Edmonton police need help identifying man found dead in river valley encampment

More than a year after a man was found dead in the North Saskatchewan River valley, Edmonton police are looking for the public’s help to identify his remains.

The remains of an unidentified man were found in an encampment in the Victoria Park area on Oct. 4, 2020.

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Edmonton police sweep the North Saskatchewan River

On Tuesday, Edmonton police said in the nearly 16 months since then, investigators have exhausted all avenues to identify the man — including comparing his remains with outstanding missing persons files — but have not had any success.

EPS worked with RCMP forensic artist Cpl. Jean Nault to create a facial reconstruction, in the hopes someone may come forward with information leading to the man’s identity. (See below)

Facial Reconstruction of a man found dead in Edmonton in October 2020

A facial reconstruction of the remains of an unidentified man that were found in a river valley encampment in the Victoria Park area of northeast Edmonton on Oct. 4, 2020.

Edmonton Police Service and Alberta RCMP

Anyone with information on the man’s identity is asked to contact the Edmonton Police Service at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a cellphone.

Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

COVID-19: 5 deaths reported in Peterborough region, 4 new hospitalized cases among 21 at PRHC

Peterborough Public Health reported a daily record five deaths due to COVID-19, according to data released Tuesday afternoon.

The health unit’s COVID-19 tracker, issued at 4:45 p.m., reported the following data for the jurisdiction of Peterborough, Peterborough County, Curve Lake First Nation and Hiawatha First Nation:

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Deaths: 46 since the pandemic was declared — five more since Monday’s update, and the 16th in January which included 11 vaccinated individuals and five unvaccinated individuals. According to the health unit, the latest deaths weren’t all on Tuesday due to data reporting delays. However, the last five deaths include:

  • Vaccinated: A woman in her 60s, a man in his 80s and two women in their 90s
  • Unvaccinated: A man in his 70s

New active lab-confirmed cases: 40 since Monday’s update.

Active lab-confirmed cases: 328 — down from 412 on Monday and 523 on Friday. The health unit notes the number of active cases being reported is an “underestimation” due to changes to PCR testing availability effective Dec. 31, 2021.

Cumulative lab-confirmed cases: 4,790

Hospitalized cases: Peterborough Regional Health Centre around 4:50 p.m. Tuesday reported 21 inpatients with COVID-19, unchanged from Monday. There were 34 reported on Friday. The hospital reports one patient transfer related to provincial directives, its first for 2022. The health unit Tuesday reported 163 hospitalized cases since the pandemic’s beginnings — four  more since Monday’s — and 29 cases have been admitted to an ICU since March 2020 (unchanged).

Resolved cases: 119 more since Monday. The 4,416 cumulative resolved cases make up approximately 92.9 per cent of all lab-confirmed cases since the pandemic was declared.

No new outbreaks were reported. There are 16 active outbreaks after an outbreak at a congregate living facility (no. 12) was reported resolved on Tuesday. Active cases include(unless indicated, case details not made available):

  • Congregate living setting No. 17): Declared Jan. 19
  • Congregate living setting (No. 18): Declared Jan. 19
  • Congregate living facility (no. 16)Declared Jan. 19.
  • Centennial Place long-term care in Millbrook: Declared Jan. 14. The home late Monday reported six active cases among residents, down from eight reported on Jan. 19.
  • Peterborough Retirement Residence: Declared Jan. 14.
  • Kawartha Heights Retirement Living: Declared Jan. 14.
  • Congregate living facility (no. 14) in Peterborough: Declared Jan. 10.
  • Peterborough Regional Health Centre: Declared Jan. 10 on the B4 inpatient unit.
  • Sherbrooke Heights Retirement Residence in Peterborough: Declared Jan. 8.
  • Congregate living facility (No. 9) in Peterborough: Declared Jan. 6.
  • Rubidge Street Retirement Residence: Declared Jan. 2.
  • Congregate living facility (No. 7): Declared Dec. 29.
  • St. Joseph’s at Fleming long-term care in Peterborough: Declared Dec. 29. The home on Tuesday, Jan. 25 reported four active cases among residents. The home says administration of the fourth vaccine program is underway.
  • Fairhaven long-term care in Peterborough: Declared Dec. 28, the home initially reported five staff cases. As of Jan. 20, the facility reported 16 active cases — six residents and 10 staff members.
  • Riverview Manor long-term care in Peterborough: Declared Dec. 28.
  • Extendicare Lakefield: Declared Dec. 22.

There have been 762 cases associated with 96 outbreaks since the pandemic was declared — 357 cases in the past 30 days and 67 cases over the past seven days.

The health unit posts daily updates on its COVID-19 tracker site. Of note, 321,186 doses of a vaccine have been administered.

Approximately 86 per cent of eligible residents (age five and older) have received one dose, while 81 per cent have received two doses and 50.4 per cent have received three doses.

The health unit updates its list of clinics on its website offering first, second and third doses for adults and first doses for children aged five to 11. There are walk-in appointments available at the Healthy Planet Arena this week (Jan. 24-27). All other appointments have to be booked on Ontario’s online portal or by calling the provincial vaccine booking call centre at 1-833-943-3900.

A number of Peterborough and area pharmacies offer vaccinations to eligible recipients. Appointments are required and can be made by calling the respective pharmacies or visiting the Ontario government’s website.

Testing continues at Peterborough Regional Health Centre’s assessment centre at 1 Hospital Dr. More information about booking a test through the COVID-19 Assessment Centre can be found on the health unit’s website.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Halifax astronomers developing software to analyze data from first galaxies

WATCH: One month has passed since the Christmas Day launch of a groundbreaking telescope that’s on track to capture more than 10 billion years’ worth of cosmic history. A team of professional astronomers in Halifax has been eagerly following the James Webb Space Telescope’s journey to its home port – 1.5 kilometres from earth. Alexa MacLean has more.

A team of Halifax astronomers is celebrating the arrival of the Webb telescope at its home destination more than 1.5 kilometers from earth.

“Now that it’s at L2, we are delighted that it’s there and looking forward to finally being able to use it in a few months,” Marcin Sawicki said, an astronomy professor at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

The James Webb Space Telescope was launched on Christmas Day and has spent the past month traveling toward its home base of Lagrange Point 2 where it will orbit around the sun, staying in line with the earth as it does so.

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Sawicki said Webb’s journey to L2 has been so efficient that leftover fuel can be used to extend its time in space.

“The original plan was a minimum of five years, a target of 10 years, and we now know that it’s probably going to operate longer than that,” he said.

Sawicki is part of a Canada-wide astronomy team that is now preparing to receive the first images from Webb sometime this summer.

“We are developing software tools that will allow us to take the raw data, and turn (it) into data that we can analyze scientifically, that we can interpret,” he said.

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Sawicki said the telescope records photons that will result in physical information that astronomers like him are tasked with extracting for scientific use.

“That will tell us things like how far a galaxy is, how old it is, how many stars it contains, how quickly it’s making new stars,” he said.

“These are all very, very important things if we are to first identify these baby galaxies in the distant universe, and then also see how they’re building up their bodies, their mass, over time.”

The Webb telescope is compromised of several mirrors that are now in the process of being aligned one nanometer at a time.

The mirrors are part of the telescope’s infrared capabilities that are groundbreaking when it comes to being able to detect objects that can’t be seen in visible light.

“Because the light has traveled through the expanding universe it has changed colour and shifted into the infrared and that’s why Webb is going to be such a powerful machine for studying these objects,” he said.

Sawicki concludes that the multi-billion dollar telescope is invaluable when you consider the information it will be able to collect that’s interconnected with all humanity.

“We would not exist without the very first generation of stars that formed after the Big Bang,” he said.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

93 possible burial sites found in initial search at former B.C. residential school site

Warning: This story deals with disturbing subject matter that may upset and trigger some readers. Discretion is advised.

An initial sweep of the former grounds of St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School in Williams Lake, B.C., has uncovered 93 possible burial sites.

Williams Lake First Nation Kúkpi7 Willie Sellars and councillors released the first-phase geophysical findings Tuesday, after launching its land survey with ground-penetrating radar in June.

This journey has led our investigation team into the darkest recesses of human behaviour,” said Sellars. “Our team has recorded not only stories involving the murder and disappearance of children and infants, they have listened to countless stories of systematic torture, starvation, rape and sexual assault of children at St. Joseph’s Mission.”

The findings were shared with the chiefs of all impacted nations ahead of time in a private meeting earlier on Tuesday — a “critical milestone” in the path to reconciliation, said Sellars.

The 93 possible burial sites are “reflections” or anomalies detected by ground-penetrating radar. Excavation is required to confirm whether they are human remains.

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St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981 and has since been demolished. An additional property, the Onward Ranch, was added in 1964 to support the operational needs of the school. The sites were predominantly run by the Roman Catholic missionaries.

According to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, one student died of exposure after trying to escape St. Joseph’s in 1902. Another died and eight others became ill after eating poisonous water hemlock, which parents believed was a response to discipline at the school.

The First Nation’s investigation, which included deep archival research and extensive interviews with survivors and descendants, also uncovered harrowing stories of gang rape, child molestation, confinement, exposure to extreme conditions, intentional starvation and beatings to the point of unconsciousness. The school also employed child slave labour through the ranch, said Sellars.

“The initial operation of the mission was an industrial school where First Nations’ pupils performed labour-intensive tasks, including serving white children and staff, timber-splitting, cattle-rearing, farming and sewing,” he said.

“There were reports of children dying or disappearing from the facilities. For the bulk of St. Joseph’s Mission history, these reports were, at best, given no credence. At worst, there was something darker going on and an effort to suppress the emergence of the truth.”

In the 1980s and 90s, writes the centre, two former staff pleaded guilty to charges related to sexually abusing students.

Williams Lake First Nation is still conducting its investigation of the site. Tuesday’s results were based on scans of 14 square hectares of land around the former school, its barns, and other areas of interest identified through interviews and archival research. There are 480 hectares of land connected to the former school’s operation.

Sellars said it’s clear from survivors’ stories that there are still children unaccounted for even after this initial geophysical sweep: “Their bodies were cast into the river, left at the bottom of lakes, tossed like garbage into incinerators.”

The abuses suffered at St. Joseph’s Mission and other institutions are not forgotten footnotes of the past,” he said. “The horrors that occurred inside walls of St. Joseph’s Mission are still very real for those who live them in the legacy of these atrocities and is still readily apparent in the numerous ways that intergenerational trauma manifests in First Nation communities.”

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The findings are the latest of many residential school searches that have taken in place since last year, forcing Canadians to reckon with the insidious violence of colonization.

In May, Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc sent shockwaves of grief and anger across the country when it announced the remains of 215 children had been found in an unmarked burial site at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.

The following month, the federal government pledged $27 million to help Indigenous communities locate the remains of children who died at residential schools.

Other First Nations searched their own former residential school sites with ground-penetrating radar, which revealed more than 1,000 other children had been buried. The Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan alone located 751 children.

Between the 1800s and mid-1990s, Canada’s residential school system aimed to “eliminate parental involvement in the intellectual, cultural and spiritual development” of Indigenous children, according to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The state- and church-run institutions removed more than 150,000 First Nations, Métis and Inuit children from their families and imprisoned them in schools where many were physically, sexually and spiritually abused.

Some were also starved as part of scientific experiments on the effects of malnutrition. Many became ill with smallpox, measles, influenza, tuberculosis and other unknown illnesses due to lack of proper care.

Thousands died and many parents were never told what happened to their children. The harrowing system of assimilation created intergenerational trauma that has had a deep and lasting impact on survivors, their children, relations and communities.

In 2015, the commission found Canada guilty of “cultural genocide,” and to this day, governments have failed in many ways to meaningfully repair or compensate for the lasting harm.

The Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line (1-866-925-4419) is available 24 hours a day for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their residential school experience.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

COVID-19: N.B. teachers worry about distribution of proper masks ahead of schools re-opening

WATCH: New Brunswick’s education minister says he’s hopeful students will return to in-person learning on Jan. 31. Teachers and others who work in schools say they want that to happen too, but only with the right resources and protective equipment. Nathalie Sturgeon reports.

The New Brunswick Education Minister is optimistic students will return to in-person learning as planned on Jan. 31 following an update on the back to school plan Monday, but some are questioning whether the proper protective resources will be in place.

“We know that distance learning is not an ideal situation,” said Dominic Cardy in French during the briefing on Monday. “For the time, we’re hoping to return to in-person learning next Monday, Jan. 31.”

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COVID-19 – N.B. education minister says ‘hopefully’ students will be back in class on Jan. 31

However, as students are scheduled to return to the classroom in less than a week, the concern of proper amounts of personal protective equipment have surfaced as well.

CUPE 2754 President Thersea McAllister said some of her members have received on KN95 mask and one substandard 3-layered mask from the department, but she didn’t know if that extended to other trades like bus drivers and custodians.

Allison Taylor, an educational assistant, has only received one mask, which she doesn’t feel is enough. She said support staff are often lost in the mix. She worries only teachers will get the PPE and those working elsewhere in the education sector will be forced to buy their own.

Taylor purchased N95 masks herself — nearly $60 for 10 of them.

“I hope everybody, all the staff (are) included, for (the) safety of the kids, for the safety of us to make sure that the learning is happening and there aren’t other things distracting (us),” she said in an interview Tuesday. “So, we can go back to being as normal I guess as possible and providing a safe environment for everyone knowing that we have all the tools to do that.”

Taylor is in favour of returning to in-person learning but said the right resources much be there in order to do that, adding even the current level of students in-person is overwhelming.

On Monday, Cardy was asked whether all staff would be included in the rollout including education assistants, bus drivers and custodians among others, and he confirmed that to be the case.

“They’ve all gone out, there are sufficient numbers, and they are for all professional staff,” he said.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Woman charged with 2nd-degree murder after fatal stabbing in Markham: police

A woman has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder after a fatal stabbing in Markham, police say.

In a news release issued Tuesday, York Regional Police said officers received reports on Monday at around 6:20 p.m. that a man had been stabbed at a home on Fred Varley Drive, in the Yonge Street and Sciberras Road area.

Police said a 31-year-old man from Markham was transported to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

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According to police, the victim succumbed to his injuries in hospital.

Officers said a 33-year-old woman was arrested at the residence and has been charged with second-degree murder.

Police said the identity of the accused and victim will not be released “to protect the identity of an additional family member who was in the residence at the time of the incident.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Court documents allege 'negligence' by staff in sex assault case of former Calgary teacher

New information has come to light in an alleged sex abuse case involving a former junior high school teacher.

Michael Gregory was a junior high school teacher at Calgary’s John Ware School from 1986 to 2006. Days after he was charged with sexual offences against students, Gregory took his own life.

Michael Gregory is charged with six counts of sexual assault and 11 counts of sexual exploitation.

Michael Gregory is charged with six counts of sexual assault and 11 counts of sexual exploitation.

Obtained by Global News

A proposed class action lawsuit against Gregory’s estate and the Calgary Board of Education has been launched. The allegations have not yet been proven in court.

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On Tuesday, new documents were filed in court relating to the case. A report authored by Christine Cusanelli detailed her expert opinion.

She wrote a lengthy report regarding the reasonable conduct that would be taken by a school administrator in the context of the allegations of sexual misconduct by a teacher. Cusanelli is a specialist in the field of educational leadership and school legislation, serving over 20 years as a school educator, guidance counsellor and school principal.

“Protecting students was not a priority and the administration’s response to students and their parents coming forward was inadequate,” Cusanelli wrote.

“Principals communicate to teachers, administrators, and school volunteers and have a legal obligation to report cases of child abuse; suspected or disclosed. In my opinion, they, along with other any personnel who observed Mr. Gregory’s inappropriate behavior and remained silent are negligent in their duty to protect children.”

Cusanelli’s report reads: “Since he was never formally reprimanded for his behavior and somehow escaped accountability for decades, it may be that he was equally coercive with the staff who seemed to accept his behaviors and dismiss them out of hand. As a result, Mr. Gregory became emboldened in his increasingly risky pursuits that eventually led to sexual abuse as alleged by his victims.

“A culture of protecting this teacher may have come at the expense of the safety of children.

“It is my opinion that a serious lack of knowledge by administration and teachers about the rights of children and policies enabled a predator to create for himself, an environment in which to prey on vulnerable children,” Cusanelli wrote.

Read more:

20 more students allege sexual assault against former Calgary teacher Michael Gregory

The Calgary Board of Education has denied knowledge of Gregory’s alleged abuse insisting it had no idea, asking the suit be dropped.

Kari Grant was a student of Gregory’s between 1997 and 2000. She is part of the proposed lawsuit.

“When you’re a young girl, these people are your guardians and you rely on them to do what is right by you,” Grant said. “They should have been taking care of us and they weren’t taking care of us and they turned their backs on us, just like they are turning their backs on us now.”

Grant said she has no doubt staff were aware of the inappropriate and predatory behaviour of Gregory.

“How could they not have known?

“These things happened in their hallways, in their classrooms, in front of their faces,” Grant said. “These things weren’t in a dark closet, these things were in front of them.

Kari Grant

Kari Grant

Jill Croteau/Global News

“I fully believe this stuff wouldn’t have happened and could have avoided hundreds of cases of abuses if just that one time something was reported and action taken. They failed.”

Other former schoolmates have alleged Gregory took students on unsanctioned trips, was alone with them in his classroom with the door locked, invited them to his home and drove them to school.

Kelly Schneider, one of the original representative plaintiffs, said she went to school staff regarding the manipulation by Gregory.

Kelly Schneider, a former student of Michael Gregory, looks at a yearbook from Calgary's John Ware school on Jan. 20, 2022.

Kelly Schneider, a former student of Michael Gregory, looks at a yearbook from Calgary's John Ware school on Jan. 20, 2022.

Global News

“My parents and I went to the school with a box of items he had given me as gifts and put it on the vice principal’s desk and said: ‘Please explain what is happening to my daughter.'” Schneider recalled.

“He belittled my parents and I and we felt embarrassed, we felt humiliated.

“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about this,” Grant said. “I have spent my whole adulthood trying to bury this and it takes everything I have to be a better person and not let this destroy me.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Kelowna Variety van windows broken, shot by BB gun

Two vans used to transport children to Kelowna-area after-school programs were seriously damaged this week in an act of vandalism.

The Kelowna YMCA located on Hartman Road in Rutland has become a regular victim of vandalism and on Jan. 15 two white Ford Transit 350 “Sunshine Coach” vans were targeted by vandals and had most of their windows smashed out. In total, 10 windows were broken, CrimeStoppers said in a press release.

The vans were also shot at by a BB gun.

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“This was the second occurrence in two weeks, causing the vans to be taken off the road for maintenance instead of being used by the facility for children’s after-school transportation and programs,” Crime Stoppers said.

If you know anything about this crime, or any other crime, you are asked to call the Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers’ anonymous tips line at 1-800-222-TIPS or visit its website at http://www.crimestoppers.net.

Information will be kept confidential and could lead to a reward of up to $2,000.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Snow removal, accessibility concerns linger for Hamilton residents a week after storm

A resident of Hamilton’s Crown Point neighbourhood says he’s been feeling the pain from the 50 cm of snow dropped as a result of last Monday’s storm.

It’s been a week and Allan Bedford says despite being a healthy, middle-aged man, he’s had challenges navigating through some many commonly-travelled passages in the city centre.

“It’s not like you’re climbing over this … lush sand dune that is easy and soft, they are some really craggy snowdrifts and ice,” Bedford told Global News.

“You have to either go over or you backtrack to where you can find access to the street.”

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Much of Hamilton, Niagara Region saw between 40 to 50 cm during snow storm

In a series of tweets on Monday, the Hamilton resident showed ramped sidewalk corners which he says in many areas have been “impassable” due to as much as a metre of snow piled up.

He believes the issue is likely a combination of cars parked in snow routes, ploughs compensating avoiding vehicles with wide turns and residents turning a blind eye when looking at the mountain of white stuff.

“When the temperature dropped at the end of last week, these piles that are at the corners get walked through over and over again,” Bedford said.

“Those piles that you could sort of mush through if you had good mobility are now chunked and caked with ice that is frozen into an unwalkable mess.”

The director of media relations for Ontario’s Disability Coalition says another issue he sees is the depth at which ploughs actually clear snow on a given route.

Anthony Frisina says ploughs tend to leave a few millimeters of snow and ice above the cement or pavement, creating hazardous situations for everybody, not just people with disabilities.

With the city hosting a high percentage of persons with disabilities per capita — higher than national averages — Frisina says they need to get down deeper with their sweep.

“We just need to be more proactive in clearing properly down to the cement, down to the asphalt, down to the clear paving so that anybody can get around at equally and make enough space for larger mobility devices,” Frisina told 900 CHML’s Good Morning Hamilton.

City staff told Global News they have endured complaints from close to 450 residents over snow-covered sidewalks since last week’s storm.

Alternatively, bylaw officers issued more than 100 violations for residents accused of not clearing walkways within 24 hours of the winter storm’s end.

The city currently clears snow from about 400 kilometres of sidewalk, mainly around schools and municipal facilities.

Starting in the winter of 2022-2023, a new contractor will clear an additional 469 kilometres of sidewalk along transit routes and near schools, whenever there is 5 cm or more of snowfall.

Read more:

Hamilton city council approves enhanced sidewalk snow-clearing program

Until that initiative launches, Hamilton residents will have to shovel sidewalks for the remainder of this winter.

Debates over Hamilton’s snow-clearing plans for sidewalks have lingered for years, with the most recent one spanning early 2020 to the end of 2021 when councillors shared stories from constituents at a number of committees and council meetings.

Cost has been the primary issue with estimates as high as $5.3 million — $16 per year for the average homeowner — if the city cleared all 2,403 kilometres of sidewalk across Hamilton.

In November 2020, director of transportation operations Edward Soldo told city councillors that the municipality wasn’t in a position to start providing the service that winter, since they had neither the staffing nor the required equipment.

“We would have to go back out to the industry, and put out a request for proposal to actually hire that contracted equipment,” a process that would take several months, Soldo said.

Last April, Ward 3 Coun. Nrinder Nann argued current rules, requiring residents to clear sidewalks around their properties within 24 hours after a snow event, are not working “consistently.”

An enhanced sidewalk snow-clearing motion, brought forward by Ward 1 Coun. Maureen Wilson, was approved that month by city council despite the public works committee defeating the same idea the week before.

The added cost of the new contract is in the neighborhood of $2.3 million, or an average of $12 annually per household.

 

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

‘Anxiety to anger’: Highway 8 residents receiving bills for no service

Residents of Highway 8 near Spences Bridge have been displaced since the Nicola River flood on Nov. 15.

The devastated area had no cell or internet service for almost five weeks — but when Steven Rice got his Telus bill recently, he was charged for that period.

“Just imagine, you open a bill and you’re scheduled for disconnection for something that they can’t disconnect anyways — they might as well because you haven’t had it — but they also want you to pay them some money. If that doesn’t go from anxiety to anger, I don’t know what does,” said Rice, a Highway 8 resident.

Read more:

‘It is a nightmare’: Highway 8 residents face uncertain future in flood-ravaged valley

Rice is one of many being charged for service. He says during that time, no one in Spences Bridge or its surrounding areas could get any reception unless they drove 18 kilometres out of town.

But many evacuees didn’t have a car, so they couldn’t check their emails or see any bills coming in.

Rice says with three phone lines and two internet lines, his credit score has already been impacted.

“One of the most important tools in your financial toolbox is your credit score — and if that’s damaged it not only doesn’t do you any good, it does you harm,” Rice says.

In an email, Telus says they are currently investigating the situation.

But it’s not the only bill that keeps coming in for residents of Highway 8.

BC Hydro also sent out bills to properties that had no power.

The corporation says it has a bill block for long-term evacuees which stops them from receiving a bill. However, it came to their attention last week that they had missed a few customers.

“They’re not expected to pay these bills,” BC Hydro Community Relations personnel Mary Ann Coules says. “For folks that have their payments come out of their account automatically, if they’ve missed this and now seen that there’s been a charge from BC Hydro, we will reimburse them for those funds as well as for any charges that they may have incurred.”

However, Rice is still waiting for a solution from Telus. Until then, he worries about other evacuees who might be caught off guard when they’re trying to get back on their feet.

“They’re going to be surprised with their credit score,” he says.

“They may not be able to buy that couch or get that rental or even certainly not buy a house, so I would really urge them to check their credit scores.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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