Kingston poetry, arts festival cancelled due to alleged incident of vandalism – Kingston

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The first of many festivals in 2019 at McBurney Park in Kingston was slated for the second weekend of February.

The Skeleton Park Arts Festival attracts poets from around the area for a day filled with written and read pottery and skating on the outdoor rink. This year, a poem written by a local grade 11 student, Olivia Ows, was chosen to be the centrepiece of the festivities. The boards for the rink were created with the teenager’s poem printed on each one that surrounded the ice.

Two days before the festival kicked off, though, the boards were found destroyed.

“I was walking with my son through the park and I was shocked [by] what I saw,” said Greg Tilson, artistic director for the Skeleton Park Arts Festival.

“Olivia’s rink boards were torn apart, and after speaking with the organizers, we decided to cancel the event.”

Greg Tilson

In an attempt to remain positive about the situation, Ows told Global News that she is trying to look at this incident with a glass-half-full approach.

“When my poem was selected for the project, I was elated, and when I seen the finished rink with my poem ‘Sunrise on Ice’ built into the boards, I was speechless,” said Ows, who feels that this act has wasted people’s time and money.


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The poetry festival was intended to showcase local talent, with Ows’ work being honoured along with previous winners.

Greg Tilson

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Ows’ piece was a response to last year’s winning poem, “Night skaters, Skeleton Park,” by Steven Heighton. Ows says Heighton’s piece inspired her to build on his poem, which was about outdoor hockey during the daytime hours, by focusing on what takes place on the ice during the night hours when the park is calm.


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According to Tilson, the celebration is being put on hold for the next few weeks until the premiere of the Kingston poetry documentary, Who is Bruce Kauffman?,  where the organizers will honour Ows ahead of the screening.

WATCH: Poetry author Ari Todd visits The Morning Show






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

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Dashcam video captures alleged road rage incident near Regina – Regina

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A Balgonie, Sask. woman is speaking out after what appears to be a shocking case of road rage was caught on camera earlier this month.

Rheanna Dale says she was on her way home from work and had just passed a snow plow when she noticed a black Ford F150 following close behind and driving erratically.

“Being that he was swerving in and out of traffic I chose to stay in the passing lane, because I thought if I moved into the driving lane, he would swerve out and possibly hit me,” Dale said.

It happened around 4:00 p.m. on Highway 1 just east of Regina. Another driver captured the entire incident on their dashcam, which shows the truck abruptly pulling into the driving lane, swerving back into the passing lane and then ramming into Dale’s minivan.

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“He eventually pulled out around me and then when he came up beside me he swerved right into me and then took off,” Dale said. “All I know is that there were no break lights, he didn’t even make an attempt to stop.”

Luckily, Dale managed to avoid the ditch, but her vehicle sustained around $3,000 worth of damage.

“I’m really glad my children weren’t in the vehicle, they are two and six and would have been pretty traumatized by all of it,” Dale said.

During the incident, Dale wasn’t able to get a license plate so she posted the video to social media in an effort to find the driver.


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“I’m hoping that I can just find something and hopefully save someone else’s life down the road because it could have been way worse than it was,” Dale said.

At this point, no one has been able to get a license plate number, but RCMP says the incident was reported and they are aware of the video.

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Halifax group takes ‘united stand against racism’ following incident on Parliament Hill

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A group of supporters took what they call a “united stand against racism” on Friday, after an apparent incident of racial profiling on Parliament Hill this week.

The Federation of Black Canadians said the incident took place when about 150 participants in Monday’s Black Voices on the Hill event in Ottawa were asked to wait in a parliamentary cafeteria ahead of their meetings with federal cabinet ministers.

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In a statement Thursday, federation spokesman Len Carby said that, according to people involved in the incident, a security guard responded to a complaint from a government employee who had been taking pictures of the attendees.

“He responded by labelling the delegates ‘dark-skinned’ and telling them to leave, even though established regulations allow civilians with the appropriate pass to be in that space,” Carby said.

READ MORE: Parliament Hill security investigating alleged incident of racial profiling

Halifax’s Trayvone Clayton was one of the young people attending the lobbying event. He says he confronted the person who made the alleged racially charged remarks.

“I didn’t approach the man with no threats, no aggressiveness, just as a calm guy and said: ‘What did you just say? Can you repeat that?’ And when I asked that question, he didn’t want to repeat it ‘cause he knows we heard what he said,” Clayton said.

Joseph Law, chief of staff to the director of the Parliamentary Protective Service, says the service is investigating and that it has zero tolerance for any type of discrimination.

Kate MacDonald, the co-founder of a non-profit in Halifax that works to bring marginalized communities to the forefront, also attended the event. She says Canada needs to do better.

“It felt dehumanizing so I think it was apparent that our value as humans was not equal at those moments,” MacDonald said.

“The fact that there were youth around absorbing that kind of vibe, that kind of energy, absorbing that kind of information really made me feel for generations to come and for the youth that we are trying to love and uplift right now.”

Clayton agrees, adding that he expects more from Parliament.

“I don’t want no apology through media, I don’t want an apology through no letters, I want it to be face-to-face,” he said. “I want Justin Trudeau there myself because he’s the one who has the power for everything in Canada right now. He makes the rules around here.”

READ MORE: Parliament’s security force seeks outside help to deal with harassment case backlogs in future

The federation said it has requested a meeting with Trudeau as it seeks a “formal commitment to end racial profiling at the federal level.”

Halifax MP Andy Fillmore says for him, this has been a week of learning.

“As good as we feel about Canada being an open, sharing and diverse country, we still have racism and we experienced what we believe is some of that this week in Ottawa,” Fillmore said.

“There is no place for racism anywhere in the country, let alone on Parliament Hill.”

The group of young people hopes their united stand will force Parliament to change the way it addresses black Canadians, putting a stop to systematic racism.

—With files from the Canadian Press and Whitney Oickle

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

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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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B.C. seniors advocate weighs in after death of Kelowna woman, 90, following care-home incident

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Raise concerns if something isn’t right.

That’s the advice a B.C. seniors advocate is giving after the death of a 90-year-old Kelowna woman following a care-home incident just before Christmas.

On December 18, Kelowna RCMP said an altercation happened between two seniors in a care home. The woman was treated in hospital for undisclosed injuries but died the next day after her release.

“The Kelowna RCMP and the B.C. Coroners Service are continuing their investigation,” Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said on Thursday.

Isobel Mackenzie, a seniors advocate for the province of B.C., called it “a very tragic incident.”

“It’s traumatic for a lot of people,” Mackenzie said in an interview with Global News. “And it’s also very often devastating on the staff.


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“This type of incident is rare, but it does happen.”

She added that seniors in care homes are “overwhelmingly safe and secure in the facility they’re in.”

“The best thing that a family member can do is pick up the phone and talk to their loved one, or go in and visit their loved one if they can, and talk to them about their life in the care home,” she said.

“If those family members sense that something is not as it should be, they should be raising those concerns.”

Mackenzie says the Office of the Seniors Advocate for B.C. tracks aggression incidents in care homes.

“In a given year, there are roughly 425 to 450 reported incidents of resident-to-resident aggression that resulted in a degree of harm,” said Mackenzie. “And the degree of harm that needs to occur is one that requires first aid and/or a trip to a hospital. You don’t necessarily have to go to the hospital, but you would have needed some kind of first aid.

Those 425 incidents occur in a population of 27,000 residents, with more than half of facilities reporting no incidents in a given year, she said.

“So it does happen. It’s not prolific.”

Mackenzie said a survey of care homes and family members of people in care homes in B.C. found that 88 per cent of residents said they felt safe.

“But here’s the other interesting thing: We asked family members, ‘Have you seen residents behave aggressively in the home?’ And almost half of them, 46 per cent, said they have seen residents behave aggressively in the home. … Whether they result in harm to another person, that’s another step, but they are seeing some of these behaviours.”

WATCH BELOW: (Aired Dec. 7, 2018) Summerland care home under scrutiny






Mackenzie said they also asked family members if staff in the care home handled aggressive behaviours appropriately, and 88 per cent said yes, they did.

“When they happen, for the most part, although not exclusively, staff are able to defuse the situation and not escalate the aggression.”

Mackenzie also said “you can’t always predict when or who might become aggressive.”

“What you’re seeing is someone who might have been a passive person all their life,” she said. “Because of the neurological changes that are happening as a result of the disease, they can become aggressive.

“And you don’t know they’re going to be aggressive until the first time they become aggressive. So that’s part of the challenge.”

Mackenzie said how staff work with aggressive behaviours can defuse the situation to a large extent, and that there are some environmental conditions that will create opportunities for aggression. She also noted that there are links, albeit not strong, between staffing levels and incidents of aggression.

“The only one that had a strong correlation was if they have a diagnosis of aggressive behaviour issues,” said Mackenzie. “They are far more likely to engage in an incident of resident-to-resident aggression.

“We know that males are more likely than females (to engage in aggression). We know that younger residents are more likely than older residents, in part because they are more mobile.”

Mackenzie also noted that time of day has some impact, with the highest spike being between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Mackenzie would like that time window narrowed, as “there’s a lot happening between 4 and 8 p.m.: getting dinner and going to bed.”


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This type of incident isn’t the leading cause of concerns from seniors in care homes.

“What we hear from seniors in the Okanagan is, first and foremost, some issues about being able to stay at home before they have to go into a care home,” Mackenzie said. “Are supports and services available, or more precisely not available to them as they would like and need. And for some people, there are issues around access to the appropriate kind of care facility they would like to be in.

“In the Interior, you sometimes see people placed in a facility further away from home than you might see if they lived in a city like Vancouver or Victoria, where there are more facilities.

“And within facilities, it’s basically split 50-50. About half the people are very happy and about half the people are not so happy. And so we hear usually from the people and family members who are not so happy. And the kinds of things we hear about are that they would like more help, they want to get baths more frequently, they want better interaction with people.”

Mackenzie added that all of the care homes that are contracted by Interior Health are funded at 3.15 hours of care per resident per day. The goal is 3.36 hours within two years.

“At the end of the day, this incident could have happened in any care home with any population,” Mackenzie said. “We are monitoring how often these incidents occur. We are looking at training of staff to ensure that we put everything in place that we can to make our care homes as safe and secure as possible.

“But, at the end of the day, we’re talking about human behaviour that can be unpredictable.”

For more about the Office of the Seniors Advocate for B.C., click here.

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Police incident closes Highway 3A north of Keremeos – Okanagan

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A police incident forced the closure of Highway 3A, north of Keremeos, for more than two hours on Wednesday night.

DriveBC reported the highway was closed through Olalla, between Highway 3 and Green Mountain Road.

DriveBC first tweeted about the closure around 8 p.m. and then tweeted that the road was open once again around 10 p.m.

Global News has reached out to RCMP for more information.

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

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St. Michael’s private school alerts police to 3rd incident amid ongoing sexual assault investigation

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Officials at a Toronto private boys’ school announced Friday they’ve notified police about a third « incident » as the school continues to deal with a crisis sparked by allegations that students have been assaulted or sexually assaulted on camera.

St. Michael’s College School released no further information, but said parents have been notified. Crisis counsellors remain at the school for students, faculty and staff, officials said. Police officers are also guarding the facility, after it faced an unspecified threat on Thursday. 

The latest news was included in a statement explaining how the school has handled the situation, which officials became aware of on Monday.

The school said that’s when the administration received a video of an alleged assault which took place in a washroom. The school said it notified police about what happened because it severely violated the student code of conduct.

By Monday evening, officials said they had received a second video of an alleged sexual assault in a locker room.

8 students expelled

On Tuesday, the school expelled four students in connection with the first incident.

On Wednesday, the administration expelled another four in connection with the alleged sex assault, and suspended one more student allegedly involved in the first incident.

On Thursday, Toronto police said they were only notified about the alleged sexual assault after it hit the news on Wednesday; an account that matches the school’s timeline.

Police said in a Friday news release they are working with school officials and investigations into « a number of occurrences involving incidents of alleged assaultive and sexually assaultive behaviour have been opened. »

Police said there may be more victims and urged anyone who has not already come forward to contact them.

No criminal charges have been laid at this time.

Reaching out to victims

Two police sources told The Canadian Press the incident the school discussed with officers on Monday involved members of the basketball team bullying a student and soaking him with water.

Those sources said there was another incident involving the football team where a group of boys held down another student and allegedly sexually assaulted him with a broom handle. Both incidents were captured on video and circulated among students at the school.

In the wake of the shocking incidents, the school, which teaches Grades 7 to 12, said it has received a threat and taken steps to keep students safe.

The school said it has also reached out to the victims to provide support.

Meanwhile, a series of meetings were held with parents on Friday afternoon. You can read the school’s full timeline here.

Alumni disappointed

Two former students expressed their disappointment at how the school handled the alleged assaults. 

« It’s obviously disappointing that the school wouldn’t involve the police and maybe the Children’s Aid Society right away in the investigation, » said John Schuman, who’s now a child and family lawyer.

He noted, however, that as a private school St. Mike’s may not be subject to the same reporting requirements as those in the public stream. 

Kyle Fraser claims he left the school, in part, because of the bullying he faced. He told CBC News he wasn’t shocked to learn about the allegations.

« That’s the culture at the school. Those are the types of people that go to the school, » he said. 

With files from Farrah Merali

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Toronto police investigating another violent incident recorded at anti-abortion rally – Toronto

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Toronto police say they are investigating another violent incident captured on video at an anti-abortion rally.

Protesters who recorded the video said the incident occurred on Oct. 1 beside Ryerson University.

The incident happened a day after Jordan Hunt allegedly kicked an anti-abortion protester on video at a different rally near Keele Street and Bloor Street West.


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That video went viral and prompted plenty of reaction on social media.

In the video near Ryerson University, protesters on both sides can be seen having a discussion about abortion before a person is seen approaching anti-abortion protester Blaise Alleyne and kicking a graphic and controversial anti-abortion sign he was holding.

The attacker can then be seen throwing a dolly and shoving Katie Somers, another anti-abortion protester. The attacker appears to reach into Somers’ backpack, pull out an object and smash it on the ground before continuing to shove her.

WATCH: Violence flares at several abortion protests in GTA. Sean O’Shea reports.






“We didn’t see her coming,” Somers said.

“She kicked our signs, shoved them down. They fell down my leg, injuring me … And then I tried to run away, while she picked up a metal dolly and threw it at me and then proceeded to shove me, wrestle me around by my backpack and try to get me to fight her.”

The anti-abortion group is free to protest by law on most of the pedestrian streets around Ryerson University’s downtown campus because the streets are public property, including where the video was filmed.


READ MORE:
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Somers said they are pressing charges and also plan to launch a civil case.

Alleyne and Somers are a part of the Toronto Against Abortion group, which posted the video on their YouTube page.

The group alleges that the attacker is Gabriela Skwarko, a member of the Ryerson Reproductive Justice Collective and assistant at Ryerson’s Social Innovation Office.

Toronto Against Abortion alleges that Gabby Skwarko was the person who attacked their protesters during a rally near Ryerson.

YouTube / Toronto Against Abortion

Global News reached out to the Ryerson Reproductive Justice Collective, but they declined an on-camera interview.

“We have no comment,” said Olson Crow, the group’s co-founder.

“They have assaulted us multiple times and giving into their view point and the way they’ve swung this is problematic and bad.”

Crow did not provide any evidence that Toronto Against Abortion had assaulted members of their group before.


READ MORE:
How university campuses became the focal point of Canada’s abortion debate

According to Somers, members of Ryerson’s Reproductive Justice Collective have been cited by Ryerson in the past for code of conduct violations because of violence at anti-abortion rallies, including one from March of this year.

Somers showed Global News a brief video of that scuffle.

“We believe that the escalation of violence against peaceful pro-life protesters is becoming a problem and would like it to stop,” Somers said.

“We don’t want our society to turn into a place where people are afraid to share their opinion.”


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Man roundhouse-kicks anti-abortion advocate at Toronto protest

Christian Domenic Elia, executive director of the Catholic Civil Rights League, said incidents like this have made it difficult for people to openly express anti-abortion views in public.

“For quite some time it’s been difficult to find people who oppose abortion and who would like to prayerfully and peacefully protest against it,” he said.

“It’s been hard because of the violence that we have to endure.”

Global News contacted Ryerson University for a statement Tuesday morning, but officials did not provide comment on the incident.

– With files from Sean O’Shea

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

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