Justice for all

Access to justice is a significant problem facing the Canadian legal profession and it is a particularly disproportionate issue among society’s most marginalized people.

BC’s first Access to Justice Week is being held at the province’s three law schools – Thompson Rivers University, UBC and University of Victoria – Oct. 1-5.

This is the first year the awareness week is being held in B.C. and the goal is to raise awareness and interest of access issues for law students, as well as highlighting what is already being done to address them.

A hackathon, known as JusticeHackBC, will start off the week at the three universities.

It’s a time-limited event where computer programmers and other software developers work with subject-matter experts to create useful software projects.

On Sept. 29-30, participants are being challenged to create solutions for barriers to justice, particularly around family law.

Several Justice Week events in Kamloops are open to the public, including:

  • Saturday, Sept. 29, outreach at the downtown Farmers’ Market, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Monday, Oct. 1, launch at the TRU Law Atrium (third floor, Old Main), 1 to 2 p.m.
  • Monday, Oct. 1, panel discussion including several TRU Law students, on the topic of Transnational Access to Justice, Old Main 3741 from 2:30 to 4 p.m.
  • Monday, Oct. 1, guest speaker Mavis Erickson (lawyer with Wagstaffe, Gosh Co. and former Carrier Sekani Tribal Chief), TRU Indigenous Law Students’ Association, on Understanding Cross-cultural Challenges: Accessing Justice as an Indigenous Woman, 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the TRU Law Reading Room
  • Tuesday, Oct. 2, Community Legal Clinic information and free coffee session, 623 Victoria St., 8 to 10 a.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 3, guest speaker Dr. Julie Macfarlane (professor of law at University of Windsor and author of The New Lawyer: How Settlement is Transforming the Practice of Law) on Meeting the Self-represented Litigant Challenge: Lessons from Research and Practice (event mainly aimed at lawyers), 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., Community Legal Clinic, 623 Victoria St.
  • Thursday, Oct. 4, Community Legal Clinic open house, 623 Victoria St., 8 to 10 a.m.


School lock down

Kamloops RCMP say a school was locked down for a period of time Tuesday after police received a report that there was a male on McArthur Island Park who may have had a firearm. 

Out of an abundance of caution, NorKam Secondary School was asked to go into a "Hold and Secure."
Police were able to find a male dressed in camouflage clothing carrying a bb gun in McArthur Island Park.

This bb gun was in the form of a replica handgun.

The 17-year-old male is from Alberta and was previously known to police.

All investigation information will be forwarded to the BC Prosecution Service to determine charges.

Slow downs on Highway 5

A minor spill causing traffic delays on the Coquihalla has now been contained and tow trucks are on site to help clear the incident.

The spill has been impacting the southbound lane of Highway 5, 19 Km south of Kamloops.

A semi tractor-trailer rolled over and was leaking fuel. The road is down to a single lane as crews work to clean the spill.


Slow down and move over

Drivers must slow down when approaching an official vehicle that has its lights flashing. It's the law.

Kamloops RCMP ticketed 15 drivers on Sept. 13 over a 2.5-hour period who failed to slow down and move over for a police vehicle who was conducting traffic stops on the East Trans Canada Highway.  

In B.C. drivers must slow down and, if safe to do so, move over for emergency and maintenance vehicles.

Most of the drivers ticketed said they did not know about the law.  

This violation ticket is a $173 fine and three penalty points.

Drivers must slow their speed to:

  • 70 km/h when in an 80 km/h or over zone
  • 40 km/h when in an under 80 km/h zone

Emergency and maintenance vehicles include police, ambulance and fire vehicles, tow trucks and any type of vehicle doing road construction or road maintenance.

Killed in shootout with cops

A man is dead in Kamloops after what police are calling an “exchange of gunfire.”

Police were called to a camper trailer three kilometres past the Rose Hill subdivision at about 4:30 p.m. Friday for a report of an impaired man.

“Police attended the location and there was a reported exchange of gunfire,” Staff Sgt. Annie Linteau said in a news release. “The area was immediately cordoned off and the Southeast District Emergency Response Team was requested to attend along with other support units.”

No other officers or members of the public were hurt, police say.

The Independent Investigation Office of B.C has been called in and has secured the scene. The IIO will conduct an investigation “to see if there is any link between police actions and the man's death.”

Anyone who witnessed this incident is asked to contact the IIO BC at 1-855-446-8477.

Four arrested, guns seized

Four people have been arrested in connection with a home invasion and an alleged assault at an Inn in Kamloops. 

Police were called to unit #17 of the Tournament Inn just before midnight Thursday. 

When police arrived, officers found a number of people still in the unit, all of which attempted to leave the unit seemingly to avoid contact with police.

Police had the area surrounded, all the occupants were arrested while exiting the unit.

Police later discovered that four people had originally broken into the unit to wait for the primary resident, who was allegedly assaulted upon his arrival.

Inside the unit, police found several loaded firearms that were all seized. 

Two men and two women were arrested and remain in custody. 

"Considering the firearms that were seized, we're very thankful to have received this 911 call and to have been able to prevent whatever these people intended to do with them," stated Staff Sgt. Mathias Van Laer 

All four individuals arrested are from Kamloops and known to police.

Old scam, new twist

Again, scammers are pushing the limits in an effort to separate you from your money.  

RCMP say a number of Kamloops residents have fallen victim to an old scam with a new twist.

It begins with a phone call. 

The person on the other end tells the victim that they are the RCMP and that there’s a warrant for their arrest. 

They’re instructed to meet the police officers at an address such as a local shopping center in order to pay for some alleged fines, or they’re instructed to deposit BitCoin into an account.

Alarmingly, the number that appears on the caller ID sometimes actually lists the phone number and name of the Kamloops RCMP.

"If you receive a phone call like this, hang up," stated Cpl. Jodi Shelkie. "You will never receive a phone call that tells you there’s a warrant issued for your arrest. Those matters are handled via paper documentation, typically served in person by a uniformed officer."

This is just the latest scam making the rounds. 

There are no depths to which some scammers will go to separate you from your possessions. 

In June, Kamloops RCMP warned the public of an increase in another new scam in which the scammer calls pretending to be somebody from a delivery company. 

The caller wants to know when to deliver the "parcel".

The victims will typically say something such as “This Monday is not good, I have to work and nobody will be here to receive the package.”

The scammer now knows when the best time would be to break into the victim’s home.

Shelkie suggests that If you get a phone call like this, hang up and call back the legitimate delivery company.

"Don’t trust the number on your caller ID. Scammers are good at using phone apps to look like a legitimate company. Sometimes the scammers even have the name and address of someone in the residence. Even then, if you receive a phone call from a delivery company, check the facts."

If you receive one of these scam phone calls, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Impaired man follows girl

A 35-year-old man is in custody after an alleged attempt to lure a young girl in Kamloops.

RCMP say they made the arrest after receiving a complaint of a suspicious male in the area of Lloyd George Elementary.

Around 8 a.m. Thursday, a 12-year-old girl was walking to pick up a friend before going on to school.

A man walking down the street called out to her.

Since the young girl didn’t know the man, and he appeared to be following her, she quickly went to her friend’s house. 

The friend’s mother saw the stranger as he approached her property. 

Police were called. 

Officers attended and spoke to the man and found him to be impaired. 

He claimed a case of mistaken identity.

The man said he thought he knew the girl and that is why he was calling out to her and following her. 

After further investigation, it was found that the man has warrants out of the Lower Mainland. 

He was arrested and is in custody, waiting to go before a judge.

Injured in turbulence

Turbulence caused an Air Canada Jazz flight out of Kamloops to briefly lose control, injuring a flight attendant on Aug. 29.

The De Havilland Dash 8-300 was nearing its destination of Calgary with 24 passengers and three crew on board when it encountered turbulence as it descended towards Calgary Airport.

Aeroinside.com reports the autopilot disconnected, the crew lost control momentarily, and the flight attendant received minor injuries.

The aircraft landed safely about 13 minutes later.

The Transportation Safety Board reported the aircraft flew through an area of moderate turbulence at about 15,000 feet.

All passengers were wearing their seat belts and were unhurt in the incident. The flight attendant received minor injuries, but was able to continue duties.

Aeroinside's report contains information from the Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Report System.

Transport Canada endeavours to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the data contained within CADORS, however, the information within should be treated as preliminary, unsubstantiated and subject to change.

RCMP ERT deployed again

Kamloops RCMP have seen an increase in the use of the Southeast District Emergency Response Team. 

The response team has been activated twice in two days, and four times in the past month and a half. 

Tuesday afternoon, RCMP responded to a call in the 400 block of 1 st Avenue of a woman threatening to harm herself. 

Police set up a perimeter around her home, and a negotiator made contact with the female, however, she refused to leave the home.

At 8:30 p.m., the 50-year-old woman was taken into custody. She is now being assessed at a local medical facility.

“It’s unusual that Southeast District ERT has to be deployed two days in a row to Kamloops for essentially the same type of call. In these cases, of a person threatening to harm themselves and then refusing to leave their
residence,” stated Cpl. Jodi Shelkie. “This team is trained to deal with these types of situations and are an asset to the district.”

Monday night police were able to successfully defuse a potentially violent situation after a man called a crisis line and threatened violence to himself and to police if they attended his home. 

On June 24, the Southeast District Emergency Response Team responded to reports of a man in mental distress in the 1200 block of Schubert Drive in Kamloops at 11:45 a.m.

The day-long standoff ended peacefully with the man exiting his home and being taken to a local medical facility for observation. 

On Aug. 2, a man barricaded himself in the Denny’s Restaurant on the corner of Columbia and 6th Avenue. 

Again, the Southeast District Emergency Response Team and a negotiator were dispatched.

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