Manitoba boy awarded for saving 10-year-old brother from drowning

A Manitoba boy who saved his younger brother from being swept away by the Ruby River near Kenville in 2021 has been honoured by the Lifesaving Society.

Deegan Campbell received the Rescue Commendation Award on Thursday for his heroics in saving his 10-year-old brother, Atticus, from being pulled under a strong current in June 2021.

“The award recognizes individuals who acted with resourcefulness and courage to aid an individual in distress in a water-related rescue,” the Lifesaving Society, said in a release.

Deegan said he was swimming in the river with Atticus and the currents were higher than normal.

“While we were swimming, my brother got swept away, down the river a little bit. And I didn’t really notice at all until I heard him yelling out.

Deegan’s brother was holding on to a part of a partially made beaver dam which slowed him down a little bit.

“That allowed me to get to him,” he recalled. “I was trying to get to shore, but because of currents and stuff, it swept us down the river a little bit more.”

Deegan ended up going fully underwater and Atticus began to push him underneath.

“My brother was already through water and underwater. He was frantic. So because he was panicking, he pushed me down underneath the water.”

Eventually, Deegan said he was able to hold his breath and resurface.

“Then I just kind of crawl on the river floor, whatever you want to call it, with my brother on my back.”

It was an intense moment for everyone involved and Deegan is being commended for his quick thinking. He advised anyone who may find themselves in a similar situation to remain calm.

“Try to focus and try to assess what’s the best way to get them safe.”

Deegan’s mom Keziah was at home during the incident and his dad was at the river with him and Atticus.

When asked about her son’s heroic action she said, “I thank God today that he was there.” She also explained how quickly the water levels can change.

“We were there, I think, a weekend before and there was hardly any water. The kids barely had enough to actually swim in.”

“But then, days before the kids went back with my husband, it had rained. So then the river kind of went up a little bit. And then that’s what made the strong current. You never know what the river is going to do.”

Deegan was among one of 17 Manitobans recognized recently for their quick thinking and skillful response.

And the Lifesaving Society said drowning remains the third-leading cause of unintended death in the province.

“It’s just a kind of weird feeling knowing that if it wasn’t for me, he maybe wouldn’t be here.”

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

Scholars call for independent inquiry into sports in Canada

WATCH: Scholars from across Canada and around the world are calling for an independent inquiry into sport in Canada and abuse. Megan King reports.

Canadian and international scholars have written a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, calling for an independent inquiry into sports in Canada.

“There needs to be something that digs deeper and looks more at the preventative side of things,” says Western University professor Mac Ross.

Ross spearheaded the Scholars Against Abuse in Canadian Sport letter, saying Canadian athletes deserve better.

“We have human rights experts, law experts, board experts, sociologists, historians. People looking at this through different lenses than the government might be, and coming to very different conclusions obviously than the government has.”

He says it was important to bring all those voices together and put them shoulder to shoulder with the survivors.

“We’re not lacking reasons or examples as to why this is important right now,” says sports sociologist Cheryl MacDonald.

The letter was signed by 91 individuals from 47 institutions.

It outlines how the Office of the Sport Integrity Commissioner (OSIC) is failing athletes who are being mistreated.

“The government must appoint a third party to conduct a proper, thorough, trauma-sensitive investigation into the systemic failure of the nation’s sport system,” reads the letter.

Ross says it’s important to have an independent judicial inquiry that can dig in and tease out some of the more complicated matters that he does not think OSIC would be able to do.

“Perhaps they’re a little bit too close at the moment, and in this specific case, maybe it’s time to branch out a little more and get a different perspective,” MacDonald says.

Ross says the aim of the investigation must be to prevent, rather than simply respond, to the abuse.

While there hasn’t been a direct response from Prime Minister Trudeau, other MPs have reached out to Ross to voice their support.

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

Man in life-threatening condition after Toronto stabbing, police say

Police are investigating after a stabbing was reported in Toronto on Sunday afternoon.

In a tweet, Toronto police said they were called to the area of Sherbourne and Dundas streets for reports a man had been stabbed.

Officers arrived at the scene to find a man with multiple stab wounds. Police said he was cared for by Toronto paramedics and that the victim had life-threatening injuries.

One person was in custody by the time police tweeted about the incident around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

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

Edmontonians partake in Polar Plunge Special Olympics fundraiser

Over 200 Edmontonians took part in the Polar Plunge on Sunday to raise funds for Special Olympics athletes across the province.

In Edmonton, police officers, professional athletes and community members plunged into the frigid waters of Lake Summerside.

The plunge, which started in Lethbridge in 2012, hasn’t taken place in person since 2019. This year marks the 12th anniversary of the event which is part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run organization — “the largest public awareness and grassroots fundraising organization for Special Olympics globally,” according to Special Olympics Alberta.

This year, the hundreds of plungers have raised over $100,000, said Const. Amanda Trenchard, who is also a coach.

She said it’s good to be back and see people you haven’t seen in three years after spending two years doing the plunge virtually.

“It’s just so cool to be here and for such a good cause – the athletes are so excited to be back,” she said.

All the money raised goes towards the athletes to help them compete in their sport, including low-cost programming, said Sue Gilchrist, Special Olympics Alberta CEO.

“This is a community event — it only works if the community is behind it,” she said. “The community is behind Special Olympics and we see that loud and clear today, it’s fantastic.”

As for the cold plunge? It hurts, she admits, but it’s worth it.

“Our athletes, they put everything on the line. They give so much when they compete. They give so much when they practice. This is a small, small, small price to pay for all the effort they put into being the best athletes they can be.”

The athletes will be competing next month in Strathcona County. For more information on plunges across the province or how to donate, visit the Special Olympics Alberta website.

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

Police investigate hit-and-run in Toronto's Thorncliffe area

Police are investigating after a hit-and-run was reported in Toronto on Sunday afternoon.

In a tweet, Toronto police said they were called to the area of Overlea Boulevard and Thorncliffe Park Drive, by East York Town Centre, for reports of a collision at around 3 p.m.

Police said a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle, before the driver fled the scene.

Toronto paramedics told Global News a woman had sustained non-life-threatening injuries as a result of the incident.

Police told the public to expect delays in the area immediately after the collision was reported.

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

B.C. transfers 20,000 hectares of land back to Lake Babine Nation

The B.C. government and Lake Babine Nation have taken steps together to recognize and implement the Nation’s rights and title by signing a new land transfer agreement on Friday.

The agreement will give Lake Babine Nation control of 20,000 hectares of waterfront and forestry lands inside its territory.

Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, joined Lake Babine Nation Chief Murphy Abraham to sign the Lake Babine Nation Lands Transfer Agreement.

Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, joined Lake Babine Nation Chief Murphy Abraham to sign the Lake Babine Nation Lands Transfer Agreement.

B.C. government

”It’s a show of commitment for many more lands to come thereafter because Lake Babine has just over one million hectares of land within our traditional territory and you know, this is just a first step towards getting more lands back,” Chief Murphy Abraham told Global News.

“This is just the beginning. Our ancestors fought hard to protect our territory, and the land transfer agreement is the first step in bringing these lands back to Lake Babine’s control and decision-making.”

The land transfer will enable the Lake Babine Nation to expand its forestry business and drive economic opportunity in the regional economy, according to the government.

A Foundation Agreement was signed by Canada, Lake Babine Nation and the province in September 2020.

The agreement is being used as a roadmap for reconciliation, providing a step-by-step guide for how the Nation and the provincial and federal governments will work together in a phased approach to implement self-governance, title and other rights in Lake Babine, boost economic development, collaborate on major land and resource decisions, and promote community health and well-being.

“The signing of the Lake Babine Lands Transfer Agreement is a significant step toward the implementation of Lake Babine Nation’s Aboriginal title — a key objective of the historic Foundation Agreement,” said Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation.

“Through the Foundation Agreement, we are moving into a new relationship that fosters transformative change toward self-government, makes a real difference on the ground for Lake Babine Nation members, and brings stability and prosperity to everyone in the region.”

In 2021, the province accelerated payments of $22 million to Lake Babine Nation under the Foundation Agreement to help with economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well.

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

4 arrested after armed attempt to enter Mississauga, Ont. business, police say

Police have arrested four people, including three teenagers, after they allegedly attempted to enter a business in Mississauga, Ont., with a handgun.

The local police chief is using the incident as an example of why he believes bail reform is needed, noting two of those charged had failed to adhere to their bail conditions.

Peel Regional Police said officers were called to a business in the area of Clarkson Road and Lakeshore Road around 3 p.m. on Sunday.

It is alleged that three people approached the business, while a fourth person stayed in their vehicle. One brandished a handgun and tried to get inside but failed to do so, according to police.

Shortly after, the four fled the scene in a car that police said was stolen.

“An 11 Division patrol officer was in the area and observed the suspect vehicle,” police said in a Sunday media release.

“Together with other patrol officers from 11 Division, they collaborated in stopping the vehicle and arrested all four suspects.”

Inside the vehicle, police said they found a loaded handgun with 10 rounds of ammunition.

Police arrested 20-year-old Taejuan Johnson-Pinnock, 19-year-old Michael Hilaire, and two 17-year-olds who can’t be named due to the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

“This violent incident was avoidable,” Peel police chief Nishan Duraiappah said.

“Two of the arrested in this incident failed to adhere to the conditions of their release on previous charges. This is why we must pursue bail reform. Real change is needed to keep our community and our officers safe.”

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

No 'elevated risk' of stroke from Pfizer's bivalent COVID shot, Health Canada says

For more than three years the world has been faced with the reality of COVID-19. The World Health Organization has been referring to the situation as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. Today members of the Covid-19 emergency committee met to discuss if the current situation is still one of Global Concern. Katherine Ward reports on what a change in designation could mean.

Recent data from one U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) database has detected a potential stroke risk link in older adults who received an updated Pfizer COVID-19 bivalent shot. However, according to Health Canada (HC) there is currently “no indication” connecting mRNA bivalent vaccines with ischemic strokes.

Ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke, according to Health Canada’s website. It involves a sudden loss of brain function triggered by a sudden brain blood vessel blockage. This can be caused by a variety of reasons, including smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and high blood cholesterol.

Although Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) “are aware” of the recent announcement on the “possible preliminary COVID-19 vaccine safety signal between the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent COVID-19 vaccine and strokes in people aged 65 and over,” the agency pointed out that “at this time, the CDC is not recommending any changes to vaccination practices.”

In an emailed statement to Global News on Friday, the agency said that as of Jan. 1, over seven million mRNA bivalent vaccines have been administered in Canada but to date, PHAC or HC “have not observed an elevated risk or any signals for thromboembolic events or vascular events” after the administration of these vaccines.

The statement added that the possible link between bivalent Pfizer shots and strokes in older adults has not been observed by any other international regulatory services to date, either.

“Health Canada and PHAC continue to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines approved in Canada to ensure that their benefits continue to outweigh their risks, as is done for all approved vaccines in Canada,” it read.

As the CDC and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continue to investigate whether there is an association between ischemic stroke and the Pfizer bivalent vaccine for older adults, U.S. health officials on Thursday said that the signal is weaker than what the CDC had flagged earlier in January.

U.S. FDA officials said they had not detected a link between the shots and strokes in two other safety monitoring databases.

In Canada, less than five reports of ischemic stroke have been submitted to PHAC and HC to date following receipt of an mRNA bivalent vaccine, the email from Canada’s health agency said, and of those, “only one followed the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent vaccine” that was for “an individual aged 65 years or older.”

“Currently, in Canada, available data shows that there is no indication of a signal related to ischemic stroke and mRNA bivalent vaccines,” it said.

“Although a preliminary signal has been identified by the CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink surveillance system, it was not identified by their complementary Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System,” the agency further clarified in the email.

“The sharing of information of these reports demonstrates that the global post-market monitoring system for vaccines is working.”

The agency assured that Canada has a “robust vaccine safety surveillance system in place that engages healthcare professionals, vaccine manufacturers, and the provincial and territorial health authorities.”

“As safety issues are investigated,” Health Canada will take “appropriate action as needed,” it said.

Since the beginning of the pandemic emergency nearly three years ago, over 50,000 Canadians have died after contracting COVID-19, PHAC confirmed last week.

As of then, the death toll sat at 50,135.

Quebec, which is the only province that still reports COVID-19 data daily, has seen the most confirmed deaths of any jurisdiction with 17,865 fatalities to date. Ontario has the second-highest provincial death toll as of Jan. 20, which sits at 15,786, followed by Alberta at 5,470 deaths as of Jan 18.

— with files from Global News’ Aaron D’Andrea and Sean Boynton

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

Off-roaders rescued Sunday morning after overnight search in Lake Country, B.C.

Off-roaders were brought to safety Sunday morning after an overnight search by Central Okanagan Search and Rescue near Dee Lake Forest Service Road in Lake Country.

The off-roaders were reported missing Saturday night after two jeeps had gone for a drive. RCMP attempted to locate them but were unsuccessful.

COSAR says that at first light, the RCMP dispatched a helicopter and activated search and rescue to assist.

The helicopter managed to find the stuck pair of jeeps and gave the location to the responding COSAR and RCMP members. While en route, COSAR says, another person arrived at the scene and managed to get the jeeps unstuck and back onto the road.

Officials confirmed the occupants were uninjured after being out overnight in -20 C temperatures.

COSAR responded with 24 members, two response trucks, five snowmobiles and one ATV.

“The occupants did the right things, by leaving a trip plan and information on when they should have returned,”  COSAR said.

“Once they were overdue, the family made the right choice to contact the RCMP to get everyone activated to assist in locating the occupants.”

Last week on Jan. 23, COSAR was tasked to help two stuck motorists off Bear Lake FSR. Six people were rescued and brought to safety.

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

Tyre Nichols death: Canadians say it's time to reflect on police actions in this country

WATCH: Tyre Nichols death: Mother asks for prayers amid grief, says she'll pray for officers' families

Many of Canada’s police chiefs have condemned the violent beating death of a Black man by officers during a traffic stop in the United States. But some Canadians feel that’s not enough.

Tyre Nichols died three days after a Jan. 7 confrontation with five police officers in Memphis, Tenn. Video footage now released shows police officers brutally beating the 29-year-old for three minutes.

On Friday, following news that the officers involved are facing murder and other charges, multiple police heads across Canada released statements calling for more accountability.

While many of them offered words of condolences to Nichols’ family, some reassured Canadians that their departments would protect Black people in their communities.

Natalie Delia Deckard, director of the Black Studies Institute at the University of Windsor, said that although she appreciates the police’s “intentionality” to offer their thoughts and prayers, statements are not enough to bring about changes.

“Are statements sufficient to affect change? I would argue that they do not,” Deckard told Global News. “And I don’t make that argument from a position of my opinions or my beliefs, but rather from my research and from what is known to be empirical evidence.”

She said Nichols’ death resulted from systemic violence against Black people that is “not new,” just like the death of George Floyd in 2020.

“Without leadership change and change on the ground, without organizational commitment at every level to do better— and to ensure the dignity of every Canadian regardless of any racial identity — we will be back in Canada in the same position as we have been, and there will be tragedies at the levels of city, province, nations,” Deckard said.

According to Tari Ajadi, an assistant professor at McGill University who specializes in Black social movements in Canada, such statements give Canadians the illusion that this “brutalizing violence isn’t an everyday occurrence.”

“Police forces across the country echo the same kinds of ideas, the same kinds of statements, the same kinds of discourses (that) help them to preserve the status quo,” Ajadi said.

Ajadi told Global News that police brutality against Black, Indigenous and racialized people is still very prevalent in Canada.

In 2022, police shot 87 people in Canada between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30. Of those shootings, 46 were fatal — a nearly 25 per cent increase from 2021, a tally compiled by The Canadian Press found.

Last year, Toronto police also released their first race-based data, which found that police are more likely to use force in an incident involving Black people than white people.

In addition, the report found that compared with white people, Black people were 1.5 times more likely to have an officer point a gun at them and police were 1.6 times more likely to point firearms at East Asian or Southeast Asian people.

Robyn Maynard, an assistant professor in the department of historical and cultural studies at the University of Toronto, said Black communities in Canada don’t need “platitudes or deepest sympathies from the police,” rather, they need an end to police killings.

Maynard said their “empty platitudes are not being met with the same actual commitment to systemic change and overhaul.”

The idea that policing doesn’t offer equal protection to marginalized groups comes from an increasing consensus from social movements such as Black Lives Matter and the Indigenous-led No More Silence, Maynard added.

Maynard also called for more community backing and “work towards futures that provide meaningful investments in community supports.”

Ajadi said that it’s time the governments started to reinvest in community services, which have been decimated over decades by waves of cuts, while police budgets have increased.

“If we reverse that trend, if we fund community services, if we give people the capacity to decide for themselves what their communities ought to be like, if you allow people who do not have a roof over their head to have a roof over their head, you will keep them safe,” Ajadi said.

— with files from Global’s Joe Scarpelli, the Canadian Press and the Associated Press

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

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