Russia's complaints highlights tricky business of protecting diplomats in Canada

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Thursday that "stronger sanctions" would be announced shortly against Russia over the Kremlin's plans to annex four Russian-controlled regions in Ukraine. The move comes after Russia held what Trudeau and other leaders have called "sham" referendums on whether those regions wished to rejoin Russia. He did not specify what the sanctions would involve.

Russia‘s recent complaints about its Ottawa embassy being blocked by protesters and attacked with a Molotov cocktail shed light on the tricky balance Canada faces in protecting diplomatic missions.

“We have an unquestioned responsibility,” said Roy Norton, who served as Canada’s protocol chief from 2016 to 2019, overseeing the security of diplomatic missions within Canada.

“We take it seriously; we honour it and we expect others abroad to honour it,” he said.

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In September, Russia summoned Canada’s ambassador in Moscow over concerns that officials in Ottawa weren’t taking complaints about security incidents at the embassy seriously.

That includes apparent security-camera footage, which the embassy posted on Twitter, that shows an unidentified person tossing what the embassy says was a lit Molotov cocktail over the fence. The RCMP said earlier this month that it is investigating the incident.

The embassy also complained that a mid-September protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine blocked people from accessing consular services, even as Ottawa police looked on.

The RCMP and the Ottawa Police Service declined interview requests.

The embassy has asked Ottawa to provide 24/7 security, which Norton said is a common request.

“I wouldn’t say that embassies exaggerate their fears, but they are going to err, quite naturally, on the side of caution,” Norton said.

Under the 1961 Vienna Convention, countries incur obligations to protect diplomats when they formally accept ambassadors from foreign states.

In accepting an ambassador, the hosting country “shall treat him with due respect and shall take all appropriate steps to prevent any attack on his person, freedom or dignity,” the convention reads.

That includes protecting the premises of the embassy and the ambassador’s private residence “against any intrusion or damage, and to prevent any disturbance of the peace.”

Norton said those terms are up to interpretation.

For example, Canadian law enforcement will only intervene in protests that pose a real risk of violence. But the Chinese embassy in Ottawa often deems human-rights demonstrators to be hostile, he said. That embassy did not respond to a request for comment on Friday.

The Israeli embassy says it will often reach out to Canadian officials when events in the Middle East are more likely to produce a security threat to its staff abroad.

Norton said that is a normal cycle that Canadian diplomats abroad will also tap into.

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Earlier in his career, he was posted to Canada’s missions in Washington, D.C., Detroit and Chicago. He was working in Chicago on Oct. 22, 2014, the day a gunman killed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the Canadian National War Memorial in Ottawa and stormed Parliament Hill.

Norton recalled phoning Chicago police in the wake of the attack to see if extra protection was possible, not knowing at first whether it was an isolated incident or a wider assault on Canadian officials. Police stationed an officer in the lobby of the consulate’s Chicago office building for the day, Norton said.

Robert Collette, who served as Canada’s protocol chief from 2003 to 2005, said he was regularly in touch with Manila officials when he was ambassador to the Philippines.

In either 2002 or 2003, local officials warned him Canada was among a handful of embassies targeted by bomb threats, he said. After consulting with Ottawa and Philippine officials, the embassy shut down for a month, with diplomats working from home and operating its immigration section out of a hotel.

Collette still continued his work and was driven around Manila in an official car that had a Canadian flag to demonstrate the country still had a presence. The Philippine government provided an officer to follow him 24/7.

Back in Canada, Collette recalled working with the Americans shortly after they opened a new Ottawa embassy in 1999, a set-up that included bollards that take up part of the sidewalk outside.

After 9/11, the embassy successfully lobbied to temporarily restrict traffic on Sussex Drive outside the embassy.

In Ottawa, Global Affairs Canada has teams liaise with diplomatic missions across Ottawa and Gatineau, Norton said.

They check if embassies feel they have adequate security, and if there are any upcoming days that might merit more police resources, such as certain holidays or anniversaries of difficult events.

The staff also make their own suggestions based on Canadian intelligence, such as when they feel a crackdown abroad is likely to bring a diaspora group in Canada out in droves to an embassy or consulate. The two municipalities also notify the department about permits issued for demonstrations near embassies.

Norton said the RCMP ultimately makes the call, with the help of CSIS, on how to offer protection. That can mean a Mountie follows an ambassador around the clock for a set period, or the RCMP stations a car outside the mission for a few days.

“It’s huge expense; it’s three shifts a day, and there are 130-odd missions in Ottawa. So it’s risk-management,” Norton said.

More often, the RCMP will simply increase the number of times a day they circle past an embassy.

Norton said poorer, less-stable countries often have ample police forces that can permanently surveil foreign embassies.

“Fewer things happen in Ottawa than Ouagadougou, and so we can get away with applying fewer resources,” he said, referring to the capital of Burkina Faso.

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Colin Robertson, a former Canadian diplomat, says that can be a draw.

“Ambassadors with families love to come here, because they don’t have to live behind gates with private security,” said Robertson.

Actual attacks on diplomatic staff in Canada are rare, but not unheard of.

In 1982, an Armenian militant group assassinated Turkish military attache Atilla Altikat on a parkway west of Parliament Hill.

In 1970, Quebec separatists kidnapped British diplomat James Cross in Montreal, holding him hostage for two months.

Experts said all countries generally go to great lengths to protect foreign diplomats and missions, even if the two countries are in a protracted conflict.

“The RCMP and CSIS are always extremely conscious and careful to provide the best protection possible, under any circumstances,” Collette said, whether or not Canada is in agreement with the other country’s actions, like with Russia and its invasion of Ukraine.

“We protect as best as we can, because also we wish that our diplomats and our chanceries in other countries be given equal protection and equal treatment.”

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Another Jan. 6? Bolsonaro attacks Brazil’s election, raising fears of violence

WATCH: Brazil election: Candidates rally supporters day before hotly contested vote

Brazilians head to the polls on Sunday for a first round of voting that could mark the beginning of the end for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro — and experts are growing increasingly concerned he won’t go without a fight.

The right-wing firebrand is expected to lose to popular leftist former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, widely known as Lula, in the first round. If no candidate wins more than 50 per cent of the vote, a runoff set for Oct. 30 is likely to further solidify da Silva’s victory.

But Bolsonaro, who has trailed in the polls throughout the campaign, has indicated he will not accept this outcome, telling his millions of supporters in June they “will go to war” if he loses. He has also repeatedly attacked the country’s election system, claiming without evidence that officials are aligned against him and that electronic voting machines are prone to fraud.

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On Wednesday, Bolsonaro’s party released a document alleging officials within the government have the “absolute power to manipulate election results without leaving a trace.” The claim was not backed by evidence and was called “false and dishonest” by the national electoral authority.

The document’s release, which is now under investigation by Brazil’s Supreme Court, marks the latest escalation in an already violent campaign. Several Lula supporters and at least one Bolsonaro backer have been killed in recent months.

Experts say Bolsonaro’s rhetoric threatens to incite Brazil’s own version of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-president Donald Trump, who were also led to believe in a “stolen” election despite no evidence.

“The fear is two-fold: what will Bolsonaro do as leader of the government, of the military, but also what will his supporters do on a societal level?” said Manuel Balan, a professor of political science at McGill University who studies Latin America.

A woman walks past signs that read in Portuguese: "End the Agony, Bolsonaro Out," in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. Brazil's general elections are scheduled for Oct. 2. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)

A woman walks past signs that read in Portuguese: "End the Agony, Bolsonaro Out," in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. Brazil's general elections are scheduled for Oct. 2. (AP Photo/Matias Delacroix)

Elected in 2018, Bolsonaro has divided the public over his conservative agenda, which has done little to raise millions out of poverty as he promised while also attracting negative attention for sexist and racist comments.

Under his watch, deforestation of the Amazon rainforest — critical to global health — has accelerated after his administration cut environmental regulations and weakened Indigenous land claims, leading to more than a thousand fires a day last month and nearly a million hectares burned over the past year. Loggers are able to escape fines with virtually no inspectors to enforce them.

Bolsonaro further weakened his standing with his response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He dismissed the virus as “a little flu,” — only to be infected himself twice — opposed health restrictions and was slow to adopt vaccines. The death toll in Brazil ultimately rose to the second highest in the world, with over 685,000 lives lost.

Da Silva served as president from 2003 to 2010 and is remembered for introducing a series of social programs that are credited with expanding the middle class and boosting the national economy.

In 2017, he was convicted on corruption and money laundering charges, and he spent nearly 20 months in prison after being barred from challenging Bolsonaro in the 2018 election. His charges were ultimately annulled last year by the Supreme Court, which found the judge in the case was politically biased.

Da Silva’s immediate popularity upon entering this year’s race shows much of the public has forgiven him, experts say.

“Brazilians understand (da Silva’s conviction and imprisonment) was a politically motivated attempt to derail his campaign to allow Bolsonaro to win,” said Max Cameron, a political science professor at the University of British Columbia.

Meanwhile, the case is increasingly being made that a victory for da Silva would benefit not just Brazil, but the planet. A new study found Amazon forest loss would drop 89 per cent if Bolsonaro is defeated.

The latest polls show da Silva’s lead over Bolsonaro is within reach of taking half of all votes cast on Sunday with a healthy lead over Bolsonaro.

Yet the possibility remains that da Silva could fall just short of 50 per cent, sending the two frontrunners to a runoff in four weeks — a time that could see further unrest.

Bolsonaro has spent months preparing his supporters to doubt the first-round results, saying in an interview last month that if he doesn’t win outright by at least 60 per cent of the vote, “it is because something abnormal has happened.”

“I have three alternatives for my future: being arrested, killed or victory,” Bolsonaro told evangelical leaders in August.

Da Silva has taken to wearing bulletproof vests at campaign rallies, while federal police officers tasked to guard him have called for backup over fears of “radicalized opponents.”

Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is running for president, shake hands with a supporter as he campaigns a day ahead of the country's general election, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who is running for president, shake hands with a supporter as he campaigns a day ahead of the country's general election, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)

Beyond the potential for violence in the streets or at government buildings, Bolsonaro may have one advantage that Trump did not when he was fighting his loss: military commanders willing to do his bidding.

Since the summer, some leaders of Brazil’s armed forces have indicated they share the president’s doubts about election integrity — as well as Bolsonaro’s view that the military ultimately answers to him as long as he is president. The defence ministry has assured the U.S. Pentagon it will not interfere in the vote.

Balan also worries that, rather than challenge the election results in the courts, as Trump did, Bolsonaro could simply shut down and dismantle Brazil’s courts altogether.

“That’s the fear I have, that this dismantling of democratic institutions that he has been delegitimizing for months now will continue, and even lead to repression and military in the streets,” he said.

Balan and Cameron ultimately have faith that democratic institutions in Brazil will stand up to Bolsonaro’s attacks, and that — just like in Washington last year — enough government officials and military leaders will do what’s right to prevent a hostile takeover.

But both experts say that doesn’t mean Bolsonaro or his supporters will disappear. His party could form opposition in the congressional elections also happening on Sunday, blocking da Silva’s policies and deadlocking government. Bolsonaro can also run again, unless he is convicted in one of the multiple corruption investigations against him.

His influence also has the potential to spread.

“I think that’s one of the reasons we’re all watching this (election) closely: will the two sides of the political spectrum in the biggest democracy in the region learn to play by the same rules?” Cameron asked.

“Or will we start to see more efforts to subvert democracy here and elsewhere (in Latin America)?”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Ukraine applies to NATO alliance. How easy will it be to become a member?

Ukrainian military intelligence claims the risk of Russia using nuclear weapons is now "very high." Today, Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelenskyy announced a move to fast-track an application for NATO membership. As Redmond Shannon reports, these events mark further escalation in the conflict.

Ukraine is formally applying for a fast-track membership to the NATO military alliance, but experts say it will likely take years for the country to actually become a member.

“There is certainly no rush to bring Ukraine into NATO,” Julian Spencer-Churchill, associate professor of political science at Concordia University, told Global News. “If I had to bet, I would say seven years.”

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NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is a political and military alliance of countries from Europe and North America, formed shortly after the second world war in response to the Soviet Union’s Warsaw Pact. Created in 1949, it currently has 30 members including Canada, the United States, Germany, France, Greece and more recently, Poland.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in Feb., Finland and Sweden simultaneously conveyed their intent to join NATO but have not yet been officially invited to become allies.

“NATO provides countries collective defense and collective assurance. It allows them to cooperate faster than if there was no alliance,” said Spencer-Churchill.

Eight months into the war, Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy was shown signing a document flanked by his prime minister and the speaker of parliament on Friday in a Telegram video, after announcing the membership bid – something Moscow fiercely opposes.

“We are taking our decisive step by signing Ukraine’s application for accelerated accession to NATO,” Zelenskyy said.

“De facto, we have already proven compatibility with alliance standards. We trust each other, we help each other, and we protect each other.”

All NATO decisions, including welcoming in a new member like Ukraine, are made by consensus, meaning an agreement is reached by all of the countries in the alliance.

“Everyone has to agree for the membership to be advanced,” Spencer-Churchill said. “It’s going to be a negotiation between NATO members.”

And, with alliances comes a “burden-sharing problem,” according to Spencer Churchill.

Expansion brings greater responsibility, he said, and therefore presents compatibility challenges for applicant nations.

In applying to become a member of the alliance, Ukraine is suspected to face hurdles with their immediate neighbours, NATO members Hungary and Romania, because of Ukraine’s pursuit of a cultural homogenization policy – largely targeted at the Russians, according to Spencer Churchill.

“This had effects on other minorities,” he said.

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Hurdles may also arise with Poland, Turkey and Greece, he added.

In order to maintain credibility within the alliance, NATO may also take its time approving membership during the war, which began in Feb, according to Spencer Churchill.

“If you were to have Ukraine join NATO, it would neatly benefit from this nuclear protection and if Vladimir Putin fired a nuclear weapon inside Ukraine, NATO would be obliged to respond,” he said.

“If they didn’t respond, it would undermine their credibility. They can’t leave any room for doubt and unfortunately there is so much doubt that would be introduced into the formula if NATO incorporated Ukraine.”

Instead, the alliance would rather see Western allies like the U.S. aid Ukraine in defense.

“NATO prefers that force of a threat (in return),” said Spencer-Churchill.

On Friday, NATO accused Russia’s Vladimir Putin of provoking “the most serious escalation” of the war in Ukraine since it began, noting he would not succeed in deterring the alliance from supporting Kyiv.

“We have the combination of the mobilization in Russia, combined with the reckless, dangerous nuclear rhetoric, and then today’s illegal annexation, or attempt to annex parts of Ukraine,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stolenberg said.

“Together this is the most serious escalation of the conflict since the start and the aim of President Putin is to deter us from supporting Ukraine. But he will not succeed in that.”

NATO

A general view of the North Atlantic Council during a meeting of NATO defense ministers at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, June 16, 2022.

(AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)

Putin proclaimed Russia’s annexation of 15 per cent of Ukraine at a Kremlin ceremony.

According to Stolenberg, Russia’s move was the “largest attempted annexation of European territory by force since the Second World War.”

The area roughly the size of Portugal had been “illegally seized by Russia at gunpoint,” he added.

“This land grab is illegal and illegitimate. NATO allies do not and will not recognize any of this territory as part of Russia,” said Stolenberg.

Stolenberg was noncommittal on Zelenskyy’s fast-track NATO application, saying alliance leaders “support Ukraine’s right to choose its own path, to decide what kind of security arrangements it wants to be part of.”

Ukraine officially declared its aspirations for becoming a member of NATO in 2008 at the Bucharest Summit in Romania, Dominique Arel, who holds the chair of Ukrainian studies at the University of Ottawa, told Global News.

“Initially the idea was to put Ukraine on the track of becoming a member,” he said. “But there was no process. It was understood that it was just not going to happen anytime soon.”

Then in 2014, when Russia first invaded Crimea and parts of Donbas, NATO supported Ukraine politically but not with troops, according to Arel.

“That was the real test. It didn’t put the question of NATO’s membership on the agenda,” he said.

Now, Arel is unsure if Ukraine will ever officially become a member of the alliance.

“I’m not sure that’s still a realistic outcome. Ukraine has this unique and special status of basically being integrated into NATO to an unprecedented level short of the formal membership,” he said, speaking of the amount of aid Ukraine has seen from NATO since the beginning of the war.

“I don’t see how that’s really going to change.”

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said the country “believes that Ukraine should be part of NATO,” at a news conference in Washington, D.C., on Friday.

“It’s been our position for more than a decade, and we believe in the open door policy,” she said.

— With files from Reuters and The Associated Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Blue Jays play the Red Sox after Hernandez’s 4-hit game

Boston Red Sox (75-83, fifth in the AL East) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (89-69, second in the AL East)

Toronto; Sunday, 1:37 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Red Sox: Michael Wacha (11-1, 3.06 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 100 strikeouts); Blue Jays: Kevin Gausman (12-10, 3.30 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 201 strikeouts)

FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Blue Jays -190, Red Sox +160; over/under is 8 runs

BOTTOM LINE: The Toronto Blue Jays play the Boston Red Sox after Teoscar Hernandez had four hits against the Red Sox on Saturday.

Toronto is 46-34 at home and 89-69 overall. Blue Jays hitters are batting a collective .263, the best team batting average in MLB play.

Boston has a 35-45 record in road games and a 75-83 record overall. The Red Sox have a 51-21 record in games when they scored five or more runs.

The teams match up Sunday for the 19th time this season. The Blue Jays lead the season series 15-3.

TOP PERFORMERS: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has 35 doubles and 31 home runs while hitting .274 for the Blue Jays. George Springer is 13-for-39 with a triple and four home runs over the past 10 games.

Alex Verdugo has 39 doubles, a triple, 11 home runs and 74 RBI for the Red Sox. Triston Casas is 11-for-29 with a double and three home runs over the last 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Blue Jays: 5-5, .265 batting average, 3.54 ERA, outscored opponents by 10 runs

Red Sox: 3-7, .234 batting average, 6.51 ERA, outscored by 23 runs

INJURIES: Blue Jays: Santiago Espinal: 10-Day IL (oblique), Lourdes Gurriel Jr.: 10-Day IL (hamstring), Tayler Saucedo: 60-Day IL (hip), Hyun-Jin Ryu: 60-Day IL (forearm), Nate Pearson: 60-Day IL (mono)

Red Sox: Trevor Story: 10-Day IL (heel), Garrett Whitlock: 15-Day IL (hip), Franchy Cordero: 60-Day IL (ankle), Kutter Crawford: 15-Day IL (shoulder), Tanner Houck: 60-Day IL (back), Eric Hosmer: 10-Day IL (back), Chris Sale: 60-Day IL (finger), Josh Taylor: 60-Day IL (back), James Paxton: 60-Day IL (elbow)

___

The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Stuart Skinner strong as Edmonton Oilers edge Jets

Stuart Skinner made 33 saves as the Edmonton Oilers scored a 3-2 shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets Saturday night.

“I thought we hung in there in the first period,” Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft said after the game. “They had the bulk of the play in that period, but we hung in — found a way to score the first goal of the game. And, as the game wore on, we got more and more competitive and found a way to win a road game in a tough building versus a tough lineup tonight. So, it’s a credit to everyone who was dressed. It took a lot of hard work and, obviously, it took all 65 minutes and then some.”

The Oilers opened the scoring with about five minutes left in the first when Tyler Benson fired a shot over Connor Hellebuyck’s glove. The Jets replied on a two-man advantage a couple of minutes later when Cole Perfetti jammed in the puck from the side of the net. Winnipeg outshot Edmonton 15-4 in the first.

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The second period was scoreless. Dylan Holloway had the Oilers’ best chance, hitting the post on a shorthanded breakaway.

Perfetti scored another power play goal in the third. The Oilers came back on a two-man advantage. Philip Broberg passed to Dylan Holloway, who fired a cross ice pass to Jason Demers. His one-timer evened it 2-2.

An entertaining overtime solved nothing with Skinner coming up with three big saves for the Oilers.

Devin Shore scored the only goal of the shootout.

“In the preseason, we’ve alluded to it before, where you’re trying to establish your identity — both as an individual and as a team,” Shore said. “So, you look up at the shot clock and it might not look great, but for the guys that were here today, we had a job to do and we wanted to keep battling and grease one out, and we got a few bounces and Stew was great, so it’s nice to get a win.”

The Oilers, now 3-2 in the pre-season, will host Vancouver on Monday. Catch the game on 630 CHED with the Face-off Show at 5:30 p.m. The game will start at 7 p.m.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Alouettes' late pick clinches 25-18 win over Elks in Edmonton

It was one heck of a first career interception for Tyrice Beverette.

The Montreal linebacker’s 100-yard interception return turned the tide as the Alouettes kept their hopes of making a run at top spot in the CFL’s East Division alive with a thrilling 25-18 victory over the hapless-at-home Edmonton Elks on Saturday.

“I honestly didn’t know it was 100 yards. My legs felt like it was 100, but I didn’t know,” Beverette said. “It took me a little while to catch my breath, but it was a great play. It felt good to be able to come up with that big stop at that key moment.”

The Alouettes won their third consecutive game and fifth of their last six and improved to 7-7, at least temporarily two points back of Toronto. It’s a major improvement from where they were earlier in the campaign.

“I never thought .500 could feel this good,” said Alouettes head coach Danny Maciocia. “When you start 2-6, to be sitting at .500 feels pretty damn good. It feels like we haven’t lost in a while. It is a credit to these guys because it was bleak not too long ago. But they kept plugging away.”

Edmonton established a CFL record for most consecutive home losses at 15, having failed to win at Commonwealth Stadium since Oct. 12, 2019.

“I ain’t talking about that streak,” said Elks head coach Chris Jones. “So, next question.”

“This one hurts a little bit,” said Edmonton defensive lineman Jake Ceresna. “It’s devastating. I think we were in a position to win the game and then just a couple of costly mistakes here and there.”

The Elks got on the board first off their initial possession with a 26-yard Sergio Castillo field goal.

The Alouettes responded quickly with a one-yard plunge into the end zone from backup QB Dominique Davis.

After the Elks got a punt single, Montreal extended its lead when Eugene Lewis reeled in an eight-yard pass with a nifty one-arm catch on a pass from quarterback Trevor Harris three minutes into the second quarter.

Edmonton replied with 32-yard and 38-yard Castillo field goals.

The Elks caught a break as Ceresna forced a fumble recovered by Matthew Thomas on the Montreal 32 with a minute left in the second frame, leading to a one-yard quarterback keeper by Taylor Cornelius. They got another single off the ensuing long kickoff.

Montreal cut the Edmonton lead to 18-17 lead at the half with a last-second 52-yard field goal from David Cote.

After a scoreless third, Edmonton looked poised to add to its lead deep in Montreal territory when Adarius Pickett batted down a Cornelius passing attempt into the waiting arms of Beverette, who would take it 100 yards for the touchdown. Montreal would add a two-point convert to move back ahead 25-18.

The Elks marched all the way back down field on their next possession but failed on a third-down gamble and turned the ball over on the Montreal two-yard-line.

Edmonton had another glorious chance with a minute left on the Montreal 28, but a Cornelius pass went in and out of the hands of Danny Vandervoort and into the waiting arms of defender Michah Awe.

Edmonton failed to score a point in the second half despite three trips to the red zone.

“That was one of the more unfortunate losses and how it happened that I have ever been a part of,” Cornelius said. “Two drives back-to-back, not getting in the end zone. One ended up in a pick-six and the other one a turnover on downs.”

The Elks are back in action next Saturday in Winnipeg against the Blue Bombers while the Alouettes next play host to Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 10.

The Canadian Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Saskatchewan woman mistakenly declared dead by Service Canada

At first Coreen Shatz thought it was funny when she called Service Canada to apply for EI benefits only to find out that according to their records she was dead.

As reality hit she realized that she won’t be able to get paid, apply for EI or get student loans. Shatz is a medical health professional who recently started school at Sask. Polytech to upgrade her qualifications.

“I have two kids, I live out of town, I drive to school so financially its really putting me in a tight spot, I have a car payment, a mortgage, I don’t know if I am going to be able to make ends meet,” she said.

Shatz said she has to come to come up with a whole list of documents to prove that she is alive. After that she has to reinstate her SIN number which is a long process.

Service Canada says according to their records Coreen Shatz is deceased...

Service Canada says according to their records Coreen Shatz is deceased...

Aishwarya Dudha

She added she’s been struggling these past few weeks and doesn’t know how long she can go without getting paid. Service Canada reps told her she’s been marked dead since July 2019

According to Shatz the error happened in the Canada pension plan department which she says she still pays into every month.

“Its a lot I don’t know if I can provide for my kids, I don’t know if I can provide for my kids, put me in a really tight spot.”

She is hoping the situation is resolved soon so that she can go on with her life continue school and go back to work. “I hope it doesn’t happen to anyone else, its a nightmare.”

Shatz is a medical health professional who just started school to upgrade her qualifications. She says she's been struggling these past few weeks and doesn't know how long she can go...

Shatz is a medical health professional who just started school to upgrade her qualifications. She says she's been struggling these past few weeks and doesn't know how long she can go...

Aishwarya Dudha

In a statement to Global News Service Canada said they’ve launched an investigation into the case but didn’t provide a timeline for completion.

“The Department contacted the individual to discuss the details of her case.  If an error is confirmed following completion of the investigation, Service Canada will subsequently correct the client’s information in the Social Insurance Registry and notify the client once finalized,” the statement reads.

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They also say that if there is an interruption in payment for any reason, Service Canada works in an expedited manner to provide the benefit to the client.

They call these situations “rare” and usually the result of human error, The statement says that if it they learn a mistake has been made the error is corrected “immediately” but it’s not feeling immediate to Shatz.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Penticton Clean Energy Expo exhibits sustainability

A Penticton-based climate action group hosted its 4th annual Clean Energy Expo on Saturday. The event featured a variety of clean energy products and experts with tips on how to reduce our carbon footprint. Jayden Wasney reports.

An Okanagan climate action group hosted their fourth annual “Climate Action Energy” in Penticton on Saturday.

First Things First Okanagan is a non-profit group that promotes climate change awareness, with a goal of finding clean energy solutions. The Clean Energy Expo is just another example of how they’re working to achieve this objective.

“Of course, the most important thing is that we don’t put carbon into the air,” explained First Things First chairperson, Jim Beattie.

“So as a result, we have to talk about the kind of energy that is as clean as possible.”

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The expo, featuring information booths, from solar energy to electric cars and bikes, and a demonstration on how to make your home more energy efficient. Beattie says the time is now for the general population to start looking at ways we can help the environment.

“If we look around the world now, we see what the problem is,” described Beattie.

“These hurricanes, these floods that they’re having, monsoon floods in Pakistan, our heat dome. It’s unavoidable and undeniable that this is about climate change.”

Several electric bike, car and boat suppliers from Penticton were at the expo to show off their latest electric models. One car salesperson says that the majority of his customers these days are looking to ditch their gas-powered vehicle for an electric, even if it means a long wait.

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“With inventory shortages right now, it makes it a lot harder for them to get,” explained Penticton Kia salesperson, Logan Hannas.

“People are even willing to put thousands of dollars on a deposit list and when we get the vehicle in, we give them a call, but they’re willing to wait up to two years which is insane.”

Hannas said the shift in interest from gas to electric is likely due to the benefits that come with an EV.

“Its better for the environment and that’s one of the main concerns our customers have right now,” said Hannas.

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“These new EV’s are also very cost-efficient when you factor in things like not using fuel or oil.”

According to Natural Resources Canada, there are 6,566 electric vehicle charging stations in Canada. One Kelowna businessman is selling EV charging stations that can be installed in your home and says the Grizzl-E charging stations are a lot cheaper than fuelling up a gas-powered.

“Well, this runs on your standard 220-volt outlet, just like a drier outlet for your home, and it costs pennies to charge up on a daily basis, said owner of Beachtek EV

“It’s a 10-kilowatt, level 2 fast charger and its one of the best chargers on the market for the money.”

To learn more about First Things First Okanagan and for tips on sustainable living, click here.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Hundred's join in solidarity for Iran's Mahsa Amini in Kelowna

Outrage over the death of Mahsa Amini continues in Iran, the same outrage that sparked in the Okanagan as well, prompting hundreds to gather in the city in solidarity with Iranians.

Outrage continues in Iran over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died while in the custody of the Iranian ‘morality police.’ That same outrage sparked across Canada, including the Okanagan where hundreds of people gathered in downtown Kelowna to show their support.

“This should not happen anywhere and when there is a problem such as this, we have only two positions to take, either we can be a part of the solution or we will automatically be part of the problem,” said Rally Co-Organizer, Ray Taheri.

Amini was detained by morality police on Sept. 13 outside a transit station in Tehran. She was accused of breaking a modesty law that requires women to wear a headscarf, cover their arms and legs and wear loose clothing.

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Iranian officials say that she died of a heart attack and was not mistreated, but other expert reports suggest she was severely beaten.

The aim of the rally in Kelowna was to be another voice for the people of Iran and continue to fight for justice for Mahsa Amini and all Iranians.

Global News spoke with several Iranian women at the rally, who asked not to use their names for their own safety reasons.

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“It’s just sad and heartbreaking for everyone here and we just tried our best to do a little but for her to just show her that we are very sad for her and for our country too,” said one woman.

Some feel that what happened to Amini, hits close to home, while other feel guilty for “getting out” of Iran.

“I was born here in Kelowna but my parents were both born and raised in Iran and moved us here. My grandfather was one man that made the decision to move his entire family here. And just that feeling of guilt that ‘hey, I got out and how easily that could’ve been me,'” said one Iranian woman.

Saturday’s rally was just one of many taking place across the country, with people standing in solidarity with the people of Iran.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Low donations sparked furniture drive to help struggling Ukrainian newcomers to Edmonton

WATCH ABOVE: With hundreds of Ukrainian newcomers arriving every week in Alberta, donated living supplies like couches and beds are running critically low in Edmonton. The Ukrainian Canadian Congress Alberta Provincial Council held a furniture drive Saturday hoping to ensure no one goes without the essentials. Chris Chacon reports.

With hundreds of Ukrainian newcomers arriving every week in Alberta, donated living supplies like couches and beds are running critically low in Edmonton.

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress-Alberta Provincial Council held a furniture drive Saturday hoping to ensure no one goes without the essentials.

“The demand is increasing, the numbers of arrivals are increasing and we’re just not able to meet it with the current way of receiving furniture,” said the president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Alberta Provincial Council Orysia Boychuk.

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Desperate for supplies, the group decided to reach out to people in the city willing to donate unwanted furniture. For a $20 donation to cover the trip, volunteers drove to people’s houses to pick up furniture.

“It’s good to give back and understand what’s happening, people are coming here with nothing and need a lot of help,” volunteer Jeff Libbey said.

Boydchuck said roughly 500 hundred Ukrainians are arriving in Alberta each week. She anticipants that number to increase in the next few months.

There are a lot of desperate people arriving. A lot of people who are looking and needing the support, emergency housing, emergency food. They need help, they need help to get started,” Boychuk said.

She added many of the Ukrainians arriving are coming on an emergency visa, not as refugees.

“Typically, a refugee would come and have a year where they’re financially supported, they would come to a place, have a place to live and have all the supports they would need to get going,” Boychuk said. “That is completely not the case of Ukrainians arriving.”

She said many arrive to an empty home, that’s why they are reaching out to all who are willing to give.

“What we’re trying to do is reduce the poverty when they arrive, and providing them with a mattress, provide them with a couch and a kitchen table,” Boychuk said.

Essentials that hopefully make any new space feel more like home.

Donation hours are Tuesday and Thursday 6 to 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 4 p.m.

For pick-ups and more information call 780-414-1624.

Donations can be dropped off at the warehouse located at 15330 114 Ave NW, Edmonton.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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