Two injured in Kamloops shooting – Okanagan


CFJC News:

UPDATE: Two people have been injured after a reported shooting in Kamloops.

B.C. Emergency Health Services spokesperson Shannon Miller said two patients were taken to hospital after a reported shooting just before 4 p.m.

Miller said one patient is in serious condition, and the other is in critical condition.

Royal Inland Hospital currently has enhanced security as a precaution.


Global News

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Several police cruisers and emergency vehicles have converged near Tranquille Road and Southill Street in Kamloops.

No details yet on what is unfolding, but several people near the scene have reported seeing officers with their guns drawn.

Kamloops RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jodi Shelkie said the situation is dynamic and fluid, and more information will be released as it becomes available.

This comes after Thursday’s massive police presence that spanned from Kamloops to Kelowna, and eventually ended in Falkland. That was the result of an armed robbery turned kidnapping.

There was also a stabbing in Rayleigh yesterday afternoon, when one man was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

There have been a series of high profile, violent incidents since the beginning of this year.

It’s been nearly one month since two homicides took place at local motels, and both were believed to be linked to organized crime.

–CFJC News

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


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2 seriously injured after single-vehicle crash in Leaside – Toronto


Toronto police say two people have serious injuries after a single-vehicle crash in Leaside early Saturday morning.

Police said they received a call around 5:30 a.m. for reports that a car had crashed in the area of Laird and Millwood drives.

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When authorities arrived on the scene, they located a vehicle that had crashed under a bridge.

The vehicle, a black SUV, was seriously damaged.

The driver of the vehicle was taken to a trauma centre in life-threatening condition, and a passenger was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

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There is no word on what caused the crash, but police are looking into whether speed or alcohol were factors.

The Toronto police reconstruction team is on the scene investigating.

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


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Injured hang glider airlifted from Okanagan mountain


A young woman was rescued from Pincushion Mountain near Peachland after she was injured in a hang-gliding crash on Tuesday.

Penticton and District Search and Rescue (PENSAR) were called in at 12:30 p.m. by the Provincial Emergency Operations Centre after a 911 call.

The woman was said to have sustained lower leg injuries and required immediate medical attention and evacuation from near the summit.

A helicopter managed to lower rescuers to the woman where she had crashed shortly after takeoff, according to PENSAR spokesperson Randy Brown.

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The woman was treated for her injuries, loaded onto a stretcher and airlifted away from the mountain, he said.

An awaiting ambulance took the injured woman to Kelowna General Hospital. Her condition is unknown.

Those who are heading into the backcountry should ensure they take necessary equipment, such as GPS, ensure they tell others where they can be located, or install free cell phone mobile apps such as Trailforks that can assist rescue crews in an emergency, according to search manager Kelvin Hall.

“Although we sound like a broken record, proper trip planning is essential no matter what you do as no one plans to have an event or emergency when recreating,” Hall said.


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


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6 people injured in Highway 10 collision near Brossard – Montreal


Six people have been injured in a collision on Highway 10 on Montreal’s South Shore.

The incident occurred early Thursday evening between Brossard and Chambly.

The Sûreté du Québec said a driver heading westbound on the highway crossed over into the eastbound lanes.

Police say two of the six people are seriously injured.

Highway 10 is closed in both directions between highways 30 and 35.

—With files from Global’s Brayden Jagger Haines and the Canadian Press

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


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One dead, one injured after single-vehicle crash in Morristown, N.S. – Halifax


A 32-year-old man is dead after a single-vehicle crash in Nova Scotia on Boxing Day.

Police say it happened just after 6 p.m. Wednesday on Aylesford Road in Morristown in the Annapolis Valley region.

READ: Man facing charges after allegedly driving impaired, assaulting Halifax police officer on Christmas Eve

The driver, from nearby Waterville, was pronounced dead at the scene, and a female passenger suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

RCMP say a collision analyst has been called in to help with the investigation, and the road has been closed for an undetermined time.


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1 dead, 3 injured after fire destroys Edmonton group home


One person is dead and three others are in hospital after a fire tore through a group home for people with disabilities in west Edmonton around 2 a.m. Monday.

Edmonton police later confirmed the death of one of the victims.

Earlier, an Alberta Health Services spokesperson had said four patients were taken to hospital: a man in his 40s in critical, life-threatening condition; a man of an unknown age in critical, life-threatening condition; a man in his 30s in serious condition; and a woman in her 30s in serious condition.

Neighbours said the home, at 166th Street and 90th Avenue in the West Meadowlark neighbourhood, housed three people with mental and physical disabilities.

The group home was operated by McMan Youth Family and Community Services Association, said Alberta government spokesperson Leah Holoiday. McMan officials could not be reached for comment. 

Staff would rotate through the home, said neighbour Ben Zubieto, who lives directly across the street.

Zubieto said he was still awake early Monday when he heard a woman scream outside.

Another neighbour, Zally Ocier, shot video showing the house engulfed in flames as a fire truck arrives on scene.

Warning: This video may be disturbing to some viewers.

One person is dead and three others are in hospital after an early-morning fire at a group home. 0:22

« I saw this lady standing by the sidewalk and she was screaming for help. And the next thing I saw was the fire, » Zubieto said.

Zubieto saw flames coming out of the upstairs window of the split-level house. He called 911 and spoke to the woman who had screamed for help. She worked in the home, he said.

« She was in shock and she was shaking, and she was worried about her clients being inside, the three of them, » Zubieto said. « There’s nothing we could do because the flames were coming out of the windows.

« I just hope they’re OK. »

He said the fire was « terrifying » to witness.

« It’s Christmas Eve. It’s a very unfortunate thing that happened today. »

One person is dead and three others injured after a house fire early Monday in west Edmonton. (Nathan Gross/CBC)

Fire crews were called at 1:44 a.m. and arrived on scene in six minutes, said Edmonton Fire Rescue Services spokesperson Suzzette Melado.

« When firefighters got to the address they were able to rescue three people who were inside the home. One was in critical condition, » Mellado said. « They were all transported to hospital by EMS. »

A fourth person was assessed on scene and also taken to hospital.

Fire crews had the fire under control by 3:30 a.m. 

It’s Christmas Eve. It’s a very unfortunate thing that happened today.– Ben Zubieto

A total of five Edmonton firefighter units and 21 firefighters responded to the blaze. 

« Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victim, especially given this time of the year, » said fire Chief Ken Block.

By late Monday morning, the house appeared severely damaged and investigators remained at the scene.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. 


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2 security guards injured in explosion at north Edmonton bank


Two security guards were injured this morning during an explosion inside a bank in north Edmonton.

The security officers were delivering money to an ATM inside Scotiabank at 8140 160th Ave. around 2 a.m. MT when an « explosive device » was detonated, said Staff Sgt. Paul Czerwonka in an interview with CBC News. 

There was a confrontation between a suspect and one of the guards, Czerwonka said.

The man was armed and he fled the scene with « money in hand, » he said.

The suspect remains at large. 

The guards, both employees of GardaWorld, were taken to hospital. 

« The injuries were significant, physically, from what I can see from the photographs, »  Czerwonka said.

« There was definitely significant injuries to the male guard, to his head and his scalp, potentially his skull. I don’t know how deep his wounds are, but they’re pretty significant. » 

As of 6:30 a.m., a bomb unit  and forensic investigators were en route to the scene, Czerwonka said. Drivers were being asked to avoid the area. 

« We don’t even have a clue because the bomb guys haven’t done their search yet, » Czerwonka said. 

« I don’t believe it was an accident. I think it was a device meant to make the guards, make them not able to respond so they could grab the money and run. I think it was intentional.

« It’s a pretty bad situation. We’re still investigating. » 


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WSIB staffers decry chaos caused by ‘broken’ system that’s putting injured workers at risk


Chronic understaffing, long wait times, and chaotic case management at Ontario’s workers’ compensation board are putting vulnerable accident victims at risk, compromising the integrity of the provincial compensation system, and jeopardizing financial accountability, according to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s own employees.

Staff made the criticisms in response to a September blog post by WSIB president Tom Teahen, which solicited feedback on whether the board was making Ontario a safer place to work, improving recovery for injured workers, meeting customers’ needs and acting in a financially responsible manner.

On all four counts, the 60 responses obtained by the Star through a Freedom of Information request, show the answer was overwhelmingly no.

“Accident rates are going up while resolutions to (injured worker) claims are going down,” said one employee. “There are not enough people to process work and queues keep piling up, while people that are disabled from a workplace injury are waiting for someone to get back to them. I find that embarrassing.”

In another post, an employee complained they were “frustrated” by delays faced by injured workers calling the board for help, some of whom have post-traumatic stress disorder. The employee said call wait times could sometimes mount to 20 minutes — enough time for “somebody to give up and take their own life.”

“It is not unheard of that clients complain of waiting in excess of 30 minutes to reach the right person,” said another. “If you can’t help an injured worker who’s (sic) literal livelihood depends on the WSIB within a reasonable time frame, that’s an incredible shortfall.”

The September blog post came in the wake of a new service delivery model — rolled out in July at the board — which aims to make the compensation claim process more effective and “help people recover and return to work quicker.” The change came in response to rising claim duration and recovery times.

Under the new model, injury claims no longer have a dedicated case manager. Instead, callers go into a general pool and are triaged based on the complexity of the case. The idea is that complex claims get more focused attention from experienced staff, while uncontentious claims are processed more efficiently.

WSIB chief operating officer Brian Jarvis said in an interview with the Star last week that the new model experienced some early “bumps on the road,” but said statistics already show 95 per cent of injured workers are now receiving compensation decisions within 10 days, up from 89 per cent in May, and that 60 per cent were back on the job in days, up from 51 per cent.

“We’re trying to help the injured workers that come to us every day who need our help and need our support and we’re seeing examples of how we’re doing better recently than we were prior to making these changes,” he said.

“The improvements were really designed to get the right people getting the right claims at the right time,” he added, noting other positive new changes included giving workers an option to upload documents electronically rather than using fax or mail.

In response to Teahen’s September blog, some board employees expressed skepticism.

“I beg you to look beyond the stats to ask questions about what is not being captured,” said one. “To really listen to what many of us are saying to you on this blog and realize the system is putting some of these workers at risk of being lost within the system.”

Statistics obtained by the Star through its Freedom of Information request, which also sought all records pertaining to the new service delivery model, show average call wait times were up from 39 seconds in 2017 to almost two-and-a-half minutes in 2018. Jarvis said wait times are now under two minutes “on most days.”

Numerous employees complained that losing ownership over claim files meant they had to start from scratch each time an injured worker or an employer called them.

“As all of our telephone conversations are recorded, there is no reason senior management would not (be) able to hear the stress, fear, anger and uncertainty that front-line staff hear every day,” said one employee.

“I continue to see obscenely long claims durations (which, of course, is not financially responsible) and an inability to attend to every claim to provide the service each worker, employer or provider deserve.”

“Please do not add further chaos to an already broken model,” said another.

While numerous employees said there was a need for change at the board, the vast majority raised significant concerns about the new approach — and more importantly, the lack of staff available to make it work.

Staff are “burning out due to the unmanageable caseloads yet we are being told to ‘do more with less.’ Not sure how that is humanly possible, ” said one employee, while another called the number of empty desks due to stress leave “staggering.”

“This work environment not only adds undue stress, it is teetering on compromising my professional standards, which I am not OK with,” added one registered nurse at the board.

The records obtained by the Star show that there has been a 33 per cent increase in allowed lost-time injury claims between 2015 and 2018, from 51,500 to almost 70,000 projected claims this year. But despite this increased volume, the number of front-line staff at the board fell by 9 per cent over the same period. There are currently 785 case managers and adjudicators at the board, down from 815 in 2015.

“We are drowning,” said one employee in response to Teahen’s blog.

Harry Goslin, president of the Ontario Compensation Employees Union, said he has “continued to raise concerns about rising work volumes.”

“The WSIB on the other hand maintains the view that there is not a workload problem,” he told the Star.

As previously reported by the Star, a January poll conducted by the union found that 90 per cent of the 263 employees surveyed said work-related stress was impacting their personal lives and 92 per cent attributed the workload issues to understaffing at the WSIB.

Asked if the board would commit to hiring more front-line staff, Jarvis said his organization would replace staff who retired or were moved within the organization, but said hiring was “based on the data that shows how much activities and claims we have.”

Subscribe to the Star to support reporting and analysis from award-winning reporters like Sara Mojtehedzadeh

Employees made clear in their responses to Teahen’s blog that they cared deeply about serving Ontarians and the integrity of the compensation system.

“Our founding father created a fair compensation system whereby workers gave up their right to sue their employers in exchange for a fair and compassionate system that adjudicated (a claim) on the basis of its own merit,” said one 30-year veteran.

“How can adjudicators make the best possible decisions if they are short-changed in training, do not have enough people to do the job, have unreasonable time frames, and have processes in place that short-change the worker?”

“We as the employees of WSIB do care about the outcomes for our workers and the experience they have,” added another.

“We want to be proud of where we work and say what good things we are doing. Right now I am not feeling that.”

Sara Mojtehedzadeh is a Toronto-based reporter covering labour issues. Follow her on Twitter: @saramojtehedz


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12 injured after Prince George school bus crashes near Cache Creek


A school bus crash near Cache Creek has injured 12 according to B.C. Emergency Health Services.

The school bus was carrying students from College Heights Secondary School in Prince George.

The crash happened on Highway 97 at around noon. A tweet from Interior Health said none of victims suffered serious injuries. 

It remains unclear exactly who was injured but seven people were transported to Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops in ambulances, one via air ambulance helicopter. 

The others were treated at the scene.


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Mother and two kids injured in Scarborough assault


A mother and her two children were assaulted Friday evening in a Scarborough high-rise, Toronto police say.

Officers received a call for “unknown trouble” at 6 p.m. near Danforth and McCowan Rds. A female teenager was transported to hospital by emergency run with life-threatening stab wounds, paramedics say.

A short time later, the teenager’s mother was transported with serious, but not-life-threatening head injuries. She was not stabbed, paramedics say.

A child was also injured in the incident, but was not taken to hospital.

Police are searching for a male suspect who is described as five-foot-nine, wearing a white jacket and possibly without shoes.

Claire Floody is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @claire_floody


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