Development permit revoked for Boyle Street’s health hub in Edmonton’s Ritchie community – Edmonton

Edmonton’s Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) has decided to revoke a development permit for a health hub that would have been operated by Boyle Street Community Services (BSCS) in west Ritchie.

The 126-page decision was released Wednesday.

In its conclusion, the board said “the appeals must be allowed and the development permit revoked.” It points to issues around safety and surveillance of the parking area under the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) requirement.

BSCS has said previously that it was tasked by the provincial government to create a health hub south of the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton.

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The health hub was designed to include a supervised consumption site (SCS), and to offer recovery and treatment services.

A spokesperson for the provincial ministry of addictions said the ministry is exploring the need for a new SCS south of the river and will provide BSCS with up to $2.15 million a year to support its operations if the proposal ends up going forward.

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The health hub has faced some opposition from people living and operating businesses nearby, who say they fear an increase in crime, a decrease in safety and the overall deterioriation of the neighbourhood.

More to come…

Click to play video: 'Temporary homeless shelter opening in Edmonton’s Ritchie neighbourhood'

Temporary homeless shelter opening in Edmonton’s Ritchie neighbourhood

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iPhone 16 Pro sports pretty thin bezels according to recent rumours

While it’s about the time of the year that we start seeing an overwhelming amount of Samsung foldable leaks, surprisingly, one of the newest leaks is about the iPhone 16.

Per MacRumors, well-known Samsung leaker Ice Universe worked with another leaker that goes by ‘Instant Digital’ to release the dimensions for the iPhone 16 Pro and 16 Pro Max.

According to the leak, the iPhone 16 Pro will sport a thickness of 8.25mm, then a height of 149.6mm, a width of 71.45mm, a 6.3-inch display, a 1.2mm screen border and weighs 194g. This makes the handset slightly bigger than last year’s model. The 16 Pro will be slightly taller, wider and sport a larger screen but offers a much thinner screen border and is a bit heavier.

The iPhone 16 Pro Max sports a thickness 8.26mm, height of 163mm, a width of 77.58mm and weighs the 225g. This makes it thicker, heavier, wider and taller than the iPhone 15 Pro Max. The leak also says the iPhone 16 Pro Max sports an even larger 6.9-inch display and an impressive screen border of 1.15mm, which is even thinner than the iPhone 16 Pro.

Apple is using Border Reduction Structure technology that lets the company launch a device with thinner bezels. We can see this technology at work with the 15 series when you compare it to the 14 series.

Apple isn’t expected to launch the 16 series until later this year, but we’ve already learned much about the handset, such as an emphasis on AI, a better camera setup, new colours, and more.

Source: MacRumors 

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Grassy Narrows First Nation files lawsuit against Ontario, federal governments over mercury contamination

A First Nation in northwestern Ontario that has faced decades of mercury poisoning is suing the provincial and federal governments, arguing they’ve failed to protect its treaty rights.

Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinabek First Nation — known as Grassy Narrows — filed the lawsuit in Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice on Tuesday morning.

It argues the governments have violated their duties under Treaty 3 by failing to protect against or remedy the effects of mercury contamination in the English-Wabigoon River system.

The allegations in this lawsuit haven’t been tested in court.

Contamination of the river system dates back to the 1960s and ’70s when Dryden’s paper mill in northwestern Ontario dumped an estimated nine tonnes of mercury into the water.

Generations of people have consumed fish from the river. According to a previously reported study by medical specialists, about 90 per cent of the community of roughly 1,000 people experience symptoms of mercury poisoning. They include Chief Rudy Turtle.

“Our mercury nightmare should have ended long ago, but it has been longer and worse because of the government’s failure to live up to its obligations,” Turtle said in a news release on Tuesday.

‘A test of … commitment to truth’

For years, environmental advocates have called for the river to be cleaned up and the mill to be shut down.

In late May, a new study from Western University in London, Ont., revived these demands with a report suggesting mercury contamination in the river system has been made worse by ongoing industrial pollution.

“Dryden Fibre Canada took over operations for the mill last August. We operate in compliance with extensive environmental regulatory requirements,” said Dianne Loewen, a spokesperson for Dryden Fibre Canada, in an email to CBC News late Tuesday afternoon. “Regarding this morning’s announcement by Grassy Narrows — we have not yet seen the filing and will not be commenting.”

WATCH | Judy Da Silva of Grassy Narrows speaks on how mercury poisoning impacts the First Nation: 

Grassy Narrows lawsuit targets ‘environmental racism’ of mercury poisoning

Judy Da Silva, environmental health co-ordinator for Grassy Narrows First Nation, says years of inaction and ‘environmental racism’ are behind the lawsuit against Ontario and Ottawa. 

“The government has egregiously violated its obligations to Grassy Narrows by failing to ensure that Grassy Narrows people could safely practise their right to fish — a cornerstone of Grassy Narrows’ sustenance and Indigenous way of life,” says a statement from the First Nation that was also issued Tuesday.

“This case will be a test of Ontario’s and Canada’s commitment to truth, reconciliation and justice following one of Canada’s worst environmental and human rights catastrophes.” 

Calls to end environmental racism

During a news conference in Toronto on Tuesday morning, Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa said the lack of government action is perpetuating the effects of colonialism on Grassy Narrows people.

“When we talk about environmental genocide, this is what it looks like,” Mamakwa said.

Judy Da Silva is a Grassy Narrows grandmother and the community’s environmental health co-ordinator. She says she also experiences symptoms of mercury poisoning, which include loss of co-ordination, trouble swallowing, and a loss of sensation in her hands and feet. 

A person stands at a podium set up outside a building and speaks into a microphone. Four people are standing behind them.
Judy Da Silva is a Grassy Narrows grandmother and the community’s environmental health co-ordinator. She says she experiences symptoms of mercury poisoning and wants to see better health outcomes for future generations. (Robert Krbavac/CBC)

“Our people were proud fishermen and land users and hunters, and then this poison came and took all that away,” Da Silva said in an interview with CBC News.

She thinks back to summer 2000, when the Walkerton water crisis made national headlines after seven people died and about 2,300 others became ill from Canada’s worst E. coli contamination.

“They got compensated so quickly and then Grassy’s been going through this for decades, and still there’s no resolution,” she said. “I think it’s environmental racism.”

Federal leaders respond

In 2017, the federal government committed to building a Mercury Care Home in Grassy Narrows. The same year, the Ontario government committed $85 million to fund mercury cleanup and remediation efforts in the English-Wabigoon River system.

About seven years later, the river remains toxic. Construction on the Mercury Care Home is expected to start this summer and take two to three years to complete.

In Ottawa on Tuesday, Minister of Indigenous Services Patty Hajdu told reporters she understands the frustration that has led Grassy Narrows to go through the courts.

“I’m sure they’re seeing it as a part of a broader effort to ensure that this kind of environmental racism doesn’t continue,” Hajdu said.

WATCH | Minister Patty Hajdu says ‘more to be done’ to address mercury concerns:

Minister acknowledges frustration of Grassy Narrows First Nation following launch of lawsuit

Patty Hajdu, Canada’s Indigenous services minister, responded to questions from reporters about Grassy Narrows First Nation’s lawsuit against the Ontario and federal governments over mercury contamination. ‘Far too often this poisoning happens for First Nations communities first,’ she said.

Ottawa has now committed $146 million for the construction and operation of the Mercury Care Home, she said. While the protection of water falls under provincial jurisdiction, Hajdu did point to Bill C-61, an act respecting water, source water, drinking water, wastewater and related infrastructure on First Nation lands, as a key way of preventing future harm.

CBC News reached out to the Ontario government for comment on the lawsuit and received an emailed response from Keesha Seaton, spokesperson for the Ministry of the Attorney General, late Tuesday afternoon.

“As this matter is subject to litigation, it would be inappropriate to comment,” Seaton said.

A spokesperson for the federal Office of the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change also provided CBC News with an emailed statement on behalf of Hajdu and Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault.

“We cannot comment on the legal case as it is before the courts. It is extremely important to the government of Canada to do its part in responding to this crisis, and we will be there to work with Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemong Independent Nations every step of the way,” wrote spokesperson Kaitlin Power.

Federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh also reacted to the Grassy Narrows lawsuit while addressing reporters on Parliament Hill.

“It’s an ongoing example of Indigenous communities receiving second-class treatment,” Singh said of the persisting mercury poisoning.

“This is Canada’s fault and Canada must step up.”

Lawsuit seeks to restore ‘way of life’

Grassy Narrows, about 150 kilometres from Dryden near the Ontario-Manitoba border, is being represented by both Toronto-based firm Cavalluzzo LLP and Ratcliff LLP out of Vancouver.

At this point, there is no set dollar amount for how much compensation the First Nation is seeking. However, the types of remedies relate to restoring the environment, “upon which their health, and their livelihoods and their treaty rights depend,” Adrienne Telford, co-lead legal counsel with Cavalluzzo LLP, said in an interview with CBC News.

A boat is shown on a scenic river picture.
People are seen boating on the Wabigoon River in northwestern Ontario. Contamination of the river system dates back to the 1960s and ’70s when Dryden’s paper mill in northwestern Ontario dumped an estimated nine tonnes of mercury into the water. (Submitted by Allan Lissner)

“Grassy Narrows is a community in crisis,” Telford said. “They require significant financial, and socioeconomic and health supports to allow community members to restore their health, and their well-being and their way of life.”

“If this was Ontario cottage country, the river would have been cleaned up decades ago, the pollution would have stopped and the harms properly compensated.”

Ontario commits to ‘correcting this historic wrong’

When pressed by Kiiwetinoong MPP Sol Mamakwa during Monday’s question period in the Ontario Legislature, the minister of the environment, conservation and parks, Andrea Khanjin, said the government is committed to remediating the mercury contamination.

Technical experts with the ministry have met with First Nations leaders and those who led the Western University study — though additional work is needed before the researchers’ report is finalized, Khanjin said.

WATCH | Ontario environment minister responds to questions about mercury poisoning:

Is Ontario doing enough to address mercury contamination in the English-Wabigoon River system?

NDP MPPs accused the Ontario government of inaction following the release of a report showing ongoing methylmercury contamination in the English-Wabigoon River system in northwestern Ontario. But the Environment Minister says the province has been working to support Indigenous communities on the issue.

Sandy Shaw, MPP for Hamilton West—Ancaster—Dundas and NDP environment, conservation and parks critic, called that answer “disappointing.”

“This is a human and ecological disaster and it has been going on for generations. For heaven’s sake, Speaker, the time for studies has well passed,” Shaw said.

Khanjin responding by pointing to the work being done with Ontario’s English and Wabigoon Rivers Remediation Panel.

“We’re taking the politics out of this and referring to the science because this government remains committed to correcting this historic wrong.”

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Premier Doug Ford tight-lipped on back-to-work legislation ahead of possible TTC strike – Toronto

Ontario Premier Doug Ford and several top cabinet ministers remain tight-lipped on whether the provincial government would legislate an end to a potential Toronto transit strike, as politicians hold out hope that the two sides would reach a negotiated settlement.

At 12:01 a.m. on Friday, Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) employees, including bus and subway drivers, will walk off the job if a deal is not reached. If the strike is triggered, it would see the city’s transit network grind to a halt before workers begin their morning commute.

While Ford suggested a transit strike cost the city and province “billions of dollars,” he would not commit to taking provincial action to end a potential labour and economic disruption.

“They should bargain in good faith. … Let’s just avoid it at all costs,” Ford told reporters ahead of a cabinet meeting at Queen’s Park.

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When asked whether the government would table legislation to end a strike, Ford said it was “hypothetical” and opted to wait until bargaining had concluded.

While the transportation minister didn’t offer any concrete steps on how the province would handle a strike, the province’s labour minister said his ministry has offered support.

“It’s important that the collective bargaining process is respected and we urge both parties to land a deal. There’s still time,” Labour Minister David Piccini said.

“My ministry and I have assigned a mediator to the case, who’s available 24/7. We really hope that they land a deal.”

Government House Leader Paul Calandra was also coy.

“(The) City of Toronto is bargaining and I am hopeful that they’ll come to an agreement,” he said.

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“Like all of you, I’m listening to what the chair of the TTC is saying. He seems very optimistic that they’ll come to an agreement so, until I hear otherwise, I am going to listen to his words.”

All sides evade questions over possible strike

On Tuesday, Transportation Minister Prabmeet Sarkaria would also not be drawn on a potential strike. Asked if he would mobilize Metrolinx to help alleviate the disruption of a strike, the minister simply said he hoped a deal could be reached.

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Ontario NDP Leader Marit Stiles, who said Tuesday she would not support back-to-work legislation, was evasive when asked if she would help the government rush through any potential strike-breaking law.

“They could easily pass legislation in just a couple days,” she said. “But look, there doesn’t need to be a strike. I happen to know and believe me, I’ve been on both sides of the negotiating tables, neither side wants a strike.”

Mike Schreiner, Ontario Green Party Leader, would not go into detail on whether he would support any back-to-work legislation the government could table.

“I think what we need to first do is avoid a strike,” he said. “Nobody wants the TTC to shut down.”

Ford ‘disappointed’ TTC no longer essential service

Workers on the TTC are only able to strike because two Ontario courts struck down a law that had previously designated them as an essential service and blocked them from walking off the job.

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In May, the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed the provincial government’s attempt to appeal a lower court ruling that found that classifying TTC workers as an essential service was unconstitutional. Workers classified as essential are not allowed to strike.

A Superior Court judge had found last year that the law interfered with workers’ collective bargaining rights, and the appellate court upheld that ruling in a split decision.

Premier Ford also said he was “disappointed” that the court struck down a 2011 law introduced by the previous Liberal government to designate the TTC as an essential service.

“I’m disappointed the courts would overturn that,” Ford said.

“It would cost the province billions, even the city, billions of dollars. I love our TTC drivers and everyone who works at the TTC but it’s an essential service that can shut down the economy in a big way.”

Ford said that when he was a councillor at Toronto city hall — and when his brother Rob was the mayor — he voted in favour of taking away TTC drivers’ right to strike.

If a deal is not reached between the Amalgamated Transit Union and the TTC a strike could begin on Friday morning.

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Apple reportedly working on a robot that can do chores

As always, Mark Gurman at Bloomberg has gotten a few scoops ahead of Apple’s upcoming WWDC showcase. Most of his latest report solidifies rumours of Apple working with OpenAI to enhance iOS and Siri, but at the end he also mentions some future products he’s learned about, and while they won’t be revealed at WWDC, they’re the most interesting.

Specifically, he mentions that Apple’s AI division is working on two robotics projects. One is a tabletop robotic arm that has a display on one end. This sounds kind of like the robot arms you’d see working on assembly lines and in robot coffee shops. That said, it’s supposed to be using AI, so perhaps it’s able to learn on the fly or pick up various objects with varying degrees of force? The display on one end makes me think it might be used in Apple Stores, but time will tell.

The next robot Gurman mentions is supposed to follow you around your house and help you with chores. This is obviously way more ambitious and something rooted in the very oldest of science fiction texts. Amazon has tried something similar with its Amazon Astro robot, but as many people have found out, Astro was really underbaked and will need some significant improvements to make it useful to most people.

To wrap up his article Gurman also talks about how Apple is testing AirPods designs with cameras and AI enhancements. There’s no mention in the report what these enhancements might be, but they could be as small as using AI to enhance Apple’s ‘Active Transparency’ mode or as far-reaching as building an AI assistant right into the hardware of the earbuds.

Beyond that, it seems like Apple is planning to use Open-AI’s generative AI in some ways to support Siri. Analysts are predicting this to be a short-to-medium term partnership to hold over Apple’s users while the tech giant works on its own in-house chat bot/AI software. The report also mentions that many of Apple’s new AI features, including the OpenAI-powered chatbot, will allow users to opt out if they want to remain more private.

Source: Bloomberg

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B.C. project aims to reduce kidney rejection

Researchers in British Columbia have set their sights on virtually eliminating organ rejection by using advanced genetic testing to better match patients with kidney donors. 

Dr. Paul Keown, lead researcher for the pilot project and a University of British Columbia specialist in immunology and transplantation, said the new technology involves genetic sequencing at the molecular level to significantly reduce the risk of a recipient’s immune system rejecting a donor kidney.

“We hope to see rejection almost disappear,” he said of the project, partly funded by Genome British Columbia and Genome Canada through a partnership with Canadian Blood Services.

B.C. Transplant, which oversees organ donation and transplant across the province, also supports the research project.

“A made-in-B.C. solution to improve organ-matching could revolutionize outcomes for kidney transplant recipients,” read the agency’s description of the project. 

About half of all transplants fail over time due to rejection, Keown said.

Currently, patients awaiting a transplant are tested for the same blood type as a potential donor. They are also tested to determine if they have antibodies — from pregnancy, a blood transfusion or a previous transplant — that would cause their immune system to attack a donor kidney.

It’s long been known that the immune system uses a set of molecules called HLA, or human leukocyte antigens, to distinguish between its own cells and those from a donor organ, leading to possible rejection. But matching donors and recipients is difficult because there are more than 30,000 variations of HLA molecules.

Dr. James Lan, a transplant nephrologist who is involved with the project, said the new method compares small sequences called epitopes, the specific parts of HLA that are recognized by the immune system. There are only about 150 epitopes, so it would be easier to match recipients and donors, he added.

One in three transplants fails over a decade, mainly due to rejection in half the cases, but it’s possible for someone to live with a well-matched kidney for about 30 years, said Lan, medical director of the Immunology Laboratory at Vancouver General Hospital.

The new genetic sequencing technology can help find a match within about six hours, Lan said. It also allows doctors to tailor the amount of immunosuppressant medications to each patient, rather than a “one-size-fits-all” approach that results in more side effects, including low blood counts, increased risk of infection and cancer, he added.

Overall, more organs would be available for people on long wait lists, many of whom need time-consuming and physically draining dialysis to aid failing kidneys that can no longer rid their blood of toxins.

Physicians' hands wield medical instruments during surgery.
Thousands of Canadians need a kidney transplant each year. (Shutterstock)

However, advanced technology would introduce a new challenge when it comes to fairly allocating donated kidneys to those who have been on a wait list for years but do not end up being well-matched to an available organ.

“You can imagine a scenario where someone has been waiting for 10 years, and they’re next on the wait list, but the organ is poorly matched, and it goes to someone else who’s better matched but hasn’t waited as long,” said Lan, adding the wait-list system will have to be revamped to make it as fair as possible.

Patients under age 18 and those who have built up antibodies that could result in rejection are currently prioritized for a transplant, he said.

The rapid sequencing technology is being tested in British Columbia to refine the degree of achievable genetic compatibility between patients and donors while six other labs in the country are joining that effort, said Lan, adding that patients could start to be matched in about three years.

“Every single kidney transplant that we do will save the system a quarter million dollars per patient over five years,” said Lan.

Much of that comes from potentially ending costly dialysis treatments, which can reach about $100,000 per patient per year and require three sessions a week for four hours, Lan said. The annual cost of medications and medical visits for transplant patients is about $20,000.

A woman with grey hair and glasses is interviewed in front of a white cabinet housing papers and books.
Nancy Verdin has had three kidney transplants, but her immune system rejected all of them. She’s hoping a British Columbia-based pilot project aimed at genetically matching recipients with donor kidneys will give others a chance at a ‘normal life.’ (Nancy Verdin/Canadian Press)

Nancy Verdin, 63, has had three kidney transplants — in 1988, 1992 and 1995 — but her immune system rejected all of them despite multiple immunosuppressant drugs.

“The reason I’m not getting a transplant now is because I do reject them, and it’s a terrible waste,” she said from Red Deer, Alta.

“Dialysis has kept me alive, but what I’m living with now is the long-term effects of dialysis. Your system just gets run down.”

She said better matches with a “precious resource” would offer a chance at a “normal life.”

“Even if it doesn’t become available to me, it certainly is so exciting to know that it could be available to other people,” Verdin said.

Lan said patients who have already had multiple failed transplants face a higher risk of rejecting future donor kidneys because their immune system has developed antibodies that mount a more aggressive attack against each subsequent new organ.

However, he did not rule out the possibility that “very complicated patients” could potentially be matched with a donor kidney.

“Oftentimes, they have an urgency to get the next kidney transplant. But at least for their doctors looking after them, they will know with their eyes wide open what’s the best decision for that patient. Is it best for them to accept the next kidney that comes along to get them off dialysis first, or does it make sense for them to wait a little bit longer, knowing that they’re going to find a well-matched organ?”

WATCH: This is the world’s oldest kidney transplant recipient

At 87, this Markham man is the world’s oldest kidney transplant recipient

A Markham man was recently awarded the Guinness World Record for being the oldest man to receive a kidney transplant. Walter Tauro was 87 years old when he underwent the surgery last year and told CBC’s Talia Ricci he feels like he has a second chance at life.

The first kidney transplant, performed in the United States in the mid-1950s, involved identical twins whose genetic compatibility allowed for a matched donation without the need for immunosuppressant drugs, which were not available then.

“In a way, this is kind of like back-to-the-future in our field because we have medications, and we don’t have to do identical transplants,” Lan said. “We can get as close as possible to that so that the immune system thinks the individuals are identical twins when they’re actually not.”

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Man dies after collision involving pickup truck, semi-truck near Fort McMurray: RCMP – Edmonton

RCMP are investigating what caused a head-on collision that claimed the life of a man from Fort McMurray, Alta.

Members of the Wood Buffalo RCMP were dispatched to the collision on Highway 63, north of Mildred Lake, near the north gate access road to Suncor around 10:38 a.m. Tuesday.

Police said a preliminary investigation suggests a pickup truck travelling north collided with a semi-tractor trailer travelling south.

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The driver of the pickup had to be taken to hospital with serious, life-threatening injuries. Mounties said Wednesday he has since died of his injuries.

“The driver of the semi-tractor truck was not physically injured in the collision,” the RCMP said in a news release.

“Alcohol is suspected to be a factor in the collision.”

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Police said Wood Buffalo RCMP Municipal Traffic Services and the Alberta RCMP’s forensic collision reconstruction unit continue to investigate.

The collision caused Highway 63 to be closed for several hours. Police reopened the highway to one lane of traffic later on Tuesday, with officers directing traffic.

Highway 63 has since fully reopened.

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Man owes Telus $186k over 2017 crash that damaged a building

A man owes Telus $186,952 for damages caused after he was found to have crashed in the telecom company’s central office in Houston, B.C.

First spotted by the Prince George Citizen, a decision handed down by B.C. Supreme Court Justice Jasmin Ahmad, A.J. William Fuller denied responsibility for the crash, but Ahmad determined Fuller was the driver based on a balance of probabilities.

Telus had argued that it cost $288,517.89 to restore the building, which was described as a “critical facility” for providing 911 emergency services along with internet, cellular and landline services for the region. However, an expert report on behalf of Fuller said the damage only amounted to $127,973.90. Justice Ahmad found shortcomings on both sides and awarded damages amounting to $186,952 plus interest against Fuller in favour of Telus.

The crash happened shortly after midnight on June 29th, 2017. People in the community heard a loud noise, and one resident living near the intersection of Pearson Road and Hagman Crescent saw two people fleeing the scene.

An RCMP constable who arrived on the scene reported seeing tire tracks leading from the road and through a dirt area. The constable said it appeared the vehicle drove off the road without braking or attempting to avoid the building, Ahmad explained in the decision.

The constable also recognized the vehicle as one Fuller had been known to drive. The vehicle was registered to Fuller’s mother, who confirmed that Fuller was in possession of the vehicle and also gave the name of the person who was with Fuller. Those details, along with Fuller’s admission that he had purchased the vehicle despite it still being registered to his mother, was enough to satisfy Ahmad that Fuller was responsible based on a balance of probabilities, the threshold of proof for a civil matter.

Source: B.C. Supreme Court Via: Prince George Citizen

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Astronauts finally blast off on Boeing’s new Starliner spacecraft

Boeing, NASA and United Launch Alliance (ULA) are breathing a sigh of relief after successfully launching Boeing’s new CST-100 Starliner spacecraft.

ULA’s Atlas V rocket blasted off on schedule at 10:52 a.m. ET Wednesday and reached orbit just under an hour later.

This comes after their second launch attempt was scrubbed with just three minutes and 50 seconds left on the clock on Saturday, with astronauts Suni Williams and Butch Wilmore strapped in and ready to go.

“We got really close today,” said Steve Stich, manager of NASA’s commercial crew program, in the news conference following the launch call-down.

“I know it’s a little disappointing. We were all excited. This is kind of the way space flight is.”

A man and woman in blue astronaut jumpsuits are seen waving.
NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore, left, and Suni Williams, wearing Boeing spacesuits, are seen as they prepare to depart the Neil A. Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building for Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station to board the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft for the Crew Flight Test launch, on June 1 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Joel Kowsky/NASA)

In that news conference, officials said the countdown clock automatically stopped due to a “failed power distribution source” on ULA’s Atlas V rocket, which initially triggered a launch hold. However, the rocket had an instantaneous launch window, meaning it had to launch at a precise time.

The teams replaced the part over the weekend.

“I really appreciate all the work by the NASA, Boeing and ULA teams over the last week,” Stich said.

“In particular, the ULA team worked really hard to quickly learn more about these issues, keep our NASA and Boeing teams informed and protect for this next attempt. We will continue to take it one step at a time.”

A long road

In 2014, NASA gave contracts to both SpaceX and Boeing to provide a new spacecraft capable of ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS), as the space agency had mothballed its space shuttle program and was reliant solely on Russian Soyuz rockets.

SpaceX successfully began launching astronauts to the ISS in 2020. However, Boeing has faced several setbacks and cost overruns, and has yet to conduct a successful crewed test launch. 

A white rocket leaves a trail of smoke on a launch pad as it soars into a blue sky dotted by white clouds.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with its Crew Dragon capsule blasts off to the International Space Station in 2022. (SpaceX)

Saturday’s scrub follows a previous attempt on May 6, which was called off due to an oxygen leak on ULA’s Atlas V rocket. 

However, issues with the spacecraft were discovered once the rocket was rolled back to ULA’s Vertical Integration Facility, which also included a helium leak, which was not fixed ahead of Saturday’s launch. 

NASA and Boeing said that there was no danger to the astronauts launching with such a small leak.

A second issue pertaining to how Starliner would deorbit and return to Earth was discovered and a workaround was developed.

If the launch happens as scheduled, Williams and Wilmore will dock with the ISS on June 6 at 12:15 p.m. ET.

And once again, it’ll be Canadian astronaut Joshua Kutryk who will be speaking to the pair from NASA’s Capcom, or capsule communicator, leading up to and during their launch. He is scheduled to fly the first operational flight (not a test, as this one is) of Starliner in 2025.

WATCH | More on Canadian Joshua Kutryk’s scheduled flight in 2025: 

Canadian astronaut heading to International Space Station

Astronaut Joshua Kutryk will be the next Canadian to head to the International Space Station, flying there for a six-month mission starting in 2025. Meanwhile, Jenni Gibbons was named as Jeremy Hansen’s backup for the Artemis II mission to lunar orbit.

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