Baby survives fentanyl OD

Two parents are in police custody facing several charges after their baby boy suffered a possible overdose of the powerful opioid fentanyl.

Const. Jason Michalyshen said paramedics were called to a Winnipeg home last week and found the nine-month-old in critical condition. Officers also found a powder which they believed to be fentanyl.

He said a search of the home found 285 grams of suspected fentanyl powder, along with a cutting agent and other contaminated paraphernalia, Michalyshen said.

The biological parents — a 33 year-old man and 32-year-old woman who police are not naming — have been charged with failure to provide the necessities of life, causing bodily harm by criminal negligence and drug trafficking, Michalyshen said.

The baby boy has been upgraded to stable and is in care, he said.

The child's life was probably saved by officers, who immediately noted the presence of fentanyl in the home, which allowed him to be properly treated with an antidote, he said.

"Limited information was being provided to us," Michalyshen said Tuesday. "This was not something that was divulged to officers, investigators, emergency personnel, that the child's situation may be as a result of drug or a substance within the home."

Although the baby's condition improved immediately following the antidote, Michalyshen said police are still waiting for confirmation from Health Canada that the drug they found is fentanyl.

The investigation is continuing. Michalyshen said it's still not entirely clear how the baby came into contact with the drug.

"Obviously a nine-month-old child is not walking around, typically, and would not necessarily have access to something like this," he said.

"The child may have had inadvertent contact with what we believe to be fentanyl. This might be from hand-to-hand contact or clothing to the child or other items — a bottle, a toy."

Wolf's trek ends with bullet

U.S. wildlife officials say a grey wolf that left its pack in northeastern Washington trekked more than 1,100 kilometres across Idaho and Canada before being shot in central Montana last month.

The Spokesman-Review reports the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department captured the male wolf in February and fitted it with a GPS tracking collar.

The wolf, which originated in the Huckleberry Pack, started wandering into Idaho in June.

It then headed into British Columbia, where it crossed Lake Koocanusa before travelling southeast into Montana in July.

The wolf's journey came to an end in Judith Gap, Montana on Sept. 29 after it was killed by a federal wildlife officer, who had responded to a report of a wolf attacking sheep.

Wolves are protected by state endangered species rules in eastern Washington but can be hunted and trapped in Montana and Idaho.

Nurse charged in 8 deaths

Police have charged a nurse in southwestern Ontario with murder alleging she killed eight nursing home residents by administering a drug.

Investigators say 49-year-old Elizabeth Tracey Mae Wettlaufer of Woodstock, Ont., was charged with first-degree murder in the killings, which they say took place between 2007 to 2014.

Police would not elaborate on the drug allegedly used, saying only that a number of drugs were stored and accessible in nursing homes.

The victims were between the ages of 75 and 96. Seven of them were living in a Caressant Care facility in Woodstock, Ont., while another lived in a Meadow Park facility in London, Ont.

Police said they believe Wettlaufer also worked at other long-term care facilities in the province but could not specify which ones, nor would they speak to a motive.

They said the investigation is ongoing and more charges could be laid in the future.

Caressant Care Nursing and Retirement Homes, which operates 15 facilities primarily based in small towns, said a former employee who left the company 2 1/2 years ago was the focus of a police probe.

The company says it is co-operating with police and remains in contact with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care regarding the matter.

Caressant Care says its highest priority is to continue providing for the "physical, social and spiritual needs" of its residents as the investigation unfolds.


Trudeau greeted with jeers

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was heckled and jeered as he took questions today at a youth labour forum in Ottawa.

Several dozen delegates at the young workers' summit turned their backs on Trudeau as he spoke while many others held signs reading "Keep the Promise."

As the prime minister took questions, he also criticized the back turners, saying he was disappointed that they appeared unwilling to listen.

Trudeau said the action sends the wrong signal to the other young people in the room.

Many of the delegates criticized the Liberal government for considering signing onto the Trans Pacific trade deal and complained about the effects of so-called precarious work on their lives.

Trudeau was booed when he responded that precarious work — including jobs with no pensions — is now a fact of life.

The prime minister added that's why his government pushed so hard to improve the Canada Pension Plan.

Ordered to dress like a boy

A sexual minorities expert says judges need to be better educated about gender identity after two Alberta family court judges ruled that a child born a boy couldn't wear girls clothes in public.

The case involves a couple in Medicine Hat fighting over custody of the five-year-old.

The mother supports what she says is the child's wish to identify and dress as a girl, but the father does not and blames the mother for the child's gender confusion.

Last year, a judge ruled the child could only wear girls clothes in private. A second judge later upheld the decision.

A third judge recently removed the restriction and said the child can choose what clothes to wear.

"These kinds of decisions shouldn't be happening, particularly when our human rights legislation has changed," Kris Wells with the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta said Monday.

"Some of these attitudes need to be challenged and corrected."

Wells has been helping the mother and said she doesn't want the family identified.

He said the case makes it clear that the "next frontier" of awareness and education for the courts is gender identity, particularly involving young children.

Wells said he hopes Alberta Justice will look at the case and support the judiciary in becoming more knowledgeable and inclusive about gender issues.

Refugees fleeing to Canada

Immigration Minister John McCallum says the Liberal government is prepared to start bringing Yazidi refugees into the country within four months.

He says the Liberals will support a Conservative motion calling for more support for the Yazidis, who have been singled out for particularly brutal treatment by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

McCallum says his department has dispatched people to the region to begin the immigration process, although he hasn't committed to a set number of Yazidi refugees.

He says, though, that they are a priority for the government.

One problem has been that the Yazidis have been mainly caught up in isolated combat zones, far from the refugee camps in Syria and Turkey which allow far easier access to officials seeking to screen and process newcomers.

The Yazidis are a Kurdish-speaking religious minority who used to dwell mainly in northern Iraq.

They have been targeted by ISIL militants, who have used rape, torture and mass murder against them.

The Conservative motion describes them as victims of genocide and sex slavery and calls on the government to do all it can to aid Yazidi women and girls.

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel said it's obvious what should happen. 

"In this case it is easy to make priorities," she said. "We should be bringing Yazidi women here."

Conservatives hold riding

A large turnout for Justin Trudeau during an Alberta byelection campaign wasn't enough of a push for the Liberals in the federal constituency of Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner.

Conservative Glen Motz, a retired Medicine Hat police officer, appeared to cruise to an easy victory as votes were counted Monday night.

The byelection was called after MP Jim Hillyer died of a heart attack earlier this year in his Parliament Hill office.

The last MP Medicine Hat voters elected who wasn't from a right-of-centre party was Bud Olson, who was originally voted in as a member of the Social Credit and crossed to the Liberals.

He was re-elected when the party swept to power under Pierre Trudeau in 1968, but Olson lost in 1972.

The prime minister attracted about 2,500 people when he visited the riding earlier this month in an effort to boost the chances of Liberal candidate Stan Sakamoto, who was far behind as results came in.

Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner was a new riding in the 2015 election — it was formerly Medicine Hat.

Motz said during the campaign that some people in the area had lost their hope and optimism based on the Liberal government's rhetoric. Rather than job creation, he said there are increased taxes and the proposed carbon tax.

Sakamoto said during the campaign that the area had been a "forgotten corner" for decades and hoped to bring more employment.

A dog's will to live

A chocolate Labrador retriever trapped in a well for almost a month is responding to special care from animal medical clinicians and a nutritionist.

Seven-year-old Bruno is listed as stable in the intensive care unit at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon.

Dr. Duncan Hockley, director of the school's Veterinary Medical Centre, says Bruno is being provided with the best treatment possible.

The dog had lost half its body weight and was barely alive when it was rescued after 27 days near his family's home near Estevan, Sask., last week.

His owners found him when one of their other dogs wouldn't move from a spot in tall grass near a farm field.

Hockley says the lab still has a long way to go.

“Bruno’s recovery will not be quick, but he is displaying a strong will to live,” Hockley said in a news release.

“We’re working diligently to provide the best medical care for our patient, Bruno, and we are very happy with his progress.”

Bruno managed to survive on snow and rainwater.

Stopping 'erosion' of values

Conservative leadership candidate Steven Blaney says he would reintroduce a bill calling for Canadians to have to show their face when they vote.

In his first policy announcement since revealing his leadership bid on the weekend, Blaney said today it's time for a discussion on Canadian identity.

He also wants federal employees to have their face uncovered when offering services.

The former Harper cabinet minister says he would bring back a new face-covering law as a way of stemming what he calls the "slow and steady erosion" of Canadian values.

A Blaney-led government wouldn't hesitate to use the notwithstanding clause to stop the Supreme Court of Canada from striking down the measure.

The former public safety cabinet minister says the discussion has been going on for years in Quebec, which he lauded as playing a leading role in dealing with the challenge.

He believes Canada is ready to have a similar "robust, mature" discussion on identity.

"We must ensure that these new Canadians that we welcome understand how we live," Blaney told reporters Monday. "We do not want our country to become like the country they left."

99 trespass citations

The Liberal government's conflicting climate and pipeline policies were thrown into sharp relief today as more than 200 protesters marched on Parliament Hill demanding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reject any new oilsands infrastructure.

The protest resulted in the brief detention of 99 individuals, all of them issued citations by the RCMP for trespassing after climbing over police barricades near the foot of the Peace Tower.

The immediate focus of the demonstration was the proposed expansion of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to Burnaby, which the Liberals have said they'll decide upon by mid-December.

But the larger theme was keeping fossil fuels in the ground, as many signs proclaimed, and urging Trudeau to keep his word on Canada's international emissions-cutting promises.

"Climate Leaders Don't Build Pipelines," said a giant banner carried at the front of the protest group, which was dominated by university students from Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.

Protest organizers called it the largest act of student climate civil disobedience in Canadian history, but the boisterous rally was a polite affair.

After some initial pushing and shoving at the police barricades, the protesters began individually climbing over the gates, often with police assistance, where they were then charged. The first dozen or so were handcuffed before being led away, but most of the detained protesters were not.

Andrew Stein, a McGill University environmental sciences student, said forcing the police to arrest them was the point of the exercise.

"It gets attention and it gets the word out there that climate leaders do not build pipelines," Stein said in an interview shortly before climbing the barricade himself.

Protest spokeswoman Amanda Harvey-Sanchez, a third-year University of Toronto student, said pipeline approvals are a deal-breaker for many younger voters who helped propel the Trudeau Liberals to a majority government in last October's general election.

"If Trudeau wants us on his team in 2019, he cannot approve this (Trans Mountain) pipeline," said Harvey-Sanchez.

Wishing pregnant killer well

The grandfather of a teenage girl beaten and drowned on Vancouver Island nearly two decades ago says he wishes his granddaughter's killer well after a news report that she is pregnant in prison.

Mukand Pallan of Victoria says he hopes becoming a mother will inspire Kelly Ellard to become a better person.

Pallan was reacting to a report from the Vancouver Sun that Ellard is eight months pregnant following a conjugal visit with her boyfriend, who is also currently behind bars.

Ellard was found guilty of second-degree murder in the killing of Reena Virk.

She was 15 years old when she smashed Virk's head against a tree and held the Grade 9 student's head underwater until she stopped moving.

She was denied supervised release from prison last May after a parole board found the now-33-year-old woman was still minimizing many aspects of her crime.

Dinos of feather flock

An ancient bone bed in a remote Mongolian desert presents tantalizing clues that dinosaurs of a feather may have flocked together for the same reasons modern birds do.

Research by University of Alberta paleontologist Gregory Funston says the deposit contains fossils from a bird-like dinosaur that were all about the same age.

Funston says that suggests the animals were drawn together for behavioural reasons.

He notes that modern birds gather in single-age groups for mating or foraging.

Funston says it's a rare glimpse into how dinosaurs may have lived.

It also suggests how deeply rooted the behaviours of today's birds may be.

More Canada News

Parliament Hill
Parliament Hill Webcam
Recent Trending
Castanet Proud Member of RTNDA Canada