Owner ‘disgusted’ after OPP officers allegedly ran over and shot dog in Collingwood, Ont.

TORONTO —; The owner of a dog that was allegedly run over by Ontario Provincial Police officers multiple times and then shot in Collingwood, Ont. Monday says she is “disgusted.”

Karen Sutherland, the owner of the 21-year-old German Shepherd-cattle dog mix named Merrick, told Global News she is still recovering from the incident.

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“I’m kind of in shock right now, I’m having a hard time dealing with not only that she’s gone but just the way she went —; it’s makes me just feel really, really bad for her,” Sutherland said.

“She was awesome, she was my sidekick. Everyone knew where Karen went, Merrick went. She was a sweet dog, never bit anyone, no aggression, she loves all animals, loves all dogs. She’s never, ever been a problem at all.”

Footage of the incident, which happened in a residential neighbourhood, has since gone viral after a witness posted it on Facebook Monday.

“Look he’s hitting it again. Oh my God. He just ran the coyote over,” a woman is heard saying in the video. The animal was originally thought to be a coyote but OPP confirmed it was a dog on Wednesday.

Sarah Leggett, the woman who posted the video recorded by a neighbour, said the incident took place around 10:30 p.m. ET. on election night.

“Horrible! I couldn’t believe it,” she wrote on her Facebook page.

Sutherland said Merrick was in great shape physically, but was deaf and had declining eyesight. The dog had gone missing after a storm had uprooted a fence in Sutherland’s yard, which is how the dog escaped.

“We looked around for her and looked around for her and so we just went to bed and left the gate open because she’s not the kind of dog that would stray,” she said.

“So then I left the next morning and a friend of mine said that he had heard about a coyote getting hit by a car and then shot and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, maybe that was Merrick.’ So I called them and was waiting for a response.

“But I thought maybe a cop accidentally hit her because it was rainy out and had to shoot her, I didn’t realize that the officer actually ran over her a couple of times on purpose so upon seeing that, (I was) just really upset about the way that she went like that —; it’s just heartbreaking for me.”

Sutherland said police told her the officers were following proper protocol and that they will be speaking with her about the incident at a later time.

Global News has since learned through police sources that taking down an animal with the use of a vehicle is not considered proper police protocol.

“I’ve heard that he’s a dog owner as well and he feels really bad so I don’t know, I just think the whole thing is really, really crappy,” she said.

“The worst case scenario that you could really possibly have to have your dog go missing and then get run over by a police officer.”

Sutherland said she’s trying not to get too angry about the tragic death of her dog, adding that she would become overwhelmed with anger unless she tried to stay positive.

“I’m very upset about it, I’m just trying to be realistic and I’m not going to drag it out and ruin someone else’s life,” she said.

“I’m just disgusted and I just wish it didn’t happen because it kind of just, it’s just something that’s always going to be with me —; the memory of that’s how my dog went after having her for that many years.”

News of the incident soon spread on social media with many calling the action cruel and inappropriate.

Police had initially said in a media release that the animal was a coyote and officers were responding to a report that it was aggressive and possibly rabid.

But OPP Acting Sergeant Lynda Cranney confirmed on Wednesday the animal was in fact a dog and an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Police had said the animal posed a danger to the public and other animals in the community, but did not clarify as to why the officers chose to run it over.

Sutherland said that despite losing her dog, she doesn’t want to see the officers punished too severely.

“I think that they’re having enough bad on them and I think something like this, if ever this did arise I don’t think it would happen again,” she said, adding that she hoped the police received more education for dealing with similar situations in the future.

The Ontario SPCA, who handles animal cruelty cases, said they are aware of the situation and has reached out to the OPP on the matter.

“The OPP has the same jurisdiction as the Ontario SPCA. The matter is in their hands at this time,” said OSPCA Inspector Brad Dewar.

An animal protection group said it is calling for a cruelty investigation into the death.

“We didn’t want to think this was real when it was sent to us,” says Michael Howie, spokesperson for The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals.

“But it is irrefutable at this point – the officer did in fact run over what we have been told was a coyote multiple times prior to using his sidearm to kill him in a more humane fashion.”

The group said cutbacks to Ministry of Natural Resources and downloading of responsibility is causing authorities to use other means to deal with wildlife calls.

“Police officers are highly trained and typically responsible individuals,” Howie added. “But their mandate should not include responding to wildlife calls.”

Questions were also raised earlier this summer when York Regional Police shot and killed a black bear wandering in a Newmarket, Ont. neighbourhood north of Toronto.

READ MORE: Misconceptions and fear led to black bear’s death in Newmarket says expert

Police said they had no choice but to shoot the bear after it was cornered in a backyard and officers were waiting for Ministry of Natural Resources staff to arrive.

Many people took to social media to express their outrage over the bear’s death and to criticize police for not trying to subdue the animal first.

VIDEO: Aerial footage captured by a Global News helicopter shows the moment a police officer moved in and shot a black bear in the backyard of a Newmarket home. The bear eventually laid motionless under a tree. NOTE: No audio.

With files from Mark Carcasole

©2015

Police officer filmed allegedly punching man outside Ottawa Salvation Army

Ottawa police have launched an internal investigation after an officer was captured on video allegedly punching a man in the face outside of a local homeless shelter.

The incident occurred outside of the Salvation Army on George Street at about 4 p.m. ET on Monday and the video was posted to LiveLeak长沙桑拿 on Tuesday.

Const. Chuck Benoit confirmed that Ottawa Police Chief Charles Bordeleau had authorized the probe, but said there would be no further comment because the matter is now subject to an ongoing investigation.

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READ MORE: Montreal cop to be disciplined for freezing threat

The clip is brief and grainy, showing an officer standing over a man laying prone on the sidewalk. The men appear to exchange a few words and suddenly the officer punches the man on the sidewalk in the face, snapping his head back toward the pavement. A second short clip shows the officer walking back to his vehicle.

There is no indication what happened in the minutes leading up to the physical attack, or what the conflict was about.

An unnamed source who was reportedly at the scene told CBC News that the man had been yelling racial slurs at the officer who allegedly threw the punch. Those reports have not been confirmed.

Benoit said both officers on the tape had been identified but their names are not being released. The department is asking anyone with information to contact them.

The Salvation Army and the person who filmed the incident were not immediately available for comment. The president of the Ottawa Police Association, the union representing the officers, was also not available for comment.

Incidents involving alleged police misbehaviour caught on cellphone cameras have become more frequent in recent years.

Last winter, an officer in Montreal was caught threatening to tie a homeless man to a post in frigid weather.

In 2013, three officers in Ottawa were filmed forcing an aggressive man to the ground in the ByWard Market.

The video showed one officer punching the man in the upper body and head area as many as a dozen times while he was being held down.

The Ottawa Police Professional Standards Section investigated, but found that there was no evidence to support any charges against the officers involved.

©2015

Chris Rock to host 88th Academy Awards

TORONTO – Comedian and actor Chris Rock will return to host the Oscars for the second time, the Academy announced Wednesday.

Rock, 50, will take to the stage on Feb. 28, 2016 as host of the 88th Academy Awards. Rock previously hosted in 2005.

Rock tweeted “Look who’s back, #Oscars.”

“Chris Rock is truly the MVP of the entertainment industry,” said Oscar producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin in a statement. “Comedian, actor, writer, producer, director, documentarian – he’s done it all. He’s going to be a phenomenal Oscar host!”

In the statement, Rock said: “It’s great to be back.”

Celebrities took to 桑拿会所 to congratulate Rock, including last year’s Oscars host Neil Patrick Harris.

Take a look:

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©2015

Edmonton soldier injured during live-fire training at CFB Wainwright

EDMONTON — A military member was taken to an Edmonton hospital Monday after being injured during nighttime live-fire training in Wainwright, Alta.

The Canadian Armed Forces has not released further details on how the member was injured or the extent of injuries, although the armed forces did say the soldier did contact family after the injury.

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  • PHOTOS: Canadian military medical training exercise at CFB Wainwright

  • UPDATE: Military veteran charged with weapons-related offences following incident at Wainwright base

READ MORE: Canadian soldier dies following accident during training exercise in Wainwright

The incident is being treated as a training accident and an investigation is taking place.

“The Canadian Armed Forces takes training accidents extremely seriously and this incident is being fully investigated in order to reduce future risk.  In the meantime our thoughts are with the soldier and his family for a speedy recovery,” said Brigadier-General Wayne Eyre, commander of 3rd Canadian Division and Joint Task Force West.

READ MORE: CFB Wainwright accident: LAV III has a history of rollovers

The soldier is with the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in Edmonton. The base in Wainwright is about 200 kilometres southeast of Edmonton.

©2015

Saskatchewan strengthens farmland laws to ward off foreign investors

REGINA – Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart has introduced amendments to Saskatchewan’s farm security legislation that will make pension plans and their administrators ineligible from owning farmland in the province.

All financing for a farmland purchase will also have to be through a financial institution registered to do business in Canada or by a Canadian resident.

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  • Overwhelming majority reject foreign ownership of Sask. farmland

“If a foreign financial institution or individual loaned the money to purchase the farmland and then subsequently foreclosed, that foreign entity would be the owner of the farmland, so I think that’s where the concern comes with foreign financing,” Stewart said Tuesday.

MORE: The next target for foreign investors? Canadian farmland, report warns 

The changes come after almost nine out of every 10 people who responded to a government survey said they didn’t want the province’s farmland to end up in foreign hands.

Eighty-seven per cent of the more than 3,200 respondents said they didn’t support foreign ownership and 75 per cent said they were opposed to allowing investors such as Canadian pension funds to purchase farmland.

Farmers had raised concerns about loopholes they said allowed investors to drive up rents and farmland prices in the province.

The Farm Land Security Board will also get tougher powers to enforce the rules.

“There’s a belief that some transactions were slipping under the radar, transactions that would be illegal, and that the Farm Land Security Board couldn’t stop them,” said Stewart.

MORE: Seeds of crisis? Historic boom in farmland raises red flags

The question of who can own farmland in Saskatchewan prompted a spirited debate that was sparked after the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board started buying up farms in 2013. The rules currently don’t allow institutional investors to own Saskatchewan farmland and limit foreign ownership to four hectares, but the investment board’s structure made it eligible.

“While they have purchased some farmland, we will not be ordering divestiture since at the time that they purchased it, the purchase was legal,” said Stewart.

“They would not be eligible to purchase farmland again.”

Ray Orb, president of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities, says the big concern was around so-called mega-farms that weren’t locally owned. He believes the changes to the legislation will help protect communities.

“We see our small communities dwindling,” said Orb.

“We’ve had that actually happen in our community of Cupar, where we had foreign-land ownership and it kind of decimated our community because people weren’t moving there. They were sending the money out of the country.

“And so we want people to move there, to bring their kids with them, to expand the schools and to keep the hospitals running.”

The legislation still has to be passed, but the new rules are expected to come into effect by next year.

Police: Couple charged with grand theft left name, number in victim’s guestbook

Authorities say a man and woman left the woman’s name and telephone number in the guestbook of a South Florida art gallery before stealing about $6,000 USD worth of jewelry.

Palm Beach police say 24-year-old Megan Ohara and 19-year-old David Ziskoski took a bracelet and a ring Sunday from the Attila JK exhibition at the ICFA Gallery that belonged to the artist. They were spotted a short time later at a nearby grocery, and police reported finding the jewelry in the woman’s purse.

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Officers found multiple fake email addresses, including “[email protected]长沙桑拿” and at least one obscene drawing in the gallery’s guestbook. The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports that two of the fake emails included the name “Meg” and one included Ohara’s phone number.

WATCH: Dumb criminal checks Facebook at home he’s robbing and forgets to log off

The newspaper reported that Ohara and Ziskoski admitted to the theft and guestbook entries.

According to the arrest report, Ohara said, “If I knew they cost that much, I wouldn’t have taken it.”

Ohara and Ziskoski were arrested and charged with grand theft of under $10,000. Jail records didn’t list attorneys.

Facebook profiles appearing to belong to Ohara and Ziskoski show that both attended university in New York City. Ziskoski’s page says he is currently living in Philadelphia and working at GE.

Global News spoke to Ildiko Varga, owner of the ICFA Gallery. She said she wasn’t present at the time of the incident and declined to answer any further questions. Calls to Attila JK and the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office were not returned.

– with files from the Associated Press

©2015

Find a pipeline near you: CEPA launches new interactive pipelines map

CALGARY – The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) has launched a new website that allows Canadians to locate and learn about nearby pipelines.

Using the About Pipelines Map, which operates through Google Maps, users can enter their address, postal code, city or province to find the exact location of pipelines in their area.

The map lets users see information like the age of the pipeline, which company it’s operated by, who regulates it and what product it transports.

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“We recognized the need to develop a user friendly tool that people can use to see exactly where transmission pipeline infrastructure is located,” said CEPA President and CEO Brenda Kenny in a news release. “It’s a great resource for people to get better informed about this critical infrastructure that impacts all of our lives.”

The About Pipelines Map does not include other types of pipelines, such as gathering, feeder and distribution lines.

CEPA operates about 117,000 kilometres of pipeline in Canada and 14,000 kilometres in the United States.

According to CEPA, their members transport 97 per cent of Canada’s daily natural gas and onshore crude oil from producing regions to markets throughout North America.

Man robs credit union in Gronlid, Sask.

Police are looking for the man who allegedly robbed a credit union in a small Saskatchewan community. The robbery happened Tuesday afternoon in Gronlid.

Mounties say a man entered the financial institution around 3:15 p.m. CT and demanded money from the bank employee. He they took off in a small to mid-size black four-door sedan with an undisclosed amount of cash.

He is six-foot three, around 160 pounds with a slim build and fair skinned. He was dressed in black and made attempts to cover his face with his clothing.

READ MORE: Prince Albert police seek armed robbery suspect

Police say no one was injured.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Melfort RCMP at 306-752-6420 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

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  • Shots fired at Sask. Mounties during assault investigation

©2015

Historic 10 First Nations candidates elected as MPs in 2015 federal election

The federal election Monday was historic for Canada’s First Nations, which saw 10 indigenous candidates elected to the House of Commons and saw higher voter turnout in largely aboriginal ridings.

Some of the notable wins included Liberal candidates Robert-Falcon Ouellette, who beat out long-time NDP MP Pat Martin inner-city riding of Winnipeg Centre, and Jody Wilson-Raybould, a regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations, who took the riding of Vancouver-Granville.

WATCH: First Nations leaders react to new Liberal government

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Shane Gottfriedson, the regional chief of the BC Assembly of First Nations, said the new Liberal government is a “breath of fresh air.”

“When you look at the last ten years our programs and services have been cut and slashed,” Gottfriedson told Global News Tuesday. “The Liberals bring a new breath of fresh air to looking at reconciliation and a new relationship with First Nations from coast-to-coast-to-coast. What an exciting time for Canada and for First Nations leadership across the country.”

“Over the last ten years we have been faced with a very non-committed government to address a number of social determinants of our First Nations.”

READ MORE: Here’s what Trudeau’s promised and what he’ll face as prime minister

Chiefs in the tidings of Churchill-Keewatinook Aski, in Manitoba’s north, said turnout was up by more than 11,000 voters — an increase of 20 per cent from 2011. On the Manitoba-Ontario boundary turnout was up in 40 First Nations within the riding of Kenora, according to Chief Erwin Redsky of the Shoal Lake 40 First Nation.

Grand Chief Derek Nepinak with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs called it “a great day.”

“I feel a lot of relief from the years of very purposeful oppression that was brought forward from the previous government,” Nepinak said.

“Mr. Harper, when he was prime minister, awoke a sleeping giant in our people. That giant is awake and the new Liberal majority government is going to have to deal with a giant in the indigenous people of these lands.”

READ MORE: Selecting cabinet one of first orders of business for Trudeau

Several high-profile Conservatives were ousted in the election; including former ministers Joe Oliver, Chris Alexander, Leona Aglukkaq, Julian Fantino and Aboriginal Affairs Ministers Bernard Valcourt who lost his New Brunswick seat to Liberal candidate René Arseneault.

In the 42nd general election there were a record number of indigenous candidates on the ballot. Here is a look at the 10 who were elected and will represent constituents from British Columbia, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador:

Liberal

Vance Badawey – Niagara Centre, Ont.Yvonne Jones – LabradorMichael McLeod – Northwest TerritoriesRobert-Falcon Ouellette – Winnipeg Centre, Man.Don Rusnak – Thunder Bay-Rainy River, Ont.Jody Wilson-Raybould – Vancouver Granville, B.C.Dan Vandal – Saint Boniface-Saint Vital, Man.Hunter Tootoo – Nunavut

NDP

Georgina Jolibois – Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River, Sask.Romeo Saganash – Abitibi-Baie-James-Nunavik–Eeyou, Que.

Working with the Liberals

Prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau, who led the Liberals to a majority Monday night, has pledged a “nation-to-nation” relationship with the country’s First Nations communities.

Among one of the most pressing issues cited by the Assembly of First Nations is an inquiry into the more than 1,200 missing and murdered aboriginal women. Trudeau has also promised $515 million a year to funding for First Nations education, rising to a total of $2.6 billion and another $500 million over three years for education infrastructure.

*With a file from the Canadian Press

Scientists hopeful about Liberal ‘unmuzzling,’ but warn could take time

The Conservative government, much criticized for its “muzzling” of federal scientists are out of power much to the approval of some scientists.

READ MORE: Liberal MPs hold press conference on muzzling of scientists

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“I heard from a number of [Department of Fisheries and Oceans] colleagues, and they commented that there was dancing in the streets and lighting candles,” said former DFO scientist Steve Campana. “I celebrated with them by proxy.”

Campana spoke to Global News from his new home in Iceland where he’s been teaching for several months. For Campana, it was the very muzzling that drove him to leave his position as a shark researcher for the Canadian Shark Research Lab. For years, he did public outreach, interviews, spreading news about advances in understanding sharks. But when the Conservative government came in his interviews went down by 90 per cent with no reason given. He said he followed proper procedures, filling out the necessary paperwork. It made no difference. Close to retirement, he decided to find work elsewhere.

WATCH: Former DFO scientist, Steve Campana, explains why researchers feel the government is ‘muzzling’ them

“I personally feel that communicating science to the public is an important job,” he said. But being unable to do that was frustrating.

It seems that he wasn’t alone. In November 2014, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC), a union representing federal scientists, vociferously launched a campaign against the Harper government’s efforts to control the information disseminated to the public.

A survey the union conducted revealed that 90 per cent of federal scientists felt they weren’t allowed to speak freely to the media. PIPSC declared that they would be more politically active ahead of the election. And they followed through: In May protests were held across the country calling for more freedom of speech for scientists.

Now, with the Liberals —; who have vowed to take the muzzles off scientists —; in power, there is hope.

“It’s not going to immediately free up constraints of talking to the public,” said Ken Denham, a professor at the University of Victoria who was a former scientist with the DFO.

“I think things will change, but it won’t be overnight.”

Denham’s experience was similar to stories from federal scientists: not free to openly communicate with media, even restrictions on accessing other scientific data over the Internet.

For Campana, he was even reprimanded for attending a shark conference in South Africa on his own dime and time. The reason? Because other delegates would know he worked for the DFO.

The path ahead

Both scientists believe that the move forward will be a gradual one.

“I believe there is going to be lingering fear and paranoia by federal scientists until they’ve given a clear directive about what they can do,” said Campana. “They’re going to need some very clear assurances.”

Denham worries that the culture of fear will continue to exist at the managerial level within departments. For years there has been the concern that a minister would look unintelligent, uniformed or simply just plain bad. Management was there to protect ministers’ images under the shadow of Harper. It will take a long time, he thinks, to lose that fear.

WATCH: Union wants assurances government scientists won’t face interference

Campana agreed.

“I think it’s going to be a big hurdle to get over. That culture of fear is there within management,” he said.

“People are afraid. It’s like being repeatedly burned, and you’re afraid.”

Neither scientist believes that federal scientists should be given free reign.

Denham turns to the U.S. for an example of how the federal government could move forward.

The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has an administrative order called Scientific Integrity. In section 4, it specifically addresses scientists’ communication of scientific ideas. Specifically, it refers to “transparency, traceability, and integrity,” even going so far as to say that government scientists are free to express their own opinions on government policies, so long as it’s made clear that they are their own.

But the unmuzzling of scientists is just one of the pressing issues in the scientific sector. According to PIPSC, under Harper’s government, $2.6 billion and more than 5,000 jobs were targeted to be cut between 2013 and 2016 in the science sector.

Trying to increase funding will be another hurdle.

“Unmuzzling scientists can be done with a stroke of a pen, but releasing funding, well that’s money,” Campana said.

Though the move to more openly communicative federal departments will undoubtedly take time, at least it’s a move in the right direction.

“I’m really hoping things will open up,” said Denham. We’ve got all these intellectual people in a lab with a door that’s semi-locked.”

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©2015