Loved ones identify victim of fatal Nisku explosion – Edmonton


The family of a man killed in a workplace incident in Nisku last month has identified him.

READ MORE: 1 dead after explosion south of Edmonton

Devron Chase, 40, died after an explosion at Ja-Co Welding and Consulting on Dec. 27. The Leduc man leaves behind a wife and three daughters.

Two other men were injured in the blast. There is no word yet on what caused the blast, which could be felt kilometres away from the business.

RELATED: Welder hurt in Nisku explosion left with life-altering injuries, traumatic burns

A statement sent to Global News by the Chase family said they are heartbroken and devastated by Devron’s death.

“Devron was a loving family man who worked incredibly hard and loved harder,” reads the statement.

“His life touched so many, and we are extremely proud of the man he was and the legacy he left behind. He will live on forever in our hearts, and we are incredibly grateful to have had him in our lives, even if it could not be for as long as we had hoped.”

READ MORE: Work can partially resume at Nisku business rocked by deadly explosion

According to his family, Devron would have turned 41 on Dec. 30.

Coraless Chase, Devron’s sister, said a trust fund called “In Trust for Chase family” has been set up at Servus Credit Union for the three daughters.

A fundraising page has also been set up on GoFundMe.

OHS said a stop-work order that had been put into place at Ja-Co Welding and Consulting has been lifted in the main building, allowing work to start up again in that location only. The remainder of the site is still under the control of OHS.

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


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I loved being class president at St. Mike’s. Here’s what it is getting wrong


Liam Mather is a former class president at St. Michael’s College School who graduated in 2013. He holds a B.A. in History from McGill University. Mather is now based in Beijing where he manages a high school debate league. This piece is adapted from a posting he originally wrote on Facebook.

After much painful reflection about the recent sexual assault at St. Michael’s College School, I have a few thoughts that I want to share.

Liam Mather seen in Beijing this year. He is wearing a St. Mike's sweater.
Liam Mather seen in Beijing this year. He is wearing a St. Mike’s sweater.  (Courtesy Liam Mather)

I am deeply saddened for the victim. The assault was unspeakably violent. I am disturbed that he was repeatedly victimized as images of the assault were shared across social media, and I am upset by the school administration’s initial response. I pray that this boy is receiving support.

There is a powerful stigma against victims of sexual violence. Our conversations must be focused on caring for this boy and other victims that are coming forward. We must talk about how the school can prevent and respond to future assaults, or this story will repeat itself.

Personally, I have been struggling to reconcile my overwhelmingly positive experience at St. Mike’s with this horrific assault. I cherished my time at the school. Serving as the student government president made me proud. I wasn’t an athlete, but I benefited from the school’s academic rigour and rich extracurricular programming. I had wonderful mentors, such as Father Malo, who taught me values like compassion, personal discipline, and love of scholarship. I became politically conscious through the fine teaching of Paul Barry, Norah Higgins-Burnham, and too many others to name. My parents made sacrifices to send me and my brother, Thomas, to St. Mike’s — and we worked hard to make those sacrifices worthwhile. I had great friendships that transcended social cliques. I felt safe, happy, and supported.

Read more:

Rosie DiManno: Media are not the enemy in the St. Michael’s sex assault scandal

St. Michael’s College School president and principal resign in wake of sexual assault scandal

What we know and don’t know about the scandal at St. Michael’s College School — and what we can’t report

Since news of the sexual assault broke, I’ve felt a range of emotions: depression, anger, humiliation, confusion, even guilt. I felt devastated that such a violent assault occurred on campus. I also felt discomfort watching national and international media outlets attack the sanctity of my positive memories of the school. Were they wrong? Or had I overlooked something as a student?

But let’s be clear about the main issue. The school is not a victim. The alumni who feel defensive are not victims. A student was sexually assaulted within the school. He is the victim. The ones who perpetrated the assault, the ones who filmed and posted it on social media, and the ones who stood by and said nothing as the assault happened, they were also students. What compelled them to commit or enable this terrible crime?

It is morally imperative and prudent that graduates critically reflect on the school’s culture. It is convenient, dishonest and dangerous for graduates to frame the assault as the independent behaviour of a few exceptionally bad students. The school needs to assess the factors that contributed to these students’ destructive behaviour — and prevent this story from happening again. As alumni, if any harmful values were cultivated during our time at the school, we need to identify those values and discard them. That is the courageous way to move forward.

Liam Mather, right, with his younger brother, Thomas, at Thomas's graduation from St. Mike's in 2017.
Liam Mather, right, with his younger brother, Thomas, at Thomas’s graduation from St. Mike’s in 2017.

My personal reflections and my discussions with some alumni have led me to the following conclusions.

First, the assault absolutely reflects a cultural failure of the school. The notions that define manhood are changing. Society used to demand that men be physically strong, emotionless and chauvinistic. But increasingly, empathy and intelligence are valued. What version of manhood is St. Mike’s imparting onto its boys?

The school seemed to be grappling with this question when I was a student. Long renowned for its athletic programs, the school also began promoting music, dance, theatre, media production and visual arts. It built a multimillion dollar performance centre on campus, which opened in 2010. The space for artists, writers and dedicated students expanded; I genuinely felt that the school encouraged my intellectual curiosity. Teachers and the administration began promoting mental health awareness. The Basilians preached a liberal interpretation of doctrine. There was more collaboration with girls’ schools.

However, the school retained a hypermasculine subculture, in which conventional masculine values were incubated. When I was a student, this subculture lurked in the shadows of the locker hallways and the changing rooms. If you put teenage boys together, without adult supervision, aggressive behaviour can carry social rewards. Boys can feel an urge to act dominant; other boys will feel reluctant to challenge the alphas. This is well-established in psychology literature. When I was at St. Mike’s, hypermasculinity sometimes degenerated into bullying. I think the recent assault is a particularly heinous outgrowth of hypermasculinity. This subculture might not be unique to St. Mike’s, and might not define St. Mike’s, but it is there.

The St. Mike’s administration has a responsibility to correct the perverse psychological incentives of its students. It must establish a zero-tolerance policy for “boys being boys” behaviour. It needs to delineate the spaces where controlled aggression is acceptable (on the football field) and where it is not (in the locker room, everywhere else). It needs to reaffirm to all of its boys that it is OK to be gentle, caring and artistic. While there is obviously a significant difference between a dust-up in the hallway and sexual assault, the line is finer than people think. I don’t say this to be glib, but consider Piggy’s death in Lord of the Flies. The dominant tendencies of young boys, when unchecked, can have catastrophic consequences. St. Mike’s never fully focused its efforts on stamping out these tendencies.

A second and related problem is that St. Mike’s, overall, was not a nurturing place for gay students. I am straight, and I do not wish to speak on behalf of all gay former students. I have reached this conclusion after speaking with many of my close friends at St. Mike’s who were gay, as well as through personal retrospection about the culture. Many gay students thrived at the school. However, they did not receive outward institutional support and faced widespread homophobic attitudes from students — and even from a few teachers. It was common for boys to use homophobic language in an effort to emasculate and assert dominance over their peers. Many gay students were not comfortable coming out at St. Mike’s. I do not think this has changed since I graduated in 2013. This is unacceptable.

I want to echo the call of my courageous friend and former class vice-president, Jonah Macan, for the school to found a gay-straight alliance to fight homophobia and promote inclusiveness.

The third problem is also related to hypermasculinity. It is an issue that I have been reflecting on since Dr. Christine Blasey Ford bravely went public with her sexual assault allegation against Brett Kavanaugh. I was troubled by the media’s portrayal of Kavanaugh’s high school, an all-boys Catholic private school where gross sexism was ingrained into the student body. It haunted me because Kavanaugh’s school reminded me of St. Mike’s.

When I was a student, many of my classmates had a hyper-sexualized view of women. This toxic attitude went mostly unchallenged by the school, except by a few teachers and staff. The school did not actively promote positive relationships with women. It did not rigorously teach feminism or consent. For the students who tried to resist sexist social currents, many still did not a develop a deep understanding of women’s health, social or political issues. Everyone has some personal responsibility for their attitudes and behaviours; I also call on my classmates to reflect on how they treat the women in their lives. But St. Mike’s should impart on its students a positive understanding of what it means to respect women. A new program, aimed at teaching Grade 11 and 12 students about consent, is a step in the right direction.

Some of you might still insist on disconnecting the assault from the school’s culture. To you, I say the following. Even if you think the assault is an outlier, society does not tolerate the male behaviours and attitudes that I have described. We can use recent events as an opportunity for critical self-reflection and growth. For the interests of the school as an institution — not to mention for the well-being of future students, women and everyone else — St. Mike’s needs to confront the negative parts of its culture.

The final point I would like to make concerns the response to the assault by the school and the broader community. First, the administration’s initial response was wrong. The administration should have reported the assault to the police immediately. After all, private institutions have powerful incentives (their reputation, money) to cover up sexual assaults.

Maybe we can give the previous administration the benefit of the doubt regarding its intentions. However, the optics are still damaging to all victims within the school, who might lose trust in the administration and authority figures more broadly. The response is especially unacceptable given the recent history of the Catholic Church covering up sexual assault. As members of a Catholic community, we must hold the school to a high standard.

Gregory Reeves, the St. Michael's College School principal when the scandal about alleged school sexual assaults broke. Reeves resigned just over a week ago.
Gregory Reeves, the St. Michael’s College School principal when the scandal about alleged school sexual assaults broke. Reeves resigned just over a week ago.  (Christopher Katsarov)

With the resignations of Principal Greg Reeves and President Father Jefferson Thompson, the incoming administration must undergo training on how to respond to sexual assault in a manner that is consistent with victims’ interests.

Second, I am disappointed that so many former students have blindly defended the school, without also acknowledging the suffering of the victim. One implication of some graduates’ nostalgic Facebook posts is that they stand in solidarity with the school as its reputation tanks, and not in solidarity with the victim. This is probably unintentional, but it is inexcusable. We should focus our energies on supporting the victim and asking hard questions about the school’s culture.

These posts have another negative implication. They might deter other victims in the St. Mike’s community from speaking out, because they will feel uneasy about further tarnishing the school’s reputation. There are almost certainly other victims of sexual assault or bullying in the community who have been suffering in silence. I urge alumni to express support for all victims of sexual assault and severe bullying. You might not have been a bully. You might have not been bullied. You might have enjoyed your time at the school, as I did. But evidently, it was not a safe place for every student. We must validate the experiences of victims, rather than stifle their voices.

I am also a little embarrassed by the parents and alumni who have criticized the media. Again, the school is not the victim. The victim is the victim. The assault was a brutal crime and is a matter of public interest. The media uncovered this story; they have been hawkish because the school was not immediately transparent; they have kept the story in the news cycle because more assaults came to light. The broader public is judging our community’s capacity to respond with empathy. If you pretend the school is the primary victim, you are not only being insensitive to real victims, you are actively reinforcing negative tropes about the community.

At the end of the culture review, the leadership of St. Michael’s must make a decision. It can pretend nothing is wrong. In doing so, it will edge out a new niche in the Toronto private school market as the bastion of male chauvinism. Maybe this version of the school can still win football championships. But I will not want anything to do with it.

Alternatively, after a long and difficult introspection, the school can make the difficult choice. It can build out progressive programming that confronts its cultural problems and prevents future assaults. There is going to be resistance to these changes, because our beloved school is old, and old places are bad at changing.

But hopefully, over time, the phrase “St. Michael’s Man” can acquire a new, robust meaning: a man that excels in the classroom, on the field, on the stage and in the debating hall. A man who treats women with respect. A man who has the space to explore alternative sexualities. A man who respects his peers. A man who will still win a Metro Bowl ring. I have faith that the good people at St. Michael’s will make this choice. The right choice.


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Grieving Inuit families blame racism of health-care workers for deaths of loved ones


Kuujjuarapik’s community centre echoes with the sounds of Mary Pirti Kumarluk’s sobs.

Her daughter, Siasi ​Kumarluk, along with a support worker from the Viens Commission and Inuit interpreters, line up to hug her, one by one.

It’s been 16 months since Mary’s 34-year-old son Levi died after being struck by an all-terrain vehicle late the night of July 31, 2017 in Inukjuak, on the east coast of Hudson Bay.

« It breaks my heart, seeing a picture of my son, because I miss him. I wish I’d been holding him at the clinic, » said Mary Kumarluk in an interview with CBC News.

Mother and daughter testified Tuesday before Commissioner Jacques Viens at the inquiry into how Quebec’s public service treats Indigenous people.

The commission is in Kuujjuarapik this week, 350 kilometres south of Inukjuak on the Great Whale River — its first visit to Quebec’s Inuit territory of Nunavik since the inquiry began nearly two years ago.

Would Levi still be alive if he’d been qallunaaq?

Siasi Kumarluk says her brother would still be alive today if he’d been qallunaaq, the Inuktitut word for someone who is a non-Inuk, particularly someone of European descent.

She told the commission that health-care workers at the nursing station did not take Levi’s injuries seriously enough.

Instead, she said, they told him he was « a strong hunter » and didn’t need emergency transport to the nearest health centre where radiology equipment was available.

After he was examined by a doctor in Inukjuak, staff asked his elderly mother to take him by all-terrain vehicle to the airport for a commercial flight to the nearest medical centre equipped with radiology machines in Puvirnituq, 180 kilometres further north.

Nursing staff told Mary Kumarluk there was no room for her on the flight, so Levi travelled on alone.

His sister testified that her brother had been complaining of chest pain after the accident. He went into cardiac arrest in the waiting room of the clinic in Puvirnituq while waiting for an X-ray.

Levi Kumarluk was declared dead a short time later.

Unanswered questions in coroner’s report

The coroner’s report, obtained by CBC, shows he’d been diagnosed in Inukjuak with chest pain, abrasions, a lacerated knee, a hematoma at the back of his head and a suspected fractured heel.

Coroner Steeve Poisson concluded Levi Kumarluk died of a punctured lung just after 4 p.m., Aug. 1, nearly 18 hours after the accident.

« If he took that medevac that night, he would have made it for sure, » said his sister.

The coroner’s report doesn’t make any mention of whether emergency transport was available or why the 34-year-old man had had to travel alone on a commercial flight, nor why he had still not obtained a chest X-ray 17 hours after the accident, despite complaining of severe chest pain.

The Viens commission is holding hearings in Kuujjuarapik this week — the first time the inquiry into Quebec’s treatment of Indigenous people has held hearings in Nunavik. (Catou MacKinnon/CBC)

‘You just want to go to Montreal’

The Kumarluk family’s experience is not an isolated case.

A support worker for the Viens Commission read into the record the statement of an Inuk woman from Salluit, who said her mother died because nursing staff failed to send her out of the community for tests.

Elizabeth Williams’ mother Kitty was diagnosed with colon cancer more than a year after she started complaining of pain.

In the statement, Williams said when she would bring her mother to the nursing station because the 70-year-old woman was so racked with pain, health-care workers told her, « You just want to go to Montreal. » 

Ida Nulaiyuk testified that was forced to choose between having an abortion or having her leg amputated, because a wound wasn’t treated properly.

Nulaiyuk fell last September and ended up in hospital in Montreal after the injury became infected.

Doctors told her the drugs they had to treat her with at that point would be too strong for her unborn child to survive, and her only other option was to have an abortion.

She acknowledged she had been drinking and alcohol may have also interfered with her antibiotics, but she said that nursing staff ignored her symptoms.

A nurse « saw me in pain, and she asked me, ‘Why are you here?' »


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Bad Roommate Stories: She Was a Terrible Roommate But I Loved Everything She Cooked | Healthyish


Roommates come into your life for a reason, a season, and to teach you how to cook. It was Emily (not her real name), my first roommate post-grad, who taught me how to eat seasonally, purchase pantry staples like red wine vinegar and dijon mustard, make homemade tomato soup, and more. Alas, I never got the chance to thank her for these things, because we weren’t on speaking terms when the lease ended. Emily was a domestic goddess, but she was also a roommate from hell.

To be fair, she would say the same about me. I’m self-aware enough to know that I am the world’s worst dishwasher, but I like to think I make up for it by always deep-cleaning the fridge and throwing away expired food, like the bottle of ketchup that had been crusting over since Obama was president.

I met Emily a few days after moving to New York, via her roommate listing online. I came to tour the apartment with its small, white kitchen and gas stove. I liked Emily. She too had recently moved to the city, enjoyed cooking, and was writing for a local restaurant blog. It was a year-long lease, what could go wrong?

In the beginning, nothing. I admired Emily every time she went to the local farmers’ market and brought home in-season produce like Brussels sprouts and chard to be roasted and sautéed, while I schlepped to the supermarket around the corner and purchased out-of-season tomatoes to top tacos I made from a boxed kit.

Before I met Emily, my idea of cooking was limited to what I was exposed to growing up in Illinois and Georgia, and boy, did I love casseroles. In college, my go-to meal was baked spaghetti made with cream of mushroom soup, lean ground beef, and pre-shredded cheddar cheese. Post-grad, it was a lot of boxed macaroni and cheese and steamed broccoli.

From the couch, eating whatever frozen Trader Joe’s meal I’d thrown together, I’d watch Emily make her own marinara sauce with canned tomatoes simmered in olive oil, garlic, and herbs. I watched her make her own salad dressing, whisking together the simplest of ingredients—oil, vinegar, salt and herbs. I vowed never to buy bottled dressing again.

We prepared meals mostly for ourselves, only sharing unless we made too much of something: a pan of lasagna, a tray of blueberry muffins. I didn’t mind. I absorbed every detail of how to become a better cook just by watching. I learned the difference between a microplane and grater. I learned to roast a chicken, which I did alongside mashed potatoes for a guy I’d been dating, who bailed on dinner at the last minute. That was one of the few meals Emily and I shared.

After six months of living together, my cooking was improving, but our relationship was not. At first, Emily and I were always pleasant to each other, and the disagreements we did have were standard roommate spats revolving around who never took out the garbage (Emily) and who was half-assing the dishes (me).

But when I started hearing Emily and her boyfriend having loud sex, on more than one occasion, with her bedroom door half-open, that was the beginning of the end. From then on, everything about each other got on our nerves. When our lease ended, Emily decided to move in with a friend down the street. By this point, we were barely on speaking terms.

On the eve of her leaving, we got into an argument over slights that had been compounding: the cleaning or lack thereof, her boyfriend. She complained about how often she had to sweep because my curly brown hair was everywhere. Meanwhile, I had recently found a long blonde hair tucked inside my underwear when I went to the bathroom at work. I was always unclogging the tub drain. At one point during this fight, Emily lunged towards me to make her point clear. For a split second, I thought, “Is she going to hit me?”

She didn’t. She left the next day, and my new roommate, who responded to my own online listing, moved in a few days later, with her own set of spices, pans, and recipes. Emily will never know, but I continued to cook more for myself. She didn’t get to see me bring home a tote of Honeycrisp apples from the farmers’ market to make an apple pie for my new roommate, nor did she see me make my own tomato sauce, using in-season cherry tomatoes, which I served over pasta with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano that didn’t come from a green can.

It’s been five years since Emily moved out, and we don’t keep in touch. But whatever she’s doing, I hope she’s still making her bomb marinara and salad dressing and feeling fabulous while doing it. I know I am.

A marinara sauce we can all agree on:


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