'Extremely combative' man tries to disarm Penticton RCMP officer, police say

Penticton RCMP says an “extremely combative” man was apprehended under the Mental Health Act on Saturday.

Police say a local physician called RCMP to apprehend the man and transport him to a hospital for treatment. During the apprehension, RCMP say the man tried to disarm an officer.

“During this call for service, the individual was extremely combative. During the altercation, he kept reaching for the officer’s service pistol, and at one point had full grasp of the handle,” said Penticton RCMP Cst. Dayne Lyons in the press release.

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“Our officer followed and relied upon his training to a ‘T’. At no point did the male un-holster the pistol. The officer was able to keep his pistol secure the entire time.”

Four officers were needed to subdue the man and no one was injured in the altercation.

Police did not say why the physician called RCMP or where in Penticton the incident took place.

“Our officers (as first responders), regardless of where they serve, are called to mental health-related incidences with increasing frequency. We recognize that while police are often engaged, the solution to mental health-related issues requires a greater societal response,” said Lyons.

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

Jif peanut butter products recalled in Canada due to salmonella risk

Some products of peanut butter have been recalled in Canada because of possible salmonella contamination.

American manufacturer J. M. Smucker Co. announced a voluntary safety recall on Saturday of 11 types of Jif products sold in Canada, including creamy, light, crunchy and dark roast creamy peanut butter.

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The company, which is issuing the recall in cooperation with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, said jars with lot codes ranging from 1274425 to 2140425 should be disposed of immediately.

The Canadian recall comes after a salmonella outbreak linked to Jif peanut butter resulted in 14 people falling ill, with two hospitalizations, in the United States.

The U.S. salmonella cases were reported in 12 states, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

Four of five sick people reported eating different types of Jif brand peanut butter before getting sick, the CDC said. So far, no illnesses have been reported in Canada.

The U.S. recall issued Friday includes roughly 50 Jif peanut butter products.

J. M. Smucker Co. said it was coordinating a thorough investigation into the matter in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to determine appropriate steps.

“We apologize for the concern this will create. Please know our number one priority is to deliver safe, quality products to our consumers,” the company said on its website.

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Symptoms of salmonella include fever, bloody diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain, according to the FDA.

In rare cases, salmonella bacterial infection can also cause more severe illnesses, such as arterial infections, endocarditis and arthritis.

The CDC is recommending washing surfaces and containers that may have touched the recalled peanut butter using hot, soapy water.

Consumers who would like to report adverse reactions or who have questions are encouraged to contact Jif.

Last month, several poppy seed products were also recalled in Canada due to possible salmonella contamination.

Fears of salmonella also pulled over 20 Kinder brand chocolate products from store shelves across Canada in April.

— with files from The Canadian Press 

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

Edmonton Oilers expect to be energized by home crowd in Game 3

WATCH ABOVE: Recent news and highlights about the Edmonton Oilers.

Rogers Place should be rowdy Sunday night when the Edmonton Oilers host the Calgary Flames in Game 3 of the playoff series. (630 CHED Face-off Show at 4 p.m., game at 6 p.m.). The series is tied 1-1.

“We know the start is important. I think the crowd should help us out there. Not out to best starts in Calgary. We batted back in both games,” said Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. “Tonight, with the atmosphere and the crowd buzzing, there’s no excuse why we shouldn’t come out flying.”

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The Oilers trailed 3-0 six minutes into Game 1 and 2-0 six minutes into Game 2.

“We want to score the first goal. No one sets out with the game plan to find themselves down early,” said head coach Jay Woodcroft.

“You have to account that the other team does some good stuff, too. For us, it’s just about about making sure we’re bringing a mindset where we want to be on our toes. We don’t want to dip our toe in the water and take the temperature of the game. We know what the temperature of the game is going to be.”

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The Oilers expected lineup is:

Kane – McDavid – Draisaitl

Hyman – Nugent-Hopkins – Puljujarvi

Foegele – McLeod – Yamamoto

Archibald – Ryan – Kassian

Nurse – Ceci

Keith – Bouchard

Kulak – Barrie


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

Train carrying potash derails east of Fort Macleod in southern Alberta

A train carrying potash derailed in southern Alberta Sunday morning.

Fort Macleod RCMP said police and fire crews were called to the derailment east of Fort Macleod at 8:15 a.m. Police said it happened along Highway 3 between Range Road 251 and Range Road 252.

RCMP said the train was heading west when about 43 cars carrying potash derailed.

There are no injuries or concerns to public safety, the RCMP said. CP Rail has also responded to the incident.

“CP personnel have responded to the scene and recovery operations are under way. The cause of the derailment is under investigation,” read a statement from CP Rail.

The RCMP said traffic along Highway 3 is being rerouted to allow crews to work. The detour is expected to last several hours, police said just before 11:30 a.m.

Westbound traffic is being diverted onto the shoulder of Highway 3. The public is asked to avoid the area.

Fort Macleod is located about 45 kilometres west of Lethbridge.

Updated highway reports can be found on 511 Alberta.

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

COVID-19 pandemic 'most certainly not over,' WHO chief says amid declining cases

COVID-19: ‘Far too early to declare victory’ over virus, says WHO secretary-general

The COVID-19 pandemic is “most certainly not over,” the head of the World Health Organization warned Sunday, despite a decline in reported cases since the peak of the omicron wave. He told governments that “we lower our guard at our peril.”

The U.N. health agency’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, told officials gathered in Geneva for opening of the WHO’s annual meeting that “declining testing and sequencing means we are blinding ourselves to the evolution of the virus.” He also noted that almost 1 billion people in lower-income countries still haven’t been vaccinated.

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In a weekly report Thursday on the global situation, WHO said the number of new COVID-19 cases appears to have stabilized after weeks of decline since late March, while the overall number of weekly deaths dropped.

While there has been progress, with 60% of the world’s population vaccinated, “it’s not over anywhere until it’s over everywhere,” Tedros said.

“Reported cases are increasing in almost 70 countries in all regions, and this in a world in which testing rates have plummeted,” he added.

Reported deaths are rising in Africa, the continent with the lowest vaccination coverage, he said, and only 57 countries _ almost all of them wealthy _ have vaccinated 70% of their people.

While the world’s vaccine supply has improved, there is “insufficient political commitment to roll out vaccines” in some countries, gaps in “operational or financial capacity” in others, he said.

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“In all, we see vaccine hesitancy driven by misinformation and disinformation,” Tedros said. “The pandemic will not magically disappear, but we can end it.”

Tedros is expected to be appointed for a second five-year term this week at the World Health Assembly, the annual meeting of the WHO’s member countries.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Omicron COVID-19 variant likely to re-infect 'over and over again,' experts say

WATCH: Infectious diseases expert gives diagnosis on the COVID situation in Canada and previews what the summer could look like ahead of the Victoria Day long weekend.

Although COVID-19 cases are declining across the country, chances of getting re-infected with the virus are still possible — especially from the omicron variant — experts say.

“As long as it’s transmitting in the community, there’s always a possibility,” Stephen Hoption Cann, clinical professor at the University of British Columbia’s school of population and public health, told Global News.

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Getting Omicron more than once also seems more likely than with other variants.

“The Omicron variant, in particular, seems to be one that will re-infect people over and over again,” Kelly McNagny, professor of medical genetics at the University of British Columbia’s school for biomedical engineering, told Global News.

“It’s a little bit more like the common cold virus that tends to infect the upper airways, which is a place where you tend not to develop strong immunity easily.”

Unlike Omicron, other variants of the virus tend to infect someone deeper in the airways, according to McNagny. “I think that gave you a bit more protection,” he said.

Lisa Glover, assistant director of Alberta Health, also says “reinfections have increased since Omicron has become the dominant variant.”

“The risk of reinfection from Omicron is much higher than any other previous variant,” Glover told Global News.

“A major factor that increases the likelihood of reinfection is the waning immunity from a previous infection or not being fully up-to-date with COVID-19 immunization, including additional doses,” she said.

Regardless of the variant, McNagny says being vaccinated will give a higher level of protection against reinfection. Aside from vaccination, bringing back mask mandates could also mean fewer people will be re-infected with the virus.

“That’s pretty clear,” McNagny said. “As soon as we started throwing the masks away, infection rates started going right back up again.”

In places where many public health measures have been removed, COVID-19 transmission rates rebounded, and so have cases of the flu, Canada’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Theresa Tam, told reporters Friday during a virtual news conference.

“Personal protective habits help reduce the spread of COVID-19 as well as other risky transactions during diseases,” she said. “This is a reminder that our efforts are still needed.”

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“Now, because we don’t have masks, you see this huge increase of flu in the population,” Horacio Bach, clinical assistant professor affiliated with the division of infectious diseases at the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine, told Global News.

“Masks are definitely the first line of defence,” Bach said, also noting the return of mask mandates would reduce the likelihood of re-infection. “I’m double-masked everywhere,” he said. “It’s my protection.”

Even celebrities like comedian Jimmy Kimmel have tested positive for the virus more than once.

In a Twitter update on May 17, Kimmel wrote, “I’m such a positive person, I tested positive AGAIN.” But, added that he was “feeling fine.”

Most provinces that responded to Global News including Alberta, Nova Scotia and Quebec were unable to provide reinfection data. Between May 8 to 14 in Ontario, there were 415 re-infection cases of COVID-19 reported in the province.

A spokesperson for the Northwest Territories also confirmed individuals have experienced re-infections there.

“COVID-19 re-infections have been identified during the Omicron wave, with the majority of previous infections having occurred during the Delta wave,” the spokesperson told Global News in an email.

As of May 20, the seven-day average of daily lab-confirmed cases in Canada sits just above 3,564, down more than 60 per cent from the rate seen a month ago.

The number of Canadians seeking treatment in hospital for COVID-19 sits at 4,880 patients, down more than 20 per cent from two weeks ago. That includes 349 people being treated in intensive care units, a number that has now stabilized after falling through the first half of April.

The country is currently experiencing an average of 63 deaths per day. The rate has stayed steady throughout early May after steadily rising over the course of April. However, newly-confirmed COVID-19 cases have brought the national total to over 3.84 million cases and more than 40,600 deaths.

As of May 19, more than 84,952,660 doses of approved COVID-19 vaccines have been administered across Canada.

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So far, nearly 35 million Canadians have received at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, while over 31 million Canadians are vaccinated against COVID-19 with two doses.

Since they were authorized in September 2021, 18,610,469 “booster” doses have been administered, according to available provincial and territorial data, meaning 48.7 per cent of the Canadian population has received three doses.

As of May 19, 90.4 per cent of eligible Canadians aged five and up have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 86.2 per cent are fully vaccinated with two shots. Vaccinations for children aged five to 11 were approved by Health Canada last November.

— With files from Sean Boynton

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

Power still out for some Londoners 24 hours after big storm

Some Londoners are still without power a day after a major thunderstorm swept through the city and southern Ontario.

According to London Hydro’s outage map, there were 52 outages as of early Sunday afternoon, impacting over a dozen neighbourhoods.

Two of the most severe power outages are located downtown, between Adelaide Street North and Egerton Street, and between Central Avenue and Dundas Street.

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Over 1,000 customers are impacted downtown, according to the map.

“Crews have been working through the night, but the core is still impacted,” read a tweet from Ward 13 councillor John Fyfe-Millar.

“Thanks to everyone who lent a helping hand to friends and neighbours. We’re not quite there yet,” the tweet continued.

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Impacted neighbourhoods include Huron Heights, Sharon Creek, Oakridge, Airport, West London, East London, Masonville, North London, Lambeth, Highland, Carling, Woodfield, Old East Village, South London, Glen Cairn, Central London, Hamilton Road and Southcrest.

It’s unclear when power will be restored.

Meanwhile, Londoners are also dealing with fallen trees and street closures.

Across Ontario and Quebec, at least seven people have died as a result of the storm.

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

2 more deaths confirmed following Ontario storm: police

RELATED: Multiple are dead after a severe thunderstorm moved through parts of southern Ontario, with the weather system also hitting the Ottawa area.

Police in Ontario have reported two further deaths after a deadly storm ripped through the province and into Quebec on Saturday.

Ontario Province Police (OPP) reported deaths in Northumberland and Peterborough County as a result of fallen trees caused by the severe thunderstorm.

In a press release, OPP said a 74-year-old woman in Port Hope died after a tree fell on her around 2:11 p.m. on Saturday. The force also confirmed a 64-year-old woman died in North Kawartha Township after she was also struck by a tree.

Both women were pronounced dead at the scene.

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“Members of the public are advised to avoid close proximity to any trees that may have been damaged by the storm, even if there is no visible sign of damage,” OPP said.

The deaths were confirmed after at least four other Ontario fatalities were reported by police.

OPP said a 44-year-old man was killed in Greater Madawaska, west of Ottawa, after reportedly being struck by a falling tree, while police in Ottawa said one person died in the city’s west end but didn’t release any further details.

Pierre Poirier, Ottawa’s paramedic chief, said there have been several “critical injuries” across the city.

“We’ve been very busy,” he said.

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Ontario storm: Brampton woman in her 70s dead after hit by a tree

One person died near Brantford and two others were injured after a tree fell on a trailer, while a woman in her 70s died while out walking in Brampton Saturday afternoon.

The Town of Uxbridge also declared a state of emergency Saturday.

— With files from The Canadian Press

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

1st Canadian rare earth mine starts shipping minerals critical to greener economy

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Canada has begun supplying the world with minerals critical to a greener economy with the country’s first rare earth mine delivering concentrated ore.

“Canada and its allies are gaining independence from the rare earth supply chain from China,” said David Connelly of Cheetah Resources, which owns the Nechalacho Mine southwest of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories.

Rare earths are a series of exotically named elements such as ytterbium, lanthanum and gadolinium. They are crucial to computers, LED displays, wind turbines, electric cars and many other products essential to a low-carbon world.

Some industry analysts predict the rare earth market will grow from $6.8 billion in 2021 to more than $12 billion by 2026.

Almost 60 per cent of the world’s supply of these vital materials is produced in China and much of the rest is owned by Chinese companies. Until now.

“(Nechalacho) is the only rare earths mine in North America that doesn’t supply China,” Connelly said.

The deposit, which holds 15 different rare earth elements, was discovered in 1983. A proposal to develop the mine went before regulators more than a decade ago.

That project involved extensive water use and would have generated large tailings ponds. The N.W.T.’s environmental regulator approved the plan, but noted it would have created significant impacts requiring mitigation.

The new mine uses no water. Instead, raw ore is crushed to gravel-sized pieces and run past a sensor.

“It’s a big X-ray machine on a conveyor belt and it separates the white quartz from the much heavier and denser rare earth ore,” Connelly said.

That concentrate is then barged down Great Slave Lake to Hay River, N.W.T. From there, rail links take it to Saskatoon, where Vital Metals, the company that owns Cheetah, has built a facility to refine the concentrate for market.It’s also where the provincial government is developing a rare earth refining and research hub. The first shipments are on their way and expected in June.

Nechalacho’s refined product is going to a customer in Norway, where the individual minerals will be separated from each other and processed into metallic bars.

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By 2025, Nechalacho hopes to be producing 25,000 tonnes of concentrate a year. There’s enough ore there for decades to come, Connelly said.

“It’s multiple generations.”

At full production, Connelly said the mine is to employ about 150 people in the N.W.T. and another 40 in Saskatoon. Those aren’t huge numbers in mining, but Connelly said they will make a big difference to the northern economy because most of the workers will be based there.

More than 40 of the mine’s current 50 employees live in the North, said Connelly. About 70 per cent are Indigenous and Cheetah has contracted with the Yellowknives Dene First Nation to conduct the actual mining on the site.

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Eventually, said Connelly, Cheetah hopes to work out an equity share for Indigenous groups in the area.

But Nechalacho isn’t just important to the N.W.T., Connelly said.

A domestic source for minerals vital to electric motors would help preserve the country’s auto sector, he said. It would make it easier for Canada to achieve its climate goals and increase national security by providing a secure source of crucial materials, he added.

Canada has 13 active rare earth projects, the federal government says. Most are in Saskatchewan and Quebec, where the only other mine near production _ the Kipawa project, owned by the same Australian company that owns Cheetah _ is located.

“Canada has some of the largest known reserves and resources (measured and indicated) of rare earths in the world,” says a document from Natural Resources Canada.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 22, 2022.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

Motorcycle driver killed in Nova Scotia crash near Englishtown

A Sydney, N.S., man has died following a collision near Englishtown on Saturday.

RCMP said they were called to the scene on Hwy. 105 on Kelly’s Mountain at around 4:45 p.m.

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Local fire and EHS also responded to the collision, which was between a car and motorcycle.

The motorcyclist — a 53-year-old man — was pronounced dead at the scene.

“The four occupants of the car did not appear injured,” RCMP said in a news release.

The section of highway was closed for several hours as officers investigated the cause of the crash.

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

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