Posts Tagged "set"


Abbotsford police say early morning fire deliberately set in occupied home | CBC News

by admin

Abbotsford police are looking for a man in connection with an arson fire at a house in the 22-hundred block of Bedford Place Thursday morning at 3:15 a.m.

Fire investigators say a male suspect backed a mini-van onto the driveway of the home before dousing the vehicle with accelerant and setting it on fire. The flames spread to the garage attached to the home with five people inside.

Sgt. Judy Bird with the Abbotsford police says it’s unclear whether the suspect knew there were people inside sleeping at the time of the attack.

“We are in the preliminary stages of the investigation. We are also working with officers from Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service investigators to collect CCTV from the neighborhood, speak to witnesses, and be able to find out why the family appears to have been targeted and what possibly the motive is.”

Five people managed to escape their house unharmed after an early morning arson fire in the 22-hundred block of Bedford Place Thursday, May 23, 2019. (Kevin MacDonald)

All five victims were able to get out of the house in time but were treated for smoke inhalation. 

Sgt. Bird says none are known to police.

“This family are truly victims”. 

The suspect is described as wearing a hoodie, dark pants and dark shoes and was seen running from the driveway.

Police are asking anyone with information about the attack to contact the Abbotsford Police Department.



Source link


Task force set up to tackle sexual harassment at UBC medical school

by admin

UBC medical students are being sexually harassed more often than students in other Canadian medical schools, according to a new report.

An internal memo written by Dr. Andrea Townson, acting co-head of the UBC department of medicine, and sent to medical faculty at the University of British Columbia, refers to the “deeply concerning” results from a 2018 questionnaire of students who graduated from the 17 medical schools across Canada. Sexual remarks, uninvited touching and sexual assault are examples of harassment.

• Twelve per cent of students at UBC reported unwanted sexual advances and touching by faculty, fellow students, health professionals or patients, compared to a national average of 6.5 per cent.

• Thirty-three per cent of students at UBC said they were subjected to offensive sexist remarks, compared to the national average of 25 per cent.

• A third of UBC medical students also said they were subjected to racially offensive remarks, compared to the Canadian average of 12 per cent.

“We aren’t unique or isolated with these concerns but we are obviously not happy to see these high reported rates so it’s launched a number of different initiatives,” said Dr. Deborah Money, executive vice dean of the UBC medical school.

UBC results from the annual report have been “steady” over the past number of years, according to Money.

Money is chairing a dean’s task force meant to find ways to change the culture and environment at the medical school and to prevent mistreatment and harassment at the more than 80 training sites where UBC medical students learn, such as hospitals and clinics.

“Part of our work has to focus on learning from others, so we know what best practices look like.”

Sixty per cent of UBC medical graduates said they had been publicly humiliated. This may include being asked a question by a professor in a group setting, not knowing the answer and feeling shame about it because of, for example, how the instructor reacted.

This raises the question of whether students are becoming more sensitive to these kinds of learning tools.

“That’s a tough question. It’s an old style of teaching and how it’s done or how it’s perceived may be different in each scenario. We have actually made a video that tries to distinguish between being challenged academically and being bullied or called out so much that people feel humiliated,” she said.

Money said staff have collected data on the reported incidents of public humiliation, racially or sexually offensive remarks and unwanted sexual advances experienced by students.

Townson told clinical faculty members in the memo obtained by Postmedia that if they are concerned they’ve made a comment that might have been misinterpreted and want “a safe place to debrief” they should come and speak to her.

She said in the memo that “addressing student mistreatment” is a priority and students need a clear mechanism for reporting concerns. UBC has several satellite sites — Vancouver, Victoria, Kelowna and Prince George — where undergraduate students learn and Townson said in her memo that the disturbing reports are “not isolated to a single site or a single rotation.”

Money said there are about 700 professors in the medical school and about 7,000 clinical instructors. When students complain about a particular instructor or fellow student, an investigation is launched to determine whether coaching or discipline is required. Money said she couldn’t say how often that occurs but said expulsion is “rare and extreme.”

The survey of medical school graduates in Canada covers a broad range of topics about the quality of education and student experience and has been conducted annually by the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada since 2015.

UBC is the fifth largest medical school in North America with 288 students admitted each year, and 4,500 students doing residencies and other postgraduate work.

At the same time as UBC is grappling with the mistreatment issue, the Lancet has published the results of an alarming survey showing that sexual harassment — by patients, teachers and peers of medical students — is common in Canada.

The study by researchers in Ontario and Alberta shows that despite policies and complaint mechanisms intended to promote respectful conduct and to prevent harassment, students are subjected to everything from sexist remarks to rape. A total of 807 incidents were reported by 188 respondents to the 2016 anonymous survey. The harassment occurred in clinics, medical schools and social settings; patients requested medical students touch their sexual organs and they groped doctors. One student said she was raped by a fellow student. Faculty members were implicated in about 20 per cent of the incidents that were predominately experienced by female students. Men were the most frequent perpetrators.

The authors say that faculty, peers and victims come to almost normalize sexual harassment. Students try their best to ignore it while at the same time finding it “confusing, upsetting and embarrassing.”

Many don’t report it because staying silent is seen as “less risky than confrontation or official reporting.”

Dr. Susan Phillips, a professor at Queen’s University and co-author of the Lancet study, said it is clear that women who are practising doctors or studying to become doctors are not immune to harassment and sexual assault.

“This is a societal problem. And we have to find ways to decrease the incidence,” said Phillips, who several years ago published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that 78 per cent of female doctors had been harassed by inappropriate comments or conduct by patients.

“Medical schools can’t fix societal problems but they can do more to legitimize student concerns. That means if they hear about a patient or faculty member making inappropriate comments, they don’t let it go. There has to be zero tolerance and in the case of faculty members, it has to be enforced.”

One limitation of the Lancet study is that few medical students completed the survey. There are about 11,600 medical students across Canada and just under 300 completed the consent form to submit answers to the anonymous survey.

[email protected]


Source link


Gambling addict says B.C. government lacks will to set limits on billion-dollar industry

by admin

Lora Bertuccio is calling out the B.C. government for falling down on a promise to help prevent severely addicted gamblers like her from spending money they can’t afford to lose.

“They’re cashing in on mental illness,” said the 47-year-old from Victoria, who also suffers from bipolar disorder and severe anxiety.

Bertuccio said she has lost thousands of dollars gambling in B.C. casinos. Sometimes, even while crying, she can’t help but keep putting money in the slot machines, she said.

“It’s like a volcano that’s building in your gut. It compels me to go to the machines.”

It’s estimated that Canadians spent about $17.3 billion last year on government-run gambling, but provincial governments only funnel a small portion of those revenues back into programs to help people with gambling addictions.  

Bertuccio said casino loyalty cards need to allow players using slot machines to set time and spending limits to help prevent gambling problems from spiralling out of control.

The B.C. Lottery Corporation said it would introduce such a “pre-commitment card” program by 2015. Limited testing has only recently begun.

“They talk and talk, and never do anything,” Bertuccio said. “Without this, I’m doomed.”

Gambles in ‘trance’

A “gambling disorder” is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as a behavioural disorder that causes people to suffer significant problems or distress because of repeated gambling.  

Bertuccio says her bipolar disorder sometimes causes her to go into a manic state and lose track of her actions — a particularly dangerous situation sitting at a slot machine.

“I go into a trance,” she said. “I lose track of time and space.”

Lora Bertuccio made a video to demonstrate how quickly she can lose money. She sometimes plays two or three slot machines at the same time while in what she describes as a ‘manic state.’ (Submitted by Lora Bertuccio)

She said a medication adjustment this past spring caused her to become manic and gamble away almost $20,000 — money she had won in a settlement after injuring her back at work.

She is now on disability welfare, due to her back injury and bipolar disorder.

‘It’s unacceptable’

In an interview with Go Public, B.C. Attorney General David Eby, who is responsible for the B.C. Lottery Corporation, said he agrees with Bertuccio that the government should be doing more to protect people like her.

“It’s unacceptable that this was recommended in 2015 and it’s still not been implemented,” he said of pre-commitment cards.

He acknowledged there have been “horrific examples” of tragedies in B.C. where people with gambling addictions have stolen from employers, stolen from sports leagues, and even killed themselves.

His NDP government came to power in May 2017 but has yet to act on its Liberal predecessor’s promise to introduce a voluntary system to help control how much gamblers lose at the slots.

“We’re behind,” he said.

Gambling addicts boost bottom line

Governments across the country are reluctant to implement programs that curb problem gambling, said Robert Williams, a clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Lethbridge, as well as a researcher at the Alberta Gambling Research Institute

“Too much money is at stake for them,” said Williams, a leading expert in the field of gambling and addiction.

Across Canada, research has found that people with mental illness and gambling addictions are small in number but contribute disproportionately to gambling revenues.

According to the Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario, about three per cent of Canadians are severely addicted to gambling, but they are responsible for approximately one-third of all gambling revenues.

“This would be problematic if it was a commercial provider, where a third of all your revenues came from vulnerable people,” Williams said. “But when it’s government, it’s actually kind of scandalous.”

Gambling researcher Robert Williams says most prevention programs for gamblers are ‘window dressing’ — ineffective and designed to make governments look as though they’re helping addicts. (CBC)

Williams said research shows that pre-commitment card programs would help some gambling addicts and would also be useful for people considered “at risk” of developing a gambling addiction.

But it is just one of many changes needed to effectively curb problem gambling, he said.

“Gambling should not be allowed to happen 24 hours a day,” he said, referring to the rules in B.C. “It’s clear that people gambling at two or three in the morning are not your recreational gamblers.”

Alcohol on the gaming floor should also be limited, he said.

Placing bank machines in inconvenient locations would help as well, he said, as would having an effective — the key word — self-exclusion program that would allow addicts to sign up to be turned away at the casino door. 

“The problem we have in Canada is that we have a whole raft of so-called responsible gambling initiatives, but none of them work particularly well,” he said. “So it all looks very good on paper, but the money keeps coming in.”

‘There are people who’ve suffered’

In a report released five years ago, B.C.’s recently retired provincial officer of health, Perry Kendall, urged the government to spend more money on a range of measures to try to protect people with gambling addictions.

He recently told Go Public he was disappointed that many of the measures have still not been implemented — including a pre-commitment system like the one Lora Bertuccio says is overdue.

Former B.C. provincial health officer Perry Kendall, seen here with his report ‘Lower the Stakes: A public health approach to problem gambling,’ says governments have to increase supports for gamblers, instead of relying on revenues from an industry that ‘knowingly harms people.’ (Michael McArthur/CBC)

“I think it’s a shame,” Kendall said. “It’s a missed opportunity, and probably there are people who’ve suffered because of the absence of such a program.”

His report pointed out the B.C. government spent less of its gambling revenue on supports for gambling addicts than any other province, and recommended allocating at least 1.5 per cent of gaming revenue to responsible gambling initiatives.

Last year, the B.C. government allocated $5.6 million for those initiatives, representing .4 per cent of its $1.4 billion gambling take — far below Kendall’s suggested figure.

“I think there’s a moral and ethical question here,” Kendall said. “In your search for greater revenues, do you continue to knowingly harm people? Or do you decide there’s going to be a cut point?”

By the numbers:

  • B.C. Lottery Corporation generated total revenues of  $3.27B
  • Slot machines generated $1.37B
  • The province received a net income from BCLC of $1.4B
  • Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch contributed $5.6 million to problem gambling services

(Fiscal year 2017/2018, Province of British Columbia)

System tried elsewhere

Pre-commitment cards are already available in a handful of jurisdictions around the world, including in Ontario, where two casinos offer the cards and there are plans to roll out the system across the province.

Nova Scotia put a voluntary system in place in 2010 that allowed players to set spending and time limits on video lottery terminals, and then made the program mandatory for all players two years later.

But the program was scrapped in 2014. The government at the time said the program was a failure because people were using multiple cards, which defeated the purpose. Opposition critics and gambling researchers such as Williams said it was cancelled because the government lost too much money. VLT revenues dropped by $31.3 million from 2012 to 2014.

B.C. Attorney General David Eby, responsible for the B.C. Lottery Corporation, says the government is behind on increasing supports for people with gambling addictions. (Frederic Gagnon/CBC)

B.C.’s attorney general says he’s “willing to take a haircut” on gaming revenues to help those most vulnerable.

Eby also pointed out that his government moved responsibility for the gaming industry from the Finance Ministry to the Ministry of the Attorney General when it took power in 2017. 

“The B.C. Lottery Corporation should not be responsible for both revenue generation and regulation.”

More testing?

Meanwhile, a three-month pilot of a card system similar to the one Bertuccio is calling for wrapped up at two casinos in Kamloops in July.

The B.C. Lottery Corporation said a labour dispute with unionized casino workers interfered with the pilot and delayed the assessment of the data. It now says it’s considering doing more testing, and is reviewing findings from other North American jurisdictions with similar tools.

Slot machines generated a total revenue of $1.37 billion in British Columbia last year. (CBC)

Lora Bertuccio says the odds of seeing the system actually implemented in B.C. are slim.

“Every year they can delay is hundreds of millions of dollars more that they can take in… I need and want protection.”

— With files from Enza Uda

Submit your story ideas

Go Public is an investigative news segment on CBC-TV, radio and the web.

We tell your stories and hold the powers that be accountable.

We want to hear from people across the country with stories you want to make public.

Submit your story ideas at Go Public.

Follow @CBCGoPublic on Twitter.

Source link

This website uses cookies and asks your personal data to enhance your browsing experience.