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Posts Tagged "missing"

30Sep

Search continues for 74-year-old Kelowna man missing since Thursday | CBC News

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The search continues for a 74-year-old Kelowna, B.C., man who went missing on Thursday.

Gordon Solloway left home in the morning and was headed to the James Lake area, about 25 kilometres east of the city, to sight his rifle. He was expected home by noon.

Kevin Birnie of Central Okanagan Search and Rescue said Solloway’s truck was seen on a security camera in a rural area east of Kelowna.

“A local resident had captured some images of his vehicle going up into the Goudie [Road] area,” said Kevin Birnie of Central Okanagan Search and Rescue. “That is the only evidence we have to support that he is in that area.”

Gordon Solloway was seen in this image captured at a gas station in Rutland shortly after he left home. He was driving a 2012 Dodge Ram with a B.C. licence plate HM3 670. (RCMP)

Searchers on foot, in ATVs and in helicopters have failed to turn up any trace of the man.

Solloway was driving a silver 2012 Dodge Ram 1500, with B.C. licence plate HM3 670. 

He is described as white, five foot nine inches tall, weighing 250 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. 

Solloway has mobility issues and uses a cane. 

Vernon Search and Rescue, Pentiction Search and Rescue and the RCMP are also helping in the search. 

3Jun

Inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women issues final report with sweeping calls for change | CBC News

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After more than three years, dozens of community meetings and testimony from well over 2,000 Canadians, the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls inquiry will deliver its final report to the federal government at a ceremony in Gatineau, Que. today.

The report, which CBC News obtained before its official release, includes many recommendations to government, the police and the larger Canadian public to help address endemic levels of violence directed at Indigenous women and girls and 2SLGBTQQIA (two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual) people.

CBCNews.ca will carry the closing ceremonies live starting at 9 a.m. ET.

Beyond defining the level of violence against these women as a “Canadian genocide,” recommending official language status for Indigenous languages and a guaranteed income for all Indigenous peoples, the commissioners are also recommending sweeping reforms to the justice system and policing in this country, including stiffer penalties for men who carry out spousal or partner abuse.

“We call upon the federal government to include cases where there is a pattern of intimate partner violence and abuse as murder in the first degree under section 222 of the Criminal Code,” the report reads.

First-degree murder is the most serious of all the homicide offences. If convicted, offenders usually spend longer in prison, with fewer chances for parole.

The inquiry said that, too often, murder investigations are “marked by indifference” and negative stereotypes that result in Indigenous deaths and disappearances being investigated and treated differently from other cases — differences that result in fewer solved cases.

And when there is a reasonable chance of a conviction, the inquiry said, Crown attorneys too often are willing to accept plea bargains or reduced charges in exchange for guilty pleas in cases of murdered Indigenous women.

To that end, the inquiry calls for more “Indigenous-specific options” for sentencing, without specifying what exactly the government should change on that front. It called for a strengthening of Gladue principles in Canadian courts, a legal term that stipulates an offender’s Indigenous ancestry should be considered in the sentencing process.

“While the prosecutorial decisions … may well be justified, the frequency with which this occurs understandably raises questions in the Indigenous community, particularly when the sentences on conviction escape the mandatory parole ineligibility of 10 or 25 years on the more serious charges.”

To ensure more equitable outcomes, the inquiry said, more Indigenous judges, justices of the peace and police should be hired to ensure Indigenous voices are in positions of power in the criminal justice system. Failing that, the report said a separate court system for the Indigenous population should be established to lead to more “meaningful and culturally appropriate justice practices …”

Far too many murder cases aren’t solved and don’t make it to trial at all, the inquiry said — and that means the federal funds ought to be bolstering the ranks of Indigenous police forces across the country to ensure better investigations.

“We call upon all governments to immediately and dramatically transform Indigenous policing from its current state as a mere delegation to an exercise in self-governance and self-determination over policing,” the report reads.

“The federal government’s First Nations Policing Program must be replaced with a new legislative and funding framework, consistent with international and domestic policing best practices and standards, that must be developed by the federal, provincial, and territorial governments in partnership with Indigenous Peoples.”

The report also calls on provincial and territorial governments to improve the restraining order system by making them “available, accessible, promptly issued and effectively serviced and resourced” — to help Indigenous women stay out of harm’s way when faced with a violent partner.

Beyond facilitating access to restraining orders (or “protection orders,” as they’re often known in Canada) the inquiry is calling on the government to offer guaranteed access to financial support, legislated paid leave and disability benefits and “appropriate trauma care” to Indigenous victims of crime or other traumatic events.

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett would not comment on the report’s recommendations ahead of their official release.

“Out of respect for the independent National Inquiry and the families, we won’t comment on the details of the final report before then. After decades of demanding a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, families are finally getting the answers they have been looking for,” a spokesperson for the minister said.

In an interview with CBC News before the news organization obtained a leaked copy of the report, Bennett said the government accepts that the status quo isn’t keeping Indigenous women and girls safe.

She said, however, that the government already has moved ahead with meaningful reforms, including its overhaul of the child and family services regime and a de-colonizing push for greater self-government for Indigenous peoples, part of a larger fight for equality.

“The inquiry is really only a beginning. We’ve got to do the work, and we’ve got to change attitudes, and we’ve got to increase the safety of Indigenous women and girls wherever they are in this country,” Bennett said.

“Indigenous women and girls need to be safe wherever they live in this country — whether it’s in their home communities or a downtown urban centre. That’s the only way we’ll stop this national tragedy.”


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18Sep

Should B.C. have a ‘Silver Alert’ system for missing seniors?

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Kendra Mangione , CTV Vancouver


Published Tuesday, September 18, 2018 3:15PM PDT


Last Updated Tuesday, September 18, 2018 3:18PM PDT

A local man is continuing his push for a province-wide “Silver Alert” system five years after his father walked away, never to be seen again.

On the anniversary of the disappearance of Shin Noh, his son Sam is again calling for a program that would notify media and the public when a senior with Alzheimer’s or dementia wanders off.

The system he advocates for is similar to Amber Alerts sent out when children are missing.

While the program has yet to be officially implemented, a citizen-created alert system has been developed and is operating on social media.

A website set up by Sam Noh and other volunteers collects donations and raise awareness said the notifications are also sent out if a person has a developmental disability, autism or cognitive defect and has been determined to be at risk of harm because of their condition.

They are sent if the subject has been determined to be a missing person by police and has been gone less than 72 hours.

For now, alerts are only sent out for those missing in B.C.’s Lower Mainland, but the organizers intend to expand to the rest of the province in the future. They will only be sent in cases when public assistance could be critical in saving them from harm, the website said.

The BC Silver Alert system is based on software that scans feeds of local police forces for specific keywords. The software will flag the content and a volunteer will review it, post it online and send out an alert.

Noh said early notification can be crucial, as typically missing Alzheimer’s patients are found by members of the public.

“With an official Silver Alert program we can utilize better technology to quickly spread that word – highway billboard signs, media – but without even the Silver Alert there’s still other tools that we have in our community,” Noh said.

“With the City of Vancouver you can sign up for alerts to receive notification about garbage day pickup. So we have this technology. I would like for us to utilize it.”

BC Silver Alert co-founder and Coquitlam Search and Rescue search manager Michael Coyle said people with dementia are often found on the bus when it goes out of service, or when a restaurant closes, or in other similar situations. They’re rarely located by SAR groups, though officials are active and hopeful during their search efforts.

The cases where the missing person isn’t found stick with them, Coyle said.

“All SAR members I know have a list of names they remember, the people that they didn’t find, and for most of the rest of our lives, when someone finds remains in some location, mentally we’re going through our check list,” he said.

Shin Ik Noh
Shin Noh, a 64-year-old former pastor from Coquitlam, B.C., went missing in September 2013 and has never been found.

Pointing to legislation in other provinces in Canada, those behind BC Silver Alert say they want the notifications to be included in a system tested in B.C. in the spring called Alert Ready. The system sends text messages to smartphone users in event of tsunamis, but will later be expanded to include floods and fire warnings, the province’s public safety minister said.

There is an app being tested in other provinces called Community ASAP which could also have potential to notify residents of a specific area, and to allow them to report sightings to local authorities. Coyle said it will be tested locally in October.

The search for Shin Noh

Noh recalled the day his father disappeared, describing the experience of driving around to Shin’s usual spots as “surreal.”

The longer he searched, the more urgency he felt.

His family called the Coquitlam RCMP, and relatives, friends and neighbours combed the areas where they thought he may be.

“I’m truly grateful, but we sort of felt like we were still alone, that we had to come up with all these search and rescue strategies, so it was frustrating at that time,” he said.

“The search progressed very slowly.”

Coyle was involved in the search for Shin five years ago, and has helped search for several others in similar situations. He said every time SAR groups are alerted to a missing person with Alzheimer’s or dementia, they begin with a similar discussion about where to look.

“In an urban environment, there are just so many places where someone could go. People don’t notice the missing person, they don’t look unusual, they’re just walking along, they won’t be asking for help,” Coyle said.

“Normally for search and rescue we end up looking where people don’t go, in case the person gets stuck or trapped, which happens. So we end up in urban wilderness trails and things like that.”

With Shin’s case specifically, he said he remembers they didn’t have a direction of travel. They knew he walked a route every day, but at any point he may have missed a turn.

“Also because of how long it had been since he’d gone missing, our search area was quite big. He could have walked for hours in any direction.”

But because members of the public are statistically more likely to find missing persons with conditions such as dementia, Coyle said he felt frustrated that there was no system to alert the public early on.

Tips poured in, and there were confirmed sightings of his father, Noh said, but the family didn’t know about them for three days.

“I think if we had the Silver Alert or something similar… we may have been able to follow up with it a lot quicker and he may be home with us today,” Noh said.

Five years later, he said he’s surprised they never found his father’s remains, and that it’s hard not to have been able to give Shin a proper burial.

“I want our community to utilize technology to help current families that are dealing with this and to help future families, because the whole goal is I want to save them the devastation and the grief of what we went through.”

With files from CTV Vancouver’s Shannon Paterson 

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