RCMP looking for Karnjit Randhawa: Four Indo-Canadian men charged

Surrey RCMP continues to disrupt drug trade

Police charge: Davjit RANDHAWA, Sukhdeep DHALIWAL, Chaten DHINDSA, Gurpreet DHUDWAL

As Surrey RCMP continues to target individuals believed to be involved in a number of shots fired incidents associated to the local drug trade, police advise that a number of new arrests have been made which will help further efforts to curb the violence in our community.

On December 5th, 2015, Surrey RCMP was notified that a male was being assaulted, threatened, and held against his will in the area of 86th Avenue and 130th Street. When police arrived several people were arrested in relation to this event.

Charges of Forcible Confinement, Robbery, Assault with a Weapon, and Assault Causing Bodily Harm have now been laid against the following four males from Surrey:  Davjit RANDHAWA (31 years old), Sukhdeep DHALIWAL (19 years old), Chaten DHINDSA (20 years old), and Gurpreet DHUDWAL (18 years old). RANDHAWA and DHINDSA have also been charged with failing to comply with court-imposed conditions.

A fifth suspect in the December 5th incident, Ravinder SAMRA, a 28 year male from Surrey, was arrested on December 11th, 2015. He was charged with Forcible Confinement, Robbery, Assault with a Weapon, and Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose.

On December 11th, 2015, D.RANDHAWA, DHALIWAL, DHINDSA, and DHUDWAL were released under strict conditions that included: 24/7 house arrest, no contact with each other, not to be in any motor vehicle unless with the registered owner, not to possess a cell phone, and to be in the company of their parents while outside the home for any purpose. On December 15th SAMRA was also released with the same conditions.

A sixth suspect, Karnjit RANDHAWA, a 27 year old male from Surrey, has not been located and is currently wanted by police.  In order to assist police with their on-going efforts to locate Karnjit RANDHAWA, police are releasing his photo (see attached).

The victim is well known to police and continues to recover from his injuries.

“We believe that arresting these individuals and advancing prosecutions against them will create a safer community,” says Surrey RCMP Officer in Charge, Chief Superintendent Bill Fordy. “We will continue to aggressively advance a broad base of strategies on those that we believe are associated with the violent acts that have played out on our streets.”

 

The continuing enforcement by Surrey RCMP and the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU-BC) has allowed police to make significant headway in disrupting the low level drug trade and resulting violence over the past few months. As of November 29th, over 6,200 persons have been checked, almost 800 arrests and detentions made, and more than 160 weapons and firearms have been seized.

 

Anyone with more information is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP’s dedicated tip line at 604-915-6566 or Crime Stoppers, if they wish to remain anonymous, at 1-800-222-TIPS or www.solvecrime.ca.

South Asian history initiative helps Royal Columbian cardiac care

100 Year Journey supports campaign to upgrade hospital’s cardiac cath lab

New Westminster, B.C. – {December 10, 2015} – An effort to preserve and share the stories of South Asian pioneers to Canada has also resulted in generous support to BC’s busiest cardiac care centre.

Proceeds from the 2nd annual 100 Year Journey gala are included in a $30,000 donation presented to Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation’s Cardiac Care Campaign.

The gift to the Foundation will help bring the latest technology and equipment to Royal Columbian Hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab – the busiest in the province and serving the entire Fraser Health region.

“Royal Columbian’s cath lab serves one in every three British Columbians, including one of the country’s largest populations of South Asians,” notes entrepreneur Rana Vig, who launched the 100 Year Journey last year and joined the board of Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation this past June. “In light of concerns about heart disease in the South Asian community, my family knows a donation to the cath lab will help save lives.”

The 100 Year Journey aims to provide Canadians with a better understanding of the South Asian community and the contributions they have made to the country. A 150-page book was released on November 29, 2014, sharing the history of 100 South Asian pioneers to Canada. The 2nd annual gala was held on October 3, 2015.

“Royal Columbian Hospital’s origins, just like the pioneers of the South Asian community, go back more than a century in this province,” notes Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation President and CEO Jeff Norris. “It’s an honour to be associated with such a worthy and informative project as the 100 Year Journey.”

The Foundation’s Cardiac Care Campaign has a $3.3 million dollar fundraising goal to upgrade Royal Columbian Hospital’s two cath lab suites, which are available 24/7 for cardiac emergencies like acute heart attacks. The interventional cardiology team performs high-levels of angioplasty to restore blood flow to blocked arteries and conducts angiograms to diagnose heart disease and other cardiac problems.

Donations from individuals, businesses, community groups and foundations will help replace the cath lab’s imaging equipment and hemodynamic monitoring technology. Both are essential components of the lab and work in tandem to provide accurate information for safe and efficient patient care.

Those suffering from heart attacks across the health region are regularly rushed from their homes straight to Royal Columbian’s cath lab, at times arriving by air ambulance for immediate, emergency care. Annually, the interventional cardiology team performs 2,300 angioplasties and 3,100 diagnostic catheterizations – the most in the province.

Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation is appealing for your help today to renew the hospital’s two cath lab suites without further delay to ensure they continue to provide the most advanced care to those who urgently need it. Donate today to the Cardiac Care Campaign by visiting www.rchfoundation.com/heart or phoning 604.520.4438.

The Legend of Santa Claus

Dr Sarwan Singh Randhawa, Community Librarian – Supervisor, Muriel Arnason Library, FVRL

 

The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back hundreds of years to a monk named St. Nicholas. It is believed that Nicholas was born sometime around 280 A.D. to a wealthy family in Patara, near Myra in modern-day Turkey. His parents died, and he inherited a considerable sum of money, but he kept none of it. He gave away all of his wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick.

Nicholas was chosen a bishop by the people of Myra at very young age. But life was not always good for him. He along with many others was thrown into prison for not worshipping himself as a god as declared by the Roman emperor Diocletian. He was released in 313 AD when Diocletian resigned and Constantine came to power. He then returned to his post as Bishop of Myra continuing his good works until his death on December 6, 343.

After Nicholas died, he was canonized as a saint. Much admired for his piety and kindness, he became the subject of many legends. Over the course of many years, Nicholas’s popularity spread and he became known as the protector of children and sailors. His feast day is celebrated on the anniversary of his death, December 6, a holiday in many countries. This was traditionally considered a lucky day to make large purchases or to get married.

Many stories are told of his generosity as he gave his wealth away in the form of gifts to those in need, especially children. Legends tell of him either dropping bags of gold down chimneys or throwing the bags through the windows. One of the best known of the St. Nicholas stories is that he saved three poor sisters from being sold into slavery or prostitution by their father by providing them with a dowry so that they could be married.

By the Renaissance, St. Nicholas was the most popular saint in Europe. Even after the Protestant Reformation, when the veneration of saints began to be discouraged, St. Nicholas maintained a positive reputation, especially in Holland. During the Protestant Reformation, German Protestants depicted the Christ child, “Chriskindl”, as a giver of gifts. This helped merge the association of St. Nick with Christmas. Later, this association with Chriskindl was translated to Santa’s other name: Kris Kringle. In England he came to be called Father Christmas, and in the Netherlands, the saint’s name, Sinter Nikolass, became shortened to Sinter Klaas.

The American version of the Santa Claus figure received its inspiration and its name from the Dutch legend of Sinter Klaas, brought by settlers to New York in the 17th century, and the name evolved into what it is today – Santa Claus. As early as 1773 the name appeared in the American press as “St. A Claus”. A popular author, Washington Irving gave Americans detailed information about the Dutch version of Saint Nicholas in his book “History of New York” published in 1809 under the pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker. This Dutch-American Saint Nick achieved his fully Americanized form in 1823 in the poem “A Visit From Saint Nicholas” more commonly known as “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke. It was further elaborated by illustrator Thomas Nast, who depicted a rotund Santa for Christmas issues of Harper’s magazine from the 1860s to the 1880s.

Finally, from 1931 to 1964, Haddon Sundblom created a new Santa each Christmas for Coca-Cola advertisements that appeared world-wide on the back covers of Post and National Geographic magazines. This is the Santa we know and love today with a red suit trimmed with white fur, leather boots and belt, long white beard and a pack of toys slung onto his back.

In these days, Santa Claus is a symbol of hope, faith and trust. People believe that he is a jolly, happy and really fat (in good sense) guy, who visits on Christmas Eve, entering houses through the chimney to leave presents under the Christmas tree and in the stockings of all good children. In addition, children are taught that Santa rewards the good children and leaves the bad ones empty-handed.

800,000 passengers passed through Port Metro as cruise season ends

News Talk 980 CKNW

More than 800,000 passengers passed through Port Metro Vancouver as yet another successful cruise season comes to a close.

Earlier this year Port Metro Vancouver completed improvements to the Canada Place cruise terminal, with more escalators and automated passport control kiosks.

Manager of cruise services, Carmen Ortega, says it’s not expected to slow down.

” We’re expecting another strong season next year, and a passenger forecast slightly higher than this year.”

Port Metro Vancouver is Canada’s largest port and the third largest in North America.

18-year-old charged with murder of Baljit Singh Bhamra of Edmonton

By Slav Kornik

EDMONTON – An 18-year-old man was charged with murder Friday in the case of a man found dead in a north Edmonton apartment building Tuesday.

Police have identified the victim as 49-year-old Baljit Singh Bhamra.

His body was found in the hallway of a building at 4908 134 Ave. in the Sifton Park neighbourhood at around 6:15 a.m.

The cause of death is not being released.

Donovan Howard Wentworth, 18, is accused of second-degree murder.

This is the second time in less than two weeks a body has been found in the apartment complex.

On Saturday, Nov. 23, Crystal Corinne Bruce’s body was found inside the Wyndham Crossing apartment building.

A day later Ashlee Dawn Bruce was charged with second-degree murder, possession of an offensive weapon and assault with a weapon in connection with a death.

The Wyndham Crossing apartment complex has been in the news several times in recent years. A fire gutted several suites in 2010, and in 2013 a roof collapse occurred in one of the buildings.

Last year, Edmonton police worked with the complex to address rampant mail theft. Two months after security measures were put in place, police said crime went down 85 per cent.

Despite the reduction in crime, the two recent deaths has at least a couple of residents concerned for their safety and the safety of their families.

“It looks like every other day now something is going wrong…every other day,” said Stephen Wanjala.

“The children [are] very scared. They didn’t sleep you know. All the time [they] watch out the window outside,” Sam Saleh said. “It’s a very dangerous area.”

Police said they do not believe the deaths are related.

Man with gang links begs for chance to stay in Canada

Jimi Sandhu has lived here since age 7, but Ottawa wants him deported

BY KIM BOLAN, VANCOUVER SUN

METRO VANCOUVER — To police, Jimi Sandhu is a violent gang associate and they warned the public about him earlier this year after a murder charge against him was stayed.

To Sandhu and his supporters, he’s just a guy who’s made a few bad choices that shouldn’t cost him his future in Canada.

Sandhu, 26, is appealing an order by the Immigration and Refugee Board to deport him to his native India because of his criminal history.

He told his story Thursday to Immigration Appeal Division member Maryanne Kingma, who reserved her decision on his case.

He came to Canada at the age of seven, adopted by his grandmother as his mom in Punjab wanted him to have more opportunities.

Sandhu said he felt alienated by other family members in Abbotsford who didn’t like how his grandmother doted on him.

He started smoking pot and drinking in Grade 9, getting into trouble in school and later with the police.

“I was hanging around with the wrong crowd. I was hanging around with people who were partying, getting into fights,” he testified.

Some had gang links. Some were selling drugs, he admitted as two Vancouver police officers provided security at the hearing in downtown Vancouver.

He denied murdering Red Scorpion gang leader Matt Campbell in January 2014. He was charged with second-degree murder a month after the fatal stabbing, but that charge was stayed in February 2015 and Sandhu was released from custody.

He didn’t go into details about what happened the day Campbell’s throat was slit outside an Abbotsford car dealership, as his lawyer Peter Edelmann said there’s a chance the charge could be reinstated.

Sandhu described two convictions for assaulting people with weapons to which he pleaded guilty. The first occurred in March 2010 and the pregnant victim told police Sandhu had broken into her home, knocked her to the ground and threatened her with brass knuckles.

He said Thursday that it was actually a friend he brought along who committed the assault, even though Sandhu “took the responsibility and pleaded guilty to that.”

“I will never do something like that again,” he said.

Then there was the incident on Granville Street in February 2012 where he hit two strangers in the head with a brick after an confrontation between them and his friend.

“I didn’t want to see my friend get injured at the time,” he testified. “I regret doing that.”

He admitted that he has had friends in the Dhak-Duhre and United Nations gangs.

But he said that once he met his future wife, a law student, he knew he wanted to change his path.

“I know that path is either go to jail or you die,” he said of his criminal life.

They got married in August. He said he is now living in Edmonton and working, as well as trying to get a limousine business off the ground there.

“I would just like one chance one opportunity to prove myself to you,” he said to Kingma. “I won’t let you down.”

But Sean R. Carey, representing the federal public safety minister, said Sandhu is not rehabilitated and has only made recent changes “to bolster” his appeal.

“There is no evidence of significant rehabilitation in this case,” he said.

Shortly after Sandhu was released from jail last February, “he gets into a car while intoxicated and drives at excessive speeds,” Carey said. It was a rented Jaguar.

In March, Abbotsford police issued the warning that associating with Sandhu could put people at risk because of his gang connections.

“He has testified that he had been affiliated to the Dhak-Duhre group through friends and associates that he previously had,” Carey said.

And he said Sandhu appears to be minimizing his role in the assaults which “shows a lack of remorse.”

He said Sandhu has already been given many second chances “and the public safety minister submits he has squandered them.”

But Edelmann said his client has already started on a new path and should be allowed to continue in Canada.

“He has been in Canada since he was 7 years old. He is essentially Canadian,” he said.

Volunteers needed to lend a hand at tax time

Vancouver, British Columbia: The Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) is celebrating 45 years of helping individuals prepare their income tax and benefit returns. CVITP volunteers help complete more than half a million tax returns every year for modest-income Canadians and those on fixed incomes, whose financial situation is unchanged year-to-year.

We are once again seeking community organizations to host tax preparation clinics in communities throughout British Columbia (B.C.). To volunteer, individuals must be willing to work with their local community organization and have a basic understanding of income tax.

Community organizations and their volunteers have offered free tax preparation clinics in various locations including, schools, churches, seniors’ residences, and nursing homes. Community organizations find the CVITP an excellent way to reach out to seniors, students and newcomers to Canada, by helping to complete tax returns for those with modest incomes and simple tax situations.

“The program relies on the commitment of community organizations to host tax clinics, and their volunteers who, as members of the community, have volunteered their time and effort to help others,” says Zubie Vuurens, CRA CVITP Coordinator. “Helping members of your community prepare and file their tax returns, ensures these individuals receive the benefits and credits they’re entitled to without interruptions.”

Last year, 2,621 volunteers and 436 community organizations in B.C. and Yukon helped 109,713 people prepare and file their returns.

The CRA offers free training and tax preparation software to community organizations and their volunteers. Training sessions start in January 2016. For more information, please call 1-888-805-6662, or visit our website at www.cra.gc.ca/volunteer.

Sahil Sandhu, Vancouver Whitecaps farm team player, charged with sexual assault

A Vancouver Whitecaps farm team player has been suspended after being charged with sexual assault.
24-year-old Sahil Sandhu has been charged in connection with an alleged incident said to have occurred Dec. 3 in Vancouver.
He is next scheduled to appear at a Vancouver court on Dec.15.
Twenty-four-year old Sahil Sandhu is a midfielder for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2. (Vancouver Whitecaps)
“Sahil Sandhu has been suspended indefinitely pending resolution of his case before the court,” Whitecaps FC soccer club said in a statement.
“As it is a legal matter with the court, the club will not be providing any further comment.”
The nature of the alleged assault or circumstances surrounding it are not known.
Vancouver Police spokesman Randy Fincham was unavailable for comment Saturday.
Sandhu, a midfielder from Surrey, B.C., played on the Whitecaps farm team in the United Soccer League in its inaugural season last spring.
He was a part of the Whitecaps youth development program and represented Canada at the U-15 and U-17 levels, according to the team’s web site.
He spent the 2009 season on loan from the Whitecaps to a German soccer club before being recalled to the Vancouver team in 2010.
Sandhu also played in 2013 for Douglas College and the Victoria Highlanders, where he helped Victoria win the West Conference.
Canadian Press

Anti-gang forum urges shift in attitude

By Serena Pattar – Surrey North Delta Leader

The message that gang violence is not welcome in Surrey was clear Monday evening (Dec. 14) as families filled Grand Taj Banquet Hall to take part in a community forum on gang awareness.

The two-hour forum consisted of presentations by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit – B.C.’s anti-gang police agency – and former gang member Jordan Buna, as well as speeches from a variety of local politicians, including Surrey-Tynehead MLA Amrik Virk, Fleetwood-Port Kells MP Ken Hardie and Surrey-Newton MP Sukh Dhaliwal.

Speaking in Punjabi to a largely South Asian crowd, Surrey-Centre MP Randeep Sarai said the community needs to change its attitude towards the gang lifestyle, with families and friends sending a strong message that it’s not acceptable.

“We have to disassociate from those who are involved in gangs, and violence, and drug dealing. Once we disassociate from them, they won’t feel as accepted,” said Sarai. “We have to create a bit of distance.”

Virk, a former member of the RCMP, agreed.

“When the community steps up and says no to violence, that is the key,” he said. “There’s no magic solution, no magic elixir, no magic number. It’s when you as a community stand together.”

The forum was student-led and organized by members of Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE), who are working towards eliminating violence by creating community awareness.

“SAVE’s mission is to eliminate all forms of violence in youth and to bring them up in a more positive and healthy environment,” said SAVE member Deepinder Dhot. “We are the youth of today, and the leaders of tomorrow, and we need to eliminate violence.”

To learn about SAVE’s initiatives, visit nationalsave.ca

Canada Post president gets new, $500K contract

JAMES BAGNALL, OTTAWA CITIZEN

The Conservatives obviously like what they see in Canada Post president and CEO Deepak Chopra: his contract has been extended five years effective Feb. 1, 2016, at a salary of roughly $500,000 per year.
Cabinet approved the deal in July – six months before Chopra’s first five-year contract was due to expire. Given the uncertainty created by the Oct. 19 federal election, the new contract likely provides meaningful severance for Chopra should the Conservatives lose power.
The Liberals and New Democrats have promised to halt Canada Post’s ongoing efforts to end home mail delivery, which is expected to produce up to $500 million in annual savings by 2019.
This doesn’t necessarily mean they would fire Chopra if they are elected, but it’s difficult to see the former Pitney Bowes Canada executive sticking around under this scenario. He would have to backtrack on a central part of his plan to turn around the $8-billion-a-year Crown corporation.
Chopra announced 15 months ago that Canada Post would eventually phase out delivery to more than five million households, replacing door-to-door service in many cases with community mailboxes. The corporation converted 100,000 homes last year and expects to introduce community mailboxes to another 900,000 by the end of this year.
The move has sparked protests from many city dwellers, and the mailbox installations have provided unexpectedly vivid backdrops for politicians eager to score points. Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre used a jackhammer this week to try to demolish a concrete foundation for one such community mailbox. In the run-up to the formal launch of the election campaign, Canada Post’s conversion program was one of the single biggest sources of complaints from constituents, according to Ottawa-area NDP MP and candidate Paul Dewar.
“This is shocking,” Dewar said. “Under Chopra, Canada Post chose to eliminate door-to-door service, radically raise the cost of stamps and failed to consult Canadians or local communities. And yet Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have rewarded Chopra with a generous $2.5 million contract, quietly signed just before an election.”
Chopra’s decision to target home delivery was triggered by the inexorable decline in mail volume: the Crown corporation is now delivering 30-per-cent fewer pieces of mail per address than in 2008. Canada Post nevertheless has been generating profits of late, thanks to last year’s hike in the price of stamps and a well-run parcels division. The company’s core business recorded a pre-tax, first-quarter profit of $24 million, up sharply from a loss a year earlier of $27 million during the same period.
Nevertheless, the pressures on Canada Post are relentless. Payroll costs in the first quarter soared 18 per cent year over year (up $70 million) mainly because the company has had to set aside more capital to cover the cost of its employees’ pension plan.
Despite pension assets of nearly $21 billion at year-end 2014, the plan had a deficit of nearly $7 billion – meaning that’s the additional amount required to satisfy all the promises made.
Another risk facing the company is the fact its parcel unit – the source of much of its financial strength – faces the most competition. Canada Post has been aggressively marketing parcel service and electronic products (such as epost, a free electronic mailbox) but it’s not clear it will prevail in this fight against private sector carriers.
Chopra is walking a fine line. On one hand he can offer customers an extensive delivery network. On the other, he intends to shrink his workforce considerably. Canada Post estimates some 15,000 of its 65,000 employees will retire in the next five years and that roughly half the retirees will not be replaced.
In other words, despite recent profits, Canada Post remains under severe stress. If Liberals or New Democrats prevail in the fall election, they will face difficult choices at Canada Post – especially if they eliminate the option of cost savings related to cancelling home delivery.