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46
'The Grippler' grasping for world arm-wrestling title in LA

PEMBROKE — Ian Carnegie believes he can go “over the top” when it comes to the World Armwrestling League. On Thursday, The Grippler (Carnegie’s arm wrestling nickname) hopes to add to the “Ws” in his 15-6 record when he competes at the league’s next showcase event in the Supermatch Showdown Series at The NOVO in Los […]

PEMBROKE — Ian Carnegie believes he can go “over the top” when it comes to the World Armwrestling League.


On Thursday, The Grippler (Carnegie’s arm wrestling nickname) hopes to add to the “Ws” in his 15-6 record when he competes at the league’s next showcase event in the Supermatch Showdown Series at The NOVO in Los Angeles.


Standing 6’1” and weighing in at 350 lbs., Carnegie arm-wrestles in the super heavyweight division, currently competing right hand only, but typically arm-wrestling with both hands. He said he’s looking forward to the competition and he is ready to go.


“(My) short-term goals are to win every match presented to me and then ultimately become the number 1 arm-wrestler on the planet,” he said.


Coming from a family steeped in wrestling, the sport is clearly embedded in Carnegie’s DNA. The son of Gary Carnegie, a Canadian Army vet, and Diane “Vivian” Vachon (yes, those Vachons), a Canadian wrestling queen and hall of famer, The Grippler was born in Pembroke on Feb. 5, 1980. His father was stationed at CFB Petawawa at the time.


His uncles Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon and Paul “The Butcher” Vachon are both hall-of-fame wrestlers and are certainly well-known names to wrestling fans. He is cousin to WWE superstar Trudy “Luna” Vachon.


Carnegie’s family moved to Montreal when he was young, but returned to the Pembroke area when he was in Grade 8. He attended General Panet High School in Petawawa and Fellowes High School in Pembroke. As a child he played hockey with the Petawawa Patriots, and basketball at Fellowes and then at Dawson College in Montreal. Coming from a wrestling family he wrestled a little as a child between ages six and nine then a bit at age 16, but it was after he had joined the Canadian Forces that he became interested in arm-wrestling.


“I’ve always been interested in arm-wrestling however it was through the military and a very well established arm-wrestler by the name of Devon Larratt that really got me involved,” Carnegie said.


In 2005, Garrison Petawawa held an army arm-wrestling tournament which Larratt ran. He was a member of JTF2 at the time but was already one of North America’s top arm-wrestlers.


“I entered the event and won both arms in the heavyweight division. Once the event was over I then had the opportunity to pull Devon. It was a total futile effort as he was clearly way too strong of an opponent. He assured me that I had what it took to be a champion. So I took his advice and have been competing ever since,” Carnegie said.


It’s the individualistic nature of the sport that appeals to Carnegie and keeps him in it.


“I love that I only have me to blame if I lose and I love the ‘me versus you’ aspect of the fight … and to impose my will on another man in the context of sport.”


Carnegie said winning the Mike Gould Classic, Canada’s top professional international arm-wrestling tournament, was his first big tournament win. In 2017 at the WAL Midwest Classic ‘Tenacious 12’ he finished 2nd place in the super heavyweight right hand class, and 3rd place same class with his left hand. He credits his success to having excellent teachers and training partners.


Retired from the Canadian Forces, The Grippler lives in Kingston these days and is a member of three arm-wrestling clubs, The Ottawa Valley High Hookers out of Pembroke, Ottawa High Hookers and the K-Town Krushers out of Kingston.


If you want to catch Carnegie in action, viewers can stream the WAL Supermatch Showdown Series on the B/R Live app, or in Canada you can stream at walunderground.com.


The event takes place at The NOVO in Los Angeles on Thursday beginning at approximately 10:30 EST.


adixon@postmedia.com


Source: 'The Grippler' grasping for world arm-wrestling title in LA

47
Gatineau police searching for driver involved in hit-and-run

Gatineau police are searching for a driver involved in a hit-and-run between a vehicle and a pedestrian. So far there’s little information to go on. A 60-year-old man suffered minor head injuries when a vehicle knocked him down at the intersection of Gréber Boulevard and Orléans Street at approximately 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Police can only […]

Gatineau police are searching for a driver involved in a hit-and-run between a vehicle and a pedestrian.


So far there’s little information to go on.


A 60-year-old man suffered minor head injuries when a vehicle knocked him down at the intersection of Gréber Boulevard and Orléans Street at approximately 7:30 p.m. Sunday.


Police can only call it a vehicle for now because no one has been able to give them a description of it.


They think the driver may have fled north along Gréber.


Anyone with information is asked to call Gatineau police at (819) 246-0222.


tspears@postmedia.com

twitter.com/TomSpears1


Source: Gatineau police searching for driver involved in hit-and-run

48
Simmons: Yes, we can stop some of the harm of opioid addiction

“I’d rather die than go into withdrawal,” he said, staring into my eyes. I didn’t know how extreme addiction could get until I heard those words. I had never thought the body could become so dependent on a drug it would be more important to a person than avoiding death. That was my first time […]

“I’d rather die than go into withdrawal,” he said, staring into my eyes. I didn’t know how extreme addiction could get until I heard those words. I had never thought the body could become so dependent on a drug it would be more important to a person than avoiding death.


That was my first time face-to-face with the opioid crisis on my own as a doctor. It was last summer at The Ottawa Hospital on an overnight shift as the senior medical resident.


The emergency department had consulted me to admit this patient, who had been diagnosed with endocarditis, a life-threatening heart infection. Severe infections are common complications of intravenous drug use, due to the unsterile nature of street drugs and the settings in which they are injected. To prevent him from dying, this patient would have stay in hospital to start intravenous antibiotics.


Unfortunately, he was not the average injection drug user. He was living with a severe opioid use disorder, the worst I had ever seen, injecting heroin at least eight times per day. I ran through the options for treating his opioid addiction.


A detoxification program? Too unsafe with his addiction and heart infection. An opioid replacement drug? He had been fired by two doctors for failing to follow opioid replacement treatment. “They don’t get you the same high. You know that,” he noted. “I need an opioid and if I can’t get it here, then I will leave.”


I had a decision to make. Admit him to hospital with an opioid prescription to replace his need for heroin or leave his infection untreated and read “intensive care unit” beside his name next week (or even worse, “deceased”). What was the better choice for him? For our health care system?


If you have never met someone with a severe opioid use disorder, it’s easy to think patients like this are bluffing. That they just want you to prescribe them opioids so they don’t have to stop. That it’s a choice. They wouldn’t risk having a heart infection go untreated or another overdose with street opioids, would they?


Sadly, in my little over two years as a doctor I have learned the answer is yes, they would. Time and time again, we see the same faces with severe opioid use disorders, that cannot be managed with standard treatments, return to hospital with another life-threatening complication. Until recently, I began to grow disillusioned with the treatments for these patients. Then I worked with Ottawa Inner City Health.


Last fall, Ottawa Inner City Health began a managed opioid program. In this program, people living with severe opioid use disorders are prescribed a regimen of safe, medical grade opioids to stabilize their injection drug use and prevent their need for street drugs. It’s a radical approach and after seeing it firsthand in January, I am happy to write that it works.


This program is not for any injection drug user. The patients enrolled are similar to those I typically meet in hospital. They are suffering from extreme cases of addiction, on the brink of death from complications of injection drug use but due to the severity of the disease cannot stop their use of dangerous street opioids.


Thankfully, innovative approaches like that used at Ottawa Inner City Health are breaking this cycle. When you meet patients in this program, you begin to see how life-changing it is. Once stabilized on a regimen of medical opioids, they are able to engage with health care providers like never before. Instead of having to dedicate every waking moment to getting their next hit, they can stop and think.


With time, their dependence on street opioids ends and their risk of the next overdose or complication becomes minimal. Rather than becoming another admission to hospital and ultimately, another death statistic, these patients begin to work at the life they would like to have after their opioid addiction.


And while there is still a long road ahead for them and their addiction, at least some of the harm has stopped.


Graydon Simmons is a third-year internal medicine resident doctor at the University of Ottawa and the Ottawa Hospital. 


Source: Simmons: Yes, we can stop some of the harm of opioid addiction

49
Meet Bruce, the moose who thinks he's a horse (of course)

A Bourget-area farm has a new addition to its herd of Arabian horses, and it’s a moose. “He just thinks he’s a horse so he watches the horses and does what they do,” said the clearly charmed Kelsa Staffa of Wildfire Arabians who has made the muddled moose Facebook famous.

A Bourget-area farm has a new addition to its herd of Arabian horses, and it’s a moose.


“He just thinks he’s a horse so he watches the horses and does what they do,” said the clearly charmed Kelsa Staffa of Wildfire Arabians who has made the muddled moose Facebook famous.


Source: Meet Bruce, the moose who thinks he's a horse (of course)

50
Reevely: Five weeks not long enough for proper audit of Ontario spending, potential bidders warn

Five weeks might not be enough time to examine all the Ontario government’s spending, compare it to other places’, and recommend how it might save money, potential bidders on the province’s “line-by-line audit” of operations have warned. Tough, the government says, we’re in a hurry. No extensions, no boost to the $500,000 budget, and don’t […]

Five weeks might not be enough time to examine all the Ontario government’s spending, compare it to other places’, and recommend how it might save money, potential bidders on the province’s “line-by-line audit” of operations have warned.


Tough, the government says, we’re in a hurry. No extensions, no boost to the $500,000 budget, and don’t expect detailed help from the public service. Bids close Wednesday.


The Progressive Conservatives promised the line-by-line audit of everything the province spends when they won power in June’s election, as a key step toward finding as much as $20 billion in “efficiencies” in a $158-billion budget.


In mid-July, they put the work out to tender. The bidding documents make it clear that the gig is much less ambitious than the party made it sound: Instead of sending accountants and operations experts out to every office, going over every nickel, counting every pen, the provincial treasury board is searching for areas of government spending that have grown faster than economics and demographics suggest they should have, to figure out where ministers might want to look more closely. It’s a scan from 30,000 feet, not three inches.


Even so, the Tories aren’t allowing much time for the lookover. They want to pick a winning bid by Aug. 10, get initial results within two weeks, and a final report that includes recommendations by Sept. 21. Serious companies have at least looked at the bid materials, according to records on the province’s tendering system, management-consulting powerhouses such as KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers and McKinsey among them.


But they’ve also formally fretted about how realistic the whole thing is. So that all bidders are on equal footing, they can put questions to the government that get answered publicly, without the questioners’ names attached. You could summarize most of them as, “What if this is impossible?”


“Given the importance of the initiative, the timeline and budget seem very tight for the scope of work requested in the (Request for Bids),” one says. “Will bidders be disqualified if they respond with the requested scope of work, but are not able to meet the timeline or budget?”


“The terms and conditions of the RFB, including the deliverables, are not negotiable,” the government responded. In other words: We’ve given you the timeline and the budget. Meet them or don’t, but if you don’t, don’t expect to get the job.


How about if we can’t do all the things you want for $500,000? “If the bidder submits a proposal based on a reduced scope that reflects the $500,000 cap, will the bidder be disqualified; or is the intent for all bidders to scope all requested items within the RFB?”


“The terms and conditions of the RFB, including the deliverables, are not negotiable,” the government repeats. Did you read the stuff we posted?


OK, OK. But it’s August, right, and we’ll have just two weeks to compare Ontario’s budgets to what they spend in other jurisdictions. We might call Alberta and find that they’re on vacation, a potential bidder writes. “Given that it is the summer and often people are unavailable, if insufficient responses are obtained from the jurisdictional review, will the project be automatically extended?”


No. “There is no intention, at this time, to extend the timetable should jurisdictional findings be delayed,” the answer says. “The government is working under tight timelines to meet 2018-19 fiscal targets for improving program efficiency and overall value-for-money of program spending in the short-, medium-, and long-term. As such, timing of the delivery of the line-by-line review and recommendations is important to help support this commitment.”


The province doesn’t have contact information to supply; won’t put any government staff on the review team; and won’t hand over any previous work that might have been done to compare Ontario to other provinces, states or governments abroad. It will give the winning bidder access to the government’s financial-reporting system. For everything else, the outside team will be on its own.


Before the City of Ottawa did its dud of a deal a few years ago with Plasco, which promised to turn garbage into electricity cleanly and efficiently, the city commissioned a survey of comparable technologies. It was thrown together in a couple of weeks from database entries kept by a consulting firm, some of them outdated. The report was obsolete before it was delivered, which was fantastic for a document purporting to describe state-of-the-art technology. But the thing fulfilled its purpose. It gave the city a study to wave around.


That’s what this “line by line audit” is shaping up to be for the province: Done fast, on the cheap, using whatever data is lying around. With results and recommendations of a quality to match.


dreevely@postmedia.com

twitter.com/davidreevely


Source: Reevely: Five weeks not long enough for proper audit of Ontario spending, potential bidders warn

51
Defence Watch / Ottawa animator sent to prison on child porn charges
« on: July 29, 2018, 03:08:47 PM »
Ottawa animator sent to prison on child porn charges

An Ottawa artist who helped animate children’s TV shows has been sentenced to 28 months in prison for possessing more than 60,000 images of child pornography and sharing them online. Tom Wysom, 55, has worked on TV productions such as My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Littlest Pet Shop, according to the Internet Movie […]

An Ottawa artist who helped animate children’s TV shows has been sentenced to 28 months in prison for possessing more than 60,000 images of child pornography and sharing them online.


Tom Wysom, 55, has worked on TV productions such as My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and Littlest Pet Shop, according to the Internet Movie Database.


Wysom was sentenced earlier this month after pleading guilty to the charges in December, two months after police executed a search warrant at his home in Old Ottawa South.


Police found 60,165 pictures — many of them duplicates — along with 1,626 videos, some of which depicted adults engaging in sexual behaviours with children. In some of the images, young girls had their hands and feet bound.


In a pre-sentence report, presented to court, Wysom told a probation officer that he developed an addiction to adult pornography about a decade ago, but slowly became desensitized to it and “needed something more.” He turned to child pornography, Wysom said, which became a way to deal with his clinical depression and other medical issues.


A forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Jonathan Gray, conducted a sexual behaviours assessment of Wysom and concluded he had a “pedophilic disorder.” Wysom told Gray he turned to child porn in response to the untreated stress he was experiencing.


Justice David Berg took exception to Wysom’s attempt to blame outside forces for his behaviour.


“I think that you are still quite far from comprehending that the problem is you and only you,” the judge told Wysom in his decision. “I think that you are still trying to rationalize your behaviour to yourself and to others in the face of society’s reaction to what you have done.”


The judge told Wysom he could have erased the images on his computer and sought professional help, but chose instead to continue on his destructive path because “he didn’t think he would get caught.”


“The stressors in his life may have led him to throw caution to the wind, but the stressors did not create in Mr. Wysom an ability to take pleasure from those images. That ability pre-existed the stressors,” Berg said.


Court heard that Wysom was born and raised in Wales, where he worked as a postal clerk. He came to Canada in 1992, and hitch-hiked and camped his way across the country before becoming a permanent resident in 1996. He has studied fine art and commercial animation, and once had his work featured at Ottawa’s Cube Gallery.


Dr. Gray told the court that Wysom was a low risk to re-offend or have sexual contact with children.


The judge said he had to sentence Wysom to a prison term — a sentence of two years or more — in order to sufficiently denounce his conduct and deter others from the same path.


Earlier this year, the Court of Appeal for Ontario noted there were now so many reports of child porn-related crime in Ottawa that investigators had to triage their work by “how bad the child pornography is.” Offenders regularly access child porn through peer-to-peer and encrypted internet networks.


Wysom was arrested after a member of the Ottawa Police Service’s Internet Child Exploitation Unit conducted an investigation of a file sharing network with an IP address in Ottawa.


Source: Ottawa animator sent to prison on child porn charges

52
Defence Watch / Serious injuries in head-on Sheffield Road crash
« on: July 27, 2018, 12:02:54 PM »
Serious injuries in head-on Sheffield Road crash

One motorist suffered serious injuries but was in stable condition en route to the hospital Friday morning after a head-on crash on Sheffield Road in the city’s east end. A second motorist suffered less serious injuries in the crash, which happened early in the morning commute between Bantree Street and Humber Place. Roads had reopened […]

One motorist suffered serious injuries but was in stable condition en route to the hospital Friday morning after a head-on crash on Sheffield Road in the city’s east end.


A second motorist suffered less serious injuries in the crash, which happened early in the morning commute between Bantree Street and Humber Place.


Roads had reopened by shortly after 8 a.m.


 





 


Source: Serious injuries in head-on Sheffield Road crash

53
Feared funnel cloud just a rain shaft, experts conclude

During Monday night’s deluge, Ottawa weather-watchers spotted what looked like a funnel cloud, which can become a tornado. Thankfully it was likely just what’s known as a “rain shaft” – a common phenomenon but one that we rarely get to see from just the right perspective. Gerald Cheng, acting warning preparedness meteorologist at Environment and Climate […]

During Monday night’s deluge, Ottawa weather-watchers spotted what looked like a funnel cloud, which can become a tornado.


Thankfully it was likely just what’s known as a “rain shaft” – a common phenomenon but one that we rarely get to see from just the right perspective.


Gerald Cheng, acting warning preparedness meteorologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada, looked at a local video shared on social media and had some experienced forecasters watch it, too.


“They all seem to think that it’s a rain shaft (a column of rain), rather than a funnel cloud, although it’s understandable why people would think that,” Cheng said.


“Whenever there are showers, it’s always possible to see them.  It’s just that one has to be at a vantage point with no rain looking at the cloud that is producing rain below it.”


Not that funnel clouds are unknown in Ottawa.


One was captured over Gatineau last May in a video viewed on Facebook more than 40,000 times.


Last September, Environment Canada warned that conditions were ripe for them to develop with the arrival of a cool and unstable air mass and that there was a risk they could turn into a “weak landspout tornado.”


Ottawans were warned to take any funnel cloud sighting seriously and seek shelter.





 





 


Source: Feared funnel cloud just a rain shaft, experts conclude

54
Algonquin College restores power to 'a large portion' of Ottawa campus

Algonquin College announced Saturday evening that crews had restored power to “a large portion” of the Ottawa campus that had been hit by a wide-scale outage around 3 p.m. Friday. The college said the outage was caused by “a fault in the conductors running from Woodroffe Avenue and College Avenue to the central plant.” On its […]

Algonquin College announced Saturday evening that crews had restored power to “a large portion” of the Ottawa campus that had been hit by a wide-scale outage around 3 p.m. Friday.


The college said the outage was caused by “a fault in the conductors running from Woodroffe Avenue and College Avenue to the central plant.”


On its website Saturday evening, Algonquin posted an update saying that it had been able to use one of its two high-efficiency co-generation natural gas plants to generate power for the Ottawa campus.


“As of Saturday evening, we have been able to supply power to all buildings except Buildings T, N, P and S — electrical systems for these buildings are being tested this evening and we are hopeful that power will be restored in these areas over the weekend,” the statement said. “We do not yet have sufficient power to run the main chiller that provides cooling to most buildings, so, while some buildings have full power for lighting, computers and washrooms, they do not yet have air conditioning.”


The student residence had full power supplied by generators, the statement added, while the ACCE Building was operating normally and all regularly scheduled activity there would continue without disruption.


Crews were working to bring the second co-generation plant online, but that process was expected to last until Sunday, the statement continued, and the plan was to bring in additional generators.


“We are unable to provide an ETA on the full restoration of power to all parts of the Ottawa Campus but are working on the assumption that it will be near full power with adequate climate control/air conditioning by Monday morning,” the statement added. “All regularly scheduled activities, programs, and services in areas of the Ottawa Campus other than ACCE Building remain suspended on Sunday and until further notice. 


“Employees in non-essential roles are advised not to come to the campus.”


Students and those accessing the campus were encouraged to watch for updates on the outage on the college’s online student portal and Algonquin’s social media channels over the weekend.


Source: Algonquin College restores power to 'a large portion' of Ottawa campus

55
Aga Khan Academies partner with Ryerson University on training for innovation

The Aga Khan Academies and Ryerson University have established a partnership to help develop Academies students as part of the next wave of socially conscious young innovators. Ryerson is providing 12 fellowships over three years for Academies students and faculty to attend the Ryerson summer programme. The collaboration between Ryerson University and the Academies gives talented students the opportunity to accelerate their learning and hands-on experience with innovation and entrepreneurship at one of Ontario’s premier universities.



Source: Aga Khan Academies partner with Ryerson University on training for innovation

56
Graffiti complaint grinds Bank Street shopkeeper's gears

You have to crane your neck skyward to spot the graffiti Ottawa’s bylaw department wants a longtime Bank Street shopkeeper to clean up. It’s near the top right corner of The Watch Clinic’s two-storey façade, which is only accessible from the building’s roof. “Who is that bothering?,” asked a bewildered Vivian Schenker as she pointed to […]

You have to crane your neck skyward to spot the graffiti Ottawa’s bylaw department wants a longtime Bank Street shopkeeper to clean up.


It’s near the top right corner of The Watch Clinic’s two-storey façade, which is only accessible from the building’s roof.


“Who is that bothering?,” asked a bewildered Vivian Schenker as she pointed to the white graffiti tag. “That’s being anal.”


Last month, Schenker, whose father opened the clock, watch and jewelry sales and service business in 1960, received a registered letter from the City of Ottawa ordering her to remove two graffiti tags within two weeks. The city’s graffiti management bylaw requires properties to be kept free of graffiti.


An employee has already removed a tag spray-painted on some bricks at eye level adjacent to the shop’s entrance, but the remaining graffiti, which she figures has been there for at least three or four years, poses more of a challenge. It’s high up and a power washer won’t remove spray paint from the baked aluminum surface.


Schenker hoped her efforts thus far would have been satisfactory, but the bylaw officer on the case is insistent the second tag must also go.


Schenker says she’s been told it could cost $670 to remove the graffiti.


And if she doesn’t get the job done, the city will do it for her and recover its costs by adding them to her next property-tax bill.


It’s an infuriating example of a victim being forced to pay for someone else’s crime, Schenker said.


“People are defacing our building and then we’re held responsible.”


Bylaw department spokeswoman Christine Hartig confirmed a pair of seasonal employees has been conducting proactive enforcement, as well as responding to hundreds of complaints from the public regarding graffiti on private property in two downtown wards.


Bank Street business owner Vivian Schenker of The Watch Clinic is frustrated with the city after she was ordered to remove some graffiti from a hard-to-reach part of her building.


It makes no difference if the graffiti is at eye level or up high, Hartig said.


“We don’t look at these as minor or major. A violation is a violation.”


The only distinction made pertains to hate graffiti, which Hartig said must be removed within 24 hours.


Graffiti is a constant — and costly — challenge for business improvement areas.


With funding help from the city, the Bank Street BIA spends about $30,000 per year on graffiti cleanup and mural projects, “and it’s not enough,” said executive director Christine Leadman. “We tend to get hit the worst.”


The BIA removes graffiti at eye level, but can’t cover the cost of removing the higher-up and harder-to-reach tags, she said.


Leadman attributed a recent rise in graffiti cleanup orders to an “energetic bylaw person taking the smallest things and sending businesses fines.”


The city’s focus should be on removing big, significant examples of graffiti that could send visitors the wrong signal about the area, as opposed to small, inoffensive tags, Leadman said.


While the bylaw department regularly orders businesses to clean up graffiti, both Schenker and Leadman noted pay-and-display parking stations along Bank Street are often emblazoned with tags and no one seems to be in a hurry to clean those up. “If it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander, right?” Schenker said.


The city says an outside contractor is responsible for maintaining the machines “based on service requests.”


Graffiti on city-owned assets is handled by the public works department, which last year spent more than $730,000 on graffiti removal. The bylaw department handles graffiti complaints on private property.


Further south on Bank Street, graffiti is an ongoing problem but the Glebe BIA is quick to clean it up, even if it’s on a second storey or higher, said executive director Andrew Peck.


“We want to keep the area attractive, so it’s in everyone’s interest that we address it as quick as we can,” he said.


The Glebe BIA spends about $20,000 per year on graffiti cleanup and mural projects, Peck said. He recalled an occasion when a single vandal left between 20 and 30 tags along the street in a single night.


Schenker, who pays roughly $20,000 annually in property taxes, says the city should have a special fund to protect taxpayers, and not chew up so much of its own time and resources writing up “unimportant” fines.


It should also hire more police officers to bust vandals, especially on main streets.


“This is our Yonge Street, it’s the main artery of our city,” she said.


mpearson@postmedia.com


twitter.com/mpearson78


Source: Graffiti complaint grinds Bank Street shopkeeper's gears

57
Highway 401 slow after 'freezie' truck catches fire near Brockville

Traffic remained slow on the eastbound Highway 401 near Brockville early Wednesday after a tractor-trailer carrying a load of “freezie” desserts caught fire. The incident occurred near the Highway 2 exit at about 1 a.m. The force of the collision apparently burst the tractor’s fuel tanks, resulting in a fire that was visible for several […]

Traffic remained slow on the eastbound Highway 401 near Brockville early Wednesday after a tractor-trailer carrying a load of “freezie” desserts caught fire.


The incident occurred near the Highway 2 exit at about 1 a.m.


The force of the collision apparently burst the tractor’s fuel tanks, resulting in a fire that was visible for several kilometres.


Highway 401 was initially closed in both directions for firefighting efforts. Westbound traffic resumed by about 5 a.m.


Police said eastbound lanes are expected to be closed until about 8 p.m. for vehicle removal and resurfacing of damaged asphalt.


Environment ministry officials are on scene to supervise removal of the remaining diesel fuel.


There were no reported injuries.





Source: Highway 401 slow after 'freezie' truck catches fire near Brockville

58
Shalaby: Broncos tragedy – more than 3 months later, roads no safer

With the conclusion of the RCMP investigation into the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, and the commencement of court action against truck driver Jaskirat Sidhu, many unanswered questions remain. Chief among them is if rural roads are any safer today than before the crash. The RCMP aimed to find out: “Why was the truck in the […]

With the conclusion of the RCMP investigation into the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, and the commencement of court action against truck driver Jaskirat Sidhu, many unanswered questions remain. Chief among them is if rural roads are any safer today than before the crash.


The RCMP aimed to find out: “Why was the truck in the intersection at the time of the crash?” Their reconstruction of the crash led to 29 charges against Sidhu, but little else is known.


Experts pointed to the two-way stop signs, a stand of trees obstructing the view of both drivers, and absence of rumble strips as contributing factors in the crash, in addition to the most obvious cause, Sidhu’s limited commercial driving experience.


Sidhu’s truck consisted of a tractor towing two semi-trailers. It’s overall length was in excess of 25 metres, and it could weigh up to 65 tonnes when fully loaded. It is a difficult truck to manoeuvre or drive, let alone by a novice.


Moreover, driver training is not mandatory for commercial drivers in all provinces except Ontario, where minimum training of 103.5 hours was introduced last July. Prairie provinces and British Columbia will introduce mandatory driver training, but it will not kick in until next year at the soonest. Transport Canada will require seat belts on coaches but not until 2020.


Because none of these factors has changed in a substantive and systemic way, whether at Armley Corner where the crash occurred, or at the tens of thousands of similar rural intersections in Canada, we are not any safer today, more than 100 days after the crash. At least not yet.


To assign a large truck of this size to a novice driver seems reckless, yet the truck’s owner did not breach any rules, and was not charged by the RCMP.


Would a novice pilot – without training – be in command of a large jet? Would that pilot be allowed to fly anyway until we sort out if they should receive training? This scenario is impossible because Transport Canada regulates strict pilot training requirements, but not commercial truck driver training requirements. Those are left to each province.


The checkered status quo of road safety is largely due to the absent leadership of Transport Canada, and the lack of oversight by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB).


Transport Canada’s mandate includes only limited fragments of road safety, leaving the bulk of the regulations and design standards to the provinces, without federal guidance. The TSB’s mandate covers safety investigations of air, rail, marine and pipeline transportation, but intentionally not road transportation, despite it being the cause of nearly 95 per cent of all transportation fatalities in Canada.


A case in point is the 2013 collision of an OC Transpo double-decker bus and a Via Rail train at a level crossing in Ottawa. The bus failed to stop clear of the rail line, and the Via train sheared off its front end. Six people died and 35 were injured, all on the bus.


Because the crash involved a train, it fell under the TSB’s jurisdiction. The TSB conducted an independent safety investigation and issued recommendations to all parties. For example, Transport Canada was asked to develop crashworthiness standards for buses, and to equip buses with event data recorders.


It is quite disappointing that no independent federal investigators were deployed to the tragic Broncos bus crash. Because the crash was exclusively between two highway vehicles, it was outside the TSB’s mandate, and entirely under provincial jurisdiction.


Yet, armed with an unrestricted mandate, federal investigators would have identified safety upgrades that must be applied across the country; whether additional endorsements or training are required to drive trucks that pull multiple trailers; and they would have ensured that every intersection, curve, and bridge meets a minimum and uniform safety criteria.


The 2017 tragic Grenfell tower fire in London, England, brought sweeping changes to fire safety regulations in the United Kingdom and internationally.


The Humboldt Broncos crash must also bring sweeping changes to road safety. It is time for Canada to establish a road safety watchdog (or empower the TSB) to independently investigate significant road crashes and bridge collapses for the benefit of all Canadians.


Will the candidates for the 2019 federal election take note?


Ahmed Shalaby is a Professor and Municipal Infrastructure Research Chair, University of Manitoba. @Ahmed_Shalaby


Source: Shalaby: Broncos tragedy – more than 3 months later, roads no safer

59
Spencer: In praise of the 'obit' – remarkable lives, shared with all

These are beautiful bits of story-telling, made available by families in loving, delightfully unpolished doses.

It seems the stuff of a movie. The young man was born in Estonia, spent his childhood on a farm, then was dispatched to Tallinn for high school. During the Second World War, he travelled to Finland and joined the Finnish army to fight the Soviets. He was gravely injured, but while recovering met his future wife. As the invading Soviets looked to deport Estonians from Finland, he fled to Sweden. He and his wife eventually made their way to Canada, specifically Ottawa, and raised a family. He was awarded the White Rose of Finland medal for his war service.


I never met Eric Jarvlepp, but I read his death notice in the Citizen’s classifieds recently; he sounds like an extraordinary man. As does Allen Cook, featured in the obituary section on the same day. Originally from South Africa, Cook worked diligently to help end apartheid, and managed a global legal human rights program for young lawyers. “He was a remarkably friendly person who cared deeply for others,” his obituary says. Indeed. Friends were to gather in memory of him today.


In the same newspaper, there was also a whimsical obituary of Sally Waldo, described as “strong, and stubborn.” Around her house, the expression “Don’t mess with the redhead” was a common refrain. She volunteered, was generous with everyone but also “had a ferocious backhand on the tennis court.” She belonged to a family with a “quirky sense of humour,” which is clear in the description of her.


I’m not sure when I started becoming a regular reader of the classified advertising obituaries in newspapers. As a journalist, I’ve always scanned the “obits” just in case some terribly important national politician or notorious criminal has passed away, which might require a news story. But at some point, I found myself doing more than casting a cursory glance. Some weekends, I spend as much time absorbed in the obituary entries as I do reviewing the work of my own colleagues.


Maybe it became required personal reading after I had to write the death notice for my own father a few years back. I struggled to craft something that conveyed his generous and gentle spirit, something that would have his friends and family saying, “Yes, that was him, exactly!” As I wrote it, I remembered those instances as a teenager when I made fun of both my parents for the time they spent reading the obits.


I understand better now. It wasn’t simply a case of looking to see if anyone they knew had expired, though that is a natural instinct as we age. It was because you could read about all sorts of different people and their lives outside your own circle – and they weren’t made up, they weren’t characters from a novel or movie, they weren’t social media flashes. They were farmers, or electricians, or people who went bowling, or who carved non-traditional careers or mothered a dozen offspring while finding the time to become amateur musicians. Nor were their lives filtered through the lens of journalists, who often (though not always) find their stories amid controversy, and who have been drilled in the “tell all sides – the good, bad and ugly” school of inquiry. That kind of writing is essential to a democracy, which needs vigilance and challenge, but there are other kinds of storytelling too, and the death notices make it available in delightfully unpolished doses, outside the jagged glibness of the Twitter era.


The magic of the obituaries isn’t just that so many seemingly ordinary people – most of whom you’ve never heard of – have done interesting things; it’s that their families and friends want them remembered not for their sins (which surely they had) but for the best within them. Children and spouses have not forgotten sharp words or bad decisions; they have just come to understand that these did not represent the essence of the person they are describing.


In a world where bleak things sometimes happen, a peaceful Saturday morning meander though these tales presents a collective reminder of human decency and love. It is like a movie – of good lives lived, and of hope for those who remain. Thanks for sharing.


Christina Spencer is the Citizen’s editorial pages editor.


 


Source: Spencer: In praise of the 'obit' – remarkable lives, shared with all

60
Man, 29, in one of 'largest ever' heroin busts in Gatineau

A 29-year-old Gatineau man faces an assortment of drug trafficking charges in what Gatineau police describe as “one of the largest heroin seizures” ever in the community. Police said they seized a total of 634 grams of “purple heroin” in the raids. Health Canada lab tests are being conducted to determine whether the heroin contains […]

A 29-year-old Gatineau man faces an assortment of drug trafficking charges in what Gatineau police describe as “one of the largest heroin seizures” ever in the community.


Police said they seized a total of 634 grams of “purple heroin” in the raids.


Health Canada lab tests are being conducted to determine whether the heroin contains fentanyl, carfentanil or other substances.


The first raid occurred July 3 at 44 Claire St., in old Gatineau district.


That raid led to raids at three addresses in Ottawa, as well as three safety deposit boxes, as well as a safety deposit box in a Toronto bank. Ottawa police’s guns and gangs unit and Toronto police assisted in the investigation.


In addition to the heroin, police seized 235 grams of cannabis, 11 grams of cocaine, $3,518 in Canadian funds and $100 in U.S. funds, several cellphones, jewelry, a hydraulic press and other drug trafficking gear.


Gérard Rakithin Gérard appeared in a Gatineau court July 4.


 


Source: Man, 29, in one of 'largest ever' heroin busts in Gatineau

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