Kingston celebrates first in-person Pride parade since pandemic began

Sunday marked Kingston's 32nd annual Pride parade, back in-person for the first time since 2019. The event saw hundreds of Kingstonians take to Confederation Park to celebrate.

Kingston Pride celebrated the 32nd annual Pride parade on Sunday and was met with great weather for the occasion.

“The sun is shining on Pride, as it always does. It shone on the parade and it’s been fantastic,” says Festival Director Ted Robinson.

The theme for this year’s Pride parade was “Together Again.” That’s because it’s been over two years since the festivities were held in-person.

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“There’s lots of people for whom COVID-19 has been an extremely difficult time with isolation, you know,” says Robinson. “We as a community rely on each other tremendously. So being able to be here and share what’s been happening for each of us in the last 18 months is fantastic.”

While Pride is traditionally celebrated in June, organizers moved the festival to September in hopes of bringing people together safely.

The events at Confederation Park required all attendees to show proof of full vaccination status and safety protocols were in place.

“People are grateful to be here, they’re grateful to be out and about, they’re grateful that we’ve put all of the safety protocols in place that we need to,” says Robinson.

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Kingston Pride Chair Ian Burns says Kingston has shown great support for the Queer community.

“People really look to Pride as that symbol of community,” says Burns. “And without that visibility, it’s so much harder to find the people that you want to be with.”

For some Pride-goers, this year marks their first time at the parade.

“I’m very excited to be here,” says Trevor Shyack. “I just came out so it’s like so awesome to be so supported and be in such an amazing city with such supportive people.”

The 2021 Kingston Pride festival marks Shyack’s first parade, and they say they’ve felt welcomed by the Kingston LGBTQ2S+ community.

“You’re able to express yourself and you’re able to feel like you’re part of something bigger, which is really important,” says Shyack. “And it’s having that sense of community and having that sense of belonging in something bigger. And that’s really cool.”

For others, the event brings them strength.

“Me being part of the LGBTQ community, I feel welcome and I feel like very welcome into everything right now and I just feel more empowered,” says Addison Russell.

Sunday’s Pride parade and festivities mark the end of over a week of celebrating the LGBTQ2S+ community.

Kingston Pride says it will have more community events in the coming months to keep Kingstonians involved.

“If you don’t know about the Queer community, take a look at it, make sure you do some research,” says Burns. “And also just talk to people. We’re all people, and we’re all here and we all love.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Spain's La Palma's airport reopens, but all flights remain cancelled as volcano erupts

WATCH LIVE: La Palma volcano eruption intensifies as rivers of lava flow toward sea

The airport on the Spanish island of La Palma reopened on Sunday although all flights were canceled as the volcano spewed lava and emitted ash clouds over the surrounding area a week after it began erupting.

People used umbrellas to protect themselves from falling volcanic cash, while the airport’s departures hall was quiet and boards showed only canceled flights.

“They laugh at us because of the umbrella but if we don’t use it we end up covered in ash,” said engineer Waldo Nasco.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano erupting on Sept. 25, 2021 on La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano erupting on Sept. 25, 2021 on La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain.

(Photo By Kike Rincon/Europa Press via Getty Images)

Experts said on Sunday there were two active lava flows, one fast-moving flow to the north and a slower one to the south.

“We have a flow to the north that is moving quickly… this lava comes from more interior areas of the crater and its temperature is about 1,250 degrees,” said Miguel Angel Morcuende, director of volcano response committee Pevolca, told a news conference on Sunday.

Reuters drone footage showed a rapid river of red hot lava flowing down the slopes of the crater, passing close to homes, and swathes of land and buildings engulfed by a black mass of slower-moving, older lava.

Lava destroyed the village church in Todoque on Sunday afternoon, its bell tower crumbling under the flow. It narrowly escaped earlier in the week when lava stopped just short of the church.

Morcuende said people who had been evacuated from Tacande de Arriba, Tacande de Abajo and Tajuya would be able to return to their homes.

Spain’s airport operator Aena said the airport had reopened after teams cleared ash off the runway. But Binter, the Canary Island airline said it would not allow flights today because of the conditions.

“The ash cloud originating from the volcanic eruption makes it necessary to maintain the temporary stoppage of flights to La Palma… The flights scheduled for today have been canceled,” it said in a statement, adding flights would be halted until conditions allowed them to take place safely.

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‘Closeness and solidarity’

Pope Francis sent a message of “closeness and solidarity” to those affected by the eruption during his weekly blessing in St. Peter’s Square.

On La Palma, churches held special masses for those affected.

“There are many people who are having a very bad time so we are praying for them,” said Magali Zarate, 49, from Mexico, after mass at the church of Colegio Sagrada Familia de Nazaret, where people outside swept away volcanic ash.

Zarate was on holiday on La Palma and was unable to return home because her flight was canceled.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano spews lava, ash and smoke as seen from Los Llanos de Aridane on the Canary island of La Palma in Sept. 26, 2021.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano spews lava, ash and smoke as seen from Los Llanos de Aridane on the Canary island of La Palma in Sept. 26, 2021.

(Photo by DESIREE MARTIN / AFP) (Photo by DESIREE MARTIN/AFP via Getty Images)

The Cumbre Vieja volcano, which began erupting last Sunday, entered a new explosive phase on Friday, experts said. The national Geographical and Mining Institute said on Saturday its drones had shown the volcano’s cone had broken.

The eruption has destroyed hundreds of houses and forced the evacuation of nearly 6,000 people since it began on Sept. 19.

“La Palma airport is back in operation. After progress in ash cleaning work, it can now be reopened,” Aena tweeted.

Travelers had been faced with canceled flights on Saturday, and many had joined long queues at the port in the hope of getting a boat off the island.

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On Sunday, ferry operator Fred Olsen Express said it would add an extra round trip between La Palma and Tenerife from Monday until Wednesday.

“Fred Olsen Express will increase connections… to continue meeting the demand for transport generated by the emergency situation caused by the volcanic eruption,” it said in a statement.

La Palma, with a population of over 83,000, is one of an archipelago making up the Canary Islands.

No fatalities or serious injuries have been reported since the volcano’s eruption, but about 15% of the island’s economically crucial banana crop could be at risk, jeopardizing thousands of jobs.

© 2021 Reuters

The 2 Michaels are home. But what about the 115 Canadians still detained in China?

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All eyes were on Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor on Saturday as the two returned home following nearly three years spent in apparent arbitrary detention in China.

Heartwarming images and video surfaced of the two reuniting with their families. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday called their homecoming “good news for all of us,” noting that they had both gone through an “unbelievably difficult ordeal.”

But as of Sunday at least 115 Canadians remain in custody in Chinese prisons, Global Affairs Canada said in an emailed statement to Global News. Not all Canadians imprisoned in China are in arbitrary detainment, but the agency said at least four of those jailed are on death row.

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“Canada opposes the death penalty in all cases, everywhere,” Global Affairs Canada said.

“We have raised our firm opposition to the death penalty with China and continue to call on China to grant clemency for all Canadians sentenced to death.”

The agency said it reviews each detention on a case-by-case basis, as consular officials often require a “tailored approach” that can adapt to different local contexts and circumstances.

Here’s a look at the four Canadians currently on death row.

Robert Schellenberg

Of those sentenced to death, the most recent is Canadian Robert Schellenberg of Abbotsford, British Columbia. The Liaoning High Court upheld his death sentence on Aug. 10 following an appeal made over the summer.

Schellenberg was detained on drug charges in China in 2014 and was formally charged with drug smuggling in January 2015. Initially, a Chinese court had sentenced him to 15 years in prison. But four years later, his verdict was overturned following a retrial and he was sentenced to death.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau said in August that Canada “strongly” condemned the court’s decision to uphold the death penalty for Schellenberg.

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“We have repeatedly expressed to China our firm opposition to this cruel and inhumane punishment and will continue to engage with Chinese officials at the highest levels to grant clemency to Mr. Schellenberg,” he said, shortly after the ruling was delivered.

“We oppose the death penalty in all cases, and condemn the arbitrary nature of Mr. Schellenberg’s sentence.”

In an emailed statement to Global News, Global Affairs Canada reiterated that the federal government remains “strongly opposed” to the decision to arbitrarily impose and uphold the death penalty for Schellenberg.

The agency added it “will continue to engage with Chinese officials at the highest levels to seek clemency for Mr. Schellenberg.”

Xu Weihong

Canadian Xu Weihong was sentenced to death by the Guangzhou Municipal Intermediate Court over drug manufacturing charges on Aug. 6, 2020. They also handed down a life sentence to Wen Guanxiong, whom they claim helped Xu make ketamine.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin justified Xu’s death sentence during a briefing last year, saying that death penalties would help “deter and prevent” similar crimes in the future.

“I would like to stress that China’s judicial authorities handle the relevant case independently in strict accordance with Chinese law and legal procedures,” Wang had said.

He added that “this case should not inflict any impact on China-Canada relations.”

Ye Jianhui

Ye Jianhui is the fourth Canadian to receive the death penalty in China.

His sentence was handed down in August of last year over charges to manufacture and transport drugs by the Foshan Municipal Intermediate Court, just one day after Xu’s.

Ye and co-defendant Lu Hanchang conspired with others to manufacture and transport drugs between May 2015 and January 2016, the Associated Press reported last year.

Asked last year if the sentencing of the Canadian drug offenders was linked to Meng’s case, Wang said China’s judicial organs “handle cases independently,” while also adding that “the Canadian side knows the root cause” of difficulties in China-Canadian relations.

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Fan Wei

Fan Wei was given the death penalty on April 30, 2019 along with 11 others over his involvement in an international methamphetamine operation.

Speaking to Global News the day of his sentencing, Global Affairs Canada said officials attended the sentencing and reading of the verdict. They called on China to grant clemency, adding the decision to apply the “cruel and inhumane” death penalty to Fan’s case was of “extreme concern” to their government.

“Obtaining clemency for Xu Weihong, Ye Jianhui and Fan Wei is also of primary importance given China’s decision to impose the death penalty in these cases,” Global Affairs Canada said, in an emailed statement to Global News on Sunday.

“Canada will continue to provide consular services to Robert Schellenberg, Xu Weihong, Ye Jianhui and Fan Wei, as well as to their families.”

— With files from Global News’ Saba Aziz and Aaron D’Andrea, as well as the Canadian Press, Associated Press and Reuters.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Saskatchewan sets new records for daily and active COVID-19 cases

A day after the SHA announced its halting organ transplants because its overwhelmed by COVID-19, the father of Humboldt Broncos player Logan Boulet urged people to get vaccinated.

A week after setting a record for daily new COVID-19 cases, Saskatchewan has set another one.

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Officials reported 552 new cases on Sunday.

The previous record was set on Sept. 19 when officials reported 543 new cases.

Another record was set on Sunday when active cases reached a total of 4,864. Prior to this, the most active cases Saskatchewan has had since the beginning of the pandemic was 4,763 on Dec. 7.

The seven-day average of daily new cases is 478 or 39.7 per 100,000 population.

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There are 281 people in hospital with COVID-19, including 63 receiving intensive care.

Three more residents who tested positive for COVID-19 have died, the province also reported Sunday. The provincial death toll is now 670.

The province logged 436 new recoveries on Sunday.

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A total of 2,153 first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were given out since the province’s last COVID-19 update on Saturday. A total of 729,097 residents are now fully vaccinated.

 

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Murder, arson charges laid in deadly fire in northern Alberta, victim yet to be identified

RCMP in northern Alberta have laid charges in connection with a deadly fire.

Mounties and Smoky River Fire Services responded to a trailer fire on the afternoon of Sept. 22 in the town of Falher, near Peace River.

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Once the fire was extinguished, investigators discovered human remains.

The medical examiner is working to determine the victim’s identity and cause of the death.

Roderick Ellery-Sorensen, 26, of Falher has been charged with second degree murder and two counts of arson.

The fire caused damage to the neigbouring house and apartment complex.

Ellery-Sorensen is expected to appear in court in Peace River Sept. 27.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Driving instructor charged after woman sexually assaulted during lessons, Toronto police say

A driving instructor has been charged after a woman was sexually assaulted during lessons, police say.

Toronto police said in a news release Sunday that between Aug. 21 and Sept. 11, a 25-year-old woman was allegedly sexually assaulted by a man during driving lessons.

Police said 55-year-old Richmond Hill resident Kehai Wang was arrested Saturday, Sept. 25.

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Officers said Wang has worked as a driving instructor at CC Driving Academy in Richmond Hill.

He’s scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 22.

Anyone with information on the investigation is asked to contact police at 416-808-3200 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-8477.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Swiss voters approve same sex marriage by clear majority

WATCH ABOVE: LGBTQ2 groups taking part in Paris Pride events demand racial justice action.

Cheers rang out, hugs were exchanged and rainbow-colored flags waved overhead across Switzerland as the Swiss resoundingly voted to allow same-sex couples to marry, final results of a nationwide referendum showed Sunday.

Official results showed the measure passed with 64.1% of the vote while more than half of all voters approved in each of Switzerland’s 26 cantons, or states. The vote – years in the making – is set to bring the Alpine nation into line with many others in western Europe and wraps up an often tense campaign between rival sides.

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Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter tweeted that the government will implement the decision quickly and, under current plans, the new rules can take effect on July 1.

Switzerland’s parliament and the governing Federal Council _ on which she sits _ had supported the “Marriage for All” measure, which marks a key step for greater rights for gays and lesbians in Switzerland. The country has authorized same-sex civil partnerships since 2007.

“With this, all couples will in the future be treated equally before the law: all can enter into a civil marriage, with the same rights and obligations,” Keller-Sutter wrote.

Passage is set to put same-sex partners on an equal legal footing with heterosexual couples by allowing them to adopt children and facilitating citizenship for same-sex spouses. It will also permit lesbian couples to utilize regulated sperm donation.

“This is a historic day for us and for Switzerland, this is a great step forward, something we have been waiting for for years,” said Laura Russo, co-president of the Geneva Federation of LGBT Associations, at a gathering of joyous supporters of the measure along a Geneva pedestrian street. “This initiative was begun in 2013; we had to wait 8 years for the vote to happen _ and here, this is a big `Yes.”’

Opponents believe that replacing civil partnerships with full marriage rights would undermine families based on a union between a man and a woman.

Benjamin Roduit of the Christian Democratic People’s Party, which spearheaded the effort to stop same-sex marriage, claimed at least some success in raising awareness about his party’s positions despite the defeat at the ballot box.

“On our side we have tried to draw attention to the central problem, the one of children and medically assisted procreation,” he said. “On that point, I think we have succeeded in raising awareness among the Swiss people and we will still be here when other steps will be proposed.”

The campaign has been rife with allegations of unfair tactics, with the opposing sides decrying the ripping down of posters, LGBT hotlines getting flooded with complaints, hostile emails, shouted insults against campaigners and efforts to silence opposing views.

Switzerland, which has a population of 8.5 million, is traditionally conservative and only extended the right to vote to all women in the country in 1990.

Most countries in Western Europe already recognize same-sex marriage, while most of those in Central and Eastern Europe don’t permit wedlock between two men or two women.

At a polling station in Geneva, voter Anna Leimgruber said she cast her ballot for the “no” camp because she believed “children would need to have a dad and a mom.”

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But Nicolas Dzierlatka, who voted “yes,” said what children need is love.

“I think what’s important for children is that they are loved and respected _ and I think there are children who are not respected or loved in so-called ‘hetero’ couples,” he said.

Also on Sunday, voters dismissed a proposal spearheaded by left-wing groups to raise taxes on returns from investments and capital such as dividends or income from rental properties in Switzerland as a way to ensure better redistribution and fairer taxation.

Results showed 64.9% voting against it in a country known for its vibrant financial sector and relatively low taxes, and as a haven for many of the world’s richest people. No canton voted in favor.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

Sextortion of children on the rise: Winnipeg experts

Canada’s tipline for reporting online sexual exploitation of children is seeing a huge influx in reports, according to the Canadian Centre for Child Protection.

There’s a 62 per cent jump in teens being extorted over the last six months, based on incidents submitted to Cybertip.ca

Teen boys between the ages of 15 and 17 are most impacted.

The director of Cybertip.ca, Stephen Sauer, says these reports – known as sextortion – are coming from all over the world and the perpetrators are more tech-savvy than you might think.

“They really understand how to use the technology. For instance, they know how to use bait videos where it’s a similar aged peer or appears to be a similar aged peer in the video and they’re able to quickly maneuver to make it look like they’re in a live conversation with youths. They really do know the tricks to coerce youth into engaging in this type of activity.”

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According to Sauer, the interaction typically begins through normal conversations on apps like Snapchat or Instagram.

However, it eventually ends up on a more private platform such as Skype and Google Hangouts, where it’s easier for the offender to coerce the teen and record the conversation.

“Once they’re livestreaming, then they record and share it back with the youth saying they’re going to release it to friends and families if they don’t pay a certain amount of money or if they don’t provide further imagery.”

Typically an offender demands hundreds of dollars, says Sauer.

The Winnipeg Police Service has a number of recommendations for both parents and children to stay safe – online and otherwise.

The WPS is reminding kids to always tell a parent where you’re going, who is going with you and when you’ll be back.

They also want to remind kids that adults shouldn’t be asking you for help like finding a lost kitten or puppy. If someone does approach you and ask for help, officers say you should tell the person you have to check with your parent first and then go and find your parent.

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For parents, the WPS says you should know the route your child takes to school or a friend’s house and practice walking those routes so everyone involved knows the exact route.

Perhaps most important though, according to the WPS, is if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Trust your instincts and if you feel threatened, make a lot of noise and run away until you’re safe.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Man dies following early-morning shooting in Winnipeg's north end

Winnipeg police say a 26-year-old man is dead following a shooting in the north end shortly after midnight Sunday.

The incident happened near Salter Street and Flora Avenue at about 12:30 a.m.

Officers say they found the victim suffering a gunshot wound and immediately began first aid.

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He was brought to hospital in critical condition but later died of his injuries.

Police have identified the victim as Joshua Jordan Paul Pashe.

The force says no arrests have been made, and anyone with information is asked to call investigators at 204-986-6508 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Edmonton police looking for vehicle potentially connected to south end shooting

Edmonton police are looking for a vehicle after a suspected targeted shooting that left one man dead.

On Thursday, police were called to the area of 23 Avenue and 106 Street around 9 p.m.

According to police, two men in their 20s were found injured in the area. One died in hospital while the other remains in hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Investigators are now looking for a black truck, possibly a Dodge Ram model, that was in the same area at the time of the shooting.

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Anyone who noticed a black truck or its occupants in the area of 23 Avenue between Calgary Trail and 111 Street from 8:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. on Thursday night is asked to call police at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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