HALIFAX — A provincial court judge says she’ll push to hold hearings as quickly as possible on the public release of search warrants from the investigation into the recent mass shooting in Nova Scotia.
Judge Laurel Halfpenny MacQuarrie says she’s concerned courts will become very busy in early summer after pandemic restrictions are relaxed, and the justice system currently has more time to deal with the media application.
In a conference call Monday morning, MacQuarrie told Crown prosecutors and a lawyer representing a media consortium that she’s expecting the parties to provide their positions on the release of the search warrants by next Monday morning.
She granted a one-week delay in proceedings after federal Crowns representing the Canada Border Services Agency said they hadn’t had time to review the warrants.
Lawyer David Coles, representing journalists from a variety of news organizations including The Canadian Press, says he’s hoping the provincial and federal Crowns can provide unredacted portions of the search warrants by next week.
However, provincial Crown Mark Heerema says prosecutors are unlikely to provide any portions of the documents by next week, and he will be seeking dates for further court hearings.
As of Monday, four warrants have been executed and resulted in materials being seized after a gunman went on a rampage through five Nova Scotia communities on April 18 and 19, killing 22 people.
The gunman was shot and killed by police in Enfield, N.S., but investigators are still looking into how he obtained his weapons and whether he had any assistance in creating a replica RCMP vehicle or acquiring a police uniform.
Two production orders have been executed but police haven’t yet indicated if evidence was seized.
There is one more warrant open for execution until midnight Monday.
Heerema noted the investigation is in its early stages, and more warrants may be issued in the future.
However, the judge noted she wasn’t prepared at this stage to include any future warrants in her decision.
Halfpenny MacQuarrie also said she would shift the next hearings from Truro to Port Hawkesbury, N.S., where larger facilities allow for physical distancing if lawyers and others attend.
The key legal principles on when search warrants are released were formed 28 years ago in Canada with a landmark Supreme Court of Canada decision, in a case launched by investigative reporter Linden MacIntyre in 1982.
The highest court ruled that once a search warrant is carried out, the warrant and supporting documents must be made public, but that an exception could be made to protect innocent parties if the search didn’t yield evidence.
It was based largely on the principle that the business of the courts should be made public, with few exceptions.
In his ruling, Justice Brian Dickson wrote, “the rule should be one of public accessibility and concomitant judicial accountability,” and public access should only be restricted “to protect social values,” including the right of innocent parties not to become caught up in police inquiries.
In a later 2005 decision, Supreme Court of Canada Justice Morris Fish further commented on search warrants, stating the administration of justice “thrives on exposure to light and withers under a cloud of secrecy.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 4, 2020
Social media helps solve mystery of lost camera found in Kelowna’s Mill Creek – Globalnews.ca
Brianna Irawan, 13, was extremely happy after finding out on Thursday that her prized underwater camera that had been lost for almost a year had been found in Kelowna’s Mill Creek.
The Williams Lake teen was visiting relatives in Kelowna last year when she lost the camera while jumping into the waterfalls at Mill Creek Regional Park.
“We were on Mill Creek, jumping into the water and I put my camera underneath my clothes,” Irawan told Global News on Friday.
“When I jumped, I forgot about my camera, so I walked back up and then I picked up my clothes and I forgot my camera was underneath and it fell into the water.”
Social media helps solve mystery of lost camera found in Kelowna’s Mill Creek
She went back the creek several times over the next few days, but eventually had to write her camera off to the river gods.
The Fujifilm XP model wasn’t seen again until almost a year later when Calvin Van Buskirk found it caught up in some debris downstream.
“What makes it even more interesting is we found a GoPro there last year. You guys [Global News] were able to get the images and the videos off it within hours it found its way back to its rightful owner,” Van Buskirk said.
Construction crew makes unusual find near Kelowna
It took less than 24 hours for images retrieved from the camera to make their way around social media and back to their owner.
Kyla Irawan, Brianna’s mother, sent a message to Global News on Thursday afternoon through Facebook to say the photos had come from her daughter.
On Friday, Global News returned the camera — still in working order — to Brianna’s uncle, Travis Whiting, who is also Kelowna’s fire chief.
‘This is the craziest thing,’: Lost GoPro owner reunited with camera
The Irawans shared a message of gratitude with Van Buskirk.
“Thank you, Calvin, we totally appreciate your honesty,” said Kyla Irawan.
“Thank you for putting it on Global so I can give my daughter the opportunity to have all those memories back.”
For her part, Brianna said she can’t wait to see her FujiFilm XP model again.
“Soon as I get it, I’m going to transfer the photos” to a computer, she said.
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
Former UBC basketball assistant coach criticized for social media activity – The Province
Long-time assistant men’s basketball coach Vern Knopp will no longer work next to head coach Kevin Hanson.
The University of B.C. is distancing itself from former assistant men’s basketball coach Vern Knopp following questions about some of his activity on social media.
A Twitter account called Muted Madness pointed out on Thursday that Knopp had hit the like button on a video posted by conservative comedians the Hodge Twins on June 3 that claims the Black Lives Matter movement is a “leftist lie.”
A number of other Twitter users echoed the criticism of Knopp, who served as head coach Kevin Hanson’s volunteer assistant for the past two decades.
Later on Thursday, he shared a comment on his account, which is set to private: “So I never knew some likes to conservative posts would cause this shit storm? However my LIKES are those of mine and have nothing to do with UBC! I had told Coach Hanson months ago that I wasn’t returning to UBC but I just not (sic) made it public, only to my family.”
Reached via direct message on Friday, Knopp said he’d told Hanson about his decision in May as well as some parents on the team, but declined to make further comment.
Later on Thursday, Kavie Toor, UBC Athletics’ managing director, distanced the university from Knopp.
“Vern Knopp’s personal opinions, beliefs and social media endorsements do not represent the ideals and values of the UBC Thunderbirds. Vern Knopp is no longer a member of the Thunderbrids men’s basketball coaching staff,” he tweeted.
On Friday, the university’s athletics department declined to comment further.
The Alma Mater Society, a UBC students’ union, expressed support for the university’s position.
“The AMS is committed to supporting students from the Black community at this time, and we are actively working to develop programming to help combat anti-Black racism at UBC. The sentiments expressed by Mr. Knopp have absolutely no place at UBC, and society in general,” they said in a statement.
“We are encouraged to see that UBC Athletics and Recreation has taken a zero-tolerance approach to this issue.”
On Tuesday, the department shared a message on Twitter from university president Santa Ono.
“As Thunderbirds we join all of UBC in condemning racism in all forms. We are committed to an inclusive and respectful environment where we listen, learn and continue to grow together,” the department said in a tweet.
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Saskatoon police Cst. placed on leave in connection with 'concerning' social media posts – CKOM News Talk Sports
The Saskatoon Police Service has placed a constable on administrative leave regarding concerning posts on their personal social media account.
On Friday morning, police say they were notified about private posts that a member is accused of making on his personal social media account.
Police say the posts were harmful and offensive to the gender and sexually diverse community.
As a result, the member was immediately placed on administrative leave and an investigation was initiated regarding his conduct.
In a release, Chief of Police Troy Cooper said, “The relationship we have with the gender and sexually diverse community is incredibly important to the Saskatoon Police Service. I was to assure the public that we take these complaints seriously. We have acted swiftly to address the issue and a thorough investigation will occur.”
The 12-year member will remain on administrative leave while an investigation takes place.
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