National Newswatch

Proposed class-action lawsuit led by former constable alleges racism in RCMP

Jul 13 2020 — Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press — VANCOUVER — One of the first Indigenous women to join the RCMP in Manitoba is the lead plaintiff in a proposed class-action lawsuit that alleges systemic racism within the force. A statement of claim filed last week in Federal Court alleges that Margorie Hudson and other employees were subjected to racism by colleagues and management. It says Hudson joined the force […]

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in British Columbia’s Surrey Six case

Jul 9 2020 — Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press — VANCOUVER — Reputed gang leader Jamie Bacon pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge stemming from shootings in 2007 that left six people dead at a highrise apartment building in Surrey, British Columbia. Bacon pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to murder Corey Lal in the so-called Surrey Six case. He also pleaded guilty to one count of counselling to commit murder […]

Advocates call for community-led crisis intervention, not police

Jun 28 2020 — Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press — SURREY, B.C. — Deaths and injuries involving police during so-called wellness checks coupled with recent protests against police brutality are generating scrutiny over how officers respond to people struggling with mental health challenges. Police departments in Halifax, Toronto, Hamilton, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Kelowna are among those that have partnered with local health-care providers to create mobile response units that pair officers […]

Host parents not liable for fatal crash after party: B.C. Supreme Court judge

Jun 16 2020 — Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press — VANCOUVER — Two parents have been found not legally responsible for a fatal crash involving two teenagers who had been partying at the couple's home in British Columbia. Justice Christopher Hinkson ruled that Stephen and Lidia Pearson were not liable for the 2012 crash on Salt Spring Island that left the 18-year-old driver dead and caused life-altering injuries to […]

Lawyers for Meng accuse U.S. of misstating records in extradition case

Jun 15 2020 — Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press — VANCOUVER — Lawyers for Huawei's chief financial officer are accusing authorities in the United States of misleading the B.C. Supreme Court judge presiding over the extradition case. Meng Wanzhou's defence team is seeking a stay in the proceedings arguing that U.S. case records are "grossly inaccurate and based on deliberate and/or reckless misstatements of fact and […]

Canadian research network examining pregnancy and COVID-19

Jun 13 2020 — Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press — VANCOUVER — Clinicians and epidemiologists don't yet know much about COVID-19 and pregnancy, says the leader of a newly formed national network that's aiming to fill in those gaps. "We scoured the literature and found a real limited amount of information, of course, at the beginning, from China and a little bit more from Europe," […]

Community groups filling gaps in translation of COVID-19 information

Jun 1 2020 — Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press — VANCOUVER — When Mary Rose Manzano-Leal called Filipino employees of a coronavirus-stricken meat-packing plant in Alberta last month, the physician says they expressed relief as soon she began speaking their language. "When I tell them that I can speak Tagalog ... they suddenly perk up and become interested in speaking with me." Across Canada, community organizations, advocates, researchers […]

Nearly 600 campers moved into temporary housing amid COVID-19: B.C. government

May 20 2020 — Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press — VANCOUVER — The British Columbia government and advocates for homeless people are at odds over whether moving hundreds of people into temporary housing amid the COVID-19 pandemic has been successful. Shane Simpson, minister of social development and poverty reduction, said Wednesday nearly 600 of the most vulnerable people in the province have been moved from encampments in Vancouver and Victoria into housing […]

COVID-19 testing, contact tracing key to fending off second wave, experts say

May 11 2020 — Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press — VANCOUVER — Provinces hit hardest by COVID-19 have ramped up testing capacity as they plan to reopen their economies, but infectious disease experts say there will be recurring outbreaks without more robust testing, contact tracing and quarantine services across the country. A Canadian Press analysis of provincial data over a seven-week period starting in late March shows the provinces with the […]

COVID-19 testing, contact tracing key to fending off second wave, experts say

May 11 2020 — Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press — VANCOUVER — Provinces hit hardest by COVID-19 have ramped up testing capacity as they plan to reopen their economies, but infectious disease experts say there will be recurring outbreaks without more robust testing, contact tracing and quarantine services across the country. A Canadian Press analysis of provincial data over a seven-week period starting in late March shows the provinces with the […]

Ottawa adds to protections for endangered southern resident killer whales

May 8 2020 — Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press — VANCOUVER — Expanded protections for endangered southern resident killer whales off British Columbia's coast focus on contaminants, noise, physical disturbances and accessibility of chinook salmon, the orca's primary prey.  The actions announced by several government departments Thursday include closures for recreational and commercial salmon fishing in areas of the Juan de Fuca Strait and Southern Gulf Islands, with specific dates […]

Ottawa adds to protections for endangered southern resident killer whales

May 7 2020 — Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press — VANCOUVER — Expanded protections for endangered southern resident killer whales off British Columbia's coast focus on contaminants, noise, physical disturbances and accessibility of chinook salmon, the orca's primary prey.  The actions announced by several government departments Thursday include a ban on tourist or whale watching vessels with over 12 passengers until the end of June, a measure aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. […]

Local restaurants feel squeezed by delivery apps’ commission fees

Apr 28 2020 — Brenna Owen, The Canadian Press — VANCOUVER — Restaurants struggling to survive during the COVID-19 crisis have turned to take-out and delivery, but the fees charged by food-delivery companies are eating away their bottom line, some operators say. Physical distancing measures have decimated dine-in service, which accounts for most industry revenue, said Mark von Schellwitz, a vice-president of the non-profit Restaurants Canada. Margins are typically less […]