Skip to content

Emergency alert test, N.S. mass shooting inquiry continues : In The News for May 4

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of May 4 ... What we are watching in Canada ...
An alert using the Quebec emergency alert system is seen on a mobile phone and television in Montreal, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

In The News is a roundup of stories from The Canadian Press designed to kickstart your day. Here is what's on the radar of our editors for the morning of May 4 ...

What we are watching in Canada ...

Cellphone users in several provinces and all the territories may be surprised by an automated emergency alert today, but participating governments say it's only a test. 

The exercise is part of a scheduled trial of Alert Ready, a system used across the country to broadcast warnings on radio and television stations, as well as compatible wireless devices. 

To receive alerts, mobile phones must be turned on, be connected to a cellular network and have updated software.

The test involves an emergency tone and a message indicating no action from the public is required. 

Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and Nova Scotia are not participating in the test. 

Alert Ready was used last year to deliver 173 warnings across Canada for wildfires, tornadoes, flash floods, Amber Alerts, civil emergencies, police emergencies and drinking water warnings. 


Also this ...

The brother of the Nova Scotia mass killer told police that after first meeting his sibling late in life he concluded he was paranoid and harboured dark thoughts.

Jeff Samuelson is the younger brother of Gabriel Wortman, who carried out a deadly two-day shooting rampage in rural Nova Scotia in April 2020.

Samuelson was put up for adoption in the United States in 1970 and didn’t reconnect with the Wortman family until 2010, when he was 40 years old.

The Massachusetts man told police that the killer shared stories with him over the phone about his “awful” upbringing and repeatedly said he wanted to murder their biological parents.

A transcript of his interview with the RCMP was published Tuesday by the public inquiry into the mass shooting.

In his conversation with police days after the mass killing, Samuelson said he and Wortman were “wired at the same factory” but he “went down a different assembly line.”


What we are watching in the U.S. ...

WASHINGTON _ A Los Angeles protest over the leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion that would throw out Roe v. Wade briefly turned into a skirmish with police, who say one officer was injured.

A citywide police tactical alert was declared after a Tuesday night confrontation near downtown's Pershing Square.

Authorities say about 250 people had been marching peacefully for abortion rights before the clash. LAPD Chief Michel Moore says some demonstrators threw rocks and bottles at officers. One officer was struck with a baton.

There was no immediate word of any arrests and the crowd mostly dispersed after a large police presence was called in.

It was the only violence reported among demonstrations held around the country.

About 1,000 people gathered outside the Supreme Court in Washington D.C. Smaller gatherings were held in Atlanta; Austin, Texas and in Manhattan, where New York state Attorney General Letitia James announced that nearly two decades ago, she "walked proudly into Planned Parenthood'' and had an abortion.


What we are watching in the rest of the world ...

ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine _ Russian forces unleashed artillery fire on towns in eastern Ukraine, killing and wounding dozens of civilians, and began storming the bombed-out steel mill in Mariupol from where scores were evacuated after enduring weeks of shelling against the city's last pocket of resistance.

The governor of the eastern Donetsk region said Russian attacks left 21 dead on Tuesday, the highest number of known fatalities since April 8, when a missile attack on the railway station in Kramatorsk killed at least 59 people.

Thanks to the evacuation effort over the weekend, 101 people _ including women, the elderly, and 17 children, the youngest six months old _ emerged from the bunkers under Mariupol's Azovstal steelworks to "see the daylight after two months,'' said Osnat  Lubrani, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine.

Ukraine's Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said authorities on Wednesday plan to continue efforts to evacuate civilians from Mariupol and nearby areas if the security situation allows it. Lubrani also expressed hope for further evacuations but said none had been worked out.

One evacuee said she went to sleep at the plant every night afraid she wouldn't wake up.

"You can't imagine how scary it is when you sit in the bomb shelter, in a damp and wet basement, and it is bouncing and shaking,'' 54-year-old Elina Tsybulchenko said upon arriving in the Ukrainian-controlled city of Zaporizhzhia, about 230 kilometres northwest of Mariupol, in a convoy of buses and ambulances.

Ukrainian commanders said Russian forces backed by tanks began storming the sprawling plant, which includes a maze of tunnels and bunkers spread out over 11 square kilometres. It was unclear how many Ukrainian fighters were still inside, but the Russians put the number at about 2,000 in recent weeks, and 500 were reported to be wounded. A few hundred civilians also remained there, Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said.

"We'll do everything that's possible to repel the assault, but we're calling for urgent measures to evacuate the civilians that remain inside the plant and to bring them out safely,'' Sviatoslav Palamar, deputy commander of Ukraine's Azov Regiment, said on the messaging app Telegram.

He added that throughout the night, the plant was hit with naval artillery fire and airstrikes. Two civilian women were killed and 10 civilians wounded, he said.


On this day in 1992 ...

Residents of the Northwest Territories voted narrowly in favour of a move to re-draw the map of Canada. They endorsed dividing the territory into two sections by the turn of the century. The creation of Canada's third territory -- Nunavut -- was part of a massive land-claims settlement with Inuit in the eastern Arctic. Nunavut, which came into being on April 1, 1999, is more than five times the size of Alberta.


In entertainment ...

Jury selection is expected to begin today at the sex assault trial of Canadian musician Jacob Hoggard.

Hoggard, the frontman for the rock band Hedley, was charged in 2018 with sexual assault causing bodily harm and sexual interference in connection with alleged incidents involving a woman and a teenager.

He pleaded not guilty at his preliminary hearing in 2019.

The trial was initially set to begin in January 2021 but it was delayed several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is now set to run until early June.

Neither of the complainants can be identified due to a publication ban, nor can several witnesses who are expected to testify during trial.


Did you see this?

KELOWNA, B.C. _ A Wayne Gretzky rookie card that was stolen seven years ago in West Kelowna, B.C., is now back in the hands of its owner.

Mounties say the card landed in their exhibits file in 2019, but it was only returned to owner Ian Moore when it came up for disposal and the officer who investigated the original theft recalled the incident.

RCMP say in a news release that Const. Rick Goodwin responded to the report of the theft at Moore's property in 2015 and among the items taken were vintage hockey cards, including the Gretzky card.

Police say they obtained the card four years later when officers arrested a man and woman in a vehicle that contained numerous stolen items.

Goodwin says when he learned there was a valuable vintage hockey card in the exhibits, he went back to his old file and dug up the details of the theft.

Without seeing the card, police say Moore was able to identify its unique details and the card was returned to him last week.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 4, 2022.

The Canadian Press