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Winnipeg police dog Banner dies, saluted by WPS members – Winnipeg


Winnipeg police confirmed Thursday one of their good boys has died.

Banner, who was a furry member of the K-9 unit, died Wednesday at Bridgwater Veterinary Services.

Winnipegger Cassie Maeren posted on social media that she witnessed Banner and his handler heading into the vet Wednesday.

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“Fast forward an hour or so and tons of other police cars show up at the vet and are parked all around the building,” she said. “A bunch of officers get out of their cars and are standing at the door to meet the handler who is walking out with a large box.



“The handler loads the box into the back of the K-9 unit vehicle and everyone appears to be crying and hugging.”


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The officers then got back into their cruisers, she said, then all the units turned on their lights and slowly drove away.

“It was a absolutely beautiful send off for the police K-9 and although it was devastating to see this it made me so happy to see the respect and honour that was given to that dog by his handler and other police officers,” she said.

Banner was featured in the Winnipeg Police Services 2018 Calendar.

The WPS is one of the few police services in Canada that has its own in-house breeding program, and currently has 10 K-9 teams as part of the Special Operations Unit. The dogs are trained to help take down fleeing suspects and some are trained for other jobs including sniffing out illegal drugs, explosives and more.

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The WPS uses Belgian Malinois dogs, with a sprinkling of German Shepherds.




© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.







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This is the list of the top 10 stolen vehicles in Canada


With key-less entry, GPS and mobile apps, vehicles are getting smarter and smarter — and auto thieves are keeping up, according to a new report by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).

Sophisticated thieves are using technology to “bypass security systems,” IBC, which represents Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers, warned in a press release on Tuesday.

Auto theft these days is less and less about stealing keys and manual hot-wiring and increasingly about intercepting the signal between your vehicle and your entry fob, said IBC’s Vanessa Barrasa. As long that the two are in close proximity, thieves can capture the signal, she added.

READ MORE: Your car-loan payment may be way too high. Here’s what’s happening

That may explain why, despite ever more sophisticated technology, auto theft has held remarkably constant over the past few years. The IBC estimates thieves steal a vehicle every six minutes in Canada, something that collectively costs owners close to $1 billion every year, with insurers paying out around half that to fix or replace the stolen trucks, SUVs and cars.

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As for the top 10 stolen vehicles in Canada, here’s the list from IBC:

1. Ford 350SD AWD 2007
2. Ford 350SD AWD 2006
3. Ford 350SD AWD 2005
4. Ford 350SD AWD 2004
5. Ford 250SD AWD 2006
6. Ford 350SD AWD 2003
7. Lexus RX350/RX350L/RX450h/RX450hL 4DR AWD 2018
8. Ford F250 SD 4WD 2005
9. Ford F350 SD 4AWD 2002
10. Honda Civic Si 2DR Coupe 1998

What’s so special about the Ford 350?

While the list is dominated by the popular Ford pickup truck, that’s hardly an indication that Ford 350 owners are more likely to suffer theft, Barrasa said. Rather, the data is a reflection of “what’s available” for thieves to steal.

The truck is very common in populous provinces like Alberta, which weighs heavily in the national data, she added.

Still, pick-up trucks in general, as well as some SUVs, are being shipped for resale overseas, which is part of a larger organized crime problem, Barrasa said.



Global News reported in 2018 that organized crime was behind a surge in Canadian vehicle thefts, with some provinces, such as Ontario, seeing double-digit increases in theft even as the national average remained roughly steady.

READ MORE: Organized crime behind surge in Canadian vehicle thefts, auto insurance fraud, experts say

Organized auto theft rings are involved in international trade-based money laundering and raising money for drug-trafficking and terrorism, the IBC told Global News. Transnational gangs are even sending SUVs stolen in Canada to carry out terrorist bombings in the Middle East.

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Still, owners of small, less expensive vehicles can’t rest easy either, as thieves also may target vehicles in order to steal parts or take them on a joyride, according to Barrasa.

“These are thieves: they’re picky, but they’re not too picky.”


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How to protect your vehicle

Some of the steps Canadians can take to reduce the risk of theft are just commonsense precautions. For example, leaving your vehicle running while unattended — even if it’s really cold outside, Barrasa said.

Always locking your doors and making sure the windows are closed is another simple step that can help you ensure your vehicle isn’t an easy target. Other deterrents include steering wheel or brake pedal locks and visible or audible devices that let thieves know the vehicle is protected.

But as auto thieves turn into something closer to hackers, there is more vehicle owners need to know. Thieves can use wireless transmitters to intercept the signal of your key-less entry fob if you leave it at the front entrance of your house, the IBC warned.






Auto thefts are on the rise for car owners and dealers


Auto thefts are on the rise for car owners and dealers

That doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t keep storing your fob near your front door, Barrasa said. But instead of dropping in into a generic bowl along with your gloves, and spare change, put it in a metal box with a lid, she suggested.

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Another way to protect yourself from electronic auto theft is to install an immobilizing device, which prevents thieves from bypassing the ignition and hot-wiring a vehicle. This includes devices that require wireless ignition authentication as well as starter, ignition and fuel pump disablers, according to IBC.

READ MORE: Border officers frustrated at police inaction over stolen cars being exported through Montreal

Some vehicles already come with this type of device installed, but if yours doesn’t, you can do your own research or contact your manufacturer or dealer, Barrasa said.

ICB also suggests installing a tracking device, if your vehicle isn’t already equipped with one. While this won’t thwart a theft, it may help authorities to retrieve your vehicle. The device sends a signal to a monitoring station or directly to police in case of auto theft.

Finally, Barrasa recommends storing personal information like insurance and ownership papers in your wallet rather than your glove compartments. That helps prevent a tech-savvy auto thief from also stealing your identity.

— With reporting from Sam Cooper, Global News




© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.







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Court rejects federal government’s bid to put Indigenous child welfare ruling on hold


OTTAWA — The Federal Court has rejected a request from Ottawa to press pause on a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling ordering compensation for First Nations children who were unnecessarily removed from their families and communities due to underfunding of the on-reserve child welfare system.

The decision means the federal government will have to submit a plan to the tribunal by Jan. 29, 2020 detailing how compensation could be paid out. However, Ottawa will continue to fight the tribunal’s ruling in court, arguing there are flaws in its decision.

The government maintains it does want to compensate First Nations children who suffered due to underfunding of child and family services. On Monday, federal ministers announced Ottawa is looking to negotiate compensation through a separate class-action lawsuit that would cover a larger number of people than the tribunal ruling.

“Nothing changes our strong belief that we must compensate First Nations children harmed by past government policies,” Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller’s office told the National Post in a statement on Friday. “We will continue to seek a solution that will provide comprehensive, fair and equitable compensation for First Nations children in care.”

The case concerns a human rights complaint initially filed in 2007 by the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society and the Assembly of First Nations. In September, the tribunal found the government wilfully and recklessly discriminated against First Nations children by underfunding child and family services on reserve and in the Yukon, which created an incentive to remove Indigenous children from their homes and communities. It found each child who was unnecessarily taken into care starting on Jan. 1, 2006 is entitled to $40,000 in compensation.

It also ruled the government should pay compensation to parents and grandparents and to Indigenous children who were denied essential services covered under Jordan’s principle, which states that the needs of First Nations children should take precedence over jurisdictional disputes about who should pay for them.

The government filed a legal challenge of the decision in October, and also asked the Federal Court to stay the ruling pending the outcome of that judicial review.

We will continue to seek a solution that will provide comprehensive, fair and equitable compensation

A hearing on the motion to stay was held in Ottawa earlier this week. On Friday, Federal Court Justice Paul Favel denied Ottawa’s request to put the process on hold, finding there would be no harm in the government discussing a compensation plan with the other parties. He pointed out that Canada doesn’t yet have to pay out compensation — it just has to make a plan.

“I’m pleased with it, because it allows the tribunal to continue with its work on the compensation process, so that’s the most important thing,” said Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the Caring Society, in an interview.

She said the decision brings First Nations children one step closer to receiving compensation, but added that Canada continues to throw up roadblocks. “Are they going to stop fighting and do the right thing for kids, or are they going to continue to fight?” she said. “In which case, we will meet them in every courtroom.”

The tribunal originally ordered the parties to submit a compensation plan by Dec. 10, but this week pushed that deadline back to Jan. 29. In a letter on Wednesday, the tribunal wrote that the approaching deadline and Canada’s refusal to enter into discussions left it feeling “cornered.” There is no set date when Ottawa would have to start paying compensation.


Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society.

Codie McLachlan/Postmedia/File

During the hearing on Monday, a Justice Department lawyer argued the tribunal’s decision was flawed in part because it ordered the government to pay each child the same amount — the maximum $40,000 in compensation the tribunal is allowed to award. Robert Frater argued the decision took a “one-size-fits-all” approach that didn’t make distinctions “based on harms actually experienced.” He estimated the ruling would require payment of at least $5 or $6 billion.

Frater also argued the decision forces Canada to “take a piecemeal approach to settling,” because the ruling only affects Indigenous people who were involved in the child welfare system since 2006.

In contrast, the class-action lawsuit the government wants to settle covers children affected by the underfunding of child and family services dating back to 1991, but not their parents.

However, the Caring Society argues the children covered by the tribunal ruling shouldn’t have to wait longer simply because others also suffered. “If we wait for perfection, we’ll be back here again and again and again and again, and we’ll never have a solution,” said Barbara McIsaac, a lawyer for the Caring Society, during Monday’s hearing.

The Caring Society had sought to have the judicial review put on hold until the tribunal has issued another order with details about the compensation process. But Favel denied that motion as well, meaning both the tribunal process and the legal challenge seeking to have it overturned will proceed simultaneously.

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Fredericton-area fire displaces family of 6: Red Cross – Halifax



A family of six from the Fredericton area lost their house and belongings in a fire late Friday night, according to the Red Cross.

In a news release Saturday afternoon, the Canadian Red Cross said the fire occurred in Taymouth, N.B., about 25 kilometres north of Fredericton.

READ MORE: 14 people displaced after rooming house fire in Fredericton: Red Cross



The Red Cross says the couple and their four children, ranging in ages from six to 22, were not injured, but they’re forced to stay with relatives for the time being.

They’re being assisted with emergency purchases of clothing, food and personal-care items.

The cause of the fire is unclear.

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© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.