B.C. wildfire update Saturday: Part of Lytton evacuation order lifted, Mexican firefighters arrive

Residents of a small portion of a B.C. village devastated by fire were given the green light to return on Saturday, as the province also prepared to receive 100 Mexican firefighters to help tackle wildfires around B.C.

Global News will live stream a news conference with B.C. Public Safety Minister on the arrival at 1:10 p.m. PT.

They will join the estimated 3,320 firefighters and other crew, including 94 out-of-province personnel, already battling the wildfires.

Read more:
Lytton Creek wildfire spreads to 24,365 hectares as more people ordered to leave

The province saw minimal fire growth overnight, and the number of active fires across B.C. fell to 261 from 275 on Friday, and around 300 earlier in the week.

About 5,000 people remained on evacuation orders.

On Saturday, emergency officials announced that for the Village of Lytton, they would downgrade an evacuation order for a small section on the southeastern edge to an evacuation alert.

Read more:
B.C. wildfire map 2021: Location and size of the fires burning around the province

The downgrade applies only to properties in Ponderosa Heights and on Loring way, along with the Lytton Fire Base. The remainder of the village, which was decimated by fire, remains off-limits.

Additional evacuation orders issued by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District were unaffected, and the Lytton Creek Wildfire remained active at more than 24,000 hectares.

Read more:
Nk’Mip Creek wildfire: Osoyoos Indian Band rescinds evacuation order for handful of addresses

On Saturday, the Osoyoos Indian Band also downgraded part of an evacuation order to an evacuation alert for several properties related to the Nk’Mip Creek wildfire.

However the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary expanded an evacuation order for Electoral Area E to include 126 new properties in and around the Baldy Mountain neighbourhood.

That fire tripled in size on Friday to 6,800 hectares and has destroyed at least one home.

The Brenda Creek Wildfire, just south of the Okanagan Connector and about 40 kilometres from West Kelowna, remained active and mapped at about 662 hectares.

Crews have deployed sprinklers to protect a key electrical transmission line serving about 60,000 people in the area, and 43 homes in Electoral Area H have been ordered evacuated.

Read more:
B.C. wildfire update Friday: Sirens sound as warning as fires threaten communities

Helicopter crews were scheduled to bucket the fire on Saturday, and winds were forecast to be calmer.

Residents of the community of Seymour Arm, east and south of Seymour Arm Bay Road, also remained under an evacuation order due to the Hunakwa Lake Fire, which was burning about nine kilometres south of the community.

It was last mapped at about 1,100 hectares, but officials said it had likely grown and there was no accurate, updated mapping.

Two wildfires in the Lower Arrow Lake area of the Central Kootenay region also continue to threaten homes.

The Michaud Creek fire, about 20 kilometres south of Edgewood, was last mapped at about 4,600 hectares.

It’s forced the evacuation of 356 properties in the communities of Edgewood and Needles north to Whatshan Lake.

In the community of Fauquier, 156 properties remain under an evacuation order for the Octopus Creek fire, but officials say the blaze’s growth towards the town has slowed amid reduced winds.

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

Nk’Mip Creek wildfire: Osoyoos Indian Band rescinds evacuation order for handful of addresses

The Osoyoos Indian Band has rescinded an evacuation order and replaced it with an evacuation alert for a handful of addresses affected by the Nk’Mip Creek wildfire.

The affected addresses include the following businesses on Rancher Creek Road: Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, Spirit Ridge Resort, Sonora Dunes Golf Course and Nk’Mip Winery.

The other two addresses are 2000 Valleyview Drive (The Residences) and 600 Rancher Creek Road.

While those addresses are under evacuation alert, hundreds remain under evacuation orders that were issued either by the Osoyoos Indian Band, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) or the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.

Even more addresses remain under evacuation alerts that are still in effect. More information is available on the RDOS website.

Read more:
Nk’Mip Creek wildfire near Osoyoos now at 6,800 hectares; 1 home lost

As of Saturday morning, the fire was listed at 6,800 hectares, the same size it was on Friday.

The fire had previously been estimated at 2,000 hectares, but it tripled in size after smoky skies cleared, allowing for more accurate mapping.

On Saturday, the RDOS will be hosting a 2 p.m., update on wildfires in the area.

The broadcast will be streamed to the RDOS YouTube channel.

In related news, the RDOS announced on Saturday morning, just after 11 a.m., that it had expanded an evacuation order in Electoral Area C.

The RDOS says the expanded order now includes the addresses of 1266 McKinney Road and 5900 McKinney Road, and that police and search and rescue will be expediting notifications and enforcement.

The RDOS added that the previously issued evacuation order of July 20 remains in effect.

 

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

‘Shadow pandemic’ of femicide looms, experts warn as Canada prepares to reopen

WATCH: Domestic violence supports seeing more requests for services during the COVID-19 pandemic

After more than a year of quarantines, lockdowns and separations due to COVID-19, Canada is slowly reopening. But experts say another pandemic, of femicide and domestic violence, has been quietly raging across the country.

The proof is in the reports. Preliminary findings from the Canadian Femicide Observatory for Justice and Accountability’s (CFOJA) mid-year report found 92 women and girls were killed, mostly by men, between January and June of this year.

Femicide is the killing of a girl or woman because of their gender. Men were identified as the accused in 79 out of 92 killings in the first half of 2021.

Indigenous women were over-represented in this year’s report, making up 12 per cent of femicide victims, despite comprising just 5 per cent of Canada’s overall population.

Read more:
Are you experiencing abuse? Here’s how to get help

Experts say the data is unsurprising.

“We, as in violence against women organizations, advocates and survivors, have been naming that there is a shadow pandemic happening and that is gender based violence,” says Farrah Khan, a gender justice advocate and manager of Ryerson University’s Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education.

Numbers have been steadily rising since the COVID pandemic began. CFOJA, which tracks femicides across the country, said 160 women and girls were victims of femicide last year, an uptick from the 118 who were killed in 2019.

Khan said the health crisis that has led to repeated lockdowns across the country has “set women up” for unhealthy relationships that could result in their deaths. Women, who were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, accounted for more than 35 per cent of job losses across the country and make up a majority of Canada’s minimum wage workers.

Read more:
‘Perfect storm’: Growing calls to address domestic violence during coronavirus

She says this could have prompted many women to move in with potentially abusive partners to save on costs that left them trapped and unable to leave when things began to escalate in an unsafe way. Things like child-care problems and food insecurity, also rampant during the pandemic, are also reasons women end up trapped with their abusers.

“The lockdown has increased the abusers’ access to them, has increased their ability to control their mobility, increased their ability to set strict rules about who they interact with,” she said of women during the pandemic, including those with abusive family members.

“I worry about the people also that are living through it right now that are not reaching out to services, are not feeling safe to do so because someone is monitoring their phone, somebody is monitoring their computer.”

Of the 160 women killed according to the report, researchers said 128 women and girls were killed by men. A majority of them were killed in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut accounting for 13.68 per cent and 5.21 per cent respectively.

 

Victims of abuse could see more challenges in rural and remote areas, Khan says, because of isolation and the lack of mobility sometimes present in those communities.

“Already mobility is challenged. Already there’s no computer in the house that doesn’t have spyware on it,” Khan said, adding that “what’s needed in Toronto is different than what’s going to be needed in rural and remote areas.”

Numbers are also stacking up in more densely populated provinces.

In Ontario alone, femicide has increased by more than 84 per cent in the first half of 2021, according to the latest report from the Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses (OAITH).

Read more:
Women facing more violence amid coronavirus pandemic: national survey

“ we compare that to the prior year, there’s been an increase every single month,” Marlene Ham, executive director of OAITH, told Global News. “To have six months in a row show an increase in the number of femicides, that does surprise us, but it also really concerns us.”

From December 2019 through June 2020, the report found 19 confirmed femicides throughout the province. The next year, they reported 35.

Younger women between the ages of 18 and 35 accounted for a majority of this year’s femicides at 30 per cent, while younger men between 18 and 35 years accounted for 50 per cent of all perpetrators this year. Researchers found intimate partner cases made up 80 per cent of femicide cases in 2021.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ham said OAITH began noticing more femicides in Ontario when the province reopened, likely as a result of women trying to leave their abusers.

“When survivors leave or make a plan to leave, for some of them that can be the most dangerous time,” she said.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate assistance. For a more comprehensive list of resources, click here.

Get help:

Assaulted Women’s Helpline
Toll-free: 1-866-863-0511
Toll-free TTY: 1-866-863-7868

Get help:

Shelter Safe: Network of women’s shelters across Canada
Canadian Family Law Lawyers Network
Phone: 1-888-660-4869
Legal Aid Domestic Abuse Hotline
Phone: 1-800-668-8258
Women’s Multicultural Resource and Counselling Centre of Durham
Phone: 1-877-454-4035
Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic
Phone: 416-323-9149 ext. 234
Email: info@schliferclinic.com

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

COVID-19: Manitoba reports 62 new infections, death toll rises by one

Manitoba added 62 new cases of COVID-19 Saturday, while the death toll increased by one, according to the province’s online dashboard.

The online reporting tool is showing 1,171 overall deaths.

Of the new cases, 24 are in the Interlake-Eastern region and 21 are in Winnipeg, while the Southern Health-Santé Sud and northern region both recorded seven and three are in Prairie Mountain Health.

Manitoba currently has 551 active cases of the virus.

Read more:
Date for Manitoba teens to be fully vaccinated by school start is coming, province says

The provincial test-positivity rate is up slightly to 3.3 per cent, compared to an even 3.0 per cent a day earlier.

The number of individuals in hospitals across Manitoba totals 103 — three fewer than Friday — with 28 said to be active COVID-19 cases.

Of those in hospital, 25 people are receiving intensive care, and six are listed as having active virus cases.

The dashboard says 1,413 laboratory tests for the virus were completed on Friday, bringing the total since February 2020, to 864,248.

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

Leafs pick forward Matthew Knies in NHL draft

TORONTO – The Toronto Maple Leafs have finally made their first selection of this year’s NHL entry draft, choosing forward Matthew Knies with the 57th overall pick on Saturday.

Knies, a six-foot-two, 210-pound left-winger, spent last season with the Tri-City Storm in the USHL, putting up 42 points (17 goals, 25 assists) in 44 games.

A native of Phoenix, Ariz., he came into the draft as the No. 37-ranked North American skater and has committed to playing at the University of Minnesota in the fall.

Toronto dealt its first-round pick to the Columbus Blue Jackets in April in exchange for forward Nick Foligno.

The Leafs are thin on selections in later rounds, too, holding just the No. 153 and 185 picks.

The Leafs dominated the North Division through the pandemic-condensed 56-game season, posting a 35-14-7 record before the Montreal Canadiens eliminated them from the first round of the playoffs in a tightly contested seven-game series.

Last year, Russian winger Rodion Amirov was Toronto’s top selection, going 15th overall.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 23, 2021.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

Hunt for aggressive coyotes underway after 2nd Stanley Park attack this week

Biologist Colleen Cassady St. Clair shares insight on what might be causing the increase in aggressive coyote activity in Stanley Park

Coyotes attacked a second person in as many days in Stanley Park on Thursday, as officials continue to grapple with a rise in aggressive incidents involving the animals.

The BC Conservation Officer Service said the latest incident involved a man being bitten on the leg near the Stanley Park Pitch and Putt on the evening of July 22.

Read more:
Coyote bites another Stanley Park jogger a week after 4 of the animals put down

The Vancouver Park Board has closed all trails between the aquarium and Brockton Oval.

There have been more than 30 attacks or aggressive incidents in the park since December, including one where a coyote bit a toddler and another that left a woman with a detached hamstring and nerve damage.

Conservation officers had already been deployed to the park after coyotes attacked a jogger on Wednesday evening.

“Conservation officers are continuing to patrol the area and are attempting to locate and destroy the coyote(s) involved in these attacks,” the service said Friday.

“The COS is focusing trapping efforts to specific areas to minimize the chances of catching a non-target coyote. Any coyotes captured that do not match the profile of the offending animal will be released.”

Read more:
Four coyotes euthanized after toddler attacked in Stanley Park

Officers killed four coyotes the week prior, following the attack on the toddler.

The Conservation Officer Service said it is working with the city, biologists and local organizations on a long-term strategy to deal with the aggressive coyote problem.

Officials have blamed the spike in aggressive encounters on people feeding coyotes, who they say have lost their fear of humans.

Anyone who sees a coyote is advised to try and scare it away by shouting and waving their arms or throwing rocks or dirt at them.

Feeding wildlife, including coyotes, is illegal.

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

International passengers may now be separated based on COVID vaccination status at Pearson airport

WATCH ABOVE: Canada will soon open its border to those who are fully vaccinated, but only if they received one approved by Health Canada.

International passengers arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport may now be separated into different lines based on their COVID-19 vaccination status.

A spokesperson for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) confirmed the new measure in an emailed statement to Global News on Saturday.

“Passengers entering Canada from the U.S. or another international destination may be split into vaccinated and non/partially-vaccinated queues prior to reaching Canada Customs,” Beverly MacDonald wrote.

Read more:
Ontario reports 170 COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths; 124K more vaccines administered

“This is a measure to help streamline the border clearance process as there are different entry requirements for vaccinated and non/partially-vaccinated travellers, which have been broadly communicated by the Government of Canada.”

Earlier this month, Canada lifted the 14-day quarantine requirement for those permitted to travel into the country who are fully vaccinated. They must still present a negative COVID-19 test result.

“We know that the arrivals experience is different for passengers than it was in pre-pandemic times, and we appreciate passengers’ patience as we work with all of our partners to implement Government of Canada requirements for international air travel,” MacDonald said.

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

Chatham, Ont. man dies after falling from TV antenna in industrial accident

Chatham-Kent, Ont., police say a man has died after a fatal industrial accident.

Police say around 1:30 p.m. Thursday, officers responded to an incident on Indian Creek Road West.

A 60-year-old Chatham-Kent man reportedly fell from a television antenna.

Read more:
Person in life-threatening condition after falling off roof in Brampton

Police say he sustained life-threatening injuries.

The man was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

His identity has not been released.

The Ministry of Labour has taken over the investigation.

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

One man dead, 2 in hospital following crash in south Edmonton

Speed and alcohol may have led to a deadly early morning crash in south Edmonton.

Police say just before 3 a.m. Saturday a car carrying three people lost control and struck a light pole on Rabbit Hill Road approaching MacTaggart Drive.

A 20-year-old man riding in the rear passenger seat was thrown from the vehicle. He was pronounced dead by paramedics at the scene.

The 19-year-old driver and his 21-year-old male passenger were taken to hospital for precautionary measures.

Investigators are looking into how fast the vehicle was travelling and whether alcohol may have also been a factor.

Rabbit Hill Road was closed for several hours, but has since reopened.

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

Winnipeg Jets select Russian forward in round two of 2021 NHL entry draft

The Winnipeg Jets  have selected Russian Forward Nikita Chibrikov and Defenseman Dmitry Kuzmin of Belarus with their second and third round picks of the 2021 NHL entry draft,

Barring any trades, the Jets will have just one pick remaining, 146th overall in the fifth round.

That is a result of previous transactions with Vegas, Vancouver and Florida for Paul Stastny, Jordie Benn and Bogdan Kiselevich respectively.

Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff began the day by selecting Chibrikov with the 50th overall pick in the second round. It’s only the third time since the franchise relocated from Atlanta in 2011 that Winnipeg has taken a Russian player.

The Jets selected Center Pavel Kraskovsky in the sixth round in 2014 but he never came to North America, choosing instead to continue playing for Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the KHL. Two years later in 2016, Winnipeg opted for goalie Mikhail Berdin of Team Russia U-18 with their sixth round pick. Berdin has been a standout with the Manitoba Moose of the AHL for the past three seasons.

Chibrikov is a five-foot-ten, 170-pound forward who scored one goal and had one assist in 16 games with St. Petersburg SKA of the KHL this past season. The 18 year old Moscow born winger will play at least the next two seasons in his home country to prepare before eventually making his way to North America.

“It’s a long time, two years. I need the work to do to become an NHL player.” said Chibrikov in surprisingly good English during a zoom call availability several hours after being drafted. “Now I’m working for the future, but I don’t know how it will be.”

Chibrikov, who can ply either wing, had a very strong performance at the World Under 18 Championship in Dallas in the late spring. In addition to contributing on the ice, with 4 goals and a tournament leading 9 assists for 13 points in 7 games, the future Jet also served as team captain. “I am really proud to be named captain of the National team. It was very good memories for me,” was how Chibirkov responded to being asked about wearing the C. “I like more know about leadership, how I need to be good on the team, how I need to talk with the guys.”

Chibrikova sees himself as more of a play maker who can skate and has a good Hockey IQ – but can also adjust his game to be a scorer. “Go one on one and score goals from unreal positions,”  was part of that shared self-assessment from the young Russian winger who has already begun training camp with St. Petersburg for the coming KHL season.

Kuzmin is an undersized left shot defenseman at 5-9 and 178 pounds. the 18 year old rearguard from Kholstovo, Belarus also played for his country at the World Under 18 Championship in Dallas and averaged a point per game with 1 goal and 4 assists in 5 Tournament games.

In Belarus league play for Dinamo-Molodechno, Kuzmin scored 3 goals and added 9 assists for 12 points in 46 games.

During Friday’s first round, Winnipeg took 18-year-old center Chaz Lucius with what was officially the 18th overall pick in the draft. The six-foot-one, 185-pound center was actually the 17th player selected because Arizona had to forfeit the 11th choice. That was a result of a previous ruling by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman following an investigation into the Coyotes working out prospects prior to the 2020 draft which is a rules violation.

Lucius scored 13 goals and added five assists for 18 points in 12 USHL games for the U.S. national development team this past season. He had knee surgery in August that kept him off the ice until early in 2021. Then he had to miss the World U18 tournament in Dallas in late April because of a fever and quarantine protocols.

Lucius is committed to playing in his home state for the University of Minnesota Gophers this coming NCAA season.

Winnipegger Carson Lambos was the 25th player selected (26th overall) on the night, as the Minnesota Wild took the six-foot-one, 197-pound defenseman from the WHL Winnipeg Ice with the second pick of the first round.

Lambos was projected to go higher in the draft but missed most of the WHL’s pandemic-shortened season because of a medical procedure. He played just four games in total this past season: two for JyP HT in the Finnish League and two for Winnipeg in the WHL’s Regina Hub.

More to come…

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

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