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

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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.

Khadr’s release is bittersweet for Canada’s Muslims

Khadr’s release is bittersweet for Canada’s Muslims

SHEEMA KHAN

Special to The Globe and Mail

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“The Khadr case is a black mark on my own country’s international reputation and standing in the fight for child rights and human rights as a whole,” then-senator Roméo Dallaire wrote in the 2012 anthology “Omar Khadr, Oh Canada,” just before Mr. Khadr’s trial in front of the widely discredited military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay. One can only imagine Mr. Dallaire’s indictment of the Harper government’s vindictive policy toward Mr. Khadr since his return.

Mr. Khadr was 15 when he tossed a grenade during a firefight in Afghanistan that allegedly killed a U.S. soldier in July, 2002. The Liberal government acquiesced to his transfer to the Guantanamo Bay prison later that year. Since 2006, the Conservatives ignored calls by respected jurists, human rights organizations and the Supreme Court to bring Mr. Khadr home. Every Western nation except Canada repatriated its citizens from Guantanamo. When Mr. Khadr did return, the Conservatives used every possible means – at considerable taxpayers’ expense – to keep him behind bars, as an adult, under maximum security. When that did not work, they tried to silence him by rejecting media requests to interview him. They opposed bail. In the interim, they painted him as a hardened criminal, without hope of reform, using the charged label “convicted terrorist.”

Racist bullying plagues Calgary family in mostly-black housing complex, mother says

Blair France says she and her family have become the target of racist taunts while living at a housing complex in southwest Calgary that is primarily populated by black residents.Blair France says she and her family have become the target of racist taunts while living at a housing complex in southwest Calgary that is primarily populated by black residents. (Tim Devlin/CBC)

A Calgary mother says she and her kids have become victims of racist attacks from other children in their southwest housing complex, where most of the residents are black.

Blair France says her family has been taunted and pushed around for ‘being white.’ 

 ”They call me white trash and a marshmallow. They say I don’t belong here because I’m white,” said France’s 12-year-old daughter Deborah France.

Local children even come on to France’s front lawn at the Shaganappi Village complex, swearing at the family and pelting the house with rocks, she says.

“I’ve called the police numerous times.”

“I’m in fear for my life. I sleep on my couch at night because I’m afraid that someone is going to break into our house,” said France.

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.

Parti Québécois MNA accuses Adil Charkaoui of indoctrinating youth

Parti Québécois MNA accuses Muslim teacher of indoctrinating youth

LES PERREAUX

MONTREAL — The Globe and Mail

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Last updated 

The whispers followed Muslim teacher Adil Charkaoui for months as young Quebeckers who crossed his path headed off to join overseas jihadi groups. Those murmurs suddenly turned into shouts when a member of the Parti Québécois called Mr. Charkaoui a “merchant of hate” and directly accused him of indoctrinating young extremists.

The arrest of 10 young people who police say tried to leave Montreal to join the terrorist group Islamic State has placed renewed scrutiny on Mr. Charkaoui, who became a religious teacher and leader of a community centre after years under surveillance and in detention as a terrorism suspect.

In the National Assembly, where members have immunity against defamation lawsuits, PQ MNA Agnès Maltais on Thursday said aloud what until now was limited to insinuation by Mr. Charkaoui’s hardline anti-Islamist critics. She accused Mr. Charkaoui of indoctrinating more than 20 Montreal youth who have left Quebec to join militant groups or were stopped by police as they tried to leave.

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.”

MONTREAL: 10 teens arrested while trying to leave Canada to join ISIS

 

A file image uploaded on June 14, 2014 on the jihadist website Welayat Salahuddin allegedly shows militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) executing dozens of captured Iraqi security forces members at an unknown location in the Salaheddin province (AFP Photo / HO)

Quebec to table anti-radicalization bill after 10 teens arrested at Trudeau airport

Parent’s tip led to arrests of 10 Quebec teens allegedly seeking to join jihadists

CBC News Posted: May 20, 2015 5:14 PM ET Last Updated: May 20, 2015 9:52 PM ET

 10 teens arrested on suspicion of joining jihad 2:34
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What parents can do to save their children from religious extremism 7:54

The Quebec government says it will soon table legislation designed to fight the radicalization of the province’s youth in the wake of 10 arrests over the weekend.

Police believe the teens, who were arrested but not charged, were trying to leave Canada to join jihadists fighting in Turkey and Syria.

Four of the 10 teens arrested were students at Montreal CEGEP Collège de Maisonneuve.