Sheila Lemaitre says her husband was used as scapegoat by Mounties after death of Polish immigrant at Vancouver airport in 2007

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By: The Canadian Press, Published on Fri Jul 31 2015

Pierre Lemaitre leaving the Braidwood inquiry, where he testified in 2009. ((CBC))

VANCOUVER — The wife of an RCMP officer who killed himself two years ago claims that her husband was used by the Mounties as a scapegoat in the death of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver’s airport in October 2007.

In a statement of claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court, Sheila Lemaitre said her husband, Pierre, was told he would lose his job if he tried to correct misinformation given to the media about the night Dziekanski died.

The sergeant was the media relations officer who released information about the incident where the Polish immigrant was jolted with a police Taser and died on the floor of the arrivals area.

The lawsuit claimed Lemaitre wanted to correct the information, but was ordered not to say anything.

“As a result of this incorrect information, his immediate removal as RCMP spokesman, the subsequent public release of the private video . . . he was brought into public contempt where he was accused in the public of being the ‘RCMP liar’ and/or the RCMP spin doctor,” the statement said.

The bystander video released after the Dziekanski confrontation with police was much different that the original version of events given to media by RCMP.

In fact, the four officers involved were later charged with perjury for testimony they gave at the public inquiry looking into the death.

The officers were all tried separately and two were convicted, while two were acquitted.




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TORONTO: Vadim Kazenelson guilty of four counts of criminal negligence causing death

Project manager found guilty on 5 criminal charges in 2009 incident

The Canadian Press Posted: Jun 26, 2015 9:42 AM ET Last Updated: Jun 26, 2015 3:32 PM ET

In this 2010 photo, Uzbek refugee Dilshod Marupov stands in front of a Toronto apartment building where he was almost killed in a scaffold collapse the year before.In this 2010 photo, Uzbek refugee Dilshod Marupov stands in front of a Toronto apartment building where he was almost killed in a scaffold collapse the year before. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press)

An Ontario Superior Court judge found Vadim Kazenelson guilty of four counts of criminal negligence causing death and one count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

Kazenelson was aware that fall protections were not in place, but he nevertheless allowed his workers to board the swing stage, the judge said.

“In his failure to act, he showed wanton and reckless disregard,” Judge Ian MacDonnell said.

li-620-scaffold-cbcFour died in the Dec. 24, 2009, collapse. (CBC)

Kazenelson sat quietly as his judgment was delivered. Family members of the victims gave each other sombre high-fives and pats on the back as they left the courtroom Friday.

The crew was 13 storeys up when the stage split in two on Christmas Eve in 2009. Kazenelson managed to hold onto a 13th-floor balcony but five men plummeted to the ground. Four died and one suffered serious injuries.

Gala Bakery in Hamilton to receive refugee employment award from Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Jun 22, 2015 | Vote0   0

Gala Bakery wins immigration employment award



John Rennison,The Hamilton Spectator

Alen Dodik tosses dough for bureks at Gala Bakery.
Hamilton Spectator

Gala Bakery in Hamilton will receive a refugee employment award from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

Gala Bakery owner Jacqueline Janosevic

The east Mountain company which was nominated by Wesley Urban Ministries, has been hiring newcomers since 2002.

“They are definitely a model employer,” said Stephanie Taylor, director of neighbourhoods and newcomer services for Wesley.

“This employer is very accommodating with employees. They have hired some of our refugees and they support them quite strongly.”

She said Gala works to ensure training and supports are available to help new workers settle into their jobs.

Taylor said work stability is one of the key factors of success for refugees and other newcomers to Canada. Wesley has worked with between 40 and 50 employers over the past year to help newcomers integrate.

“Through our refugee hiring initiative, we have been able to meet and develop dedicated Gala Bakery employees. We are proud to be leaders in the Hamilton community,” said bakery owner Jacqueline Janosevic in a federal government press release.

She could not be reached for comment Monday.

The rapidly growing Gala specializes in European-style baked goods. Its burek, a stuffed pastry popular in the Balkans, the Middle East and North Africa, is sold at Costco.

In a Spectator story last fall, Janosevic said making burek is so specialized, she has to bring bakers from Macedonia, Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia because no machine can replicate the technique.

Gala’s sales have grown 450 per cent since 2002, thanks to contracts with Fortinos, Sobeys, Highland Farms, Longos, Loblaws and a range of independent retailers.

Other winners recognized for the national award are Safeway Operations, Sobeys Inc., nominated by Calgary Catholic Immigration Services, and Dexter Construction of Halifax, nominated by Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia.

More than 12,300 refugees settled in Canada last year.

Ethnic communities feel betrayed as Rogers Television cuts back its multilingual newscasts

Jun 17, 2015 | Vote0   0

Diversity uncut as Rogers dismantles multilingual TV: Goar

Ethnic communities sound the alarm as Rogers Television cuts back its multilingual newscasts

Rogers Broadcasting Building

Rogers Broadcasting Building

Rene Johnston / Toronto Star

The Rogers Broadcasting Building, home, until recently, to newscasts in Cantonese, Mandarin, Italian and Punjabi.

“The math didn’t work,” Colette Watson said matter-of-factly. She is the vice-president of television and operations at Rogers Television.

It wasn’t a question of math, insisted the Cantonese, Mandarin, Italian and Punjabi-speaking viewers whose newscasts had been chopped. It was a betrayal, pure and simple.

In their view, the media giant’s latest cutback broke a long-standing commitment by Ted Rogers, the founder of the network. It violated the broadcaster’s 35-year pledge to champion diversity. It threw Canada’s ethnic minorities off the bus to make room for big-bucks sports franchises and lucrative digital platforms.

“Rogers has stripped bare the first-ever multilingual television licence,” said Dr. Joseph Wong, founder of the Yee Hong Foundation for Geriatric Care and a longtime member of the Chinese Canadian National Council. “We are asking the federal government and the CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission) to make sure Rogers does not systematically dismantle an important part of Canada’s multicultural broadcasting heritage.”

He spoke for a coalition of community groups — the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, the Canadian Ethnocultural Council, the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants and the Toronto chapter of the Chinese Canadian National Council — fighting to the reverse the cutback.

There is no simple truth in this cash-verses-culture battle.

TORONTO: Darya Selinevich faces nine charges in connection with deadly hit and run


Cyclist dead after alleged hit and run, woman faces 9 charges

Darya Selinevich, 22, allegedly fled the scene after the collision

CBC News Posted: Jun 11, 2015 6:59 AM ET Last Updated: Jun 11, 2015 12:49 PM ET

A bicycle lies at the scene of a hit and run that killed a cyclist early Thursday morning in Toronto.A bicycle lies at the scene of a hit and run that killed a cyclist early Thursday morning in Toronto. (Tony Smyth/CBC)

Darya Selinevich allegedly fled the scene after hitting a 44-year-old cyclist who was crossing an intersection.

A 44-year-old man was pronounced dead at Finch Avenue West and Tobermory Road.

The man, who has yet to be identified, suffered “catastrophic, traumatic injuries,” said EMS supervisor Ryan Van Poorten.

Soon after the crash, police located a woman in a vehicle they believe was involved in the incident about 5.5 kilometres away from the scene. She was allegedly driving a badly damaged, dark blue BMW.

Toronto cyclist killedDarya Selinevich, 22, faces nine charges in connection with the deadly hit and run. (Amar Shah/CBC)

Selinevich faces seven criminal charges and two provincial charges.

Of the nine charges, seven are criminal charges:

  • Driving while disqualified.
  • Criminal negligence causing death.
  • Dangerous operation causing death.
  • Impaired operation causing death.
  • Fail to stop after accident causing death.
  • Flight while being pursued by police.
  • Refusing to provide a breath sample, after someone has died.

The two provincial charges are:

  • Driving while under suspension.
  • Driving a motor vehicle with no current validation on the plate.


Police in the U.K. lured to Canada with promise of better pay and higher standard of living

Aggressive recruiting, cuts to police services has resulted in officer migration

By June Chua, CBC News Posted: Jun 09, 2015 3:15 PM ET Last Updated: Jun 09, 2015 3:15 PM ET

Police in the U.K. have been lured to Canada with the promise of better pay and a higher standard of living.Police in the U.K. have been lured to Canada with the promise of better pay and a higher standard of living. (Matt Dunham/Reuters)

Hundreds of officers from the United Kingdom have relocated to Canada in the past decade opting for what they perceive to be a higher standard of living, lower crime rates and better opportunities for their children.

One of them was Edmonton Const. Daniel Woodall, who was gunned down while serving a warrant. Woodall arrived in Canada in 2006 and was with Edmonton’s hate crimes unit. He had previously worked for the Greater Manchester Police.

Recently, officers like Woodall have been emigrating due to “austerity measures” amid the U.K.’s economic downturn, according to Michael Gendron of the Canadian Police Service, an umbrella organization representing the country’s 60,000 frontline officers.

“Due to the economic situation over there, many services got cut,”Gendron told CBC News.”Police had significant cuts to their pay rate and big changes to their pensions.”

Coupled with the booming oil economy of Alberta, officers overseas have been quick to sign up for jobs in places such as Edmonton and Calgary, where police services have been actively recruiting in the U.K. for more than a decade.