Monthly Archives: September 2019

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BC Air Rescue helicopter rescues injured snowmobiler

A BC Air Rescue helicopter was dispatched from West Kelowna Sunday morning to rescue an injured snowmobiler in the Blue River area, north of Kamloops.

Ian Wilson with BC Air Rescue said a snowmobiler was reported injured around 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Alan Hobler with Kamloops SAR says the snowmobiler was injured after going off a cliff.

The injured man was with two other snowmobilers, but with the sun fully set the group couldn’t get out of the backcountry.

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Search and Rescue members from Kamloops joined members from Wells Gray Search and Rescue on Sunday morning.

A RCMP helicopter also attended the scene on Sunday morning, but couldn’t land.

The BC Air Rescue helicopter and winch team was dispatched around 10:20 a.m.

By 1:10 p.m., all of the parties were retrieved.

One was rescued by a high angle rope rescue team, one was brought out by snowmobile, while members of the Vernon Search and Rescue winch team recovered  the injured man and flew him out by helicopter.

The snowmobiler who was suffering from leg injuries was delivered to a waiting B.C. ambulance out of Kamloops.

Avalanche risk was moderate at the time of the incident.

Cpl. Mark Labossiere with Clearwater RCMP issued a thank you to all involved in the rescue.

 “This was an amazing rescue ( work ) by all parties involved. The local and out of town Search and Rescue teams are such a valuable resource to have. They do not get the proper recognition that they deserve all the time.  We are extremely lucky we have such a dedicated group of individuals that are actively involved in search and rescue teams within our province.  Too many times people go into the back woods unprepared and, as a result, all of these volunteers give their time to rescue these individuals. I cannot say enough about the dedicated group of people.   Good job by everyone and I hope that the following organizations and groups get the proper recognition that they deserve.”

Wells Gray SAR

Kamloops SAR

Vernon SAR

Yellowhead Helicopters – Clearwater Base

BC Air Rescue

Blue River Sledz – The 2 individuals from this group were instrumental in our success.

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Trump talks easing Russian sanctions, predicts Brexit will be ‘great thing’

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said he will offer to end sanctions against Russia in return for a nuclear arms reduction deal with Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin, The Times newspaper reported.

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READ MORE: Donald Trump says he could bin Russia sanctions if Moscow proves a helpful ally

In an interview with The Times of London, Trump said he wanted nuclear weapons arsenals of the world’s two biggest nuclear powers —; the United States and Russia —; to be “reduced very substantially.”

“They have sanctions on Russia – let’s see if we can make some good deals with Russia. For one thing, I think nuclear weapons should be way down and reduced very substantially, that’s part of it,” Trump was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

Trump also criticized Russia for its intervention in the Syrian civil war, describing it as “a very bad thing” that had led to a “terrible humanitarian situation,” The Times said.

WATCH: Donald Trump: ‘If Putin likes me, I consider that an asset’

Trump said that he would appoint Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, to broker a Middle East peace deal, urged Britain to veto any new UN Security Council resolution critical of Israel and repeated his criticism of President Obama’s handling of the Iran nuclear deal.

He praised Queen Elizabeth and said he was eager to get a trade deal done with the United Kingdom.

READ MORE: British Prime Minister May plans to keep Brexit plan on track

“We’re gonna work very hard to get it done quickly and done properly. Good for both sides,” Trump said. “I will be meeting with [British Prime Minister Theresa May]. She’s requesting a meeting and we’ll have a meeting right after I get into the White House and it’ll be, I think we’re gonna get something done very quickly.”

WATCH: Biden reaffirms sanctions against Russia during visit to Ukraine

Trump said he thought that “Brexit is going to end up being a great thing” and welcomed the fall in the value of the pound for having helped to boost the attractiveness of British products abroad, The Times said.

Trump also said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a “catastrophic mistake” with the policy that let a wave of a million migrants into her country.

WATCH: Merkel responds to Trump saying Europe’s fate is in its own hands

“I think she made one very catastrophic mistake and that was taking all of these illegals,” the Times, via 桑拿会所, quoted Trump as saying in an interview.

Reporting by William James, editing by Guy Faulconbridge

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Calgary police investigate after dead rabbits found in St. Mary’s Cemetery

Police were called to a scene in the southeast community of Erlton after reports of two dead rabbits found on a path in St. Mary’s Cemetery Sunday morning.

A person walking in the area found the two animals next to each other.

Officers said they’re investigating to determine if the hares were poisoned, which some residents fear might be the case.

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“That’s the worst thing in the world. If you don’t like them, then you should move. It causes a domino effect. Something could eat the poisoned rabbit and then that thing could also be poisoned, whether it’s a bird or a coyote. I wish they would fine those people,” David Schick, who lives in the area, said.

The community of Erlton is known for its booming feral rabbit population.

READ MORE: Increase in feral rabbits spurs calls to Calgary city councillor

“Some people let go of a bunch of domesticated pets and they are really promoting them by feeding them, which is obviously aggravating other people,” Thomas Smekal, an Erlton resident, said.

David Schick was out feeding the rabbits Sunday morning and a dozen of them bounded out onto 31 Avenue when he came out with food.

“I love the rabbits of Erlton. They are the best thing that ever happened to Erlton,” Schick said.

“A lot of people love them and they bring their children up here to see them and they bring them carrots and broccoli.”

Schick suspects there may be some poisoning going on because of conversations he’s had with neighbours who want to see the rabbit population culled.

“They put up little wires and stuff to keep them from chewing certain things. Not everybody loves them, especially if you have to live with them and they go around and they might eat your flowers and dig a little hole in your lawn,” Schick said.  “When they get breeding though, anybody who wants to see rabbits – you should come here in the spring time. You’ll see all the rabbits you’ll ever want to see. You don’t have to go to the zoo and pay admission, you just come to Erlton and bring your carrots and you’re good.”

Last September, Coucillor Sean Chu told City Council he had been getting calls and emails from Calgarians concerned about the number of feral rabbits in some areas of the city.

Chu asked the city what could be done about the problem, but he was told that since the rabbits are wild, they’re under provincial Fish and Wildlife jurisdiction.

According to a Government of Alberta website, it is legal to shoot and trap rabbits but not poison them.

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UPDATED: Heavy rains set to hit B.C.’s south coast Monday

B.C.’s south coast is expected to finally bid farewell to frigid temperatures this week.

A very mild and moist subtropical jet stream is expected to move over the south coast. The shift will likely bring some very heavy rainfall, leading Environment Canada to issue special weather statements Sunday for Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and parts of Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

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“It’s going to be storm after storm,” Global BC meteorologist Michael Kuss said. “We’re going to see three pretty significant rainmakers Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and into Thursday morning.”

The worst of Canada’s winter may be behind us: climatologist

Kuss said parts of the region could receive as much as 150 millimetres of precipitation during the storms. Afternoon temperatures will rise to 8 to 10 degrees Tuesday and Wednesday.

The deluge, coupled with warmer temperatures, could lead to the issuing of highstream flow advisories on Vancouver Island and the south coast in the coming days.

“We’re going to see a lot of snow melting, even at the higher elevations and that’s going to create high streamflows and the potential for some flooding,” Kuss said.

Municipalities are urging residents and homeowners to clear their catchbasins of debris to prevent clogging.

Environment Canada added in its alert that Whistler and the Sea to Sky Highway could see the precipitation begin as snow Monday, before slowly transitioning into rain Monday evening or early Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the snow seems to be moving into the interior, with up to 20 centimetres predicted for the North Okanagan, Shuswap, North Thompson, and North and West Columbia regions by Tuesday morning.

With files from Sean Boynton, Kristen Robinson and Yvonne Schalle

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Changing attitudes towards homosexuality in hockey an uphill battle: U of A researcher

A University of Alberta researcher says attitudes towards homosexuality in hockey are changing — but there is still more to be done.

Cheryl MacDonald, a post-doctoral researcher with the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services, said there are or have been openly gay players in lower levels of hockey and in other professional sports, like football, but not the NHL.

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That, along with other research she had been doing in hockey, prompted her to look at homosexuality within the hockey world.

READ MORE: ‘These are walls that crumble over time’: Hockey executive Brian Burke at Edmonton panel on gay athletes in sport

“I had a conversation with George Laraque, who is a former Edmonton Oiler. I was looking for something to study and… asked him what he thought was important for me to study in hockey. He said homophobia,” she said.

“He said there were gay men in the NHL and he knew who some of them were but they weren’t going to come out until we did more work to make that okay.”

WATCH ABOVE: In June 2014, Brian Burke spoke to Global News about the ‘You Can Play’ project, which aims to make locker rooms and sports venues free from homophobia.

MacDonald said the hockey world seems to exist exclusive of other worlds.

“A fist fight in hockey is quite alright on the ice, but not off the ice. [Players] know they can act certain ways, in certain contexts, in certain environments. So, for instance, within the dressing room, it is quite normal to use homophobic discourse, such as calling one another names or calling something gay. But they’re very well aware that’s not okay off the ice,” she said.

“I think the fact that [players] understand that certain attitudes and behaviours are okay in one place and not the other allows things like homophobia to persist but only in little pockets of their lives.”

MacDonald’s doctoral project examined masculinity within hockey, including the idea that players are supposed to be super masculine and macho. She conducted surveys and interviews with roughly 120 players and six coaches. Opinions about homosexuality and hockey along with relationships with players’ parents, partners and teammates were examined.

READ MORE: #OneTeam: Canadian Olympic Committee launches LGBTQ inclusion campaign

“The biggest concern they had with the idea of having a gay teammate, because this population had never had an openly gay one, was being naked in the showers with them. They were worried a gay teammate would see them naked and be attracted to them,” she said.

“That was the only fear of homosexuality.”

READ MORE: Is the NHL ready for an openly gay player?

She said players are still often expected to prove their masculinity to one another.

“Things are getting better in that sense, but within that locker room and with teammates, they’re really expected to act a certain way that is not like the way they act outside of their sport.”

And while MacDonald said there have been huge strides within the hockey world, thanks to programs such as You Can Play and Pride Tape, improvements can still be made.

“We need to do a bit more educating. In the case of teenagers I met with, some of them just didn’t know what LGBTQ meant. They had never been around a homosexual person for instance. The more we educate and the more we talk about it, over time, things will continue to improve,” she said.

Justin Connelly, 25, has been played hockey since he was around four years old. The sport played a huge role in his life and still does – he works and volunteers in hockey.

But Connelly said he started questioning his sexuality while he was age 15 to 18, and playing bantam and midget hockey.

“I just started to feel a little different in the locker room,” he said.

READ MORE: Flames GM Brian Burke sounds off against homophobic slurs

Connelly said he did not speak with his teammates about the matter, but was affected by the language used in the locker room.

“That homophobic language and culture that can be within hockey, [it] made me feel a bit fearful and uncomfortable. I was worried about what people thought about me and how they would perceive me,” he said.

“The hockey culture, I don’t think [at the time] was very accepting. It hasn’t always been the most accepting sports environment. Hockey is known as a very masculine, macho sport. I don’t think it was very accepting.”

Connelly came out to family and friends roughly one year ago and now plays on a gay hockey team in Calgary called the Calgary Pioneers.

“I feel a lot more comfortable now,” he said, adding he feels like the hockey culture has changed as well.

“I think it has become a lot more inclusive. It has become a lot more accepting.”

He has advice for hockey players who may be questioning their sexuality.

“Don’t be afraid to be your true, genuine self. There are people out there that are willing to help, that are willing to be an ally for you.

“There is hope out there.”

READ MORE: Former athletes buoyed by LGBTQ inclusion in sports

And as for the teammates of those players who are struggling with their sexual orientation, change comes with the gestures that are made.

“Do your best to be an ally. Just be aware of the language you’re using in the locker room or in the dressing room. They can definitely make a change by just not using that homophobic language, not using those other slurs.”