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Vaughan youth soccer players caught on video swarming teammate

Cristina Howorun | posted Tuesday, Apr 25th, 2017

It’s a shocking video. A group of boys, about 14 years old, roam the halls of a hotel. Some of them are wearing Vaughan Soccer club attire.

“This is not a game,” one boy warns the camera. Another is making a pounding noise with his hands. They knock on the door – a boy opens his hotel room door and the onslaught begins.

The group charges toward him, throwing him onto the bed and pounding on his legs and torso. He gets the upper hand at one point and pins the primary attacker, but quickly gives up when the prime attacker warns: “Don’t touch me, don’t try to touch me boy,” in an eerily threatening voice.

The victim is pinned, face first, and the attacker repeats his warnings while inducing more harm with his hands.

The group leaves and the victim is seen moaning in pain in the fetal position on the bed. In the hallway, the ring leader boasts “I got that n**** fast.” The crowd is laughing.

But Pat DiRauso of the Vaughan Soccer club is not.

“It’s disturbing. The video speaks volumes,” he says.

DiRauso adds that in Vaughan Soccer club’s 35-year history they “never experienced anything like this.”

At the time the video was recorded, two of the club’s elite squads – the under-15 and under-13 teams from the Ontario Player Development League – were on a two-week tournament in Italy. They returned over the weekend and the video is believed to have been shot over the past week.

DiRauso only saw the video this past weekend.

“We’ve suspended the entire (team) as of yesterday afternoon,” he explains of the leadership and athletic program that costs about $3600 a year. “Tonight we are meeting with parents to determine what next steps we will take.”

The club is conducting its own internal investigation, but DiRauso believes it will have to go up the disciplinary chain to the York region Soccer Association, or even Ontario Soccer, which governs amateur soccer province-wide. Monday night’s practice is cancelled.

The activities seen in the video are clear violations of the club and Ontario Soccer’s code of conduct and some of those involved could be banned from competitive play for several years.

The under-15 team, where most of those appearing on the video are believed to play, doesn’t have a game scheduled until early May.

DiRauso isn’t sure if that game will proceed or how many players will be on the field. “Maybe not every player… sometimes it’s not even the player involved, it’s the players standing around and encouraging the act.”

He says about 30 players from the two teams were on the trip, with about 20 parental supervisors and four coaches chaperoning.

It’s believed the swarming happened early one evening, before lights out.

DiRauso admits that a lot is at stake. Ontario Soccer could pull their licence to run an Opdl team which is supposed to focus on athletics and leadership qualities.

But he says the players come first. “No program is more important than our players. ”

Are universities doing enough to support mental health?

Aaron Hutchins | posted Monday, Apr 24th, 2017

Student in library. (Sutichak/Shutterstock)

University isn’t meant to be easy, but it isn’t supposed to be this hard: since November 2016, the University of Guelph has lost four students to suicide.

After the fourth death, in mid-January, the school sent out another statement reminding staff and students about the counselling services available to them. For recent grad Connie Ly, it wasn’t enough. “I really just questioned how useful the services were, given that they were so overwhelmed already,” she says. Ly launched a petition on Change.org, since signed by 2,500 people, demanding to know how the university is spending government money allocated for mental health services, how those services have changed over the past five years, and specifically how it has improved the student-to-counsellor ratio. “The point wasn’t to point fingers at the school, but I felt nothing would happen if there wasn’t push from students,” Ly says.

As the taboo around talking about mental health crumbles, students are demanding more resources on campus, and many post-secondary education institutions are struggling to keep up. When Maclean’s surveyed more than 17,000 students at almost every campus across the country last year, 14 per cent said they were in poor mental health, 10 per cent rated their school’s mental health services as either poor or horrible, and 31 per cent said their mental health was affecting their ability to succeed. Meanwhile, when asked what kept them up at night, several members of the Maclean’s presidents advisory board said at a June 2016 meeting that the demand for mental health services was weighing on their minds.

“The demand is increasing—and we take those demands seriously—but we’re not funded as a mental health services provider,” explains Christopher Manfredi, vice-principal (academic) of McGill University. “We’re funded as an educational institution. Trying to find the resources within our budget is a big challenge for us.” The other problem is figuring out when to reach out and when to let go. “What’s the balance between support and spoon-feeding?” asks Ollivier Dyens, McGill’s deputy provost of student life and learning. “This is a very delicate balance, and I haven’t found it yet.”

Among other things, McGill is trying out an initiative where if, say, a student is often distracted in class or frequently absent, a professor can send an “expression of concern” to the dean of students, who is tasked with following up and offering help if it is needed.

The University of Calgary, meanwhile, tapped anti-stigma expert Andrew Szeto to head its Campus Mental Health Strategy, which tries to identify mental health problems early and, by partnering with resources already available in Calgary, make sure help is available 24-7.

“What if students need services at 1 a.m.?” asks Szeto. “They can call in to the same line for the campus wellness centre and they have options to be directed toward services at the Distress Centre (a 24-hour support line) or Wood’s Homes (a non-profit children’s mental health centre).”

But campuses in smaller cities and towns simply don’t have the same community services to draw upon. At Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B., (pop: 5,500) most of the few psychologists associated with the school’s wellness centre are based 50 km away in Moncton, N.B., according to Shaelyn Sampson, the Jack.org chapter co-lead at the school. And it’s a visit they don’t make every day. “I know one [psychologist] comes in Wednesday afternoons from about 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.,” says Sampson, who gets an hour every month or two. Allot one hour per appointment, and exactly four students get seen each week by that counsellor.

Sampson runs educational events each semester with Jack.org, a youth advocacy group with chapters across Canada, to promote positive mental health and break down the stigma that stops people from even talking about their own mental health.

When Sampson’s anxiety and depression reached the breaking point two years ago and she called the centre, she waited a month to get in. This semester? “We’re seeing wait times of six weeks and up to three months,” she says. “When a student is in a rough spot and having severe mental health issues, you don’t necessarily have three months.”

Some don’t even call, thinking someone else might need help more, Sampson adds. “You shouldn’t have to reach that breaking point to feel that your reaching out is valid.”

Feeling Overwhelmed
The top 15 universities where students reported feeling overwhelmed on a daily or weekly basis. In addition, the top 15 areas of study across all of the surveyed universities where students said they felt overwhelmed at a minimum of once every week and sometimes on a daily basis.


Overwhelmed (by University) %
Mount Royal University 59.0
Victoria University 59.0
University of Winnipeg 58.9
McGill University 58.1
Ryerson University 56.7
Wilfred Laurier University 56.3
Memorial University of Newfoundland 55.5
Trent University 55.2
University of Ontario Institute of Technology 53.8
Mount Saint Vincent 53.5
York University 53.3
Queen’s University 52.9
Concordia University 51.8
University of Manitoba 51.1
St. Thomas University 51.0


Overwhelmed (by program area) %
Women and gender studies 67.9
Archaeology 66.7
Design 65.8
English 61.7
Drama 61.3
Architecture 61.0
Sociology 58.7
Art 58.7
Anthropology 57.3
Linguistics 56.4
Neuroscience 56.2
Philosophy 55.2
Psychology 55.1
Cognitive science 55.1
Law 54.9

Here’s why it’s only going to get harder to put down your phone

Diana Duong | posted Monday, Apr 24th, 2017


When was the last time you checked your phone? Five minutes ago? Three? Less? How much time do you figure you spend looking at your phone each day? The answer might surprise you. Because even though it only takes a couple seconds to check an unread message or the outside temperature or the score of the baseball game, each of those checks add up. On average, we’re spending three hours a day on our phones, and picking them up about 100 times a day.

That’s what marketing and psychology professor Adam Alter discovered about himself when he downloaded Moment, an app that measures smartphone use. In his new book, Irresistible, he investigates the rise of our behavioural addiction to screens and how tech companies are continually tweaking their products, with every new update, to make it harder and harder for us to put them down. Here, Alter discusses what’s behind that nagging instinct to reach for our phones at all times.

What prompted you to start looking into how technology is keeping us hooked?

I noticed I was playing certain games over and over again, and I found it very hard to stop. I wondered if it was something about my personality so I started speaking to some other people and they said the same thing. I found interviews with people like Steve Jobs and other tech giants, who said things like, “I don’t allow my kids to use the tech devices at home that I’ve produced at work.” That inspired me to try to work out the extent to which the tech industry was aware of these issues.

Which games started all this?

I played 2048 over and over again for months, and before that I played Angry Birds forever. I also started playing this game called Flappy Bird.

The one made by a Vietnamese developer who deleted it soon after?

Exactly, his name is Dong Nguyen, and it’s so interesting what he did. He was doing so well; the ad revenue was overwhelming. But he had read so many reviews from people who said they couldn’t stop playing it, and it was affecting their lives adversely. He felt bad and deleted it completely. That doesn’t happen at all in the tech industry.

Adam Alter on smartphone addiction

Author of Irresistible, Adam Alter. Photo, John Fitzgerald.

What was the most surprising thing you found during your research?

The magnitude of some of these effects. One research paper found that 41 percent of us has had at least one behavioural addiction [an addiction that doesn’t involve eating, drinking, injecting or smoking] in the past 12 months. And the fact that, on average, we spend about three hours a day on phones.

That seems very high to me because we don’t have that much time in the day where we’re not working or eating or sleeping. This is time we could be spending exercising, having conversations, playing with our children, interacting with other people or animals, but we’re spending a lot of it interacting instead with a screen, which I think is very isolating, at least socially. Even if you are interacting with someone through a screen, the depth of that is much shallower than if you were interacting face-to-face.

You said that children are most likely to develop addictive behaviour with screens because they lack the self-control most adults have. Who else is vulnerable?

It’s really anybody. There are certainly some people who are more willing to take risks and who tend to develop addictions more readily than others. But there’s something very democratic about behavioural addictions, they affect such a large proportion of the population by some estimates, which suggests it’s not about individual factors, it’s really about the experiences themselves.

So it’s not entirely our fault then — these devices are designed to be addictive?

Exactly. These devices are designed to make it really easy for us to learn how to use them and become familiar with them. Once, when my son was four months old, he leaned over and swiped my phone screen and smiled at me. I found it so fascinating that this device was one of the first experiences where he could act in a purposeful way. The swiping gesture is just so fundamental, it’s so easy for everyone to master.

But it’s hard to imagine a future without screens. Where do we go from here? How do we break that cycle? I can’t imagine going back to phones without apps and Internet browsers.

I don’t think we should go backwards. I’m not suggesting we eschew our smartphones. I think that’s an extreme position. The reason we’re having these conversations in the first place is because these experiences are so positive. If phones and technology never gave us something positive, we wouldn’t develop these addictions in the first place.

What I would suggest instead is we find time in the day, maybe two or three hours, where we go tech-free. Spend time having face-to-face conversations, or spend time in nature. Go out and look at an ocean or a lake, spend time in a park or even forest. Basically, spend part of your day where, based on what you see alone, you shouldn’t be able to tell what year it is.

This is especially important as virtual reality tech becomes more mainstream and takes a real hold on our culture. That hasn’t happened yet, but experts, say within two to five years, it will take over.

What else do we need to keep ourselves in check? Are we looking at government regulation, or even ethicists at tech companies? Or are gadget curfews enough?

I don’t think it should all be on the consumer. That would be like if we went back in time, looked at the tobacco industry and said, “They should keep doing what they’re doing and we should all learn a bit more self-control.” That only treats the smaller part of the problem.

I know the idea of legislation is unpopular with consumers. But if this overuse of devices ends up becoming a burden on the health-care system, if it changes how generations interact and how our society functions at large, then I think there’s good reason to suggest maybe we do need regulation.

Given that tech companies are producing so many of these irresistible experiences, they should be encouraged with soft rules like a Hippocratic oath, much like doctors have. That you should “do no harm” with whatever tech you’re creating. The Hippocratic oath is never enforceable and it’s not a regulation, but it’s a nice guiding principle and I think it would encourage tech experts to answer a different set of questions that I think a lot of them aren’t even asking themselves right now.

‘The Fate of the Furious’ laps new films at box office

Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press | posted Monday, Apr 24th, 2017


“The Fate of the Furious” sped into first place at the box office again, leaving new thriller “Unforgettable” and historical drama “The Promise” in the dust.

Universal Pictures’ eighth installment in “The Fast and the Furious” franchise earned $38.7 million over the weekend, down 61 per cent from its debut, according to studio estimates Sunday.

The new competition didn’t stand a chance against the high-octane film, which had the biggest worldwide opening of all time last weekend. It’s expected to cross $1 billion globally this week.

Holdovers dominated the charts on this quiet weekend in theatres. “The Boss Baby” took second place with $12.8 million, and “Beauty and the Beast” landed in third with $10 million.

Disney’s animal documentary “Born in China” opened in fourth place, with $5.1 million from 1,508 locations. The two other new movies fared worse.

Warner Bros. thriller “Unforgettable,” starring Katherine Heigl as a jealous ex-wife and Rosario Dawson as the new fiancee, opened at No. 7 with just $4.8 million. Critics were tough on the film, and audiences gave it a deathly C CinemaScore rating.

The directorial debut of longtime producer Denise Di Novi cost only $12 million to make, but the meagre result still disappointed.

“Unfortunately, the movie just missed the intended audience,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros.’ president of domestic distribution. “We had higher expectations, and we’re disappointed we didn’t achieve them.”

There is a silver lining for the studio. The buddy comedy “Going in Style,” starring Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Alan Arkin, is chugging along after three weeks in theatres, taking fifth place with $5 million.

Meanwhile, the historical epic “The Promise,” starring Oscar Isaac and Christian Bale, bombed with a mere $4.1 million from 2,251 theatres.

The movie delves into the mass killings of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey that many countries and most historians call genocide. Turkey still denies genocide, saying the deaths stemmed from civil unrest and war.

It’s not a surprise the film, which was estimated to cost around $100 million to make, failed to gain traction, comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian said.

“It didn’t really jump out as anything that would be a surprising box-office hit,” Dergarabedian said. “But it wasn’t really about the box office.”

Made outside the studio system and distributed by Open Road Films, the point of “The Promise” was to raise awareness around a global event that many know nothing about, he said.

Celebrities from Kim Kardashian West to Cher promoted the film on social media. Its makers said they will donate all proceeds to nonprofits and intend to use the PG-13-rated film as an education tool in schools.

“It was a tough weekend in general for the newcomers,” Dergarabedian said, noting that many moviegoers are likely saving up for “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” which hits theatres May 5.

“It’s a quiet period,” he added. “This is the interlude between the spring movie season and what promises to be the biggest summer movie season ever.”

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theatres, according to comScore. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1.“The Fate of the Furious,” $38.7 million.
2.“The Boss Baby,” $12.8 million.
3.“Beauty and the Beast,” $10 million.
4.“Born in China,” $5.1 million.
5.“Going in Style,” $5 million.
6.“Smurfs: The Lost Village,” $4.9 million.
7.“Unforgettable,” $4.8 million.
8.“Gifted,” $4.5 million.
9.“The Promise,” $4.1 million.
10.“The Lost City of Z,” $2.1 million.
Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

Longo’s ground meat recalled from Mississauga store due to E. coli risk

CityNews | posted Monday, Apr 24th, 2017


The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has recalled several ground meat products from a particular grocer because they may be contaminated with E. coli.

The products were sold at the Longo’s on Glen Erin Drive in Mississauga. Click here for a full list.

The new recall is in addition to one that was issued on Friday. The CFIA issued a recall for ground veal that was sold at the store.

Food contaminated with E. coli may not look or smell spoiled, but can still make you sick. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, mild to severe abdominal cramps and watery to bloody diarrhea.

No illnesses have been reported.

Marcus Johansson ends Maple Leafs’ season with Game 6 OT winner as Capitals advance

Jonas Siegel, The Canadian Press | posted Monday, Apr 24th, 2017


A historic Toronto Maple Leafs season has come to an end.

Marcus Johansson stuffed his second goal of the game past Frederik Andersen six and a half minutes into overtime as the Washington Capitals edged the Leafs 2-1 in Game 6 on Sunday night, winning the series 4-2 with five of the six games decided in extra time.

Johansson pulled Washington even at 1-1 with less than eight minutes to go in the third period after Auston Matthews broke a scoreless tie with his fourth goal of the series for Toronto.

Andersen was sharp with 34 saves, equaled by Holtby, who stopped 37-of-38 for the Caps.

Washington will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round for the second straight spring.

The loss ends a memorable season for the Leafs.
History was shattered often in Toronto this season, beginning with Matthews unprecedented four-goal NHL debut and concluding with a teardown of the team’s rookie record book, from goals, assists and points to power-play points and ice-time.

It was all that youth which made for low expectations initially last fall. Even internally, the team was expected only to demonstrate growth after a last-place 2015-16 season, not make the playoffs or push the Presidents’ Trophy winner to six games in the first round.

But youth spurred the Leafs all season-long and again in the post-season against the Caps in a series that saw all six games decided by a goal. Matthews finished with four goals and five points, William Nylander, Morgan Rielly and 19-year-old Mitch Marner all adding four points apiece.

“When you look at where we’ve come from, last year to this year, I think there’s a lot to take pride in,” Rielly said before Game 6.

The Leafs had 10 players make their NHL playoff debuts against Washington. The Caps, by contrast, had only a single player who was appearing in his first post-season: depth winger Brett Connolly.

Experience, or lack thereof, never much mattered in this series, though. Toronto raced out to a 2-0 lead in the first period of Game 1 and kept it close every step of the way against Washington, a team gunning for its first Stanley Cup this spring.

Many members of the Leafs were facing elimination in an NHL post-season for the first time and it looked that way during a nervous first few shifts. But they eventually stabilized and generated the best chances in an opening period where few existed.

Nylander had the two finest looks, both coming off strong work along the boards and down low by fellow rookie Zach Hyman. The Caps had their best chance in the final minute of the first when Alex Ovechkin fired a shot that Andersen struggled initially to locate.

Starting his 34th career playoff game, Andersen settled into truly fine form in the second. He stopped Evgeny Kuznetsov in tight moments into the period and then made his sharpest stop, to that point, with just under 10 minutes gone when he stuck a left pad out on a Justin Williams shot.

Williams, who beat Andersen five-hole to win Game 5 in overtime, was all alone in front as he tried to wait out the 27-year-old at the tail-end of an odd-man rush.

Jake Gardiner nearly scored for the Leafs a few minutes earlier, but his blast from the point pinged off the cross-bar.

From there it was more Andersen.

He stopped Kuznetsov again on a dangerous look and then Andre Burakovsky in the high slot as chants of “Freddy” came from a towel-waving Air Canada Centre crowd, which included Stratford, Ont., native Justin Bieber.

The Leafs actually outshot the Caps 14-11 in the second (and 38-36 overall), but the scariest chances came from the visitors by the end of a scoreless 40 minutes.

Toronto went long stretches without testing Holtby until Rielly dumped a puck into the right corner. Instead of wheeling around the boards, the puck bounced awkwardly into the slot where it was chased down by Matthews. The 19-year-old made no mistake, roofing a shot into the top right corner for the 1-0 lead.

He joined Wendel Clark as the second teenager ever to score a goal in four straight playoff games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Matthews, who went pointless in the first two games of the series, was the first player picked No. 1 overall by the Leafs since Clark in 1985.

He would later break Clark’s franchise rookie record for goals during the regular season, finishing with 40.

Johansson tied it about five minutes after the Matthews goal, the sequence starting with a Martin Marincin pass that went astray in the neutral zone. The puck found its way to the Caps winger, who fought off Kasperi Kapanen’s pursuits before beating Andersen short-side.

The Leafs had a nervous moment with 72 seconds left in regulation when Nikita Zaitsev inadvertently bumped Andersen in the head. Andersen was forced to leave two starts late in the regular season after taking hits to the head, but he remained in the game for the remainder of the third and 18th overtime of the first round, which set a new NHL record.

Location justice: Why sexual assault cases in Toronto are less likely to go to trial

Cynthia Mulligan | posted Monday, Apr 24th, 2017


Roslyn Talusan doesn’t believe she received justice after she was sexually assaulted.

She said she went to Toronto Police after the man she had been dating refused to wear a condom the first time they had intercourse, and even though she said she asked him to stop numerous times he didn’t. Detectives charged him with sexual assault but months later the Crown told her there wasn’t a good prospect of a conviction.

“I know that I was raped,” TaIusan said, “I experienced a trauma, I’ve been living with it for two years.”

“They said ‘ok we’re going to withdraw the charge’ and I cried, I cried in the room with them,” she continued.

According to numbers from the Ministry of the Attorney General, obtained exclusively by CityNews, Talusan only had about a 50 per cent chance her case would proceed after a Crown attorney took the file.

Records detailing every sexual assault case in Ontario that made it to court over the past five years paint a startling picture of discrepancies.

For example, in Toronto more sex assault cases are dropped by the Crown either before or during a trial than any other large jurisdiction in the province. Almost half (48 per cent) have been withdrawn or stayed since 2012.

Timmins has the lowest average for dropping sex assault cases at 22 per cent. London and Guelph sit at 35 per cent and Brampton averages 37 per cent.

Ottawa has a 26 per cent withdrawal rate, which suggests Talusan’s Toronto case was almost twice as likely to be dropped than if it had happened in the capital.

“Why would it matter where you live?” she asked. “It’s not like the pain or trauma is different if you live in the suburbs than if you live in the city.”

CTCN Sex Assault Stats GFX MAP B

More startling discrepancies

Toronto also has one of the lowest trial rates for sex assault cases in the province at 25 per cent.

Ottawa, Milton, Sarnia and Windsor all have among the highest, with more than 40 per cent of alleged survivors having their cases heard before a judge.

Sex assault suspects in Toronto are among the least likely to plead guilty. On average 12 per cent of Toronto cases end with guilty pleas.

Kitchener has the highest guilty plea rate at 37 per cent. The provincial average is 19 per cent.

For the specific statistics in your jurisdiction over the last five years, click here to see our interactive map.

Disturbing questions

Is there a discrepancy from jurisdiction to jurisdiction on how sex assault cases are handled in the court? And if so, why?

“The simple one word answer is silos. Each Crown attorney’s office has a unique culture,” criminal lawyer and former Crown David Butt told CityNews. “Crown attorneys are encouraged to be independent because we don’t want political interference but out of that independence comes different ways of doing business.”

Lawyer Jacob Jesin, who has spent much of his career defending sex assault suspects, said cases are treated differently depending on where the alleged assault took place.

“Ask any defense lawyer. They’ll agree there are some jurisdictions that take a different approach, some perhaps more inclined to prosecute things a little further,” he explained.

CTCN Sex Assault Stats GFX MAP A

Why are sexual assault cases dropped?

A case may be withdrawn or stayed for many reasons, including lack of evidence and alleged survivors refusing to testify.

“It’s no secret for a sex assault survivor the justice process is, frankly, horrifically inhospitable. So yes, I think there’s attrition because sex assault survivors don’t feel that it’s worth the trauma,” Butt said.

Backlogs in Toronto’s court system could also mean cases are being triaged and vetted more aggressively.

“Setting dates for trials almost a year into the future, (the) Crown has to look at everything on plate and say ‘these are cases where we are more likely to get a conviction,’” Jesin added.

CTCN Sex Assault Stats GFX MAP C

Explaining the range of guilty plea rates

Butt said there isn’t one simple explanation for the variety in guilty plea rates.

“Again it’s a complicated question. Could be a culture in a Crown office that accepts fewer guilty pleas and offers fewer bargains. If you have almost twice as many cases going to trial in other jurisdictions, and it’s clearly not a margin of error or insignificant blip, that is a fundamental structural problem,” he explained.

The way police handle their investigations may also be a factor because it’s up to individual officers to decide whether to lay charges.

For the specific statistics in your jurisdiction over the last five years, head to our interactive map.

Dog goes missing in Hamilton after being put on wrong flight

FAIZA AMIN | posted Friday, Apr 21st, 2017


A Halifax woman is making a public appeal for help finding her lost puppy, which is likely in Hamilton after being put on the wrong flight from Halifax.

The dog, named Cooper, went missing after it was mistakenly flown to the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport on Wednesday.

The 11-month-old Golden Labradoodle was supposed to be on a WestJet flight leaving Halifax for Deer Lake, Nfld., to be with family.

A WestJet spokeswoman told CityNews the dog was taken to Hamilton instead and got off his leash after he was taken out of the kennel for a walk.

“We are extremely sorry this happened but the intention was to make the dog comfortable given the journey he was on,” she said in an email.

WestJet says it’s doing everything possible to find the pup, including ground searches, putting up posters, and investigating tips from the Hamilton airport security phone line.

“The safety and care of pets, whether they are travelling as cargo or as carry-on, is always a top priority for WestJet and we sincerely apologize to the pet’s owner for what has occurred,” she said.

It’s not yet clear how Cooper ended up in Hamilton instead of Deer Lake, but volunteers in the city have been canvassing the area looking for the pooch.

Anyone who has seen the dog can call airport security at 905-679-4908.

For more information, visit the Facebook page for Lost and Found Pets in Hamilton Ontario.

missing dog
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