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Canada  

Inquiry a 'bloody farce'

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould's father is calling the national public inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women a "bloody farce."

Bill Wilson, a hereditary chief, says the commissioners have "failed miserably."

Wilson is far from the first person to criticize the inquiry for its glacial pace of progress — family members of victims and indigenous activists have been growing frustrated with a lack of activity and what they consider poor communication.

But his profile as Wilson-Raybould's father, as well as an indigenous leader who famously battled with then-prime minister Pierre Trudeau in the 1980s, has given his expression of anger some additional volume.

"You have failed miserably," Wilson rails against the commissioners in a lengthy Facebook diatribe posted on the weekend. "It is time for you all to resign."

In a statement Wednesday, Wilson-Raybould said the federal government remains steadfast in its commitment to end the ongoing tragedy, adding she respects her father's opinions but that he speaks for himself.

"We have not spoken about the inquiry," she said.





Killer's progress 'slow'

A psychiatrist says a man found not criminally responsible because of a mental illness after killing his three children is making slow progress but still struggles with anger management.

Dr. Marcel Hediger told a review board hearing that it's unlikely he would recommend Allan Schoenborn be granted supervised outings in the next year, saying he would need to see Schoenborn better deal with anger management and get help to cope with his emotions.

The review board granted the director of a psychiatric hospital in Coquitlam the discretion to allow Schoenborn escorted outings into the community two years ago, but he hasn't been allowed out.

Crown attorney Wendy Dawson wants that authority revoked, arguing Schoenborn poses too much of a risk.

She contends Schoenborn's earlier progress was a ploy to earn privileges from the review board.

Schoenborn's lawyers want his custody conditions left alone.

Schoenborn stabbed his 10-year-old daughter Kaitlynne and smothered his sons Max and Cordon, eight and five, at the family's home in Merritt in April 2008.

Two years later, a B.C. Supreme Court judge ruled he was not criminally responsible because he was experiencing psychosis and believed he was protecting his children from sexual abuse, though no evidence was heard suggesting they were being abused.

When the review board granted him escorted community outings, it said Schoenborn was diagnosed as having a delusional disorder, a substance abuse disorder and paranoid personality traits, but his symptoms have been in remission for years.

The board said in its written decision that Schoenborn has suffered "significant negative attention'' while in custody because of the notoriety of his offences including taunts, name-calling, threats and physical assault.



Dog buried alive

An injured dog found buried alive on Montreal's South Shore appears to be in stable condition as the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals investigates what happened to the animal.

The Monteregie SPCA says the dog, a Boxer, was extremely dehydrated when it was first brought in for care Tuesday and couldn't even lift its head.

The organization says the dog managed to do just that this morning and is showing other signs of improvement.

It says the dog seems to have sensation in its legs, meaning it may not be paralyzed from a severe neck injury as the organization feared.

The SPCA is investigating and is asking for the public's help in finding out what happened.



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Salamanders halt quarry

A group of Ontario residents trying to ward off the development of a new quarry in their community say they have found two endangered salamanders that they hope will convince authorities to put an end to the project.

The Burlington, Ont., residents say the discovery of the Jefferson dependant unisexual salamanders should force the province to reconsider the development by Meridian Brick, which has had two active quarries in the area for decades.

"This is a real coup," said Maria Adcock, who lives nearby and is part of the Tyandaga Environmental Coalition. "This is a beautiful area that shouldn't be developed and this discovery should help save the forest."

Meridian has had rights to develop a third quarry since 1972, but hadn't acted on it until two years ago.

Dozens of residents who bought homes in the community argue they were never warned about the possibility of a quarry being developed next to their backyards. They first learned about it when the company sent around a newsletter in 2015. That's when the community got organized, waging an environmental fight to save the trees — and the value of their properties.

The city has said it can't stop the project.

"After extensive review by staff in several city and regional departments, we have come to understand that Meridian Brick is within its legal rights and that the Province of Ontario, not the City of Burlington, has jurisdiction over this matter," said Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring.



Son slipped and drowned

The father of a nine-year old Winnipeg boy who died in Ontario's Rushing River Provincial Park this weekend says his son slipped on a rock and drowned.

Trevor Thomas tells CTV Winnipeg he was cooking supper Saturday night when his son, Kyree Bruneau-Thomas, disappeared.

Hours later, after a search by Ontario Provincial Police and park staff, Kyree was found dead.

Kyree was a grade four student at Cecil Rhodes school in Winnipeg.

Thomas and Kyree's mother, Justine Bruneau, say they are heartbroken at the loss of their boy, who they described as affectionate and loving.

Bruneau says the boy loved the outdoors.

"Bugs, climbing, everything," she says.

“He was going to be something special,” says his father.

“Keep your kids close," says Bruneau. "I’ve been telling people that every day that have been coming to the house, supporting us, being with us, no matter what it is. Doesn’t have to be this situation, any situation."

Ontario Provincial Police say an autopsy confirmed the cause of death was drowning and foul play is not suspected.

The family says funeral services will be held Friday.

Rushing River Provincial Park is reviewing procedures following the death.

“Ontario Parks takes the safety of its visitors very seriously, and we always review our procedures following a fatality,” park superintendent Matt Yeo said Tuesday.

Yeo said based on the review, emergency plans could be updated at the park, which is located about 30 kilometres east of Kenora, Ont



More security after bombing

Security is being enhanced at Winnipeg's MTS Centre in the wake of the fatal bombing at an Ariana Grande show in Manchester, England.

True North Sports and Entertainment will start by bringing in an explosives specialty dog for a sold-out Red Hot Chili Peppers show this Friday.

Kevin Donnelly of True North tells CTV Winnipeg that the Manchester bombing, which killed at least 22 people and wounded dozens more, "changes everything."

He says terrorist attacks have also taken place at shopping malls, train stations, airports and sporting events.

He says True North is always looking to "increase, enhance and stay current" with security standards around the world.

True North partners with the Winnipeg Police Service to provide security at large events.

Const. Rob Carver says Dante, an eight-year-old Belgian Malinois, will patrol the MTS Centre before, during and after Friday's show.

Carver says anytime there’s an incident on the international landscape, security changes are implemented and they’re rarely ever ratcheted down.

However, aside from having Dante in attendance, police weren’t able to talk about exactly what changes they’re making in Winnipeg.

“We don’t talk about the details of security enhancements,” Carver says. “We have other things as well, but they’re not things we’re going to be discussing to the public because it’s part of our security strategy to make sure that we’re looking at things, we’re deploying the resources, we’re changing tactics as we often are.



Fathers, sons drown

A young man says he's devastated after his father and his dad's best friend died in a canoeing accident in northern Manitoba along with two of their sons.

James Cripps says it's surreal that his father and younger brother are gone.

"It just feels like your entire world crashes down on you," he said Tuesday.

RCMP said a search began on Monday after the four paddlers were reported overdue from a trip on the Burntwood River north of Thompson.

Police officers and firefighters launched two rescue boats and chartered a helicopter. Several boaters in the area also took part.

The overturned craft and the bodies of the four canoeists were found in the water. Police said all the victims were wearing life jackets. They were all from Thompson.

Loved ones say Shane Cripps, 44, and Conor Sykes, 33, were best friends.

Cripps's son Dylan, 14, and Sykes's son Liam, who was six, were with them on the excursion.

The elder Cripps was a well-respected entrepreneur in northern Manitoba, who had an ecotourism lodge, restaurant and other ventures, said friend Jody Linklater.



Charged for making threats

Police have charged a woman in southern Alberta with making online threats against the prime minister's wife and the Canadian government.

RCMP Cpl. Hal Turnbull said investigators were able to trace the social media account and link it to an address in Lethbridge.

"The threats were allegedly made against the Canadian government as well as against the prime minister's wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau," he said Tuesday.

Details of the threats and the social media platform were not released.

Turnbull said Lisa Seymour-Peters, 49, was arrested May 12. She has been charged with one count under the Criminal Code of uttering threats.

Seymour-Peters has been released from custody on the conditions that she not contact or be found within 100 metres of Sophie Gregoire Trudeau or her immediate family.

As well, she is not to attend any political gathering or function. She is to appear in Lethbridge provincial court on June 8.

RCMP cautioned people about what they post online.

"Using social media as a means by which to make threats against an individual or a group of people is not to be taken lightly and may result in criminal charges if a police investigation obtains evidence to support the laying of such charges."



Terrorism takes centre stage

The deadly bombing in Manchester has thrust the familiar scourge of terrorism back under the spotlight as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau prepares for high-level meetings with allies overseas.

Trudeau leaves Wednesday for Brussels for the NATO leaders' summit, the first such meeting since U.S. President Donald Trump moved into the White House.

The prime minister will then jet to Taormina, Italy, for this year's G7 gathering, before ending his foreign tour with a stop in Rome to meet Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni and the Pope.

The NATO and G7 summits were already slated to touch upon the global fight against terrorism, which has been a hot-button topic for Trump.

But officials and experts expect the spotlight to fix even more firmly on the challenge after Monday's suicide-bomb attack outside a concert in England, which killed 22 people and injured 59.

"It is going to increase attention on the fight against terrorism," one NATO official, who was not authorized to comment publicly, said of Thursday's meeting in Brussels.

"We expected that to be one of the two major themes of the meeting anyway, fighting terrorism. But I think (the Manchester attack) will increase the public's attention on the immediacy of the threat."

That could be a bittersweet shift for Trudeau, particularly during the NATO meeting in Brussels, where much of the emphasis was expected to be on the amount allies spend on defence.

Canada spends only around one per cent of GDP on defence, which is half of NATO's target and puts the country among the bottom third of allies, setting up a potentially uncomfortable discussion for Trudeau.

Focusing on the fight against terrorism instead would allow the prime minister to highlight Canada's contributions to the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, another Trump priority.

"We'll be a lot more comfortable talking about the fight against ISIL, where we measure up quite well, than about burden-sharing," said defence analyst David Perry of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

Canada currently has about 200 special forces troops participating in the U.S.-led war against ISIL, as well as helicopters, medical personnel, two surveillance aircraft and an air-to-air refuelling plane.



Petition to ban caleches

A petition to ban caleches in Quebec City has more than 34,000 signatures after two incidents involving horses on the weekend.

Local police say the first occurred when a horse suddenly took off and the driver was unable to control the animal.

Soon after, another horse tripped and lay on the ground for about two hours.

A veterinarian eventually gave the animal a shot of adrenalin, and police say it was not injured in the mishap.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre tried to ban caleches in the city in 2016, but a Quebec Superior Court justice ruled the horse-drawn carriages should be allowed to continue operating.

The mayor had previously ordered a veterinary report into the health of the animals after photographs on social media showed a horse that had slipped and fallen on a metal plate.



Kids face anti-vax stigma

Children who aren't vaccinated face harsher judgment than their parents who refused immunization, says a study examining attitudes involving a contentious public health issue for which Canada lacks a national vaccination strategy.

Other kids may not want to sit next to unvaccinated students at school, work on projects with them or go on a play date at the child's house, said Prof. Richard Carpiano, lead study author and a sociologist at the University of British Columbia.

Children of so-called anti-vaxxers deal with more stigma regardless of the reasons for their parents' decision, Carpiano said of the study that focused on mothers because they typically make a family's health decisions.

Some parents don't want their children vaccinated based on long-debunked fears that vaccines cause autism, mercury poisoning or auto-immune disorders.

"Child vaccination is a complex problem that poses significant health consequences for the child and the community," said the study published this month in the journal Social Science and Medicine.

It said public health efforts to address the issue require an understanding of parents' motives and how the general public interprets them because of concerns about the high risk of unvaccinated or under-vaccinated kids spreading infectious diseases, such as measles, mumps and whooping cough.

The study was based on data collected from a July 2015 online survey of 1,469 U.S. respondents, though Carpiano said the results are just as applicable in Canada.

Respondents were randomly assigned to read one of four scenarios. They included a mother who refused to vaccinate her child, another who delayed immunization over safety concerns, while a third mother's job and family demands left no time for medical appointments, and a fourth, who represented a control group, ensured her child received the recommended vaccinations.

Survey respondents with the strongest reactions were more likely to support policies such as parents being notified about vaccination rates at their child's school or kids being banned from school until they're up to date with immunizations, Carpiano said.

"When I tell people I study this I get some very energetic reactions, to put it kindly," he said. "People immediately say, 'Oh, those crazy people,' or 'Those people are nuts.' It's hitting at a dear-held value about health, about child welfare, about parenting and more broadly, about community."



ACC tightens security

Heightened security is planned for Toronto's Air Canada Centre after the suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.

Dave Haggith, a spokesman for the ACC's owner Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, says more security staff will be on the grounds at upcoming events.

He declined to offer details on whether other security measures would also be taken. Toronto police say they have no reason to believe there's an increased threat level in the city.

The move follows the concert attack late Monday, which left 22 people dead and caused mass panic at the Manchester Arena.

Haggith says the ACC regularly works with local and national law enforcement to monitor any perceived threats.

In recent years, the venue began ramping up security with walk-through metal detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs.

"You're going to find every venue is at a heightened awareness," Haggith says.

"Something like the incident that happened yesterday brings a much more public focus to it."



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