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‘What we expected:’ Trucker in Humboldt Broncos crash released on $1,000 bail

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  • MELFORT, Sask. — The father of one of the hockey players killed in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash says he felt empty as he caught the eye of an accused truck driver who was released on ,000 bail in court Tuesday.

    Jaskirat Singh Sidhu, who is 29 and from Calgary, faces several conditions, including that he not drive and that he surrender his passport. 

    He is charged with 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death and 13 counts of dangerous driving causing bodily injury.

    Two parents, Scott Thomas and Myles Shumlanski, were in provincial court in Melfort, Sask., for Sidhu’s appearance. The case was put over to Aug. 21.

    Thomas, whose son Evan died in the crash, said he felt compelled to go.

    “It was what we expected. We kind of expected that he would get bail,” said Thomas. “I just wanted to come today and represent the families who maybe wanted to be here that couldn’t be here, and at least have a presence in the building. Maybe he would feel a bit responsible for taking our sons’ lives.”

    Thomas said he caught Sidhu’s eye once, but just felt empty.

    “In case this goes to a plea bargain, at least he can put my face to it,” he said. “That’s all I wanted to accomplish today … to hopefully see him face to face and, in case this never goes to trial, he’s seen my face.”

    Shumlanski, whose son Nicolas was injured, didn’t speak to the media. Neither Sidhu nor his defence lawyer spoke outside court.

    Russell Herold, whose son Adam died in the crash, didn’t go to court but said he was glad Sidhu had to surrender his passport.

    “At least they put some conditions on it,” he said. “The bail seems low, but I guess if you go by the law — he doesn’t have a prior record and hasn’t tried to flee so I guess this is common.

    “I’d prefer he be kept in jail, but we don’t have a choice in that.”

    Sixteen people, including 10 players, were killed and 13 players were injured when the junior hockey team’s bus and a transport truck driven by Sidhu crashed at a rural Saskatchewan intersection on April 6. The team was on its way to a playoff game.

    Sidhu was not hurt in the crash. He was taken into custody, but was released the same night.

    RCMP have said they will not release any details of the investigation or what they believe happened. The only thing the Mounties have said to this point is that the truck was in the intersection when the collision occurred.

    — With files from Colette Derworiz in Edmonton

    Ryan McKenna, The Canadian Press








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    National

    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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