- Sherwood Park school locked down after alleged ‘indecent act’ – Edmonton
- Elliot Lake: Why lawyers want report on the collapsed mall released
- How World Cup referees are using goal-line technology to help make calls – National
- Flood reflections: Gord Gillies returns to the site of the Elbow Drive berm – Calgary
- FIFA bans former senior exec for corruption probe snub – National
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EDMONTON – An elementary school in Sherwood Park was put on lock down for roughly an hour after a man was allegedly seen performing “indecent act on himself” nearby.
It happened at approximately 10:25 a.m. near Brentwood Elementary School. Students, who were outside for morning recess, were called inside and the school was locked down after what RCMP call “a reliable witness” reported a man in the bushes.
Officers don’t believe the man exposed himself to any children, and no one was harmed.
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The initial call the RCMP received was of possible shots fired. Cst. Elissa Purvis with Strathcona County RCMP said that, coupled with the complaint being linked to a school, led to a large response.
General duty RCMP officers, traffic enforcement, resource officers and police dogs were called in to search for the suspect, who was not found.
Officers also quickly determined no firearms or weapons were involved. The lockdown was lifted at about 11:30 a.m.
Cst. Purvis said, in this case, social media worked against them, as misinformation was spread across the internet.
The suspect is described as between 18 and 25 years old, 5’6″ to 5’9″, 175 lbs, tanned skin with short spiky black hair and wearing a greyish blue t-shirt and jean shorts.
Anyone with any information on this incident is encouraged to contact Strathcona County RCMP at (780) 467-7741.
TORONTO – A request by a discredited former engineer for a judicial inquiry to black out parts of a report into the deadly collapse of a northern Ontario mall to ensure he has a fair trial is speculative and runs counter to the public interest and open nature of such proceedings, a trio of media organizations argue.
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In written submissions Friday, the media also maintain Commissioner Paul Belanger does not have the authority to grant the request.
In his application, Robert (Bob) Wood argued that potentially adverse findings in Belanger’s report, due by the end of October, could jeopardize his right to a fair trial on charges of criminal negligence causing death and bodily harm.
Wood maintains publicity from the release of the fact-finding report could potentially taint a jury pool.
However, the media – The Canadian Press, Globe and Mail and CBC – argue he has failed to make out a solid case for “such extraordinary and unprecedented” relief.
For one thing, the media note, he has yet to decide whether to have a jury trial or be tried by judge alone. Nor has any date for a trial been set.
“Though based on speculation and contingencies, Mr. Wood’s application is founded on the purported risk that the release of the commission’s final report would taint the pool of potential jurors in his criminal trial,” the submission states.
“This purported risk is overstated in addition to being speculative.”
Belanger’s commission of inquiry wrapped up public hearings into the June 2012 tragedy last October.
READ MORE: McGuinty testifies that ‘we had to try something’ at deadly mall collapse inquiry
Among those testifying was Wood, who had attested to the structural soundness of the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake in an inspection report he altered to downplay the building’s state of disrepair. Weeks after that report, part of the rooftop parking deck caved in. Two women were killed and several other people were hurt.
Evidence was that decades of salt-water penetration due to poor waterproofing had led to severe corrosion of the steel substructure.
“One of the primary functions of public inquiries is fact-finding,” the media submission notes.
“They are often convened, in the wake of public shock, horror, disillusionment, or skepticism, in order to uncover ‘the truth’.”
Although a commission does not lay blame as such, Belanger has already informed Wood he may make adverse findings against him in his final report.
The media argue that blacking out sections that refer to him, as Wood asks, could seriously undermine the work the commission has done as well public confidence in future public inquiries, which have a mandate to help a community “grapple with a tragedy and find solutions to the problems that led to that tragedy.”
The commissioner himself has also questioned whether he even has the authority to accede to Wood’s redaction request given that he is required to turn his report over to the attorney general, who then makes it publicly available.
In addition to his criminal charges laid in January, Wood also faces mall-related charges from last year that he violated provincial health and safety laws.
In their submissions, commission counsel take no position on Wood’s request, but note the legal presumption that the proceedings be public and all the inquiry testimony is readily available on the Internet.
The province also takes no position on whether Belanger should grant the request. It does argue Belanger has the authority to make redactions if he sees fit – but would have to turn over the full report to the AG as well.
Belanger is scheduled to hear oral arguments on the redaction request on June 20 in Ottawa.
©2014The Canadian Press
TORONTO – When English midfielder Frank Lampard’s goal against Germany in the 2010 World Cup was disallowed by referees, it was a huge upset.
Lampard kicked a shot that hit the German goal’s crossbar and bounced down into the goal. Despite many arguing the aerial cameras clearly showed the ball crossing the goal line, referees ruled it did not.
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But a missed call on a goal likely won’t happen at the 2014 World Cup – thanks to high-tech goal-line technology installed thanks, in part, to the Lampard non-goal.
The technology – made by German company GoalControl – uses 14 high-speed cameras located around the pitch (seven of which are concentrated on each end’s goal mount) to track the ball’s position in 3D.
“There are cameras behind the goal and in front of the goal, so that we cover 360 degrees of the goal,” said Jurgen Philipps, managing director of GoalControl in a FIFA video.
If a goal is scored, referees are immediately notified by a vibration on a specialized smartwatch.
The technology has been installed in all 12 Brazilian World Cup stadiums.
READ MORE: Explore Brazil’s World Cup stadiums through Google Street View
This is the first time FIFA has allowed this kind of technology to be used in official game play. The GoalControl technology was given the go-ahead last year after it detected all 68 goals scored during the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2013.
The system was put through rigorous testing to make sure it was advanced enough to be used.
“The ‘Slider Test’ is one of the most important tests – it tests to the millimetre the exact amount the ball is across the line. When the system activates we stop the ball roll and at that point we measure the reference point and how far the ball is past that reference point,” said Josh Richards, an engineer with FIFA accredited testing company Labosport.
“That gives an indication of how accurate the system is as a whole.”
GoalControl was also put through a test that measures the amount a ball deforms when it strikes a target wall – meant to represent a goal keeper – at different velocities.
PHOTOS: 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil in pictures
Researchers then measure how much the ball crosses the line depending on the deformity.
But referees still have the final say on a goal.
According to a FIFA training manual, “The technology must provide a clear indication as to whether the ball has fully crossed the line, and this information will serve to assist the referee in taking his final decision.”
On June 20th, 2013, Global News anchor Gord Gillies reported live from Elbow Drive, where crews were building a berm to protect homes from the rising Elbow River. Entire communities along the river had been ordered to evacuate.
One year later, he reflects on his experience.
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We arrived at the Safeway parking lot on Elbow Drive about 3 p.m., ready to set up for our ‘live’ broadcast. It was already a beehive of activity. Dump truck after truck after truck rolled in along Elbow as city workers were scrambling to build a berm. It was amazing to see how fast they zipped in and out.
The berm would run from south of 5th Street to the intersection of 4th Street and Elbow Drive, designed to be a buffer along the river.
Literally minutes after arriving, the city shut down all access to the area so we were effectively cut off.
Residents from Elbow Park, Rideau and Roxboro were milling about, watching the trucks come and go. At this point some communities were already under evacuation alerts, but there didn’t seem to be a sense of urgency from any of the homeowners we talked to.
At about 4 p.m., police officers began gathering in the parking lot. The Calgary Police Service bike team was on hand and even the Tactical Unit showed up for a while. It was their job to ride into the communities, knock on doors and let people know they should get out.
This is where it started to get worrisome on a personal level. While photographer Jerry Favero and I were focused on how we would show what was going on while not creating panic – it was clear to both of us that this was getting big. It seemed like every few minutes another community was added to the ‘evac’ list, and that list was starting to include the downtown.
We did several live ‘hits’ into the Early News at 5 to set the scene. By the time the News Hour began at 6, the entire area was under evacuation orders.
It was really a weird feeling. Sure, the Elbow River was running high and fast, but the nasty flooding hadn’t begun yet.
One resident we talked to said the last time they were asked to evacuate, I think in 2005, they didn’t even get a drop of water in their basement. That would not be the case this time.
After several updates into the newscast – the blockbuster: city officials warned that up to 100 thousand people could be impacted by flooding. When the sun came up early Friday morning on the 21st, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It’s still hard to believe.
SAO PAULO, Brazil – Former Germany great Franz Beckenbauer was banned from football for 90 days by FIFA on Friday for not co-operating with an investigation into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids.
FIFA said the suspension was requested by ethics prosecutor Michael Garcia, making Beckenbauer the first person to be punished as a result of the case.
READ MORE: FIFA head Blatter lashes out at corruption claims
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Beckenbauer refused “repeated requests for his assistance, including requests that he provide information during an in-person interview or in response to written questions provided in both English and German,” FIFA said in a statement.
It was unclear whether the FIFA suspension would prevent Beckenbauer – who won the World Cup as both a player and coach – from attending the tournament in Brazil.
FIFA suspensions relating to “any football-related activity, at any level” typically include attending matches and meeting other football officials.
Beckenbauer was a voting member of FIFA’s executive committee in December 2010 when it chose Qatar, and Russia as 2018 World Cup host. He said last week that he rejected two attempts by Garcia to speak with him, claiming he was no longer active in football.
Beckenbauer still holds top-level positions in world football, after serving on FIFA’s board from 2007-11. He joined after leading Germany’s organization of the 2006 World Cup.
He is an adviser to FIFA’s football committee and a global ambassador for German champion Bayern Munich.
READ MORE: Complete World Cup coverage
Garcia, a former U.S. Attorney has said that next month he will deliver a dossier on the World Cup case, which FIFA critics hope will order a redo of the votes.
Beckenbauer was named in reports this past weekend by The Sunday Times, which has alleged widespread corruption linked to Qatari official Mohamed bin Hammam and the 2022 bidding campaign.
The newspaper said Beckenbauer took paid consultancies in 2011 with German firms seeking contracts for World Cup related projects in the gas-rich emirate.
Like most FIFA board members, Beckenbauer has not publicly revealed who he voted for. Qatar defeated the United States 14-8 in the fourth round of voting,
FIFA President Sepp Blatter has previously said German and French business and political interests influenced the FIFA vote.
FIFA said its independent ethics judge, Munich-based Joachim Eckert, was not involved in the decision to suspend Beckenbauer, who faces further sanctions.
“The case is now the subject of formal investigation proceedings being conducted by investigatory chamber member Vanessa Allard as chief of the investigation,” FIFA said.
Garcia could still seek to interview Beckenbauer, though he closed the investigation phase of his probe on Monday.
On Wednesday, Garcia addressed FIFA’s 209 member countries in Sao Paulo and stressed that football officials are obligated to co-operate with his work.
“And it makes real penalties available to all those who fail,” the American lawyer said then.
OTTAWA – The federal Health Department wants medical marijuana suppliers to provide provincial authorities with information on the doctors who prescribe the substance.
And they want them to issue semi-annual reports on the physicians who prescribe marijuana for their patients.
The reports would include the doctor’s name and address, how much of the substance was prescribed and for how long.
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READ MORE: Doctors uneasy being ‘gatekeepers’ under new medical pot rules
The proposed regulations were published Friday by the federal government.
The provinces and territories “have identified the need to provide better education and guidance for and monitoring of their members who provide medical documents to their patients to support their access to marijuana for medical purposes,” the notice states.
It says that better monitoring of health-care practitioners who provide their patients with the substance “would help support the integrity” of the new medical marijuana system.
“We have consulted with health care licensing bodies who expressed a need for the data on how doctors and nurses are authorizing marijuana to their patients and in which quantities,” Health Minister Rona Ambrose said in a statement.
“The proposed regulatory amendments will further strengthen public health and safety by ensuring appropriate oversight and monitoring.”
On April 1, Health Canada radically altered the rules for medical marijuana, opening its production up to the commercial sector, expanding it from a cottage industry of thousands of loosely regulated growers.
READ MORE: Free pot for a year? There’s a contest for that (but it comes with some rules)
As of late last month, the department had received 858 applications from a variety of firms wanting to be medical marijuana suppliers.
On Friday, the department said in a statement that it does not endorse marijuana use, but the courts have required reasonable access to it for medical purposes.
“Marijuana is not an approved drug or medicine in Canada and has not gone through the necessary rigorous scientific trials for efficacy or safety,” it said.
©2014The Canadian Press
CALGARY- One of Captain Keal Prince’s vivid memories of the June flood is not from when it was at its worst, but from during the cleanup.
The training officer with the Calgary Fire Department’s aquatic rescue team recalls how firefighters were helping a woman haul debris out of her basement, when a young boy lost his finger.
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Flood reflections: reporter Jayme Doll returns to Canmore’s Cougar Creek
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“And as his finger got cut off it went into a fully loaded dumpster,” says Prince. “People had worked hours to get the dumpster loaded and now they’re working tirelessly, quickly, to unload that dumpster, looking for that finger.”
“We had to remove a lot of debris to find that finger. The finger was found and it was reattached, so it was a happy ending both for the young boy and all the people that were there helping him.”
That happy ending was a huge boost to the spirits of Prince and other aquatic firefighters who had spent long hours coming to the rescue of people in flooded neighbourhoods. Many firefighters didn’t have the time to eat or drink and were hungry and dehydrated. And their skills were being put to the test and stretched to the limit.
“You’re not really trained to drive a boat up to the front door of a home to rescue people. You’re not trained to drive a boat down a busy street … it was a little bit surreal.”
Flooding in the Roxboro community in Calgary, Alberta on June 21, 2013.
Global News/ Tom Reynolds
Prince says the darkest moments came when resources began to wear thin.
“Did we have some people that could have been helped? Absolutely. But sometimes with the magnitude of these events, it’s hard to get everyone collected.”
Captain Keal Prince of the Calgary Fire Department Global News
Captain Keal Prince of the Calgary Fire Department
Dozens of Calgarians were rescued from flooded communities – stranded after they ignored evacuation orders.
We saw rescuers going above and beyond putting their lives in danger … a little bit more because we were seeing that some people did not heed the warning messages. The teams rose above and beyond to make sure people were safe and the rescuers were safe.
If a flood strikes again, Prince is confident the fire department and the city, will be prepared.
“Calgary is known as a white hat hospitality city. But with the urban growth we experienced, there were neighbours not knowing neighbours, and rescuers not knowing rescuers, but the event actually helped unify all of us. We are going to be prepared.”
LOS ANGELES – While they are the team in the driver’s seat, the Los Angeles Kings need to come out with more desperation for Game 5 of the Stanley Cup final, according to Drew Doughty.
The slick-skating defenceman remembers 2012 when the Kings raced into a 3-0 lead and then couldn’t put the New Jersey Devils away until Game 6. Los Angeles had a similar 3-0 lead over the New York Rangers this time out, only to let the Blueshirts off the hook in Game 4.
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“As a team I don’t think we talk about (2012) but at the same time we all know that we failed to close it off two times,” Doughty said after the Kings’ morning skate ahead of Game 5 Friday. “That’s always going to be in the back of our minds but what we can do is we can learn from that experience.
“We know what we did wrong and we know why we let them back into the series. That’s why tonight, we figure we have to close it out because the more games we give them, the more life they get. Especially here at Staples (Center), our home arena, it’s a very important game for us tonight.”
So how do you play with more desperation?
“It should just come from within,” said Doughty. “We’ve played these guys for four games now. If you’re not wanting to beat that team so bad by this point, something’s wrong with you. We’ve developed a battle, a war with these guys. They’re working their butts off and we just need to outwork them. We need to want that more. We need to play as if it is a Game 7 because we know how well this team can play in Game 7s. So why not just treat it as one tonight.”
Going into Friday, the Rangers were 5-0 when facing elimination in the 2014 playoffs. New York goalie Henrik Lundqvist led the way in such games with a 1.00 goals-against average and .971 save percentage.
The Rangers’ record in elimination games was 11-2 dating back to 2012. And New York was 8-0 at home with its back against the wall dating back to 2008.
While Kings coach Darryl Sutter downplayed the importance of the start – his answer at a pre-game media availability was a short and somewhat confusing stream of consciousness – the Rangers have held a first-period edge throughout the playoffs.
New York has outscored its opponents 26-12 in the first period this post-season, including 5-2 in the final.
“Probably our worst period,” said Doughty.
Asked what’s been the issue in the first 20 minutes, veteran Willie Mitchell offered up “Not scoring” and then laughed.
On a more serious vein, he said it was just part of the ebb and flow of the playoffs.
Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, perhaps trying to send a message, had said the Kings played their best game in the 2-1 loss Wednesday.
Kings forward Anze Kopitar said Los Angeles can play better.
“And we’ll have to play better tonight to close it off,” he said. “I think there were some positives, yes, but there’s also some stuff we can improve on and we look to do that tonight.”
Top of the list is making life more difficult for Lundqvist, who was immense in a 40-save performance in Game 4.
“Obviously he’s a good goalie and the shots he’s going to see he’s going to stop more often than not,” said Kopitar. “Just get in front of him, make it tough for him and try to get a couple of ugly ones.”
Said Doughty: “He played well last game but at the same time we didn’t do enough to get to him. We didn’t have bodies in front. He let out quite a few rebounds that we didn’t jump on last game as well.”
Friday’s game is the 26th of the playoffs for the Kings, matching a single-year NHL record set by the 1987 Flyers and 2004 Flames (who both lost seven-game series in the Cup final).
Doughty declined to guarantee a win on the night but did say: “There’s no way that we’re going to play a bad game tonight, that’s for sure.
“We are fully prepared for this game. We want this so bad. We want to win this more than them, there’s no doubt about that.”
©2014The Canadian Press
TORONTO — A Great Big World made its mark on the music scene last year with the anthemic “This Is the New Year” — covered by the cast of Glee — and the heartbreaking ballad “Say Something.”
The latter got a boost when Christina Aguilera added her vocals to it, propelling A Great Big World’s Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino to stardom.
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The duo’s unabashedly fun “Everybody is Gay” is on every Pride playlist this summer and the new single “Already Home” is giving hope to folks in long distance relationships.
A Great Big World is touring in support of the album Is There Anybody Out There? and will perform June 17 at Montreal’s Corona Theatre, June 24 at the Danforth Music Hall and on the Coca-Cola Stage at the Calgary Stampede on July 10.
A day after playing at the Songwriters Hall of Fame gala in New York City, Axel and Vaccarino spoke to Global News about their music, their success — and their living arrangements.
At what point did you realize that you made it?
Ian: Oh man, I would say when we performed at the Clive Davis pre-Grammy party and we were with all the biggest stars in the world in this one room and we were performing alongside legends. When I was on stage and looking out to see who was in the room — that was a moment for me.
Chad: I feel like Christina entering into the picture was, for me, the life-changing moment. When does that happen and how does that happen to two artists that people don’t really know of? All of sudden it felt like our lives were being changed forever.
What has surprised you most about success?
Ian: How much harder you have to work. We both always thought there’d be a moment where we made it and then everything would just be easy. But it feels like we’re working the hardest we’ve ever worked, every single day. We’ve just been working harder and harder.
Chad: Also, I feel like this has been the best learning experience for us. Both Ian and I are the most confident we’ve ever been on stage and performing. With the hard work, the success is bringing a lot of firsts for us.
Why do you think “Say Something” has resonated with so many people?
Ian: It’s probably the most honest and vulnerable we’ve ever been writing a song. And that song was our therapy. It was a healing song for us. Every song that we write is pretty much a chapter in our lives and that was a huge, really important chapter for us. I think it’s raw, it’s quiet. And maybe there’s a lot of noise out there, especially on the radio, and that song is super quiet and forces you to listen to it when it comes on. We weren’t expecting the song to do as well as it’s doing. When our label wanted to push it to radio we were actually fighting it at first because we never thought a song like that can work.
Do you write songs for yourselves and hope they connect with people or do you set out to write songs that you know people will relate to?
Chad: We usually first dive into our own psyches. Trying to be as deep as we can within ourselves to uncover some truths that we didn’t know existed. And then it comes out as trying to connect with others, trying to relate to others. For the most part it’s mainly us finding something within.
Ian: At the same time we’re not alone. It’s easy to forget that everyone experiences the same things. To know that other people are out there connecting and listening — it takes the burden off and it kind of reminds us that we’re all in this thing together.
Talk about “Everyone Is Gay” and the importance of its message.
Chad: I am most proud performing that song and even writing that song was an awesome experience for me. I was bullied as a kid for my sexuality and feeling like I didn’t identify as gay but kids would tease me for being gay. I didn’t understand it. I don’t know, it kind of haunted me up until college. It wasn’t until I met Ian and figured out a lot of things in college that I realized there’s a spectrum of sexuality and we’re all part of it and you can be gay, you can be straight, you can be somewhere in the middle. And it’s a celebration and it’s speaking to the kids who are bullied or confused — or anyone who’s confused or feeling uneasy about their sexuality. You should be who you are and you should love who you love and this is life. Your feelings are not meant to be suppressed.
How important is social media to you?
Chad: I feel like social media for us goes in spurts. There are some months where we can’t stop tweeting and some months where we need a break so we can decompress. It’s amazing to connect with your fans and to engage with your fans and again, feel like you’re not alone in this and hopefully make them feel like they’re not alone.
You guys are coming to do shows in Canada. What can fans expect?
Ian: We’re playing the album. It’s probably a little more rockier than the album, and we have a cover or two. We’re just a bunch of guys having fun on stage. It’s a little bit more of a theatrical performance than what people would expect.
Chad: People can expect to dance a lot more than cry.
They say friends don’t always make great roommates or travel companions. Are you ready to spend a lot of time together on the road?
Ian: We’ve been living together for seven years and we’ve just both signed leases for independent apartments. For the first time!
Chad: Yeah, we’re separating for the first time.
Ian: So when we are home in New York we’re not killing each other, because we’re always together.
BELOW: Watch videos by A Great Big World.
Watch above: An Alberta provincial court judge has been charged with impaired driving. Paul Sully, 75, retired in April but was appointed as a part-time judge to a term that expires in 2016. Nancy Carlson has more.
EDMONTON – Judge Paul Gordon Sully of the Alberta provincial court entered a guilty plea to driving with a blood-alcohol level over .08 Monday morning.
Sully, 75, received a $1,500 fine, a $450 Victims Fine Surcharge and a 1-year driving prohibition.
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Alberta Justice confirms he tendered his resignation effective June 17.
Sully was arrested and charged with an impaired driving offence June 12.
Edmonton police say they pulled a driver over that Thursday night during a routine checkstop.
Sully was charged of impaired driving and operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit.
“Judge Sully will not be presiding as a judge of the provincial court pending the outcome of these outstanding charges,” Terrence Matchett, chief judge of the provincial court said June 13 in an email.
Greg Lepp, head of the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service spoke briefly about the incident at that time, but would not address the specific charges laid.
“Judges, prosecutors, defence lawyers, they’re all human,” he said.
“They all do things that other people do, but it is a matter of concern when a judge is charged with an offence.
“It’s very important for the public to keep in mind that he’s innocent until proven guilty. That’s part of our system.”
Sully is a long-time judge who has presided over several high-profile cases, including last year’s fatality inquiry into the 2005 death of Jean Warden at the Devonshire Care Centre.
READ MORE: Inquiry begins for senior who died from malnutrition
Sully completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Manitoba, where he also received his law degree.
He was a lawyer at the Edmonton law firm Brownlee LLP until his appointment in 1998.
He was appointed a supernumerary, or part-time, judge in April 2014. That term was set to expire on April 25, 2016.
Lepp explained that a judge being prosecuted is not unprecedented, and that there is a procedure to make sure the prosecution is impartial.
“We have had experience, both in Alberta and elsewhere, of judges either being under investigation or charged with criminal offences,” he said.
“Ordinarily it’s handled in the fashion that we’re handling it now. We arrange for, on the prosecution side, a prosecutor who is not connected with that particular judge or that particular court.”
In this instance, a prosecutor from the Saskatchewan Crown will handle the case.
With files from The Canadian Press