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UPDATE: Transportation Safety Board Investigating Plane Crash That Killed Jim Prentice

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By Sheldon Spackman

An intensive investigation is underway into the fatal small plane crash that claimed the life of former Alberta Premier and Federal Cabinet Minister Jim Prentice. The Transportation Safety Board began the “Field Phase” of their investigation on Saturday, after first being deployed to the crash site about 18 kilometres north of Kelowna, B.C. on Friday the 14th, a day after the Cessna Citation plane went down.

TSB officials say what they know so far is that the plane left Kelowna’s airport at 9:32 Pacific Time Thursday night, October 13th, bound for the Calgary-Springbank airport. The aircraft then struck ground 8 minutes after take-off, about 11 kilometres north of the Kelowna airport. It’s believed there was one pilot and three passengers on board, including Jim Prentice.

Officials say the aircraft was not equipped with, nor was it required to carry, a Cockpit Voice Recorder or a Flight Data Recorder; however, the team will be reviewing any electronic components on the plane from which they can retrieve data to help understand the flight profile. They add the air?craft was destroyed from high deceleration forces after a vertical descent and there were no emergency or distress calls made. No locator transmitter signal was received either.

Currently, there are 5 TSB investigators on site with the RCMP providing a drone for an aerial site survey, with the data collected to be given to the TSB and B.C. Coroners Service which is controlling the site.

In the coming days, investigators will now examine, document and photograph the aircraft wreckage, make arrangements to transfer relevant aircraft components to the TSB Laboratory in Ottawa for further analysis and examine the occurrence site and surrounding terrain features. They will also gather additional information about weather conditions, information on Air Traffic communications and radar information as well as obtain aircraft maintenance records and pilot records. In addition to that, the team will interview witnesses and next-of-kin, review operational policies and examine regulatory requirements.

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Ottawa raises $8.9 billion for 5G wireless licences in 3,500 MHz spectrum auction

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The federal government says it raised $8.9 billion in a licence auction for a key band of 5G wireless spectrum in results announced this afternoon.

Canada’s Big Three wireless companies led the pack, grabbing hundreds of licences for the 3,500 MHz band of airwaves.

As well as Rogers, Bell and Telus, carriers gaining licences include Videotron, Xplornet and SaskTel.

Freedom Mobile, the country’s fourth largest cell service provider, chose not to participate in the auction amid a takeover deal of its parent company Shaw Communications Inc. by Rogers that has yet to be approved by regulators.

The United States held a similar auction last year, raising US$4.5 billion ($5.6 billion) in net proceeds. Ottawa’s $8.9 billion far outstrips the $3.5 billion raised in a 2019 spectrum auction for a different, less desirable wireless band. 

In total, 1,495 out of 1,504 available licences were awarded to 15 Canadian companies, including 757 licences to small and regional providers across the country. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 29, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:RCI.B, TSX:BCE, TSX:T)

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Canada's Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssens capture bronze in women's pair

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TOKYO — Canada has its first rowing medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Victoria’s Caileigh Filmer and Hillary Janssens of Surrey, B.C., took bronze on Thursday in the women’s pair with a time of six minutes 52.10 seconds.

The 2018 world champions finished behind the gold-medal winning duo of Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler of New Zealand (6:50.19) and the Russian Olympic Committee’s Vasilisa Stepanova and Elena Oriabinskaia (6:51.45).

Conlin McCabe of Brockville, Ont., and Kai Langerfeld of North Vancouver, B.C., were the other Canadian rowers in a final Thursday, finishing fourth in the men’s pair on the 2,000-metre course at Sea Forest Waterway.

Canada’s women’s eight will race for a gold Friday.

The country’s rowers are looking to rebound after a disastrous showing at the 2016 Rio Games that saw the program secure just one medal.

The Canadians qualified 10 boats for Tokyo — the most since the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta — and have a gender-neutral team for the first time in their history.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 29, 2021.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 28, 2021.

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