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One of three bathroom bears in Banff likely eaten by grizzly bear: Parks Canada

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  • BANFF, Alta. — One of three black bear cubs abandoned in a washroom and returned to the wild in Banff National Park this summer has apparently been eaten by a grizzly bear.

    Parks Canada says conservation officers found the one-year-old bear’s carcass in early September after her GPS collar went into mortality mode on Aug. 28. It had been stationary for 24 hours.

    “It was in a large berry patch,” said Bill Hunt, manager of resource conservation with Banff National Park. “She had run into another bear. She had been mostly consumed by the other bear and we found a large puncture wound in her skull.

    “Whether that was a grizzly or a large black bear, we can’t know for sure. It’s consistent with a grizzly bear encounter.”

    The three black bears were found in the bathroom along the Trans-Canada Highway in April 2017 and sent to the Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary in Ontario. Each bear has grown to about 50 kilograms from the three kilograms they weighed when they first went to the wildlife sanctuary.

    The three sisters were released together in the Banff backcountry in mid-July and started travelling independently almost immediately.

    Hunt said the bear that was found dead was doing well prior to its encounter in the berry patch.

    “She had found the right food in the right place,” he said. “She was in the Clearwater area and had moved through some areas where there would have been camps and other activity in the area and hadn’t gotten into any trouble so that was encouraging.”

    Officials are still monitoring the other two bears through their GPS collars and they appear to be moving around within the national park.

    Hunt said it’s not uncommon for bears to be eaten by other bears.

    “Bears work hard to avoid each other but, unless it’s breeding season, it’s usually not a positive encounter when bears run into other bears,” he said. “This happens in the wild. It’s a natural process.”

    In November 2015, a large male grizzly bear was suspected of eating a smaller grizzly bear after officials found the skull.

    In August 2013, hikers came across another big grizzly bear feeding on a carcass just off a hiking trail near the Banff townsite. Wildlife officials later determined a small black bear had been killed.

    — By Colette Derworiz in Edmonton. Follow @cderworiz on Twitter.

    The Canadian Press



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    Freeland says Khashoggi case not closed; but Trump says facts may never be known

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  • OTTAWA — Canada will use the upcoming G20 summit to push for answers in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says.

    Freeland said Tuesday Canada considers his murder to be very much an open case, a contrast to a statement by U.S. President Donald Trump that the facts surrounding Khashoggi’s death might just never be known.

    “Canada very much does not consider the Khashoggi affair to be closed,” Freeland said, hours after Trump released a statement that attempted to bring the controversy to a close for the U.S.

    Freeland said she expects the Khashoggi case to be an issue during the talks among leaders of the world’s 20 top economies in early December in Argentina, and says Canada will persist with its push for a transparent international investigation.

    “It is very clearly Canada’s position that those responsible for this horrendous murder must face full responsibility for it,” she said.

    “We certainly imagine that the Khashoggi murder will be an issue, which we discuss with many of the partners who we will be meeting with.”

    The kingdom is a member of the G20, and the Saudi-owned television station Al-Arabiya says Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country’s de facto leader, will attend the summit.

    U.S. intelligence officials have concluded that bin Salman ordered the Oct. 2 killing of Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

    “Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information, but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event — maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” Trump said in a written statement.

    “That being said, we may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi.”

    Regardless, Saudi Arabia remains a “steadfast” partner of the U.S. and has helped keep oil prices stable, Trump said. He also said he doesn’t want to jeopardize US$450 billion in Saudi investment in the U.S., including $110 billion to buy American-made military hardware.

    Trump said the U.S. has already sanctioned 17 Saudi individuals under its Magnitsky Act, and isn’t planning any further action.

    Freeland, meanwhile, has said Canada is contemplating similar sanctions, but she gave no indication why that has yet to happen or what is taking so long.

    A senior government official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the deliberations, said any decision on sanctions will be made by federal cabinet, and will be part of a larger process that will see Canada working in co-ordination with its allies.

    The process includes a consideration of sanctions, a co-ordinated push for an international investigation and an assessment of the Turkish recording of Khashoggi’s death, the official said.

    Freeland has not heard the recording, but has been briefed on its contents by the head of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, who travelled to Turkey to hear it, said the official.

    Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press



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    Ride-hailing group says B.C. model looks a lot like expanded taxi industry

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  • VANCOUVER — A coalition of businesses and interest groups advocating for ride-hailing in British Columbia says legislation introduced yesterday will just create an expanded taxi industry, not the ride-hailing services that customers expect.

    Ian Tostenson of Ridesharing Now for BC says members are “bewildered” that the future of ride-hailing in the province remains uncertain and the government hasn’t committed to a start date for the service.

    Tostenson, who also represents the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association, says the coalition is especially concerned that the Passenger Transportation Board would have power to limit the number of drivers on the road, where they can drive, and also set rates.

    He says the organization was expecting to see legislation that more closely matched the customer-driven supply and demand model that exists in other jurisdictions.

    Tim Burr of ride-hailing company Lyft says the company sees legislation introduced Monday as a “procedural step forward” but the regulation and rule-making process will come next.

    He says the company is used to rolling up its sleeves to work with legislators and regulators in many jurisdictions and remains committed to working with the B.C. government to bring the service to the province.

    The Canadian Press


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