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Former Supreme Court judge Thomas Cromwell heads Hockey Canada review

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Former Supreme Court of Canada judge Thomas Cromwell will lead an independent review of Hockey Canada’s governance amid calls for a change of leadership of the governing body for its handling of recent allegations of sexual assault against players.

Hockey Canada said in a statement that the review will begin immediately and is expected to provide interim recommendation before its annual general meeting in November.

The governance review was announced by Hockey Canada in an open letter last month after news broke in May that members of the 2018 world junior team were accused of a group sexual assault after a Hockey Canada gala event in London, Ont., and that Hockey Canada reached a settlement with the complainant.

It was later revealed that Hockey Canada maintained a fund for uninsured payments, including settlements of sexual assault complaints, that was funded by player fees. Hockey Canada has since said it no longer uses the fund to settle sexual assault claims.

Another allegation of group sexual assault involving the 2003 world junior team surfaced last month.

Hockey Canada president and chief executive officer Scott Smith said in a parliamentary hearing last week that he believes he is the right person to continue leading the organization, but if the governance review determined otherwise he is “prepared to accept that.”

Thomas sat on the Supreme Court of Canada from December 2008 to September 2016.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 4, 2022

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RCMP confirm woman swept to sea in Port aux Basques, N.L. as Fiona's first fatality

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Police in western Newfoundland have recovered the body of a woman who was swept out to sea at the height of post-tropical storm Fiona.

RCMP say the 73-year-old woman’s body was found Sunday afternoon, more than 24 hours after she was reported missing from the storm-ravaged community of Port aux Basques, N.L.

The Mounties previously said the woman went missing after a massive wave struck her home and tore away part of the basement. 

Her name has not been released.

Her death marks the first confirmed fatality connected to the storm that tore through parts of Atlantic Canada and eastern Quebec.

The affected provinces say they’re still assessing  storm damage, while hundreds of thousands of residents remain in the dark amid widespread power outages. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 25, 2022.

 

The Canadian Press


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After the storm: residents of Atlantic Canada and eastern Quebec survey damage

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day after post-tropical storm Fiona left a trail of destruction through Atlantic Canada and eastern Quebec, residents of a coastal town in western Newfoundland continued to pick through wreckage strewn across their community, easily the most damaged area in the region.

Photos posted on Sunday from Port aux Basques show homes and outbuildings smashed or submerged on the shoreline, the result of a record-breaking storm surge that swamped a residential neighbourhood.

Police received reports that two women had been swept into the ocean as their homes collapsed early Saturday. One woman was rescued by local residents, but the status of the second woman remained unclear.

Meanwhile, Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston was expected to survey some of the hardest hit areas of Cape Breton, where Fiona’s wrath left many homes badly damaged.

Despite downed trees and widespread power outages, some Cape Breton residents decided to carry on with milestone events Sunday.

Samantha Murphy, 35, said she was going to proceed with her wedding at a church in downtown Sydney, followed by a reception meal  prepared by a caterer with a generator.

Sitting in a hotel lobby with her three bridesmaids, she was wrapping floral arrangements and waiting for her hairdresser to arrive as she contemplated Fiona’s unwelcome visit.

“I think it’s going to be more romantic with candlelight,” she said in an interview. “We’re going back to when there was no power. Our family is around and let’s celebrate our love.”

Murphy said she was determined to proceed with her wedding on Sunday after the COVID-19 pandemic forced her to cancel her previous plans.

On the north shore of Prince Edward Island, another area ravaged by Fiona, lobster buyer Leigh Misener pointed to what was once his office on the Covehead Wharf.

On Sunday morning, it lay upside down about three kilometres away on a front lawn.

“That’s our building,” Misener said with a laugh. “Stop by anytime.”

Despite his wry humour, he said it was heartbreaking to see the destruction. The wharf is now an ugly vision of smashed buildings and upturned soil, as if an earthquake shook the place. Where the buildings once stood now lies a foundation littered with weights used for lobster traps and an anchor sitting in the rubble.

“The whole wharf’s gone,” Misener said. “Everyone’s going to hurt from it.”

Judy Profitt, who lives a few kilometres away on Brackley Beach, pointed to the Covehead Bridge and a now absent landmark — a small dune that once stood next to the bridge.

“It’s my favorite dune, but it’s just been sheared off,” Profitt said, her voice breaking with emotion.

“I had taken a picture of that dune. After my husband died, (it was) laser-etched on his tombstone. To look at that dune now, it’s just such a sad sight.”

In eastern Quebec, officials were heading to the storm-battered island chain of Îles-de-la-Madeleine, where high winds and storm surges caused flooding and road closures.

Provincial Public Security Minister Geneviève Guilbault confirmed that 30 and 40 people were forced to leave their homes, but no one was hurt.

“We’re going into recovery mode,” she told reporters in Quebec City.

Guilbault said one of two underwater telecommunication cables linking the islands with the mainland — dubbed COGIM 1 — was  damaged by Fiona, but she said the other remained intact.

Guilbault said the Quebec government has worked hard to lessen the impact of storms that have worsened with climate change, saying millions of dollars have been invested in slowing coastal erosion.

“As it’s an island, the problem is fairly chronic around the island and in eastern Quebec in general,” she said.

As for Fiona, the big storm moved into southeastern Quebec on Sunday, with Environment Canada saying it will continue to weaken as it tracks across southeastern Labrador and over the Labrador Sea.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 25, 2022.

Michael MacDonald, The Canadian Press

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