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Posts Tagged "nanaimo"

18Sep

First-of-its-kind Parkinson’s community centre opens in Victoria

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For people living on lower Vancouver Island with Parkinson’s disease, there is now a community centre to help them through their journey.

Wednesday marks the official opening of the Parkinson Wellness Project (PWP) in Victoria, located at 2680 Blanshard Street. Staff refer to the facility as a community centre where people diagnosed with the progressive neurological disorder can come together and talk about their struggles with others going through the same journey.

Krista Lavoie, operations manager at PWP, says when someone gets diagnosed with the disease, often people suffer from depression and self-isolation.

One of the most important things someone can do for themselves at the time is to talk about it, she says. 

“We’re here sharing stories, we’re sharing food, we’re sharing laughter and we’re also sharing the hard stuff too,” said Lavoie.

“It’s important that everyone get a chance to do that here.”

Along with the emotional support, the centre emphasises fitness. While there is currently no cure for Parkinson’s disease, physicians globally recognize exercise as the number one way to combat the physical effects of the illness, according to Lavoie. 

“People with Parkinson’s need specific movements to slow their progression, so we use specific exercises that we introduce repetitively throughout our classes,” said Lavoie. “It’s helping regain those movement patterns that you’ve lost.”

Classes vary from circuit training to boxing classes, which benefit local residents like Sukhi Rai who was diagnosed with the disease nine years ago. 

Rai says he was an avid runner and knew something was wrong when he started having troubles with his left ankle. After seeing a multitude of health specialists, he finally had a diagnosis. 

“It was a relief to finally be diagnosed because I had been living with the symptoms for quite a few years,” said Rai. “I continued to work for a while but eventually I had to go on long term disability.”

For Rai, the centre offers him a weekly routine of exercise, conversation and a place to just come feel as though he is part of a community.

“Without it, I don’t know where I’d be,” said Rai. “It’s been a pillar of my health plan and my battle with Parkinson’s.”

The PWP is open to all people with Parkinson’s disease and those around them. 

“If you have Parkinson’s, everybody in your social circle potentially is living that journey with you,” said Lavoie. “We want all of those people in here and we just want to make them comfortable.”

The centre is 100-percent funded by donors, with no medical or government support. All classes are completely free but often participants will donate what they can per class.

People who are interested in learning more about the Parkinson Wellness Project or are looking for ways to donate to the facility can find out more at their website here

7Sep

Victoria Conservatory of Music shows off new technology lab at open house

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News staff, CTV Vancouver Island


Published Saturday, September 7, 2019 4:31PM PDT

The Victoria Conservatory of Music showed off its facilities at its open house Saturday.

Members of the public were invited to tour the conservatory, including performance halls, practice rooms and a library featuring more than 60,000 music sheets and books. Visitors also got to enjoy free concerts by VCM faculty and students.

One of the stars of the show, from the conservatory’s perspective, is the recently opened Music Technology and Creativity Lab, which was made possible by a donation from Pitt and Sheila Linder.

The lab features computers and software for music recording, editing and production, and it’s open to both beginners and experts.

“It’s something we’ve dreamt about for years,” said Stephen Green, dean of the conservatory.

In addition to the software and the computers, the room includes a multi-channel audio system that will allow students to hear their creations and discuss with instructors and peers. There is also a large smart TV that allows the conservatory to connect live with professional musicians and teachers from around the world.

“It’s all here,” Green said. “We want to make sure that anyone who has an interest in music technology knows that it’s not just one particular group. You don’t have to be, like, a professional musician. It’s all open to everyone.”

The new space means greater accessibility for the conservatory, he said, adding that it helps the organization meet the needs of the 21st century musician.

The space cost roughly $50,000 to create, according to the conservatory.

29Jul

Care home aide not guilty of 6 sex assault charges

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CTV Vancouver Island


Published Monday, July 29, 2019 10:23AM PDT


Last Updated Monday, July 29, 2019 12:26PM PDT

A Victoria care home aide walked free from court Monday, moments after he was cleared of several charges of sexually abusing elderly and disabled patients.

Amado Ceniza was charged with six counts of sexual assault and exploitation of a person with a disability in relation to alleged crimes against three women last July at Aberdeen Hospital.

The women had testified that Ceniza groped and kissed them without their consent. All three women are elderly and have mobility issues, two relying on wheelchairs, and another who uses a walker.

The judge said Monday that there were concerns about collusion between alleged victims in the case, whether intentional or not.

The judge also found inconsistencies in testimony about the chronology of events and descriptions of the alleged perpetrator.

Ceniza pleaded not guilty to the charges and denied the allegations throughout the trial.

The judge applauded the women for their bravery during the trial and said greater attention will be paid to these cases because of their advocacy.

The judge did find that there was a probability that Ceniza tried to hug and kiss two of the complainants, and found his conduct to be highly unprofessional.


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13Jul

Aerosol can forces evacuation at Victoria airport

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Passengers departing Victoria International Airport Saturday morning were forced to go through security twice after a prohibited item passed through the airport’s security checkpoint.

The airport tweeted that a “security breach” had forced the evacuation of the departures area and caused “minor delays to a few flights.”

Airport spokesman Rod Hunchak told CTV News the security breach was caused by an aerosol can that was identified during the security screening process, but couldn’t be located before the passenger it belonged to had retrieved their bag.

“It was a matter of timing,” Hunchak said. “They couldn’t positively identify the passenger immediately.”

After evacuating the departures area, airport staff reviewed security camera footage and were able to determine who the aerosol can belonged to.

Hunchak said the owner of the prohibited item had already boarded a WestJet flight that was waiting to depart. Officials boarded that flight and retrieved the aerosol can, which turned out to be sunscreen, Hunchak said.

A total of four departing flights were grounded during the incident.

The departures area was deemed secure shortly after 10:30 a.m., at which point evacuated passengers were re-screened. Hunchack said this process was expedited by extra staff from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.

Early Saturday afternoon, the airport tweeted to thank passengers for their patience during the incident.

Hunchak said the situation was a good reminder to travellers to double-check the list of prohibited items before heading to the airport.

“It’s good to check right before you go through security so you don’t get your items taken,” he said.




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31Jan

‘There’s a stigma’: First responders gather in B.C. to talk trauma

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Camille Bains, The Canadian Press


Published Thursday, January 31, 2019 1:28PM PST

VANCOUVER – Eighteen years as a firefighter had exposed Greg Gauthier to endless trauma but a call involving a tour bus hitting a family triggered his descent into mental illness as intrusive thoughts and sleepless nights became his daily existence.

Gauthier, 48, could no longer function at work but the stigma of asking for help in a job where chaos is the norm initially prevented him from reaching out.

“I knew something was wrong right after that call,” he said of the August 2017 incident when an American man died and three others were injured as a bus rolled into a crowd of tourists, pinning at least two people beneath the vehicle.

Gauthier said it wasn’t the most horrific situation he’d encountered, but it was the one that broke him emotionally.

Over and over again, he would relive the scene of people taking cellphone video of the crash scene as police dealt with a hoard of visitors near a busy cruise-ship terminal and convention centre. Gauthier’s family life began to unravel and he felt helpless.

“When you don’t have control of your mind and when you can’t block those thoughts then you feel like you’re losing control and it’s an incredibly distressing feeling,” he said. “I’m still dealing with it a year and a half later but I’m certainly managing it.”

Gauthier finally realized that as a supervisor he had to set an example for the rest of his crew at a Vancouver fire hall so colleagues who had also been at the scene and others like it could feel free to talk about their struggles in a job that required them to soldier on day after day.

“There’s a stigma and we’re trying to break that down,” he said as he prepared to share his experience and gradual return to work at a conference of first responders meeting in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday and Friday.

About 350 people including firefighters, police officers, paramedics, dispatchers as well as their unions and associations are taking part in the event that will feature Gauthier and others in jobs where trauma is part of the job but talking about its impact is not.

Gauthier said he wondered if he’d have to prove himself all over again if he took time off, if he’d put the “brotherhood and sisterhood” of his job at risk.

“Part of my healing, part of my therapy, is talking about it,” he said, adding he got counselling. When he returned to work after five months he didn’t initially go out on calls, worked shorter days and slowly exposed himself to the rigours of the job, including driving past the accident scene that led to his breakdown.

WorkSafeBC, the provincial workers’ health and safety agency, brought together a committee of 14 first responder agencies that organized the conference.

Trudi Rondou, senior manager of industry and labour services for WorksafeBC, said the goal is to work toward dismantling the stigma of mental illness suffered by those who focus on protecting public safety but often need help themselves to cope with extraordinary stress.

The key to getting that help is a commitment from employers to put prevention, peer-support and return-to-work programs in place, she said.

“We did some research among first responders and that was one thing we clearly heard, that this has to be a culture change and we need to make sure our leaders are invested in this, not only with their words but with the budget and action behind it.”

Otherwise, the costs range from low productivity, a high number of sick days and the potential for long-term disability from post-traumatic stress disorder, Rondou said.

Last year, the British Columbia government amended legislation allowing first responders including emergency medical assistants, firefighters, police officers, sheriffs and correctional officers to make WorkSafeBC claims for compensation and health-care support if they’d been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, without having to prove it was related to their work.

Greg Anderson, dean of applied research at the Justice Institute of B.C., said most provinces have similar legislation, but coverage for first-responder jobs varies.

In Nova Scotia, for example, emergency-room nurses are included in so-called presumptive legislation while some provinces have coverage for post-traumatic stress injury and others only accept claims for post-traumatic stress disorder, Anderson said.

Federal first responders, including employees of the RCMP, the Correctional Service of Canada and those in enforcement roles for Fisheries and Oceans Canada, are not covered by presumptive legislation.


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24Jan

Suspect followed woman, took photos in casino bathroom: RCMP

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Mounties are asking the public to help identify a suspect who is alleged to have followed a woman then took photos of her while she used a bathroom stall.

In a statement issued nearly two months after the incident was reported, Richmond Mounties said a woman had been followed from a Canada Line station to the River Rock Casino.

It was reported that the man followed her into the casino washroom in the early morning hours of Dec. 1, then used a cellphone to take photos while she was inside a stall.

The suspect fled when confronted, and was last seen heading toward Bridgeport Station, police said.

After following up on available leads, Mounties released a photo of a suspect Thursday.

“We are hoping that the security image of the suspect may prompt information from the public and possibly bring to light other unreported cases,” Cpl. Dennis Hwang said in a statement.

The suspect has been described as approximately 25 years old and possibly Indigenous. He is about 5’8″ with a slim build, and was wearing a black jacket and dark coloured pants at the time.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the RCMP at 604-278-1212, quoting the file number 2018-34811.


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22Jan

Roughly 2/3rds of Canadians are concerned about mobility, hearing and vision issues: new study

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A new study from the Rick Hansen Foundation and the Angus Reid Institute suggests more than two-thirds of Canadians fear someone in their lives will face mobility, hearing or vision disabilities in the next 10 years.

Roughly the same two-thirds concerned about a family member or a friend are also worried they too may face similar challenges.

Overall, almost one quarter of Canadians say they have a disability or face mobility, hearing, and vision challenges.

According to the study, 28 per cent of adults aged 35-54 expect to deal with a disability in the next five to 10 years – that number rises to 32 per cent for adults over age 55.

Canadians are also concerned about accessibility to buildings, the study indicates.

Seventy per cent of respondents said they believe any new building that can be made accessible for all should, and one in five Canadians would support a business more knowing it was certified as accessible.

The study also looked at the economic backgrounds of the respondents, and found nearly half of all people who say they’re directly affected by a disability come from households with combined incomes of less than $50,000 annually.

But for those directly affected and earning $100,000 or over, the number plummets to only 14 per cent.

The poll data comes from an online survey that ran from Nov. 14 to Nov. 20 2018, from 1,800 randomized members of an Angus Reid study group.


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18Jan

Warrant issued for suspect in theft of ‘priceless’ guitars from 54-40

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An arrest warrant has been issued for a man suspected in the theft of seven “priceless” guitars from local rock band 54-40, police say.

Documents filed in court by New Westminster police say Yannick Lepage, 39, was the tenant of the Surrey storage locker where five of the seven guitars were found last fall. 

Lepage can also be seen on surveillance footage carting what looks like guitar cases, the documents say.

“We’ve been to a number of addresses looking for him,” Staff-Sgt. Stuart Jette told CTV News. “As recently as last week we had someone attend a residence in the Fraser Valley but (we) have been unsuccessful so far trying to find him. We’re still looking.” 

It’s not the first time Lepage has been publicly called out by police – in December, he appeared on the Surrey RCMP’s “naughty list.”

The guitars were stolen from the back of a truck outside the Queen’s Park Care Centre On Oct. 5, before 54-40 was slated to do back-to-back shows.

Guitarist Dave Genn called one the “fire breathing dragon”, and another “irreplaceable” at the time. The band offered a $5,000 reward for any information to find them.

The next day, according to the documents, the New Westminster Police Department got a tip pointing them to a self-storage facility on 104 Avenue in Surrey.

“I viewed the CCTV and observed multiple people rolling in 5 large guitar cases…some of them matched the description,” wrote NWPD Const. Eric Blower in the document.

Police gained access to the locker, where they found five of the seven guitars.

The band was relieved – and said they’d keep playing with them despite the risk.

“These instruments were made to be played, as opposed to locked away in a safe somewhere,” said Genn at the time.

The two guitars that are still out there are a Gibson Dove Acoustic and a Gibson SJ200 Acoustic.

Even as New Westminster police were hunting for Lepage, Surrey RCMP were looking for him for two alleged breaches of probation and an accusation of driving while prohibited. That led to his inclusion on its 10-person “naughty list.” 

Lepage has a number of convictions involving possession of stolen property, mischief and theft in 19 criminal files going back to 1998, according to records.

On his Facebook page, Lepage appears to acknowledge some of his time served: in one post, he writes, “16 days left of house arrest look out LOL.”

CTV News reached out to Lepage but didn’t hear back from him. 


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11Jan

RCMP at UBC warning public of voyeurism incident

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RCMP at the University of British Columbia are asking potential victims to contact them after a voyeurism incident last week.

Police say the incident happened on Jan. 3, in a public restroom in the 6300-block of Agronomy Road.

The victim told police someone reached and placed a cell phone over top of the bathroom stall while they were using the washroom. The cell phone has a unique black case with a cubed and striped pattern, police say.

The RCMP confirmed in a statement that the victim first called Campus Security, who then alerted University RCMP, which caused what they say is a “slight delay” in their response time.

A man believed to be the suspect was arrested for obstruction, but later released, police added. The investigation is still ongoing at this time.

University RCMP says anyone with a similar experience should call 604-224-1322, and reminds the public that if a crime is being committed you should call 911 immediately.


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11Jan

Bathroom voyeurism reported at UBC; RCMP investigating

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RCMP at the University of British Columbia are asking potential victims to contact them after a voyeurism incident last week.

Police say the incident happened on Jan. 3, in a public restroom in the 6300-block of Agronomy Road.

The victim told police someone reached and placed a cell phone over top of the bathroom stall while they were using the washroom. The cell phone has a unique black case with a cubed and striped pattern, police say.

The RCMP confirmed in a statement that the victim first called Campus Security, who then alerted University RCMP, which caused what they say is a “slight delay” in their response time.

A man believed to be the suspect was arrested for obstruction, but later released, police added. The investigation is still ongoing at this time.

University RCMP says anyone with a similar experience should call 604-224-1322, and reminds the public that if a crime is being committed you should call 911 immediately.


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