Saskatchewan Roughriders top Winnipeg Blue Bombers in CFL pre-season finale

Trevor Harris made a brief – but perfect appearance for the Saskatchewan Roughriders as the visitors downed the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 28-16 in pre-season action Friday night.

The new Roughriders quarterback guided the offence on its first possession to a nine-play, 83-yard TD drive that ended with a Derel Walker five-yard touchdown catch at 7:46.

The big free-agent acquisition completed all four of his pass attempts for 72 yards and then made way for Mason Fine.

Saskatchewan played most of its projected starters, while the Blue Bombers sat key players on both sides of the ball and it showed in front of a crowd of 24,654 at IG Field.

Winnipeg starting quarterback Zach Collaros didn’t play, while receivers Dalton Schoen and Nic Demski also missed the contest.

On defence, Bombers defensive back Deatrick Nichols was absent, defensive lineman Jackson Jeffcoat is injured and middle linebacker Adam Bighill hasn’t practised during training camp.

Saskatchewan led 6-0 after the first quarter, 15-3 at halftime and 21-9 after the third.

Fine threw a five-yard TD pass to Kalija Lipscomb late in the second quarter. The backup QB ended the night 9-of-13 passing for 86 yards.

Roughriders veteran placekicker Brett Lauther had a rough first half, missing two converts and a field goal, but he made up for it by connecting on kicks from 51, 32 and 33 yards.

Bombers placekicker Sergio Castillo hit a 29-yard field goal at 1:38 of the second quarter.

Dru Brown started for Winnipeg at quarterback and was replaced by Tyrrell Pigrome in the third quarter. Brown completed eight of 15 pass attempts for 69 yards.

Pigrome, who’s fighting for the third quarterback spot, showed his scrambling strength again and guided the Bombers to two TDs.

The Alabama native engineered a nine-play, 70-drive capped by a five-yard TD catch by Amare Jones at 9:25 of the third. Chandler Staton missed the convert and Saskatchewan’s lead was cut in half to 18-9.
Pigrome also handed off the ball to Jordan Salima, who ran four yards untouched into the end zone at 1:40 of the fourth. Marc Liegghio’s convert made it 21-16.

Pigrome then made way for Josh Jones and finished 5-of-6 passing for 65 yards, along with five carries for 43 yards.

Saskatchewan short-yardage quarterback Shea Patterson plunged in for a one-yard TD with 4:10 left in the fourth. David Solie made the convert for the 28-16 lead.

NOTES: The Bombers were auditioning three punters, including returnee Liegghio and global players Jamieson Sheahan and Karl Schmitz … Bombers defensive back Matt Cole showed some fleet feet, returning a missed Roughriders’ kick 64 yards. The rookie out of Illinois also took a kickoff 20 yards until a Winnipeg illegal block penalty called it back.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

Hamilton Tiger-Cats drop CFL pre-season finale in Montreal

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats wrapped up the CFL pre-season Friday night with a 25-22 loss against the Alouettes in Montreal.

Ticats quarterback Matthew Shiltz suited up for the first half and completed 10 of his 16 pass attempts for 162 yards and two touchdowns and added one run for 51 yards, which set up an 18-yard field by Jonathan Garibay just over three minutes into the contest.

QB Cody Fajardo played well in his first game with Montreal, going 7-for-14 for 77 passing yards and tossed a 3-yard touchdown to receiver Kaion Julien-Grant to give the Alouettes a 7-3 lead in the opening quarter.

After Hamilton’s Blake Hayes booted a punt single, Shiltz connected with receiver Richie Sindani on a 10-yard TD and then threw a 21-yard touchdown to Terry Godwin as the Cats grabbed an 18-13 lead late in the first half.

Two field goals by David Cote from 45 and 38 yards, and a  three-yard touchdown run by running back Walter Fletcher put the Alouettes back on top, 19-18 at the half.

Ticats punter Bailey Flint earned a single point with under a minute to play in the third quarter, the only scoring in that period.

Two field goals pushed the Alouettes to a 25-19 lead early in the fourth quarter before Ticats kicker Ethan Ratke split the uprights from 43-yards out to make it a three-point game again with just under five minutes remaining.

Backup QB Taylor Powell played the second half for Hamilton and went 9-for-15 for 122 yards and one interception while running back Tayon Fleet-Davis rushed a game-high seven times for 25 yards.

The Tiger-Cats will begin the regular season on June 9 in Winnipeg.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

'Genuinely stressed': Gibsons mayor wants B.C.'s help as Sunshine Coast prepares for drought

With residents of the Sunshine Coast under water-use restrictions once more, the mayor of the Town of Gibsons has penned a letter to the B.C. government, calling for aid in anticipation of drought conditions.

Silas White wants the province to clear some of the red tape that’s currently slowing down efforts by the Sunshine Coast Regional District to bolster its water supply this season, easing the pressure on its primary source, the Chapman watershed.

Last year, that watershed “completely dried up” under Stage 3 and 4 water restrictions, which are classified as “acute” and “severe” measures needed to preserve drinking water.

“Our annual water restrictions have only just begun and many Coast residents are genuinely stressed by the prospect of our community running out of water this summer,” reads the May 31 letter to Premier David Eby, several cabinet ministers, and local First Nations and municipal leaders.

“My primary reason for writing you is to share with you this significant mental health and social phenomenon that has become absolutely real in our community, because it does not show up in our water license applications or technical reports.”

Stage 1 water restrictions, which primarily limit plant and vehicle-watering, took effect in the Sunshine Coast Regional District on May 1.

White’s letter asks the province to “immediately” approve an amendment that would lower the designated environmental flow needs of Chapman Creek, which feeds the Chapman Water System, and green-light a final license for Church Road Well, which could add up to three million litres of water per day to the Chapman system once construction is complete.

The letter also asks the B.C. government to approve, without delay, the district’s request to siphon the Chapman and Edwards lakes this year and next year during Stage 4 water restrictions, should the need arise.

“We just had an unprecedented May in terms of how dry and hot it was, and I think we can all only reasonably anticipate that we’ll be in a water crisis again,” White told Global News.

“Certainly last year, when there was a state local emergency, the Town of Gibsons had to supply water to the rest of the Sunshine Coast because we’re on an aquifer system that does have sustainable water. Unfortunately, the rest of the coast is largely reliant on a system from Chapman Creek.”

In an emailed statement, B.C.’s Ministry of Forests confirmed it has received the mayor’s letter.

“We empathize with the concerns outlined by the mayor; the drought that persisted last year was hard on many communities in the province, and water availability is a very serious issue. We are reviewing the details in the letter and will respond as soon as possible,” it wrote.

White said the letter is an effort to be proactive and avoid the “panic” of requests and applications the moment an emergency hits.

“In the kind of trends we’re seeing in climate change, it would be so much better for everyone involved — especially residents of the Sunshine Coast, especially staff from our local government — to to be able to know that we have those approvals going into the summer,” he explained.

The letter thanks the province for its support last summer, and White said he didn’t think the province “was putting up roadblocks or anything,” there just hasn’t been a strong enough political push to prioritize and recognize the severity of region’s water challenges.

Longtime Gibsons resident Sa Boothroyd told Global News that the Sunshine Coast’s water crisis has become a “constant.”

“Whereas before, we used to have water restrictions ever three or four years,” she said in an interview. “It hasn’t hurt us, we have a brown lawn … I think people who have lived here for a long time are apprehensive, because we’re getting used to it getting worse and worse.”

Boothroyd said residents further up the coast, such as in Sechelt, likely have more anxiety about possible water shortages, without the aquifer to fall back on.

White said municipalities and First Nations in the district have collaborated on projects that will help prepare them, and he hopes the province will help them cross the finish line quickly.

— with files from Paul Johnson 

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

'Going to make the situation worse': B.C. mayor pushes back on housing targets

WATCH: Some mayors are speaking out and expressing their concerns about the B.C. government's new housing initiative, that will give municipalities targets for new housing. As Richard Zussman reports, they're worried about the extra infrastructure that will be needed.

A B.C. mayor is pushing back against the province after being “given housing targets” to fast-track more homes within the municipality.

District of North Vancouver Mayor Mike Little said transportation infrastructure needs to be addressed before the municipality focuses on building new homes.

“We are seeing on a daily basis traffic congestion. It’s long lineups to the North Shore and long lineups back off the North Shore. That challenge is seven days a week,” he told Global News.

“Any time we talk about growth in our community it has to be connected to investments in infrastructure — both in transit and in transportation, like an upgrade to the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge.”

On Wednesday, the B.C. government gave 10 municipalities “housing targets.”

Those chosen have the most significant housing needs and the highest projected population growth, according to the province.

Little said he has told the province about his concerns, especially centred around traffic congestion issues that have plagued the area for years.

“We do have a commitment from them to sit down and talk to us about it,” he said.

“I just don’t think we can have those conversations unless we have commitments to transit and bridge infrastructure improvements along the way.

“It is probably going to make the situation worse.”

The mayor said if the housing targets were more focused on affordable housing it could possibly help their traffic issues, as it could remove workers from their commute routes, but he said because it is not, it could be “disastrous for our community.”

All of the communities on this list have to prepare a five-year plan for growth that will be presented to the province.

The selected municipalities are:

  • City of Abbotsford
  • City of Delta
  • City of Kamloops
  • District of North Vancouver
  • District of Oak Bay
  • City of Port Moody
  • District of Saanich
  • City of Vancouver
  • City of Victoria
  • District of West Vancouver

B.C.’s Minister of Housing Ravi Kahlon said if those municipalities show signs of not meeting their given targets, the province could step in.

The housing targets will be set after consultations over the summer and the progress of municipalities will be assessed after six months.

“For those communities that are having challenges after six months, we have the ability to bring in an independent advisor who will help find where the barriers may be and help them make progress,” Kahlon said.

“If we find that that progress isn’t being made, then we have the ability as a province to step in and make the decisions we believe are necessary to ensure affordable housing in communities.”

The Housing Supply Act gives the province the ability to set housing targets in municipalities, which will help “encourage” them to “address local barriers to construction” so that housing can be built faster, the province said.

The Housing Supply Act is part of the province’s Homes for People action plan.

The province also announced amendments to end strata bylaws restricting owners from renting their units and to limit adult-only age restrictions in certain buildings, except seniors’ housing.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Suspect in B.C. Walmart stabbing found not guilty, despite being filmed on body camera

A Campbell River, B.C., man says the justice system failed him, after the person accused of stabbing him was acquitted. As Kylie Stanton reports, the violent encounter was caught on video, but that was not enough for a conviction.

A security guard who was stabbed by a man inside a Campbell River, B.C., Walmart in December 2021, is speaking out after the suspect was found not guilty on all counts – despite the incident being caught on body camera.

“I thought I was going to die,” Ron Beaven told Global News. “I could feel it.

Beaven and his wife were both working as security guards at the store when a man who had been banned from the store for threatening the couple on a regular basis, walked in.

“I got a call from on the radio from my wife saying this guy had threatened her with a knife,” Beaven said. “So, I said, ‘Back away, I’m on my way.'”

From there Beaven confronted the suspect and an altercation ensued with the entire event being captured on Beaven’s wife’s body-worn camera.

The suspect stabbed Beaven.

“He got me three times in the main artery, two over here and right up here,” he said pointing to his arm and shoulder.

“Blood was pouring out of my coat.”

As people rushed to Beaven’s aid, the suspect walked out of the store.

Later that day, the suspect was found and charged with assault with a weapon, aggravated assault and robbery.

The case went to trial in October but despite the entire incident being captured on video, the Beavens learned a judge ruled the suspect was not guilty on all counts.

“It was shocking,” Beaven said. “It was just like somebody came and stabbed me all over again or just let the air out of both of us.”

Global News was not in the court but the couple said the judge concluded that since the man could not be properly identified, there was enough reasonable doubt to acquit him.

“It was an attempted murder,” Beaven said.

His wife Leanne said the whole incident was just so surreal. “The justice system has big time failed us,” she added.

The couple no longer works at Walmart but wanted to speak out to help heal and move past what happened.

“And we’ll get through it, but it’s not fair and just,” Beaven said.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

WATCH: Global News Hour at 6 - June 2

What witnesses saw as an ultralight plane went down in Surrey Friday afternoon and the pilot's condition. A Campbell River man says the justice system failed him after the person accused of stabbing him was acquitted. And how B.C.'s e-bike incentive program was a victim of its own success.

What a witness saw as an ultralight plane went down in Surrey on Friday afternoon and the pilot’s condition. A Campbell River man says the justice system failed him after the person accused of stabbing him was acquitted. And how B.C.’s e-bike incentive program was a victim of its own success.

Click here to view more Global BC videos.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

1 wildfire in northeast B.C. has burned nearly twice as much land as entire 2022 season

Matthew MacDonald of BC Wildfire Services gives us an update on the fire situation in B.C.

A single wildfire in British Columbia’s northeast has already burned through more forest than the entire 2022 B.C. wildfire season.

Speaking with Global News Morning BC, BC Wildfire Service lead forecaster Matt MacDonald said the Donnie Creek fire has now scorched more than 231,000 hectares of land.

In comparison, B.C.’s admittedly milder 2022 season saw 135,235 hectares burned provincewide.

The Donnie Creek wildfire is burning about 136 kilometres southeast of Fort Nelson. It has prompted a state of local emergency along with an evacuation order.

“It remains out of control, unfortunately, and it’s a massive fire,” MacDonald said, adding that a soaking of about 40 millimetres of rain late last month did nothing to slow it down.

“It speaks to how dry the fuels are in the northeast corner of the province.”

As of Friday, there were 54 active fires across B.C., with the province’s northeast — including the Prince George fire centre and the Peace Region — remaining the area of greatest concern.

However, he said the wildfire service has “serious concerns” about the fire risk provincewide this summer, owing to the lingering drought conditions from last year and a relatively dry spring so far.

May and June rains typically determine how severe the province’s wildfire seasons are. May has already been unusually dry, and the first weeks of June are shaping up to be similarly parched, MacDonald said.

Staff with the wildfire service are anxiously watching to see what follows the latest ridge of high pressure come mid-month.

“The crews who have boots on the ground and are seeing the conditions on the landscape that are just exceedingly dry for this time of year,” he said.


© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Alberta ranchers and farmers set record realized net income in 2022

WATCH: Last year had its share of challenges in the agriculture and agri-food sector as high prices on hay, fertilizer and fuel drove up operating costs. But, according to a recent ATB report, despite it all, Alberta farmers and ranchers still managed to come out ahead.

After nearly 40 years in the field, Dave Bishop is well acquainted with the economic ups and downs of farming.

“Everything is very variable and that’s why our margins are so thin — because we never know usually what our input costs are going to be and then what we’re going to get for our crop,” said Bishop.

As his new crop sprouts, a recent report from ATB is highlighting an all-time-high performance for Alberta’s Ag and food industry.

According to Rob Roach, ATB deputy chief economist, realized net income increased 2.6 per cent in 2022 to reach an all-time high of $3.3 billion – despite expenses rising nearly 25 per cent, to $16.6 billion, and depreciation charges up 9.5 per cent to $2.4 billion.

Alberta agriculture 2022 income report.

Alberta agriculture 2022 income report.

Rob Roach, ATB Economics

“We had record income, record expenses, fertilizer, fuel, things that farmers need were also higher, but you put the two together and luckily it did have that record level of net income,” said Roach.

“That’s a huge thing to try and offset, but the volume of the yields that were coming out of the fields – more crops were able to be grown. We had a pretty good summer weather-wise last year and that combined with record high comodity prices (which) meant revenues were even bigger than the expense side,” said Trevor Lewington, CEO of economic development Lethbridge, who said these figures prove there are growing opportunities in the region.

“If you’re in the business of food no matter where you participate, you should be here, you should be southern Alberta,” said Lewington.

It was a different story nationally as the realized net income dropped by 9.5 per cent in 2022.

Roach attributes that to the industry coming off a high year in 2021, adding that Alberta’s gain is due to the balanced crop and livestock industry.

“That’s a provincial total, so it’s good, but it doesn’t mean every individual farmer necessarily did well,” said Roach.

To maintain his business, Bishop takes a 5-10 year average of gains and losses to see how his farm is performing.

Looking into 2023, the ATB report expects commodity prices and expenses to come down, but Bishop expects farmers will need an above-average crop if they’re to see another strong return.

“If it stays dry like it has been, we’re probably looking at a loss year overall,” said Bishop.

That means the 2023 harvest year is a game of wait-and-see, for now.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Kelowna’s Sails, hospital lit up in purple for ALS Awareness Month

WATCH: Kelowna's popular Sails sculpture was lit in purple on Thursday evening for ALS awareness.

One of the Okanagan’s best-known landmarks is being lit up in purple.

The province has declared June as ALS Awareness Month, and the Sails in downtown Kelowna, B.C., is being bathed in purple lights to show support.

ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a fatal neurological disease that progressively paralyzes people because the brain is no longer able to communicate with the body’s muscles.

ALS Canada says over time, the body’s muscles break down, with the person eventually losing the ability to walk, talk, eat, swallow and, eventually, breathe.

The Sails, along with Kelowna General Hospital, was lit up in purple on Thursday. The two locations will also be lit up in purple on Friday.

Currently, more than 400 B.C. residents are living with ALS, for which there is no known cure.

More information about ALS, including how to donate, is available on the ALS Canada website.


© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Getaway vehicle, social media profile used in robberies, thefts lead to Calgary arrests

Calgary police have arrested a pair of people they believe were responsible for a series of robberies and thefts. Police said all the incidents occurred during “buy-and-sell transactions” for electronics that were advertised online.

Police believe a dozen robberies and thefts happened between April 23 and May 29 after multiple sellers posted iPhones for sale online. Investigators believe multiple suspects were using the same Facebook profile with the name “Chris Luma” to pose as a prospective buyer.

Police received multiple reports containing similar descriptions of a getaway vehicle during the incidents and investigators determined two suspects were involved.

On May 29, police executed a search warrant at a home on the 100 block of Cedardale Road S.W., where they found stolen electronics, stolen licence plates and arrested one suspect.

Deng Amag, 18, was charged with robbery, theft under $5,000, trafficking stolen property and multiple breaches of court orders. Amag is due to appear in court on June 9.

Also on May 29, a search warrant was executed in the 4400 block of Richardson Way S.W., resulting in the arrest of a 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named under the Youth Criminal Justice Act. The 15-year-old faces charges of robbery and theft under $5,000. He is due to appear in court on June 16.

Police encourage anyone who becomes the victim of a theft or robbery during a buy-and-sell transaction to immediately report the incident to police, so evidence can be gathered and investigated quickly. Crimes can be reported to the CPS non-emergency line at 403-266-1234 or by calling 911 for crimes in progress.

The CPS also shared some safety tips when engaging in transactions that began online:

  • Be cautious of selling to online profiles that have recently been created, and that have few, if any, personal photos or “friends.”
  • Always meet in a public place where there is CCTV coverage, such as a coffee shop or a police district parking lot. Consider taking someone along with you. Refrain from going to a stranger’s house to deliver items or arranging to meet at your own residence.
  • Request an e-transfer as payment, instead of cash. This will usually act as a deterrent for potential thieves, as the transaction can be documented.
  • Don’t factory reset your phone until the sale has been completed. (If the phone is stolen, you can track it with “Find My App.”)
  • Stay alert and observe your surroundings. If something feels wrong (like an overly nervous buyer), back away from the sale.
  • Always report suspicious people, behaviour or crimes in progress to law enforcement by calling 9-1-1.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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