WestJet adding dozens of domestic and international flights for winter season

Calgary: WestJet has announced it will add dozens of new flights to its domestic and international networks as part of its 2016-2017 winter schedule.

Scheduled to start in late October, highlights from the airline’s new flight roster include additional domestic routes from Toronto to Vancouver, Ottawa and Moncton, N.B.

New international destinations departing from Toronto include Myrtle Beach, S.C., Kingston, Jamaica, as well as cities in Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba and St. Martin.

Out west, the company will add 41 new weekly domestic and international flights from Vancouver to Kelowna and Prince George, B.C., Toronto, Los Angeles, Honolulu and the Mexican cities of Cancun and Cabo San Lucas.

There will also be a new non-stop weekly service between Regina and Orlando, Fla.

Service from Halifax will increase with seven additional weekly flights to Sydney, N.S.

The Canadian Press

Man dead after ‘targeted attack’ in Surrey

By CHERYL CHAN & DAN FUMANO

Cops are investigating a Saturday night shooting in Surrey that left one man dead and another in hospital.
Police responded to a report of shots fired shortly after 10:15 p.m. Saturday night in the 14300 block of 90A Avenue, according to a release from the Surrey RCMP. The officers who responded found two men in their late 20s suffering from gun shot wounds, and they were transported to hospital by ambulance. By Sunday morning, one of the men had died.
The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is investigating the incident, which they called a “targeted attack,” they announced via Twitter Sunday morning.
In a statement issued Sunday afternoon, IHIT spokeswoman Staff Sgt. Jennifer Pound said: “While we believe this to be a targeted shooting, police are working on confirming the motive for this attack and finding who is responsible.”
Police were trying to complete next-of-kin notification before the identity of the deceased was released, the IHIT statement said.
One neighbour said her family heard shots ring out and saw a vehicle speeding away from the house next-door.
“We were terrified of what just happened,” said the woman who did not want her name published.
The two people injured could be seen at the driveway, she said. One of them lived in the house.
“We’ve seen some of them around,” she said, adding the family are nice people and respectful neighbours.
“It’s a really quiet peaceful neighbourhood. For something like that to happen, it’s uncommon,”
Another neighbour Jagjot Atwal wasn’t home when the shooting occurred. He said it was the first such incident in the neighbourhood in the five years he’s lived there.
Surrey has seen a rash of gun violence in 2016, with more than 45 shootings so far this year in the city.
Karen Reid Sidhu, executive director of the Surrey Crime Prevention Society, praised the work of local police, but said the country’s legal system seems to allow violent, dangerous offenders to keep returning to the streets after being caught and convicted in some cases.
“I think the RCMP and the city is doing a great job based on the resources they have available to them, and at this point, the RCMP have made many arrests related to the activity going on in the city,” said Reid Sidhu. “Sometimes it seems like individuals get out and they’re on probation, or they’re on bail, and they’ve been found with weapons, and it seems a little ironic that they’re getting out.”
“I think maybe our judicial system needs to be revisited,” she said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the IHIT tipline at 1-877-551-4448, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Indian police say men gang-raped Israeli tourist in car after she accepted their ride offer

NEW DELHI — Police were questioning two men Monday in the alleged gang rape of a 25-year-old Israeli tourist who accepted a car ride while traveling in the northern Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
The woman, who had been looking for a taxi, got into the car in the hill resort of Manali before dawn Sunday to travel to a nearby town, said Padam Chand, a police superintendent in Manali.
There were six men in the car and two of them raped the tourist after stopping at a desolate spot, he said.
Two of the men were in police custody and a search was on for the other four. Chand said the men would be arrested if police found evidence that they were the ones involved in the gang rape.
Manali police were in touch with officials at the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi.
The picturesque hill resorts of Himachal Pradesh are very popular with young Israelis who travel in India after their military service, despite concerns about the safety of women.
Reports of rapes of women highlight the persistence of such violence in India despite a public outcry following the fatal gang rape of a young woman in a moving bus in New Delhi in 2012.
Public fury over that case led to more stringent laws that doubled prison terms for rape to 20 years and criminalized voyeurism and stalking. But many women say daily indignities and abuse continue unabated and that the new laws have not made the streets any safer.

The Associated Press

Theft of Democrats’ emails sparks fears Putin could be meddling in U.S. election

David E. Sanger, The New York Times 

An unusual question is capturing the attention of cyberspecialists, Russia experts and Democratic Party leaders in Philadelphia: Is Vladimir Putin trying to meddle in the American presidential election?

Until Friday, that charge — with its eerie suggestion of a conspiracy drawn up in the Kremlin to aid Donald Trump — has been only whispered.

But the release Friday of some 20,000 stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee’s computer servers, many of them embarrassing to Democratic leaders, has intensified discussion of the role of Russian intelligence agencies in disrupting the 2016 campaign.

The emails, released first by a supposed hacker and later by WikiLeaks, exposed the degree to which the Democratic apparatus favored Hillary Clinton over her primary rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and triggered the resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the party chairwoman, on the eve of the convention’s first day.

Proving the source of a cyberattack is notoriously difficult. But researchers have concluded that the national committee was breached by two Russian intelligence agencies, which were the same attackers behind previous Russian cyberoperations at the White House, the State Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff last year. And metadata from the released emails suggests that the documents passed through Russian computers. Though a hacker claimed responsibility for giving the emails to WikiLeaks, the same agencies are the prime suspects. Whether the thefts were ordered by Putin, or just carried out by apparatchiks who thought they might please him, is anyone’s guess.

On Sunday morning, the issue erupted, as Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, argued on ABC’s “This Week” that the emails were leaked “by the Russians for the purpose of helping Donald Trump” citing “experts” but offering no other evidence.

Mook also suggested that the Russians might have good reason to support Trump: The Republican nominee indicated in an interview with The New York Times last week that he might not back NATO nations if they came under attack from Russia — unless he was first convinced that the countries had made sufficient contributions to the Atlantic alliance.

It was a remarkable moment: Even at the height of the Cold War it was hard to find a presidential campaign willing to charge that his rival was essentially secretly doing the bidding of a key U.S. adversary. But the accusation is emerging as a theme of Clinton’s campaign, as part of an attempt to portray Trump not only as an isolationist, but one who would go soft on confronting Russia as it threatens nations that have shown too much independence from Moscow or, in the case of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, joined NATO.

Trump has also said he would like to “get along with Russia” if he is elected, and complimented Putin, saying he is more of a leader than President Barack Obama. Putin has in turn praised Trump.

But Trump campaign officials on Sunday strongly rejected any connections between their candidate and cyberefforts to undermine the Democrats.

“Are there any ties between Mr. Trump, you or your campaign and Putin and his regime?” George Stephanopoulos, of “This Week,” asked Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman.

“No, there are not,” Manafort shot back. “That’s absurd. And, you know, there’s no basis to it.”

One of Trump’s sons, Donald Jr., was more definitive, charging the Clinton camp with a smear campaign.

“I can’t think of bigger lies,” he said on CNN.

The younger Trump mockingly suggested that Mook’s “house cat at home once said this is what happened with the Russians.’’

It may take months, or years, to figure out the motives of those who stole the emails, and more important, whether they were being commanded by Russian authorities, and specifically by Putin.

But the theft from the national committee would be among the most important state-sponsored hacks yet of a U.S. organization, rivaled only by the attacks on the Office of Personnel Management by state-sponsored Chinese hackers,and the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment, which Obama blamed on North Korea.

There, too, embarrassing emails were released, but they had no political significance. The WikiLeaks release, however, has more of a tinge of Russian-style information war, in which the intent of the revelations is to alter political events. Exactly how, though, is a bit of a mystery, apart from embarrassing Democrats and further alienating Sanders’s supporters from Clinton.

B.C. to bring in 15 per cent real estate tax on foreign buyers in Vancouver to rein in high home prices

The Canadian Press
VANCOUVER — Foreign nationals who buy real estate in Metro Vancouver would pay an additional property transfer tax of 15 per cent under legislation introduced Monday by the British Columbia government.
Finance Minister Mike de Jong unveiled the tax as part of legislation aimed at addressing low vacancy rates and high real estate prices in southern B.C.
“For example, the additional tax on the purchase of a home selling for $2 million to a foreign national will amount to an additional $300,000,” de Jong told members of the legislature.
The additional tax will take effect Aug. 2 and apply to foreign buyers registering the purchase of residential homes in Metro Vancouver, excluding treaty lands in the Tsawwassen First Nation.
All B.C. residents currently pay a one per cent tax on the first $200,000 of their purchase, two per cent on the remaining value up to $2 million and three per cent on the portion above that.
“The amendments include anti-avoidance rules designed to capture transactions that are structured specifically to avoid the additional tax,” de Jong said.
The money from the additional tax would be used to fund housing, rental and support programs, the minister said.
De Jong said recent government housing data indicate foreign nationals spent more than $1 billion on B.C. property between June 10 and July 14, with 86 per cent on purchases in the Lower Mainland area.
After the bill was introduced, Premier Christy Clark said her government is focused on increasing the housing supply, protecting buyers and sellers and boosting the rental market.
“Today we are taking measures to ensure home ownership remains within reach of the middle class,” she said.
The legislation would also enable the City of Vancouver to amend its community charter in order to levy a vacancy tax.
In May, de Jong said he wasn’t in favour of a tax on foreign investment, saying he worried it would send the wrong message to Asia-Pacific investors.

Licence suspended for Airways Tours & Travel Ltd.

VICTORIA, BC – Consumer Protection BC suspended the travel licence and issued an administrative penalty against Airways Tours & Travel Ltd., a travel agency located in Surrey, BC, for violating BC’s consumer protection laws.

A recent Consumer Protection BC inspection determined that Airways Tours & Travel had contravened section 189(5)(b) of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act (the BPCP Act) by failing to provide information to an inspector.  As a result, Consumer Protection BC suspended the licence until the business provides the information and imposed an administrative penalty of $750 for the contravention.

“Our inspections staff regularly review certain financial information to assess the suitability of a business to hold a licence with our office and to assess whether the business is in compliance with BC’s consumer protection laws,” says Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith, spokesperson for Consumer Protection BC. “In this case we suspended the business’ licence because they did not provide the requested financial information.”

By law, the business must not engage in the sale of travel services until the suspension is lifted.

Click here to view the administrative penalty in full. All money received from administrative penalties is deposited into the Consumer Advancement Fund (as required by Section 169 of the BPCP Act).

By law, Airways Tours & Travel has 30 days to request a reconsideration of this decision.

For more information about BC’s travel licensing requirements, the Travel Assurance Fund, or to find a licensed travel agent or wholesaler, visit our website at www.travelrightsbc.ca. A backgrounder on the regulation of travel agents and wholesalers in BC is also available. All recent Consumer Protection BC enforcement actions are published on Consumer Protection BC’s corporate website, at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.

 

About the Consumer Advancement Fund:
The fund is administered by Consumer Protection BC and is a designated statutory fund that can only be used for the purposes of educating consumers and suppliers about any matters relating to the BPCP Act or the Cremation, Interment and Funeral Services Act, or for the purpose of increasing compliance with those Acts. Click here to view the section of the BPCP Act that speaks to the consumer advancement fund.

About Consumer Protection BC:
Consumer Protection BC is the regulator of a variety of industries and specific consumer transactions in the province. Our mandate is to license and inspect our regulated businesses, respond to consumer inquiries, investigate alleged violations of consumer protection laws, classify all general release motion pictures and provide information so consumers can self-assess the fairness of a transaction. Our vision is a province where all citizens of BC are empowered in their transactions as a result of rigorous and consistent business compliance and through the provision of solution-based information.

For more information about our organization, please visit our corporate website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca. You can also follow Consumer Protection BC on Twitter @ConsumerProBC, like us on Facebook and read our blog for valuable consumer tips and resources.

 

Surrey RCMP investigate shots fired

Surrey RCMP is investigating the shooting scene in the 14300 block of 90A Avenue for a report of shots fired on Saturday.

At approximately 10:19 pm on July 23, 2016, Surrey RCMP responded to a report of shots fired in the 14300 block of 90A Avenue. Officers attended and located two victims suffering from gun shot wounds who have been transported for medical treatment.

Officers are on scene conducting neighbourhood canvassing and speaking to witnesses to obtain further information regarding this incident.

This investigation is still in its very early stages.

Anyone with further information who has not already spoken to police is asked to contact Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or if they wish to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or www.solvecrime.ca quoting file number 2016-105628

APD Investigating Shooting

Abbotsford: bPolice in Abbotsford responded to shooting on Saturday, July 23, 2016 at 2:10 am in the area of  Blue Jay Street and Cardinal Avenue.  Several  911 calls reported both shots fired and a single vehicle crash.  APD Patrol Division officers and Emergency Response Team members arrived on scene and located a 23-year-old man inside a Cadillac Escalade with gunshot wounds.  The man was transported to hospital where he remains and is receiving treatment for serious injuries.  The vehicle he was driving collided with a power pole and went off the roadway prior to police arrival.

APD Major Crime detectives, Forensic Identification Unit members, Collision Reconstructionists and Patrol Division members continue to investigate and roads in the area will be closed for several hours. The public is being asked to use alternate routes.

Anyone with information about this incident should contact the Abbotsford Police Department at 604-859-5225 or text us at 222973 (abbypd) or call Crime Stoppers at

1-800-222-8477.