Victim identified in Vancouvers 15th homicide of 2018

Victim identified in Vancouver\s 15th homicide of 2018
Homicide victim identified – BC News
About 11:45 a.m., RCMP were called to the 14600 block of Southview Drive after gunfire was heard.

An adult victim was found suffering from gunshot wounds, but did not survive, Surrey RCMP said in a press release. 

Police identify 87-year-old found dead in her apartment

The area has been cordoned off by police, and the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team has been called in.

"It is still very early in this investigation and our homicide unit is collecting information to help determine motive and who may be responsible," said Const. Jason Doucette. 

Surrey RCMP are asking for the public's help to try and locate a 13-year-old girl who has been reported missing.   RCMP describe Irene Dan as a high risk missing female. She was last seen at 8 p.m. Saturday on the 17600 block of 104th Avenue in Surrey.  She has not been seen or heard from since.

"While our officers continue to piece together what took place, we are reminding the public to report suspicious behaviour to 911 immediately."

She is described as a 13-year-old Aboriginal female, five feet tall, 90 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

Her death was quickly classified as a homicide by investigators from the VPD's Major Crime Section and the B.C. Coroners Service. 

She was last seen wearing a grey memorial hoody (with Aboriginal art designs), pants, a black backpack and running shoes.

Vancouver police have identified an elderly woman who was found dead in her East Vancouver apartment on Saturday morning.

Police and family are concerned for her health and well-being and say it is out of character for her to be out of touch this long.

Anyone with information about the whereabouts of this person is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502.

Police are also seeking dashboard camera footage from anyone who may have been in the area of Kingsway and Kerr on Saturday morning between midnight and 6 a.m. Investigators are also hoping to speak with anyone who may have spotted something suspicious.

RCMP revealed the discovery Monday, after the baby was found Friday near the Heritage Park Child Care Centre. 

The British Columbia legislature's two top officials say they still do not know why they were placed on administrative leave as they made an appeal today for their reinstatement while a police investigation continues into their conduct.

On Sunday, police were stationed outside Poulin’s apartment near Kingsway Avenue and Kerr Street as investigators combed the scene for evidence.

Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz and clerk of the house Craig James denied any wrongdoing at a news conference Monday and repeated a demand made by their lawyer on Friday for their reinstatement.

An 80-year-old woman found dead in her east Vancouver apartment is Vancouvers 15th homicide of the year. LORA GRINDLAY / PNG / PNG

Lenz paused and his voice cracked with emotion as he explained the support he has received from his family and friends since he was escorted from the legislature last Tuesday after the house voted unanimously to place both men on paid leave.

"Although it is impossible to deny what you do not know, I firmly say that I have done nothing wrong and that I am confident that the independent investigation now underway with the RCMP will clear me of any alleged wrongdoing," Lenz said in a prepared statement.

James said no one has informed him of what he is alleged to have done or asked for his side of the story.

Anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the area of Kingsway Avenue and Kerr Street from Friday evening to Saturday morning is asked to call detectives at 604-717-2500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

"The damage to my reputation is irreparable," he said in a statement. "The healing can only begin with my return to work."

In a release, Vancouver police said Elizabeth Poulin was found deceased in her apartment near Kingsway Avenue and Kerr Street on November 24 around 8 am.

Both men said they will co-operate with the RCMP investigation and James outlined steps he has taken since he became clerk in 2011 to improve the administration of the legislature, including assuring the auditor general that problems identified in a report would be fixed.

"Not long after, we received our first clean audit," James added. "We have received one ever since."

The Speaker of the B.C. legislature says it is up to the assembly to decide whether it wants to rescind a motion that placed its two top officials on administrative leave.

In a letter to the three party house leaders released today by Speaker Darryl Plecas, he says the motion passed unanimously by the legislature last Tuesday provides for a periodic review of the decision.

Plecas says all three party leaders supported the position that "it would not be appropriate for these permanent officers to continue to be at the assembly in the face of an active criminal investigation regarding their actions related to the assembly."

Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz and clerk of the house Craig James have denied any wrongdoing in a letter released Friday by their lawyer, who has asked the legislature to rescind the motion placing them on leave.

The RCMP has said it is investigating staff at the legislature, but it has not said who is the subject of its probe and it has not described the investigation as criminal in nature.

The Liberals have asked for an emergency meeting to question Plecas about how and why he hired a special adviser to investigate his concerns about Lenz and James.

On Saturday, Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson said his caucus still has a lot of questions about the Speaker's decision to hire his friend Alan Mullen in January to look into the administrative duties of Lenz and James.

The Speaker's office forwarded information to the RCMP in August and the Mounties are investigating with the help of two special prosecutors, who have declined comment on the case.

Wilkinson said he's asking questions now in part because it came as a surprise to him when Mullen revealed Wednesday that he had led the investigation before handing it off to the RCMP. Before Wednesday, the Liberals thought Mullen was a clerical worker and driver for the Speaker, he said.

But Plecas says in his letter that the Liberals did not raise any objections at a meeting before the motion was presented to the house.

"Official Opposition house leader Mary Polak specifically stated that she did not want or need any further information about the allegations beyond knowing that there was an active RCMP investigation," he wrote.

Plecas says the work done by Lenz and James is "central to the operations and deliberations of the legislative assembly."

"They must have the unqualified trust and confidence of the house. They are entitled to the presumption of innocence in any criminal process, but the reality of an active criminal investigation concerning their activities as permanent officers of the house cannot be ignored by the house."

The Speaker says his office has canvassed members about an emergency management meeting for their availability and has since concluded a scheduled meeting of the committee should go ahead on Dec. 6. The committee, chaired by the Speaker and made up of the three house leaders and other top legislature members, is responsible for the financial accounting of the legislature.

Finance Minister Carole James says B.C.'s economic growth remains "strong and stable" and the budget is on track to record a surplus in the 2018-19 fiscal year.

James says the operating debt, which builds up when tax or other revenue misses spending pledges made in a budget, has been reduced to zero for the first time in four decades.

She says the province's second quarter results for this fiscal year show a projected surplus of $1.35 billion.

The Finance Ministry forecasts GDP growth of 2.2 per cent this year, while the value of all goods and services produced by the province is forecast to climb by 1.8 per cent in 2019.

James says risks facing the province include a $250-million drop in Crown corporation earnings, mainly due to losses at the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, as well as a slowing down of the housing market.

To offset those risks, she says a fund that covers potentially volatile revenue changes has been increased by $600 million.

"That additional prudence is very critical … to help mitigate any kind of provincial revenue impacts," she told a news conference at the legislature on Monday.

James says RBC and other analysts remain positive about economic growth in B.C., forecasting the province will remain a leader in Canada this year and next, even before the benefits of a liquefied natural gas development in Kitimat are added to projections over the next several months.

"Private forecasters expect that B.C.'s economic growth will be strong. In fact, they are predicting that we are going to lead the provincial rankings in 2019," she said.

The woman rounded a corner in Oak Bay and came up on a buck with a doe and fawn, CTV News reports.

The city has previously culled the animals, and biologists are investigating injecting does with birth control.

First Nations leaders told a National Energy Board hearing in Victoria there are serious concerns about the potential impacts of an expanded Trans Mountain pipeline on their homelands.

Two leaders representing the Fraser Valley's Sto:lo Tribal Council say protection of the Fraser River's salmon, animals and surrounding lands is their eternal responsibility and the pipeline poses risks that could harm their homes and culture.

But Chief Tyrone McNeil and councillor Andrew Victor did not say they are completely opposed to the expansion project.

McNeil, the tribal council's vice-president, says the board must understand that the Sto:lo call the Fraser River their mother because it feeds and nurtures them.

He says the Sto:lo believe they are responsible for looking after everything they see, including the Chinook salmon that are the main food source for threatened southern resident killer whales.

Victor says the Sto:lo want to see justification for the pipeline expansion project, including the completion of environmental assessments that examine risks and impacts of a spill.

The new hearings were prompted after the Federal Court of Appeal tossed out the original approval for the expansion, saying Canada didn't adequately consult with First Nations or consider tanker traffic's impact on the marine environment.

Police have identified the victim of a weekend homicide in Vancouver as 87-year-old Elizabeth Poulin.

VPD investigators are working to determine what led to the woman’s death and to identify a suspect. 

“This investigation is a top priority for the police. Based on the information collected so far, investigators do not believe that the public is at risk,” says Sgt. Jason Robillard.  

Vancouver's 15th homicide victim of 2018 was a disabled woman named Betty, killed in her apartment at Kingsway Avenue and Kerr Street. Her body was discovered Saturday morning.

“She was very kind, very loving, very sweet woman, wouldn’t hurt a fly. Just a beautiful, wonderful person,” Hussey told CTV.

“Why would someone do such a horrendous act to someone who was disabled?” added next-door-neighbour Jan O’Leary. 

VPD Const. Jason Doucette said the Homicide Unit is working to determine a motive in the killing.

A coroner's inquest will be held this week into the 2013 suicide of a former RCMP spokesman who provided the first reports on the death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski following a confrontation with police at Vancouver's airport.

Sgt. Pierre Lemaitre briefly acted as the face of the Mounties after Dziekanski was jolted multiple times with a police Taser during the 2007 confrontation.

Lemaitre, who was 55 when he died, had said that Dziekanski was combative and that only two bursts from the Taser were used to subdue him.

A civilian video later showed those statements were incorrect, but Lemaitre testified at an inquiry into the death that he released details provided by homicide detectives.

The inquiry concluded Lemaitre may not have known the information was wrong, but by then he had been transferred out of media relations.

A lawsuit filed by the officer's widow after his death and settled out of court alleged Lemaitre had been made a scapegoat in the Dziekanski case.

Deputy chief coroner Vincent Stancato and a jury will hear evidence in Burnaby from witnesses under oath to determine the facts surrounding the suicide.

Coroner's office spokesman Andy Watson said in an emailed statement that jurors will have the opportunity to make recommendations to prevent deaths under similar circumstances.

He said an inquest can be ordered if the chief coroner believes a "death resulted from a dangerous practice or circumstance."

Watson's statement also said an inquest is held if the chief coroner "has reason to believe that the public has an interest in being informed of the circumstances surrounding the death."

An opportunistic otter that is preying on koi in a unique downtown Vancouver garden has eaten at least three more of the large fish and continues to evade efforts to trap and remove it.

The Vancouver Park Board confirms on social media that the otter, which moved into the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden just over a week ago, is still on the loose and several more of the garden's 14 prized koi have disappeared since Friday.

It's now estimated that 10 of the valuable fish, prized for their longevity, size and unique markings, have been eaten.

Over the weekend, park board staff tried to remove the remaining koi from the network of ponds in the garden at the edge of Vancouver's Chinatown district, but were only able to capture one.

Further information is expected to be released about attempts to snare and relocate the otter to the Fraser Valley.

Weather warnings and a special weather statement are in effect for the Coquihalla Highway and the Fraser Valley Monday morning.

The potential for freezing rain on the Coquihalla has diminished by forecasters are still concerned about the possibility.

Environment Canada warns there is a potential for very slippery and hazardous conditions if rain or wet snow hits below zero surface temperatures on road surfaces.

Meantime, at the coast, Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, people are asked to brace for stormy weather as the region is expected to be pounded by heavy rain and gusty winds.

Environment Canada issued the alerts, warning this storm will bring close to 80 millimeters of rain by Tuesday morning.

That means there is the potential for localized flooding and washouts near creeks, rivers, and culverts.

There is also concern over another potential King Tide Monday morning. The False Creek seawall experienced flooding last year.

Police had the area between 7th Avenue and McRae Avenue closed off late Sunday while they investigated the scene.