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Saskatchewan RCMP preparing to talk to Crown about charges in Broncos bus crash

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REGINA — Saskatchewan RCMP say they are preparing to talk to Crown prosecutors about potential charges in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, but they can’t say exactly when that will happen.

Police say they are still investigating the April 6 collision. They have previously said that a semi-trailer unit was in a rural Saskatchewan intersection when the truck and the junior hockey team’s bus collided while the Broncos were on their way to a playoff game in Nipawin.

“We’re still working through a number of reports, data, interview material for the investigation,” Supt. Derek Williams said Tuesday. “We are just waiting for some expert reports to be completed and peer reviewed so we can have a good discussion with our provincial Crown prosecution team here in the province.”

Sixteen people — including 10 players — were killed and another 13 players were injured. The driver of the semi-trailer was not hurt. He was taken into custody immediately after the collision and released later that evening.

Williams said investigators talk to the driver on a regular basis.

“We remain in contact with him.”

Consulting with the Crown about charges is standard practice in any serious, sensitive and complex case, said Williams.

“We need the evidence and facts first, and that’s what is … adding to the extra time here to work through that process.”

Williams said he couldn’t say what charges could be considered. He also couldn’t say when that conversation will happen, but said it could still be weeks or months before the investigation is complete.

“We need to get it right and that will take some time,” said Williams.

“It’s been a priority from Day 1. We’ve certainly invested a number of resources to bring us to this point and we will continue to do so.”

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

The Canadian Press



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Woman and her dog lost for 72 hours in B.C. woods are found safe

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INVERMERE, B.C. — A 52-year-old woman and her dog are both safe and unharmed after wandering lost for 72 hours in the thick woods in southeastern B.C.

RCMP Sgt. Chris Newel says Louise Baxter hopped off a rescue helicopter Wednesday, hugged her husband and was talking and laughing with her rescuers.

Baxter went out for a hike with friends in the Jumbo Pass area on Sunday, but she disappeared after taking her leashed dog out for what she said would be a short walk.

Newel says Baxter appears to have become disoriented shortly after leaving her friends and then heading down the mountain, moving “west when she probably should have been heading east.”

The dog, a golden poodle named Maverick, was with her the whole time and Newel says the animal is also in good health. 

At the height of the search, there were three helicopters, four search dogs, a drone and 35 search and rescue volunteers looking for the woman in the difficult, mountainous terrain.

Newel, who was the incident commander for the search, said Baxter saw the search helicopters and tried to flag them down, but no one saw her.

“But if anybody’s every been in a helicopter, trying spot a person in forested area is extremely difficult and a lot harder than you would think,” he said in an interview on Thursday. “I can’t imagine the emotion that would have gone through her seeing these helicopters and not be able to signal them in some sort of way.”

Baxter is an avid hiker, Newel said, adding the general rule of thumb for those who get lost in the woods is to stay put. Baxter did stay in one place for a while but proceeded down the mountain because she thought help wasn’t coming, he said.

“But she was working further and further out from the primary search area.”

He said she found water along the way and ate berries, but didn’t have anything else to eat.

“I couldn’t believe when she walked off that helicopter and practically ran to her husband,” Newel added.

 

The Canadian Press


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Greens won’t run candidate in Burnaby South as ‘leader’s courtesy’ to Singh: May

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VICTORIA — The Green party will not run a candidate against NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh in the riding of Burnaby South.

Green Leader Elizabeth May says the decision is an extension of a “leader’s courtesy,” a long-standing Canadian parliamentary tradition that facilitates a newly elected party leader’s entry to the House of Commons in an unopposed byelection.

She says in a statement the Greens believe it is right to step aside to allow the leader of “an important part of the political spectrum” to serve in Parliament.

Singh announced his candidacy for the federal riding after New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart indicated he was stepping aside to run for mayor of Vancouver.

The Liberal and Conservative parties have not announced candidates in the riding, but the Liberals have said they will contest the byelection.

May received the leader’s courtesy in 2008 when then-Liberal leader Stephane Dion chose not to run a candidate against her in Central Nova. She extended the same gesture to Dion.

In 2002, the Liberals and Conservatives stepped aside for Stephen Harper when he ran in a byelection held shortly after he became leader of the Canadian Alliance.

No date has been set for a byelection.

Singh sat in Ontario’s legislature and served as the provincial NDP’s deputy leader before he replaced Tom Mulcair as the federal leader.

The Canadian Press


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