Six stories in the news for Tuesday, Jan. 2
CREATE NEW BORDER AGENCY WATCHDOG: REPORT
The Trudeau government should create a new watchdog to handle public complaints about the Canada Border Services Agency, says a federally commissioned report prepared for Public Safety Canada. It also recommends the proposed body be able to look into trends and any systemic problems at the border agency. The new watchdog, the Canada Law Enforcement Review Commission, would scrutinize both the border agency and the RCMP, given the frequent overlap between the two enforcement organizations.
POWER RESTORATION CONTINUES IN B.C.
About 800 customers were still without power early Tuesday as crews worked to restore electricity after ice storms swept through British Columbia’s Fraser Valley. For some residents, Monday was their fourth day without electricity, after freezing rain left thick layers of ice in the hardest hit areas of Abbotsford, Mission and Chilliwack. BC Hydro spokeswoman Tanya Fish says 450 field workers have been working around the clock and have restored power for more than 159,000 customers since the storms hit Thursday and Friday.
EAST COAST BRACES FOR ANOTHER STORM
Canada’s east coast appears to be in the crosshairs of another storm. Environment Canada says a “significant winter storm” is expected to barrel into New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and P.E.I. on Thursday, with snow and blowing snow likely to be accompanied by strong and possibly damaging winds. Atlantic Canada was blasted by back-to-back storms around the Christmas break, which caused widespread blackouts in Nova Scotia.
CANADIAN AMONG VICTIMS OF SEAPLANE CRASH
A pilot with dual Canadian-Australian citizenship was killed in Australia on New Year’s Eve in a seaplane crash that also claimed the lives of a prominent British businessman and his family. Tour company Sydney Seaplanes says Gareth Morgan was an “extremely experienced pilot” with more than 10,000 hours of flight time. Officials have not speculated on a case of the crash, saying the de Havilland Beaver remains largely intact and will be raised this week.
SOCIAL WORKER PUSHES FOR ‘ALEX ALERTS’
A B.C. social worker, who unsuccessfully tried to prevent an untreated diabetic boy from being returned to his parents’ home, is running into a bureaucratic wall in trying to create a safety net to protect future at-risk children. Patricia MacDonald had begged the judge not to return Alex Radita to his family. Emil and Rodica Radita were found guilty nearly a year ago in Calgary of first-degree murder of the 15-year-old, who weighed just 37 pounds when he died in 2013.
PLAYOFFS BEGIN TODAY AT WORLD JUNIORS
Canada takes on Switzerland today in quarterfinal action at the world junior hockey championship in Buffalo, N.Y. The Canadians ended the preliminary round action atop Group A at 3-0-1. The Swiss head coach says he expects Canada to easily beat his team today — a comment Canadian captain Dillon Dube shrugs off as reverse psychology.