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Crown says life with 15-year parole eligibility suitable for former B.C. Lions player



VANCOUVER — A former Canadian Football League wide receiver who viciously beat his ex-girlfriend, choked her to death, then staged the scene to make it look like an accident, should be sentenced to life in prison without a chance of parole for at least 15 years, a Crown prosecutor says.

Brendan McCabe told B.C. Supreme Court that Joshua Boden tossed pills around Kimberly Hallgarth’s body, put some in her mouth and then stuffed it with socks as she lay dying at the bottom of the stairs at her home in Burnaby.

“We don’t even know how Ms. Hallgarth ended up at the bottom of the stairs,” McCabe said at the sentencing hearing Thursday.

GRAPHIC WARNING: The following details may be disturbing for some readers.


McCabe said Boden stomped on the woman’s neck and chest while she was unconscious, tore out her fingernails, moved her body and wiped it with a towel before removing two garbage bags, which he suggested contained items related to the crime.

He called the murder “blunt, brutal and horrific” and said photos of the injuries endured by a vulnerable woman were the most shocking he’d seen in his career and had been inflicted by a “large, powerful man” who has not shown remorse.

Boden, 35, was found guilty last fall of second-degree murder in the 2009 death of 33-year-old Hallgarth in the home the court heard was a sanctuary she shared with her three-year-old daughter.

Boden walked into court Thursday dressed in a dark suit and stared directly at Hallgarth’s family in the gallery before taking a seat in the prisoner’s box, where he flipped through some documents.

McCabe said Hallgarth sent photos of her injuries from a previous assault and damage to her car to then Lions coach Wally Buono, and Boden blamed her for ending his football career.

He said that while Boden maintains the racism he experienced as a Black person growing up in North Vancouver should be considered as a contributing factor at sentencing, there was no link to the crime.

McCabe presented a report from a psychologist showing Boden said he and his brother were the only two Black students at their school but that he was popular among his friends.

This would be the second time race and culture have been cited as factors at a sentencing hearing in British Columbia, he said. The judge in the first case did not accept it, he added.

A second-degree murder conviction carries a life sentence of 25 years but parole eligibility can be set starting at 10 years.

Kevin Westell, Boden’s defence lawyer, asked that he serve 12 years before being eligible.

Boden’s experience of systemic racism, poor role modelling from his parents, sexual abuse by an older woman, along with his ADHD and dyslexia put him at a disadvantage, Westell said.

“There’s not a direct link, but there’s an indirect link,” he said of the murder. “It’s not meant to excuse or condone the offence that was committed.”

While McCabe said Boden had been “pimping out” the mother of his two sons since she was 16, Westell said the woman had said in a statement that sex work was her choice. Westell said Boden also did sex work for income.

He was described by his children’s mother as a “good father”, Westell said, and his current girlfriend and brother would support him whenever he is released from prison.

Hallgarth’s family has described her as a bubbly and caring person who deeply loved being a mother to her daughter Hailey.

Vida Miller, Hallgarth’s former mother-in-law, told the court in a victim impact statement that she is caring for her granddaughter outside of B.C., and that the now teenager’s life has forever been impacted by the torture her mother endured before she died.

She said Hailey returned home with her nanny the day her mother was killed but the woman could not open the door because Hallgarth’s body was blocking it.

The discovery of Hallgarth’s body had the nanny “screaming and crying in terror,” Miller told court over video link.

“Knock on the door, Nanna, knock on the door,” is what the little girl insisted at the time, she said, adding Hailey still can’t sleep without the lights on.

Hailey told court she would do anything just to have a conversation with her mother.

“He took the world from me,” she said via video link. “He took a piece of my life that I can never get back.”

Justice Arne Silverman told them both that their words were important for the public to know.

“I promise you that I’ll keep in mind what you read to me,” he said. “l’ll never forget it.”

Boden played for the B.C. Lions in 2007 but was released by the team in 2008 and signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, although he never played a regular-season game with that team before he was cut.

He waived his right to address the court on Thursday and has maintained his innocence.

The sentencing hearing is set to resume on June 24, when Silverman is expected to announce his decision on parole eligibility.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 16, 2021.


Camille Bains, The Canadian Press


Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said the Crown asked for 12 to 15 years for parole eligibility.


India tells Canada to remove 41 of its 62 diplomats: official




Canada needs diplomats in India to help navigate the “extremely challenging” tensions between the two countries, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday in response to demands that Ottawa repatriate dozens of its envoys.

India reportedly wants 41 of 62 Canadian diplomats out of the country by early next week — a striking, if largely anticipated, deepening of the rift that erupted last month following Trudeau’s explosive allegations in the House of Commons.

The prime minister bluntly spoke of “credible” intelligence linking the Indian government to the shooting death in June of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a 45-year-old Sikh leader India has long assailed as a terrorist.


The demand, first reported by the Financial Times, comes less than two weeks after the Indian government first called on Canada to establish “parity in strength and rank equivalence in our diplomatic presence.”

Canada has a much larger diplomatic corps in India, owing in part to the fact it’s a country of 1.4 billion people, compared to 40 million in Canada — about 1.3 million of whom are of Indian origin.

Trudeau would not confirm the reports Tuesday, nor did he sound inclined to acquiesce to India’s request.

“Obviously, we’re going through an extremely challenging time with India right now,” Trudeau said on his way to a caucus meeting on Parliament Hill.

“That’s why it’s so important for us to have diplomats on the ground, working with the Indian government, there to support Canadians and Canadian families.”

Canada, he continued, is “taking this extremely seriously, but we’re going to continue to engage responsibly and constructively with the government of India.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said largely the same thing.

“In moments of tension, because indeed there are tensions between both our governments, more than ever it’s important that diplomats be on the ground,” Joly said.

“That’s why we believe in the importance of having a strong diplomatic footprint in India. That being said, we are in ongoing conversations with the Indian government.”

During Tuesday’s daily briefing at the State Department, deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel was at pains to avoid exacerbating tensions any further.

“We are — and continue to be — deeply concerned about the allegations referenced by Prime Minister Trudeau and we remain in regular contact with our Canadian partners,” Patel said, a message the U.S. has had on repeat for weeks.

“It’s critical that Canada’s investigation proceed and the perpetrators be brought to justice. We also have … publicly and privately urged the Indian government to co-operate in the Canadian investigation and co-operate in those efforts.”

Patel also demurred on the potential impact of an escalating tit-for-tat exchange of diplomatic staff on the U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy, a key element of U.S. efforts to mitigate China’s growing geopolitical influence.

“I certainly don’t want to get into hypotheticals,” he said. “As it relates to our Indo-Pacific strategy and the focus that we continue to place on the region, that effort and that line of work is going to continue.”

David Cohen, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, has already confirmed that the allegations were buttressed in part on intelligence gathered by a key ally from the Five Eyes security alliance, which includes the U.S., the U.K., Australia and New Zealand, along with Canada.

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India’s external affairs minister, confirmed last week that the subject came up in his meetings in Washington, D.C., with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security adviser.

Trudeau’s allegation “was not consistent with our policy,” Jaishankar told a panel discussion Friday hosted by the Hudson Institute.

“If his government had anything relevant and specific they would like us to look into, we were open to looking at it. That’s where that conversation is at this point of time.”

Jaishankar went on to note that the issue of Sikh separatists living in Canada had long been “an issue of great friction,” notably after the 1985 bombing of Air India flight 182, the worst terrorist attack in Canadian history.

“In the last few years, it has come back very much into play, because of what we consider to be a very permissive Canadian attitude towards terrorists, extremists, people who openly advocate violence,” Jaishankar said.

“They have been given operating space in Canada because of the compulsions of Canadian politics.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 3, 2023.

With files from Mickey Djuric in Ottawa.


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In the news today: Regimental funeral today for B.C. Mountie, NDP victory in Manitoba – National Post



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All Flesh Redux



Director’s Notes, Stacey Christodoulou

MONTREAL October, 2023 – Combining polyphonic singing, dance, and theatre, All Flesh REDUX is a poetic journey through time and space. Part sing-a-long, Dadaist performance piece as well as a love letter to our planet, the work enfolds the public in an intimate theatre-in-the-round setting where humour, music, storytelling and movement reign. Bringing together the worlds of medieval composers Guillaume de MachautHildegard von Bingen and modern composer John Cage, the company’s creation contemplates the unknowable past and the unimaginable future, and asks what acts of faith are possible in an uncertain world. October 13-22, seating is limited.

Director Stacey Christodoulou: “We could never imagine that the themes we spoke about in 2019 would become reality. In a certain way the show was prophetic. However, I believe that the message of creating beauty as a form of resistance is even more important now. The weaving of medieval song, contemporary dance and text continues our company’s interdisciplinary approach and reminds us that throughout history people have responded to turmoil with innovation and art.”

With: ENSEMBLE ALKEMIA (Jean-François Daignault, Dorothéa Ventura and Leah Weitzner), Stéphanie Fromentin, Erin Lindsay, Vanessa Schmit-Craan, Lael  Stellick

Musical direction by Jean-François Daignault; scenograpy by Amy Keith; sound by Debbie Doe; costumes by Cathia Pagotto; lighting by David Perreault Ninacs and technical stage coordination by Birdie Gregor.


All Flesh REDUX

Studio Jean Valcourt du Conservatoire

4750, avenue Henri-Julien

Dates: Friday, Oct., 13, Saturday, Oct. 14 at 8pm; Sunday Oct. 14 at 3pm

Wednesday, October 18-Saturday, Oct. 21 at 8pm; Sunday, Oct. 22 at 3pm

Tickets/514 873-4032: $20, Students/Seniors: $15

Seating is limited

Website:  Instagram: @othertheatremtl  Facebook: othertheatre


Formed in 1991 by Artistic Director Stacey Christodoulou, The Other Theatre is devoted to contemporary creation. Working bilingually, their award-wining work has included adaptations, installations, theatre texts, and collectively written material performed in numerous venues in Montreal and abroad, including theatres, galleries, as well as a moving elevator.

Drawing inspiration from art forms other than theatre – dance, cinema, science, architecture, and the visual arts – the company presents evocative performances, grounded by thought-provoking texts.  From a creole Macbeth, to sci-fi with polyphonic singing, to the horror of H.P. Lovecraft, their original creations are thrilling and visually striking. They have also presented the work of International and Canadian writers, giving them their French-language premieres in Quebec. Exploring the large existential issues of the time, The Other Theatre aims to move audiences to greater emotional connection and reflection, bridging communities and languages to create a hybrid theatre that is reflective of the cultural richness of Montreal. They value and foster artistic exchange, both locally and internationally and share their artistic process in Canada, the US, Europe and Mexico, through mentorships, workshops and cultural mediation in local communities and schools.

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