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Jury convicts Newfoundland father of first-degree murder of daughter, 5

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  • ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A Newfoundland mother sobbed Friday after a jury convicted her estranged husband of first-degree murder in the death of their five-year-old daughter.

    The jury returned Friday afternoon with the verdict against Trent Butt — it carries an automatic life sentence with no chance of parole for 25 years.

    It prompted cheers and sobs in the packed courtroom in provincial supreme court in St. John’s, N.L.

    His estranged wife, Andrea Gosse, tearfully hugged family members, friends and Crown lawyers, as others wiped away tears.

    “It felt like it took forever, but we got justice for Quinn,” Gosse said between sobs, a memorial pin over her heart showing her daughter’s smiling face.

    “I can’t explain it, I have never felt this type of emotion in my life,” she said. “But this is what he chose to do to our life.”

    The Crown had argued that Butt killed Quinn in 2016 in a calculated plan to inflict suffering on Gosse.

    Surrounded by her family on the courthouse steps, Gosse said she hopes the verdict brings changes that could help the next child like her daughter.

    Gosse said the verdict may not mean closure for her right away, but she sees it as a new chapter to grieve and talk about her daughter’s death, now that the emotional trial is over.

    Butt will be sentenced April 23. He had previously pleaded guilty to arson, having set his Carbonear, N.L., home on fire after the murder.

    Crown prosecutor Lloyd Strickland said the guilty verdict offers some relief in the tragic case, the disturbing details laid out over the course of the highly publicized trial.

    “There’s no happiness to be taken from any of this,” Strickland said. “The verdict doesn’t obviously take away the pain and it doesn’t bring Quinn back, but I suppose there’s satisfaction knowing this stage, the trial stage, is over.”

    No one at the murder trial disputed that Butt killed their daughter Quinn at his home in April 2016, before attempting to take his own life. The jury was asked to decide whether the death was planned and deliberate, which would mean Butt was guilty of first-degree murder, or if he was guilty of a lesser charge.

    Butt testified at trial that he did not remember killing Quinn, but said he found himself over her body and concluded he must have suffocated her.

    The jury, which began deliberations Thursday, had asked Friday to hear Butt’s testimony again, and to view a security video taken from his house.

    The video from the night in question showed Butt moving his truck and later putting something in it. Quinn’s voice is heard on the tape after Butt moved the truck.

    In closing arguments on Thursday, the Crown pointed to the security video as evidence that the killing was premeditated. The Crown noted that Butt moved the truck before Quinn was killed, suggesting he had been planning to set fire to his home, presumably with Quinn inside.

    Butt left a suicide note in the truck saying he had killed Quinn and himself to keep her apart from her mother.

    The story has haunted the small province in the nearly three years since Quinn’s death.

    The provincial RCMP issued a statement Friday expressing condolences to the family and commending the work of first responders who worked on the difficult case.

    “The local volunteer firefighters who were among the first on scene, the paramedics, the health professionals at Carbonear General Hospital – you all were outstanding and provided professional and compassionate care during a very difficult and emotional time,” the statement from Cpl. Peter Gosse read.

    After Friday’s verdict, Butt faced the judge, a few feet away from Gosse and the crowd gathered behind him in the courtroom.

    Gosse said she had little left to say to Butt after the conviction.

    “What else to say? Was it worth it?”

    Holly McKenzie-Sutter, The Canadian Press



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    National

    Cambridge University rescinds offer of fellowship for Jordan Peterson

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  • Cambridge University in Britain says it’s rescinded an offer of a visiting fellowship for controversial University of Toronto professor Jordan Peterson.

    A Cambridge spokeswoman says Peterson requested a two-month fellowship at the school’s Faculty of Divinity, which had been slated to take place in October and November of this year.

    But she says the university opted to rescind the fellowship opportunity after a review of Peterson’s work.

    Peterson has earned a global following after becoming an outspoken critic of political correctness and advocate for free speech on post-secondary campuses.

    The best-selling author says Cambridge did not directly notify him of the fact that the fellowship he requested after a 2018 visit was rescinded, an allegation the university denies.

    In a blog post, Peterson called the school’s decision “a serious error of judgment” and wished the Faculty of Divinity “the continued decline in relevance that they…deserve.”

    The Canadian Press


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    Environment

    B.C. legislation only applies to Trans Mountain, project proponent argues

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  • VANCOUVER — The proponent of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion says legislation proposed by British Columbia is targeting the project and would significantly impact it.

    A lawyer for Trans Mountain ULC is asking the B.C. Court of Appeal to reject proposed amendments to the province’s Environmental Management Act that would create a permitting system for heavy oil transporters.

    Maureen Killoran says Trans Mountain, which has operated since 1953, is the only pipeline that transports liquid petroleum to the West Coast and the only pipeline to which the legislation would apply.

    She says the proposed law would present more risk than private-sector proponent Kinder Morgan was willing to accept and it sold the pipeline and related assets to Canada for $4.5 billion last year.

    Since the expansion project was first officially proposed in 2013, Killoran says it has been through the largest review in the National Energy Board’s history, a number of court challenges and faced protesters and blockades in B.C.

    She says the energy board ruled the expansion, which would triple the capacity of the pipeline, is in the Canadian public interest because the country cannot get all its available energy resources to Pacific markets including Asia.

    B.C. has argued the proposed rules are not intended to block the project but instead aim to protect its environment from spills and would require companies to pay for any damages, but Killoran disagreed.

    “Trans Mountain will be directly and significantly impacted by the proposed legislation. Indeed, we say it is the target of the proposed legislation,” she told a panel of five judges on Thursday.

    First Nations, the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby, and environmental group Ecojustice have delivered arguments in support of B.C.’s proposed rules, in part because of concerns about the local impacts of possible spills.

    Killoran says the energy board recognized that there is a wealth of evidence about the fate and behaviour of diluted bitumen and there is further research underway.

    The board also disputed the views of project opponents including Vancouver that the company hadn’t provided enough information about disaster-response plans, and also recognized that spill prevention was a part of pipeline design, she says.

    The Appeal Court is hearing a reference case filed by B.C. that asks whether the province has the authority to enact the amendments. Canada opposes the amendments because it says Ottawa — not provinces — has exclusive jurisdiction over inter-provincial infrastructure.

    The Trans Mountain pipeline runs from the Edmonton area to Metro Vancouver and the expansion would increase the number of tankers in Burrard Inlet seven-fold.

    Laura Kane, The Canadian Press


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    march, 2019

    fri8mar - 30aprmar 85:30 pmapr 30Real Estate Dinner Theatre5:30 pm - (april 30) 10:00 pm

    sat23mar10:00 am- 4:00 pmLet Them Be Little Market10:00 am - 4:00 pm

    sat23mar1:00 pm- 4:00 pmMAGSaturday @ the MuseumMAGnificent Saturdays welcomes all ages and abilities to participate in a fun art project every week! 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    sat23mar8:00 pm- 10:30 pmA Night at the Movies8:00 pm - 10:30 pm

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    sat30mar - 31mar 3010:00 ammar 319th Annual Central Alberta Family Expo10:00 am - 5:00 pm (31)

    sat30mar1:00 pm- 4:00 pmMAGSaturday @ the MuseumMAGnificent Saturdays welcomes all ages and abilities to participate in a fun art project every week! 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

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