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Man furious with Air Canada after airline loses his cat during layover in Toronto – CTV Toronto

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TORONTO —
A Winnipeg man is furious with Air Canada after the airline lost his three-year-old cat during a layover in Toronto.

Riley McCann has been living in Montreal for the past five years but earlier this month decided to move back to his hometown of Winnipeg to be with his mother who is dealing with health issues. 

He originally booked a direct flight from Montreal to Winnipeg but ended up having his route switched by Air Canada, which included a layover in Toronto.

McCann travelled with one of his cats, Vida, in the cabin of the plane and paid $105 to have his other cat, Dewy, placed in the cargo area of the aircraft. 

Everything seemed to be going well until about one hour into his layover in Toronto when he got a call from an Air Canada employee saying they needed to “relay some information.”

“They told me that my cat Dewy had escaped his carrier and is now missing in their baggage room,” McCann told CTV News Toronto on Tuesday. “She told me that the employee that walked the crate off the plane set it down for a moment and when they turned around it was open and he was gone.”

“They had no idea where he is.”

Air Canada

McCann said he asked the employee if he could come search the baggage room himself but was told that wasn’t allowed due to security reasons. 

“I begged and begged to be able to do that, so that I could call out for him but I was told that was not going to happen.”

McCann said Air Canada offered to put him on a later flight to Winnipeg while staff searched for Dewy but he declined because he didn’t feel it was fair for his other cat to remain in its cage for an extended period of time.

He flew back to Winnipeg without Dewy. 

When he arrived, McCann tried to call Air Canada but he said no one from Toronto got back to him for more than 48 hours. 

He said he finally received a call on Jan. 18 from an Air Canada employee saying that they were searching for Dewy and hoping for the best. Over the next few days he received a few more notifications from the airline saying that they could not locate Dewy.

He said at one point last week, Air Canada even offered to fly him back to Toronto so he could search through the baggage room at night when it was quiet. 

“Initially, I was told this was impossible,” McCann said. “Now, suddenly they’re willing to fly me there. Normally, I would have got on a plane immediately but we’re in the middle of a global pandemic. I’m in self-isolation so to offer this seemed really reckless.”

Air Canada

Air Canada has since offered to refund his flight and provide him with a $500 flight credit. While he accepted the offer, he also vowed to launch legal action.

McCann said he hasn’t been doing well since he lost Dewy and is struggling to cope with the loss.

“For the first week, I was so upset and so stressed that I wasn’t sleeping, I wasn’t eating. It’s been very tough,” he said.

“I’m just sitting here stressed and sad but also scared for my animal’s wellbeing.”

CTV News Toronto contacted Air Canada for comment, who said they have been in frequent communication with McCann. 

“We have been in frequent communication with the customer over this unfortunate situation and we continue to search for Dewy, including retaining outside specialists to assist,” the airline said. “Air Canada safely transports thousands of pets each year and occurrences such as this are extremely rare.”

The Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) told CTV News Toronto on Tuesday it is aware of Dewy’s disappearance

“Airlines and their baggage handlers are responsible for all checked bags and cargo on their flights, which includes pets in transport,” the GTAA said in a statement. “We are supporting the airline in their efforts to find Dewy and reunite him with his owner as quickly as possible.”

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Stable weather allows fire crews to focus on containment of B.C. wildfires

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Crews battling the wildfire that has forced the evacuation of more than 500 properties in British Columbia’s southern Okanagan are taking advantage of calm winds and stable conditions to bolster fire lines.

The BC Wildfire Service says the the wildfire covers 68 square kilometres southwest of Penticton, with most of the recent growth due to planned ignitions needed to create the control lines.

An update from the wildfire service says newly created control lines are “holding well.”

It says a key objective is to continue mop-up work along Highway 3A in an effort to reopen the route connecting Keremeos and the evacuated community of Olalla with towns further north.

Crews are keeping a close eye on weather conditions as a storm approaches from Washington state, bringing showers later this week and possible lightning strikes on Wednesday.

The wildfire service has recorded 564 blazes since the season began, 58 of them in the last seven days, and lists the fire danger rating as high to extreme on Vancouver Island, the entire B.C. coast and across the southern quarter of the province.

Of the eight wildfires of note currently burning in the Kamloops and Southeast fire centres, only the blaze near Penticton continues to keep residents out of their homes.

None of the other seven have grown significantly in recent days and the wildfire service website says the roughly three-square-kilometre fire in grasslands northwest of Kamloops is now listed as “being held,” allowing crews to finish building control lines.

Wildfires of note are either highly visible or pose a threat to people or properties.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 9, 2022.

 

The Canadian Press

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Warrant issued for man in Amber Alert, Saskatchewan children believed to be in U.S.

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REGINA — Saskatchewan RCMP say an arrest warrant has been issued for a convicted sex offender at the centre of an Amber Alert for two children.

Police say seven-year-old Luna Potts and eight-year-old Hunter Potts, along with their mother, are believed to be in South Dakota with 50-year-old Benjamin Martin Moore.

“We are very concerned about the well-being of those children,” RCMP Chief Supt. Tyler Bates said Tuesday.

“We feel they are in danger.”

Bates said Moore has a history of sexual offences against children and was previously convicted of sexual interference with a minor.

Moore now faces a charge of failing to report information within seven days of changing his address, which is required for convicted sex offenders.

RCMP said Moore was being investigated by social services when he left with the children and their mother.

Officers went last week to their home in Eastend, southwest of Regina, to question Moore but found it abandoned.

Police issued the Amber Alert on Monday evening for the girl and boy. Bates said RCMP enacted the alert after social services received an apprehension order for the children.

Bates did not say why police believe Moore crossed the border into the United States, but said RCMP were looking to extend the Amber Alert into South Dakota.

Moore is described as being five feet 10 inches tall and weighing 200 pounds with black hair.

Police also said Moore, the children and their mother may be travelling in a 2015 dark blue Chevrolet Equinox with the Alberta licence plate CGC 2492.

Police have received a slew of tips in the case.

Bates said officers have also been contacted by a person who is believed to be a victim and encouraged any others to come forward.

Court records show Moore was convicted in 2009 for sexual interference of a minor. He was sentenced in Regina provincial court to two years and two months in prison.

Records also say he served another three months in jail in 2011 after he was convicted of breaching a recognizance order.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 9, 2022.

 

Mickey Djuric, The Canadian Press

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Senegalese diplomat arrested by Quebec police owed former landlord more than $45,000

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MONTREAL — The detention and alleged beating of a Senegalese diplomat by Quebec police last week occurred while a bailiff was attempting to seize property at her residence in connection with a court judgment against her.

Quebec’s rental board in June ordered Oumou Kalsoum Sall to pay a former landlord more than $45,000 for damage to a furnished home she occupied from Nov. 1, 2018, to Oct. 31, 2020. The tribunal found that she caused flooding that led to structural damage and that her use of the property forced its owner, Michel Lemay, to replace most of his furniture.

“The pictures speak for themselves,” Anne A. Laverdure, an administrative judge, wrote in her ruling. “The furniture is full of cockroaches. Pieces of furniture are scratched and scuffed. Some are missing. Everything is dirty.”

Laverdure awarded Lemay almost $13,500 for structural damage to the home and $23,000 to replace furniture. The administrative judge awarded Lemay another several thousand dollars for other damages.

Court records show that the debt was not paid and that a bailiff went to Kalsoum Sall’s residence in Gatineau, Que., across the river from Ottawa, on Aug. 2 to seize property in connection with the debt.

Kalsoum Sall is a first counsellor at the embassy of the Republic of Senegal in Ottawa, according to a federal government database of foreign delegations. The Senegalese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has claimed that the diplomat had to be hospitalized after being handcuffed and beaten by police.

Quebec’s independent police watchdog said Monday it opened an investigation into the incident. Gatineau police have said that they were called to the residence to assist a bailiff and that they arrested a woman with diplomatic status after she allegedly hit a police officer in the face, adding that she was tackled to the ground after allegedly biting another officer.

Global Affairs Canada has described the incident as “unacceptable,” adding that the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations — which Canada has signed — gives diplomats immunity from any form of detention or arrest.

Gilles Rivard, a former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations and to Haiti, said that while he doesn’t know exactly what happened during the Aug. 2 incident, some diplomats can be aggressive because they believe there will be no consequences for their actions.

“They can be aggressive because they know that they have immunity, so they believe that they can do whatever they want,” he said in an interview Tuesday.

While police are not officially supposed to arrest a diplomat, Rivard said, it’s possible a police officer might handcuff an individual while they wait to confirm the person’s diplomatic status.

“But if after that, that person shows that she is a diplomat, or he is a diplomat, normally they have to be released,” he said.

In 2001, a Russian diplomat struck and killed a woman while driving in Ottawa. The Canadian government asked Russia to waive the diplomat’s immunity so he could be charged in Canada, but Russia refused, Rivard said, adding that Canada’s only option in that case was to expel the diplomat.

Rivard said he doesn’t think the Aug. 2 incident is serious enough to damage Canada’s very good relationship with Senegal.

The Senegalese Embassy in Ottawa did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment Tuesday afternoon. A call to the embassy was not answered.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 9, 2022.

 

Jacob Serebrin, The Canadian Press

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