May 23, 2013 / 6:57 pm
Alberta's Opposition Wildrose Party says it has paid a $90,000 penalty imposed by federal regulators for violating automated phone call rules.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission says Wildrose broke the rules in 2011 and before, during and after the April 2012 provincial election.
Wildrose party president David Yager (YAY-ger) says the company that made the automated calls assured the party that it was following the rules.
He declined to name the company, but says the firm had made similar calls for other political parties.
"We chose a vendor that had worked for other political parties, that had been around a lot longer than we have," Yager said Thursday.
"We felt that we were using a qualified vendor and that it really wasn't our fault; what we learned is that it doesn't really matter who the vendor is, ultimately it's the sponsor that's liable."
Wildrose co-operated fully with the commission and will follow the rules in the future, Yager said.
Federal regulations stipulate that automated phone calls must include the name of the party sponsoring the call, as well as an address and contact telephone number.
"We've been open and transparent, we've co-operated fully, we're taking our lumps," Yager said. "I'd just like to say that this is a regrettable event for our party, our members and our supporters.
"It's not going to happen again."
The CRTC told the party in April that it was being investigated.
Yager said he hoped the CRTC expands its investigation to look at other Alberta political parties.
"None of the calls we made were compliant. None of the calls I've ever received are compliant and I'm not sure that any call ever made by a political party in Canada is compliant and all we've asked the CRTC is to apply these regulations even-handedly to other political organizations."
May 23, 2013 / 3:00 pm
Mike Duffy is blowing off any talk of his voluntary resignation from the Senate amid an expense scandal that has reached all the way to the Prime Minister's Office.
Duffy spoke out Thursday, his first public comments since resigning last week after it was revealed he had made inappropriate expense claims and then paid them off with a $90,000 "gift" from Stephen Harper's chief of staff.
A number of Conservative MPs, including Heritage Minister James Moore, have said Duffy should quit his $132,000-a-year appointment.
But the former broadcaster, pursued by a gaggle of reporters and TV cameras out the Senate's front doors, literally blew out air in apparent exasperation when asked if he felt he should resign.
"I'm doing my job. So I'll see you at work next week," Duffy said.
So he'll remain on the job?
"Of course, I'm a senator, why wouldn't I?" Duffy responded.
A Harper appointee to the upper chamber straight out of his CTV job covering politics, Duffy has spent the past four years as the star attraction at Conservative party fundraisers across the country.
But media investigations last year began unravelling large expense claims for a "primary residence" in P.E.I. that turned out to be a seasonal cottage. Duffy has lived in Ottawa for decades.
CTV recently reported that Duffy had arranged a deal through the Prime Minister's Office to have a Senate audit "go easy" on him. That led to the revelation of a $90,000 personal cheque to Duffy from Nigel Wright, Harper's top adviser.
Since Duffy's resignation, fellow Conservative Senate appointee Pamela Wallin has also "recused" herself from the party caucus over questions about her expenses, and Wright has resigned.
The RCMP has asked for documents in the affair, according to the Senate Speaker; the parliamentary ethics commissioner is taking a look; and the Conservative-dominated Senate has also sent Duffy's expenses back to the same internal economy committee that originally cleared him of wrongdoing.
Duffy said he has not been contacted by the RCMP but will co-operate with police.
"I think Canadians have a right to know all of the facts, and I'm quite prepared, at the appropriate place and time, to give them the whole story," he said.
Asked if the prime minister knew about his secret deal with his chief of staff, Nigel Wright, Duffy said he had "no idea" but then began to offer more: "I would find, uh, uh, I just don't know."
And on other questions, such as the various versions of whether he got a bank loan or a gift from Wright, or both, Duffy did not clear the air.
"That's why we need a full and open inquiry, so that it all gets aired."
When it was suggested that Duffy himself could provide those answers immediately, he responded, "yeah, and I'm not giving them to you today."
May 23, 2013 / 12:51 pm
A Quebec woman is recovering following a bizarre accident in which she was run over three times by her own car.
Trois-Rivieres, Que., police say the newspaper delivery woman was making her rounds this week and jumping in and out of her car frequently to drop copies of Le Nouvelliste on subscribers' doorsteps.
But things went awry during one parking attempt.
Her transmission wound up in "reverse" instead of "park" as she got out. The woman got smacked by the car's open door as it backed up and ran over one of her legs as she was knocked to the ground.
She attempted to pull herself up and reached into the car to shift the gears. But she fumbled and was struck a second time, resulting in her being run over again. A third attempt produced the same results.
Residents of the area awakened by the woman's distress cries at 4 a.m. rushed to give her aid when she limped to a home.
The car, which continued to move at increasing speed in a widening circle, was finally stopped by Trois-Rivieres police.
The woman is being treated for serious injuries to her leg.
May 23, 2013 / 12:15 pm
Three people have been arrested and charged in an ongoing RCMP investigation into a multimillion-dollar corruption scheme at the Canada Revenue Agency.
The charges are being laid against a chartered accountant and two former employees at the federal agency's Montreal office.
The RCMP announced Thursday that the accused are suspected of participating in a scam where the functionaries pocketed hundreds of thousands in bribes, in exchange for helping to lighten people's tax loads.
The Mounties said the men also used the money to corrupt employees working under them. Thursday's arrests were tied to alleged crimes that, according to the police, defrauded the government of $4.5 million.
"Several components of the investigation are still ongoing and additional arrests and charges are expected," the RCMP said in a statement.
Francesco Fiorino is the accountant charged, and he faces 34 criminal counts in the case. Gennaro Di Marzio and Nicola Iammarrone, the federal employees, face 11 and 12 charges each.
A fourth suspect has been arrested for questioning. Charges could be laid against him.
The ongoing, years-long investigation has seen 11 arrests so far.
In a series of arrests last year, charges were laid against four people: a CRA auditor, an accountant, and two construction bosses including the scandal-tainted magnate Tony Accurso. Police pegged the size of the alleged fraud in that series of arrests at $3 million. Fiorino was also charged in last fall's roundup.
May 23, 2013 / 11:45 am
The chief of staff to embattled Mayor Rob Ford was escorted by security from city hall premises Thursday as allegations the mayor had been caught on videotape smoking crack cocaine continued to swirl.
Mark Towhey said he did not resign but his departure had not come as a shock to him.
"The mayor and I spoke about it this afternoon," Towhey said as reporters trailed him through the underground parking lot.
Towhey refused to elaborate on the conversation or say what advice he had given Ford about the alleged cellphone video.
"My conversations with the mayor are between the mayor and me," Towhey said.
"My advice to the mayor is my advice to the mayor."
Last week, both the American-based website Gawker.com and the Toronto Star reported they had seen â€” but not obtained â€” a video made by a west-end drug dealer who was shopping it around for six figures.
Gawker has been trying to raise $200,000 to buy and post the video, reaching more than $135,000 by Thursday afternoon.
The website did not respond Thursday to a request for comment on its "crackstarter campaign."
Neither of the reports about the video has been independently verified and the Star itself said it could not vouch for its authenticity.
Ford has said little about the allegations, beyond calling them "ridiculous" and suggesting the Star was out to get him.
Towhey's departure comes a day after the Toronto District Catholic School Board announced it had dropped Ford as volunteer coach of his favourite high school football team, the Don Bosco Eagles.
Ford, who allegedly referred to the players disparagingly in the video, has long cited the team as an example of his selfless dedication to others.
The Catholic board made no reference to the crack cocaine allegations, saying only it had decided a new direction was needed.
Also on Wednesday, Ford's brother, Coun. Doug Ford, gave a statement in which he lashed out at the media and defended his brother.
"Rob is telling me these stories are untrue, that these accusations are ridiculous," Ford said. "And I believe him."
The councillor said his brother has stayed silent on advice of his family and lawyers, and would let the media know if and when he had anything to say.
Police have only said they were monitoring the situation.
May 23, 2013 / 9:40 am
The federal Liberals are accusing the Harper government of misleading Canadians about a paper trail in the Senate expense claim scandal.
The Conservatives insist that no legal documents exist that spell out the terms of a $90,000 gift to Sen. Mike Duffy from the prime minister's former chief of staff.
But Liberal MP Ralph Goodale says the government has not denied that at least one email exists that could contain details of the transaction.
Nigel Wright resigned as chief of staff after acknowledging that he gave the embattled senator the money so he could repay questionable expense claims.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he only learned of the payment from media reports and he wouldn't have approved it had he known beforehand.
Once Duffy received the money, he stopped co-operating with an external audit of his expense claims.
May 23, 2013 / 7:18 am
A 48-year-old man accused of confining and sexually assaulting a teenage boy at a home in rural Nova Scotia has pleaded guilty to five charges in the case.
David James LeBlanc appeared in Nova Scotia Supreme Court today in Bridgewater, where he pleaded guilty to kidnapping, forcible confinement, sexual assault, uttering threats and breach of conditions.
Two other charges, sexual assault causing bodily harm and administering a noxious substance with intent to cause bodily harm, were withdrawn.
LeBlanc was charged after a woman reported in September that a barefoot teenager arrived at her home in Upper Chelsea, about 130 kilometres southwest of Halifax, chained at his wrists and ankles.
At the time, the RCMP said they believe the 16-year-old was held captive for 10 to 14 days before he was able to escape.
LeBlanc also pleaded guilty today to making and distributing child pornography as well as sexual interference in a separate case involving two boys, aged five and two.
Crown attorney Lloyd Tancock says he will seek between eight to 12 years in prison during a sentencing hearing scheduled for June 14.
May 22, 2013 / 7:14 pm
He was a gregarious, spontaneous child, his father said, a handful at times who loved music and playing the guitar.
As an adult he became famous as Kai, the hatchet-wielding hitchhiker, his celebrity taking a turn toward notoriety when he was arrested in Philadelphia last week and charged with killing a New Jersey lawyer.
Caleb McGillivary, his real name, claimed that he was "home free" rather than homeless, a traveller by choice with roots in Sophia, W.Va.
"I don't have any family," he had said in the television interview in February that gave him to a measure of fame after he intervened in an attack on a utility worker in Fresno, Calif. "As far as anybody I grew up with is concerned, I'm already dead."
But according to McGillivary's father, Gil, he does have a family that is concerned about his well-being.
Caleb McGillivary was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Gil McGillivary said in an interview with The Associated Press this week. And while the father and son only had sporadic contact, Gil McGillivary said he very much supports his son.
"Caleb to me is important. I'm not going to abandon him. I'm his father and I want to stick to him," McGillivary said from his home in Hawkesbury, Ont.
McGillivary said he lost custody of his son shortly after he and Caleb's mother divorced. The boy was 8.
"Caleb, from my understanding, was kind of upset at me for abandoning him," Gil McGillivary said, adding that he couldn't get to a custody hearing because his car broke down.
McGillivary said Caleb was an outgoing child, but could be hard to handle. He said he once made Caleb return toys that he stole from a store. The boy loved camping, motorcycles and going to air shows, he said.
McGillivary said Caleb had behaviour problems and ADHD that required medication. He said Caleb ended up in the Canadian family services system after his parents' divorce and was mistreated and potentially abused there.
"He's a street kid that was neglected by the Canadian family system," he said. The home where McGillivary said Caleb lived did not answer an inquiry asking for comment.
Caleb's mother, who lives in Alberta, refused to comment.
"I'm not going to talk to you," she said. "I'm not going to discuss this with you."
She told the Newark Star-Ledger that Caleb was a delight as a child, but she hasn't spoken to him since last year. She said the boy had behaviour problems but not ADHD.
Caleb McGillivary is a suspect in the death of 73-year-old Joseph Galfy Jr., who was found beaten to death in his bedroom last week in his suburban New Jersey home, wearing only his socks and underwear.
"I don't know if he did it in self-defence or the heat of the moment or it was premeditated or I don't know," Gil McGillivary said. "He's innocent until proven guilty."
May 22, 2013 / 7:00 pm
Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government deploys a vast early-warning communications system to warn of potential problems on the horizon.
But Harper insisted Wednesday that he learned about his right-hand man bailing out an embattled Conservative senator in much the same way as other Canadians did: by seeing it on the news.
Not only was the prime minister not in the loop about Nigel Wright's decision to give $90,000 to Sen. Mike Duffy, Harper said, he never would have signed off on the deal had he been consulted about it.
He also described himself as "sorry," "frustrated" and "extremely angry" about the whole mess, which has forced his government onto a defensive footing and threatens its carefully cultivated image as a pillar of accountability and sound financial management.
"I learned of this after stories appeared in the media last week speculating on the source of Mr. Duffy's repayments," Harper said at a news conference in Peru, the first time he's taken questions publicly on the scandal since it broke last week.
He said he first assumed Duffy had paid back the money, which went towards housing expenses and per diems he shouldn't have claimed, out of his own pocket.
"Immediately upon learning that the source was indeed my chief of staff, Nigel Wright, I immediately asked that that information be released publicly. That is what I knew."
Harper continued: "I was not consulted, I was not asked to sign off on any such thing," he said.
"Had I obviously been consulted, more importantly I would not have agreed, and it is obviously for those reasons that I accepted Mr. Wright's resignation."
In the days immediately following the revelation that Wright had given Duffy the money, Harper had staunchly stood by his chief of staff and his spokespeople insisted that Wright's job was safe.
But Wright resigned Sunday, and Duffy quit the Conservative caucus last Thursday, after the details of their transaction began to emerge.
The arrangement between the two is under investigation by the federal ethics commissioner; Duffy's expenses in particular are being reviewed again by an internal Senate committee.
May 22, 2013 / 5:40 pm
Rob Ford's staunchest supporter attempted on Wednesday to quell the storm of controversy raging around Toronto's mayor over his alleged use of crack cocaine by citing his record in office and blasting the media.
Councillor Doug Ford, who took no questions following a statement that was mostly a stump speech, did little to address the allegations that have plagued the mayor for almost a week.
"Rob is telling me these stories are untrue, that these accusations are ridiculous," Ford said.
"And I believe him."
Stepping in front of a crush of reporters and cameras, the councillor gamely defended his brother as an "honest and hard-working man" who has dedicated himself to the service of others.
But beyond citing his brother's denials, Ford did little to douse the flames sparked by two reports last week that the mayor was caught on cellphone video that appears to show him smoking crack and making homophobic and racist remarks.
"I'm not speaking for the mayor. The mayor is my brother. I love him and he'll speak for himself," Ford said.
"When?" a reporter interjected, to no effect.
"He's already addressed these allegations three times, I don't know how much more he can say."
In fact, the mayor has done little to refute the allegations from the U.S. website Gawker and the Toronto Star.
His only brief comments to date came Friday, when he called them "ridiculous" and suggested the newspaper was out to get him.
Instead, Ford bragged Wednesday about his brother's achievements as mayor, such as balancing the budget, before lashing out at the two publications in particular and the media in general.
He accused the media of going on a witch hunt that has ensnared the Ford family, reserving his harshest criticism for Gawker.
"To the folks at Gawker: What you are doing is disgusting and morally wrong," Ford said.
"Giving away prizes to try to raise money for drug dealers and extortionists is disgraceful."
Supporters, rivals and many outside observers have urged the mayor to address the allegations head on, to little avail so far.
The councillor said his brother has stayed silent on advice of his family and lawyers, and would let the media know if and when he had anything to say.
Police have only said they were monitoring the situation.
May 22, 2013 / 4:45 pm
Over one million Montrealers were affected by a boil-water advisory Wednesday after an apparent malfunction at Canada's second-biggest filtration plant.
The incident resulted in brownish water gushing from fire hydrants and an unpleasant aroma wafting, at least temporarily, over parts of the city.
The boil-water advisory applied to most of the island and even some neighbouring areas. Local officials described it as unprecedented in the recent history of the city.
"To my knowledge, it's the first time that we have in Montreal a boil-water advisory for so many people," said Valerie De Gagne, a spokesperson for the city.
She said the advisory applied to 1.3 million people, and would remain in place until at least Thursday morning. She said tests would be conducted in the meantime to determine whether the water was, in fact, contaminated.
"Once we get the results," she said, "we will be able to maintain the advisory or take it down."
Residents were advised to boil their water for at least a minute, or to use bottled water. They were also asked to avoid brushing their teeth with tap water.
However, tap water could still be used to wash dishes, take a shower or wash clothes.
The city said the advisory was prompted by abnormally low water levels at a treatment plant in the city's west end.
"The water (at the plant) dropped to a very low level. The sediments that were at the bottom ended up in the aqueducts," De Gagne said.
The affected Atwater station is the second-largest plant of its kind in Canada. It has been undergoing repair work. It remained unclear why the water dropped to such a low level, and whether the incident involved human error.
Equally unclear, Wednesday, was the water in the city. A number of residents reported seeing a brownish liquid gushing from their taps.
The fountain around city hall, for instance, looked like it was filled with mud.
While some Montreal boroughs initially started purging their fire hydrants, they were asked to stop to ensure adequate water supplies for the city, De Gagne said.
The gushing hydrants created bizarre scenes in the city, as rapids temporarily rushed down sloping streets.
It was reminiscent of an incident last winter, where a problem during renovations at a reservoir on Mount Royal caused far bigger flooding with frigid water in the city's downtown.
It was also the second major infrastructure problem in Montreal in less than 24 hours. The previous evening, the city's metro system had suffered a complete shutdown at the height of rush hour because of computer issues.
There was yet another glitch Wednesday: the city website, which carried the water advisory, appeared to be down during the morning.
May 22, 2013 / 4:43 pm
There is debate on a small reserve in southeastern Saskatchewan about whether its chief should be removed from his job.
Terry McArthur of the Pheasant Rump Nakota First Nation has stayed on as leader since he pleaded guilty earlier this month to sexually assaulting a teenage girl.
The offence relates to inappropriate touching of the teen in April 2012. McArthur is to be sentenced in Carlyle provincial court Aug. 7.
Reserve resident Julie Kakakaway said the community of about 160 people is split between those downplaying the crime and others demanding the chief step down.
She sides with those who want him gone.
"It is kind of like he is laughing at the community because he hasn't stepped down and he is still coming into the band office," said Kakakaway, who works in the band's health clinic.
Band councillor Clarissa McArthur is also calling for the chief's resignation. So is Michele Audette, president of the Native Women's Association of Canada.
"He should step down, get some help for the healing process and deal with this," said Audette.
"For me, it's unacceptable, morally and ethically. What kind of message are we sending to our community?"
Calls to the band office for comment were not returned.
A spokeswoman with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada said it's up to each First Nation to determine its rules for governing elected officials. Residents can also take any disputes to court.
(CJLR, The Canadian Press)
May 22, 2013 / 1:06 pm
Two men are now facing first-degree murder charges in the death of Tim Bosma, the Hamilton father who took two men on a test drive and never returned.
Bosma's remains were later found burned beyond recognition at a farm belonging to one of the suspects. But Hamilton police said they still don't know why he was killed.
"I don't have an answer to that question today," Supt. Dan Kinsella said in announcing the arrest of a second suspect in the case.
Police say they now have in custody the two men they allege Bosma took for a test drive in the truck he had posted for sale online.
Mark Smich, 25, was arrested on foot in his hometown of Oakville, Ont., Wednesday morning, about an hour before a memorial service for Bosma began in Hamilton.
A Toronto man, 27-year-old Dellen Millard, was already facing charges of first-degree murder, forcible confinement and theft of a vehicle. His lawyer has said he will plead not guilty.
"We believe the danger has subsided as it relates to this case," Kinsella said.
Police are still looking for at least one other person, as a dark blue GMC Yukon belonging to Millard was seen on video following Bosma's truck as he left his home on the test drive. Kinsella urged that person to turn themselves in.
Millard and Smich know each other, Kinsella said, though he wouldn't say how.
Smich is known to police, Kinsella said, but wouldn't elaborate. He is to appear in court Thursday in Hamilton, where he'll face a charge of first-degree murder.
As many as 120 investigators have been working on the case, executing more than 15 search warrants and production orders and following up on more than 700 tips, Kinsella said.
Bosma's wife Sharlene last saw him the night of May 6 when he went for a test drive in the 2007 Dodge Ram pickup truck that he posted for sale online. A man called Bosma and arranged to go on a test drive that night, police said. Bosma never came home.
Bosma's cellphone was found three days later in an industrial area of the neighbouring city of Brantford.
Police believe he was killed the same night he went missing, though they haven't yet said if he was killed in the truck, on the farm where his remains were found, or elsewhere.
May 22, 2013 / 10:10 am
American talk-show hosts have discovered the joys of a favourite Canadian pastime: cracking jokes at Toronto's expense and poking fun at the stereotypes of a boring city the rest of Canada loves to hate - all courtesy of the cocaine controversy swirling around Mayor Rob Ford.
Late-night audiences giggled or roared at gags, mock interviews and phoney drug parties involving the beleaguered mayor and a flag-waving moose, eh.
"I think of Canada, I think of politeness and clean streets," host Jon Stewart mused late Tuesday.
"I mean it's like Canada is that friend you had in high school that all your parents loved because he's so polite - he calls everybody Mr. and Mrs. - and then you find he's actually like a date rapist."
Ford himself has all but refused to address the allegations made by the U.S. website Gawker and the Toronto Star that a drug dealer captured him on a cellphone video appearing to smoke crack cocaine.
His curt dismissal of the claims as "ridiculous" and a suggestion the Star article was a smear job have been followed by days of deafening silence that have seen the mayor evade reporters and duck any questions.
On his show, Jimmy Kimmel said the entire scenario "sounds like a joke."
That was followed with a Skype call in which he asked Ford look-alike Jim O'Heir to comment on a mock video of the alleged video that apparently shows the mayor smoking crack.
At various points in the skit, the "mayor" is seen wearing a sheet and jumping on a hotel-room bed. At another, he tries, in vain, to keep from blowing smoke on camera.
"Mr. Mayor, are you saying that that was not you?" Kimmel asked on his "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
"I didn't say anything," the fake Ford responds. "These people are pathological liars."
Not everyone is seeing humour in the situation.
At city hall Wednesday, Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday said he wants people around the world to know Toronto is a "great place."
"We want people to come here because they think they're going to have a good time for the right reasons," Holyday said.
"Some of the things that I guess have happened as a result of this last incident certainly haven't been positive and that's very unfortunate."
In a segment that stretched to more than six minutes, "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" played clips of various embarrassing incidents involving Ford.
They included the mayor falling down while trying to throw a football, and walking into a television camera last month.
"You've got to wonder: Is this dude on crack?" Stewart asked, as lead in to the segment on the controversy.
"Don't judge him: Maybe he's cleaning up the city by smoking all the crack in it. You're next, prostitution rings!"
A Stewart interviewee, billed as a senior correspondent in Toronto, added smoking crack is one of Canada's most cherished pastimes.
Jay Leno joined the comedic pile-on on Monday night. "To be fair, there's not a lot to do in Toronto," Leno said.
If nothing else, Leno continued, Ford is "still qualified to be mayor of Washington, D.C.," a reference to Marion Barry, the former mayor of the U.S. capital who was convicted of using crack cocaine.
Neither the claims of U.S.-based website Gawker nor the Toronto Star about the cellphone video have been independently verified but the website has raised more than $106,000 toward the $200,000 it says it needs to buy it.
Friends and rivals have urged Ford to address the allegations head on, but so far, the mayor has refused.
Holyday said he didn't know why Ford has been so opaque, but suggested it might be on the advice of lawyers.
"The mayor has to come out and speak to the media," Holyday said. "I don't know when that's going to take place but I believe it has to happen."
May 21, 2013 / 7:36 pm
Krista Bouchard was married to a Mountie for 13 years, a quirky, funny, chatty guy she'd met on a blind date.
Thirty-year-old Martin Bouchard was an RCMP officer in Manitoba and had a French accent and plenty of friends.
But three years into the marriage, Krista Bouchard started noticing symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder, apparently related to her husband's posting in Shamattawa, a First Nations reserve that she said was resistant to outside policing.
"He'd show up at a call and end up having an axe thrown from the roof of a house at him," Krista Bouchard, 38, said.
But most traumatic for her husband were the suicides. There were calls that changed her husband life forever.
"The biggest thing was the hangers, they called them. They were cutting people out of the trees weekly for attempted suicides and suicides," she said.
Suddenly her husband was constantly negative, alienating friends and being confrontational at work, a change in behaviour she would have never predicted when the pair exchanged vows.
"He was so proud to be an RCMP member, yet he was always looking for the negative," Bouchard said. "It felt like he was always in a battle with somebody."
Over the next decade of his RCMP career, Bouchard said her husband became increasingly hostile towards her and their two daughters, to the point she feared for their safety and the couple separated.
Martin Bouchard continued working as a Mountie despite being diagnosed with depression and PTSD.
On Nov. 8, 2012, just four days after handing in his gun and badge, he took his own life.
Bouchard linked her husband's death to his largely untreated struggle with PTSD and believes it could have been prevented if the RCMP had helped him cope with the horrors he faced on the job.
As lawsuits emerge and claims for PTSD-related disability pensions climb, Bouchard and other spouses of current and former Mounties are asking the force to play a larger role in preventing and treating the work-related disorder.
"It's the responsibility of the employer when PTSD is a result of the job, to ensure that those members are taken care of," Bouchard said.
"They were aware (he) was diagnosed with PTSD and they never, ever, once promoted the idea of treatment for him."
While company coverage for a limited number of counselling sessions was helpful, Bouchard said her husband needed much more assistance.
Counselling didn't work for him despite visits to various therapists, Bouchard said.
"He was never getting beyond the initial six-week appointment where they finally started to delve into things."
But a national representative for the RCMP said members' physical and mental well-being is top priority.
"Work-related health issues, whether physical or mental, are taken very seriously," spokesman Greg Cox said in an email statement.
Mounties are screened for mental health issues every three years and offered treatment options, he said, adding those in high-risk duty such as undercover work or service in isolated regions receive increased focus and monitoring.
May 21, 2013 / 7:32 pm
The Liberals in the Senate are trying to trigger special parliamentary hearings in the hopes of forcing the prime minister's former top aide and others to testify about a secret $90,000 payment to a former Tory senator.
Liberal Senate leader James Cowan argued on the Senate floor Tuesday that Stephen Harper's office violated the sacrosanct privileges of parliamentarians, and may well be in contempt of Parliament.
Harper's former chief of staff Nigel Wright gave Sen. Mike Duffy $90,000 to pay off improper housing expenses earlier this year. Wright resigned Sunday, and Duffy quit the Conservative caucus on Thursday, after the details began to emerge.
After that payment from Wright, Duffy stopped co-operating with an audit into his expenses, and sources say a Senate report into his claims was stripped of some of its most critical language. Liberals on the Senate committee on internal economy, which sits in secrecy, voted against the report in protest.
"If monies were paid which would influence the decision of a Senate committee, then that is contempt of Parliament, and that infringes my privileges as a senator, and it infringes the privileges of senators and the Senate and interferes in a spectacular way...with the independence of the Senate," Cowan told reporters.
Conservative Senate leader Marjory LeBreton had declared the matter closed two weeks ago when the reports on housing expenses were tabled.
During Senate question period on Tuesday, LeBreton insisted that she and her colleagues were unaware of Wright's payment until it was revealed on the news.
"I was dealing with what I had at that point in time. That's all I could do," LeBreton said of her comments on May 9.
Cowan pressed LeBreton to explain why the report on Duffy's claims was different from that of two other senators, former Liberal Mac Harb and former Conservative Patrick Brazeau, referring to it as "whitewashed."
LeBreton suggested it was because Duffy had already paid his improper expenses, and the reports might have been designed to persuade Brazeau and Harb to do the same.
Cowan is arguing that the executive branch interfered in the proceedings of the Senate committee tasked with studying Duffy's expense claims.
Claude Carignan, the Conservative deputy leader in the Senate, rejected the notion the Senate's privileges had been violated. He said it was enough that the Senate ethics officer and the conflict of interest and ethics commissioner were reviewing the matter.
"I think this is a serious issue, and it shouldn't be an issue of partisanship," said Carignan. "There is a parliamentary process created to treat issues of this type, and I think we should allow it to unfold."
If Senate Speaker Noel Kinsella finds there appears to be a breach of parliamentary privilege, he could send the issue to a special committee for further study.
Such a Senate committee would enjoy the privilege of summoning any witness it wants on the matter, including Wright or others from Harper's office.
Kinsella said late Tuesday evening he was taking the matter under advisement.
May 21, 2013 / 12:46 pm
The mother of a toddler killed when an SUV crashed into a restaurant patio wept and trembled as the man charged in youngster's death appeared in an Edmonton court.
Richard Suter, who is 62, appeared for only a minute on a video screen as his lawyer put the case over to Thursday so he can apply for bail on impaired driving charges.
Police allege Suter had an argument with his spouse before he got into his vehicle parked outside Ric's Grill, then shifted into drive instead of reverse.
Two-year-old Geo Mounsef was pinned to a wall and later died in hospital.
His father and one-year-old brother were also injured in the crash.
Local media report that moments before Suter's court appearance, the child's mother screamed at his defence lawyer's assistant for, quote, "defending baby killers."
May 21, 2013 / 6:35 am
Toronto city hall will be watched closely today to see if Mayor Rob Ford's camp responds to allegations that he was recorded on video appearing to smoke crack cocaine.
The mayor's brother, Councillor Doug Ford, told a Vancouver radio station (CKNW) this weekend that he would respond today to reports regarding the alleged footage.
It's not known if the mayor himself will be back at work this morning.
The Toronto Star and the U.S.-based website Gawker.com reported the controversial video story last week, stating they had separately viewed the cellphone footage which they claimed appears to show Ford smoking crack.
On Friday, Ford slammed the Toronto Star report on the video as a smear job and called it "ridiculous," while his lawyer Dennis Morris called the reports "false and defamatory."
Morris told The Canadian Press on Sunday that he had not received any instructions from Ford about launching legal action against the Star and Gawker, saying the matter was in "pause" until it's known whether a video will become public.
The media outlets reported the video was shown to them by an alleged drug dealer who has been reportedly trying to sell the video for at least $100,000.
Gawker has been trying to crowdsource $200,000 to buy and publicly post the footage and had raised $84,839 by early Tuesday.
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