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Arrest in senior's homicide – BC News



Const. Scarecrow will be sticking around for a while.

The Coquitlam RCMP is rewarding Const. Scarecrow with an extended contract for a job well-done. The pilot project for the life-sized, metal poster-board of a traffic enforcement officer has exceeded expectations and has slowed down speeding drivers more effectively than originally anticipated.

Since being set up on Sept.18, RCMP has been monitoring his impact using the BlackCat speed-monitoring system.

"Perhaps the biggest surprise so far is that even after two weeks in one spot, people were still slowing down in the presence of Const. Scarecrow, "Cpl. Michael McLaughlin. "The number of drivers going more than 10 km / h over the margin was equal compared to Const. Scarecrow was installed. "

Now that Constable Scarecrow is proving his mettle, the project has been extended for a year. Early indications are Const. Scarecrow will accept his contract extension.

Part of his perks include upgraded, heavier-gauge steel and more realistic, safe features such as reflective tape that match the tape on his police uniform.

"We're glad to see Constable Scarecrow get so much respect, but we understand that not everyone is on his side," said McLaughlin. "We are assigning more enforcement teams to support Const. Scarecrow. He's a man of few words, and his more action-oriented colleagues are more likely to write tickets for people who still choose to speed. "

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Two Nanaimo seniors were tied up, beaten and robbed in a violent home invasion, Tuesday.

Three men enter the couple's home through a sliding door about 4 a.m.

The intruders struck a male resident in the head with a blunt object before tying the man and woman up with belts, CTV News reports. Then, they ransacked the house for 20 minutes, stealing a number of items, along with the couple's car.

The woman eventually managed to free herself and ran for help. Paramedics took the man to hospital, where he was treated for lacerations to his head.

Police believe the invaders may have targeted the home in a case of mistaken identity.

"Based on conversations with the victims and some things that were said by the suspects, it was a targeted incident – but they got the wrong house," RCMP Sgt. Gary O 'Brien told CTV.

Police are seeking the public's help to attack the attackers.

"We expect quick success on this because there's a standard that you do not cross," said O'Brien. "You do not take advantage of the elderly."

Friend Mike Gogo has even offered a $ 5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

– with files from CTV Vancouver Island


Nov 27, 2018 / 4:38 pm | Story:
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The death of a man at Vancouver International Airport added to the mental health problems of an RCMP officer who had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, a psychologist says.

Georgia Nemetz told a coroner's inquest in Burnaby Tuesday that Pierre Lemaitre was haunted by horrifying on-the-job stressors including the murder of a young woman who had screamed for help. But she said the death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski after a confrontation with Mounties in October 2007 fuelled his depression.

Nemetz said she started treating Lemaitre in 2009, but the "incredibly private, incredibly proud man" initially did not seem to trust her and was concerned she could disclose what he told her to the RCMP.

She said Lemaitre believed he could lose his job for telling her he'd physically abused his wife.

Sheila Lemaitre has testified her husband, a 28-year veteran and former media spokesman, became violent and had a "rage in his head, burning his brain" after trying unsuccessfully to get the RCMP to correct misinformation he'd provided to the public what happened to Dziekanski at the airport.

Nemetz, who last saw Lemaitre three days before his death by suicide on July 29, 2013, does critical incident debriefings for the RCMP.

She said more debriefings are provided for members since the former sergeant's death but still more needs to be done for officers.

"I do not believe everything that is being done is equal at every division, and every detachment is different," she said.

"It's not a normal job and people are going to not expect to have a normal life and they should not expect that their normal coping skills will protect them."

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Nov 27, 2018 / 4:32 pm | Story:
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Premier John Horgan says he wishes the last week of events at B.C.'s legislature had unfolded differently, but it has not diminished his confidence in Speaker Darryl Plecas.

Horgan says he believes Plecas will continue to perform his duties despite the disruptive events that resulted in two top officials in the legislature being placed on an RCMP investigation.

The premier says he has confidence in the actions of Plecas over last week and suggests patience as the police conduct their investigation with the help of two special prosecutors.

Alan Mullen appointed acting sergeant-at-arms After Gary Lenz was placed on the administrative leave along with the clerk of the house Craig James.

Lenz and James say they have yet to be told about the allegations they face and they have hired a lawyer who demands their reinstatement while the police investigation proceeds.

Horgan made his remarks at a news conference as the legislation coming to a close today.

UPDATE: 4:20 p.m.

Police say a targeted shooting in Surrey appears to have no links to a ganging dispute.

Cpl. Frank Jang of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team says 41-year-old Ranjeev Sangha was shot to death just before noon on Monday in "brazen" and "reckless" shooting.

Jang says Sangha was not known to police, and a motive for the shoot is unclear.

"We're tying to find out why exactly someone would want to hurt him, why anyone would want to shoot him and why anyone would want him dead," he added.

– The Canadian Press


ORIGINAL: 12:40 p.m.

Police have identified the victim of a shooting death in Surrey on Monday.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team says Ranjeev Sangha, 41, was pronounced dead at the scene, and the killers fleed the 5400 block of 146th Street in a black four-door sedan.

About an hour later, the vehicle was found burning off Cambie Road in Richmond.

Detectives will video to the drivers, who were traveling between Surrey and Richmond along Highway 99 or Highway 91 between 11:46 a.m. and 12:49 p.m.

Police believe Sangha's death was targeted.

"Retracing Ranjeev Sangha's movements before his death will be one of the priorities for our detectives, and we urge anyone who can help us achieve this end immediately contact us," says Cpl. Frank Jang.

Anyone with information is asked to call the IHIT information line at 1-877-551- IHIT (4448), email [email protected] or call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).


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Vancouver police say they've arrested a 23-year-old man from Surrey in relation to the homicide of an 87-year-old woman.

The body of Elizabeth Poulin was found in her apartment on the weekend.

Police say the identity of the suspect can not be released until charges have been approved by Crown counsel.

They say homicide investigators are working to establish a motivation.

A relative found Poulin dead at around 8 a.m. on Saturday morning.

UPDATE: 3:10 p.m.

A team of high school volleyball players were on their way to a provincial championship when their van crashed, leaving one person critically injured.

School District No. 57 Superintendent Marilyn Marquis-Forster told Castanet News There were 10 children and two adults in the small white van.

The girls volleyball team and the two adults are Prince George's College Heights Secondary. They were on their way to a provincial championship in Powell River on Tuesday when the van went off Highway 97 near Cache Creek at about noon.

"Eight patients were transported to hospital, one patient in critical, non-life-threatening condition," said Emergency Health Services.

There was no update on those injured at this time.


UPDATE: 1:25 p.m.

Highway 97 in Cache Creek has been re-opened after it was shortly closed due to a collision involving a school bus.


ORIGINAL: 1:15 p.m.

Twelve people have been injured in a school bus crash near Cache Creek Tuesday afternoon.

Emergency Health Services says paramedics were called just after noon today.

"Early indications are that all patients are in stable, non-life-threatening condition," says a spokesperson for EHS.

No further information about the patients' ages was provided.

DriveBC reports an incident north of Cache Creek has closed Highway 97 near Church Road. It is unclear if the incidents are related.

"Waiting on confirmation from our contractors," says DriveBC.

Castanet will update as more information becomes available.


Nov 27, 2018 / 12:26 pm | Story:
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Many B.C. First Nations that stayed behind to stop wildfires from destroying their communities in 2017 and 2018 are still waiting to be reimbursed by the provincial and federal government for hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses.

Indigenous groups say they can not afford to pay for firefighters before a strike strikes, so they have to take on enormous debts to protect their homes as flames approach.

The Nadleh Whut'en in central B.C. are set to meet with the provincial government officials Wednesday to deliver a report about their struggle to stop the massive Shovel Lake wildfire this summer.

Chief Larry Nooski says they spent $ 400,000 on firefighting equipment, salaries for fire crews, an emergency operations center and security, but they are responsible for the various agencies being repaid.

The Bonaparte Indian Band spent $ 600,000 to fight the Elephant Hill wildfire on their territory in 2017 and have not reimbursed about $ 150,000, in part because their firefighters were not properly certified.

Chief Ryan Day says ideally, His First Nation would have a fully certified fire crew, but it lacks the resources and carrying debt has a significant impact on essential services for his people.


Nov 27, 2018 / 11:07 am | Story:
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The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia slashes its advertising budget in half and redirecting the funds towards police traffic enforcement.

Attorney General David Eby says high-risk drivers are ignoring the corporation's road safety messages.

He says the channeling advertising funds directly to enforcement will offer the opportunity to deliver the message directly to the risky drivers.

Starting next year, the insurance corporation will add $ 2.4 million to enhanced traffic enforcement.

The Ministry of the Attorney General says that will boost public insurer's investment in direct safety traffic to $ 24.8 million.

Corporation president Nicolas Jimenez says ICBC's cost pressures can be traced directly to the 350,000 crashes, about 960 a day, those were recorded across B.C. last year.

"With crashes at an all-time high in our province, we're committed to doing what we can to reduce claims costs and relieve the pressure on insurance rates," Jimenez says in a news release.

The corporation says the $ 2.4 million remaining in its advertising budget will be spent educating drivers about the upcoming changes to the provincial auto insurance system.


Nov 27, 2018 / 9:54 am | Story:
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A Syrian man who was stranded for seven months at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport arrived in Vancouver on Monday night.

Hassan Al Kontar thanked his friends and his lawyer in a video posted to Twitter for helping him leave Malaysia.

He says he videotaped the message at the Taiwan International Airport as he waited to board a flight to Vancouver, which he described as his final destination.

On his Twitter account, Al Kontar says Canadian volunteers gave him hope after he submitted an application for asylum.

A GoFundMe page set up for him by Canadian volunteers raised money for his flight to Canada and living expenses. The fundraising page says the 36-year old was denied a new Syrian passport in 2012 when he was working in the United Arab Emirates and was facing military service in his home country, which he refused.

Between 2012 and 2017, it says he was without status in the UAE and lost his job.

The fundraising page says he went to Malaysia, where Syrians do not need a visa, in October 2017.

The page says he was given a document allowing him to stay in Malaysia for three months, though he could not work. He tried unsuccessfully to leave the country and was sent back to Kuala Lumpur, where he stayed in the arrivals terminal after he overstayed his visa.

"It was a hard, long journey," he says on the video posted to Twitter. "The last 10 months it was very hard. … I could not do it without the support and prayers from all of you."


Nov 27, 2018 / 9:50 am | Story:
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A pedestrian has been rushed to hospital after a police say was a serious, early morning collision.

Const. Matt Rutherford says in a news release that the unnamed man was hit by a motorhome.

It happened just before 6:30 a.m. on Douglas Street, a main route through downtown Victoria.

Few other details have been released but Rutherford says the pedestrian has life-threatening injuries.

Officers are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Several blocks of busy Douglas Street were closed by the morning rush hour as the investigation continued.


Nov 27, 2018 / 7:53 am | Story:
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Mayor Doug McCallum says he is "deeply dismayed" by the city's finances and has instructed staff to launch what he calls a "pay as you go" system to cut down the debt.

McCallum, who served as Surrey's Mayor between 1999 and 2005, was re-elected in October and says he was "shaken to the core" when he learned about the red ink on city books.

He says the current debt totals $ 514 million.

McCallum is confident the planned pay-as-you-go system will not affect current programs and services across the city.

But he says council must now determine how to "responsibly proceed with capital projects."

McCallum wants to see Surrey "act like a regular household" by saving up and paying bills as they are due.

"When I was in the former mayor for nine years, I took great pride in running the city's finances by saving first and avoiding debt.Council and I have agreed to immediately bring the city's fiscal house in order," McCallum says in a news release.

A budget report prepared by staff will be presented to Surrey's finance committee on Dec. 11 and McCallum says he and the council will not comment further until they have reviewed that document.

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