PM skips ceremony for soldier killed during overseas training
Update: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan was not in attendance. In fact, he was. We regret the error.
The body of Canadian Armed Forces Bombardier Patrick Labrie, who was killed during a NATO exercise last week in Bulgaria, was returned to Ottawa on Saturday for a memorial service. However, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was not present to pay his respects.
Labrie was a non-commissioned member of the 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery based at Petawawa, Ontario. He was sent to an airborne training mission in Bulgaria, Croatia, and Romania called Exercise “Swift Response 19.”
Labrie died after something went wrong during a training jump from a low altitude Monday night.
According to CBC News, his body arrived at around 8 p.m. on Saturday at the Ottawa airport.
Soldiers hoisted Labrie’s casket, draped in a Canadian flag, onto their shoulders and carried it off the plane and into a hangar. Labrie’s family members held hands and walked behind.
Afterwards, Labrie’s parents spoke about their son, his father in French and his mother in English.
“When we heard about our son’s death … it was devastating. We can’t even describe it. Our life has been torn apart,” said Labrie’s mother, Julie Rivard.
“Patrick was a ray of sunshine in our life. He loved everyone, and he was loved by everyone.”
The Department of National Defence is investigating what lead to Labrie’s death. Three other soldiers, including two Americans, were injured in the U.S.-led exercise. However, Labrie was under Canadian command during his exercise.
Lt.-Gen. Jean-Marc Lanthier, commander of the Canadian Army, said in a statement that he was “deeply saddened” by the loss.
“Not only is his death a painful loss to his family and friends, but we feel this loss across the Canadian Army and throughout the entire military community,” he said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted on this matter:
We contacted the PMO for comments and mentioned that the PM’s schedule doesn’t specify what he was doing on Saturday. Currently, we are awaiting a response.
Police in Hamilton have issued a warrant for the arrest of Jayden Pitter. The 20-year-old has been charged with the shooting of a seven-year-old boy on Gordon St. last month.
Hamilton Police were dispatched to a residence after reports of a shooting on January 23, 2020. Upon arrival the police discovered a 7-year-old boy who was injured from multiple gunshots that had been fired into the house. The shots entered the residence from the backyard. The child is now out of hospital but is still a long way from a full recovery.
Police believe the suspect fled from the backyard after discharging the firearm and got into a waiting vehicle on Gordon street the sped off, heading east. The firearm has yet to be located however the police have identified the vehicle involved.
Jayden Pitter is considered to be dangerous and police urge that if anyone should see him, do not approach him, instead call 911. Police also ask that anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers.
Pitter currently faces a string of charges including Discharge Firearm with Intent, Aggravated Assault, Criminal Negligence Causing Bodily Harm, Unauthorized Possession of a Firearm as well as several other charges involving his probation.
If anyone has information that could assist with the investigation, please call Detective Daryl Reid at (905) 546-3825. To provide information anonymously call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit your anonymous tips online at www.crimestoppershamilton.com.
Christie Blatchford, legend of Canadian journalism passed away after a battle with lung cancer.
Blatchford’s critics did not wait one second to smear her and her life’s work, condemning her for a list of ideological sins committed during the course of her storied career. It’s as though mere disagreement with a person is enough to justify cruelty.
Many comments made by Twitter users were similar in nature to those waged against Jordan Peterson after news of his recent health challenges was made public by his family. Cruel, bitter, and vindictive, the users outright celebrated the 68-year-old writer’s death with abject glee.
Notorious social justice crusader and “pronoun advocate” @NevillePark simply wrote, “thank fuck.”
Even those who admitted to having no previous knowledge of Blatchford jumped on the outrage mob:
Other users used Blatchford’s death as an opportunity criticize her past work in an equally cruel tone. Detractors included well-known and award-winning Canadian author Chelsea Vowel, who said that Blatchford was a “vicious, ugly soul.”
Vowel was retweeted by author Alicia Elliott, an author who has sold dozens of books and is best known for leading mobs against falsely accused UBC professor Steven Galloway.
Some person named Davide Mastracci who considers himself a writer tweeted: “’Christie Blatchford once told me to go fuck myself. She will be missed’ – Canadian media today.”
Rinaldo Walcott, an actual professor from the University of Toronto said, “Christie Blatchford was a god damn racist and so is assault accused Rosie Dimanno. One horrible person celebrating another horrible person. Fuck em both.”
Anthony Oliveira, a guy with bylines all over the place, had this to say about the passing of Blatchford: “Many writers sabotaged the progress of queer rights in Canada, but most did so with a mask of dispassion and indifference. Christie Blatchford did it with cruelty, contempt, and open, malicious ridicule of the most vulnerable and exposed. Obituaries should tell the truth.”
The truth is complicated and Christie Blatchford was a master at telling complicated truths. As a matter of fact, the frothing social justice crusaders hated her for it, and they just can’t let go of their hate.
Blatchford always called it as she saw it, and she made commensurate enemies and allies along the way. The adults among us understand this.
Christie Blatchford had so much to teach the Twitter trolls, but they have not learned a thing. If only they were human enough to open their minds.
A former board member of the Edmonton Public Library claims that the library CEO asked her to resign after she requested that the CEO apologize for posting a “transphobic” article to her Twitter acount. On Monday, Jill Scheyk gave the library her letter of resignation according to CBC News.
The Library CEO, Pilar Martinez, posted an opinion article that was published by the National Post to her Twitter account in October 2019. The article supported a librarian from the Toronto Public Library named Vickery Bowles.
Bowles defended free speech when guest speaker, Meghan Murphy was set to speak at the library. Meghan Murphy is the founder of a website called Feminist Current.
Many people in the LGBTQ community wanted Murphy’s lecture to be canceled because they did not agree with her views. The library stuck with their initial decision and allowed Murphy to speak because the appearance did not go against their policy.
Murphy’s speech was held in October and hundreds of people showed up to protest the event.
When Scheyk saw the article posted on Martinez’s personal Twitter account, she emailed Martinez asking her to make an apology for the post.
“I had written an email privately to Pilar [Martinez] and the rest of the board members, you know, kind of framing this as, ‘I’m sure you didn’t intend it this way but this is actually some really transphobic language, and I think this is pretty offensive to people in the community and I think we really owe them an apology,'” Scheyk told CBC News.
She also learned about a blog post that Martinez made in support of free speech. The post was added to the Edmonton Public Library website on Nov. 1.
“Controversial or even offensive speech does not equal hate speech,” said Martinez in her post. “Censorship is a double-edged sword — while it may support your personal views today, it may be used to censor your views tomorrow.”
Scheyk, who joined the EPL board in May of 2015, disagreed with the post. She then made her own post on Twitter encouraging members of the public to engage future board meetings.
“I just kind of tweeted without really referencing the issue because I didn’t want to stir any additional reaction,” said Scheyk. “Just to say, ‘You know, if you have feelings about what we’re doing here at the library, our board meetings are open to the public.’”
The board sent a letter to Scheyk on Nov. 12 informing her that she had breached the EPL’s code of conduct. The letter noted that if Scheyk wasn’t able to meet the board’s expectations “it may be that the duty of the trustee is to resign.”
The letter also said that her behaviour “provided a catalyst for anonymous and extremely disrespectful input towards our CEO and EPL in general.”
“Your email to the CEO and copied to the board on Oct. 31, 2019, encouraging an apology from our CEO to particular community members was without awareness or input from the board.”
Scheyk later made the decision to hand her resignation into the library.
The chair of the library’s board of trustees, Fern Snart stated in an email that the board would not be making specific comments on the situation because Scheyk’s resignation is an internal matter.
“I can assure you that the EPL board of trustees is focused on acting in the best interest of Edmontonians and the library, and we welcome diverse views and healthy debate around the board table–in fact, it is what makes EPL great.”
On Tuesday, Scheyk said, “It was good to finally be able to voice my concerns out loud. You’re under a gag order as a trustee or employee. I actually feel like I have more impact now than I could have as a trustee.”
A pedestrian was hit by a snowplow Wednesday in Newfoundland. The accident took place close to Memorial University’s St. John’s campus. Police have confirmed that the injuries sustained are non-life-threatening, however the person was taken to hospital.
Police have no further details at this time other than the location of the incident which occurred at the intersection of Elizabeth Ave. and Rodney St. An investigation is underway according to CBC.