Arrest warrant issued for Manitoba man accused of carrying replica police clothing, equipment

An arrest warrant has been issued for a Manitoba man who is believed to be armed and dangerous and was discovered to allegedly be carrying police equipment and replica police clothing with him.

Eric Paul Wildman, 34, from the RM of St. Clements is also a person of interest connected to the suspicious disappearance of 40-year-old Clifford Joseph.

READ MORE: Manitoba RCMP now say St. Clements man’s disappearance suspicious

Wildman’s vehicle was recovered on June 11 and searched June 13 and police not only discovered firearms, but police tactical equipment, patches and other items resembling police clothing.

He’s been charged with Unsafe Transportation of a Firearm as well as the Possession of a Prohibited Device without a License.

Police are asking Manitobans not to approach Wildman if he is located and to call 911 or local police.





© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Hajdu says handing over Winnipeg lab documents has 'national security' implications

Documents related to the firing of two scientists from the high-security laboratory in Winnipeg, and the transfer of viruses to a research facility in Wuhan are too sensitive to hand over to the special committee on Canada-China relations, Health Minister Patty Hajdu said Monday.

“In this particular case, the information requested has both privacy and national security implications,” Hajdu said. “Compliance with the order without proper safeguards in place would put sensitive information at the risk of public release.”

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The Conservatives have been pushing the Liberal government — and the Public Health Agency of Canada — to shed more light on why two scientists, Xiangguo Qiu and her biologist husband, Kending Cheng, were escorted out of the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg in 2019. They were officially fired in January.

Qiu had earlier been responsible for a shipment of Ebola and Henipah viruses to China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology, Hajdu said Monday those events are unrelated.

“There is no connection between the transfer of viruses cited in the order and the subsequent departure of these employees,” Hajdu said.

She added: “There is no link to COVID-19.”

Two weeks ago, a majority of MPs passed a motion in the House of Commons demanding the Trudeau government release unredacted documents related to what happened at the National Microbiology Laboratory to the special committee.

The Liberal government instead handed over the documents to the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians and Hajdu appeared before the special committee on Canada-China relations Monday night to explain and defend that choice.

The communique that emerged from the G7 summit in Cornwall, U.K., this weekend called for another investigation by the World Health Organization into how the pandemic began.

Once dismissed by most public health experts and government officials, the notion that COVID-19 leaked accidentally from a Chinese lab is now under a new U.S. investigation ordered by President Joe Biden, which is also exploring whether the virus jumped from animals to humans.

In the House of Commons earlier Monday, Hajdu said the federal government wants a “robust” and ongoing investigation into the origins of the novel coronavirus.

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“Like many countries around the world, we have always been clear that we need to understand the origins of COVID-19 and we will work with our international partners to ensure there is a robust and continued investigation into the origins of this virus,” Hajdu said in response to a question from Conservative MP Michael Chong.

“It is important not just for Canadians but indeed for the entire world so that we can prevent another epidemic of this kind.”

© 2021 The Canadian Press

'Corner Gas Animated' to end after 4th season

The fourth season of Corner Gas Animated this summer will be the show’s last.

Creator and star Brent Butt said in a YouTube video that CTV “has chosen not to pick it up” for the future.

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He said he has “nothing but great things to say” about the network, noting “they’ve been amazing champions and partners” from the beginning.

The latest offshoot in the small-town Saskatchewan Corner Gas franchise airs on CTV Comedy Channel and has won six Canadian Screen Awards.

The network said season 4 starts July 5 and has “a series finale featuring a soon-to-be-revealed Hollywood A-lister.”

The lineup of revealed guest stars includes musician Steven Page and actors Tantoo Cardinal, Kim Coates, Simu Liu, Mark McKinney and Rick Mercer.

The Corner Gas franchise stars Butt as the proprietor of a gas station in the fictional community of Dog River, Sask. The live-action series, which ran on CTV for six seasons and ended in 2009, was the No. 1 sitcom in Canada during its entire run.

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As in the original, the animated version includes co-stars Eric Peterson as Brent’s grouchy dad, Oscar Leroy, and Gabrielle Miller as Lacey, owner of the Ruby cafe.

The franchise includes a 2014 movie.

Season 4 of the animated version sees Butt’s character ban his father from entering the gas station.

McKinney is in the season premiere, playing a pilot in a skydiving expedition.

Corner Gas has changed my life in a thousand ways,” Butt said Monday in a statement, noting he loves the fans and everyone involved in the show.

“This news marks the closing of another chapter in the brand’s history, but Corner Gas has a life of its own. So? who knows what the future will hold?”

© 2021 The Canadian Press

Edmonton considers charging developers for fire stations in new communities

WATCH ABOVE: Facing a challenging financial outlook, the City of Edmonton is looking at changing who pays for services in new neighbourhoods. The city is considering shifting a financial burden to developers and eventually homebuyers. Sarah Ryan explains.

On Monday morning, Edmonton’s executive committee decided to recommend the city start charging developers to build fire halls in nieghbourhoods when they sub-divide the land.

“We will be charging a fee, at the time of subdivision, for future fire stations, representing a shift in cost from ratepayers to those who most directly benefit from the fire station facilities,” explained urban strategies director, Lindsey Butterfield.

The change is just one “off-site” levy the city could contemplate as it struggles financially with the effects of the pandemic.

“We’ve got to keep talking to the development community about where those costs are more rightly borne by incremental new home owners, rather than general taxpayers,” Mayor Don Iveson said.

He said new homes should reflect their true costs, not just for the land and house, but also the financial implications of extending things like utilities, infrastructure and services out further and further away.

“Making sure that we’re not unintentionally subsidizing the development of new community at the cost of all other taxpayers, and that includes business.”

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The bylaw, as proposed, would see developers pay an average of $17,500 per hectare towards fire rescue services.

“The cost of land, design, construction, furniture, fixtures and equipment, which include one fire truck per facility,” Butterfield said.

“We’re talking a very small amount of money per individual home,” the mayor said.

Iveson added there’s financial benefits for developers when building within a certain distance of a fire hall too.

While presenting to the executive committee, Butterfield said the levy would cover between 40 and 45 per cent of construction costs. The city will still be on the hook for the remainder.

Overall, Iveson said the change would save taxpayers $50 million on future neighbourhoods.

Read more:
Edmonton fire chief talks city needs, successes and his resignation

A group representing Edmonton’s developers, the Urban Development Institute, said it’s on board too.

“As city builders, we believe that growth should pay for growth,” Edmonton chair Michael Kohl said.

“We support the inclusion of fire halls as an off-site levy.”

Kohl took some issue, however, with the idea that the levy would include costs like fixtures and furniture.

But Coun. Ben Henderson disagreed, saying a fire house needs those things to be operational.

Kohl also said developers take issue with the levy including some city initiatives like public art associated with new builds, and green building standards in line with Edmonton’s climate strategy.

That was a consideration that caught the attention of Coun. Tim Cartmell, who might bring forward an amendment to council when it debates the bylaw.

If approved, the funding changes would come into effect Jan. 1, 2022.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Pilot project for cork recycling pops up in West Kelowna

WATCH: Not much can beat opening up a bottle of wine on a hot Okanagan summer's day, and Return-It has found a unique way to save the wine corks that are destined to go to the landfill each year.

Not much can beat opening up a bottle of wine on a hot Okanagan summer’s day, and Return-It has found a unique way to save the wine corks that are destined to go to the landfill each year.

Now, indulging in the fruits of the valley is that much sweeter because of the pilot program that is a partnership with Return-It and SOLE, a company that makes eco-friendly cork footwear.

“This really hasn’t been done before, where you try to collect cork from the public on such a large scale,” said Allen Langdon, Return-It CEO and president.

“We are going into it not knowing what to expect but I think at the end of the day the ultimate objective is keeping this material out of the landfill.”

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Right now, the only Return-It location collecting natural wine corks is in West Kelowna at the Boucherie Self Storage & Bottle Depot. They are then sent to ReCork, which has a natural wine cork recycling program run by SOLE where they repurpose the material to become an eco-friendly alternative.

“Cork is a great material. It’s natural and it’s actually a carbon-negative material and it can be repurposed and in this case into new consumer items like footwear, where it can replace petroleum-based foams and plastic,” said Langdon.

All footwear is made from between 22 and 60 recycled wine corks. ReCork has been collecting wine corks since 2008 and has since collected thousands of corks.

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“By using recycled cork we are prolonging the life of this sustainable versatile material and in addition, it has some benefits,” said Langdon.

“It’s environmentally friendly naturally elastic it’s moisture-wicking, it’s antimicrobial… I think it’s a great opportunity.”

The pilot program will run until December. If successful, it will be expanded across B.C.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Flooded basement results in total loss for Regina family

According to SGI, there have been 451 property and 78 vehicle claims resulting from flooding that hit Regina last week.

Scott Karpinka and his family had to submit one of those claims when they experienced a flooded basement on the night on the night of June 10.

Karpinka says he made every attempt to try and stop the water but it eventually rose to nearly eight inches in the basement.

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“You panic, and you just start doing whatever you can to try and stop it, to try and save items that are down low,” Karpinka said.

“We lost baby books, wedding photos, wedding guest books, all of that stuff that you really don’t want to lose, we sadly lost in this one.”

Karpinka says it is a very tough situation right now, as the basement is unliveable, but he and his family are taking it day-by-day and trying to remain positive.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Surveys point to Saskatchewan COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy

WATCH: Now while the number of doses continues to rise, critics say Saskatchewan has to do more to reach out to people who are holding out or refusing the jab.

It’s been more than six months since the first COVID-19 vaccines were delivered in Saskatchewan.

As the summer is about to officially start soon, there is concern those who don’t have their first shot might not get it.

“Those keeners have already got their shot. In fact, they’re getting their second shot now,” University of Saskatchewan epidemiologist Dr. Nazeem Muhajarine said.

“But (there is) still a good 30 per cent or more of our population who don’t even have one dose.”

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The Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit (SPHERU) has been collecting data on the public’s pandemic behaviour. The latest report shows people living in some rural southern and central communities are less likely to follow public health measures and be inoculated.

The Saskatchewan government has said this isn’t something it’s looking at.

“Our government is not considering a vaccination lottery,” read a government statement to Global News on Monday.

“We believe that protecting yourself and those around you from COVID-19 and ensuring Saskatchewan can reopen safely are pretty strong incentives for everyone to get vaccinated and that Saskatchewan will reach the 70 per cent vaccination target soon.

“We know there are many people who still want to get vaccinated but haven’t done so yet. This week, the Saskatchewan Health Authority will be releasing more details on bolstering access to first doses through convenient new locations where people work, play and live.”

Manitoba and Alberta have announced lotteries of their own. The official Opposition thinks incentives like a vaccine lottery should be offered.

“Everyone who doesn’t have their first shot should be getting a phone call from someone who knows how to answer questions, help deal with vaccine hesitancy but also is able to book that appointment right away,” Saskatchewan NDP Leader Ryan Meili said on Monday.

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A new report from the Angus Reid Institute found about one in five Saskatchewanians are unwilling or unsure about the vaccine. That’s tied for the highest rate among all provinces, equal with Alberta.

Anyone older than 40 has been eligible since the end of April, yet uptake for people in their 50s is at 73 per cent and 68 per cent for people in their 40s.

“I don’t think it’s an issue of vaccine hesitancy. I just think it’s more (to do with) summertime,” Saskatchewan Health Minister Paul Merriman said during a COVID-19 briefing on June 8.

“People are not looking at getting vaccinated and as Dr. (Saqib) Shahab indicated earlier, people are saying, ‘Oh, we’ll get it done next week.’”

Public health experts say while the targets are set for 70 per cent, reaching higher milestones will only help come flu season.

“We are working with 90 per cent of the population who are either ready or may be ready if they’re approached in the right way at the right time by the right people and with the right messaging,” Muhajarine said.

Last week, the health minister said officials could release different protocols for fully vaccinated people linked with a COVID-19 case which could be another incentive to get the shot.

A total of 903,442 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Saskatchewan, provincial government officials said on Monday.

The Angus Reid Institute survey results are based on an online survey conducted from June 2 to 7, 2021. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 2.0 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

With the SPHERU survey, Muhajarine said with an effective sample size of 8,210 Saskatchewan adults, the margin of error is 1.08 plus/minus an estimate of 50 per cent, 19 out of 20 times.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Saskatoon Tribal Council leads walk down Circle Drive calling for locals to adopt calls to action

WATCH: Indigenous and non-Indigenous people walked together to show their solidarity and to push for Canada to follow the actions outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Dozens clad in orange walked down Circle Drive in Saskatoon Monday morning, calling for locals to adopt the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action after the discovery of unmarked graves of 215 children in Kamloops.

“It had a really genocide effect on our people, so now it’s time for us to step up and have a voice for those people,” said Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Mark Arcand, who lead the walk.

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Indigenous and non-Indigenous people walked together to show their support for those affected by the legacy of residential schools, and to push for Canada to follow the actions outlined in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Arcand said the news of the unmarked graves triggered many in the city.

Ruby Villebrun’s mother and uncle attended residential school. While her mother survived, she said her uncle died at one of the schools as a child.

“When I heard about it was very emotional for me,” she said.

“I tried so hard to avoid that day when all this information came out, and as time went on and the days went on it started affecting me. Doing this walk is giving me a lot of closure, and to be able to continue on my healing journey.”

Villebrun’s mother died earlier this year. She said it was beautiful to see so many people walking along Circle Drive to show their support.

Craig McCallum said residential school robbed him of a connection to his culture.

“My mom, she speaks Cree but she never wanted to teach it to me because she was ashamed of it,” he said.

“Same thing with our culture. When I started to reconnect traditionally to our spirituality my mom was so scared about it, and it was because of what she had to go through in residential schools.”

Read more:
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McCallum said he wants the intergenerational trauma to stop with him.

Vicki Obedkoff and Laura Carney are non-Indigenous, but said it was important for them to join the walk.

“It’s important for all non-Indigenous people in our country to acknowledge the past, the history, and to start making some improvements and changes in relationships,” Carney said.

“We need apologies, we need land back, we need not fighting Indigenous kids in court, all kinds of actions,” Obedkoff added.

The Saskatoon Tribal council said it wants investments made to help Indigenous parents heal so their children aren’t put into welfare and continuing the cycle. Arcand said more Indigenous children today are in the system than were in residential schools.

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“It’s just another form of taking our children away again,” he said.

“That comes down to residential schools about the trauma from what caused our parents to have the inability to take care of our kids properly.”

Arcand said he also wants rehabilitation programs to cut down on the disproportionate number of Indigenous people incarcerated in Saskatoon.

Anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience can access this 24-hour, toll-free and confidential National Indian Residential School Crisis Line at 1-866-925-4419.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Calgary seniors celebrate 'fantastic' success of COVID-19-free care home

WATCH: Ever since the pandemic began, seniors have been among the hardest hit by COVID-19. But there are success stories in the battle against the coronavirus, as Gil Tucker found out at a Calgary care home.

Taking part in an outdoor exercise class on a sunny spring morning, some Calgary seniors had something to celebrate Monday.

“(We’ve) kept COVID out of the building, 100 per cent,” care home resident Gerry Williams said.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, not one of the residents at the Whitehorn Village Retirement Community has tested positive for the coronavirus.

“That’s fantastic!” Williams said.

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It’s quite a contrast to what’s been happening at so many other care homes.

“My mother-in-law, she lost 19 of the seniors at her residence, so we are very, very lucky,” Whitehorn Village recreation aide Claudia Castanaza said.

“We definitely had some angels watching over us.”

The building’s residents credit the staff for staying on top of safety protocols during the pandemic.

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“Housekeeping did an unbelievable job,” Williams said.

Residents say food service employees consistently followed all policies to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“The staff worked very, very hard during this,” said Margie Kobol. “I think they were heroes.”

Staff members say residents also did their part to keep the care home COVID-19-free.

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“They really followed whatever was asked of them,” housekeeper Melita Singh said. “They stayed in their rooms and followed the rules.”

Staff and residents say things are looking sunny as we head into summer.

“We all have had our second shot,” resident Evelyn Horvath said.

Everyone at Whitehorn Village hopes they’ve put the worst of the pandemic behind them.

“We are very proud and happy here,” Singh said, adding with a laugh that many are looking forward to having “a barbecue and a party.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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