Ottawa protest over 'gender ideology' met with hundreds of counter-protesters

The federal government is increasing security funding for Pride events, in response to a surge in open aggression towards the LGBTQ2 community by far-right groups. As Touria Izri explains, this rise in hostility is preventing some people from running for public office.

Hundreds of people rallied against what an organizer calls “gender ideology” near three west-end Ottawa schools today, as hundreds more joined a counter-protest in support of transgender rights.

Police arrested five people in connection with the protests but wouldn’t share more information about why.

The protest against gender identity being taught in schools was organized by activist Chris Elston, while community groups Horizon Ottawa and Community Solidarity Ottawa mobilized the counter-protest.

Police closed a stretch of Broadview Avenue in Westboro between Carling Avenue and Tillbury Avenues and divided the crowd into several groups along the street.

A woman gives thumbs down as she takes part in a protest against Pride in Ottawa.

A woman gives thumbs down as she takes part in a protest against Pride in Ottawa, Friday, June 9, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Notre Dame High School is located on that section of the street, and Broadview Avenue Public School and Nepean High School are located another block away.

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board has urged the protesters to move their demonstrations away from the schools.

Counter protesters carry Pride and Trans Pride flags to confront a protest against Pride in Ottawa.

Counter protesters carry Pride and Trans Pride flags to confront a protest against Pride in Ottawa, Friday, June 9, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

“Adults should never make children and youth feel threatened or intimidated. Protests that are intended to provoke students, staff, families and/or community members to generate attention or social media traffic are completely unacceptable,” the board said in a press release ahead of the planned protest.

Neighbourhood resident Tris Harrison said he has two kids who attend Broadview Avenue Public School, one in kindergarten and another in Grade 2.

Harrison said while he respects protesters’ democratic rights, the demonstrations are unfair and disruptive to the children in nearby schools.

“I don’t want my (kids’) school used as a prop,” he said.

“Is this fair to a seven-year-old?”

© 2023 The Canadian Press

What has been done to improve safety in Edmonton's core — and is it working?

It’s been one year since the City of Edmonton released its safety plan after two men were beaten to death in Chinatown on May 18, 2022. The killingS sparked outrage from the community and a demand from then-justice minister Tyler Shandro for city council to create a plan to manage a situation he called “extremely concerning and inappropriate.”

While there are different opinions on steps taken since then in an effort to address the situation, at least one area business owner has offered an optimistic look at changes being made.

Will Chen, owner of Van Loc, a restaurant in Chinatown, said he’s noticed improvements over the past year.

“I think it’s gotten a lot better. The streets are definitely cleaner,” he said.

“The city and the folks taking down the tents make it a little bit nicer for people to walk around.”

On June 9, 2022, the city released its Downtown Core and Transit System Safety Plan, a 30-page document that describes a dozen recent actions and four longer-term actions.

Actions taken – some of which were taken directly after the killings and some of which had been in the works for years – broadly look to answer three challenges: addressing law enforcement when it comes to street crime and disorder; addressing root causes by getting vulnerable people the supports they need through housing and mental health and addictions treatment; and returning vibrancy to Chinatown and downtown.

While some who frequent Chinatown have said the situation was improving, they all agree there is still work to do.

When it comes to front-line initiatives aimed at cracking down on crime and disorder, the city, police and province have taken a number of steps since the release of the June 2022 safety plan.

Healthy Streets Operations Centre (HSOC)

Who: Police, peace officers, paramedics

What: Enforce law, provide visible presence of police

Where: Hot spots of crime and disorder: Chinatown, downtown, Kingsway

When: Teams deployed beginning of December 2022

Why: Community members wanted increased police presence, paramedics help divert ambulances

How: Teams patrol “hot spots”

On the first anniversary of the killings, the Edmonton Police Commission (EPC) received a presentation on the results of the program that launched in late 2022.

Police said crime severity went down in the time and areas where HSOC operated. In November, the crime severity index was around 115 and it dipped in February to 77.5 before rising to 85.8 in March, the most recent month for which data was provided, according to police.

The crime severity index is a measurement of crime that accounts for Edmonton’s population, the number of crimes occurring and the seriousness of the crimes, according to the Edmonton Police Service.

Insp. Angela Kemp said teams intervened nearly 3,500 times in what she called “proactive engagements.”

“It stops public complaints because the individuals on our teams are engaging with the public and community members in this space before situations can escalate,” she said.

Alberta Sheriffs

Who: Alberta Sheriffs (through the provincial government), EPS

What: Fifteen-week pilot project that partnered sheriffs with HSOC officers to expand hours and service capacity

Where: Chinatown, downtown, Kingsway, Boyle Street, McCauley

When: Started Feb. 14, 2023

Why: Increase police visibility, “to deter crime and protect people from criminals”

How: By adding “more boots on the ground”

The Alberta government said in a news release in late April that the teams with sheriffs had recovered nearly $125,000 in stolen property and seized $50,000 worth of street drugs.

A spokesperson for the province added the continuation of the partnership would be considered once the cabinet of the new government was chosen and sworn in.

An Alberta Sheriff and Edmonton Police Service officer near a homeless encampment north of downtown Edmonton, Alta. on Thursday, March 2, 2023.

An Alberta Sheriff and Edmonton Police Service officer near a homeless encampment north of downtown Edmonton, Alta. on Thursday, March 2, 2023.

Saif Kaisar, Global News

Community Outreach Transit Team

Who: City of Edmonton transit peace officers, Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society outreach workers

What: Help people in need of support with the resources they need, including housing, mental health, substance use and addiction resources

Where: Transit facilities including stations, LRT cars and buses

When: Starting July 2021

Why: “Some disorder observed is rooted in core social issues such as lack of housing, mental health and substance use,” according to a city report

How: Teams aim to deliver compassionate, trauma-informed supports to marginalized individuals

In a report given to city council on March 20, the city said numbers could not always effectively convey the impact and complexity of the team’s work. Nonetheless, the report said in the first year the teams made 2,700 contacts where members shared information about programs. In about one in five of those contacts, specific referrals were made and transportation was facilitated, according to the city.

The city said 250 different people were followed up on with ongoing support in the second half of the year.

Integrated Care Centre (ICC)

Who: Edmonton police, peace officers, paramedics, Radius Community Health and Healing

What: People detained for public intoxication are connected to medical supports and can get referred to an addiction treatment program

Where: Former holding cells at the police headquarters downtown

When: Opened March 29, 2023

Why: “Ensure that individuals get access to the health and social supports they may need to stem their crisis”

How: Twelve peace officers and four paramedics can help up to 17 people at a time

Global News asked Edmonton police how many people had accessed the ICC since it opened but that data was not available in time for publication, according to police.

Public Spaces Bylaw Review

Who: City of Edmonton

What: The city is reviewing three bylaws that address what people are allowed to do in public spaces

Where: Transit, parks, sidewalks, food courts, other public areas

When: The city wrapped up public engagement in May, new bylaw to be considered by council in Q3 2023

Why: Promote consistency and clarity

How: Consolidate three bylaws into one

A spokesperson with the city said administration was seeking feedback on the bylaw because while most people agree it’s not appropriate to, for example, use drugs in public spaces, many have differing ideas on how to address it.

“We want to have an overarching bylaw that governs all public spaces but has the ability to focus on particular areas that maybe need some specific attention,” deputy city manager Gord Cebryk said in an interview in May.

Human-centred Engagement and Liaison Partnership (HELP) Unit

Who: Edmonton police, outreach agencies

What: An effort to break the cycle of arrest, remand, release that many vulnerable people fall into

Where: City-wide, every day 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

When: Launched Jan. 4, 2021

Why: “Front-line patrol officers don’t have the vast skill set or resources to treat each vulnerable person’s specific needs”

How: Constables team up with social workers to provide referrals to services, follow-ups and case-management plans

Edmonton police said HELP teams divert one person from the justice system every day, with 889 referrals in 2021, 2,641 in 2022, and 664 in 2023 as of mid-April.

Manager of H.E.L.P. Team Boyle Street Community Services Doug Cooke checks on homeless people and hands out supplies in Edmonton, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021.

Manager of H.E.L.P. Team Boyle Street Community Services Doug Cooke checks on homeless people and hands out supplies in Edmonton, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021.

Jason Franson, The Canadian Press

Police and Crisis Response Team (PACT)

Who: Edmonton police and mental health therapists from Alberta Health Services

What: Some therapists patrol with EPS members while others are placed in dispatch to support 911 dispatchers and police

Where: City-wide

When: Started in 2004

Why: Support people calling with mental health concerns and free up police resources

How: Mental health therapists connect people to supports and stabilization services

In a news release in mid-April, Edmonton police said PACT saw 5,031 referrals in 2021, 6,692 in 2022, and 1,772 so far in 2023.

In addition to the above programs, EPS, the city and the province have all committed at one time or another to providing more police officers in “high harm and high disorder” neighbourhoods.

Are these programs working?

Christina Trang, whose father Hung Trang was killed in the May attacks, lauded the HSOC for helping improve the area.

“I think the team being in and around the community and engaging and trying to help where they can, whether it’s social services, whether it’s medical, all that brought to the community has been very helpful and maybe it’s even been able to help offload any emergencies,” she said.

“The Healthy Streets Operations (Centre) is definitely a start to getting vibrancy back into Chinatown, where we can create a little more safety for everybody.”

Trang is now working with the Chinatown and area business improvement association, working to return vibrancy to the neighbourhood.

Chen said the increased police presence has made residents and business owners feel safer.

“Just seeing police officers and peace officers walking around, it helps with a sense of safety and community. And they’re always nice, smiling, waving,” he said.

LISTEN: Co-owner of Van Loc Wilson Wong is working to make his restaurant a ray of sunshine for Chinatown

View Link »

Chen said he doesn’t feel threatened by the presence of vulnerable people in the neighbourhood.

“I don’t worry about it too much. I mean, they’re normal people just like you and me, and sometimes they just want some dignity,” he said, adding he serves them as customers too.

“I think we’re on the right path right now. Personally, I would like it to happen a little bit faster.”

Temitope Oriola, a criminologist at the University of Alberta, said increasing police presence may actually artificially increase the rate of crime in an area.

“In deploying more police resources, it’s important that we understand that we may end up, at least in the short term, actually ballooning the rate of crime, because we now have more resources, more police cars and cruisers and boots on the ground enforcing the law and therefore increasing the likelihood that we would see more crime,” he said.

At the same time, what Oriola said what he calls “performative enforcement” can help people feel safer in the core..

“It’s essentially a show of officer presence in specific designated spaces that produces a sociopsychological effect of assuring members of the public that we are doing something and all of that,” he said.

“Objectively speaking, the numbers may be the same or the numbers might have gone up, but you would have tackled, at least in the interim, the feeling (of safety) among members of the public.”

But this is a temporary reprieve, Oriola said, as more police will not permanently fix crime and disorder so long as the root causes are not addressed.

Oriola said police organizations have a tendency to come up with new programs with new names in response to public demands instead of focusing on ones that already exist.

“The problem is often this frenetic pace with which they come up with all kinds of programs and therefore shifting attention almost automatically to the newly formed program until the next one is formed,” he said.

Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said he believes the city is doing what it can but there is more work to do.

“We have a long, long way to go to make Edmonton a safer community,” he said.

Sohi said the city has allocated resources for safety on public transit, hired new transit peace officers and more social workers and stabilized police funding.

“Anecdotally, we hear people’s experiences of feeling safe as well as feeling unsafe,” he acknowledged.

Elliott Tanti, spokesperson for social agency Boyle Street Community Services, said any time there is an increase in law enforcement in an area, the houseless community feels it.

“While I appreciate that the more visible presence of police in the area does help to make some feel safer, it’s only one piece… (of) what needs to be a much more diverse range of supports for the area,” he said.

“Our police chief has said this, we’ve said this: We’re not going to arrest our way out of the challenges that we’re facing in our community.”

This article is the first in a three-part series examining Edmonton’s core one year after the city introduced a “safety plan” following the killings of two men in Chinatown. The second article on homelessness, mental health and addictions will be published Saturday and the third article on revitalizing the neighbourhood will be published Sunday.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Second-degree murder charge laid in 2022 Maple Ridge shooting

Homicide investigators have secured a second-degree murder charge in the fatal daylight shooting of a 41-year-old man in last year.

Arthur Comeau was gunned down on Carlton Street near 123 Avenue around 2 p.m. on April 28, 2022.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) said Friday that prosecutors have now approved the murder charge against 31-year-old Maple Ridge resident Justin Wareing.

IHIT said it would not comment further with the case now before the courts.

At the time of the killing, police said that Comeau was known to police but it was unclear if his death was linked to B.C.’s ongoing gang conflict.

Court records show Wareing with several convictions on his record, including robbery, assault and assaulting a peace officer.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Murder trial date set in fatal stabbing of father outside Vancouver Starbucks

An emotional night in downtown Vancouver as the parents of Paul Schmidt visit his memorial outside the Starbucks where he was stabbed to death. Christa Dao reports.

A date has been set for the murder trial of a man accused of fatally stabbing a B.C. father outside a Vancouver Starbucks in broad daylight.

Inderdeep Singh Gosal has been charged with second-degree murder in the grisly killing, which was caught on camera and shocked the city.

The BC Prosecution Service confirmed Friday a preliminary trial date has been set for April 22, 2024, with pre-trial hearings set for the month prior.

Paul Stanley Schmidt, 37, was stabbed outside the coffee shop at Granville and Pender streets on March 26 after a “brief altercation,” according to Vancouver police. He was rushed to the hospital but did not survive.

His mother told Global News he was with his wife and young daughter at the time, and had allegedly asked the suspect not to vape near his daughter.

“We’ve lost our son and it’s devastating. Paul had a great life. He lived for life, he lived for his family, and to have that ripped away from him is just cruel and unacceptable,” Kathy Schmidt said in an interview at the time.

Gosal was arrested at the scene and charged the following day. At the time, police said they did not believe the two men knew one another.

Following Schmidt’s death, graphic videos of the killing circulated on social media, prompting pleas from the victim’s family not to share the images.

A GoFundMe campaign for the family has raised close to $200,000.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Humane society says 3 malnourished dogs picked up off Oakville streets

A local humane society suspects three “malnourished and undersocialized” dogs picked up off Oakville, Ont., streets within the last few days could possibly be related.

Stephanie Aleksich, animal protective services manager for the Oakville and Milton Humane Society (OMHS), says they’re seeking information and assistance after the trio arrived with a list of ailments associated with neglect.

“We do think that they are somewhat related and possibly by the same owner,” Aleksich said. “So right now we don’t have any idea but are hoping that with the public’s help, we can identify who the owner or owners are.”

An older female dog who is diabetic and blind in one eye was picked up after a call from residents reporting a dog running at large on Kerr Street last week.

Two other younger dogs were turned in to the Cornwall Road location Monday by a passerby who found them roaming near a plaza on Maple Grove Drive.

“They also were severely malnourished and extremely undersocialized to where they were terrified of people,” explained Aleksich.

The outlet is seeking the background of the dogs amid its own investigation but could not speak about potential animal welfare charges since that’s under the purview of the Solicitor General’s office.

Sentences for those found guilty of abuse through an Ontario court can include jail time, six-figure fines and lifetime bans on animal ownership.

Aleksich says they are seeing an increase in dogs being turned in across the region, including many with behavioral challenges, which complicates fostering of the animals.

The OMHS relies 100 per cent on donations from the community to protect vulnerable animals. Donations can be made via their website.

At present, the facility is seeing an increased intake of dogs, cats and rabbits.

“We are actually in a rabbit crisis right now,” said Aleksich. “We have over 30 in our care, so we’re definitely looking for foster homes for them.”

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Dissent in N.B. government ranks continues, MLA criticizes overhaul of education governance

WATCH: New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs is facing a potential caucus revolt over the changes to Policy 713. Six cabinet ministers and two government MLAs say they’re unhappy with the process and lack of transparency around the review. But Higgs remained defiant and said he’s willing to go to the polls over the changes. Silas Brown reports.

As proceedings got underway Friday morning in the New Brunswick legislature, it appeared that the protest of eight government MLAs over changes to school LGBTQ2 inclusion policy may have come to an end.

Eight government MLAs, including six cabinet ministers, skipped question period and routine business on Thursday in protest of a lack of “process and transparency” after education minister Bill Hogan announced changes to Policy 713, which sets out minimum standards to create an inclusive environment for queer students in the school system.

The new policy requires parental consent for teachers to refer to students by their preferred name or pronouns, which has been slammed by a number of LGBTQ2 organizations and opposition parties.

On Friday morning, seven of the eight were in their seats and Service N.B. minister Jill Green even gave an impassioned speech in favour of the government’s overhaul of health care governance.

“This is a good bill,” she said. “It’s moving our health care system forward, Mr. Speaker, and we need to do that now.”

But Green leader David Coon said he expected it was too soon to say the rebellion had been quashed.

“Oh no, I think the revolt is there and simmering,” he told reporters.

Moments later he was proven right when Fundy-the Isles-Saint John West MLA Andrea Anderson Mason rose to speak on changes to the governance model of the education system. She slammed the bill, calling it rushed and saying that it was almost the opposite of proposed changes she had been briefed on following a lengthy consultation process under former education minister Dominic Cardy.

“I was surprised to learn that this was not the direction that I had been briefed on a year and half before,” she said.

“In fact, it was completely the opposite direction.”

The new Education Act would, among other things, remove decision-making powers from district education councils in the Anglophone school system. The Franchophone system will remain more or less the same in order to respect charter rights for minority linguistic communities.

Anderson Mason said she she intends to support an opposition motion to send the bill to the law amendments committee for further study and questioned premier Blaine Higgs’s commitment to parental rights, which has been used to justify the changes to Policy 713.

“I find it really ironic that we are standing here today and have had so many conversations about the importance of the role of parents in the lives of their children in the education system and this new legislation has the effect of almost fully eliminating the input of local communities on their children’s education,” she said.

Higgs called Anderson Mason’s claim that the changes will disenfranchise parents “a reach” and suggested an ulterior motive to her criticisms, but wouldn’t say what that motive is when asked by reporters.

“It’s clear that that member has another agenda and she’s continued to play that out,” he said.

Higgs ended a scrum with reporters after just six minutes, refusing to answer questions about if he had tried to smooth things over with his eight caucus colleagues.

“I don’t think this is going to be fruitful discussion, have a good weekend,” he said before walking away.

The Tory backbencher’s passionate criticisms of a government bill caught the eye of Liberal leader Susan Holt, who said the premier is losing the support of his caucus.

“It’s really unusual for a member of government to get up a deliver a speech against their government’s bill; it’s not typical for that to happen,” she said.

“So it’s a sign there continues to be dissent.”

The eight government MLAs who skipped Thursday’s routine proceedings and signed the letter voicing concerns over the Policy 713 review were Jeff Carr, Daniel Allain, Jill Green, Trevor Holder, Dorothy Shephard, Arlene Dunn, Ross Whetmore and Anderson Mason.

All eight, with the exception of Holder, had publicly expressed concerns over the review of the policy over the last few weeks.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

4-year prison sentence proposed for man who fatally beat Vernon woman

WATCH: The RCMP’s serious crimes investigators have been at a Vernon townhouse complex since late last night. Officers are conducting a murder investigation, but are saying very little about it.

“Stop it, you’re going to end up killing me.”

Those are the last words Heather Barker, a mother of three, told her boyfriend Shaun Wiebe on March 15, 2018, as he flew into a rage and beat her for allegedly stealing narcotics from his pharmacy’s safe.

The words were prophetic. Mere hours later she stopped breathing.

Wiebe pleaded guilty in 2021 to the manslaughter of Barker, who he started dating in June 2017 and moved in with in August of the same year. Crown counsel and defense have proposed a sentence of four years in prison, which BC Supreme Court Justice Alison Beames is likely to accept.

According to an agreed statement of facts submitted to Beames during Wiebe’s sentencing hearing, Wiebe and Barker both suffered from alcohol addiction and depression and were illicit drug users.

Crown counsel Margaret Cissell said that their relationship “was tumultuous” and fraught with upsets related to a variety of issues, including their ongoing custody battles with former partners.

“The accused was a regular user of injectable steroids and testosterone, such that in February 2018 he was hospitalized for the use of contaminated steroids,” Cissel said.

That night, however, things took a turn for the worse.

While living on his family farm in the prairies on Jan. 17, 2021, Wiebe described what happened the night he killed Barker to an undercover operative in a Mr. Big investigation.

On the night Barker was killed, Wiebe told the operative that he had accused her of stealing drugs from the safe of the pharmacy he owned. He tried to take her purse to look inside, and she wouldn’t let him. Eventually, Barker, who was only five-foot-three, was thrown to the floor.

The argument moved to the bedroom, and Wiebe told the Mr. Big operative that she was sitting on the bed when he laid into her more. Cissel read the transcript of that conversation to the court.

“How could you do this to my business?” Wiebe recalled saying to Barker.

He then described grabbing Barker by her hair and hitting her head on the floor.

“She was lying on this side, that’s why I had a hold of her hair, her right side was being smashed,” he said.

He knocked her from the bed and then kept beating her.

“I was enraged, I’d say red,” Wiebe told the operative.

“When she said stop, I did. I was  kind of like ‘Whoa, OK.’ That was the last thing. I remember her saying and then I did. Honestly, she was like ‘Stop it. You’re going to end up killing me.'”

At around 8 p.m., Wiebe’s brother-in-law called 9-1-1 and said an ambulance was needed because Barker had stopped breathing.

When an emergency service worker told him to start CPR, Wiebe pulled Barker off the bed that she must have climbed back onto at some point, and started performing CPR as directed, Cissel explained.

“The accused stopped the CPR at one point, put a T-shirt on (Barker), as she was naked and he was embarrassed over the number of visible bruises.”

She was eventually treated by paramedics and taken to hospital, but she died soon after. She had alcohol and valium in her blood and an autopsy indicated she died from blunt-force head trauma and extensive bleeding in her brain.

Barker left behind three daughters and loving parents and during the Friday sentencing hearing, they told the court how losing a woman who was kind and loving continued to weigh on them and that the final image of their loved one, battered and bruised, will always haunt them.

“The fabric of our life, every stitch woven into our family tapestry has become altered forever,” Barker’s parents Deborah and Geoff Cooney wrote in a victim impact statement.

“The impacts of Heather’s ended life, for us and the extended family, are felt in our past, present and future. Taken away from us with the opportunity to share the future, our life became a jagged ripped timeframe of before-tragedy and our life after-tragedy. The privilege and specialness of the parent and child relationship of kinship and love and sharing life together was taken away.”

The natural impulse of parents to love and protect their children always has come to the point of the worst imaginable outcome, an outcome of no choice, they wrote.

“It’s a life sentence felt daily for us, as parents, and we, for life, must endure other family members’ pain and coping with that sentence as well,” they wrote.

“It also grieves us greatly, that our three grandchildren our three granddaughters have had their mum taken from them. And we empathize with the feelings they would have had daily when they witnessed numerous interactions of other daughters with their mothers. It is a stab in the heart that comes often and without warning, a cyclical wound of remembrance…”

While Wiebe, who is now off steroids, initially indicated that he didn’t want to make a statement to the court, when prompted he changed his tack.

“I never intended this to happen. I do apologize if that means anything to them … but I want to take the opportunity to say I am sorry and I do have regret, that’s all I have to say.”

Justice Beames is expected to hand down a sentence Friday afternoon.

A new report on femicide in Canada shows a dramatic increase in the killing of women and girls from before the pandemic, with one dying every two days.

The report by the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability found that the number of killings of women and girls in Canada was up 27 per cent in 2022 compared with before the pandemic in 2019.

The Vernon woman who died after being found unresponsive in her home was identified as Heather Marie Barker.

The Vernon woman who died after being found unresponsive in her home was identified as Heather Marie Barker.


The report, which looks at the number of killings of women and girls from 2018 to 2022, showed that more than 850 women and girls had lost their lives. In 83 per cent of cases, the accused killer was male.

For those experiencing violence, there is free, confidential support provided by Archway Society for Domestic Peace, formerly the Vernon Women’s Transition Society.

For anyone seeking information, support, or resources, please contact or call 250-558-3850.

Those in crisis who need immediate support, can call their 24-7 number at 250-542-1122, or call 9-1-1.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Toronto Holocaust Museum opens, shares stories of dozens of survivors

A new museum that features stories from more than 70 Holocaust survivors has opened in Toronto, with the aim of sharing their experiences and combating antisemitism.

The Toronto Holocaust Museum, which received funding from the federal and provincial governments as well as donors, features themed galleries, a theatre and educational programming.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford encouraged people both within and outside the Jewish faith to visit the museum, saying it will help educate many about the Holocaust.

Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino says the government has a “sacred obligation” to fight hate against Jewish communities.

Dara Solomon, the executive director of the museum, says Holocaust survivors in Toronto have wanted to see such a space become a reality for the last 40 years.

Nate Leipciger, a 95-year-old Holocaust survivor whose story is featured in the museum, says he and many other survivors were too traumatized to initially talk about their experiences and the museum helps that history to be shared with others.

“For forty years, no one was ready to hear. No one was ready to hear the horrors that we endured, nor were they interested in the traumas that we experienced and the difficulties we faced coming to this new country,” he said on Friday.

“But we persevered with the help of the Jewish and Canadian community, which gave us an opportunity to get an education, to move on, to create families.”

Leipciger said “the story of the Holocaust survivor” was nonetheless not yet complete, and encouraged the next generation to share their own experiences.

“I take this opportunity to ask the second generation to write their story,” he said.

“Write the story of their parents, their interactions with them, and how they struggled and prevailed in creating a new world in this beautiful, wonderful country.”

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Construction worker killed in workplace incident: Manitoba RCMP

Manitoba RCMP say they are investigating a workplace incident that turned fatal.

Pembina Valley RCMP were called to a construction site on Highway 306 in the Rural Municipality of Rhineland, just before 1:30 p.m. Thursday about an incident involving a worker.

A packer loaded onto a flat deck trailer had rolled off and struck a 19-year-old.

He was rushed to hospital but died from his injuries.

No further information was released.

The RM of Rhineland is located between Winkler and Emerson, encompassing Altona.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

B.C. high-pressure ridge leads to 20 new daily weather records

Rain is expected in Friday's forecast, how long will it last? Senior meteorologist Kristi Gordon has the details in your Thursday, June 8, 2023, forecast for Metro Vancouver and British Columbia.

Twenty communities across B.C. set daily temperature records on Thursday, thanks to a ridge of high pressure that brought sizzling temperatures.

Nearly all of the areas that set new records for June 8 were located in B.C.’s Interior, with the two exceptions being Whistler and Pemberton.

According to Environment Canada, Pemberton reached 35.7 C, eclipsing the old mark of 34.6 C set in 2015, while Whistler hit 30.9 C, edging out its previous mark of 30.0 C set in 1969.

Below are the communities that set daily temperature records on Thursday.

Blue River

  • New record: 35.4 C
  • Old record: 30.0 C, set in 1958

Cache Creek / Ashcroft

  • New record: 37.9 C
  • Old record: 36.9 C, set in 2015


  • New record: 36.4 C
  • Old record: 32.8 C, set in 1969


  • New record: 30.5 C
  • Old record: 26.9 C, set in 2015


  • New record: 35.0 C
  • Old record: 34.4 C, set in 1948


  • New record: 35.7 C
  • Old record: 35.0 C, set in 1948


  • New record: 35.1 C
  • Old record: 34.9 C, set in 2015


  • New record: 36.4 C
  • Old record: 36.0 C, set in 2015


  • New record: 38.5 C
  • Old record: 36.7 C, set in 1948


  • New record: 32.3 C
  • Old record: 28.8 C, set in 1987


  • New record: 35.7 C
  • Old record: 34.6 C, set in 2015

Prince George

  • New record: 32.0 C
  • Old record: 30.0 C, set in 1969


  • New record: 34.4 C
  • Old record: 33.9 C, set in 1903

Puntzi Mountain

  • New record: 31.4 C
  • Old record: 30.0 C, set in 1969


  • New record: 34.0 C
  • Old record: 32.2 C, set in 1969


  • New record: 36.1 C
  • Old record: 35.0 C, set in 1948


  • New record: 35.5 C
  • Old record: 34.2 C, set in 2015


  • New record: 30.9 C
  • Old record: 30.0 C, set in 1969

Williams Lake

  • New record: 30.7 C
  • Old record: 28.9 C, set in 1969

Yoho National Park

  • New record: 30.3 C
  • Old record: 27.8 C, set in 1923

In related news, that ridge of high pressure also set 17 records in Alberta. The picturesque Jasper area had the province’s hottest temperature of the day at 32.7 C, eclipsing its old mark of 28.9 C that was set in 1958.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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