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Edmonton Oilers fire general manager Peter Chiarelli: reports

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EDMONTON — Peter Chiarelli has been fired as general manager of the Edmonton Oilers, according to multiple media reports.

The Oilers lost their third in a row on Tuesday night, falling to the Detroit Red Wings at home.

The loss pushed Edmonton three points out of a playoff spot.

Chiarelli fired head coach Todd McLellan and brought in Ken Hitchcock earlier this season but after a quick surge under Hitchcock, the Oilers have faded in recent weeks.

Chiarelli, a native of Nepean, Ont., was hired by the Oilers in August 2015 after he was fired by the Boston Bruins, who he guided to the Stanley Cup in 2011.

The Oilers reached the playoffs once in Chiarelli’s tenure, making the second round in 2017.

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Alberta

‘Cautiously optimistic’: Lawyer for trucker in Broncos crash waiting on Federal Court

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By Bill Graveland in Calgary

A lawyer for a former truck driver who caused the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash says he’s cautiously optimistic that he will get the chance to argue against his client’s possible deportation before Federal Court.

In 2019, Jaskirat Singh Sidhu was sentenced to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm in the Saskatchewan crash that killed 16 people and injured 13 others.

The Canada Border Services Agency recommended in March that Sidhu be handed over to the Immigration and Refugee Board to decide whether he should be deported to India.

Michael Greene, Sidhu’s lawyer, said if the Federal Court decides not to hear the case, the deportation process would continue.

He said all written arguments with the Federal Court were filed in July, adding that no news can be good news when waiting for the court to make its decision.

“I’m cautiously optimistic, but I know enough not to get cocky about something like that,” Greene said. “Usually when it takes time, it means you’ve got an arguable case.”

It is also a high-profile case, so a judge might want to be extra careful, he said.

Court was told that the rookie Calgary trucker, a newly married permanent resident, went through a stop sign at a rural intersection and drove into the path of the Humboldt Broncos bus carrying players and staff to a junior hockey league playoff game.

The Parole Board of Canada granted Sidhu day parole in July for six months. He can get full parole after that if he follows conditions, including not contacting the families of the victims.

“Day parole means he is at home. He’s with his wife and I can’t tell you how happy that makes them,” Greene said. “They’re trying to get back to some sense of normalcy.”

Greene said even if he is granted permission to appeal before the court and is successful, the matter would be sent back to Canada Border Services Agency for another review. He said the original officer put all the weight of his decision on the gravity of the harm caused.

“You can’t get your hopes up too high,” Greene said.

“Sometimes the judge will make comments in their decision that will give some guidance to the (CBSA) officers.”

An online fundraising page set up to raise money to help keep Sidhu in Canada has reached more than $42,000.

A message from Sidhu’s wife, Tanvir Mann, a Canadian citizen, said her husband made a “tragic mistake.”

“When confronted by the unimaginable magnitude of the consequences of his mistake, he did everything he could to make things better,” Mann writes.

“I pray that there are people out there who don’t believe that Jaskirat should be deported and are willing to contribute to my fight to be able to live out our lives in Canada.”

The Canada Border Services Agency has previously declined to comment on Sidhu’s case, but said there are multiple steps built into the process to ensure procedural fairness.

Greene said he understands that several of the victims’ families are still angry.

“It’s completely understandable. It is,” he said. “Everybody deals with grief and loss in their own way.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2022.

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National

Canada-Morocco: Canada fans look forward to next World Cup after loss in final match

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By Jacob Serebrin in Montreal

Fans of the Canadian men’s soccer team were left disappointed by their 2-1 loss to Morocco on Thursday, but there was also optimism about the country’s chances in World Cup 2026, which Canada will co-host.

With no chance of moving on to the knockout round in its first World Cup appearance since 1986, Canada was playing for pride. Fans said the team showed it belonged on soccer’s biggest stage, and they expect the country to be stronger for the next tournament, which will include 10 games on Canadian soil.

“It’s great to see Canada in the World Cup,” said Nick Whalen, a former member of Parliament and an avid soccer player. He was one of about two dozen people who watched the game at the Duke of Duckworth pub, in St. John’s, N.L.

“A lot of these young players are going to be around when Canada hosts in 2026. And they’ll be even better then.”

Fans at the darkened bar groaned as Morocco scored its second goal, expanding an early lead. But 20 minutes later, there were booming cheers as Canada scored its first goal of the game — and its second goal in men’s World Cup history.

After Canada’s Atiba Hutchinson headed the ball toward the net around the 71-minute mark, there were screams of anguish as the ball hit the crossbar and bounced on the goal line but didn’t cross it.

In the final moments, fans erupted in cheers and applause when Canada’s goalkeeper Milan Borjan ran out onto the field in a bid to add an extra player to the effort to score a tying goal. But the cheers dampened quickly as the game ended and Moroccan players jumped and waved in victory.

“You really can’t fault the Canadians,” Whalen said. “They really showed their hearts out there, and they made us all proud.”

Sarah Dominic, who has played soccer since she was five years old, said she is also looking forward to the next World Cup.

“They’re a great team,” Dominic said. “They played an amazing game against Belgium. I think they’ve had some unfortunate results at this tournament, but I do think that we can certainly play at this level and show the world in 2026 how great we are.”

Melanie Bradley, general manager at Brams United Girls Soccer Club in Brampton, Ont., said she was proud that Team Canada was playing at the World Cup, even if the team didn’t make it to the knockout stage.

“We are really proud, especially here in Brampton, to have seven players that have grown up playing at our fields across the city, competing at this level and representing the country. It is a very proud moment for us,” Bradley said before the game. “I think we are really starting to show the world that we are a soccer nation.”

Canada did not win any of its three games. The team lost 1-0 to Belgium and 4-1 to Croatia. But despite Canada’s losses, Shayne Grimmer, a lifelong soccer fan in Vancouver, said Canada “showed that we can play against the best in the world and we deserve to be on that stage.”

“We’re the only team other than Qatar to not get a point, but I don’t think that really represents what we did in this tournament,” Grimmer said shortly after the end of Canada’s final match.

Grimmer, vice-president of the Vancouver Southsiders — a group of supporters for Major League Soccer’s Vancouver Whitecaps — said he has high hopes for the Canadian men moving forward, noting Alphonso Davies and other top players are still in their early 20s.

“I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people when we’re hosting,” he said.

Mexico and the United States are co-hosting the 2026 tournament with Canada; most games — including the quarterfinals, semifinals and final — will be played in the U.S.

In Montreal’s Little Maghreb neighbourhood — home to a large Moroccan population — a euphoric crowd took to the streets after Thursday’s win, singing and dancing amid fireworks and the sound of honking car horns.

“I came here in 2019. I am so happy for this win and for this victory,” said Ali Araqi, 26. “I am very proud for all Moroccans in Montreal and for my team. They are the best in the world, and we are going to win this World Cup if we play well.”

Morocco advances to the knockout stage as the winner of the tournament’s Group F — the team’s best performance since 1986.

Even with the loss, Canada will continue to be represented at the tournament, said Abderrahman El Fouladi, 70, who moved to Canada from Morocco 31 years ago. Morocco’s goalie, Yassine Bounou, was born in Montreal and is Canadian-Moroccan, he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2022.

— With files from Marisela Amador in Montreal, Sarah Smellie in St. John’s, N.L., Sharif Hassan in Brampton, Ont., and Brenna Owen in Vancouver.

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