Cameras to catch Okanagan residents dumping garbage illegally

Okanagan residents are set to keep a closer eye on illegal dumping in the wilderness.

Non-profit group the Okanagan Forest Task Force is in the process of installing cameras to catch people in the act.

“We will be hiding them so you can’t see them but they can see you,” task force president Kane Blake said.

Blake took a Global Okanagan News crew up the Gillard Forest Service Road on the south slopes of Kelowna on Tuesday morning to show how much garbage has piled up in the forest.


“Today in the short time been here we found lots and lots of broken glass, an abundance of shotgun shells, we found live rounds as well burnt shingles,” Blake said. “There is a broken television beside me, there is a lawn chair over there, a newspaper from three days ago blowing around.”

The Okanagan Forest Task Force has collected 87,000 pounds of garbage from area forests between September 2016 and April 2017.

Blake says not only is the garbage an eyesore but it poses a safety hazard to people and wildlife.

“A little piece of glass, it can be a small inch by an inch, that is a little magnifying glass that on a hot day can start a fire,” Blake said.

“Deer don’t ask for this, bear don’t ask to walk through broken glass and nails.”

Fines for dumping garbage illegally can range depending on what is being dumped and where. A standard fine on Crown land is $57 but there are also legal ramifications involved because dumping can result in criminal charges.

Anyone who witnesses offenders dumping garbage illegally is asked to report it by calling the RAPP (Report All Poachers and Polluters) line at 1-877-952-7277.

Garbage, human waste on riverbed cited as concerns at unsanctioned Keremeos campsite

A French Canadian fruit picker has just arrived in Keremeos for the harvest season, but with nowhere to stay he’s pitched a tent along the banks of the Similkameen River.

Soon the unincorporated area of Crown land will be a temporary home to as many as 150 riverbed campers —; mostly transients but also a handful of fruit pickers.

“Most places they don’t [provide housing] so people have to stay at this campground,” said Olivier Gourde.


He’s referring to the orchardists who are not legally required to provide accommodation to Canadian workers, although they are required to provide housing for temporary foreign workers.

However many employers do allow Canadian workers to camp on their properties.

“The big conventional farms, they tend to neglect a lot of the employees and be too much into the money, money, money thing. So they want to save a lot of money and this is neglecting the quality of living of the employees basically,” Gourde said.

Some residents are expressing concern about the unsanctioned campground, citing issues with garbage, damage to the environment, the threat to at-risk species, and public health.

“There are no facilities here. There are no washrooms. There are no hand washing facilities. There is nowhere to cook a meal,” said resident Teresa Roesch.

Roesch said the problem has grown out of control.

“I think that the orchardists in the area, this problem stems directly from them not supporting their workers. They hire them but they don’t house them,” said Roesch.

The Village of Keremeos asked the province for a land tenure so it can enforce its parks bylaw which includes a ban on overnight camping.

“Right now the area is not within the village boundary so that makes it difficult for us,” said Mayor Manfred Bauer.

Bauer said he’s also advocated for years for improved living conditions for farm workers.

“I’ve lived here for 30 years and I would say it has incredibly improved in terms of providing amenities simply because the orchardists need the labour,” he said.

But Gourde said there still needs to be further protections.

“You think of the human right thing and there is still alot to be done,” he said.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations said it could not comment during the election period.

Sask. man who helped draft notwithstanding clause believes province is using it prematurely

It will be at least five years before parents may have to pay extra to enroll their non-Catholic children in the Catholic school system, thanks to the Saskatchewan government’s plan to invoke the notwithstanding clause.

On April 20, a Court of Queen’s Bench judge ruled that the province can no longer fund non-Catholic children in Catholic schools.

Once the necessary legislation is passed, the notwithstanding clause will override the judge’s verdict for a five-year period.


This course of action appears sudden to Howard Leeson, who helped draft the clause 35 years ago.

“So we really don’t need to use it right away. If at the end of the court process you wanted to use it that’s an entirely different thing. My general feeling is it’s premature right now,” Leeson said.

READ MORE: Sask. government halts Catholic school funding decision with notwithstanding clause

When the Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association (SCSBA) launch their planned appeal, it would have delayed the implementation of the judge’s decision.

Leeson, who is a baptized Catholic, supports the verdict.

“I think it’s a genuine discrimination against other faiths, because at the moment they can take only 80 per cent of their funding,” Leeson explained.

“The court is not saying there can’t be funding to religious schools, it just has to be equal amongst the religions, and I think that’s a pretty good argument.”

Leeson anticipates the ruling will be upheld in an appeal, which he said would bring the “real crunch”.

Premier Wall said Monday that if his government is still in power in five years, and a decision hasn’t been reached, they will renew the notwithstanding clause.

READ MORE: Judge rules Sask. government cannot fund non-Catholic students in Catholic schools

Education Minister Don Morgan said that the province will likely get involved in the SCSBA appeal. He defended the status quo of education funding because it has worked for over a century.

“There’s a lot of reasons why it works well. If a child has a problem in one school system it gives that student the opportunity to go to the other school system and have a fresh start, it allows some resources to be shared,” Morgan said.

Morgan said that there are no plans to change the education system in Saskatchewan, because no one has come forward advocating that change.

“We’re also hearing from people in the public school, saying if we brought 10,000 kids in we can’t absorb them. We don’t have the facilities to do that,” Morgan said.

Constitutional lawyer with MTL Aikens Khurrum Awan discusses the notwithstanding clause with Global News.

Kael Donnelly/Global News

Constitutional lawyer with MTL Aikens Khurrum Awan represented the public school system in the Theodore case. He believes using the notwithstanding clause sends the wrong message.

“Given the religious diversity of the province today where you have 35 per cent of the province’s population either being people of no religious affiliation, or religious affiliation other than Catholic or Protestant, that it was no longer open to the government to be selectively supporting the choice of some non-Catholic parents who are comfortable with a Catholic education,” Awan said.

“The idea of choice that the government is promoting is in itself discriminatory when you consider the religious and non-religious diversity of the province.”

Public Schools of Saskatchewan executive director Larry Huber said he is disappointed in the government’s choice to use the clause. Awan said his clients share a similar view.

“My clients in the public board are deeply concerned about the precedent that it sets. That’s a precedent, in our respectful opinion, exceeds the political interests of the day,” Awan said.

Meanwhile, the SCSBA said they are extraordinarily pleased that the government is giving parents breathing room with the clause.

Tom Fortosky with the SCSBA said they are investigating fundraising options to cover the cost of the appeal.

“We received a quote from our council on the cost of an appeal, and it’s approximately $125,000,” Fortosky said.

If the appeal goes to the Supreme Court of Canada, \ that appeal cost would likely double.

Conservative think-tank dumps leader days after Donald Trump thanks him

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank, has ousted its leader after a power struggle.

The Washington non-profit’s board of trustees unanimously asked for and received the resignation of Jim DeMint at a meeting Tuesday. The board chairman said in a pull-no-punches statement afterward that “significant and worsening management issues” led to the ouster.

“Heritage has never been about one individual, but rather the power of conservative ideas,” chairman Thomas Saunders III wrote in a statement. “Heritage is bigger than any one person.”

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DeMint, a former South Carolina senator, could not immediately be reached.

Dozens of Republicans in Congress wrote a love-letter of sorts to DeMint on Monday. They praised him for serving as an inspirational conservative figure “even when confronted by overwhelming opposition, bitter criticism and nagging skepticism.”

Rep. Dave Brat, a Virginia Republican, called DeMint’s ouster “a tragedy.”


“He’s just kind of an ideal person who understood the think-tank world and understands the timing and the strategy along with policy,” Brat said. “And to lose that, it’s incomprehensible. I don’t get it. At all. I don’t get it.”

Some board members called the decision a painful, but necessary, one.

Kay Cole James said it was “purely about management, organizational and structural issues” – not philosophical differences with DeMint.

James said Saunders expressed admiration for DeMint during an all-staff meeting late Tuesday to announce the leadership change. She added that DeMint had already left the building by then.

Heritage, which has 500,000 members, brought in about $92 million in revenue in 2015 and paid DeMint more than $1 million every year. That’s according to its most recent publicly available tax filings.

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The non-profit has been a crucial ally of President Donald Trump and his still-young administration. The president thanked Heritage – and specifically DeMint – during his speech Friday to the National Rifle Association.

Yet the organization struggles with the same complex internal dynamics facing Republicans writ large: Heritage Action, its advocacy arm, was urging lawmakers to reject Congress’s omnibus spending bill even as the Trump administration was aggressively making the case for it on Tuesday.

The bill, Heritage argued, “woefully fails the test of fiscal responsibility and does not advance important conservative policies.”

Founder Ed Feulner will serve as president and chief executive officer during a search for DeMint’s replacement.

Trump supporters accuse CNN of censorship after refusing to air ‘fake news’ ad

President Donald Trump’s supporters are accusing CNN of censorship for not airing an advertisement touting the president’s accomplishments, which the network said Tuesday it rejected because it was its own form of fake news.

The ad from Trump’s campaign – he became a declared candidate for reelection in 2020 on Jan. 19 – says that “America has rarely seen such success” and lists a series of actions from the first 100 days of his presidency.


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“You wouldn’t know it from watching the news. America is winning, and President Trump is making America great again,” the ad says. The faces of NBC’s Andrea Mitchell, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos and CBS’ Scott Pelley are shown onscreen behind the phrase “fake news.”

CNN said it requested the campaign remove the “false graphic.”

“The mainstream media is not fake news, and therefore the ad is false and per policy will be accepted only if that graphic is deleted,” CNN tweeted in response.

Michael Glassner, executive director of Trump’s campaign said that “CNN is trying to silence our voice and censor our free speech” because it doesn’t fit the network’s narrative.

The campaign is refusing to change its ad, which is running on Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network. Trump’s team is spending $1.5 million to spread its message.

One of Trump’s campaign committees quickly dispatched a fundraising pitch tied to the ad flap. “Your support made it all possible,” the email says, before asking for contributions of $5 or more. “But the FAKE NEWS MEDIA refuses to tell the truth about our many achievements.”

Colbert tries to keep President Trump happy with faux ‘fake news’


Colbert tries to keep President Trump happy with faux ‘fake news’


Trump praises use of 杭州桑拿会所 for helping him avoid unfair, ‘fake’ reports from media


President Trump responds to ‘Fake News!’ cry during CPAC speech

CNN has been a frequent target of Trump’s criticism, both during the campaign and during his young presidency. In tweets, he’s called CNN “fake news” and “unwatchable.” Criticizing media coverage has been in the Republican campaign playbook long before Trump even emerged.

Separately, the campaign changed its ad to remove an image of H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser. Although not illegal, the Department of Defence strongly discourages use of such officials in political advertising.


Associated Press correspondents Julie Bykowicz and Donna Cassata in Washington contributed to this report.