outlying rural communities. “We’re trying to do twenty projects in Lethbridge, that’s our goal. With another six in the surrounding area. Taber, Coaldale, Coalhurst. Just anywhere in the immediate vicinity of Lethbridge.”

The Project Paintbrush team spent Tuesday morning painting the fence of the Potvin family, who’s owner is legally blind and can’t do it herself. “It’s incredible, absolutely incredible,” said the homeowner’s son, Ross Potvin. “We’re so pleased that so many volunteers have come out here and taken the initiative to take care of my mom for us and the family is very grateful and very thankful.”

With more projects scheduled for the summer, Project Paintbrush is continuing to rejuvenate the community, one fence at a time. If you would like to be a part of the team, visit volunteerlethbridge杭州夜网, or e-mail [email protected]杭州夜网 and ask to be on the e-mail list.

Trans Mountain pipeline review delayed

Posted on 29/03/2019

VANCOUVER – The City of Burnaby’s refusal to co-operate with Kinder Morgan has forced a seven-month delay in a National Energy Board review of the company’s proposed expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline through British Columbia.

The NEB announced Tuesday it has deferred the deadline for the final report to cabinet until Jan. 25, 2016, while Kinder Morgan completes necessary studies.

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The agency wants more information about a preferred new route through Burnaby Mountain but, so far, the Metro Vancouver city has been steadfast in its opposition. Burnaby has not allowed engineers and other specialists hired by Trans Mountain onto city property.

“There’s a number of different studies that we would need in order to assess the application,” said Sarah Kiley, the board’s communications officer. “What we’re looking at is a new route that would go through the mountain.”

The company told the board that the route through the mountain, which is home to Simon Fraser University and a vast park, is preferable because of the lower construction cost.

No one from Trans Mountain responded to a request for comment but the company told the board that it has attempted for more than a year to work with Burnaby to collect the required information.

“Despite these extensive efforts, the City of Burnaby has refused to meet with Trans Mountain on these matters and has stated that it will not provide Trans Mountain with access or permits,” the company said in documents filed with the board.

If Burnaby continues to be unco-operative, Trans Mountain said it will apply to the regulatory board for an order granting access.

“Trans Mountain has indicated that it does require access to City of Burnaby land,” Kiley said. “If the city refuses access, Trans Mountain can request an order from the National Energy Board to gain access to those lands.”

The company reiterated that its preference is to work collaboratively.

Burnaby council is officially opposed to the $5.4-billion expansion that would almost triple the current pipeline’s capacity, from 300,000 barrels a day to almost 900,000 barrels.

Like the Northern Gateway pipeline proposed by Enbridge (TSX:ENB), the Trans Mountain project faces some staunch opposition.

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan was not available for comment Tuesday, but in documents filed to the board, the city said that “the ‘engagement’ that Trans Mountain is requesting appears in some cases to constitute support or pre-approval by Burnaby.”

In other cases it’s akin to city staff helping the company to meet its obligations to the National Energy Board, it said.

It appears unlikely Burnaby will offer its co-operation without an order from the regulator.

“Burnaby takes the position that now the hearing process is underway for the project, communications with Trans Mountain should take place transparently on the hearing record,” the city wrote to the board earlier this month.

“Burnaby is open to engagement with Trans Mountain through the NEB process … .”

Trans Mountain now has until Dec. 1 to submit the required studies to the board. Interveners will then have until Feb. 3 to review and respond to that information.

Oral hearings expected to begin next January will now begin in July 2015. The rest of the assessment will continue as planned and hearings to gather aboriginal oral evidence are expected to go begin as scheduled at the end of August.

Under the original schedule, the board’s report was due July 2, 2015.

Kennedy Stewart, the New Democrat MP for Burnaby-Douglas, notes the new deadline for a final decision is after the next federal election in October 2015.

“Up until this point the NEB has allowed Kinder Morgan to play fast and loose with this process,” Stewart said in a news release. “My constituents have known for months the company had at least three pipeline routes in play through Burnaby and it looked like the NEB was going to let them get away with not specifying whose homes and properties would be affected.”

Silicon Valley venture capitalist takes step toward ballot initiative to split California – National

Posted on 01/03/2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper began submitting signatures Tuesday for a ballot initiative that would ask voters to split California into six separate states, a move he said would create governments that are more manageable and responsive to residents’ needs.

Draper said the state of 38.3 million people, the most populous in the U.S., has become ungovernable and that there are too many diverse interests for politicians to effectively represent their constituents.

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READ MORE: Proposal to divide California into 6 states moves closer to voter consideration

Draper and a bipartisan team of political consultants delivered what he said were 44,000 signatures to the Sacramento County registrar of voters. The signatures are among 1.3 million the Six Californias campaign plans to submit statewide this week.

If enough signatures are verified, voters in November 2016 would be asked to divide the state into six states called Jefferson, North California, Silicon Valley, Central California, West California and South California.

Map of how venture capitalist Tim Draper envisions his Six Californias plan.

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Critics note that the plan would separate the wealthiest and poorest Californians, potentially creating some of the poorest states in the nation. But Draper brushed away such concerns, saying the individual states could pursue new revenue and jobs when they are freed from other burdens.

“Those places are poor under the current regime. They don’t have to be poor. These can be wealthy states,” he said.

It’s too bad that California’s initiative process subjects voters to the whims of an eccentric billionaire, said Steve Maviglio, a Democratic political consultant and spokesman for OneCalifornia, a group formed to oppose Draper’s initiative.

“If you have $30 million, you can put anything you want on the ballot in California,” he said. “It’s just a tragedy of the initiative system that the voters have to go through this kind of debate and our state will have to go through this kind of debate for now two years, not just a regular campaign season, just to gratify his ego.”

©2014The Canadian Press

Mother of murdered girl asks for people to step up, close unsolved cases – Halifax

Posted on 01/03/2019

HALIFAX  – Ruth Slaunwhite will face the man accused of killing her daughter, Melissa Dawn Peacock, in court on Wednesday.

Slaunwhite said she is healing a little more every day, but still gets choked up talking about her late daughter.

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“She’d give you the shirt off her back. She really would take the shirt right off her back and give it to you. The best sister that my kids could ever, ever have,” Slaunwhite said.

Peacock was first reported missing in November 2011. Her body was found in Upper Stewiacke, N.S. on July 4, 2012.

Her murder was the first case listed under the province’s Rewards for Major Unsolved Crimes Program that actually resulted in an arrest.

“We might not have answers today if not for the program, and I don’t even know where we’d be without it” said Slaunwhite.

At its inception in October 2006, the Rewards For Major Unsolved Crimes program offered a reward of $50,000 for a tip leading to an arrest and conviction in a case.

Since then, the reward has tripled to $150,000.

Although the program has been around for nearly eight years, it only got it’s breakthrough in the past year.

“We’ve had close to 100 calls in which persons have provided information on numerous cases that we have in our program,” said Roger Merrick, Director of Public Safety, for the Nova Scotia Department of Justice.

The program has also helped police lay charges in the murder of Ryan Matthew White, who was shot and killed on Jarvis Lane in Halifax in July 2010.

Charges have also been laid in the homicide of Narico Danefu Downey. The 23 year-old was shot in North Preston in the summer of 2012.

With three successful cases, officials say they are hoping to close more unsolved files.

“There’s a lot of people that out that are grieving, a lot of people with questions about what happened to their family members and we’re hoping we can solve all the cases in the program,” Merrick tells Global News.

As the mother of a murder victim, Slaunwhite said she’s experienced firsthand how the program helps families heal, and so she’s asking for others to speak up.

“We only went eight months, which is a really, really long time,” she said. “But, there’s families that have done many, many years and they need, they need answers, they can’t go on without answers.”

Woman in Peru says Mike Duffy is her father: report – National

Posted on 01/03/2019

OTTAWA – A Peruvian woman claiming to be the daughter of Mike Duffy says the suspended Senator had an affair with her mother – a convicted drug mule, Maclean’s Magazine reports.

The bombshell article quotes Karen Duffy, 32, who says she and her mother tried to reach out to the former broadcaster on numerous occasions but have never heard back.

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Karen Duffy has now filed a lawsuit in Peru seeking to prove the former Conservative senator is her father, the magazine says.

In an email to Global News, Duffy said: “The Maclean’s story contains untrue allegations, made by a convicted narcotics smuggler, and which go back more than 30 years. I will respond to any legal process from Peru in an appropriate manner. I will have no further comment.”

The article says Yvette Benites, Karen Duffy’s mother, served less than two years at Kingston Penitentiary for Women after being found guilty of importing drugs.

In prison, Benites met Mike Duffy’s sister, Moira, who asked her to deliver a birthday present to her brother when Benites was paroled, it says.

After a brief affair, Benites discovered she was pregnant, the article says. Before being deported she left a letter for Mike Duffy in his apartment telling him about the child, the report says.

According to the article,Karen Duffy has for years sought her father’s attention.

“I don’t know how else to get his attention,” she told the magazine. “I write to him, but I don’t know if he reads it. Or if he’s ignoring me, or he’s just scared.”

The magazine also features photos of Karen Duffy side-by-side with her alleged father.

Duffy, who was suspended from the Senate, is currently under investigation for fraud, breach of trust and frauds on the government.

The police investigation relates to living and travel claims he made as a Conservative senator, as well as his use of office resources and a $90,000 cheque given to him by former chief of staff Nigel Wright to repay the expenses.

The RCMP announced in April Wright will not be criminally charged.