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National

PEI Green party candidate Josh Underhay and son killed in canoeing accident

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CHARLOTTETOWN — With only a few days before voters were to go to the polls in Prince Edward Island, the Green party suspended all campaigning Saturday after the sudden death of one of its candidates and his young son.

The party confirmed Saturday that Josh Underhay and his son died in a canoeing accident on Friday afternoon.

Voting day is Tuesday.

Green party Leader Peter Bevan-Baker, whose party has been leading in the polls, issued a statement saying he was bereft when he learned of Underhay’s death.

“Josh has been a dear friend and colleague of mine for many years, as a volunteer, musician, passionate cycling advocate and Green party supporter,” Bevan-Baker said.

“He has touched the lives of everyone who knew him, including the students he taught, fellow musicians and members of the party … Josh brought humour, enthusiasm and boundless energy to every situation.”

Bevan-Baker said the Greens would suspend all election-related activities for the remainder of the campaign.

The province’s three other major parties suspended all campaign events scheduled for Saturday.

The RCMP issued a statement saying two canoeists were reported missing Friday after they failed to show up at an agreed pick-up point along the Hillsborough River, which cuts through the middle of the Island and empties into the Northumberland Strait near Charlottetown.

Firefighters, police and a volunteer ground search team were called in to look for the pair. They had help from a police tracking dog and an aerial drone.

Police would not identify the victims, but a Green party official confirmed Underhay and his son were later found in the water near their capsized canoe.

Though they were wearing flotation devices, both were declared dead at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown, police said.

Police asked for the public’s help as they continued their investigation, saying they’d like to hear from anyone who saw a red canoe on the Hillsborough River on Friday afternoon.

Later in the day, Elections P.E.I. issued a statement saying it had invoked a section of the Elections Act to cancel the vote in Underhay’s district and order a byelection within the next three months.

Underhay, a married father of two boys, had been the Greens’ candidate in District 9, Charlottetown-Hillsborough Park.

According to a profile on the party’s website, he was a teacher at Birchwood Intermediate School in Charlottetown, as well as an experienced musician and a student of languages, speaking English, French, Spanish, Mandarin and Czech.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his condolences in a tweet, saying Underhay was “committed to serving his community, his students, and all of P.E.I.”

“The tragic accident that took him and his son is absolutely heart-breaking,” the prime minister said.

Federal Green party Leader Elizabeth May said she knew Underhay well.

“To lose Josh and his son in such a tragic accident is unbearably sad,” May said in a tweet. “My deepest condolences to his family and all members of the P.E.I. Green family.”

Provincial Progressive Conservative Leader Dennis King issued a statement saying the tragic loss of Underhay and his son marked “a heart-breaking day for all Islanders.”

“It is a reminder of how fragile life is and how often we take it for granted,” King said. “Josh was a dedicated teacher and community leader who had a love for life and a passion for people. He was an advocate, talented musician and friend to many.”

The Green party has been leading in opinion polls since August, but the race remains too close to call when the margin of error in recent surveys is factored in.

Premier Wade MacLauchlan’s Liberals will be seeking a fourth term on Tuesday, which has prompted some critics to suggest the party has overstayed its welcome.

The close numbers have also raised the possibility of a minority government, which would mark a historic moment for the Island. The last time a minority was elected in P.E.I. was 1890.

The Conservatives have been plagued by infighting for the past eight years, churning through no fewer than six leaders, including King, who was elected in February.

However, the party enjoyed a boost in the polls the following month, leaving them in a virtual tie with the Liberals.

As for the Island’s New Democrats, led by Joe Byrne, their poll numbers have remained at single digits for the past year.

— By Michael MacDonald in Halifax

The Canadian Press

COVID-19

Video attacking Canada’s response to COVID created by Conservative leadership hopeful is going viral

Published on

This video was posted by MP Erin O’Toole.

The RCAF veteran, and former Minister of Veterans Affairs is running to replace Andrew Scheer and hoping to become Canada’s next Prime Minister.

The video is a scathing review of Canada’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.  It has already been viewed well over half a million times.

From the Facebook page of Erin 0’Toole  

The Truth About COVID-19

➡️ The Chinese regime, the WHO and the Trudeau government DO NOT want people to see this.Let's make sure Canadians see the truth! 👍🇨🇦

Posted by Erin O'Toole on Thursday, May 21, 2020

 

NDP makes support for suspending Commons contingent on permanent sick leave

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National

Captain Jennifer Casey killed in Snowbirds accident

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Captain Jennifer Casey

One Canadian military member killed and one injured in CF Snowbirds accident

Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

One member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) was killed on Sunday May 17, 2020 and one other member injured in an accident involving a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CT-114 Tutor aircraft in the vicinity of Kamloops, British Columbia.

Killed was Captain Jennifer Casey, the team’s Public Affairs Officer, originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Captain Richard MacDougall, one of the team’s coordinators and pilot of the aircraft, was injured and is being treated for his injuries.

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds were deployed on Operation INSPIRATION, a cross-Canada tour to lift the spirits of Canadians and salute front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of the accident, the CF Snowbirds were taking off from the airport in Kamloops, British Columbia.

The CAF are providing our members and their families with as much support as possible to help them through this difficult time.

A RCAF Flight Safety team will depart from Ottawa shortly to investigate the circumstances of the accident and will begin their work immediately upon arrival.

Additional multimedia

Captain Jenn Casey, CF Snowbirds Public Affairs Officer

Quotes

“I was deeply saddened to learn of the loss of one of our Canadian Armed Forces members in a tragic incident involving one of our Snowbirds’ aircraft in Kamloops, British Columbia. I am sending my sincerest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Captain Jenn Casey. I am also wishing a rapid and complete recovery for Captain Richard MacDougall.

Canadians look at the Snowbirds as a source of joy and an exhibition of the incredible feats that our people in uniform are capable of. Operation INSPIRATION was intended to lift the spirit of Canadians at this difficult time and the Snowbirds accomplished their mission. I know that all Canadians grieve this tragic loss.”

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence.

“Another tragedy has hit our Canadian Armed Forces. The Snowbirds’ Op INSPIRATION brought joy to Canadians across our country. Today, we come together in their time of need. To the family of Captain Jenn Casey we send our condolences, know that she was an inspiration to many and she will be missed. To Captain Richard MacDougall, we wish you a speedy recovery.”

General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff 

“The whole Defence Team family is deeply saddened by the loss of Captain Jenn Casey. Deepest condolences to her loved ones, and to her colleagues in the Snowbirds, the RCAF and her fellow Public Affairs Officers. We also wish Captain Richard MacDougall a steady recovery through these most difficult of times.”

Jody Thomas, Deputy Minister of National Defence

“Today, the RCAF has suffered another tragic loss of a dedicated member of the RCAF team. We grieve alongside Jenn’s family, friends and colleagues and are deeply saddened. Our thoughts also go out to the loved ones of Captain Richard MacDougall. We hope for a swift recovery from his injuries.”

Lieutenant General Al Meinzinger, Commander Royal Canadian Air Force

Quick facts

  • The CT-114 Tutor fleet has been placed on an operational pause and Op INSPIRATION has been delayed indefinitely.
  • Captain Jenn Casey is from Halifax, Nova Scotia. She joined the Canadian Armed Forces in August 2014 as a direct entry officer. Captain Casey joined the Canadian Forces Snowbirds in November 2018.
  • A Flight Safety Investigation will be conducted to ensure our personnel can continue to have confidence in our equipment and procedures. One of the aims of the Flight Safety program is to investigate such occurrences with the objective of quickly identifying effective preventive measures that will either prevent or reduce the risk of similar occurrences in the future.
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