Man beats fentanyl trafficking charge due to charter violation. Here’s the video of the dog sniffing the car

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A B.C. Justice recently threw out the case against a man charged with trafficking 27,500 fentanyl pills.

In a decision published in January, he said it wasn’t clear if the dog sat or not.

And new video, obtained exclusively by Global News, shows the entirety of the traffic stop, including the moment the dog investigates the vehicle.  

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READ MORE: Did the drug-sniffing dog sit or not? Debate leads to man’s acquittal in B.C. fentanyl bust

Here’s why the extent of the dog’s sit matters: If the dog properly sat down, it would have indicated the dog was “in odour,” meaning it had found drugs.

But in the case of Sandor Rigo, who was stopped on a Chilliwack highway in April 2017, the dog, named PSD Doods, was unable to sit down all the way. The police officer who made the stop said this was because a curb was in the way.

An officer who stopped Rigo – only identified by the Justice’s decision as Corporal Catellier – said he believed the dog was in odour and had the car towed so it could be thoroughly searched. Police say over 27,000 fentanyl pills were found in the wheel well.

The dash-camera video from the RCMP vehicle, obtained by Global News, offers a partial view of what happened.

The video shows the officer pulling over Rigo, who was driving a Dodge Caravan. The officer can be heard asking Rigo where he was going and why he appeared to be shaking. Rigo answered that he was picking up used tires from a friend and he was shaking due to hypoglycemia, a condition which requires people to eat frequently to keep their blood-sugar levels stable.

Rigo was then asked to exit his van and sit in the RCMP vehicle. That’s when Cpl. Catellier brought PSD Doods to sniff the outside of the van.

RCMP PDS Doods sniffs Sandor Rigo’s van.

HO / RCMP dashcam video of traffic stop

The dog can be seen sniffing the outside of the driver’s side of the van. She is then directed to the passenger side of the van, which is out of view of the dash camera, and next to a high concrete curb.

On the video, the moment in question can be heard, but only partially seen. The officer repeatedly says, “Good girl,” to PSD Doods, as she is seen at the side of the car. .

A partially obstructed view of PSD Doods sniffing Sandor Rigo’s vehicle.

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An expert witness in court said the dog wasn’t showing other signs of being in odour — which normally includes wagging her tail.


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But the officer testified at the time that she displayed the other signs when she was out of sight of the video.

In his decision, which was made public in January 2018, Justice Michael Brundrett said since the dog was only shown in a “partial form of ‘alert,’” there wasn’t reasonable grounds to search the vehicle.

Brundrett said Rigo’s charter rights were violated, specifically articles 8 and 10(b), which pertain to the right to be secure against detainment, search and seizure, and the right to a lawyer.

Because of this, all evidence collected after the charter breach had to be thrown out.

Criminal lawyer Dino Bottos said even if the officer is proven correct because drugs were found in the car after the fact, in cases like these the public has to remember that “the ends do not justify the means.”

He said the judge has to maintain impartiality.

When a judge excludes evidence obtained during an unlawful search and seizure, he or she is doing so not to favour a particular accused, but rather to uphold what is written into our Constitution,” he explained. 

Anything obtained after the charter violation – in this case that would be the physical drugs as well what appears to be a video of Rigo’s confession – is “considered fruit from the poisonedtree.”

“If we’re serious about protecting rights and freedoms, that means that we need to exercise control over police state actions,” Bottos explained. “Which means in this case, when there is a breach of a right, then the only reasonable remedy is to exclude the evidence found as a result of that breach.”

Almost a dozen Canadians died every day from opioid overdoses last year. Since 2016, more than 8,000 have lost their lives, primarily to fentanyl. In British Columbia, the problem has become so bad that life expectancy has dropped for the first time in decades.

WATCH: Global News investigation into the deadly fentanyl trade in Canada






The amounts traffickers are bringing in are believed to be so vast that investigators suspect their money laundering has disrupted the Vancouver-area housing market. It has also put a spotlight on casinos. But when police seize their illicit cash, traffickers often just walk away, seemingly unfazed.

Brundrett said in his decision that it was a serious case, because of the “evils” of fentanyl trafficking, but the integrity of the justice system had to be taken into account.

*With files from Sam Cooper 

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Série mode : Dog day afternoon

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Série mode : Dog day afternoon

Pull, Stella McCartney Kids. Saloppette, Step2. Chapeau en feutre, Little Creative Factory.



Série mode : Dog day afternoon

Robe à carreaux, Warehouse. Pantalon, Unauthorized. Foulard à rayures, Topshop. Chapeau, Grevi sur Chidrensalon.com. Pull et chaussettes, Topshop. Pantalon, COS. Foulard, Bonton. Chapeau, Little Creative Factory.

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Dog rescued from B.C.’s Coquihalla highway reunited with Albertan owner

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It was a happy ending Sunday night as a dog found lost on the Coquihalla highway was reunited with his owner.

Archer, a black mastiff-cross, was found sitting cold and alone atop a snow bank near the Coquihalla summit on Friday by a road crew with VSA Highway Maintenance.

Carlie Holman, one of the workers that found Archer and who cared for him over the weekend, met up with Archer’s owner Tony, a trucker from Alberta, for the emotional reunion which was captured on video.

Tony can be seen getting out of his rig, squatting down, and calling “Archer” to the dog.


READ MORE:
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The pup runs to him, wagging his tail before the driver stands up and says “thank you” to Holman.

The pair then embraces in a hug. Archer, not to be outdone, hops up on his hind legs to join in a three-way cuddle.

“It was quite the reunion, it was definitely tear-jerking for sure. Lots of kissing and hugging,” said Holman.

Holman said Archer’s owner reached out to her over Facebook on Sunday after seeing news stories and social media about the rescued 10-month-old pup.

WATCH: Dog found on the Coquihalla Highway reunited with his owner






He said Archer ran off on Tuesday after being struck by another truck in the Zopkios brake check around 8 p.m.

He searched for the dog for several hours and even returned on Wednesday before heading home to Alberta fearing he’d lost his dog forever.

Then the VSA crew stepped in.

VSA road foreman Ron Hagen said a plow driver spotted Archer atop a steep snow bank on Friday and called it in.

READ MORE: ‘Still good people out there’: Vancouver man tails dog thief to rescue stolen pup

Both Hagen and Holman drove down to see what was going on.

“The bank was so steep we had to get on the tailgate of the truck to get up on the bank,” Hagen said.

“This guy, he’s sitting there like he’s waiting for someone to come and get him. I got up to him and he growled a little bit.”

Not knowing if the 100-pound mastiff was friendly or not, Hagen went to get some gloves. But while he was gone, Holman managed to make a connection.

WATCH: Puppies stranded for days on a rural Mission cliff are finally rescued






“The tail started going, and he almost licked her to death to start with,” said Hagen.

The pair coaxed Archer down and into their truck, before taking him back to the VSA shop, where they fed him and gave him water and posted about the rescue on Facebook.

Holman then brought the dog home to care for him over the weekend while they searched for his owner.

READ MORE: Pair of puppies rescued after four days atop Fraser Valley cliff in Mission

Finally, the connection came through — with Archer’s owner and the dog seeing each other for the first time in nearly a week by video chat.

“I showed the phone to Archer and they were talking to each other,” said Holman.

“Well not talking, obviously, the dog wasn’t — but that’s how they reunited, over the phone. And he was crying, and it was pretty amazing.”

Then Monday, the reunion — with Holman and her kids saying a sad goodbye to Archer, and waving him off as he and his owner got back on the long road home.

— With files from Kristen Robinson

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Leo the dog reunited with family after nearly 2-week search – Kingston

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The owners of a dog that has become a Kingston celebrity are elated to have their family pet back at home.

Leo the dog had been missing since New Year’s Eve after escaping from the Thousand Islands Dog Resort. The pup’s owners, Alex Choiniere and his girlfriend, Alicia Fleet, were reunited with Leo on Saturday.

“We’re relieved, really, that he’s home safe and healthy, which is a good thing,” said Choiniere.

The couple had been searching for days around the area where Leo went missing nearly two weeks ago, with several people spotting the dog over that time.

“It was tough, especially over the last two days there,” said Choiniere. “Without spottings recently, we were just anxious to get him back.”


READ MORE:
Couple holds out hope for dog that escaped from Kingston kennel

The couple launched a massive search for their family pet, even getting help from a few pet detective services. But it was when Lost Paws Inc., a non-profit organization out of Kitchener, came up to help that they were finally reunited with the wayward pooch.

“They came at like 4:30 in the morning Saturday,” said Fleet. “It was unbelievable, seeing him and walking around the corner and seeing his face for the first time … It’s just a completely unbelievable feeling.”

Susan Oldford with Lost Paws Inc. says the group had been tracking Leo throughout the day and found him in an abandoned barn, just down the way from the kennel where he escaped. Oldford said the dog had been staying there for the last several days.

WATCH: Owners distraught over missing dog who escaped from boarding kennel






“They spent hours out there just walking around,” said Fleet. “It’s just, he wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for Lost Paws.”

The dog has led his owners on quite the chase over the past two weeks. Leo was spotted a number of times while out on the lam, but experts say the family pooch most likely went into survival mode after being away from his owners, making it hard for people to catch him.

When Choiniere and Fleet walked into the barn where Leo was found, they say it took a second, but the pup remembered exactly who they were.


READ MORE:
Pet detective called in to help find missing Kingston dog

“When we got to him, he just loved us and kissed us and opened up right away,” said Choiniere.

Leo garnered quite the following over his time out in the wilderness. His story was shared far and wide, with hundreds of volunteers coming to the aid of Fleet and Choiniere. At one point, even local businesses like Food Basics and a local Tim Hortons stepped up to help those who came out.

“Just the support we got, I couldn’t believe it. Everyone likes him, everyone loves him. I’m so grateful everyone came to help out,” said Choiniere.

His owners say Leo has lost more than 20 pounds since he escaped and has a number of scratches, along with a frostbitten nose. Choiniere says now that Leo has gotten a taste of the wilderness, they will have to keep a close eye on him.

“I hope he will go back to his good old self. He’s pretty much there, but confidence may take a bit to get back,” Choiniere said.

The couple says they will remember all the help they have gotten to find their family pet, especially the next time someone else needs help.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Pet detective called in to help find missing Kingston dog – Kingston

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On New Year’s Eve a Kingston couple dropped off their German shepherd and Aussie border collie mix, Leo, at Thousand Islands Dog Resort before spending the night in Montreal.

When Alex Choiniere and Alicia Fleet arrived back in the Limestone city, they anticipated reuniting with their one-and-half-year old pup. Unfortunately for the couple, Leo was nowhere to be found.

“I’ve never had my dog in boarding before, so I kinda trusted it — you put your dog in boarding for 48 hours, you kind of expect him to be there when you get back. But that’s not the case,” said Choiniere.


READ MORE:
Couple holds out hope for dog that escaped from Kingston kennel

After four days of searching and no sign of Leo, Friday came with great optimism for the couple. Phone calls and Facebook messages began pouring in saying a dog that matches Leo’s description was spotted in a wooded area near the kennel.

According to the owner of Thousand Islands Dog Resort, Leo managed to unlock a gate and escape.

“The dog was trying to jump over the fence and he hit it and it popped open and he was gone,” said Dave Sly, the owner of Thousand Island Dog Resort.


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On January 2, when the news broke on Global Kingston that Leo had been missing for more than 24 hours, Lost Paws Inc., a federally registered community organization and missing dog response team, reached out to the couple and wanted to help in the search.

One of the detectives for Lost Paws Inc. is Dana Dimitroff, and she told Global news that there are a few mistakes dog owners make when searching for their lost pet.

“A lot of people think when they see a lost dog that they should call out to them and that’s the wrong thing to do,” says Dimitroff.

“When the pet is in panic mode, usually during the first 24 hours of being missing, you should get low to the ground, avoid eye contact, turn sideways to make yourself less of a threat to the dog and softly encourage the dog to you.”


READ MORE:
Calgary pet owner warns of ‘extortionists’ after dog goes missing

Lost Paws Inc. has been guiding Alex and his girlfriend through the search with tips to draw Leo from hiding, like spreading peanut butter on trees and placing drops of beef and chicken broth mixed with garlic around the area the pet was last seen.

The recent snowfall in the Kingston area has aided in the search as the volunteers, detectives and the couple has been able to follow tracks.

The search has come at a price for Choiniere, who recently started a new job and has had to take off work. But says he is committed to reuniting with his best friend and is preparing to spend nights in the woods until Leo is found.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Richmond man warning others after ‘massive’ dog enters home, ‘shreds’ family pet

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WARNING: The details in this story may be disturbing to some readers.

A Richmond man is warning the public after a large dog ran into his home and killed his family pet.

The incident happened on Friday just before 5 p.m. near Armstrong Street and Keefer Avenue.


READ MORE:
‘Worse than a horror movie’: Witness describes dog attack that badly hurt animal control officer

Gary Lok told Global News that his niece had arrived to pick up her one- and four-year-old kids from his house when their 13-year-old Maltipoo, Brandy, ran out front.

Gary Lok’s 13-year-old multipoo Brandy.

Gary Lok

That’s when a “massive” dog walked past their house without an owner, Lok said. Brandy barked at it, and Lok said the larger dog chased her into the family home.

“It attacked our dog by the jaw and ripped it to shreds, tore all the teeth out of its mouth. Blood everywhere,” he said.

Lok said his sister-in-law was in the hallway with the four-year-old boy and tried unsuccessfully to pry the dog off Brandy.

“The four-year-old was a few feet away from the attack. The one-year-old was in another room in a high chair,” he said.

“Then my nice came into the house and saw that nothing was working so she kicked the dog in the head a couple times, and it finally released its grip,” he said.

WATCH: (Aired Sept. 13, 2018) Witness describes dog attack on animal control officer as ‘worse than a horror movie’






Lok said the dog walked out of the house, stood on the porch for a few seconds, then ran off.

The family rushed Brandy to a vet, but she did not survive.

Lok said the family reported the incident to animal control and the Richmond RCMP, who have yet to locate the dog.

City of Richmond spokesperson Ted Townsend confirmed that it had received reports of the attack from the Loks and their vet.

READ MORE: Two dogs to be put down after attacking 75-year-old Surrey man

However, he would not say whether the dog was still at large.

“We are investigating, I can’t really comment much because the situation is evolving, but we believe we have identified the dog,” he said.

“We believe that we’ll be able to resolve this situation and ensure that the community is safe.”

Global News has requested comment the Richmond RCMP on the status of the case.

Lok said he’s concerned the dog is still loose in the area and could hurt someone else.

“It’s been well fed, it’s an attack dog and it was quite vicious. I’m just worried that that could happen to somebody walking around the neighbourhood,” he said.

WATCH: (Aired May 15, 2018) Ten-year-old Nanaimo girl injured in vicious dog attack






“There’s a lot of people that walk around this neighbourhood. Just a half an hour ago, I saw a lady walking around with a stroller, with her baby.”

In addition to his concerns about his neighbours, Lok said the family is dealing with the emotional fallout of losing Brandy in such a horrific fashion — all witnessed by his niece’s toddler.

READ MORE: 5-year-old girl undergoes surgery after getting attacked by dog in Surrey

“They’re devastated. It was a long-term family pet, and especially this time of year, they’re quite upset,” he said.

“We’re working on that. Very traumatic.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Lethbridge middle school students donate dog houses to families in need – Lethbridge

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Twenty shop club students at G.S. Lakie Middle School in Lethbridge have signed up to be part of their schools Community Dog House Project.

“We got all told to meet at lunch,” Grade 7 student, Vivian Moore, said. “So I volunteered to help, for families in need of them.”

Students made five custom-built dog houses, complete with cushions and blankets, and are donating them to Lethbridge Family Services.


READ MORE:
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“These kids have created something from the heart, they’re giving back to the community and they’re giving back to families they don’t even know, which is really giving courage and hope to those families on the receiving end,” Michelle Gallucci, with Lethbridge Family Services, said.

The project was the idea of their new shop teacher, Gord Smith, who wanted to show students that it doesn’t take much time to give back to the community.

“It started because I had the opportunity to take over the shop program here, it’s my first year teaching shop,” Smith said. “I always like to think outside of the box and find ways to involve the community and do things a little bit differently.”

Home Depot and Logic Lumber provided all materials needed for the houses, and Charmed Playhouses gave the blueprints for the custom design.

Lethbridge Family Services is donating the houses to families wishing to remain anonymous but says it’s overwhelmed by the community support.

“We can’t do these little extra things for these families,” Gallucci said. “So when the community takes part, and they show that kind of love and support, it really helps these families in their growth process.”

“It was a collaborative effort,” Smith said. “I can’t say enough thanks to those partners that were involved. Without them, schools on such tight budgets wouldn’t be able to do neat things like that.”

The initiative will run the whole year at G.S. Lakie Middle School.

“At the end of each term, each of my shop classes will create five [dog houses], so by the end of the year we’ll have donated 15 dog houses to families in need,” Smith said.

Pet Parade donated toys and food for each family’s pet and Paws on Training will meet with each dog and provide personalized training for families identified through Lethbridge Family Services.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Dog owners warned after coyote snatches toy poodle in Point Grey – BC

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A Vancouver man is warning other pet owners after his small dog was snatched by a coyote on Saturday in his Point Grey neighbourhood.

David Gens said he was walking his five-and-a-half-year-old teacup poodle, Ellie, near Belmont Street and West 2nd Avenue around 1:30 p.m. when the incident happened.

“[It was] broad daylight. I was with a friend walking my dog. My dog was a little ways in front of us. She was in the middle of the street… and a coyote just came out and grabbed her and ran off,” he said.


READ MORE:
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“[She] made a little yelp. I think she probably died right away. Me and my friend ran after it screaming and searched…. but we couldn’t find anything.”

The Stanley Park Ecology Society’s coyote sighting map lists several recent coyote sightings in the Jericho Beach area.

Several social media users have also reported aggressive coyote behaviour in the Jericho/UBC area in recent weeks.

Global News has requested comment from the City of Vancouver about whether it is aware of a spike in aggressive coyote incidents and whether animal control is doing anything differently in response.

Gens said the whole thing happened so quickly, he barely had time to react. Ellie was off-leash at the time.

He said it was a painful lesson and that he hopes other dog owners take it to heart.


READ MORE:
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“You can’t live in total paranoia that your dog is going to be taken by a coyote any time anywhere, but it can happen,” he said.

“I certainly know that I will never let a small dog off the leash again after that experience.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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‘Really toxic’: Abuse allegations continue to dog Winnipeg restaurant chain Stella’s Cafe

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Three former Stella’s Cafe employees behind an online campaign to bring attention to what they call workplace harassment, unfair treatment of staff, racism, and sexual assault at the Winnipeg restaurant chain have outlined what they’d like to see done about their concerns.

Christina Hajjar, 27, Kelsey Wade, 22 and Amanda Murdock, 36, are the public faces of a group that started the Instagram account « Not My Stella’s » which began posting stories this week from people who say they are past and current employees of the chain with more than 500 employees.

Many of those stories — the group said they’ve received as many 180 as of Saturday afternoon — detail allegations of abuse of staff, but also a culture of fear about reporting transgressions to management and cases where people have been fired for doing so.

In a statement sent to media on Friday, Stella’s said it was committed to providing a safe space for everyone, both employees and customers. 

« We do not believe that it would be constructive to try to publicly address matters raised in social media, » the company said in its statement. « Stella’s has a harassment policy and procedures in place for dealing with these complaints. We take them very seriously. »

The company also said it has hired People First, a human resources company, to review their policies and procedures on workplace safety.

Read Friday’s statement from Stella’s:

At a news conference Saturday, the three former employees said the statement didn’t go far enough and called for changes to operations at the restaurant with seven Winnipeg locations.  

« There have been complaints made with the labour board, there have been human rights complaints made and nothing has ever really come of it, » said Wade, who worked as a server and supervisor at Stella’s for nearly three years.

« And I think it was just time for people to know what the environment in Stella’s is like for employees. »

Five demands

The creators of the Instagram account — which had nearly 10,000 followers as of Saturday evening — read out five demands they want fulfilled, which include a public apology, the removal of two managers, monetary restitution for employees, and the creation of a human resources department within the company.

The stories posted on the Instagram account include a wide array of allegations, such as bullying, sexual assault, harassment and racism.

The three also accuse Stella’s of failing to protect female, transgender and non-binary employees.

In an online post, Wade said the restaurant’s CEO would grab her cheeks and call her cute when he visited the restaurant where she worked. She said the business released a questionnaire asking other staff to rate the credibility of an employee who had spoken up with allegations of sexual assault and harassment.   

She said the accused was ultimately transferred to another location after the allegations. 

Murdock said she was demoted from general manager to an assistant manager position after returning from maternity leave. Hajjar said she was fired from Stella’s a year ago for bringing up her concerns.

« What we’ve experienced is terrifying, » said Murdock, who added it’s difficult to speak about even now, three years after leaving the company. « It brings up a lot of trauma. » 

All three former employees stressed they are not asking Winnipeggers to boycott Stella’s restaurants.

Wade said customers who want to support Stella’s employees should call the restaurant’s head office to voice concerns and remember to tip frontline staff well and in cash.

Stella’s has a number of restaurant locations as well as a bakery and catering operation in Winnipeg. (Ron Boileau/Radio-Canada)

The former employees said they are willing to work with Stella’s owners and management to implement the changes they’re calling for.

« Any conversation that’s forward moving is a conversation that we’re willing to have, » said Murdock. 

« But it’s important that they realize that these statements that we made are based on what we’ve experienced and they’re valid and they’re important and they should be respected. »

A second statement from Stella’s

Stella’s released a second statement shortly after Saturday’s new conference encouraging those with complaints to bring them forward through independent third parties, like the Manitoba Human Rights Commission and Manitoba Employment Standards.

(NotMyStellas/Instagram)

« Stella’s is deeply concerned about a range of serious allegations and complaints being brought forward in recent days, » reads the statement

« We are fully committed to taking every responsible action to ensure a safe and respectful workplace for all employees, and a zero tolerance approach to breaches of respectful workplace policy will be enforced. »

The statement also said Stella’s will work with authorities investigating any complaint.

The restaurant didn’t respond to CBC News when asked whether the two managers specifically named by the three former employees are still with the company.

‘Toxic atmosphere’

Another former employee of the restaurant chain told CBC News on Saturday that he’s not surprised by the steady stream of allegations of mistreatment of staff by management.

Luke Savard was 18-years-old when he started working at Stella’s roughly three years ago.

He described it as a toxic atmosphere with an overtly sexualized culture that left many employees feeling anxious and afraid.

(NotMyStellas/Instagram)

He said he remembers feeling like he wasn’t allowed to take a break while on shift.

« They said we didn’t need breaks so I’d be working an eight, nine hour shift straight without anything so much as a five minute break, » he said, adding he was told he wasn’t allowed to drink water in front of customers.

Savard said he was also ordered to pay out of his own pocket when a till that had been used by many staff throughout the day didn’t balance at the end of the night.

After a few months, Savard had enough and quit.

« The atmosphere there was just really, really toxic to be in, » he said. « It wasn’t my coworkers that were the problem, it was the management. »

No outstanding complaints

On Friday, the company said it was not aware of any outstanding complaints against the restaurant with the Manitoba Labour Board or the Human Rights Commission.

The Manitoba Labour Board said there was only one previous complaint against the company, which was made in September, but it had been withdrawn.

The labour board confirmed there were no other past or outstanding complaints.

The Manitoba Human Rights Commission said it is not able to confirm or deny if a complaint has been filed unless the commission investigates a matter and determines it should be referred to a public hearing.​

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Missing Newfoundland police dog found in good spirits 

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A Royal Newfoundland Constabulary police dog has been found safe and sound this morning after he went missing Friday afternoon.

Police say Edge, a black German shepherd, went missing after he was deployed by his handler at around 4:30 p.m. to track down a wanted suspect in the Paradise area.

But they say he was found unharmed and “in good spirits” at 8:30 a.m. in the general area where he went missing.

Other members of the RNC police dog services and operational patrol services took part in the search.

Police say Edge will take Saturday off with his handler, who they expect “will be giving him extra treats and belly rubs today.”

The suspect the dog was chasing was arrested at around 3 a.m.

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