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B.C. woman fined $5,700 at border said agents unaware of new travel exemption issued by Canadian government – CBC.ca

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Marlane Jones thought she was doing the right thing by heading across the border to buy gas in the U.S.

Instead, her 10-minute trip ended with a $5,700 fine and scolding from Canadian agents at the Pacific Highway border crossing in Surrey, B.C.

“I was in tears. I was a bit frightened. I didn’t know what was going to happen to me,” said the 68-year old. 

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Jones said she decided to gas up in Blaine, Wash., after seeing the news about Ottawa approving an exemption allowing British Columbians from flood-affected areas to make short trips into the U.S. for gas or essentials without having to provide a negative PCR test for COVID-19.

The exemption was introduced to help ease supply shortages resulting from recent extreme rain that washed out highways and rail lines in southwest B.C., and was announced on Sunday by Minister of Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair.

But the border agents Jones dealt with on Monday had no knowledge of it.

Marlane Jones received a $5,700 fine upon returning to Canada from a 10-minute trip across the border to buy gas. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

“[The agent] was quite stern and said I was violating the [Quarantine] Act because I didn’t have the PCR test. I told her [the regulation] had been changed, but she wasn’t buying it,” said Jones.

Jones said, after being sent inside the border enforcement office, agents there gave her two options: accept the hefty fine or turn around and go back to Washington state for a PCR test and possible 72-hour wait for results. 

“They also said I was the ninth person they had ticketed already early in the morning. I said they should maybe watch TV and see what we were being told.”

On Tuesday, Blair admitted there was some confusion around the exemption.

“That direction was given to border services and clearly some clarification was required. But that’s now been given,” he said.

He said cases of those who were possibly fined in error were being reviewed by the Public Health Agency of Canada, which oversees quarantine violations.

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said there can be a transition period that “may lead to some inconsistencies” when operational guidelines are changed.

“We are working to ensure clear application of this at the border,” CBSA said in a statement to CBC News.

Jones said it’s surprising that border agents were unaware of the exemption, especially because it was widely covered by news organizations.

In the meantime, she’s gone to the courthouse in Surrey to file a ticket dispute, and is hoping to hear the fine has been rescinded.

“No one has phoned me officially and told me my ticket has been bounced,” she said. “I guess the proof will come when I go to pay my insurance in January.”

CBSA is reminding people that the B.C. exemption does not apply to discretionary, non-essential travel. 

“This means that travellers who enter the U.S. for the purposes of shopping for non-essential goods, or to eat at restaurants, visit friends or attend events, would be deemed discretionary and would not be exempt from the requirements for a molecular [PCR] test,” the agency said. 

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Charge laid after multi-vehicle collision caused by geese crossing E.C. Row expressway – CBC.ca

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Windsor police say a driver is facing a careless driving charge after stopping on the E.C. Row Expressway to let a family of geese cross the road.

This led to a collision involving a pickup truck and a transport truck, according to Staff Sgt. Rob Wilson.

“It sounds like a vehicle had stopped for a baby goose crossing the E.C. Row [Expressway],” he said.

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“Another vehicle stopped and the transport truck collided with a portion of the pickup truck, causing it to veer off the ditch and roll over onto its side.”

Wilson said the transport truck driver was transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Driver describes geese crossing

Dale Cormier was driving eastbound toward Tecumseh when he spotted the geese starting to cross one of Windsor’s busiest roadways.

“Oh my God, I just missed them,” said Cormier, recalling three or four adult geese and nearly a dozen goslings by their side.

“It was just a little family of them.” 

Cormier said once he passed the geese he noticed other drivers trying to avoid them in his rearview mirror. 

“Lucky for me, I had enough time … I just saw the cars swerving behind me,” he said.

He doesn’t think any of the geese were injured. He called police as soon as it was safe to do so. 

“They didn’t believe me at first.”

Cormier said that there wasn’t likely anything a driver could have done to avoid hitting the geese, but said people should be more cautious while driving.

He said drivers were traveling at high speeds and bumper to bumper. 

Police expect the eastbound lanes to be reduced for most of the day as they remove the transport truck.

Driving instructor provides advice

If drivers face a similar situation, they should make sure nobody is behind them before stopping, says Tristan Wallen, an instructor at Delta Driving School.

“Don’t stop in the middle of the road,” he said. “You want to get off the road, especially on a [fast]-moving road.”

Wallen says instructors teach their students that “a human life is worth a lot more than an animal.”

“You don’t want to cause someone else to get injured because you were trying to save some a goose or a squirrel or whatever it was crossing the street,” he continued.

The Ministry of Transportation’s Driver’s Handbook says in instances when animals are on the road, drivers should slow down and try to pass carefully “as they may suddenly bolt onto the road.”

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Halifax-area wildfire 85% contained and not expected to spread, officials say – CBC.ca

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If the power or data on your device is low, get your wildfire updates on CBC Lite. It’s our low-bandwidth, text-only website.


A wildfire burning northwest of Halifax is now 85 per cent contained, as Nova Scotia is getting much-needed rain Saturday.

Dave Steeves, a technician of forest resources with the Department of Natural Resources, said the fire hasn’t grown and is still about 950 hectares in size.

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“We have changed from ‘out of control’ to a state of being held,” Steeves said during a media briefing early Saturday.

He said that means the fire is not likely to spread.

“The rain that we are getting now is going to help the suppression issues, but that being said this fire is not out and it will not be declared out for some time.”

He said any additional resources will be heading down to Shelburne County, where a massive wildfire is burning.

Some residents who had been evacuated from the area were allowed to return home on Friday, including those on Lucasville Road, St. George Boulevard and in the Stillwater Lake area.

Another livestreamed briefing is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday. 

Comfort centres

The Halifax Regional Municipality declared a local state of emergency Sunday night in order to access additional support.

Late Friday, the municipality said some resources were no longer required. 

The comfort centre at the Beaver Bank Kinsac Community Centre has closed, and the Canada Games Centre has transitioned from a 24-hour evacuation centre to a comfort centre.

Comfort centres remain open at

  • Canada Games Centre | 26 Thomas Raddall Drive will operate as a comfort centre from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 3.
  • Black Point and Area Community Centre | 8579 St. Margarets Bay Road will be open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 3.

According to a release, Nova Scotia Health’s mobility primary care clinic is hosting a drop-in clinic at the Canada Games Centre on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Major insurance companies will be available to speak with affected residents on Saturday at the Canada Games Centre. Future opportunities to speak with representatives will be available in the coming days.

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Hundreds killed after passenger trains derail in India, officials say

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At least 233 people were killed and 900 were injured when two passenger trains collided in India’s Odisha state, a government official said on Saturday, making the rail accident the country’s deadliest in more than a decade.

The death toll from Friday’s crash is expected to increase, state Chief Secretary Pradeep Jena said in a tweet.

He said over 200 ambulances had been called to the scene of the accident in Odisha’s Balasore district and 100 additional doctors, on top of 80 already there, had been mobilized.

Early on Saturday morning, Reuters video footage showed police officials moving bodies covered in white cloths off the railway tracks.

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Footage from Friday showed rescuers climbing up the mangled wreck of one of the trains to find survivors, while passengers called for help and sobbed next to the wreckage.

People gather around a derailed train coach, with some standing on top of it.
Rescuers search for people after two passenger trains derailed in Balasore district, in eastern India, on Friday. (Press Trust of India/The Associated Press)

2 express trains collided

The collision occurred at about 7 p.m. local time on Friday when the Howrah Superfast Express, running from Bangalore to Howrah, West Bengal, collided with the Coromandel Express, which runs from Kolkata to Chennai.

Authorities have provided conflicting accounts on which train derailed first to become entangled with the other. The Ministry of Railways said it has initiated an investigation into the crash.

Although Chief Secretary Jena and some media reports have suggested a freight train was also involved in the crash, railway authorities have yet to comment on that possibility.

An extensive search-and-rescue operation has been mounted, involving hundreds of fire department personnel and police officers as well as sniffer dogs. National Disaster Response Force teams were also at the site.

Rescuers wearing hard hats work on a derailed train.
Rescuers work at the derailment site on Friday. (Press Trust of India/The Associated Press)

On Friday, hundreds of young people lined up outside a government hospital in Odisha’s Soro to donate blood.

According to Indian Railways, its network facilitates the transportation of more than 13 million people every day. But the state-run monopoly has had a patchy safety record because of aging infrastructure.

Odisha’s Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik declared a day of state mourning on June 3 as a mark of respect to the victims.

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