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Remains of 215 children found on grounds of former residential school in Kamloops

The remains were confirmed last weekend with the help of a ground-penetrating radar specialist.

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Shockwaves are hitting First Nations communities in Canada and investigations are underway after the remains of 215 children were found buried on the grounds of a former residential school in Kamloops, BC.

“This is absolutely heartbreaking news,” Marc Miller, Minister of Indigenous Services said in a tweet.

Chief Rosanne Casimir, of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation, said in a press release the remains were confirmed last weekend with the help of a ground-penetrating radar specialist.

Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc said it will be engaging with the coroner, reaching out to the home communities who had children who attended the Kamloops Indian Residential School and taking measures to ensure that the locations of the remains are protected.

The Secwépemc Museum Archivist is working with the Royal British Columbia Museum, among others, to seek out any existing records of these deaths.

“We had a knowing in our community that we were able to verify. To our knowledge, these missing children are undocumented deaths,” said Casimir.

“Some were as young as three years old. We sought out a way to confirm that knowing out of deepest respect and love for those lost children and their families, understanding that Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc is the final resting place of these children.”

The Kamloops Industrial School (later known as the Kamloops Indian Residential School) was opened under Roman Catholic administration in 1890. It became the largest school in the Indian Affairs residential school system, according to online documents from the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre.

The federal government took over the administration of the school in 1969, operating as housing for students attending local day schools and no longer providing classes. The doors officially closed in 1978.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) says large numbers of indigenous children who were sent to residential schools never returned to their home communities. Some children ran away, and others died at the schools. The students who did not return have come to be known as the Missing Children. The Missing Children Project documents the deaths and the burial places of children who died while attending the schools. To date, more than 4,100 children who died while attending a residential school have been identified.

“At this time we have more questions than answers,” said Casimir.

“We look forward to providing updates as they become available.”

Reid Small is a BC correspondent for the Western Standard
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Declan Carroll

    May 29, 2021 at 11:51 am

    @ leftcoast. The school was established in 1890 and in operation until 1969, when it was taken over by the federal government to be used as a day school residence. The school closed in 1978.

  2. Declan Carroll

    May 29, 2021 at 11:48 am

    Canada’s favorite river is called DeNial and it’s right beside The Highway Of Tears.

  3. Declan Carroll

    May 29, 2021 at 11:46 am

    @left coast. Residential schools were in operation till 1991. There is plenty of witness testimony from living people about the murders, rapes and abuse that went on. There are 50000 missing native children. In other countries we call this genocide but in Canada we call it “tuberculosis”. Give it a rest. Canada cannot move forward as a nation until we come to terms with its past and the people responsible if alive must be held accountable

  4. Left Coast

    May 29, 2021 at 10:48 am

    Richard . . . it’s 1890 and 100s of kids in a Residential School, many coming from 100s of miles away. Many childhood diseases claimed the lives of children in the late 19th and early 20th century. Living conditions on Native reserves in the late 19th & early 20th century were not like today . . . and today they are not great.

    This did not happen in the 1980s man, you obviously have trouble putting history in it’s proper context . . . My own Grandmother’s family of 9 siblings, 4 died before they reached puberty in the later 19th century. We looked up the information at the Archives in Sweden back in 2001.

    “There is another piece of evidence to consider that suggests the mortality of children was in fact very high in much of humanity’s history: birth rates were high, but population growth was close to zero.”

    “we find that a large number of independent studies for very different societies, locations, and times come to surprisingly similar assessments: all point to very high mortality rates for children. For societies that lived thousands of kilometers away from each other and were separated by thousands of years of history, mortality in childhood was terribly high in all of them. The researchers find that on average a quarter of infants died before their first birthday and half of all children died before they reached puberty.”

    While there were likely some bad people at the Residential School, we still see that today in the same organization, the majority believed they were doing good work.
    No one talks of the 1000s of kids who left these schools with an education and went on to be productive citizens.

    Unfortunately nothing has changed with our “Victim” groups . . .

  5. Declan Carroll

    May 29, 2021 at 6:57 am

    I have heard that there are also mass graves in Nanaimo that have been fenced off by the government to keep the truth from getting out. I also wonder if William Coombes friends that went missing in 1964 are in that pit. Absolute tragedy.

    https://www.collective-evolution.com/2018/09/05/aboriginal-residential-school-survivor-says-the-queen-of-england-abducted-children-in-canada/

  6. Debbie Lawrence

    May 28, 2021 at 10:33 pm

    Deb

    I am not First Nations but I am a Mother, the thoughts of this happening to me,having my child or children taken away from me in this way and for those reasons is a nightmare from hell. My heartbreaks for these children, their parents and First Nation people.

  7. Richard

    May 28, 2021 at 9:21 pm

    Left Coast. You must be brain dead. How many schools have grave yards?
    This is straight out of a horror movie. These are kids!

  8. Left Coast

    May 28, 2021 at 10:55 am

    So a residential school founded in 1890 had children die?

    What was the child mortality rate in the 19th century? I suspect very high, many adults only lived into their 50s . . .

    How many died in the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic? Did anyone save the Records?

    So a school that operated for almost 100 years had 215 child deaths, that’s a little more than 2 per year . . . and that compares HOW with a remote Indian Bands today in Canada’s hinterland . . . I suspect far more than that die from Drugs, Alcohol, Neglect and Abuse!

    This smells a lot like the “Missing Woman” nonsense . . . where RCMP data shows that the numbers are comparable to the rest of Canada.

    NO one ever does any research on the number of students who went on to be productive hard working Canadians . . . why do you suppose that is? It goes against the narrative & the Cash Flow ! ! !

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CLEMENT: No reason to toast federal tax on non-alcoholic beer

Across the board, we should expect better from Ottawa, and the tax on non-alcoholic beer is yet another example of where they’ve gotten it wrong.

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Sin-taxes, across all sectors, are fairly excessive in Canada. At almost every turn the government sinks its tax teeth into the process of you purchasing the products you like. This is true for cannabis products, alcohol, tobacco, vaping, gas, and annoyingly so, non-alcoholic beer. Yes, non-alcoholic beer in Canada is not exempt from federal excise taxes.

You read that right. The federal government also extends its sin-tax regime for non-alcoholic beer, at a rate of $2.82/hectolitre.

The application of excise taxes for non-alcoholic beer is problematic for a variety of reasons. The first, and most glaring, is that it is hypocritical given that the federal government has exempted non-alcoholic wine and spirits from the excise tax. Why apply it for beer, but not wine and spirits? Obviously, a more consistent approach would be to simply exempt all non-alcoholic beverages from the excise tax, because the purpose of the sin tax is to recover alcohol-related healthcare costs. That said, there are no alcohol-related healthcare costs at all from non-alcoholic beer, which immediately shows the lunacy of sin-taxing these products.

In addition to correcting hypocrisy, removing the excise tax for non-alcoholic beer would put federal policy in line with how the provinces treat these products. Provincial regulators, including Alberta, don’t require non-alcoholic beverages to be sold at licensed alcohol retail outlets, because they’ve accepted the obvious that these products don’t have alcohol in them and thus shouldn’t be strictly regulated. That is why in Alberta these products are often sold alongside carbonated water and pop. Removing the excise tax would be the federal government following the lead of the provinces in treating non-alcoholic beer differently than beer, because they are in fact different.

On the industry side, the federal excise tax acts as a barrier for product development in Canada, mostly because other beer producing jurisdictions (US,EU,UK) don’t tax non-alcoholic beer. Because of this the domestic industry in those jurisdictions has flourished, offering consumers more choice and at better prices. Their sane tax policy, coupled with increased consumer demand, is in large part why the non-alcoholic beer market is expected to grow to over $4 billion by 2025. These drinks aren’t just for hipsters, designated drivers and pregnant women anymore.

Lastly, and most importantly, is how non-alcoholic beer is yet another example of new products reducing harm for consumers. And while I don’t personally enjoy these drinks, I can see why someone would still want to enjoy a beer with their friends, or at a bar, without the alcohol that comes along with it.

From a harm reduction perspective, it makes perfect sense to have different tax strategies for products that vary in risk. The Trudeau government, at times, has championed harm reduction for illegal drugs but appears to have a blind spot when it comes to legal substances. This is an uncomfortable trend from Ottawa that is perfectly exemplified by the excise tax on non-alcoholic beer. Ottawa has kept the excise tax system for non-smokable THC cannabis products, like edibles and beverages, despite the fact they are significantly less harmful. They’ve sought to ban vape flavours, despite the fact that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking, and flavours are an incredibly useful tool for adult smokers trying to quit.

Across the board, we should expect better from Ottawa, and the tax on non-alcoholic beer is yet another example of where they’ve gotten it wrong. Hopefully, come Budget 2022, they can correct this mistake and remove the excise tax from these products entirely.

David Clement is a columnist for the Western Standard and the North American Affairs Manager with the Consumer Choice Center

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EXCLUSIVE: 2003 hearing ruled Chu’s accuser ‘not to be believed’

“I find her evidence not to be believed and I was not able to consider her evidence when deciding a sentence.”

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The accuser at the centre of the embattled Calgary Coun. Sean Chu controversy told a hearing he sexually assaulted her while holding a gun to her head, according to documents obtained by the Western Standard.

But the presiding officer at the police disciplinary hearing, Insp. Debbie Middleton-Hope, said the then 16-year-old minor’s testimony was not credible and not to be believed.

The sentencing hearing took place Jan. 31, 2003 and lasted eight minutes.

Chu did admit to caressing the woman’s leg while in uniform at the King’s Head pub on Macleod Tr. after meeting her while conducting a walk-through patrol in August of 1997.

After his shift, Chu went home to change into civilian clothes before returning to the pub to meet the girl.

Middleton-Hope said in her statement that Chu provided investigators with intimate details of sexual contact the pair had when they returned to his home.

“I find Const. Chu to be forthright in his description of the details and I find his evidence to be believed,” said Middleton-Hope, a long-serving, well-respected Calgary policewoman, now retired.

The woman, in turn, denied Chu had caressed her leg.

“… her evidence was directed on an aggressive, physical struggle at which time a gun was held to her head,” said Middleton-Hope.

But Middleton-Hope said she found the woman’s testimony “inconsistent.”

“Under cross-examination (the woman) had difficulty in recalling pertinent details,” said Middleton-Hope.

“I find her evidence not to be believed and I was not able to consider her evidence when deciding a sentence.”

Middleton-Hope also addressed the age of the woman, who was 16 at the time.

“I have no evidence before me Const. Chu was aware of this fact. Several witnesses said [the girl] appeared to be 19 to 21 years old,” she ruled.

The accuser also testified she had an interaction with Chu two years previous after an altercation at school. Chu wasn’t the investigating officer, but did speak to the girl on the phone.

“…and [received] a Christmas card from her as a result of that phone call,” Middleton-Hope said.

“No evidence was presented that Constable Chu was aware of her age from this verbal contact.

“I believe Constable Chu to be sincere when he indicates he was unsuspecting of [the accusers] exact age.”

Middletin-Hope then ordered Chu have a letter of reprimand on his file for discreditable conduct for caressing the accuser’s leg while on duty.

Chu was also ordered to undergo six months of ethics training.

Middleton-Hope noted performance reviews in his 10-year police career described Chu as “hard working” and “highly motivated.”

For the third time, Chu was elected on October 18 to be the councillor for Ward 4. He won by 100 votes, winning the advance poll, but losing on election day. Documents over the case had been leaked to the media just days before the election in what Chu called a “political assassination.”

There have been a chorus of demands from other politicians for Chu to resign and a byelection called. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, incoming Calgary mayor Jyoti Gondek and most of the incoming council have demanded Chu resign.

Chu said he would be happy to meet with Mayor-Elect Gondek to discuss the situation.

Dueling protests — one for Chu and one against — are planned in front of city hall on Sunday.

Chu has vowed to not resign and wants to clear his name.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean any harm,” Chu told the Western Standard in an exclusive interview on Tuesday.

Chu admits there was “some touching underneath clothes” in the 1997 incident.

“She then said she wanted to go home and I drove her straight there.”

Chu denied media reports that a gun was produced during the evening at his home. He said he checked his service weapon in at the police’s traffic office when he signed off duty.

“If there had been a gun involved there would have been charges,” said Chu.

Documents obtained by the Western Standard and other media indicate that the woman claimed the whole process was a “cover-up.”

Chu served as a Calgary police officer from 1992 until he was elected in 2013.

Now Chu said he is looking at his legal options and a possible defamation suit over some of what he called the false reporting.

“I have always told the truth. My reputation is important to me and now my family is hurting,” said Chu.

Chu said he wouldn’t comment on remarks made by Gondek that she will try and remove him from council.

“I will continue to tell the truth at council and will be a fiscal hawk,” he said.

“The most important thing is I told the truth and the truth will prevail.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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TV news mistakes leads to censure

“The details were clearly inaccurate and related to historical facts,” wrote the Canada Broadcast Standards Council.

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A St. John’s TV station breached newsroom ethics when it put out a report containing mistakes, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

The TV station was censured for garbling a handful of facts in a local story.

“The details were clearly inaccurate and related to historical facts,” wrote the Canada Broadcast Standards Council.

Correct information “could have been easily verified by the reporter prior to airing the news segment,” wrote the Council.

NTV on its flagship suppertime newscast last April 26 broadcast a story on a local parole case that misstated the year of the crime, the date the killer was convicted, and the number of years the murderer served in the penitentiary.

“This whole story was riddled with inconsistencies,” complained one viewer.

“He was charged and convicted in 2003. They reported 2002.

“These facts were not factual. There were four mistakes in the story.”

NTV management apologized and acknowledged errors were made as the story was “rushed to air” but denied any breach of newsroom ethics.

“Although we do not believe our coverage of this story was in breach of any industry guidelines or codes, we understand every individual may view news material or programming from a different perspective,” wrote station managers.

The Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Code Of Ethics states, “It shall be the responsibility of broadcasters to ensure that news shall be represented with accuracy.”

A similar Code Of Journalistic Ethics by the Radio Television Digital News Association states: “We are committed to journalism in the public interest that is accurate and reliable.”

“There was no deliberate attempt by NTV to change the narrative of this story which focused on the revocation of the parole of the convicted murderer,” wrote the Standards Council.

“It is understandable that in a rush to get the story to air, incorrect pieces of information were used.”

“Journalists should strive to verify facts and put them in context. These inaccuracies constitute breaches.”

There are no fines for breaching TV codes. The station must announce the violation on its newscast.

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