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A list of those killed and injured in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash

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  • The driver of a transport truck who caused the deadly collision last April involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team bus was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison. Jaskirat Singh Sidhu had pleaded guilty earlier this year to dangerous driving. Judge Inez Cardinal began the sentencing by reading aloud each of the victim’s names.

    The 16 who died in the crash:

    Logan Alexander Boulet: A 21-year-old defenceman from Lethbridge, Alta.

    Adam Scott Herold: A 16-year-old defenceman from Montmartre, Sask.

    Logan William Hunter: An 18-year-old forward from St. Albert, Alta.

    Jaxon Christopher Joseph: A 20-year-old forward from St. Albert, Alta.

    Jacob Paul Benjamin Leicht: A 19-year-old forward from Humboldt, Sask.

    Conner Jamie Lukan: A 21-year-old forward from Slave Lake, Alta.

    Logan Evan Schatz: A 20-year-old forward from Allan, Sask.

    Evan Thomas: An 18-year-old forward from Saskatoon, Sask.

    Parker Allen Tobin: An 18-year-old goalie from Stony Plain, Alta.

    Stephen Wack: A 21-year-old defenceman from St. Albert, Alta.

    Tyler Anthony Bieber: A 29-year-old play-by-play announcer from Humboldt, Sask.

    Dayna Brons: A 24-year-old athletic therapist from Lake Lenore, Sask.

    Mark Travis Cross: A 27-year-old assistant coach from Strasbourg, Sask.

    Glen Doerksen: A 59-year-old bus driver from Carrot River, Sask.

    Darcy Haugan: The team’s 42-year-old head coach from Humboldt, Sask.

    Brody Joseph Hinz: The team’s 18-year-old statistician from Humboldt, Sask.

    The 13 players who were injured:

    Graysen Cameron: The 19-year-old forward from Olds, Alta., can’t play hockey again after suffering back injuries, a concussion and an eye injury. He had surgery in November to remove metal rods and screws in an attempt to improve his mobility. He has become an assistant coach for the Red Deer Optimist Chiefs, a top-tier, triple-A hockey team in the Alberta Midget Hockey League.

    Brayden Camrud: The 20-year-old forward from Saskatoon overcame a severe concussion, loss of feeling in one of his arms and neck issues. He also had some cuts on his hands. He has returned to play with the Broncos this season and continues to attend physiotherapy.

    Kaleb Dahlgren: The 21-year-old forward from Saskatoon received a fractured skull, a puncture wound in his head, a brain injury and six broken vertebrae in his back and neck. He also had blood clots in one arm and behind one eardrum. He is still in rehabilitation and is seeing a neurologist to determine if he will be able to play competitive hockey. He attends York University in Toronto full time and has committed to play for the university’s Lions hockey team.

    Bryce Fiske: The 21-year-old defenceman from La Ronge, Sask., suffered a neck fracture, skull fracture, left shoulder fracture and pelvis fracture. His spleen was lacerated and his left lung was punctured. His jaw was fractured in four places, he’s missing two teeth and his tongue was severely injured. He is still in a significant amount of jaw pain and in treatment for his injuries. He is studying commerce and playing hockey for the Ridgebacks at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

    Morgan Gobeil: The 19-year-old defenceman from Humboldt, Sask., has a traumatic brain injury. He sustained multiple skull fractures, three facial fractures, rib fractures and lacerations to his liver and spleen. He spent 333 days in hospital and was the last injured player to be released. He takes part in physical therapy, where he is working on balance, sitting on his own, standing on his own and taking steps.

    Matthieu Gomercic: The 21-year-old forward from Winnipeg had a separated shoulder, a concussion and cuts to his hand and chin. His spleen was enlarged, his teeth shifted and his jaw was slightly displaced. He gets headaches and has problems with one shoulder. He also continues to deal with emotional issues as a result of the crash on a daily basis. He has joined the Ridgebacks at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and is studying kinesiology.

    Xavier LaBelle: The 19-year-old defenceman from Saskatoon suffered a fractured skull, facial fractures and deep lacerations, as well as a brain injury that led to post-traumatic amnesia for two weeks. He has scarring on his face, neck, head, arms and back. The severe facial and other injuries made him unrecognizable after the crash, which resulted in a misidentification that led to further chaos and heartbreak for many. He continues to face daily challenges.

    Layne Matechuk: The 19-year-old defenceman from Colonsay, Sask., suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. He had extensive facial fractures and a sternum fracture. Both of his lungs collapsed. He was in a coma for a month and had to learn to walk and talk again. He is able to walk, but has a significant limp. He also has difficulty using his one arm due to the brain injury. The extent of his recovery from the brain injury is still not known.

    Derek Patter: The 20-year-old forward from Edmonton suffered bleeding outside his brain, as well as right shin and fibula fractures, a nasal bone fracture and significant cuts and bruises. He continues to struggle with his leg. He has returned to play with the Broncos this season.

    Nick Shumlanski: The 21-year-old forward from Tisdale, Sask., walked away from the crash despite having a fractured bone behind his ear and a lumbar avulsion fracture. He has been told the physical injuries to his ear may never heal but he doesn’t expect that will have a significant effect. His back seems to have healed, but he continues to deal with emotional issues as a result of the collision. He is playing hockey for the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

    Tyler Smith: The 20-year-old forward from Leduc, Alta., had two broken ribs, a broken shoulder blade, a broken collarbone and a punctured lung. He had six inches removed from his small intestine due to the injuries. He also had a stroke and is required to take Aspirin daily. He is expected to require annual MRIs. He returned to play with the Broncos for about a month in the fall, but decided to step away so he can continue his recovery at home.

    Ryan Straschnitzki: The 19-year-old defenceman from Airdrie, Alta., suffered a brain bleed, concussion with memory loss, cracked right shoulder blade and a collapsed right lung. He was also paralyzed from the chest down and the injury is expected to be permanent. Straschnitzki played in an exhibition sledge hockey charity game in Calgary in September and is hoping to eventually represent Canada at the Winter Olympics.

    Jacob Wassermann: The 20-year-old goalie from Humboldt, Sask., suffered a brain injury, a broken shoulder blade, fractured ribs and nasal bone fractures. Both of his lungs collapsed and a spinal cord injury resulted in paralysis from the naval down. It’s expected to be permanent. He attends physiotherapy three times a week to get stronger. His father said in November that Jacob has started to have movement in his hips. He has turned to sledge hockey to keep his on-ice dream alive.

    The Canadian Press


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    National

    Soldiers deploying to flood-prone areas as water levels rise in New Brunswick

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  • FREDERICTON — About 120 Canadian soldiers will soon be deployed in western New Brunswick to help residents threatened by rising floodwaters.

    The soldiers from Canadian Forces Base Gagetown in southern New Brunswick have been tasked with helping fill sandbags and assisting with evacuating homes, if necessary.

    Lt.-Col. Sean French, commander of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment, says the soldiers are also prepared to conduct “wellness checks” in various communities, using heavy vehicles that can move through deep water.

    Water levels in the Saint John River Basin are expected to rise significantly over the next few days, reaching or passing flood stage in several areas.

    With heavy rain expected to continue through the day, particularly in northern New Brunswick, residents of 15 communities have been warned to remain on high alert.

    Greg MacCallum, director of New Brunswick’s Emergency Measures Organization, says the rising waters are sure to lead to road closures in several areas, particularly in the Fredericton area and communities farther south.

     

    The Canadian Press



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    Rain, wind equals no 4-20 blow out for Parliament Hill, but West Coast shines

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  • OTTAWA — It was a blow out, man, the kind that’s a total drag.

    Protesters dotted one half of Parliament Hill’s front lawn on a blustery, rainy Saturday at the climax the first 4-20 “Weed Day” demonstration since Canada legalized recreational marijuana.

    The turnout disappointed organizers who expected thousands more, but a festive atmosphere prevailed as the Peace Tower clock struck 4:20 p.m., sparking simultaneous smart phone photography and the lighting of joints, bongs and pipes.

    “The weather didn’t co-operate. It kind of shut us down,” Shawn Mac, a program director for 4-20 Ottawa, said moments earlier. “Coming and going, we’ve probably seen about 3,000, but right now, probably about a thousand.”

    A bout of blowing rain earlier in the afternoon meant the shutdown of a public address system, and a made for a sparse gathering of perhaps several dozen people, most huddled under plastic ponchos or tarps.

    Sara Bakir, 29, of Ottawa was one of early arrivals, dressed in a dark hoodie under a black umbrella.

    “It’s still nice to be out with a few like-minded people,” she said laughing, and casting her eyes at the empty and soaked brownish yellow lawn. 

    Organizers learned a tough lesson even before the rain started falling — new freedoms bring great bureaucracy.

    Mac said his group is encountering more red tape Saturday than on past April 20 protests.

    Organizers can’t use the steps to the now-closed Centre Block, which means spectators will need a front row position on the lawn to see or hear — something Mac calls a “huge letdown.” 

    “Hearing is already a problem so not being able to see is a crushing blow,” he said.

    Organizers have also been told to limit musical performers to just two, Mac said, adding that isn’t in the rules of how to hold a public event on the Hill. 

    New limits on auto access also meant organizers had to haul equipment and material by hand up to the lawn from Wellington Street, he added.

    “It’s frustrating because legalization was supposed to … make things easier and not more complicated,” he said.

    Lingering post-legalization concerns are sustaining a sense of protest among 4-20 event organizers across the country.

    They include concerns over the government’s decision to tax medicinal marijuana, slow progress on legislation to expedite pardons for people previously convicted of simple pot possession, and the fact that provincial and municipal governments are grappling with retail sales and land-use laws for growing pot.

    The federal government also has yet to legalize edible marijuana products and has six more months to set rules to do so. 

    “Everything about legalization has made things harder, which is the opposite of what is was supposed to be,” said Mac.

    Others were more upbeat and saw Saturday’s event as an inspiration to the world.

    “Again, the world is watching, and I’m very proud of Canada today and Canadians,” said Kelly Coulter, a cannabis policy adviser based in British Columbia.

    She said Canada is helping change global attitudes and policies as the first G7 nation to legalize pot, and she expected people from Germany and Britain to take part in Saturday’s festivities on the Hill.

    It was a far cry from Ottawa’s subdued festivities on the West Coast, as hoards of people crowded Vancouver’s Sunset Beach to mark the city’s 25th annual 4-20 event warmed by rays of glorious spring sunshine amid a low lying marijuana haze.

    A much smaller crowd gathered at the front lawn of British Columbia’s legislature in Victoria, but the mood was equally celebratory and defiant.

    “Today, in many ways, is bittersweet for us,” said long-time marijuana activist Ted Smith, who led the countdown chant to 4:20 p.m. in Victoria. “We’re happy it’s legalized, sure, but there’s a lot of things to protest.”

    Smith, in between puffs from a large joint, said the current marijuana rules are biased against entrepreneurs who want to sell their products in much the same way as craft brewers and winemakers.

    And a downpour didn’t dampen the festivities at Woodbine Park in Toronto’s east end, where revellers trampled through the muddy grass to the steady thrum of house music.

    Cannabis artisans sold their wares at tarp-covered stands, many expressing hope that they could one day emerge from the “grey market” to set up shop at brick-and-mortar storefronts.

    Justin Loizos, owner of the Just Compassion marijuana dispensary in Toronto, said the mood Saturday was more celebratory than in past 4-20 gatherings, which felt more like protests.

    The current regime may not be the “legalization people asked for,” Loizos said, but the cannabis community should take heart in just how far Canada has come.

    “I see a lot of people complaining, whatever — don’t,” he said. “We’re just going to celebrate here and enjoy the day.”

    — with files from Adina Bresge and Dirk Meissner.

    Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press




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