Tag Archives: Canada

Canada Introduces Five Years Jail Sentences For Killing Police Dogs And Service Animals

A new federal law that institutes a maximum jail sentence of five years for anyone convicted of intentionally killing a police dog or service animal is now in effect.

On Thursday, Tim Uppal, the federal minister of state for multiculturalism, met with Edmonton police officers to mark the enactment of Quanto’s Law.

The law was named for Edmonton police dog Quanto, who was fatally stabbed in the RCMP headquarters parking lot while he was helping to apprehend a fleeing suspect nearly two years ago.

Paul Joseph Vukmanich was sentenced to 26 months after pleading guilty to six charges, including one for killing the dog. At the time, the only charge that could be laid relating to the death of Quanto was animal cruelty, accounting for 18 months of the total sentence.

The sentencing prompted heated discussion Canada-wide about the need to send a strong message to those who would hurt a service animal.

In 2014, the federal Conservatives brought forward Bill C-35; the Justice for Animals in Service Act, and passed the legislation creating a specific charge for harming service animals, including police dogs, horses, and other service animals.

“This sends a strong message to anyone that was to injure or kill a service animal in the line of duty will be met with very serious consequences,” Tim Uppal said. “They’re there to protect us and we should be protecting them.”


Read more in the Huffington Post.

Source: www.huffingtonpost.ca

RCMP: Education the Key To Controlling Legal Designer Synthetic Drugs

Designer drugs will continue to kill young people because there’s almost nothing police can do to prevent their sale, says a Fort McMurray RCMP officer.  

Const. Michael Jaszczyszyn has spent four years investigating the use of designer drugs — drugs that mimic the effects of marijuana, cocaine or LSD but are manufactured in makeshift labs.

The drugs are legal to sell and consume. They’re sold as incense in hemp or head shops across the country, and are labelled ‘not for human consumption,’ but buyers smoke the material as a form of synthetic marijuana, he said.

Read more on CBC.

Source: www.cbc.ca

Undercover Officer In Wheelchair Discovers ‘Soul’ of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Tasked with identifying those responsible for such crimes, Vancouver Police Staff Sgt. Mark Horsley disguised himself as a paralyzed man with a brain injury in a motorized wheelchair, and went undercover for five days in the neighbourhood.

Far from being assaulted, a YouTube video of the undercover operation shows people helping Horsley in many ways—helping him count his money, zipping up the money pouch on the side of his wheelchair and even praying for him.


Watch the report on CTV News.

Source: www.ctvnews.ca

Side Effects of Marijuana Legalization: Canadian Company To Develop A Cannabis Breathalyzer

Since marijuana is being legalized in a number of states across the U.S. for recreational and medical purposes, the presence of a device that could measure the level of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in an individual has become the need of the hour.

Yahoo News confirms that a Canada-based firm, Cannabix Technologies, Inc., is in the final stages of developing such a breathalyzer device, which will be able to measure the THC levels. THC is a psychoactive element present in cannabis. Cannabix hopes to become the first company to launch their product in the market before their competitors.

Read more in International Business Times.

Source: www.ibtimes.com

Ottawa Police Approve Mental Health Plan For Officers

Ottawa police will begin offering formalized mental health peer support to officers in the new year, the Citizen has learned.

The force’s executive has approved a business plan to see the force invest in both efforts to build up officer mental health and then devote resources to developing a program in which cops help other cops through their mental health challenges, said Deputy Chief Ed Keeley.

The Ottawa Police Association, influenced by the findings of provincial ombudsman André Marin’s 2012 investigation into operational stress injury — an umbrella term that includes diagnoses such as workplace stress and post-traumatic stress disorder — in the Ontario Provincial Police, created what is now called the resiliency and performance group, or RPG. Association president Matt Skof and Keeley co-chair the group.

The union felt that cops couldn’t trust the service’s health practitioners and that generic wellness or employee and family assistance programs couldn’t adequately deal with the unique complexities of a police culture.

Read more in the Ottawa Citizen.

Source: ottawacitizen.com

Pan Am Security Using Lessons Learned From Toronto G20

In his 40-year policing career, Supt. Mike McDonell has never stayed in the same role for more than 32 months.

Long before he became one of Canada’s top counterterrorism experts, he worked as a drug cop, a member of the RCMP Musical Ride and a United Nations station commander in the former Yugoslavia. Five years ago, he retired from the RCMP and, not ready to quit law enforcement, joined the Ontario Provincial Police.

As head of security, he is responsible for co-ordinating the operations of the eight police forces from across southern Ontario that have jurisdiction over Games venues, plus the OPP and RCMP. All share the common goal of keeping citizens safe during the 35-day event.

“We’re training our officers to be discreet, so we really are learning to fight smarter instead of harder — not that in-your-face policing,” McDonell says.

The aim is to keep the Games open, to protect people without being seen doing it. McDonell is sensitive to the strained relationship between police and the public during and after the G20 summit five years ago in Toronto.

“We’ve taken the lessons from there and we’re applying it to here,” he says.


Read more in Metro News.

Source: metronews.ca

Ontario Paramedics Protest For Better PTSD Support

Southwestern Ontario paramedics are rallying together to call for greater resources for colleagues dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.

More than 40 unionized paramedics from Sarnia-Lambton and Chatham-Kent protested outside the County of Lambton administration building in Wyoming Wednesday to raise awareness about the province-wide hot-button topic.

“On a day-to-day basis, paramedics are exposed to a lot of different incidents,” local union steward Chris Stolte said Wednesday. “You may go from a home childbirth to an hour later going to someone who has passed away at home and having to tell the patient’s wife of 50 years, ‘I’m sorry, but there’s nothing we can do for that individual.’

“You go from one extreme to another extreme,” he said. “It does take its toll on everybody.”

About 22 per cent of paramedics will be affected by PTSD during the course of their careers, according to statistics provided by SEIU Healthcare, the union representing Sarnia-Lambton and Chatham-Kent EMS workers.

Read more in The Observer.

Source: www.theobserver.ca

RCMP Stands Sentry At National War Memorial To Honour Victoria Cross Winner

A sense of duty and history drove Staff Sgt. Dan Mayer of the RCMP to stand guard at the National War Memorial on Sunday.

History because the sentry duties marked 115 years since an RCMP officer was awarded the Victoria Cross, the country’s highest military honour, for rescuing a wounded soldier while under fire.

Duty because Mayer and others who took sentry duty had personal connections to the events of Oct. 22, when Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was killed while standing watch over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Some were among the first responders to the memorial after the shootings on Oct. 22, and others remain charged with protecting the country from terrorist threats.


Read more in Westerly News.

Source: www.westerlynews.ca

Toronto Group Homes Turning Outbursts From Kids Into Matters for Police

Serious occurrences involving youth in the care of the Ontario government and privately run children’s aid societies often involve a call to police.

Incidents are described in reports that must be filed to the Ontario government by group homes, foster parents and children’s aid societies when children or youth in their care are involved in events considered serious.

The results show a disturbing tendency — particularly in group homes — to turn outbursts from kids usually suffering from trauma and mental health issues into matters for police.

They raise concerns about caregivers being too quick to call police, feeding what studies suggest is a pipeline that funnels youths in care into the justice system.

Child psychologist Dr. Michele Peterson-Badali, an authority on Canada’s youth justice system, believes caregivers are calling police for behaviours that most biological parents would deal with in more compassionate ways.


Read the full report in The Star.

Source: www.thestar.com

Ombudsman Investigates Toronto Paramedics’ Handling Of PTSD

The city’s ombudsman is investigating how Toronto Paramedic Services deals with employees with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Fiona Crean said she decided to launch the investigation after receiving around a dozen complaints from paramedics in the past few weeks about operational stress injuries.

The ombudsman’s office says stress injuries include “a range of persistent psychological problems triggered by on-the-job activities, including anxiety, depression, alcohol and drug dependency and PTSD.”

The ombudsman made the rare move of making her investigation public to urge paramedics and staffers to contact her office.

“PTSD really lives in the shadows and so I wanted to encourage paramedics to come forward and tell their stories and also to communicate to them our confidential process,” Crean said.

Read more in the Toronto Sun.

Source: www.torontosun.com