Two Halifax-area men face a number of charges connected with a traffic stop by RCMP early Tuesday morning on Highway 101 that resulted in a gun being fired and a police manhunt for the driver of the vehicle.
Dhari Salman Shalaan, 26, of Halifax, is charged of assaulting a peace officer, obstruction and escaping custody. He is the alleged driver of the vehicle that was pulled over at about 4 a.m. near Berwick, N.S., by an RCMP officer. The officer he is accused of assaulting is Const. Bradley Savage.
Trenton Alexander Marsman, 20, of Lakeside, was a passenger in the vehicle. He is charged with obstruction.
Both men appeared in Kentville court Wednesday morning.
Details of what happened, such as whether the gun belonged to police and who fired it, have not been disclosed by RCMP or the Serious Incident Response Team, Nova Scotia's police watchdog.
SIRT director Felix Cacchione said "the investigation is in its infancy," and the agency is waiting for police and medical reports, and copies of officers' over-the-air transmissions, before releasing any information.
Shalaan had bandages on his right arm and hand during his court appearance. He has been remanded into custody and will appear in Windsor court on Friday for a bail hearing.
Cacchione said one part of the investigation will be to determine whether the suspect's injuries were from being bitten by a police dog or if he was shot.
Marsman was also remanded into custody and will be back in court Tuesday morning in Kentville. Part of that appearance will be to deal with a breach of release conditions.
Shalaan is known to police. In 2011, he was charged with aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, administering a noxious thing, as well as weapons offences in connection with a stabbing in Spryfield.
Highway remains shut down
The incident involving the men began when they were pulled over on the Exit 15 on-ramp of Highway 101. A gun was fired while the vehicle was stopped and the driver fled on foot into nearby woods, RCMP said in a statement.
One resident of Parker Condon Road, which runs parallel to Highway 101 in the Berwick area, told CBC News on Tuesday that she got a call from RCMP at around 5:30 a.m. telling her to lock her doors.
Police shut down Highway 101 between exits 15 and 16. Emergency response teams, police dogs and a helicopter were used in the search for the driver. He was later found, taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and then released into police custody.
The section of road remained closed overnight and was still not open to traffic Wednesday due to the investigation. Vehicles are being rerouted to Highway 1.
The police officer involved in the incident called for backup but was not injured, RCMP said.
RCMP advised nearby Somerset and District Elementary School to cancel classes Tuesday.
SIRT is looking to speak with witnesses. Investigators can be reached at 1-855-450-2010.
Lieutenant governor urged to withhold assent on bill 22
NDP leader Rachel Notley has asked Alberta’s lieutenant-governor to deny assent of Bill 22, controversial legislation introduced Monday that would fire Election Commissioner Lorne Gibson in the middle of his investigation into the UCP leadership race.
Gibson has been focusing on the so-called “kamikaze” leadership bid of Jeff Callaway since he took office last year and has laid more than $200,000 in fines against 15 people involved.
The Callaway and Kenney campaigns are alleged to have conspired to bring down Kenney’s main opponent Brian Jean. Both men deny the collaboration.
Notley sent a letter on Tuesday to Lt.-Gov. Lois Mitchell urging her to take action on a bill Notley calls a “misuse of the authority of the legislature” and “a threat to our democratic institutions” — particularly since the government has moved to limit time for debate.
Position would be terminated
“While I recognize that it is unusual for the lieutenant-governor to exercise this authority, I am convinced that the exceptional nature of this proposed legislation calls for such extraordinary measures,” Notley writes.
The move to fire Gibson is part of Bill 22, an omnibus-style bill introduced Monday.
The proposed legislation would dissolve the independent office of the election commissioner and change the scope of the position so it reports to Chief Electoral Officer Glen Resler.
Gibson’s contract, which was in place until 2023, would be terminated upon passage and royal assent of the bill.
The government claims the move achieves greater efficiency and saves $1 million over five years.
Critics say that by removing Gibson, Premier Jason Kenney is thwarting additional investigations into the race.
Finance Minister Travis Toews, the minister responsible for Bill 22, said Resler is free to rehire Gibson if he chooses. Toews said the change will have no effect on ongoing investigations.
The NDP will also seek an emergency debate on the bill Tuesday afternoon. Since the UCP has a majority in the Alberta legislature, the request likely will not be granted.
Notley said on Monday the NDP caucus will also be seeking advice on what legal steps can be taken to stop the government from firing Gibson.
Snowfall hits Calgary, surrounding area
Calgary drivers are in for a slow and slippery morning commute as the city gets a little blast of winter weather.
Calgary is expected to see 10 to 15 centimetres of snowfall on Tuesday, according to a warning from Environment Canada.
The agency says a low pressure system swept into southwestern Alberta late Monday and tracked east early Tuesday morning.
The snow is expected to taper off by Wednesday morning.
<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/CTRiders?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#CTRiders</a> due to weather conditions, several routes may be delayed. Bundle up and please allow extra time for travel today. <a href=”https://t.co/fLjcYFhGCj”>pic.twitter.com/fLjcYFhGCj</a>
“Prepare for quickly changing and deteriorating travel conditions. Surfaces such as highways, roads, walkways and parking lots may become difficult to navigate due to accumulating snow,” the warning read.
The Calgary International Airport is reminding travellers to arrive early and check for any flight-schedule changes due to the snowfall.
Be sure to check current flight times at <a href=”https://t.co/wjWF9sD7QY”>https://t.co/wjWF9sD7QY</a> or with your airline – winter weather is impacting some flights. We apologize for the delays as we work to keep everyone safe.
Calgary Transit says two bus routes — No. 6 and No. 20 — have been detoured because of the snowfall.
Police said there were six collisions on city streets between midnight and 6:30 a.m.
The snowfall warning also covers:
- Airdrie, Cochrane, Olds and Sundre.
- Okotoks, High River and Claresholm.
- Brooks, Strathmore and Vulcan.
- Medicine Hat, Bow Island and Suffield.
A complete list of weather warnings can be viewed on Environment Canada’s website.
François-Philippe Champagne to be Canada’s next foreign affairs minister
François-Philippe Champagne will be Canada’s new foreign affairs minister, CBC-Radio-Canada has learned.
Champagne, who served as the minister of infrastructure and communities in the last Parliament, will replace Chrystia Freeland as Canada’s top diplomat, tasked with stickhandling the sensitive U.S. and China files.
It’s not yet known where Freeland will be moved, but she is expected to preside over a crucial domestic role as regional tensions rise across the country.
Champagne, a former trade lawyer, has served as minister of international trade in the past.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will formally unveil his new cabinet at a ceremony at Rideau Hall Wednesday afternoon.
Radio-Canada is also reporting that Jonathan Wilkinson will be the new environment minister.
Pablo Rodriguez will be the government house leader, in charge of working with opposition parties and keeping the parliamentary agenda on track. It’s a position that takes on heightened importance in a minority government.
Steven Guilbeault, a high-profile Quebec environmental activist, will be the new heritage minister, according to sources with knowledge of the appointments who spoke to CBC-Radio Canada. The sources spoke on condition they not be named because they were not authorized to comment.
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