Divided households ready for Battle of Alberta playoff series

WATCH ABOVE: Fans are eagerly awaiting puck drop on the first playoff Battle of Alberta in 31 years Wednesday night. But for some, there will be no break from the rivalry with family and friends divided in their support for the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers. Erik Bay has more.

Friends and family are preparing to be divided as the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers rekindle their hockey rivalry in the NHL playoffs this week for the first time in 31 years.

In some cases, the battle lines are physically marked. For neighbours Wes Real and Travis Burndred, it’s the street that separates their two houses in Lethbridge, Alta.

“There will be some flags hanging in my window pretty soon,” said Burndred, a Flames fan.

“It’s pretty much decorated Flames in there,” Real said of his neighbour’s home, while wearing a Wayne Gretzky jersey. “I’m a little more conservative.”

Read more:

Battle of Alberta hockey allegiances split in Red Deer: ‘You can’t like both’

The two have lived across from each other for four years and the rivalry doesn’t stop, even when the pair hit the links together.

Whether watching hockey or playing a round of golf, Wes Real and Travis Burndred are representing their teams.

Whether watching hockey or playing a round of golf, Wes Real and Travis Burndred are representing their teams.

Courtesy: Travis Burndred

“We’ve got golf bags,” Real said. “His is a Flames bag and I’ve got an Oilers bag. We stick to our teams, that’s for sure.”

And the competition heats up whenever the Battle of Alberta is on.

“I just want to see Edmonton win (the battle) again,” Real said.

“I want Calgary to show the reason why they got first place in the division and live up to the hype,” Burndred said.

For others, the division is within their own home.

“We’re not going to be very happy with each other over the next few weeks,” Jack Fehr said.

The Fehrs are split down the middle. The family of five from Lethbridge has three members under their roof cheering on the Flames and the other two supporting the Oilers.

Read more:

Remember when? Battle of Alberta set for Wednesday after 31-year hiatus

The battle has been ongoing for years.

When Karalee and Nathan Fehr began dating, Nathan lost a bet and had to wear an Oilers jersey out to dinner. At their wedding, the DJ provided live game updates for the Flames and Oilers game that was happening at the same time.

Now the rivalry is onto the next generation, with their kids Jailen, Jack and Carter choosing sides.

The Fehr family will be cheering for opposite sides in the Battle of Alberta.

The Fehr family will be cheering for opposite sides in the Battle of Alberta.

Courtesy: Karalee Fehr

“(Nathan) said very early on I didn’t get to influence our boys — if we had boys — on what team they would cheer for,” Karalee said. “So I took every opportunity to make my daughter understand the true way and she became an Oilers fan all on her own.”

They’re preparing for what could potentially be a 13-day Battle of Alberta. So are Candice Pohl and Shane Duff, who make no secret about their allegiances.

The Lethbridge couple currently have a flag reading “House Divided” with the Flames and Oilers logos hanging in their front window and another in their basement.

“Our first meeting, we just hung out and started reminiscing and then he came back that evening,” Pohl said.

“It happened to be a Battle of Alberta game and he wore his (Oilers) jersey. I wore my (Flames jersey) and we’ve been rivals ever since. But we’ve also been in a committed relationship ever since.”

Read more:

Series between Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames going to be a true battle: Gretzky

“It was a 1-0 Oilers win,” Duff said.

The opposing parties said the key is accepting each other’s sports affiliation faults and co-ordinating the decor.

“Game 1, I get choice of lights, so it will be red and yellow,” Pohl said. “Game 2 will be blue and orange and we’ll just alternate.”

“We’ve made it this far, so maybe we can make it through the next few weeks,” Karalee said.

One thing that everyone shares, is the excitement over the Battle of Alberta’s return to the playoffs.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Duff said. “It’s going to be different. (It) won’t be like the 80s. It’ll be a lot faster.”

“There’s some major talent on both teams,” Pohl said.

“We couldn’t be more pumped as a couple and rivals as well.”

“It’s pretty cool to have both the Alberta teams,” Real said. “That’s what we were hoping for.”

But there’s no agreeing on the series outcome.

“It’s going to go at least six games — in Calgary’s favour,” Burndred said.

“I’m hoping it’ll go at least seven — in Edmonton’s favour,” Real said.

“Flames sweep — four games,” said Nathan.

“I don’t think it’ll be a sweep, but I’m fully confident in the Oilers,” Karalee said.

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

Residents rally to keep West Kildonan Library from moving into mall

Residents against the city’s plan to move the West Kildonan Library rallied Tuesday in hopes the book is not closed on the current location.

A proposal at City Hall is recommending the library be moved from its current Jefferson Avenue spot to a space the city would lease inside the Garden City Shopping Centre.

The proposal will be voted on at Executive Policy Committee on Wednesday.

READ MORE: Backlash over proposal to relocate West Kildonan Library

The city says the current branch, built in 1967, struggles to accomodate the needs for library users and has limited parking.

But it’s a unpopular plan among some residents who gathered outside the current space on Tuesday.

“Throwing money at an inaccessible shopping mall is the wrong choice – let’s reinvest here in West Kildonan,” Evan Krosney, Co-Chair of the Friends of West Kildonan Library Coalition said.

“You come to the library to find information, but almost more importantly it is where you find community. This library has become part of our community, and we are fighting for it,” Steve Snyder, past chair of the Seven Oaks Residents’ Association added.

He says the space lacks exterior windows, greenspace and a dedicated exterior entrance and residents have told him the mall lacks safe pedestrian pathways to connect the mall to city sidewalks.

The coalition is calling on Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman to meet with them and listen to community voices before making a decision on the proposal.


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

Human remains pulled from Grand River in Dunnville: OPP

OPP say human remains have been recovered from the waters of the Grand River in Dunnville, Ont.

Investigators say emergency crews were called out to the scene in Haldimand County just before 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

“An update will be provided once new information becomes available,” Const. Mary Gagliardi said in a release.

Read more:

OPP say 2022 has so far been deadliest year on highways since 2012

“The investigation is continuing and there is no threat to public safety.”

A post-mortem examination is underway to determine the cause of death.

The OPP’s Criminal Investigation Branch is leading the probe.

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

London Lightning take Game Two against Windsor Express with 107-97 win

The London Lightning rode a big third quarter to a 2-0 series lead as they knocked off the Windsor Express 107-97 on Tuesday night at Budweiser Gardens.

With the Express ahead by five points coming out of halftime, London outscored Windsor 34-17 to begin the second half to move one victory away from the National Basketball League of Canada championship series.

The Lightning showed off their depth as five players scored in double figures led by Jermaine Haley who had 27 points.

Read more:

Late push lifts Lightning to Game One win

On the day Terry Thomas was named the NBLC’s Sixth Man of the Year, the Dartmouth, N.S., native was put into the starting lineup by London head coach Doug Plumb and stayed on the floor nearly all night as he played 46 of the 48 minutes in the game.

Thomas ended with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Thomas averaged 17 points per game in the regular season which ranked ninth overall in the league.

Amir Williams also had a double-double for the Lightning with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Cameron Forte also had 16 points coming off the bench for London.

Read more:

Huge week for Western Mustangs and London Jr. Mustangs

William Claiborne had team-high 27 points for the Express while Billy White added 24.

Both teams shot below 30 per cent from the three-point range.

Game 3 will be Friday, May 19 in Windsor, Ont.

In the other NBLC semi-final series, the Sudbury Five rebounded from a Game One loss to blow out the K-W Titans 112-86 to even their series 1-1 heading to Kitchener-Waterloo.

Read more:

London Knights hand out awards to wrap up the 2021-22 season

Remaining series schedule:

Game 3 – Friday, May 20 at 7:30 p.m. at WFCU Centre in Windsor, Ont.

Game 4 – Sunday, May 22 at 2 p.m. at WFCU Centre in Windsor, Ont. *if necessary

Game 5 – Tuesday, May 24 at 7 p.m. at Budweiser Gardens in London, Ont. *if necessary

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

Pollution kills 9 million people globally a year, new study finds

According to a new study an estimated 260 million disposable face masks ended up in the garbage in Metro Vancouver in 2021. UBC Professor Rashid Sumaila discusses the impact of all that plastic waste on our oceans, and other waterways.

A new study blames pollution of all types for 9 million deaths a year globally, with the death toll attributed to dirty air from cars, trucks and industry rising 55% since 2000.

That increase is offset by fewer pollution deaths from primitive indoor stoves and water contaminated with human and animal waste, so overall pollution deaths in 2019 are about the same as 2015.

The United States is the only fully industrialized country in the top 10 nations for total pollution deaths, ranking 7th with 142,883 deaths blamed on pollution in 2019, sandwiched between Bangladesh and Ethiopia, according to a new study in the journal The Lancet Planetary Health. Tuesday’s pre-pandemic study is based on calculations derived from the Global Burden of Disease database and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle. India and China lead the world in pollution deaths with nearly 2.4 million and almost 2.2 million deaths a year, but the two nations also have the world’s largest populations.

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When deaths are put on a per population rate, the United States ranks 31st from the bottom at 43.6 pollution deaths per 100,000. Chad and the Central African Republic rank the highest with rates about 300 pollution deaths per 100,000, more than half of them due to tainted water, while Brunei, Qatar and Iceland have the lowest pollution death rates ranging from 15 to 23. The global average is 117 pollution deaths per 100,000 people.

Pollution kills about the same number of people a year around the world as cigarette smoking and second-hand smoke combined, the study said.

“9 million deaths is a lot of deaths,” said Philip Landrigan, director of the Global Public Health Program and Global Pollution Observatory at Boston College.

“The bad news is that it’s not decreasing,” Landrigan said. “We’re making gains in the easy stuff and we’re seeing the more difficult stuff, which is the ambient (outdoor industrial) air pollution and the chemical pollution, still going up.”

It doesn’t have to be this way, researchers said.

“They are preventable deaths. Each and every one of them is a death that is unnecessary,” said Dr. Lynn Goldman, dean of the George Washington University School of Public Health, who wasn’t part of the study. She said the calculations made sense and if anything. was so conservative about what it attributed to pollution, that the real death toll is likely higher.

The certificates for these deaths don’t say pollution. They list heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, other lung issues and diabetes that are “tightly correlated” with pollution by numerous epidemiological studies, Landrigan said. To then put these together with actual deaths, researchers look at the number of deaths by cause, exposure to pollution weighted for various factors, and then complicated exposure response calculations derived by large epidemiological studies based on thousands of people over decades of study, he said. It’s the same way scientists can say cigarettes cause cancer and heart disease deaths.

“That cannon of information constitutes causality,” Landrigan said. “That’s how we do it.”

Five outside experts in public health and air pollution, including Goldman, told The Associated Press the study follows mainstream scientific thought. Dr. Renee Salas, an emergency room doctor and Harvard professor who wasn’t part of the study, said “the American Heart Association determined over a decade ago that exposure to (tiny pollution particles) like that generated from the burning of fossil fuels is causal for heart disease and death.”

“While people focus on decreasing their blood pressure and cholesterol, few recognize that the removal of air pollution is an important prescription to improve their heart health,” Salas said.

Three-quarters of the overall pollution deaths came from air pollution and the overwhelming part of that is “a combination of pollution from stationary sources like coal-fired power plants and steel mills on one hand and mobile sources like cars, trucks and buses. And it’s just a big global problem,” said Landrigan, a public health physician. “And it’s getting worse around the world as countries develop and cities grow.”

In New Delhi, India, air pollution peaks in the winter months and last year the city saw just two days when the air wasn’t considered polluted. It was the first time in four years that the city experienced a clean air day during the winter months.

That air pollution remains the leading cause of death in South Asia reconfirms what is already known, but the increase in these deaths means that toxic emissions from vehicles and energy generation is increasing, said Anumita Roychowdhury, a director at the advocacy group Centre for Science and Environment in New Delhi.

“This data is a reminder of what is going wrong but also that it is an opportunity to fix it,” Roychowdhury said.

Pollution deaths are soaring in the poorest areas, experts said.

“This problem is worst in areas of the world where population is most dense (e.g. Asia) and where financial and government resources to address the pollution problem are limited and stretched thin to address a host of challenges including health care availability and diet as well as pollution,” said Dan Greenbaum, president of the Health Effects Institute, who wasn’t part of the study.

In 2000, industrial air pollution killed about 2.9 million people a year globally. By 2015 it was up to 4.2 million and in 2019 it was 4.5 million, the study said. Toss in household air pollution, mostly from inefficient primitive stoves, and air pollution killed 6.7 million people in 2019, the study found.

Lead pollution – some from lead additive which has been banned from gasoline in every country in the world and also from old paint, recycling batteries and other manufacturing – kills 900,000 people a year, while water pollution is responsible for 1.4 million deaths a year. Occupational health pollution adds another 870,000 deaths, the study said.

In the United States, about 20,000 people a year die from lead pollution-induced hypertension, heart disease and kidney disease, mostly as occupational hazards, Landrigan said. Lead and asbestos are America’s big chemical occupational hazards, and they kill about 65,000 people a year from pollution, he said. The study said the number of air pollution deaths in the United States in 2019 was 60,229, far more than deaths on American roads, which hit a 16-year peak of nearly 43,000 last year.

Modern types of pollution are rising in most countries, especially developing ones, but fell from 2000 to 2019 in the United States, the European Union and Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s numbers can’t quite be explained and may be a reporting issue, said study co-author Richard Fuller, founder of the Global Alliance on Health and Pollution and president of Pure Earth, a non-profit that works on pollution clean-up programs in about a dozen countries.

The study authors came up with eight recommendations to reduce pollution deaths, highlighting the need for better monitoring, better reporting and stronger government systems regulating industry and cars.

“We absolutely know how to solve each one of those problems,” Fuller said. “What’s missing is political will.”

Aniruddha Ghosal contributed from New Delhi, India.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Unbeaten Edmonton Oil Kings prepare for WHL Eastern Conference final against Winnipeg Ice

WATCH ABOVE: Some recent videos from the world of hockey.

The Edmonton Oil Kings have yet to lose in the 2022 post-season as the team prepares to play against the Winnipeg Ice in the Western Hockey League‘s Eastern Conference final.

READ MORE: Winnipeg Ice advance to WHL East Final after 6-3 win over Moose Jaw

The Oil Kings have known they will be facing off against the Ice since Winnipeg beat the Moose Jaw Warriors 6-3 in Game 5 of that series on Friday. Matthew Savoie helped the Manitoba team advance to the next round with two goals in the game.

The Oil Kings had already advanced after sweeping the Red Deer Rebels in four games.

READ MORE: Edmonton Oil Kings win 4-2, complete series sweep of Red Deer Rebels

When the puck drops at Wayne Fleming Arena in Winnipeg on Friday to start the Eastern Conference final, it will mark the beginning of a best-of-seven battle between the two teams that had the best records in the WHL’s 2021-22 regular season. The Ice finished with 111 points while the Oil Kings ended the season with 104 points.

The series features an intriguing special teams matchup as the WHL team with the best power play in the regular season (Winnipeg Ice: 27.4 per cent) goes toe to toe with the team that had the league’s best penalty kill (Edmonton Oil Kings: 84.3 per cent).

In the regular season, the Oil Kings fared well against the Ice, going 3-1-0-0.

The last time the teams met was in 2013 when the Ice were still based in Cranbrook, B.C., and were called the Kootenay Ice.

Oil Kings forward Dylan Guenther has led the way offensively for Edmonton this post-season, recording nine goals and three assists in just eight playoff games. Ice centre Zachary Benson leads Winnipeg in scoring this post-season with eight goals and 10 assists in just 10 games.

In goal, Sebastian Cossa (8-0) is the only netminder who has been between the pipes for the Oil Kings this post-season. He has helped his team avoid a loss by maintaining a 1.48 goals-against average and .932 save percentage over eight games.

Like Cossa has for the Oil Kings, Daniel Hauser (8-2) has occupied the Ice’s net for the entire 2022 post-season so far, putting together a 1.81 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage over 10 games.

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

Fighters abandon steel plant as Mariupol appears on the verge of falling

WATCH: Hundreds of Ukrainian troops in Azovstal steel mill surrender to Russian forces

Mariupol appeared on the verge of falling to the Russians on Tuesday as Ukraine moved to abandon the steel plant where hundreds of its fighters had held out for months under relentless bombardment in the last bastion of resistance in the devastated city.

The capture of Mariupol would make it the biggest city to be taken by Moscow‘s forces and would give the Kremlin a badly needed victory, though the landscape has largely been reduced to rubble.

Read more:

Mariupol defenders begin surrender as Ukraine declares them ‘heroes’

More than 260 Ukrainian fighters – some of them seriously wounded and taken out on stretchers – left the ruins of the Azovstal plant on Monday and turned themselves over to the Russian side in a deal negotiated by the warring parties. An additional seven buses carrying an unknown number of Ukrainian soldiers from the plant were seen arriving at a former penal colony Tuesday in the town of Olenivka, approximately 88 kilometers (55 miles) north of Mariupol.

While Russia called it a surrender, the Ukrainians avoided that word and instead said the plant’s garrison had successfully completed its mission to tie down Russian forces and was under new orders.

“To save their lives. Ukraine needs them. This is the main thing,” Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov said.

The Ukrainians expressed hope that the fighters would be exchanged for Russian prisoners of war. But Vyacheslav Volodin, speaker of the lower house of the Russian parliament, said without evidence that there were “war criminals” among the defenders and that they should not be exchanged but tried.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the country’s military and intelligence officers are still working to extract its remaining troops from the sprawling steel mill. Officials have not said how many remain inside.

“The most influential international mediators are involved,” he said.

The operation to abandon the steel plant and its labyrinth of tunnels and bunkers signaled the beginning of the end of a nearly three-month siege that turned Mariupol into a worldwide symbol of both defiance and suffering.

The Russian bombardment killed over 20,000 civilians, according to Ukraine, and left the remaining inhabitants – perhaps one-quarter of the southern port city’s prewar population of 430,000 – with little food, water, heat or medicine.

Read more:

Ukraine to evacuate remaining troops from Mariupol, ceding control of besieged city

During the siege, Russian forces launched lethal airstrikes on a maternity hospital and a theater where civilians had taken shelter. Close to 600 people may have been killed at the theater.

Gaining full control of Mariupol would give Russia an unbroken land bridge to the Crimean Peninsula, which it seized from Ukraine in 2014, and deprive Ukraine of a vital port. It could also free up Russian forces to fight elsewhere in the Donbas, the eastern industrial heartland that the Kremlin is bent on capturing.

And it would give Russia a victory after repeated setbacks on the battlefield and the diplomatic front, beginning with the abortive attempt to storm Kyiv, the capital.

The Russian victory, though, is mostly a symbolic boost for Russian President Vladimir Putin than a military win, said retired French Vice Adm. Michel Olhagaray, a former head of France’s center for higher military studies. He said: “factually, Mariupol had already fallen.”

“Now Putin can claim a `victory’ in the Donbas,” Olhagaray said.

But because the Azovstal defenders’ “incredible resistance” tied down Russian troops, Ukraine can also claim that it came out on top.

“Both sides will be able take pride or boast about a victory – victories of different kinds,” he said.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak likened the Ukrainian defenders to the vastly outnumbered Spartans who held out against Persian forces in ancient Greece. “83 days of Mariupol defense will go down in history as the Thermopylae of the XXI century,” he tweeted.

The soldiers who left the plant were searched by Russian troops, loaded onto buses accompanied by Russian military vehicles, and taken to two towns controlled by Moscow-backed separatists. More than 50 of the fighters were seriously wounded, according to both sides.

It was impossible to confirm the total number of fighters brought to Olenivka or their legal status. While both Mariupol and Olenivka are officially part of Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region, Olenivka has been controlled by Russia-backed separatists since 2014 and forms part of the unrecognized “Donetsk People’s Republic.” Prior to the rebel takeover, penal colony No. 120 had been a high-security facility designed to hold those sentenced for serious crimes.

Footage shot by The Associated Press shows the convoy was escorted by military vehicles bearing the pro-Kremlin “Z” sign, as Soviet flags fluttered from poles along the road. About two dozen Ukrainian fighters were seen in one of the buses.

Russia’s main federal investigative body said it intends to interrogate the troops to “identify the nationalists” and determine whether they were involved in crimes against civilians. Also, Russia’s top prosecutor asked the country’s Supreme Court to designate Ukraine’s Azov Regiment, whose members have been holding out at Azovstal, a terrorist organization. The regiment has links to the far right.

Russian state news agencies said the Russian parliament would take up a resolution Wednesday to prevent the exchange of Azov Regiment fighters.

Read more:

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A negotiated withdrawal could save lives on the Russian side, too, sparing its troops from what almost certainly would be a bloody battle to finish off the defenders inside the plant, which sprawls over 11 square kilometers (4 square miles).

The withdrawal could also work to Moscow’s advantage by taking the world’s attention off the suffering in Mariupol.

Russian and Ukrainian officials said peace talks were on hold.

Elsewhere across the Donbas, eight civilians were killed Tuesday in Russian attacks on 45 settlements in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said. Donetsk regional Gov. Pavlo Kyrylenko said a Russian airstrike ignited a fire at a building materials plant. In the Luhansk region, Russian soldiers fired rockets on an evacuation bus carrying 36 civilians, but no one was hurt, Gov. Serhii Haidai said.

Zelenskyy said Russian forces also fired missiles at the western Lviv region and the Sumy and Chernihiv regions in the northeast, and carried out airstrikes in the eastern Luhansk region. He said the border regions of Ukraine saw Russian “sabotage activity.”

He said the assaults were “a test of our strength” and “kind of an attempt to compensate the Russian army for a series of failures in the east and south of our country.”

Ukrainian guerrilla fighters also killed several high-ranking Russian officers in the southern city of Melitopol, the regional administration said on Telegram. Russian forces have occupied the city since early in the war.

Read more:

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The report could not immediately be confirmed. Throughout the war, Ukraine has claimed to have killed many Russian generals and other officers. A few of the deaths have been confirmed by Russia.

Russian officials in Belgorod and Kursk – two regions bordering Ukraine _ accused Kyiv of shelling villages and civilian infrastructure along the frontier, the latest in a series of similar accusations over the recent weeks.

In other developments, the chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court prosecutor, Karim Khan, said he sent a team of 42 investigators, forensic experts and support personnel to Ukraine to look into suspected war crimes. Ukraine has accused Russian forces of torturing and killing civilians.

The World Health Organization has verified 226 attacks on health facilities in Ukraine – almost three per day on average _ since the Russian invasion began, according to the agency’s Europe director, Hans Kluge. The targeted strikes have killed at least 75 people and wounded 59, he said.

“These attacks are not justifiable, they are never OK and they must be investigated,” he said.

McQuillan and Yuras Karmanau reported from Lviv, Ukraine. Mstyslav Chernov and Andrea Rosa in Kharkiv, Elena Becatoros in Odesa and other AP staffers around the world contributed.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

'Totally frustrating': B.C. carjacking victim urging ICBC to account for missing items

A Surrey man who was carjacked at gunpoint in April says he feels like he's being victimized all over again, by ICBC. Aaron McArthur explains.

A B.C. carjacking victim is speaking out about a “totally frustrating” experience with ICBC after his car was stolen and retrieved by police.

Trevor Clunn left the truck running as he ran a quick errand in Surrey, B.C., on April 1, and said he returned to find a man pointing a gun at him, urging him to, “Stay right there.”

The suspect drove off with his truck and shortly afterward, Surrey RCMP tracked him down. An altercation reportedly ensued, and officers shot him near the intersection of 142a Street and 87a Avenue.

The man’s death is now under investigation by the Independent Investigations Office of BC.

Read more:

B.C. woman hit by car says she’s getting no help from ICBC’s no-fault insurance

Clunn, however, is now in a battle with ICBC to get compensation for about $600 worth of electronics and other items that he said were in the truck after it was stolen, but not when it was returned to him from the ICBC Claim Centre in Coquitlam.

A bunch of “weird stuff” people would not “normally steal” was missing, he said, including dash cameras, a medical kit, a towel, thermal water containers, a floor mat, and a power adapter. An axe that was in the truck was later found discarded in the weapons bin by cleaners, Clunn added, but he feels ICBC is not taking any responsibility for his missing belongings.

“I feel like I got victimized more by ICBC than when I got my truck stolen at gunpoint,” he told Global News. “It’s just been so frustrating to deal with and having them feel like they’re almost blaming me for stuff that’s missing — I just want my truck back the same way that it left my possession.”

Neither ICBC nor the Surrey RCMP returned a request for comment on this story by deadline.

Clunn said ICBC has provided him with about $140 in compensation for some missing items, including loose change, a life straw, a medical kit and water containers, but is not covering any of the “more expensive” items are not covered.

Clunn said he was told by ICBC that cleaners might have thrown some of it out, and the towing yard where his truck was kept is regularly broken into.

ICBC’s website provides users with literature on what to expect when their car, or permanently-attached car parts are stolen. The website states a recovered vehicle “will be towed to a claim office or ICBC facility for a damage estimate,” but does not address any items that go missing afterward.

Read more:

B.C. man struck by car says no-fault insurance system ‘just doesn’t make sense’

Clunn said he has asked the RCMP for photos from inside of the truck after they retrieved it, to show his items were there after the theft, but not after the vehicle went fell into ICBC’s hands. As of Tuesday, he said the Mounties had answered him.

Clunn’s truck was in good condition when he received it, he added, apart from some wear and tear on the brakes during the police chase.

He added that he feels sorry for the suspect’s family, which is grieving, and he “wants everything to go back to the way it was.”

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

Another spike in suspect COVID-19 cases reported in North Korea

North Korea ordered a nationwide lockdown on Thursday after confirming its first acknowledged COVID-19 outbreak, after holding for more than two years a claim of a perfect record keeping out the virus. According to reports early Friday, the country also reported its first confirmed COVID-19 death, after state media said hundreds of thousands have shown fever symptoms.

North Korea on Wednesday reported 232,880 new cases of fever and another six deaths as leader Kim Jong Un accused officials of “immaturity” and “slackness” in handling the escalating COVID-19 outbreak ravaging across the unvaccinated nation.

The country’s anti-virus headquarters said 62 people have died and more than 1.7 million have fallen ill amid a rapid spread of fever since late April. It said more than a million people recovered but at least 691,170 remain in quarantine.

Outside experts say most of the illnesses would be COVID-19, although North Korea has been able to confirm only a small number of COVID-19 cases since acknowledging an omicron outbreak last week, likely because of insufficient testing capabilities.

Read more:

Kim Jong Un blasts officials over slow medical deliveries amid North Korean outbreak

A failure to control the outbreak could have dire consequences in North Korea, considering its broken health care system and its rejection of internationally offered vaccines that has left a population of 26 million unimmunized.

The outbreak is almost certainly greater than the fever tally, considering the lack of tests and resources to monitor the sick, and there’s also suspicion that North Korea is underreporting deaths to soften the blow for Kim, who already was navigating the toughest moment of his decade in power. The pandemic has further damaged an economy already broken by mismanagement and U.S.-led sanctions over Kim’s nuclear weapons and missiles development.

The North’s official Korean Central News Agency said Kim during a ruling party Politburo meeting on Tuesday criticized officials over their early pandemic response, which he said underscored “immaturity in the state capacity for coping with the crisis” and blamed the vulnerability on their “non-positive attitude, slackness and non-activity.”

Read more:

North Korea reports 42 COVID-19 deaths amid nationwide lockdown

He urged officials to strengthen virus controls at workplaces and make “redoubled efforts” to improve the supply of daily necessities and stabilize living conditions, the KCNA said Wednesday.

Kim’s comments came days after he ripped officials over how they were handling the distribution of medicine released from state reserves and mobilized his army to help transport the supplies to pharmacies in capital Pyongyang, which were made open 24 hours to deal with the crisis.

Before acknowledging COVID-19 infections last Thursday, North Korea had insisted of a perfect record in keeping out the virus that has reached nearly ever corner of the world, a claim that was widely doubted. But its extremely strict border closure, large-scale quarantines and propaganda that stressed anti-virus controls as a matter of “national existence” may have staved off a huge outbreak until now.

It’s unclear whether the North’s admission of a COVID-19 outbreak communicates a willingness to accept outside help. Kim’s government had shunned millions of vaccine shots offered by the U.N.-backed COVAX distribution program, likely because of international monitoring requirements attached to them.

Read more:

North Korea just confirmed its 1st COVID outbreak. What took so long?

It has so far ignored rival South Korea‘s offer to provide vaccines, medicine and health personnel, but experts say the North may be more willing to accept help from its main ally China. South Korea’s government said it couldn’t confirm media reports that North Korea flew multiple planes to bring back emergency supplies from China on Tuesday.

North Korean officials during Tuesday’s meeting continued to express confidence that the country could overcome the crisis on its own, with the Politburo members discussing ways for “continuously maintaining the good chance in the overall epidemic prevention front,” KCNA said.

While Kim was seen wearing masks for the first time following North Korea’s admission of COVID-19 infections last week, state media photos of Tuesday’s meeting showed Kim and Politburo members engaging in discussions barefaced, in a possible expression of confidence.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Alleged B.C. gangster fights extradition from the U.S. to Canada

An alleged B.C. gangster who was captured in Puerto Rico earlier this year after more than a decade on the run, says the Canadian government has not provided any proof he committed crimes in Canada, and the extradition request should fail barring the disclosure of more evidence. Rumina Daya reports.

An alleged B.C. gangster captured in Puerto Rico earlier this year says the Canadian government has not provided any proof he committed crimes in Canada and says the extradition request should be dropped unless more evidence can be disclosed.

Conor D’Monte is the subject of the extradition order due to “alleged participation in the murder of Kevin Leclair (and conspiracy to murder the Bacon Brothers),” according to court documents filed in Puerto Rico.

The alleged former UN Gang leader had been on the run for more than a decade after being wanted in the 2009 shooting death of Leclair.

However, the documents state D’Monte “has yet to be convicted of anything.”

The documents state the “extradition consists of a single document: a redacted affidavit provided by a police official, Terrence Murphy (hereinafter the “Murphy affidavit”), containing his “summarized” understanding of information purportedly provided by three cooperating witnesses.

“In other words, involving multiple levels of hearsay and interpretation.”

Read more:

Fugitive former leader of UN gang reportedly captured in Puerto Rico: Police

The LeClair murder came at the height of a violent and highly public gang war between the Red Scorpions and the UN gang in B.C.’s Lower Mainland.

A second man, 24-year-old Jonathan Barber, was also killed in the shooting.

Hitman Cory Vallee was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for pulling the trigger in the slaying, after being captured in Mexico in 2014. Vallee had an appeal dismissed in his case last month.

Richard Kurland, a lawyer and policy analyst who is not connected with this case, told Global News Tuesday D’Monte does have legitimate concerns.

“A charge of murder in Canada triggering an extradition act request in the United States is a serious matter,” he said. “The accused is not wrong to want to see more evidence. After all, we’re talking about extradition for murder.”

Kurland said D’Monte’s U.S. lawyer will do their best to maximize the disclosure of key evidence in this case.

“There, like here, the accused is entitled to full judicial process including disclosure of the case against them,” he added.

The court documents allege that Canadian police paid one of the witnesses a “jaw-dropping $400,000” to cooperate in the case and therefore he “had 400,000 reasons to follow whatever cues were laid for him by the police.”

Kurland said this case could drag on for years before any decision is made.

“Canada’s going to have to keep feeding evidence into this American process until it crosses the threshold required in America for extradition of the accused to Canada and no one knows how long that’s going to take,” he said. “But clearly, the two things, a murder charge and a $400,000 payment to an alleged witness will raise an eyebrow in that American courtroom.”

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

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