Hockey Canada's board chairs face questions about handling of alleged sex assaults

WATCH: Canadians, government have ‘lost confidence’ in Hockey Canada leadership: Trudeau

Hockey Canada‘s board chairs, past and present, will answer to the federal government today on the hockey body’s handling of alleged sexual assaults and how money was paid out in lawsuits.

Former chair Michael Brind’Amour and interim chair Andrea Skinner will appear before a Canadian Heritage standing committee in Ottawa.

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Edmonton Oilers chair Bob Nicholson, who was Hockey Canada’s president and CEO from 1998 to 2014, will not be present, but has been asked by the committee to appear at a future hearing.

Hockey Canada has been under the national microscope since May when it was revealed it had settled a lawsuit with a woman who alleged she was sexually assaulted by eight players from the 2018 junior men’s hockey team during a June gala event in London, Ont., that year.

Among other revelations that followed was Hockey Canada’s admission it drew on minor hockey membership fees to pay for uninsured liabilities, including sexual abuse claims.

Also, Halifax police were asked to investigate an alleged sexual assault by members of the 2003 junior men’s team.

The feds froze Hockey Canada’s funding and called its executives on the standing committee carpet June 20 and July 26-27.

Former president Tom Renney, current president and chief executive officer Scott Smith, chief financial officer Brian Cairo and former vice-president of insurance and risk management Glen McCurdie were among those grilled.

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Hockey Canada put 65% of player insurance fees into controversial National Equity Fund

It was revealed in the July hearings that Hockey Canada had paid out $7.6 million in nine settlements related to sexual assault and sexual abuse claims since 1989.

That figure didn’t include this year’s payout of an undisclosed sum to the London plaintiff. The majority of that money went to those abused by junior hockey coach Graham James.

The board chairs will be questioned by the feds for the first time.

Skinner’s appointment followed Brind’Amour’s resignation Aug. 6.

Former NHL player and victims rights advocate Sheldon Kennedy, a Graham James survivor, has called for the resignation of Smith, Hockey Canada’s leadership team and the board of directors.

In the face of lost corporate sponsorships and public outcry, Hockey Canada laid out an action plan to address safe sport issues and says it will no longer use the “National Equity Fund” to settle sexual assault claims.

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Hockey Canada also appointed former Supreme Court justice Thomas Cromwell to conduct a review of its governance.

An interim report of recommendations is expected before the board’s annual general meeting in November.

Liberal MP Kirsty Duncan, who tackled safe sport issues during her tenure as Canada’s sports minister from 2014 to 2019, has called for a national inquiry into safe sport similar to the 1988 Dubin inquiry into doping.

“We had an inquiry decades ago on doping,” Duncan said during a recent speech at the University of Saskatchewan.

“Now we need one to build a safer sport system for all.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Nobel Prize in physics awarded to 3 scientists for work on quantum science

WATCH: Svante Pääbo of Sweden wins Nobel Prize in medicine for work on human evolution

Three scientists jointly won this year’s Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday for their work on quantum information science that has significant applications, for example in the field of encryption.

Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilinger were cited by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for “pioneering quantum information science.”

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Swedish scientist awarded Nobel Prize in medicine for work on human evolution

“Quantum information science is a vibrant and rapidly developing field,” said Eva Olsson, a member of the Nobel committee. “It has broad and potential implications in areas such as secure information transfer, quantum computing and sensing technology.”

“Its origin can be traced to that of quantum mechanics,” she said. “Its predictions have opened doors to another world, and it has also shaken the very foundations of how we interpret measurements.”

While physicists often tackle problems that appear at first glance to be far removed from everyday concerns _ tiny particles and the vast mysteries of space and time – their research provides the foundations for many practical applications of science.

Last year the prize was awarded to three scientists _ Syukuro Manabe, Klaus Hasselmann and Giorgio Parisi _ whose work has helped to explain and predict complex forces of nature, thereby expanding our understanding of climate change.

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Canadian-born David Card named as Nobel prize winner in economics

A week of Nobel Prize announcements kicked off Monday with Swedish scientist Svante Paabo receiving the award in medicine Monday for unlocking secrets of Neanderthal DNA that provided key insights into our immune system.

They continue with chemistry on Wednesday and literature on Thursday.

The 2022 Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on Friday and the economics award on Oct. 10.

The prizes carry a cash award of 10 million Swedish kronor (nearly $900,000) and will be handed out on Dec. 10.

The money comes from a bequest left by the prize’s creator, Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel, who died in 1895.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

'Too close for comfort': Burlington coyote attacks likely result of feeding by humans

WATCH ABOVE: (Sept. 19) A second coyote has been eliminated after seven attacks in recent weeks in south Burlington, Ont. Shallima Maharaj has more.

Owen Barnes has come across two coyotes in the last month while walking through trails in his Burlington, Ont., neighbourhood.

In the first encounter, a scruffy one was entering the trail as Barnes was leaving and they spotted each other from about six metres away. Just days later, Barnes spotted another sitting under a bridge he was crossing.

Both times, he managed to leave without any further escalation, but the encounters left him rattled.

“It was too close for comfort,” he said in a phone interview.

Burlington, on the western edge of the Greater Toronto Area, has recorded what it said were its first reported coyote attacks on humans this year while seeing a significant rise in encounters with the animals.

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4th coyote killed following attacks on humans in Burlington, Ont.

The city has killed several coyotes responsible for aggressive behaviour, formed a task force that includes police and wildlife control professionals to deal with the issue, and is urging residents not to feed the animals – something it says is behind the rise in attacks on humans.

“When people feed coyotes, intentionally or unintentionally, coyotes become familiar with humans, are no longer afraid of humans and show more and more aggressive behaviour,” Carla Marshall, a communications adviser at the city, wrote in a statement.

“The experts are convinced these localized attacks are coming from coyotes who have been conditioned to see humans as a food source.”

Marshall said the city received photos of frozen meals and a bushel of corn left on a trail that was close to the site of an attack.

“This must stop as it is attracting and conditioning the coyotes to be reliant on human feeding, leading to aggression and attacks on residents,” she wrote.

The city killed three coyotes it said were responsible for seven unprovoked attacks on humans since late August. A fourth was later killed because it was aggressive, not afraid of humans and not “showing normal coyote behaviour.” Meanwhile, the city’s council has approved an increase in fines for residents caught feeding wildlife or failing to keep their properties clean.

Farther east, the city of Toronto is also dealing with aggressive coyotes. Local police warned residents on Monday to be cautious after reports of two coyotes trying to attack someone in the east end.

Colleen St. Clair, a biological sciences professor at the University of Alberta, said aggressive coyote behaviour is usually the result of a person that is intentionally feeding them, causing them to lose their fear of people.

St. Clair, who created the Edmonton Urban Coyote Project in 2009 to study how coyotes live in urban areas, said each time she’s investigated rashes of attacks in her city, she’s found first-hand evidence that they were accessing human food. She also said coyotes could be getting food left out inadvertently, including garbage, bird seed and, during this time of year, fruit that’s fallen on the ground.

When human-coyote conflicts occur, St. Clair said there’s often speculation that attacks are the result of urban development encroaching on their habitats, but it’s more likely that “coyotes are exploiting us.”

“Coyotes are really adaptable and flexible in their behaviour,” she said.

“The bulk of human-coyote conflict that’s going on in urban areas is caused by coyotes learning that they’re pretty safe in urban areas, they don’t have any predators there … that there’s all kinds of food there and all kinds of places where they can den quite securely.”

St. Clair also noted that coyotes aren’t susceptible to being domesticated in the way wolves and dogs have historically been, which could be part of the reason they become aggressive when they start to see humans as food sources.

The best way to promote human-coyote coexistence in cities and prevent lethal removals is public education that emphasizes not feeding the animals, St. Clair said, in addition to the enforcement of bylaws that prohibit feeding.

For people in areas with known coyotes, St. Clair advised taking extra precautions, such as erecting taller fences around backyards and keeping pets on leashes and cats indoors.

People running, walking or out with children in natural areas should be prepared to defend themselves and treat the coyotes aggressively “with more than standing tall and waving your arms and clapping your hands,” which St. Clair said are not very effective techniques.

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Police warning residents after ‘aggressive’ coyotes reported in Toronto neighbourhood

She recommended carrying something to throw at a coyote – even a dog poop bag will do. Flashlights or umbrellas can also be effective tools for scaring them off.

“Throwing something shortens the distance between you and the coyote, and it teaches the coyote you can potentially harm them even though you’re a distance away,” she said.

However, people should never turn their backs or run away from coyotes, St. Clair warned, because coyotes have an innate instinct to chase fleeing animals.

Euthanizing coyotes responsible for attacks on humans is what needs to happen once the animals have lost their fear of people, she said.

“That’s always the outcome of food conditioning,” she said. “There’s not really a way of restoring human safety while food-conditioned animals remain in an area.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press

‘A narrative that already exists’: How Toronto police prepared to publish data confirming systemic racism

On June 15, James Ramer, Toronto’s interim police chief, sat in front of TV cameras and journalists to deliver an apology to the city’s Black communities.

“We have not done enough to ensure that every person in our city receives fair and unbiased policing,” he said. “For this, as chief of police and on behalf of the service, I am sorry and I apologize unreservedly.”

The press conference was planned to coincide with the release of Toronto Police Service data from 2020 that showed Black residents faced disproportionate enforcement and were more likely to have a police officer point a gun at them.

The data confirmed “a narrative that already exists,” internal police communication plans admit.

Global News obtained the force’s communication strategy for the release of the data through a freedom of information request.

“The public generally knows there is systemic racism at the Service,” one slide from the plan said.

Read more:

Toronto police statistics show disproportionate use of force on Black people

The data showed that Black people — who made up about 10 per cent of the city’s population in 2020 — faced 22.6 per cent of police enforcement action, which includes arrests, provincial offences tickets, cautions and diversions.

At the same time, 39.4 per cent of use of force incidents involved Black people.

Black people were 1.5 times more likely than white people to have a gun pointed at them when they were perceived to have a weapon and 2.3 times more likely when no weapon was perceived. In both situations, white people were more likely than Black people to face lower levels of force.

East Asian, South Asian and Middle Eastern people were 1.2 times more likely than white people to experience use of force; Latino people were 1.5 times more likely.

The theme of the data’s revelations was not new.

A report by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) released in 2020, for example, found that 25 per cent of investigations into police interactions resulting in death, serious injury or sexual assault between 2013 and 2017 involved police interaction with Black people.

During that period, just 8.8 per cent of Toronto’s population was Black.

“The narrative we refer to in our communication plan is around the existence of systemic racism in policing, including at TPS – a narrative that our findings support,” a spokesperson for Toronto police told Global News.

“As the Chief made clear in his remarks, the findings from our 2020 Race-Based Data Collection show that we have not done enough to ensure that every person in our city receives fair and unbiased policing, by confirming that Black, Indigenous, and racialized people are over-represented in both use-of-force incidents as well as in strip searches.”

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Akwasi Owusu-Bempah, an associate professor of sociology at the University of Toronto who has closely followed police interactions with racialized communities, said honest, clear and transparent communication was important.

“But boy did this ever fall flat on its face,” he said of Ramer’s apology.

“I just look at how much work has gone into trying to release this data, to present this information to the public and I think how these resources and this time could have been more effectively spent trying to ameliorate the very problems that they’re (bringing) to the attention of the public.

“They’re trying to have justice be seen to be done and people want to see justice being done.”

‘Striking a balance will be important’

When the Toronto police chief told the city empirical data showed his force had a serious issue with systemic racism, the police communications team wanted the public to take away three messages: “accountability, apology and action.”

Ramer and police spokespeople were urged to avoid offering excuses for the data, warning that “any goodwill will be lost if we fail to be open and honest about what the findings mean and present some tangible solutions.”

Another line added, “At this point, the public’s perspective is the issue of racism has been active for a very long time so any indication that solutions are vague or still being thought through will not be well-received.”

Read more:

Toronto police chief apologizes to Black community as race-based data released

It was also important to avoid alienating officers.

The strategy left police trying to speak to two contrasting demographics: the public, which, by the force’s own assessment, was tired of spin, excuses and inaction; and union officials and police officers, who would presumably push back against suggestions they themselves were racist.

“The public is likely to see it as a TPS-specific issue and assume many of its officers are at fault,” a communications slide said. “However, internal audiences, like members, will want to learn more on the system angle. Striking a balance will be important.”

In the end, police brass struggled to do either.

During his apology, Ramer was interrupted by Beverly Bain, with the No Pride in Policing Coalition, who told the interim chief his apology was “insulting to Black people.”

“When you talk about systemic change and you talk about the system, you make it seem as though it’s a structure that’s somehow a separate entity from that of what is happening on the ground,” she said.

“Chief Ramer, we do not accept your apology.”

Ramer, who has been serving as interim chief, will be replaced by Myron Demkiw in December.

The subject of her interjection — the culpability of individual officers for the data that showed police in Toronto treated Black residents differently than white — had been the subject of meticulous preparation for the interim police chief.

A list of 15 “reactive questions & answers” was drafted for the chief ahead of his press conference. Three of them dealt with explanations for why individual officers would not be identified and the perception of ineffective training.

“The Service already has accountability measures in place to address individual racism, which is identified as misconduct,” one pre-written answer from the documents says.

Ramer, through the press conference, shared those talking points, saying the data would not be used to assess or discipline specific officers.

He noted that the data was anonymized and meant to examine systemic racism. There are already internal systems, watchdogs and legal processes in place to deal with officer misconduct, and “overt racism will not be tolerated,” he said.

That preparation, compared with how it landed, was not lost on Owusu-Bempah.

“What is interesting, at least from my perspective, is that chief’s apology fell flat on its face given how much preparation, how much material was developed,” he said.

The Toronto police spokesperson said transparency had always been the key — even if different audiences interpret the data differently.

“We continue to have conversations with all different stakeholders, always with the view of advancing understanding and equity,” the spokesperson said. “We want our members to understand what the findings mean and what we are doing to support them so they can best serve communities.”

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‘Cogs in the colonial wheel’ — Why racism in Canada’s police force is as old as policing

Despite the carefully prepared attempt not to condemn officers during the rollout of the data, the force’s union, the Toronto Police Association (TPA), reacted pointedly.

The union distanced officers from the findings, suggesting broader societal failings were at play.

The TPA said while the two datasets “cannot be disputed,” the results are “disappointing and leave more questions than answers, including why disparities exist or what factors could have led to an encounter with police in the first place.”

“Societal failures tend to fall at the feet of officers who police where and when they are directed,” the statement read. “Their actions, often split-second decisions, are then scrutinized with very little consideration given to the organizational shortcomings that occurred long before the interaction with a police officer.”

‘Courtesy heads-up’

Plans to release the data began to roll out at least a month before it was published.

On May 10, the data and its findings of systemic racism, particularly impacting Toronto’s Black community, were presented to the police’s Anti-Racism Advisory Panel and the Police And Community Engagement Review committee.

Neighbourhood Community Engagement Officers (NCO) were engaged, with a focus group convened on May 18. The communications rollout plan says the meeting was to discuss “anticipated community reaction” to the data.

Toronto police also held meetings with “agencies / community leaders” to help explain terminology in its reporting and “seek support from the community.”

The OHRC was briefed, as were the City of Toronto and Ontario solicitor general.

The release of the data was also likely to pile further scrutiny on Ontario police forces, which have been under the microscope in a new way since the 2020 murder of George Floyd.

Two weeks before the data was made public, Toronto’s interim chief sent a brief note to his peers. The communications plan described it as a “courtesy heads-up” to other Ontario police chiefs in which “limited” details would be provided.

An electronic update was sent to all Toronto police members on June 11, laying out activities in June and July, including the race-based data collection and an equity strategy.

The day before the data was finally made public, on June 14, another message was sent to police officers reminding them that “full findings are being released tomorrow” and that “key messages” would be released the next day.

Read more:

Toronto police to look into whether race-based data could be used differently

The week after Ramer held his press conference, lasting roughly an hour, the Toronto Police Services Board — the organization that governs the force — passed motions that could move the force away from its attempt to communicate to both officers and the public on its race-based data initiative.

The board passed a set of motions aimed at examining — and potentially expanding — what can be done with the data under provincial legislation and its own policy.

“In terms of identifying specific divisions or individual officers, the intent is certainly to look at whether and how this can be done, respecting applicable law that creates the framework in which this is done,” Ryan Teschner, the board’s executive director and chief of staff, said in an email.

The board will then look at that assessment and review its policy on race-based data, Teschner said, adding that the motions “contemplate a situation in the future where such analysis could be possible, respecting the legal framework.”

When it adopted the policy in 2019, the board said the data would not be used to identify specific officers or manage their performance, but to “identify trends that contribute to professional development and organizational change.”

Ontario’s privacy commissioner clarified that the law does not prevent police from using the data to assess and discipline individual officers.

“Our approach to using RBDC data to identify individual officers has not changed,” the Toronto police spokesperson said.

Toronto police told Global News the next stages of its plan will begin rolling out soon.

The force is expected to release an academic report on the findings, including further data, such as breakdowns by gender.

“Although there is much more work to be done, the strides we are making demonstrate our commitment to transparency and accountability, and to strengthening trust with all of Toronto’s many communities,” the spokesperson said.

— with files from The Canadian Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Toronto Blue Jays clinch home field in first round

The Toronto Blue Jays have clinched the top wild-card seed in the American League and will play their first-round series at Rogers Centre starting Friday.

The Blue Jays locked up the spot Monday night when the Seattle Mariners dropped a 4-3 decision to the Detroit Tigers.

Toronto defeated the Baltimore Orioles 5-1 earlier in the evening in a rain-shortened game.

Major League Baseball changed the wild-card format for this post-season. Three wild-card teams will make the cut in each league this year along with the three division winners.

The Blue Jays, seeded fourth in the American League, will host the fifth-seeded team — either the Mariners or the Tampa Bay Rays — in a best-of-three series. All games will be played in Toronto.

The winner will advance to play the top-seeded Houston Astros in the best-of-five AL Division Series starting Oct. 11.

The sixth-seeded club will open against the No. 3 Cleveland Guardians on Friday in the other AL wild-card series. The winner will take on the No. 2 New York Yankees in the ALDS.

The division series winners will advance to the best-of-seven American League Championship Series. The winner of that series will play the National League champion in the World Series starting Oct. 28.

The Blue Jays last made the playoffs in 2020. Toronto was swept by the Rays in a wild-card series that year.

Toronto won World Series titles in 1992-93.

After winning the Fall Classic for the second time, the Blue Jays didn’t return to the playoffs until 2015. Toronto reached the ALCS that year and returned to the final four in 2016.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 3, 2022.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

NewsAlert: Blue Jays clinch top AL wild-card berth

The Toronto Blue Jays will play host to a best-of-three, wild-card playoff series starting on Friday at the Rogers Centre. The Jays defeated the Baltimore Orioles 5-1 in a rain-shortened game in Baltimore earlier tonight. Then the Detroit Tigers knocked off the Mariners 4-3 in Seattle, to allow Toronto to clinch the top wild-card berth, and home-field advantage in the first round of playoffs. Seattle and the Tampa Bay Rays are the other A-L wild-card teams headed for the post-season.

More coming ….

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Dylan Holloway shines in Edmonton Oilers win over Canucks

Dylan Holloway continued to impress for the Edmonton Oilers, netting a hat trick and picking up an assist in a 7-2 pre-season win over the Vancouver Canucks Monday night at Rogers Place.

“It was one of those nights where everything just seems to go right,” Holloway said post-game. “I owe a lot to my linemates. I was playing with two pretty good players in (Draisaitl) and (Hyman), so I thought we played well and it’s great to get the win.”

All eyes were on the Oilers youngster, who was in the lineup again and this time in the top six, on a line with Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman. Holloway would open the scoring halfway through the first, deflecting a shot from Darnell Nurse past Connor Delia.

“He had a heck of a game tonight,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said. “I thought that line was the best line on the ice. They controlled the puck and didn’t give up a ton against.”

​”He works 200 feet of the rink,” Barrie said of Holloway. “He plays well defensively and then he’s got the skills and the speed, so he’s going to be a big addition.”

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The Canucks finally cashed in on their fifth power play of the game early in the second when Nils Hoglander fired a shot past Jack Campbell. On an Oilers power play, Evan Bouchard made a nice play to glove down a Canucks clearing attempt. A few seconds later, Connor McDavid fed Zach Hyman for a tap-in. Holloway scored 26 seconds later, ripping a sharp angle shot over Delia’s right shoulder. Conor Garland replied with a tip for the Canucks before Tyson Barrie made it 4-2 Oilers after two.

“We definitely took too many penalties, and it killed the rhythm to the game,” Barrie said. “But we did a good job of sticking with it and staying out of the box in the second half.”

Jack Campbell made a spectacular save on Garland in the third, extending his glove to snatch the puck just before it crossed the goal line.

“I thought (Campbell) was really good,” Woodcroft said post-game. “He made big saves when called upon, but I think he made a bunch of really big saves early in the game… he was very good and a big reason why the goals against were only two for the other team.”

Holloway completed the hat trick with 2:41 left in the game. Warren Foegele scored goals 51 seconds apart to round out the scoring.

Campbell finished with 28 saves.

Tyler Benson left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury and didn’t return.

“He tried to come back and take a shift and it wasn’t feeling where he wanted it to,” Woodcroft said of Benson.

The Oilers will continue the pre-season in Abbotsford against the Canucks on Wednesday (630 CHED, Face-off Show 6 p.m., game at 8 p.m.)

 

— ​With files from Brenden Escott, 630 CHED

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Motorcyclists seriously injured in two separate collisions on QEW: OPP

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) say two motorcyclists were seriously injured in separate crashes on the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) Monday afternoon.

In a social media post, Sgt. Kerry Schmidt said in both instances the riders were sent to hospital.

The first instance happened early afternoon in Burlington, Ont., on the QEW ramp to Centennial Parkway.

“A single motorcycle rider lost control and ended up with serious injuries,” Schmidt said.

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Later around 3 p.m. police responded to a motorcycle collision on the eastbound QEW approaching Winston Churchill Boulevard in Oakville.

“Again, a single motorcycle rider reported by witnesses traveling erratically or aggressively prior to the collision,” said Schmidt.

“No other vehicles involved that we’re aware of at this time.”

Halton paramedics say that male rider, believed to be in his 40s, was sent to a trauma centre.

The crash stunted eastbound traffic on the QEW between Ford Drive and Winston Churchill Boulevard for hours.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Air Canada passenger’s bag arrives destroyed. A nightmare followed

An Air Canada customer who received little compensation from the airline after his luggage and contents were destroyed turned to Consumer Matters for help in his fight for fair compensation. Anne Drewa has his story.

An Air Canada customer is sharing his luggage nightmare after his bag arrived destroyed while in the airline’s care.

Ori Wolk said he submitted a claim, but the initial compensation he received from Air Canada fell far short of the total value of his damaged belongings.

“It just makes me feel that I’m not important, “said Wolk.

The Ottawa resident’s compensation battle with Air Canada started this past March when he flew business class with the airline to Israel following a death in the family.

On his return flight home from Montreal to Ottawa, Wolk says he was told by an Air Canada agent the plane to Ottawa had minimal storage capacity and recommended he check in his carry-on bag.

“I was so exhausted. I was happy to be in Canada, sure I will do it,” said Wolk.

Read more:

WestJet Vacations customer endures long battle getting refund after COVID cancellation

However, when he landed in Ottawa, he was directed to the baggage claim area where he received his carry-on luggage in a plastic bag.  Wolk says he was speechless.  The carry-on bag and its contents were heavily damaged.

“Everything was shredded and soaked,” Wolk told Consumer Matters.

Some of those destroyed items included headphones, prescription eyeglasses, prescription sunglasses and irreplaceable family photos and bank documents.

Wolk said he didn’t get much of an explanation from Air Canada. “They say it got caught in a conveyer belt,” he said.

When Wolk filed his claim and wrote Air Canada, he also outlined the value of his damaged items which were over $1,000. However, days later, Air Canada responded to Wolk stating after evaluating his claim an etransfer in the amount of $180  would be issued along with 15 per cent off his next flight as a goodwill gesture.

“They said this is our final response and do not reply to us anymore,” said Wolk.

President of the Air Passenger Rights advocacy group Gabor Lukacs said Wolk’s case is a clear violation of the law.

“While the airline was supposed to be guarding your bag, they failed to do so because it was damaged by the conveyer belt so they are liable up to about $2,300 CDN,” said Lukacs, adding, “the airline is liable for damage to checked baggage from the moment the baggage is handed over to the airline until you get back the baggage,” said Lukacs.

Wolk rejected Air Canada’s offer and turned to Consumer Matters for help. One day later, Wolk was contacted by Air Canada and received an apology and full compensation.

“I’m being compensated $1,190 plus they gave me a $300 voucher for my next trip,” said Wolk.

“They literally closed my case, but thanks to Consumer Matters they reopened it,” Wolk added.

Read more:

Hours on hold. No customer support. WestJet passenger voices frustration after itinerary change

Air Canada stated to Consumer Matters: “We can confirm this passenger submitted a total claim for $180, which was fully paid and therefore considered resolved. Air Canada has since contacted the customer again.” – Air Canada Media

However, Wolk said he’s shocked by Air Canada’s response since he had submitted a claim outlining in detail all his damaged belongings and their value from the very beginning. “It’s kind of alarming in a way,” he said.

Lukacs added it’s very important passengers enforce their rights.

“Airlines feel they are untouchable, that nothing will happen to them if they break the law. That is the source of the problem,” said Lukacs.

He also suggests if passengers are being unfairly compensated by the airline to stand their ground.

“Don’t give up, don’t be a push over and don’t be afraid to assert your rights. Take them to small claims court,” said Lukacs.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Collision in Richmond, B.C. leaves motorcyclist dead

RCMP are investigating a fatal collision involving a motorcycle in Richmond, B.C., on Monday.

Emergency crews were called to the area of Russ Baker Way and Inglis Drive around 12:30 p.m. to the crash involving the motorbike and a “transport bus,” police said.

Images from the scene showed what appeared to be a private ambulance, labelled “event paramedics,” as one of the vehicles involved in the collision.

Read more:

Woman, 35, dies in North Okanagan motorcycle crash: RCMP

Police said the motorcycle rider died at the scene, while the operator of the other vehicle was unhurt.

Richmond RCMP’s Criminal Collision Investigation Team is leading the case.

Anyone who witnessed the crash or with video shot at the scene is asked to contact Richmond RCMP at 604-278-1212.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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