Brazilian security forces have arrested at least 1,200 people in connection with the riots at the country's Congress and Supreme Court, who were disputing the election results in which far-right former president Jair Bolsonaro was defeated. Eric Sorensen looks at how the attacks are being condemned, and how Brazil's democracy has teetered on instability.
Only a few weeks after his supporters stormed the seat of his country’s government, former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday expressed bafflement at how he could have lost October’s election, then smiled silently as a crowd of supporters cried, “Fraud!”
He did not directly address the Jan. 8 assault on the buildings housing Brazil’s Congress and Supreme Court during his appearance in Miami before a conservative group tied to former U.S. President Donald Trump.
Bolsonaro had mimicked Trump’s strategy during his own 2020 reelection campaign, for months sowing doubts about the reliability of Brazil’s voting machines and then filing a petition to annul millions of votes. He is now under investigation for allegedly inciting the uprising.
Like Trump, Bolsonaro has not conceded the election, though unlike the former U.S. president he also has never explicitly said he lost due to fraud. During a question-and-answer session with Charlie Kirk, head of the conservative Turning Point USA, the former Brazilian president rattled off his administration’s accomplishments and then provided backers with an opening.
“Brazil was doing very well,” Bolsonaro said. “I cannot understand the reasons why (the election) decided to go to the left.”
After the cries of “fraud” died down, Kirk, who helped spread Trump’s own election fraud lies after the former U.S. president’s loss, replied, “All I can say is, that sounds very familiar.”
The event took place at Trump’s Miami hotel, underscoring the connection between two populist presidents who fanned suspicion of their democracies’ elections, leading supporters to turn violent after their losses. The two were political allies who shared an overlapping set of advisers. Shortly before Bolsonaro’s opponent, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, took office, Bolsonaro moved to Florida, the state where Trump has based himself.
Friday’s appearance marked part of Bolsonaro’s reemergence after spending several weeks in a central Florida suburb. He spoke to some supporters there earlier this week before taking the stage at Trump’s hotel late Friday afternoon.
Much of Bolsonaro’s Friday speech amounted to a defense of his four years in power, touting job gains, what he said was a lack of corruption in his administration and, in a reference that drew loud cheers, “freedom” for those who opted out of COVID-19 vaccinations.
After his 30-minute appearance, many in the several hundred-strong crowd, often clad in the national colors of yellow and green, swarmed around the 67-year-old former president.
Some of Bolsonaro’s backers in Brazil have expressed disappointment that he left the country before Jan. 8 and has remained circumspect about the attack. The former president faces legal jeopardy not only from a mushrooming number of investigations into the Jan. 8 uprising but from the country’s supreme court, which has censored websites that have spread what it calls lies about Brazil’s election.
Reynaldo Rossi, a Brazilian farmer visiting Florida to explore a possible relocation there, said he is glad Bolsonaro is staying in the U.S. for now.
“If he goes back, they are going to create a lot of trouble for him,” Rossi said. “He would spend a lot of his time down there defending himself instead of leading us.”
In his speech, Bolsonaro acknowledged Brazilians who have left the country for the U.S., seeming to include himself in that category.
“As well as we feel here, we always worry about our friends and family that stayed there,” he said, referring to Brazil.
He also reassured the crowd about the country’s future.
“I believe in Brazil, and I am certain that Brazil will not end with the current government,” Bolsonaro said.
Hughes reported from from Rio de Janiero and Riccardi from Denver.
Denver Barkey scored once and added two assists as the London Knights swept their season series against the Saginaw Spirit with a 5-1 victory at Budweiser Gardens.
London came out firing as they put 16 pucks at Saginaw goalie Tristan Lennox in the opening period and scored four times.
The first two goals came just 14 seconds apart from Ryan Humphrey and Barkey.
Logan Mailloux scored short-handed by ripping a shot into the Spirit net off a faceoff in the Saginaw zone to make it 3-0 and then London scored on a late power play courtesy of Ruslan Gazizov at 19:49 for their fourth of the night.
Saginaw made a change in goal to begin the second period and Andrew Oke turned aside 15 Knights shots and Strathroy, Ont., native Hunter Haight banged in a rebound on a Spirit power play to get them on the scoreboard.
Sam Dickinson added the fifth goal of his rookie season to round out the scoring at 11:12 of the third period.
London went 4-0 in four games against Saginaw this season and outscored the Spirit 19-8 in those games.
Mailloux ended with a goal and an assist and Ethan MacKinnon had a pair of assists for the Knights.
Brett Brochu earned his 21st win of the season and 82nd of his career as he made 31 saves.
The Knights outshot the Spirit 41-31.
London is now back to within a point of the Windsor Spitfires for first place in the Western Conference. The Knights have a game in hand and will continue a busy schedule that will seem them play five games in the next eight days.
Levin leads Israel to silver
Mike Levin recorded 12 goals and 18 points in six games as Israel advanced all the way to the gold medal game at the U20 Division III World Junior Hockey Championship.
Levin is a draft pick of the Knights who has played four games in London this year and 25 games for the St. Thomas Stars. Levin has put up 45 points in those 25 games in the GOJHL. Israel lost 4-1 to Australia in the championship game.
Levin finished third overall in tournament scoring.
Friday’s game against the Spirit was the Knights Talk Today game presented by Syngenta and the Grain Farmers of Ontario.
Talk Today is recognized as one of the most comprehensive mental health programs in amateur sport in Canada. Proceeds from the evening’s 50/50 draw will go to support the local branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association.
The Knights head to Erie, Pa., on Saturday Feb. 4 and they hope to be able to get in and back out.
The last time London ventured on the road to face the Otters they had to turn off the interstate on the way home because of terrible weather conditions and stay for the night.
The weather this time around looks chilly but not nearly as snowy.
The Knights will be sure to pack toothbrushes just in case.
They also hope to pack in another two points. London is 1-1 in Erie this year. They snagged a win in a shootout in their last visit when Mathieu Paris potted the winner and Zach Bowen booted away six of the seven shots he saw from Erie shooters in the skills contest.
Coverage will begin at 6:30 on 980 CFPL, at www.980cfpl.ca and on the Radioplayer Canada app.
Environment Canada issued a heavy wind warning for the region as it said winds up to 90 km/h were recorded Friday afternoon.
“A frontal system crossing the south coast will bring strong southeast winds 60 gusting to 90 km/h this afternoon, followed by a burst of strong southwest winds 60 gusting to 90 km/h Friday evening,” the warning said.
The warning was issued for the Strait of Georgia including East Vancouver Island, the southern Gulf Islands, the Sunshine Coast, and southwestern sections of Metro Vancouver near the water.
“Damage to buildings, such as to roof shingles and windows, may occur. High winds may result in power outages and fallen tree branches,” Environment Canada staff said.
“Motorists, especially in high profile vehicles, may expect hazardous driving conditions on highways subject to strong crosswinds.”
As of 6:30 p.m. Friday, roughly 15,000 BC Hydro customers were without power with most located in the Lower Mainland, especially Surrey.
BC Hydro issued a warning to British Columbians to call 9-1-1 if a downed or damaged power line is spotted. People are also advised to stay back at least 10 metres as well.
A group that represents condo owners in Alberta is speaking out, saying hundreds of thousands of them are being unfairly left out as the province has deemed certain multi-residential buildings ineligible for its electricity rebate program. Danica Ferris has more.
A group of condo owners in Alberta are petitioning the government to allow them to benefit from more of the province’s Affordability Action Plan.
At issue is the electricity rebate. Because some apartment-style condos have a single meter attached to their building and pay for their electricity via condo fees, they aren’t eligible for the $500 to be rebated from July 2022 to April 2023.
“For us, with 124 units in the building that I live in, that is $62,000 that we’re not getting right now that we think we should,” Phil Rosenzweig of the Condo Owners Forum Society of Alberta told Global News.
“Probably half of the condo owners in the province have not been getting any rebates, so we don’t think that’s fair.”
The condo owners society proposed condo corporations could register for the rebates, providing documentation of service and number of units.
They also want assurances that if the natural gas rebate is triggered, that all condos would be eligible.
“The other major condo organizations in the province have said they will support this,” Rosenzweig said.
The society started a petition and letter-writing campaign after multiple attempts since May 2022 to contact Minister of Affordability and Utilities Matt Jones and his predecessor Dale Nally resulted in only one response.
Andrea Farmer, Jones’ press secretary, told Global News the government is exploring options to expand the electricity rebate to sub-metered units, and said the ministry will be reaching out to the society to discuss the issue.
“The department of Affordability and Utilities is currently evaluating options to provide this relief efficiently and tax free while also ensuring program integrity for both taxpayers and the intended recipients,” Farmer wrote in an email.
She anticipated updating condo owners “in the coming weeks.”
Rosenzweig said the government’s recent response was “encouraging” given the type of people who typically buy condos — retirees and new families — are being hit hard by inflation.
“I’m glad to hear at least that Minister Jones is saying there’s a possibility and he’s said that they’d like to make it more inclusive,” Rosenzweig said. “But they’ve still never talked to us.
“We know that the legislature doesn’t come back into session until the end of February. So we’re hoping that Minister Jones will be able to announce some changes before then.”
North Vancouver RCMP are investigating an attack on a dog walker, part of which the victim caught on video. Kristen Robinson reports.
WARNING: Some details in this story are disturbing. Discretion is advised.
North Vancouver RCMP is investigating an attack on a dog walker that happened on Jan. 23.
Lisa Adams told Global News she was walking five dogs, who were off-leash, when a man and a woman whose dogs were also off-leash cursed at her.
She said they told her to leash her dogs after one of their dogs bounded into the woods.
“Generally when I see people coming, I’ll call my dogs or I’ll move all of us way off to the side so that people can get through. It’s called trail etiquette. It’s a thing to do,” Adams told Global News.
She said they met at a trail junction and that all the dogs seemed happy and fine.
“And so as I approached, the woman said something to me and I said, ‘oh, pardon?’ And she immediately said, ‘don’t ignore me b***h. Don’t ignore me b***h. You heard me put your f***ing dogs on a leash’. And I said, ‘I really didn’t hear you’. And I was standing there like this going, ‘I’m really sorry. I actually didn’t hear you.'”
Adams said the woman continued to call her a b***h, telling her she is nothing and worthless.
“And so at this point, I said, ‘OK, I’m going to go this way with my dogs’. And they said, ‘well, we want to go that way’. And I said, ‘OK, well then I’ll go that way.'”
Adams said the woman just kept swearing at her and calling her names and then said she was going to report her.
When the woman pulled out her phone, Adams pulled out her own phone and that’s when she said the man took a swing at her.
That’s when she started recording.
“So what’s important to note is what’s seen on these videos is not the extent of what happened at that point,” Adams said. “Once he came and he pushed me, as you can see in the videos, he slapped really hard on my phone. He saw it in my hand and he tried to hit it out of my hand. And I actually squeezed so hard that last week I had bruising from how hard I was gripping my phone.
“And then he grabbed me by both of my shoulders and shoved me down into the bushes. And now I’m on my back and he’s on top of me. I have bruising from my thighs, my calves from where his knees and feet were holding me down. And in that moment he just began pummeling one, two, one, two. And I had my hands up trying to defend myself.”
Adams said the woman did not do anything, she just stood there while Adams was yelling for the man to get off her. She said the woman finally came and pulled the man off.
She said two of the dogs were getting very distressed and barking.
Another dog, a labrador, had even crawled under the bushes and was trying to pull Adams out from under the man by tugging on her coat.
“And I jumped up and I had my phone in my hand still,” she said. “And so I was just in shock at that point. I’m going, ‘oh my God, I’m calling the cops. I’m calling the cops. This is the most insane thing. I can’t believe you just did this.'”
She said the couple started to walk away but when the man saw that she was still recording, he came at her a second time.
“And the second attack was absolutely calculated,” she added. “From what I could tell, the way that he came at me, he pushed my phone and that’s when it turned off.”
She realized the man was trying to take her phone so she gripped it even tighter.
“So he suddenly took a right hook, came to punch me, came at my head like this, and I quickly put my hands up to prevent it. And in that moment, as soon as my hand came up, his left hand (came) right at my stomach, and he punched me super hard in the gut. Then he grabbed both my arms … wrapped himself around me in a bear hug.”
Adams said the woman was trying to grab her phone while the man threw her face down in the bushes and began punching her again. She started screaming for help and eventually struck him with her elbow and managed to kick him off her.
Someone heard her calls for help. A woman, who was actually one of her clients, showed up and the couple left.
“I was broken,” Adams said. “I fell down to the ground and was just crying and scared. And I’m pretty sure I went into shock.”
Police were called.
North Vancouver RCMP said they are investigating and speaking to witnesses to identify the suspect.
Const. Mansoor Sahak said these incidents are rare.
“We’re potentially looking at an assault charge,” he said. “My understanding is the victim, in this case, was punched, pushed down and further kicked and punched.”
Adams said she felt tender and bruised for days, with scratches on her hands where she tried to defend herself.
Adams is worried about something like this happening to someone else.
“It’s scary to think that someone, anyone, is walking around in these woods thinking it’s OK to put their hands on anybody,” she said. “Something needs to change. People are getting very angry.
“There’s like a movement of hate going on right now that has to stop.”
“I don’t know how else to say it. It’s just we need to be kinder to each other and people need to live with an open heart. I used to live every day telling myself I’m going to smile at everyone that looks at me. And now this week, in this last week, I’m terrified.
“I’m scared to look at people in case they’re having a bad day and they feel like they need to take it out on me. This particular incident, I wish I could have said it was something to do with the dogs, but the dogs didn’t do anything wrong. It was all human.”
WATCH: Residents in Lake Country could be facing a pretty hefty property tax increase this year, after the city's policing costs skyrocketed. As Victoria Femia reports, the rise in costs has much to do with a jump in population.
Lake Country city council has proposed a 17.05 per cent property tax hike for residents after the city’s population increased.
The tax increase was presented to the public on Tuesday in the first reading of the draft budget.
“A difficult number for everybody including those of us who of us on council because we all pay taxes too,” said Lake Country Mayor, Blair Ireland.
The tax hike comes as Lake Country surpassed a population of 15,000 people, which requires the district to cover a majority of its policing costs.
“We have to pay 90 per cent of the RCMP wages, in the past, we paid 70 per cent so, covering all those things,” said Ireland.
“Then we have to cover a lot of other things which regionally we had support with, so, IT services, cars, jail cells, and we also have to look forward to having a new RCMP building.”
Indicators from the 2021 census revealed the city would be just under 15,000 people, leading city council to believe they had at least four more years to prepare for a budget that would support policing costs.
“The census doesn’t always work out the way you hope,” said Ireland.
“We were looking at the building stats the number of houses that get built, we don’t have a lot of multi-family residential so they’re all single-family homes but there were more inhabitants of those single-family homes than there were in the past, so we went over the census by about 800 people.”
Over the next several years, the district plans to increase its RCMP members from 18 to 24. Ireland says the city couldn’t start this year, as another member would’ve increased the rate another 1.77 per cent.
Feedback on the proposed budget can be provided on the city’s website until Feb. 23 when council is expected to reconvene for the second and third readings of the draft budget.
A Nanaimo teenager is being called a hero for disarming a knife-wielding thief at a convenience store.
A brave young Nanaimo, B.C., teenager stepped up to the plate on Wednesday when his parents’ family business had an unwanted visitor.
In the Harewood neighbourhood of Nanaimo, 14-year-old Jake Currie took immediate action against a knife-wielding suspect who entered his parent’s convenience store around 9 p.m.
“I walk up to the counter and we were face to face,” he told Global News on Friday.
“There’s a bat right here and I reached for it, and that’s when I swing from the left.”
The six-foot-three-inch, 300-pound teenager was able to connect with his swing, sending the suspect’s knife sailing.
“Jake hit him on the right side and the knife flew, like it darted out of his hand and came flying over. (It) landed in a bag behind the locked till area,” said Marcel Trudeau, Jake’s stepfather.
The commotion in the store roused Jake’s parents to check on what was happening.
“I said, ‘Jake what happened?’ And Jake said, ‘Well, he had a knife and told me to give him all the money.’ And so, I told (the suspect) to get out of the store and he finally turned and left,” said Karen Lack, Jake’s mother.
“I am so proud of my son. I could not be prouder as a mom. He kept us all safe.”
The family then reported the incident to Nanaimo RCMP. Nanaimo RCMP did say an investigation is ongoing looking into the incident and that the suspect did match a description from a different robbery at another convenience store.
Nanaimo RCMP was unavailable for an interview in time before publication but did say no arrests have been made in connection to the two robbery incidents.
The family-run store, named Abbies, has only been open for five months, but the surrounding community is rallying around the family and business.
“It’s frustrating. All the people in the community who enjoy shopping at local shops, that’s all put in jeopardy when people decide that they want to rob places and make it less profitable or even more dangerous for somebody to own a small business,” said Gary Robertson, an Abbies customer.
BGC Okanagan is celebrating a month of kindness, and fittingly a random act of kindness is helping the non-profit kick off the occasion.
The organization hosts a breakfast fundraiser in Kelowna and Penticton on Feb. 22, Pink Shirt Day.
An anonymous donor announced they will match up to $15,000 in donations to the BGC Okanagan breakfast fundraisers.
“This is a great way to lead into Pink Shirt Day, which is about promoting kindness. Educating children and youth that everyone should be heard, respected, valued and treated fairly is key to BGC Okanagan’s efforts and is weaved throughout all our programming,” said Jeremy Welder, CEO of BGC Okanagan.
The anonymous donor shared with the non-profit that they are inspired by BGC Okanagan’s goal to help children and youth in the community learn and understand why treating people with respect and kindness is how to prevent the mistreatment of others.
“We open our club doors and welcome children, youth and families to our safe environments based on belonging and positive relationships,” said Richelle Leckey, community engagement coordinator for BGC Okanagan.
“Thanks to this generous donor’s gift we will continue to make an impact on the physical and emotional health of young people throughout the Okanagan to lift them up.”
This month, BGC Okanagan encourages the community to perform acts of kindness and the organization has also set a goal to raise $40,000 to hep sustain barrier-free programming and services they offer.
Services include helping children and youth in safe and supportive spaces, where they experience new opportunities while developing confidence and life-long skills.
The organization is hosting two breakfast fundraiser events on Feb. 22, one at the Laurel Packinghouse and the other at Penticton Secondary School.
Both events will also feature guest speaker, Aaron Volpatti, retired NHL player and author.