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Posts Tagged "murder"

7Oct

Murder trial begins for man accused of stabbing Abbotsford teen at high school | CBC News

by admin

The screams of a 13-year-old girl echoed through a New Westminster courtroom Monday as the second-degree murder trial began for the man who stabbed her at an Abbotsford high school in 2016.

There is no doubt that Gabriel Brandon Klein is the man who wielded the knife that ended Letisha Reimer’s life.

But Crown prosecutor Robert Macgowan told Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes that Klein — who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia — will argue he should be found not criminally responsible by reason of mental disorder.

Klein, who looks considerably heavier than in a photograph of him released by police shortly after the attack, stood in the prisoner’s dock as the second-degree murder charge was read into the record along with an aggravated assault charge involving a second student. 

He blurted out the words “not guilty” both times.

The 23-year-old wore green pre-trial sweats and heavy framed glasses and looked down as Holmes asked to see the video of the stabbing twice.

The day ended in a lockdown

The six-second video, filmed by a student on Snapchat, takes the camera to the edge of a balcony looking down into the Abbotsford Senior Secondary School rotunda.

Klein can be seen making a stabbing motion. He stands up and steps back, throwing the knife away.

A memorial outside Abbotsford Senior Secondary School in 2016 in the days after 13-year-old Letisha Reimer was killed. The man accused of her murder is on trial in B.C. Supreme Court. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

It was the first video shown in the trial, which is happening without a jury.

“Tuesday, Nov.1, 2016 was a school day at Abbotsford Senior Secondary that began much like any other,” Macgowan told the judge in his opening statement.

“The day ended with the school in a lockdown and two female students being rushed to hospital with serious stab wounds. Tragically, one of them, 13-year-old Letisha Reimer did not survive.”

The identity of the other victim, known as EI, is protected by a publication ban. Macgowan said EI survived but was left “both physically and psychologically traumatized.”

About a dozen people sat in the courtroom, and one young woman walked out before the video of the stabbing was played.

In order to establish that he was not criminally responsible for his actions, the onus will fall on Klein to prove he was either unable to appreciate his actions or that he didn’t know what he was doing was wrong.

‘He was very matter of fact’

Macgowan began explaning the Crown’s evidence by laying out the sequence of events that took place in the hours and days before the attack, starting with Klein’s appearance two days earlier at the Huntingdon Border crossing in Abbotsford.

A Canada Border Services Agency officer was among the first witnesses. Krysten Montague was on duty when U.S. border patrol officers brought Klein in for crossing the border illegally.

Abbotsford Senior Secondary became a crime scene in November of 2016 after Gabriel Klein stabbed two girls, killing one. He is arguing that he should be held not criminally responsible by reason of a mental disorder. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

Montague said he claimed to have been looking for work on a farm when he accidentally strayed across the line. He was clean cut and made eye contact but had no identity papers. 

She said he claimed to have come to Vancouver from Alberta to visit cousins. He was homeless.

“He was very matter of fact in answering the questions,” Montague said.

“He seemed well spoken, He didn’t seem nervous. He was not uncomfortable with the situation.”

Montague said Klein was allowed to leave after about 20 minutes. She said she offered to help him find a place in a local homeless shelter. She said she later saw him walking along the road in town.

Pronounced dead at 3:05 p.m.

According to the Crown, Klein was later admitted to the emergency room of an Abbotsford hospital where he was treated, released and directed to a homeless shelter where he spent the next two nights.

The day before the stabbings, video cameras caught Klein going in and out of the local library, which was directly connected to the high school at the time. He could be seen talking to a woman as she exited.

A makeshift memorials appeared at Abbotsford Senior Secondary in the days after Letisha Reimer died of stab wounds. The man who stabbed her is on trial in B.C. Supreme Court. (CBC)

Macgowan said police tracked Klein’s movements through a series of CCTV cameras on the last day of Letisha Reimer’s life.

He could be seen walking into a liquor store and slipping two bottles of rum into his camouflage backpack. And minutes later, a camera found him walking through the parking lot on his way to the sporting goods store, Cabela’s.

Holmes and the people in the public gallery watched security video from Cabela’s, which showed Klein calmly walking to the hunting section and picking up a Buck knife. He walked out of the store without paying, box in his hand.

The same knife was entered into evidence by the lead homicide investigator in the case. He held the box at an angle so the judge could see the weapon inside.

In all of the videos leading up to the attack, Klein appears calm, walks determinedly and occasionally interacts with store clerks.

Macgowan also introduced a video taken by police in the hours after the attack in the high school.

The rotunda where the stabbings took place was by then empty of students, papers strewn on the ground alongside Klein’s backpack. Yellow police tape hung from the handrails and a video screen still displayed a message to students.

Letisha Reimer was pronounced dead of blood loss at 3:05 p.m. Nov. 1 — hours before police filmed the aftermath of the attack that killed her.

She was stabbed 14 times. Macgowan said it was an admitted fact that Klein caused every one of her wounds.

3Oct

Three teens plead guilty in St. Michael’s sex assault scandal

by admin

Katherine DeClerq, CTV News Toronto


Published Thursday, October 3, 2019 11:29AM EDT


Last Updated Thursday, October 3, 2019 11:57AM EDT

Three teenagers facing charges in a sexual assault scandal at St. Michael’s College School last year have pleaded guilty.

The teens pleaded guilty to sexual assault with a weapon and assault with a weapon on Thursday morning inside a Toronto courtroom.

One of the three teenagers also pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography.

In November of last year, six boys were charged in connection with the alleged sex assault of a student at the all-boys private school.

According to police, videos of the incident, which occurred inside a washroom at the school, began circulating between students and on social media.

A few months later, police said they were investigating two additional incidents. Eight students were expelled from school as a result and a seventh student was formally charged by police.

The students were each facing charges of sexual assault, gang sexual assault and sexual assault with a weapon.

Charges against one of the seven students were withdrawn in August and the cases against two others have concluded, although Ontario’s Ministry of the Attorney General would not say at the time what the outcomes were of those cases.

The last student facing charges has a court hearing scheduled for Oct. 17.

The teenagers who pleaded guilty on Thursday are scheduled to attend a sentencing hearing on Nov. 14.

They cannot be identified under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

This is a developing news story. More to come.

With files from The Canadian Press

2Aug

Ucluelet mystery: Hells Angels behind murder of two sailors 15 months ago

by admin

UCLUELET — The small craft harbour here in this stunning spot on Vancouver Island’s west coast is a hub of activity.

Tourists from all over the world board sport-fishing charters and whale-watching boats to check out the rugged coastline. Commercial fishermen tend to their vessels. And visitors sail in for a day or two on boats based in Vancouver, Victoria or farther away.

But all is quiet on the Astral Blue — a 14-metre sailboat whose last two crewmen mysteriously disappeared in the mid-afternoon of May 16, 2018.

The bodies of Squamish resident Dan Archbald and his close friend Ryan Daley, of Jordan River, were found less than a month later on a rutted decommissioned logging road about 12 kilometres from the harbour.

Fifteen months have passed and no one has been charged with their murders.

But a Postmedia investigation has found that the two men were likely casualties of a botched cocaine-smuggling job that they were recruited to do by a Lower Mainland biker.


The bodies of Daniel Archbald, 37, and Ryan Daley, 43, were found 15 months ago, near Ucluelet.

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RCMP Supt. Sanjaya Wijayakoon, who oversees the Vancouver Island Integrated Major Crime Unit, told Postmedia that the police investigation is still extremely active.

“They are absolutely continuing to investigate both of these deaths. Right now, they are in the process of analyzing physical and digital evidence. They are still speaking to potential witnesses and they are trying to figure out a time line leading up to both Daley and Archbald’s deaths,” Wijayakoon said in a recent interview.

Key to that time line is figuring out what the two men did between their landing here on Sunday, May 13 — Mother’s Day — and when they made a final eerie appearance on the harbour security camera three days later, lugging heavy duffel bags out though the parking lot.

Wijayakoon said investigators still need the public’s help to put together all the pieces of the puzzle.

“I know my guys are still hoping that people in the public are able to come forward and that something triggers their memory and they come and talk to us. We are still hoping for that,” he said.


The 14-metre Astral Blue has been moored at Ucluelet’s small craft harbour since May 13, 2018 when its two crewmen arrived from Panama. Boat owner Dan Archbald and his friend Ryan Daley disappeared three days later and were found murdered in mid-June. of 2018

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The Astral Blue looks much as it did when it arrived here. The deck is strewn with yellow, red and blue plastic containers. There’s a small rusted-out barbecue tipped over near the stern. A rubber dinghy is upside down over the cabin.

Some fibreglass on the starboard side is damaged. There is no indication of anything untoward.

The white and blue sailboat, built in Taiwan in 1979, was registered with Transport Canada on July 25, 2016, listing its home port as Vancouver, despite then never having landed in Canada.

The boat’s owner remains a B.C. company called Astral Ocean Expeditions Inc.

Corporate records obtained by Postmedia show Archbald and a friend registered the company in B.C. on May 10, 2016. Its address is listed as a Richmond lawyer’s office.

The friend, who asked not to be identified, told Postmedia that he owned only a one per cent share of the company and had no direct involvement with the purchase of the Astral Blue.

“Technically, I suppose I’m an owner,” he said, adding that the boat is really owned by Archbald’s widow, who is trying to sell it.

He said he and Archbald had talked for years about running a charter business on the West Coast.

“I am also a sailor and if I had the opportunity to do some trips, it would have been great,” he said. “But it wasn’t meant to be a business I was running.”

He confirmed that as he understood it, the boat was purchased in Ecuador, then moved to Panama where it was moored until Archbald and Daley began their fateful eight-week journey last year.

“I wasn’t even tracking it,” the friend said.

He would have been surprised if Archbald had got mixed up in a drug-smuggling operation, he said, though he admitted that is now the rumour circulating around Squamish and here in Ucluelet.

“I have talked to the police a few times. I didn’t have much to offer them,” he said. “Dan was one of my better friends and I miss him a lot.”

Archbald, a 37-year-old father of two, sometimes worked in construction. And sometimes he worked in the film industry.

Sometimes he was “tight for money,” the friend said, adding that he did not know Daley, a 43-year-old former Squamish resident.

Messages left for several relatives and friends of each man asking for comment for this story were not returned.


The remains of Dan Archbald and Ryan Daley were found in mid-June on E Road, a rutted decommissioned logging road off of the Pacific Rim Highway that is barely more than a trail.

Kim Bolan /

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Postmedia has learned that the pair agreed to sail from Panama to Canada with a load of cocaine, believed to total several hundred kilograms. The person behind the smuggling operation is a full-patch Hells Angel, the sources said.

As the men got closer to the B.C. coast, they encountered a U.S. government vessel and panicked. They dumped most of their illicit cargo overboard.

The problem is that they kept some of the cocaine for themselves without telling the person who hired them. Their plan was to dump it at the last minute if they saw anything suspicious as they approached Ucluelet, the sources said.

While authorities didn’t intercept Archbald and Daley, and the remaining cocaine, when they arrived in Ucluelet, associates of the Hells Angel did.

Postmedia has learned that Hells Angels Chad Wilson — a friend of the person behind the cocaine shipment — was tasked with taking care of “the problem” in Ucluelet. Wilson, who was murdered last November, was on Vancouver Island at the time that Archbald and Daley went missing, sources confirmed.

Wijayakoon, the RCMP superintendent overseeing the investigative team, wouldn’t comment specifically on the information obtained by Postmedia.

“My guys are looking at all avenues and it is very, very active still,” he said.

Retired Mountie Pat Convey is all too familiar with the situation in which Archbald and Daley likely found themselves.

When he was a senior member of the RCMP’s Vancouver Island drug squad, he investigated similar cases along the coast here where drugs were smuggled aboard sailboats and fishing vessels. Organized crime “absolutely” sees marine transportation as a tried and true method to move drugs, Convey said.

The largest bust came in February 2001 when U.S. agents intercepted the Western Wind in the Strait of Juan de Fuca off southern Vancouver Island. The fish boat carried more than two tonnes of cocaine destined for Canada.

Boat owner John “Phil” Stirling and three crewmen were arrested and turned over to the RCMP. But they were never charged despite the record drug haul.

“As far as contraband, it was the biggest,” Convey said of the Western Wind.

Stirling continued to sail in troubled waters for years afterwards.

“He is a pretty infamous old bandit as far as bringing stuff in,” Convey said.

In May 2006, Stirling and four others were arrested again — this time here in Ucluelet — after police found $6.5-million worth of marijuana aboard a 47-metre fish boat registered to Stirling. The men were all charged with drug-related offences, but all counts were later stayed.

The Americans captured the notorious B.C. skipper off the coast of Colombia in 2011. His sailboat carried 381 kilos of cocaine. He pleaded guilty in 2013 in Florida and was sentenced to seven years. Less than a year after his 2018 release, Stirling, now 65, was found alone on another vessel off the coast of Oregon this past April. The boat carried 28 seven-gallon jugs containing liquid methamphetamine. He goes to trial in Portland later this month on drug smuggling charges.

Convey said that once someone agrees to sail a shipment of drugs for organized crime, they are responsible for any loads lost — meaning they usually have to continue transporting the criminal contraband to pay off the debt.

“You will be told that whether you like this or whether you don’t like this, you are going to go do this,” Convey said. “If you don’t comply, your chances of survival are not good.”

Like Archbald, Stirling would register a company in B.C., then purchase a vessel in the company’s name. He once told a Province reporter that the record Western Wind shipment was done for the benefit of some B.C. Hells Angels.

Convey said even people without criminal records are willing to take the risk, hoping for a big payoff. Maybe they think they can get away with it just once.

“There is a lot of money involved,” he said. “Just the investment put into it for purchasing the drugs is a large amount of money. So it is not something where one individual would just go down there and pick up a load and come up here and distribute it. It is all taken care of a long time before they set sail from here as to what they are going to do, what their plan is. And also who is going to be involved along the way.”

Sometimes a relatively small vessel carrying cocaine will sail right into a harbour in a place like Ucluelet, which doesn’t have a Canada Border Services Agency post.

And sometimes it will be a “mother ship” operation “where they will come up and they will be met offshore, right out in the international waters, by off load boats that will come right up and meet them and then distribute (the drugs) to several different places or one place depending on what they contracted,” Convey said.

“I have been out of the game for awhile, but I don’t see anything changing significantly. I got involved in it as far back as the 70s and it didn’t change a lot even in the 2000s when I finally retired.”

Stirling is not the only “bandit” using the open seas to smuggle narcotics into Canada.

In March 2010, Vancouver Island commercial diver Scott Pederson and Mexican citizen Vincente Serrano-Hernandez transported 1,001 one-kilogram bricks of cocaine from Panama to Port Hardy via Ecuador aboard the sailing vessel Huntress. Both were convicted and sentenced to 16 years.

Both have since been released. Parole documents obtained by Postmedia say that Pederson now owns two food carts, which prompted some concern from the parole board in July 2017.

“While there may be some concerns with respect to the idea of a convicted drug importer operating a business that is based primarily in cash and therefore would be a good front for drug trafficking or money laundering, there is no reliable and persuasive information indicating you are involved in any illegal activity,” the board’s written decision said.

As for Hernandez, he continued to deny knowledge of the tonne of cocaine he sailed into B.C. waters, claiming he was “to be paid $2,000 to accompany the lone captain to Canada and that once in Canada you would be offered a job,” the parole board noted in 2016. “In Mexico, you lived in the Sinaloa region which is well known for drug cartel activities. You have denied any involvement with gangs or Mexican cartels.”

He has since been deported.

The drive from the small craft harbour through the Ucluelet-Tofino junction then east along the Pacific Rim Highway to the entrance to E Road takes less than 15 minutes at the posted speed limit.

The killer or killers would have driven through the dense coastal forest, past Lost Shoe #1 Creek, then Lost Shoe #2 Creek before turning right on the gravel road where Archbald and Daley were dumped.

After about 300 metres, the unmarked logging road is barely more than a trail, suggesting the suspects would have had to turn around in the only small clearing to escape back to the highway. A woman walking her dogs found the remains of Archbald and Daley four weeks later.

The double murder — an extremely rare occurrence in this part of B.C. — has not really set the locals on edge. They don’t feel a strong connection to the case. They didn’t know the victims. They don’t believe that any suspects are in their midst.

The last person slain here was Shirley Ann Taylor-Seydel, who was bludgeoned to death on the docks on July 6, 1991 by fisherman Steven Hillairet, a stranger with mental health issues. There is a small picnic area in her memory overlooking the harbour.

The Astral Blue remains moored here for now. A brokerage company has been contacted and the boat, estimated to be worth about $100,000, will soon be sold.

At the Cap’n Hook, a unique shop selling fishing tackle and cappuccino, patrons sip their coffee, look out over the harbour and speculate about whether the boat will go for a bargain price.


Caleb Cameron, who was born and raised in Ucluelet, owns Cameron Ocean Adventures – a whale watching and sports fishing company.He says locals assume that the Astral Blue was smuggling drugs at the time the two crewmen disappeared and were later killed.

Kim Bolan /

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Caleb Cameron, who was born and raised in Ucluelet, is down on the docks every day operating his whale watching and sports fishing company — Cameron Ocean Adventures.

“When the murders happened, it seemed like a very isolated incident. There have been drug busts here in the past but not anything like this,” he said. “It seemed like a major case — a larger case than we usually see — because of all the police resources that were brought here.”

He didn’t see the two men at all between May 13 and 16, though he noticed the Astral Blue after it docked as a boat he wasn’t familiar with.

“It was fairly shocking. From the rumours that had been circulating that it was a drug boat that came up from Panama, it made sense,” he said. “I do have some people come down and ask about it. It is known on the dock as `the drug boat.’”

Ucluelet Mayor Mayco Noël said the murders have had “zero impact” on the community of 1,800.

“There is nobody up and arms, racing to the RCMP detachment saying that there’s a problem. It is something very isolated and local to that event,” Noël said this week. “It is just isolated to those certain groups and those individuals. No one in the community is feeling threatened any way.”

Ucluelet residents still “are just curious to know what happened,” the mayor said.

“Everyone has got their own theory so it will be interesting to see what actually comes out of it.”

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blog: vancouversun.com/tag/real-scoop

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31Jul

RCMP scaling down search for B.C. murder suspects in northern Manitoba

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WINNIPEG — The RCMP say they are scaling back the search for two British Columbia murder suspects in northern Manitoba.

Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy says officers have searched more than 11,000 square kilometres of wilderness using the best technology available and have found no sign of Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod.

MacLatchy is emphasizing that the search in the Gillam area is not over, but resources are being re-deployed.

Schmegelsky and McLeod are charged with second-degree murder in the death of University of British Columbia professor Leonard Dyck, whose body was found earlier this month in northern B.C.

Police also consider the men suspects in the shooting of Australian Lucas Fowler and his American girlfriend Chynna Deese, who were found dead on the Alaska Highway near Liard Hot Springs, B.C.


Teen fugitives Bryer Schmegelsky and Kam McLeod in undated CCTV images taken in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan.

Manitoba RCMP


Leonard Dyck is seen in March of 2017 in Clover Point Park in Victoria .

Patrick Martone/UBC


Chynna Noelle Deese of the United States and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia are the victims of a double homicide in Northern B.C.

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17Apr

B.C. murder suspect Brandon Teixeira could be in Alberta: IHIT

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CTV News Vancouver


Published Wednesday, April 17, 2019 12:03PM PDT


Last Updated Wednesday, April 17, 2019 12:24PM PDT

Homicide detectives from B.C. are renewing their calls for Albertans to be on the lookout for missing murder suspect Brandon Nathan Teixeira.

Teixeira is charged with first-degree murder in the October 2017 death of Nicholas Khabra in Surrey.

“We are asking all Albertans to be on the lookout for this man: Brandon Nathan Teixeira,” Cpl. Frank Jang of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team told reporters in Edmonton, adding that the 27-year-old is known to have associates in Alberta and could be in the province himself.

This isn’t the first time IHIT has focused its efforts in Alberta.

The force announced back in September that the fugitive could be in Calgary or Alberta.

Mounties also believe Texeira may be using food delivery service SkipTheDishes.

The company has issued a warning people to be on the lookout for the fugitive, who may be armed and dangerous.

The last confirmed sighting of Teixeira was in early September when security camera footage showed him making a purchase at a liquor store in Langley.

Jang encouraged the public to review the images from that sighting, but also warned them to keep in mind the Teixeira may have radically altered his appearance by changing his hair and facial hair using accessories such as glasses.

The accused is described as white, 5’10” tall, 160 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair. He has a snake tattoo on the left side of his chest and a sleeve tattoo on his left arm.

Anyone who thinks they may have seen Teixeira is asked to contact IHIT at 1-877-551-4448 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

There is a $55,000 for information that leads to his arrest.


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17Apr

Murder suspect may be using SkipTheDishes, company warns drivers

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CTV News Vancouver


Published Wednesday, April 17, 2019 12:03PM PDT


Last Updated Wednesday, April 17, 2019 1:51PM PDT

SkipTheDishes is warning its drivers that a missing B.C. murder suspect may be using the food delivery service.

Brandon Nathan Teixeira is charged with first-degree murder in the October 2017 death of Nicholas Khabra in Surrey.

“The RCMP suspect that an individual by the name of Brandon Teixeira may be armed and dangerous,” SkipTheDishes said in a statement.

“The RCMP also believe that the individual may order from food delivery services, including in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley areas of British Columbia and in Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie, and Grimshaw areas of Alberta. Be advised that Teixeira may place an order under another name.”

Anyone who sees the fugutive should call 911 immediately, the company said.

The warning came the same day homicide detectives from B.C. renewed their calls for Albertans to be on the lookout for Teixeira.

“We are asking all Albertans to be on the lookout for this man: Brandon Nathan Teixeira,” Cpl. Frank Jang of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team told reporters in Edmonton, adding that the 27-year-old is known to have associates in Alberta and could be in the province himself.

This isn’t the first time IHIT has focused its efforts in Alberta.

The force announced back in September that the fugitive could be in Calgary or Alberta.

The last confirmed sighting of Teixeira was in early September when security camera footage showed him making a purchase at a liquor store in Langley.

Jang encouraged the public to review the images from that sighting, but also warned them to keep in mind the Teixeira may have radically altered his appearance by changing his hair and facial hair using accessories such as glasses.

The accused is described as white, 5’10” tall, 160 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair. He has a snake tattoo on the left side of his chest and a sleeve tattoo on his left arm.

Anyone who thinks they may have seen Teixeira is asked to contact IHIT at 1-877-551-4448 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

There is a $55,000 for information that leads to his arrest.


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23Nov

NEB to hold Trans Mountain reconsideration hearing in Victoria next week

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The National Energy Board will hear from Indigenous groups in Victoria next week as part of reconsideration hearings for the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

Sessions are set to take place at the Delta Hotel Ocean Pointe Resort beginning Monday, Nov. 26 and continuing through Thursday.

Over the week, the board will meet with members of the Stó:lō Tribal Council, Kwantlen First Nation, Tsawout First Nation, Tsartlip First Nation and Squamish Nation from B.C., and the Swinomish, Tulalip, Suquamish and Lummi Nations from the U.S.

In August, the Federal Court of Appeal overturned Ottawa’s approval of the project, saying the NEB’s initial environmental assessment was flawed.

The project was sent back to the review phase to address tanker traffic concerns and engage in more meaningful consultation with First Nations.

That decision came on the same day Kinder Morgan sold the pipeline to the Canadian government for $4.5-billion, not including construction costs.

In September, the NEB was given six months to complete the new review. It completed one hearing in Calgary on Tuesday, with the second taking place in Victoria next week.

First Nations and environmental groups have expressed concerns about the potential for diluted bitumen spills and increased tanker traffic on B.C.’s coast if the pipeline expansion is built.

Possibly expecting a large turnout of protesters, Victoria police said they would deploy temporary CCTV cameras near the Delta for the hearings.

After the new NEB hearings conclude, the board will have to submit a report with its new findings by Feb. 22, 2019. 


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26Sep

Murder trial heard friend, boyfriend concerned when Kogawa stopped texting

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The day Natsumi Kogawa was last seen alive, she was supposed to meet with a new Canadian friend who had promised to get her a job at a Japanese restaurant where his cousin worked.

Derek Manhas was going to pick up Kogawa at her North Burnaby homestay on Sept. 8, 2016, at 5:30 p.m., later changed to 6:30 p.m. They were planning to walk the Seawall and go to Miku near Canada Place so she could fill out a job application.

But the message the 30-year-old Japanese student sent to Manhas, 35, confirming their 6:30 p.m. meeting was the last time he ever heard from her.

When Kogawa didn’t show up, Manhas looked for her between her home and the nearest SkyTrain station, texting her along the way before finally giving up and going home.

A few hours before that planned meeting, Kogawa was captured on CCTV video walking with William Schneider west on Hastings Street toward Stanley Park.


Japanese student Natsumi Kogawa seen walking with William Schneider on Sept. 8, 2016. Schneider is accused of her murder.

RCMP /

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She had just bought a mickey of vodka at a liquor store and some chips and crackers at the Dollarama store, both not far from Miku.

Two weeks later, Kogawa’s body was found in a suitcase on a lot of the old Gabriola Mansion, and the old Macaroni Grill, in the West End of Vancouver. The next day, Schneider was arrested in Vernon.

Schneider, an unemployed 51-year-old who at the time was living in a shelter and collecting welfare, has been charged with her murder and with interfering with human remains.

He has pleaded not guilty to both charges at his B.C. Supreme Court trial in front of judge and jury.

Manhas, who met Kogawa through mutual friends in mid-July 2016, told court he was immediately concerned about Kogawa’s no-show on Sept. 8.

That weekend he went hiking out of town and when he returned and realized that other friends hadn’t heard from Kogawa, he called police to report her missing.

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That evening, Jay Vergara, Kogawa’s boyfriend, also called police to report her missing after Kogawa hadn’t returned any of his texts or calls since they last communicated shortly after midnight on Sept. 8, 2016.

Vergara testified that he travelled to her Burnaby homestay on Sept. 12, 2016, to try to find her.

“I thought maybe she was sick, something had happened with her phone,” he said. “I was panicking and I was knocking on her door.”

Vergara said Kogawa “studied a lot to perfect her English” and wanted to find a part-time job and to extend her visa to allow her to remain in Canada because she “loved” it here.

He also said she was learning to play the ukulele.

Manhas described Kogawa as “happy, calm, peaceful, nice, genuine.”

Both men said she never exhibited any medical, emotional or mental problems and didn’t take any drugs, prescribed or otherwise. Vergara said she drank beer but didn’t drink vodka.

On Thursday, Crown will call as its witness Schneider’s brother, Warren Schneider.

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20Sep

Mounties shut down provincial park day after tent city campers move in

by admin

CTV Vancouver Island


Published Thursday, September 20, 2018 11:19AM PDT


Last Updated Thursday, September 20, 2018 12:38PM PDT

Just a day after homeless occupants from a former tent city moved into Goldstream Provincial Park, they and other campers have been told to leave.

West Shore RCMP arrived at the park Wednesday night briefly blocking access and telling campers it would be closed indefinitely after 11 a.m. Thursday.

Reports then surfaced that campers would be granted an additional 24 hours to pack up and move out of the camp whlie the government collected further information.

The park shutdown applies to all campers, not just the 25 or so tent city residents who moved in Wednesday night.

Those homeless campers said they were under the impression they’d be able to stay at the park for two weeks after they were evicted from two Saanich parks in a week.

“I went and talked to park ranger and he said ‘Oh we’re trying to nip it in the bud, we don’t want to see what’ll happen in two weeks from now,'” said camper Morgan Van Humbeck.

Tent city organizer Chrissy Brett called on B.C.’s premier to discuss options with the group instead of evicting them.

“John Horgan if you’re watching this I would ask you to ask your ministers to come down and have a conversation and sit around the one table we have left, and tell people to their face that they have no right to exist here in British Columbia if you’re homeless,” said Brett.

But Langford Mayor Stew Young said problems like open drug use and theft moved in along with the campers, prompting the shutdown.

“This is not a place to have needle sharps and other activity around that neighbourhood especially,” Stew Young told CFAX 1070. “We’ve already, from yesterday, had two individual instances of males in the washroom shooting up in front of other families that are in there and camping, so those people have left.”

Mounties referred questions to BC Parks, saying they were assisting the organization by enforcing regulations of the Parks Act.

On Thursday, B.C.’s housing minister Selina Robinson issued a statement saying that the campground was closed to ensure public safety after concerns were expressed by RCMP.

“The park is not an appropriate place for the establishment of a tent city. We urge those at Goldstream to work with staff to identify better housing solutions,” Robinson said.

She said the province’s goal is to get people into shelters and longer-term housing, but a CTV News report Wednesday found that all shelters in the Capital Region were full. Robinson pointed to 25 new shelter beds opening at the Victoria Native Friendship Centre Oct. 1.

She also noted that in the Capital Region, only the City of Victoria had identified a site for modular units of supportive housing that the government has committed to build.

That changed Thursday, when the District of Saanich announced it had identified a site near Saanich city hall for modular units to be built.

The section of land is north of the Saanich Fire Hall on Vernon Avenue.

“We’re hopeful that by providing this land, we’re moving in the right direction to secure housing and satisfy some of the need for housing in the region,” said Chief Administrative Officer Paul Thorkelsson.

The district said it will make another announcement soon once further details of the project are confirmed.

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