SURREY, B.C.: Yosef Jomo Gopaul pleads guilty to manslaughter and robbery in death of Julie Paskall

Ms. Paskall, 53, had been waiting to pick up her son from the Newton Arena following a hockey game on Dec. 29, 2013, when she was attacked. She died two days later in hospital.

Man pleads guilty in death of B.C. hockey mom, sentenced to 12 years

Yosef Jomo Gopaul at the court. (SKETCH BY FELICITY DON)

ANDREA WOO

SURREY, B.C. — The Globe and Mail

Published 

Last updated 

A man charged in the fatal beating of hockey mom Julie Paskall, whose death in Surrey, B.C., crystallized fears about the area being unsafe, pleaded guilty Friday and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

With credit for time already served, Yosef Jomo Gopaul has 10½ years remaining in his sentence.

Mr. Gopaul, 28, was initially charged with second-degree murder but he pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter and one count of robbery. The 12-year sentence was the result of a joint recommendation from the Crown and the defence.

Ms. Paskall, 53, had been waiting to pick up her son from the Newton Arena following a hockey game on Dec. 29, 2013, when she was attacked. She died two days later in hospital.

In an emotional victim impact statement, Ms. Paskall’s husband, Al, said the two had met as teens and been best friends for nearly four decades.

“Every day with her was an adventure, and now my adventure is over,” he said through tears.

“Nothing matters any more.”

Ms. Paskall’s daughter Rhiannon told the court that she has cerebral palsy and that her mother had always been her biggest cheerleader.

“My mom was truly my best friend in the entire world,” she said, sobbing.

On Friday, the court heard that Mr. Gopaul had confessed to an undercover officer posing as a crime boss that he struck Ms. Paskall in the head with a rock. He claimed his intention was not to kill her, but to rob her.

He also confessed to a robbery that occured almost two weeks before the attack on Ms. Paskall. On Dec. 16, Mr. Gopaul struck a young Asian woman with a rock, beat her and then took her mobile phone and other belongings, the court heard.

Weak link found between religion, terrorism for Canada

Weak link found between religion, terrorism for Canada

Only two per cent of attacks labelled as violent extremism were perpetrated by religious groups.

TSAS Graph
Canadian Incident Database.

Marie-Danielle Smith
Published: Wednesday, 05/20/2015 12:00 am EDT
Last Updated: Wednesday, 05/20/2015 10:23 am EDT

A new comprehensive database on terrorism occurring in Canada, or involving Canadian perpetrators, victims or targets, has added another tool to the belts of policymakers focused on anti-terrorism efforts.

The open-source Canadian Incident Database is available for free at extremism.ca. It captures unclassified incidents from 1960 to present, including hoaxes and threats. Data was drawn from more than a dozen existing datasets, according to a presentation given at Carleton University last week.

Despite the existence of new threats and new trends such as the recruitment of foreign fighters by terrorist groups, incidents of terrorism haven’t necessarily become more prevalent in Canada, according to findings from the database.

Of 1,405 recorded incidents that occurred in Canada since 1960, 50 happened in the last five years and 13 in the last two, the majority of them threats instead of successful attacks. The Oct. 22 shooting in Ottawa counts as two incidents—one at the war memorial, one on the Hill.

Though recent discourse from Canadian politicians has focused on religious motivations for terrorism, and ISIS in particular, events that occurred in Canada have tended not to be religiously motivated. Of the 1,405 incidents, 255, or about 18 per cent, were religiously motivated, according to the database, and only two per cent of attacks labelled as violent extremism were perpetrated by religious groups.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has consistently characterized terrorist threats facing Canada as coming from a single category: Islamic extremism or “jihadism.” In a January 30 speech introducing the controversial Anti-Terrorism Act, or Bill C-51, Mr. Harper said: “Jihadi terrorism is not a human right; it is an act of war.”

That exact phrase has been repeated, verbatim, 10 times in the House of Commons by 10 different Conservative MPs in the last couple of months, according to Open Parliament, largely in defence of Bill C-51. 

Detecting marriage fraud in Canada called ‘racist and offensive’

Photograph by: Pat McGrath, Ottawa Citizen Mohamed Soumah, was by all accounts deported back to his native country of Guinea in West Africa. He had walked out on his 2007 marriage to Towell three weeks after uttering his wedding vows

May 20, 2015 | Vote 0   0

Liars or in love? Detecting marriage fraud in Canada called ‘racist and offensive’

Red flags include Chinese marrying non-Chinese, small wedding receptions, an uneducated Canadian with a low-paying job or on welfare trying to sponsor a foreign spouse

Hamilton Spectator

Sean Saulnier married his Brazilian wife in their backyard last May. They didn’t kiss on the lips for photos. There was no diamond ring and no family in attendance.

According to a leaked training guide meant to help immigration officials detect marriage fraud, the Victoria, B.C., couple’s marriage would have raised a bunch of red flags as a “non-genuine” relationship.

The three-page training guide, titled “Evidence of Relationship,” lists clues officers should look for in assessing a spousal sponsorship application. Ostensible warning signs that it’s a sham marriage include: couples who are not depicted kissing on the lips in their wedding photos; university-educated Chinese nationals who marry non-Chinese; a small wedding reception in a restaurant; a Canadian sponsor who is relatively uneducated, with a low-paying job or on welfare.

Other red flags include couples who don’t take a honeymoon trip, perhaps because they were students or lack the financial resources to do so; no diamond ring; and photos of activities together taken in Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake and Toronto.

The training material, obtained under an access to information request and posted online by immigration lawyer Steven Meurrens, has created an uproar on social media among some Canadians and their foreign-born spouses.

“We all thought it was a joke. There’s no way this was real. Then we found out the guide was real and it was like, ‘Oh, my God, this is discriminatory. It’s against the Charter,’” said Saulnier, 37, who met his wife, Juliana, 35, while she was studying English in Toronto in 2011.

“I was born in Canada. This is racist and offensive. I’m just floored that this is accepted as criteria Immigration uses in judging the validity of my relationship,” added the software executive, whose wife is among thousands of foreign spouses waiting for long periods — the current average is 26 months — to be granted permanent residency.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada denied that the training material was racist and insisted all spousal applications from around the world are assessed equally, against exactly the same criteria, regardless of country of origin.

VANCOUVER: Li Zhao charged in killing and dismembering Gang Yuan

Gang Yuan, dismembered millionaire, allegedly killed for his money

B.C. Supreme Court petition claims victim financially supported accused killer’s family

By Jason Proctor, CBC News Posted: May 20, 2015 5:55 PM PT Last Updated: May 21, 2015 8:44 AM PT

Dismembered millionaire allegedly killed for his money 2:29

A court battle has erupted over the estate of wealthy businessman Gang Yuan, whose dismembered body was found last month at an exclusive West Vancouver address.

Yuan’s brother, Qiang Yuan, has obtained a B.C. Supreme Court order giving him the go-ahead on behalf of Yuan’s estate to sue Li Zhao, the man charged with second-degree murder in Yuan’s death.

In an unusual press conference, the family’s lawyer claimed Yuan was supporting Zhao and his wife, who was allegedly seen driving the victim’s Bentley within days of his death.

“So the question arises, why would someone kill his benefactor?” said Chris Johnson, who represents the victim’s brother and speculated about the motivation for the murder.

“With the known facts, there is really only one conclusion: Mr. Zhao did this for financial reasons. He thought that he could get a free house. Not just any house, but a very valuable house in West Vancouver.”

Widow, ex-soldier move for final judgment on $134M suit against Omar Khadr

Widow, ex-soldier move for final judgment on $134M suit against Omar Khadr

Follow The Lethbridge Herald on Twitter@LethHerald Latest Tweet

BY COLIN PERKEL, THE CANADIAN PRESS ON MAY 17, 2015.
Omar Khadr walks out the front door of his lawyer Dennis Edney's home to speak the media in Edmonton, Thursday, May 7, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan DenetteOmar Khadr walks out the front door of his lawyer Dennis Edney’s home to speak the media in Edmonton, Thursday, May 7, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

TORONTO – The widow of an American special forces soldier killed in Afghanistan and another soldier partially blinded by a hand grenade have moved to finalize a default civil-suit judgment against former Guantanamo Bay prisoner Omar Khadr.

Court documents filed in Utah April 24, the day an Alberta court granted Khadr bail, show the plaintiffs are asking the courts to award them triple damages for a total of US$134.1 million.

Lawyer Laura Tanner, who represents Tabitha Speer and Layne Morris, said in an interview she would be filing a final order for the federal judge to review and sign within days.

Once that happens – final word on damages would be up to the judge – the families can move to have the judgment enforced against Khadr, 28, in a Canadian court.

(…)

Mohammad Shafia and his gang terrorize inmates to attend Friday prayers

Senate committee hears about Shafia, serving life sentence for 2009 murders of 1st wife, 3 daughters

CBC News Posted: May 05, 2015 11:22 AM ET Last Updated: May 05, 2015 12:42 PM ET

Mohammad Shafia, his wife, Tooba Yahya and their son, Hamed, were convicted in 2012 of the murders of the couple's three daughters and Shafia's first wife. A national security committee was told Tuesday that Mohammad Shafia intimidated inmates into attending prayers.Mohammad Shafia, his wife, Tooba Yahya and their son, Hamed, were convicted in 2012 of the murders of the couple’s three daughters and Shafia’s first wife. A national security committee was told Tuesday that Mohammad Shafia intimidated inmates into attending prayers.
The Montreal man serving a life sentence for killing his wife and three teenage daughters intimidated other prisoners to the point that one asked to be put in isolation, a Senate committee has heard. Psychologist Robert Groves, who worked in Kingston Penitentiary, testified Monday before the national security and defence committee hearing on security threats facing Canada. He said he met with one particular non-Muslim inmate who went to great lengths to avoid Shafia.

“It turned out that he felt so intimidated by Shafia and some of his lieutenants, that he chose to give up his relative freedom of movement on the range in the general population for a much more restricted life on a social isolation range,” Groves said. “He could no longer come to see me. I had to go to his cell on the isolation range. He advised me that confinement was worth it to avoid the hassle of dealing with ‘the Muslims’” After his first-degree murder conviction in 2012, Shafia took on a religious leadership role at the Kingston Penitentiary — the onetime maximum-security prison — organizing Friday prayers when the sole Imam permitted to minister to inmates in Canada was not available, according to Groves.