RCMP confirm officer discharged firearm at N.S. woman during incident in Dieppe

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The RCMP confirmed Sunday that one of their officers discharged their firearm at a 25-year-old Nova Scotia woman during an incident on Saturday in Dieppe, N.B.

The woman was taken to hospital with unspecified injuries.

While RCMP continue to investigate the incident, the Nova Scotia Serious Incident Response Team, an independent police oversight body, said its investigation into injuries the woman sustained is in its preliminary stages.

SIRT’s Ron Legere said the agency was called in to investigate by the New Brunswick RCMP. 

« Our investigation is ongoing, » Legere said, adding no other information would be released at this time.  

RCMP spokesperson Nick Arbour said he couldn’t comment on the use of force by RCMP officers or how many shots were fired because the actions of the members were under review by SIRT.

« Any questions about the use of force will have to be directed towards the Serious Incident Response Team, » Arbour said. 

The woman was arrested on Saturday after she allegedly opened fire on emergency workers responding to a motor-vehicle crash on Adélard-Savoie Boulevard, about a half kilometre from the Moncton airport. She was taken into police custody after about 45 minutes.

A vehicle involved in the ongoing RCMP investigation remains at the scene covered with a green tarp. (Guillaume Aubut/Radio Canada)Her injuries are not believed to be life threatening. RCMP said no one else was hurt. 

On Saturday, police said in a release a woman shot at responders. But on Sunday, their release said « she took actions threatening first responders » and they believe those threats were shots, but that they won’t say for certain. They are still investigating.

When asked if discharging the firearm caused the woman’s injuries, Arbour said that was part of the investigation.

Questioned about the timeline of Saturday’s event, Arbour said after the woman exhibited the threatening behaviour toward first responders « they caught up with her 45 minutes later » to make an arrest.

Asked if she had driven away, Arbour said those details were part of the ongoing investigation.

Road remains closed

A small section of Adélard-Savoie Boulevard remained closed Sunday as RCMP and SIRT continued to investigate.

A vehicle remains in a wooded area covered by a green tarp. An RCMP vehicle, covered in snow, sat on the side of the street with two orange cones standing beside a rear tire on the passenger side of the vehicle. 

Legere said investigators with SIRT were at the scene overnight Saturday and into Sunday morning. 

SIRT can be called in to investigate matters that involve death, serious injury, sexual assault and domestic violence or other issues of significant public interest that may have arisen from the actions of any police officer.

« It’s a significant investigation so it’s going to take quite some time, » Legere said.

Disturbing events

Chris Hood, executive director of the Paramedic Association of New Brunswick, said what happened is disturbing.

Hood said it is not only concerning for the general public, but also for first responders who don’t expect something like that to happen when they are trying to help someone. 

« We’re not entirely clear of what the details are but all indications are somebody fired a weapon at them, » Hood said. 

Hood said the paramedics association will be in contact with those on duty at the time to offer any assistance they require.

A RCMP vehicle sits covered in snow with two orange cones by the rear tire. (Guillaume Aubut/Radio Canada)

« We’re not seeing this as an isolated incident as much as we would like to think, » Hood said. « The last few years have certainly brought to light issues where people aren’t always so happy to see first responders showing up at their doorstep. » 

Hood said it appears the paramedics in Saturday’s incident reacted appropriately to the situation. 

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Liberals confirm they’re running against Singh as byelections planned for February

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NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh will get his chance to enter Parliament in February, when the Liberal government holds byelections to fill the three remaining vacancies in the House of Commons, CBC News has confirmed.

The Liberals recently called a byelection in the Ontario riding of Leeds–Grenville–Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes for Dec. 3, leaving vacancies in three other ridings unfilled. That move was met with a chorus of criticism from the Conservatives, New Democrats, Bloc Québécois and Greens, who demanded that votes also be called to fill the vacancies in the ridings of Outremont, York–Simcoe and Burnaby South.

As first reported by The Hill Times and confirmed to CBC News by a Liberal source, the Liberals intend to call the byelections early in the new year, with the date to be set for some point in February.

Singh announced he would be the NDP’s candidate in Burnaby South in early August, before former NDP MP Kennedy Stewart had officially vacated the seat. Stewart announced earlier in the year that he would be resigning to mount what would turn out to be a successful bid for the mayor’s office in Vancouver. The seat has only been officially vacant since mid-September.

The NDP leader is likely to have a tough fight on his hands. While the Greens have decided they will extend the « leader’s courtesy » to Singh by not putting up a candidate against him, both the Liberals and Conservatives will contest the seat.

A recent poll by Mainstreet Research suggested the New Democrats were running third in the riding, though the poll showed a considerable number of undecideds and had a relatively high margin of error.

The Montreal riding of Outremont, vacated by former NDP leader Tom Mulcair over the summer, is also expected to be difficult for the New Democrats to hold: the Liberals are riding high in the polls in Quebec and the NDP has suffered a significant drop in support there.

The Liberals have yet to nominate a candidate in Outremont. The New Democrats have nominated Julia Sanchez to try to retain the seat for the party.

The Conservatives have nominated businessman Scot Davidson to hold the Ontario riding of York–Simcoe for the party, after the resignation of former Conservative cabinet minister Peter Van Loan in September. The riding is not expected to change colours.

The only opposition party leader that did not criticize the Liberal decision to hold off on calling the three byelections until next year was Maxime Bernier of the People’s Party of Canada. As a newly-formed party, the PPC was not eligible to run candidates in any byelection called within 60 days of his application for registration with Elections Canada in October.

Once the byelections are called and the PPC nominates candidates — as Bernier has said he will do in all three ridings — his party will fulfill the final step to become an officially registered party, allowing the PPC to award tax receipts to its donors.

By law, the Liberals have until Jan. 30 to call the byelection in Outremont. The other two contests have to be called by March.

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Police confirm vandalism after Coast Guard ship tumbled into water in N.S.

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A Canadian Coast Guard ship is partially submerged in water at a shipyard in Sambro Head, N.S., after falling from its secured cradle in a case Halifax police are investigating as suspected vandalism.

The Coast Guard tweeted late Saturday morning that the CCGS Corporal McLaren had released from the cradle at the shipyard and then slid down the slip into the water.

The vessel is at the shipyard for a refit.

Gregory Wilkie, the captain of the Canadian Coast Guard ship Corporal McLaren, says a salvage company will recover the boat from the water. (Mairin Prentiss/CBC)

Police said in a press release Saturday afternoon their preliminary investigation revealed that someone damaged the slip which caused the ship to slide into the ocean. Police are treating the incident as suspicious. 

Ray Gallant, vice-president of operations with Canadian Maritime Engineering, said Saturday the shipyard was « entered by vandals » on Friday night. He says they cut the cradle cable and safety chain.

He said Halifax police are investigating to determine who was involved in « the act of vandalism. »

Gallant said security checks determined the boat was still in its correct position around midnight. A subsequent check revealed the ship was in the water and the fire department was notified.

He said he is certain the cables were cut with a cordless mini-grinder.

« It’s very obvious. If a cable fails, it frays. This was a clean straight cut. »

He said the primary focus now is safety and the protection of the environment.

The vessel was at the shipyard for a scheduled refit. (Mairin Prentiss/CBC)

The Coast Guard sent environmental staff to the scene to examine the ship and try to prevent any risk to the marine environment.

Gallant says he believes minimal damage has been done to the vessel. The goal is to return it to its former position as quickly as possible to continue with the scheduled work on the ship.

Divers were in the water on Saturday to assess the situation.

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