Zina Lombardi was a healthy, active 40-year-old mother of three when she learned she had bladder cancer.
“In late 2010, I was noticing some streaking, some blood when I would go to the bathroom. I really didn’t have any other symptoms, so like most people, I ignored it for probably two or three months,” Lombardi said.
READ MORE: 5 things you didn’t know about bladder cancer in Canada
Bladder cancer survivor on beating the disease
New medication gives hope to dozens walking for bladder cancer
According to Bladder Cancer Canada, about 9,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed in Canada each year, and in most cases blood in the urine is the first warning sign.
The trouble is, for women, that symptom is most often linked to another more common health problem, according to urologist Dr. Peter Black.
“It’s often assumed that blood is a urinary tract infection so the necessary tests aren’t done to show that it’s bladder cancer,” Black said.
Lombardi’s stage two bladder cancer diagnosis meant that she required four rounds of chemotherapy and surgery to remove her bladder.
Recovery, she admits, was long and difficult, but today she’s feeling good and sharing her story so that others will learn the signs.
WATCH: Bladder cancer drug will no longer be made by manufacturer
“What I say to people is — if you see blood in your urine, go have it looked at and make sure if you’re told that it is a bladder infection, that it’s confirmed with a urinalysis that it really is an infection,” Lombardi said.
“If not, then further investigation is necessary.”
MacKenzie Ruthven was emotional and quite upset as she finished testifying at the murder trial of 24-year-old William Sandeson.
READ: Halifax court jammed by prospective jurors for Dalhousie medical student’s murder trial
Sandeson is facing a charge of first-degree murder in connection with the homicide of 22-year-old Taylor Samson.
Ruthven had been dating Samson for six months when he disappeared. She told the court that she briefly saw him during the day on Aug. 15, 2015. Ruthven said the pair had made plans to go to a nightclub in downtown Halifax that evening when Samson stepped out for a few minutes and never returned.
Mckenzie Ruthven visibly upset outside the courtroom following her testimony in the murder case of William Sandeson. @globalhalifax pic.twitter杭州桑拿/r1l8JqcGFu
— Cory McGraw (@McgrawCory) May 2, 2017
She told the seven-man, seven-woman jury that she repeatedly sent text messages and called Samson’s phone but was unable to get in touch with him. Ruthven said she has never had any contact with her boyfriend since that day.
WATCH: Murder trial hears from police, Taylor Samson’s girlfriend
The Crown also called Det/Const. Roger Sayer to the stand. Sayer is a member of the Halifax Regional Police and the lead investigator on the Taylor Samson file.
After a few introductory questions from Crown Attorney Susan MacKay, Sayer introduced two interrogation videos into evidence.
Both of the videos were taken at Halifax police headquarters on Gottingen Street after Sandeson was arrested in connection with Samson’s missing persons case.
READ: Murder victim last seen at William Sandeson’s apartment building, prosecutor tells jury
Detective Constable Roger Sayer is the next witness. He is a homicide detective with @HfxRegPolice. Sayer is the 12th witness in the trial. pic.twitter杭州桑拿/Ndd4BH1Zuw
— Cory McGraw (@McgrawCory) May 2, 2017
The interrogation video is different from the first video that the jury saw during the trial. In that recording, Sandeson was questioned by a police officer as a potential witness in connection with Samson’s disappearance, not as a suspect.
In the videos presented to the court on Tuesday, a police officer told Sandeson that investigators were at his Henry Street apartment and searching it for evidence and asked Sandeson over and over again where Taylor was.
READ: Jury shown gun, bullets and cash seized from William Sandeson’s apartment
At the beginning of the interrogation with police, Sandeson denies knowing anything about the whereabouts of Samson. After a few hours of questioning, Sandeson changes his story and tells police that while Samson was at his apartment, several people broke in and may have taken Samson.
Sandeson goes on to tell police that there was a lot of blood at the residence and admits to cleaning it up and hiding money that was left behind. The officer then hammers away at Sandeson, asking why he would clean up the apartment and send text messages from his phone to Samson’s phone after this allegedly happened.
That’s where the video stopped and court was recessed for the day.
WATCH: William Sandeson ‘confident’ as murder trial begins in Halifax: defence
Despite searching multiple locations, including a farm in Lower Truro, N.S., which is owned by Sandeson’s family, police have never been able to locate Samson’s remains.
READ MORE: Taylor Samson’s mother pleads for her son’s body at Sandeson bail hearing
Although it is unusual to have a murder trial without a body, the Crown says it’s not unheard of.
In total, 32 court days spanning eight weeks have been set aside to hear the trial. Testimony is scheduled to resume Wednesday.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Throughout the 2017 election Global News is tracking the promises each party makes on education, health care, infrastructure, transparency, budgets, diversity, and more. The stories will be updated as parties roll out their promises.
Health care has become one of the most prominent issues on this election’s campaign trail. The promises have been wide ranging and diverse.
The Liberals’ big election promise during the 2013 election was to provide every family in the province with a doctor. During their mandate that did not happen — and during this campaign, no one has tried to make a similar promise.
The focus of this campaign has shifted to health infrastructure. An issue for all parties has been the redevelopment or replacement of Halifax’s aging Victoria General hospital.
READ MORE: All of our election coverage
Victoria General Hospital
Have not released the complete cost for the hospital’s redevelopmentA public-private partnership model is a possibility
Part of Jamie Baillie’s proposed $2-billion infrastructure plan would include a new Victoria General hospitalBaillie says he expects half of the $2 billion to come from Ottawa
Have said they will not use a public-private partnership funding model for the Victoria General hospital
Will roll out a $116.7-million package to establish more collaborative care clinics and recruit more doctors. $78 million will go towards expanding and creating 70 collaborative care teams.McNeil said doctors will not be forced into collaborative care teams if they still want to work solo.$15 million will roll out over three years for construction and renovations of collaborative care clinics.$11.7 million will create 10 new spaces in the family medicine residency program and $12 million will go towards tuition relief.More than $31 million over four years to help Nova Scotians with disabilities live successfully in their communitiesAn investment of $14.7 million would allow government to create and maintain small options homes, which would allow up to 32 people to live in community-based settings.$25-million investment over four years for caregiver benefit program to expand eligibility to include 400 people caring for those with lower levels of dementia in 2017, and 1,200 caring for those with mental illness in 2018$2.25 million over three years to increase medical consultation support by using video technology$1.5 million over three years to expand Independent Living Support$3 million over four years to expand the Flex Independent Program$750,000 over three years to expand Respite Care Options$1.2 million for design work to expand emergency department at IWK Children’s Hospital
Leader Jamie Baillie has promised that if his party were to form government, they would spend $19.5 million over four years to address the shortage of family doctors and specialists in Nova ScotiaMuch of the money would be spent in the first yearThe PCs would also add $6 million to the tuition relief program to keep new family doctors in Nova Scotia, and recognize the credentials for Nova Scotians who study medicine abroad$7.2 million to extend coverage for oral cancer drugs
The party will spend $120 million over four years to build new primary care clinics and to hire more doctors, nurses and nurse practitionersWork collaboratively with family doctors to determine what resources are needed in various communitiesSignificantly increase the medical help needed by people who are still without a physician (did not commit to a number)The NDP promised to expand dental care coverage for children under 18.Will implement all recommendations in the Nova Scotia General Employees Union’sCode Critical reportThe party will spend $6 million over four years to double the number of midwives in the provinceMoney from the $6 million will also be used to create a training program for aspiring midwives
Read More: Incumbent Andrew Younger withdraws from Dartmouth East election
Mental health care
The Liberals have promised that with a new mandate they will commit $34 million over four years to improve access to mental health services across the province. They’ve promised 51 mental health clinicians will be hired through an expansion of the SchoolPlus program.Creation of a central intake system to ensure patients get the care they needAmong other initiatives is $2 million in funding over two years to pilot four youth health centres in Nova Scotia schoolsThe Liberals have promised the expansion of IWK Children’s Hospital emergency department would improve mental health services for those aged 16 to 19.
Have promised to invest $39.7 million in the mental health systemProviding all students with access to in-school mental health servicesEstablishing Mental Health Crisis Response Centres to divert people undergoing a mental health crisis from emergency rooms to a facility, staffed by trained mental health professionals, to receive appropriate and informed treatment.Creation of a Mental Health and Wellness Institute in concert with a Nova Scotia university and attracting mental health experts.A $250 direct tax rebate for Nova Scotians who, through a medical diagnosis and treatment plan, rely on a psychiatric service dog.
The NDP says $21.5 million – which comes from the party’s $49.5 million commitment over four years — will go to a second mental health strategy, picking up where the 2009 NDP government’s left off$25 million on three pilot mental health hubs in emergency rooms in Halifax, Kentville and Sydney in an effort to speed up access to care
Seniors Long-term Care
The Liberals have said $3.2 million was promised in last month’s proposed budget — which was not passed before the election call — to increase food budgets and improve recreational therapy programming in long-term care facilities.
The PCs have promised to spend $32.8 million over four years to reverse cuts to long term careThe party will freeze the cost share ratio for seniors’ pharmacare
Will restore $8 million cut to nursing homesThe NDP have promised to freeze pharmacare premiums and lobby for a national pharmacare program
EDITORS NOTE: Throughout the 2017 election Global News will track the promises each party makes on education, health care, infrastructure, transparency, budgets, and more. The stories will be updated as parties roll out their promises.
Diversity among party candidates became an issue on the first full day of the campaign.
READ MORE: All our Nova Scotia Election 2017 coverage
The NDP lead the pack on gender parity fielding 23 women out of a possible 51. The Progressive Conservatives are second with 17 women and the Liberals’ slate has 12 women on it.
The Grits though lead the way on racial diversity, fielding seven candidates who are minorities. The NDP have five candidates who are racial minorities and the Tories have one minority candidate.
READ MORE: Nova Scotia Election: Liberals field the most men, Tories the most white candidates
Increasing the per vote subsidy for women and minority candidates
The Progressive Conservatives said on May 2 that if they form government the per vote funding parties receive based on their last election result will be 1.5 times higher for votes cast for women, African Nova Scotians and Indigenous candidates. Leader Jamie Baillie said the subsidy would end once the legislature reflects Nova Scotians. “This is one of the most progressive things a Progressive Conservative party can do,” he said.NDP Leader Gary Burrill said his part’s record on diversity shows a financial incentive isn’t needed.Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil said “it’s not something that I’m running on today.” But he told reporters its something he would look at.
Gender parity in cabinet
The NDP are committing to gender parity on cabinet. “The principal of gender parity ought also to be honoured in the executive council and that’s the kind of cabinet that we would build.”The Liberals said they won’t commit to gender parity. “We will continue to appoint the very best people,” McNeil said on May 2. In 2013 he appointed the most women ever to a Nova Scotia cabinet. Six women sat on the Liberal cabinet at dissolution.The Tories aren’t committing to gender parity on cabinet. “When women are considered for cabinet, they’re considered on an equal basis with men,” Baillie said on May 2 in Halifax.
A section of King Street just west of Yonge Street in Toronto’s financial district will remain closed for most of the day following a series of explosions during the evening rush hour on Monday.
The blasts, blamed on an overheated hydro vault fire, shut down the area at about 5 p.m. and sent commuters scrambling. There were no reports of any injuries.
Thick black smoke was seen billowing from a set of sidewalk grates in front of a Royal Bank office building near King and Yonge.
Toronto Hydro said crews have been working through the night to conduct repairs to the vault. However, workers were forced out just after midnight when they noticed smoke.
“We determined that it was a conduit that was leading down into the transformer that was smoking,” Toronto Fire Platoon Chief Kevin Aucoin said. “The crews backed out and our guys put small amounts of water and CO2 trying to contain it.”
WATCH: Toronto Fire and Toronto Hydro investigating cause of underground hydro vault fire that erupted Monday afternoon at King and Bay. Ashley Carter reports. (May 1)
Fire official said firefighters remain on standby just in case there are any flare-ups.
“The problem is we have a live transformer next to a transformer that is blown,” Aucoin explained. “We have to be very careful not to use too much water so that we could have a problem with the backup transformer beside it —; that’s powering the backup generators right now.”
Hydro officials said the vault had to be “de-energized” last night before crews were allowed to pump the rain water out and conduct repairs.
“We went in and we know the area is severely damaged. Yesterday there was a lot of rainfall, so that is a potential culprit here,” Toronto Hydro spokesperson Brian Buchan said. “If the vault did flood, then that would be devastating for the vault itself.”
READ MORE: Hydro vault fire in downtown Toronto to blame for heavy smoke, underground explosions
Toronto Fire Platoon Chief Kevin Shaw said the fire was smoldering early Tuesday morning as firefighters attempted to extinguish it without damaging the transformer, which powers Royal Bank’s computer system.
“So we cannot get water on that,” Shaw said earlier in the day. “We tried CO2 and small amounts of water. If that’s not successful then we’ll stand by until Royal Bank has some IT people coming in and they’ll do whatever they have to do to secure their computer systems.”
Hydro officials said the plan is to reroute the power to the building temporarily until the broken transformer is replaced.
“That would get the customer back on and in the meantime then we would do a permanent fix that would take some time,” Buchan said.
Toronto Hydro says scene of downtown explosion remains very active
Toronto Hydro says scene of downtown explosion remains very active
Underground explosions force closure of busy downtown Toronto streets
Toronto fire and hydro investigate cause of downtown fire
The vault explosions shut down the King subway station on Monday and caused several streetcars to take detours.
Both the 504 and 514 routes continue to be diverted on Tuesday.
The underground PATH system was also evacuated including the buildings adjacent to the explosions.
Fire officials said the Royal Bank building will remain closed for the day while other businesses in the area are open.
-With files from Nick Westoll
KING ST W – #TorontoFire crew will remain on scene while #Toronto Hydro crews repair the vault pic.twitter杭州桑拿/sSiYypzDau
— Toronto Fire Service (@Toronto_Fire) May 2, 2017
WASHINGTON – U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that the U.S. government “needs a good shutdown” in September to fix a “mess” in the Senate, signalling his displeasure with a temporary spending bill that Republican congressional leaders – and Trump himself – are praising as a major accomplishment.
On 杭州桑拿会所 and then in a White House ceremony, Trump issued contradictory statements ahead of key votes in Congress on the budget bill to keep the government running into the fall. After advocating for a future shutdown on 杭州桑拿会所, he hailed the budget agreement as a boost for the military and border security.
“This is what winning looks like,” Trump said during a ceremony honouring the Air Force Academy football team. He said, “Our Republican team had its own victory – under the radar,” he and called the bill “a clear win for the American people.”
The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there! We….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2017
either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51%. Our country needs a good “shutdown” in September to fix mess!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 2, 2017
Trump’s embrace of a potential government shutdown came days after he accused Senate Democrats of seeking such an outcome and obstructing majority Republicans during recent budget negotiations. Lawmakers announced Sunday they had reached an agreement to avoid a shutdown until Oct. 1 – a deal that does not include several provisions sought by Trump, including money for a border wall.
WATCH: U.S. government shutdown possible, onus on Democrats
It also came at the start of a week in which the House is considering a possible vote on a health care overhaul that would repeal and replace Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
Congress is expected to vote this week on the $1.1 trillion spending bill.
After Trump’s tweets, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin defended the budget plan, telling reporters, “No longer will our military be held hostage for domestic spending.” He said the spending package was an “important first step in the right direction” that included a “big down payment” on border security and the military.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said the funding bill is the product of bipartisan negotiations, and that it “delivers some important conservative wins, including critical steps forward on defence and border security.”
The White House on Monday had praised the deal as a win for the nation’s military, health benefits for coal miners and other Trump priorities, a message that Trump reiterated in the Rose Garden on Tuesday.
But the president appeared to indicate unhappiness with the budget plan when he kicked off the day by taking to 杭州桑拿会所. “The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there!” He added, “We “either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51 (per cent). Our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix mess!”
WATCH: Trade restrictions, Donald Trump topics of discussion at Alberta U.S. Trade Summit
That contradicted Trump’s message less than a week ago.
Last Thursday, Trump had tweeted that Democrats were threatening to close national parks as part of the negotiations “and shut down the government. Terrible!” He also tweeted at the time that he had promised to “rebuild our military and secure our border. Democrats want to shut down the government. Politics!”
His Tuesday tweets about Senate procedures came after Senate Republicans recently triggered the “nuclear option” to eliminate the 60-vote filibuster threshold for confirming Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. That change allowed the Senate to hold a final vote to approve Gorsuch with a simple majority, an approach that has not been used for legislation.
READ MORE: China urges North Korea, U.S. to establish contact to defuse crisis
McConnell has said he’s not inclined to change Senate rules on the filibuster and legislation. “There’s not a single senator in the majority who thinks we ought to change the legislative filibuster. Not one,” he said in April.
White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney also praised the budget deal in a conference call with reporters. Asked to explain Trump’s advocacy for a shutdown, Mulvaney said, “Right now I’m not worried about September, I’m worried about this deal that’s in front of us.”
WATCH: Trump releases commercial attacking ‘fake news,’ celebrating ‘bold actions’ taken in first 100 days
“I think the president’s tweet was that we might need a shutdown at some point to drive home that this place, that Washington needs to be fixed. I think that’s a defensible position, one we’ll deal with in September. The truth of the matter though is now we’ve averted a government shutdown in a way that allows the president to fund his priorities,” Mulvaney said.
Any future shutdowns would likely cost the federal government billions of dollars. The 16-day partial government shutdown in 2013 cost $24 billion, according to Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s. That included lost revenue for the national parks.
READ MORE: Donald Trump says he’d be ‘honoured’ to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un
“President Trump may not like what he sees in this budget deal, but it’s dangerous and irresponsible to respond by calling for a shutdown,” said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.
The White House and congressional Republicans are pressing to reverse a Washington narrative that the catchall bill is a win for Democrats.
Mulvaney cited a $15 billion infusion of defence spending – about half of what Trump asked for in March – as a huge win. He also claimed credit for $6 billion in war funding approved by former President Obama as a Trump win. He also cited $1.5 billion in emergency money for border security.
He correctly noted that the pending measure would be a victory for Republicans because the administration succeeded in breaking the link – forged over several Obama-era spending deals – that required that any increases in military spending be matched by an equal, dollar-for-dollar increase for nondefense programs.
The New Brunswick Legislative Assembly heard from a cabinet minister Tuesday who cited comments made by three members of the Official Opposition over the past month indicating she has been the victim of sexism.
READ MORE: Dalhousie to address all sexism report recommendations within 2 years
In a point of privilege, Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Lisa Harris opened the day by speaking about comments that she said had been spoken to her by Opposition members Kirk MacDonald and Bruce Fitch in the legislative assembly, reading transcripts of what had sparked her outrage.
“‘It is lovely to see you in the chair today, my heart always skips a beat,’” Harris read a line recently uttered by MacDonald, MLA for Fredericton-York.
On April 3, Harris contacted Opposition Leader Blaine Higgs via email to express her concern over the comments she called “sexist” and “bullying”.
Higgs responded the next day apologizing for such comments and saying he’d discuss the matter with the members in question.
“I responded to the minister that it was unacceptable, I apologized for that behaviour, for those comments, and we reacted very promptly,” Higgs said in a scrum after the point of privilege was debated. “So to have those items come forward was a little, I guess, concerning because we dealt with it very quickly.”
WATCH: It’s the uphill battle on Parliament Hill. How do you get more women into politics – and how do you end sexism in politics? Shirlee Engel looks at the cruel harassment Canada’s female politicians are hit with, why some women avoid a political career altogether, and how others say the sacrifices are worth it.
Higgs stands by his handling of the issue and questions why it was brought up in the legislature a month later.
Harris, steadfast that it was nothing but a deflection device, pointed to a recent comment made by Opposition MLA Stewart Fairgrieve who referenced Marie Antoinette when discussing Finance Minister Cathy Rogers, saying “we know what happened to her.”
“He may have spoke to them but I don’t think they were listening,” Harris said. “But after today maybe that will stop and that’s what I’m hoping will happen.”
It’s no secret that buying or even renting an apartment in Vancouver is slowly inching out of reach for some —; but now, even the short-term rental market appears to be getting into a pickle.
How so? If you’re looking to stay in the tony neighbourhood of Kitsilano, there’s an option that was listed on Airbnb for just $85 a night.
But the space is a little unconventional – it’s a refurbished, stationary camper van that’s the colour of a field cucumber.
READ MORE: Micro suites in Vancouver renting for $1,700 a month
Aptly-named The Pickle, it’s parked on a quiet tree-lined street near the beach in Kitsilano and according to the online ad, is freshly renovated with cedar walls, recess lighting, curtains, a brand new foam mattress, propane heat and refrigerator.
The one catch? There’s no bathroom.
City councillor wants to study impact of short-term rentals in Vancouver
The lack of a lavatory doesn’t seem to be a deterrent. Maybe it’s the catchy headline ‘Be tickled by The Pickle: Enjoy Van… in a van!’ that entices people to give it a try.
Reviews on the website rave about The Pickle’s cozy and unique ambiance.
Krystal, a recent guest according to the Airbnb website, said even though it was rainy and cold outside, she “felt comfortable the whole time and didn’t even need to use the heater. The neighbourhood is the cutest in Vancouver and there’s lots of stuff to check out nearby.”
READ MORE: Tenants on Vancouver’s west side fight 35 per cent rent increase
Emily said her Pickle experience “totally felt like we had gotten away camping in the middle of the city.”
Why would anyone rent a van on Airbnb?
Jennah, The Pickle’s owner, told Global News that “renting an apartment in Kitsilano is more than either of us have ever had to pay for housing in our lives and we are just trying to offset the cost a little.”
It would appear The Pickle van could be another example of how Vancouverites are attempting to deal with the city’s crazy housing market.
Medically supervised safe injection services are one step closer to becoming reality in Edmonton.
On Tuesday afternoon, city council voted 10-1 in favour of writing a letter of opinion to seek federal exemption to bring the services to Edmonton. The letter is a requirement of the process.
“It’s just simply a letter of opinion,” Mayor Don Iveson said following the special council meeting.
“The decision is federal. The funding decision is provincial.”
Supervised-injection service locations for drug users announced in Edmonton
Fentanyl overdoses killed hundreds of Canadians this year, experts say 2017 could be deadlier
Edmonton Police Service offers conditional support of safe injection sites
The vote came following two days of heated discussion on the topic. Many concerned residents came forward to speak out against the plan to allow four sites in Edmonton to offer supervised safe injection services.
Earlier this year, a survey was conducted with residents and businesses within a four-block radius of three agencies that will be offering the services – Boyle McCauley Health Centre, Boyle Street Community Services and the George Spady Society.
READ MORE: Edmonton accelerates plan to offer safe injection services in inner city
While questions were raised about the close proximity of the sites, 74 per cent of the 1,869 respondents agreed with the proposed approach.
The next step for city council will be debate on a motion introduced by the mayor, calling for a coordinated wellness strategy for the inner city.
“There was a motion for the city to continue to be involved in monitoring the effectiveness of these sites, making sure that the practical experience matches all of the evidence that suggests that they should reduce crime, social disorder, and infection rates and overdoses. So we’ll continue to monitor,” Iveson said.
“We’ll continue to be actively involved.”
Medically supervised safe injection services will also be offered at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, but only for patients.
READ MORE: Edmonton MP weighs in on safe injection sites, city councillors fire back
Elaine Hyshka, an assistant professor at the University of Alberta School of Public Health, says the sites will be monitored.
Hyshka added the Edmonton proposal is different from the Insite program on Vancouver’s Lower East Side that has gained national attention due to problems.
“This is very different than Insite,” she said. “This is an embedded model.
“We’re not proposing to build any new bricks and mortar, no store fronts. All we’re doing is adding one additional service to existing agencies that are already serving this population.”
READ MORE: Insite sees 14 drug overdoses in 24 hours
Although at some point, Iveson sees more co-ordination between the agencies that are involved, as well as the provincial ministries that will have a stake in driving costs down for health care and social disorder.
“We’ve heard the need for that. We have so many different players, from police, to Alberta Health Services, to agencies who all have a piece of this, but there isn’t a coherent strategy and I think that gap needs to be filled. I think the city can help fill it, not single-handedly.”
READ MORE: A province-by-province look at opioid-overdose stats, including fentanyl
In the first six weeks of 2017, 51 people in Alberta died from apparent drug overdoses related to fentanyl, according to the most recent information available from Alberta Health. In the same time frame in 2016, 28 died of fentanyl-related overdoses.
In 2016, a total of 349 people died from fentanyl-related overdoses in Alberta.
Cleveland‘s police union will file a lawsuit in the coming months against toy gun manufacturers, an attempt to restrict production of realistic designs like the one a child was playing with before he was fatally shot by officers in the city, a lawyer for the group told local media.
Tamir Rice, 12, was playing with a toy gun that fired pellets on a Cleveland playground in 2014 when he was fatally shot by a police officer, one of a string of killings that fueled protests against the use of deadly force by U.S. police, particularly against minorities.
The similarities between the toy gun Rice was playing with and a real handgun became a focal point of the incident when prosecutors decided in 2015 not to file charges against officers involved in the shooting.
READ MORE: Officers to face discipline in Tamir Rice shooting
Both Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and former county prosecutor Tim McGinty previously blamed the toy gun, in part, for the shooting.
“These fake weapons put the community at risk, put law enforcement at risk, something has to be done,” Henry Hilow, an attorney for the Cleveland Patrolmen’s Association, said during an interview with local ABC affiliate WEWS-TV on Monday in revealing plans to file the lawsuit in federal court.
Hilow could not be reached to comment.
The civil lawsuit would not seek financial damages but instead would look to force toy gun producers to manufacture guns that are easily distinguishable from real weapons, Hilow told the TV station.
Hilow did not say which toy companies would be targeted by the lawsuit or when exactly the lawsuit will be filed.
When reached by telephone, Subodh Chandra, an attorney for the Rice family, said he was unaware of the news regarding the lawsuit, and declined to comment
READ MORE: Cleveland settles lawsuit over Tamir Rice shooting for $6M
In 2015, a Cuyahoga County grand jury declined to charge Cleveland Police Department officers Frank Garmback or Timothy Loehmann, who fired the shot that killed Rice. Both officers now face administrative charges that could result in suspension or termination.
Hilow represents both men, who remain on desk duty, but would like to return to active patrol.
In March, a police dispatcher was suspended eight days for failing to warn the officers a 911 caller had described the scene as probably a child with a fake gun.
Last year, Cleveland settled a civil lawsuit the Rice family filed for $6 million. (Writing and additional reporting by Timothy Mclaughlin in Chicago; Editing by David Gregorio)