This past May 2, 2016, in Fort McMurray,Alberta,Canada, a sudden burst of flames had apparently started in a few trees and due to high winds,had spread rapidly until it engulfed the entire city.At this time, around 40 wildfires at latest count. It had already affected a huge span of land ( approx. 150,000 acres)and probably still growing yet and most of the residents(around 88,000) had to evacuate immediately and drive down to the nearest big city of Edmonton or travel out to other parts of Alberta province as well as to other parts of Canada.

Amazingly, no one got hurt or killed from these still ongoing wildfires and accdg. to experts, the fires are still raging at this time and the effects from these wildfires will last a long time. It’s highly unlikely that things will go back to normal soon.

Fort McMurray or what we call as Fort Mac was an evergrowing city of migrants coming from all over Canada to take advantage of job opportunities in the oil well industry. Unfortunately, due to the world wide oil price crisis and now the wildfires, it only exacerbated the careers and bottom lines of these workers and their respective families.

It hits home here in Atlantic Canada since a lot of folks from New Brunswick,Nova Scotia,Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland had gone to Fort Mac to look for work in Alberta province, the land of milk and honey especially in the oil  well business. Some of these Maritimers  came back home with only the shirts on their backs and  probably no careers to return to from there.

It really goes to show how life can be unpredictable when a fire can wipe out your life or lifestyle in a flash. The silver lining  is that charity and the drive to help out kicks in. As they say here in Canada, it’s the Canadian way—to help others in times of need.

Around here in  Canada, most of the stores and other business establishments had set up posts to receive cash donations for the Fort MacMurray victims, all proceeds to be given to their local Canadian Red Cross office.

Even our prime minister Justin Trudeau will match $ for $ each cash donation on behalf of the Canadian government with this regard.

Overall,  here in Canada ,one can make a donation online through the Alberta Fires Appeal online—-www.redcross.ca  or 1-800-418-1111. One can also go their local Canadian Red Cross office to give monetary donations whether cash,check or credit.

It is much better and more convenient to give monetary donations since it’ll reach the province of Alberta much faster and much easier there to purchase whatever supplies would be needed.

For all of those Canadian expats  and anyone who live abroad and would like to help out, they can go their local Red Cross  , Red Crescent office,.Red Cross Society base,etc. to give their monetary donations.

I am fully aware of what this entails since I am an employee for the Canadian Red Cross in my district. Even though I’m not directly involved with Search and Rescue nor in the Volunteer Services Department, my local CRC branch feels like a big family trying to help out in any way possible.

I feel that with my blog, I could help in this endeavor  by being a voice for help because with the Red Cross, we are here to serve.

My prayers go out to the Fort Mac victims.

Josie

This news article from the Times and Transcript newspaper(based in Moncton,New Brunswick,Canada) came out today.

The article is titled “Accused in python deaths case appears in court” –written by Tim Jaques of The Tribune from Campbellton,New Brunswick,Canada.

Jean-Claude Savoie, accused of criminal negligence causing the death of two Campbellton boys in 2013,appeared in the court of Queen’s Bench in Campbellton on Thurs day to listen to a pretrial motion in the case brought against him.

Arguing the motion before Justice Frederick P. Ferguson were his lawyers,Les Matchim and Mikael Bernard, and Crown prosecutor Pierre F. Roussel.

The motion,however,is subject to a sweeping pretrial publication ban that forbids publication not only of any mention of what evidence was tendered and what was argued, but also what the motion is for and any reasons for the judge’s decision, prior to the conclusion of the case.

Information released to the media by RCMP immediately after the deaths alleged that a 45-kilogram African rock python escaped an enclosure in Savoie’s apartment in Campbellton during the early morning hours of August 5,2013. Connor,6, and Noah,4, were in the apartment on  a sleepover visiting Savoie’s son.

RCMP said at the time that they believe the snake asphyxiated the boys as they slept.

Savoie owned an exotic pets business downstairs from the apartment,called Reptile Ocean,which did not reopen after the incident.

The Department of Natural Resources with the assistance of outside experts seized animals,mostly reptiles,from the scene.

Savoie,who is living in the Montreal area,had not been present at previous court hearings.

He sported long hair and a short beard,wore a blue shirt and jeans,and appeared to be listening attentively from his front row seat. He entered and left on the lobby elevator with his lawyers,whose office is in the courthouse building.

The boys’ parents, Mandy Trecartin and Andrew Barthe,were not present,but their grandparents,Ernest and Linda Barthe,listened from a second-row seat.

The motion did not conclude on Thursday as scheduled,and will resume Friday at 1:30 pm. it is likely that Justice Ferguson will reserve any decision.

The case is scheduled for a judge-and-jury trial from Oct. 31 to Nov. 10.

More news updates to follow once available.

Josie

 

 

 

This news article from the Times and Transcript newspaper(based in Moncton,New Brunswick,Canada) came out today.

The article is titled “Motion in  Barthe deaths case next Thursday” written by Tim Jaques of The Tribune from Campbellton ,New Brunswick, Canada.

A pre-trial motion will be heard next week in the case of 39 y/o Jean-Claude Savoie ,charged with criminal negligence causing the 2013 deaths of Noah and Connor Barthe of Campbellton.

Accdg. to the current court docket,the defence motion,which had been originally been scheduled for several days,is now set for only one day,Thursday,April 28, in the Court of Queen’s Bench in Campbellton starting at 9:30 am,before Justice Frederick P. Ferguson.

Savoie’s lawyer,Les Matchim of Campbellton,has declined to speak to the nature of the motion because of a pre-trial publication ban in effect governing the evidence that will be used on the motion. However, the motion hearing itself is open to the public.

Scheduled to appear for the crown is Pierre F. Roussel.

In January,the dates for the trial had been set for Sept. 12 to 23,but the RCMP announced in a press release on Feb. 15 that in order to accommodate witnesses the date for the judge-and-jury trial was been put over to run from Oct. 31 to Nov. 11.

Savoie,who has not been present for previous court hearings and is not expected to be present on Thursday,was charged in March 2015. Information given to the media by RCMP immediately after the deaths alleged that a 45-kg African rock python escaped an enclosure in Savoie’s apartment during the early morning hours of Aug. 5,2013. Connor,6, and Noah,4, were in the apartment on a sleep over visiting Savoie’s son, and it was alleged that the snake asphyxiated the boys as they slept.

The apartment was situated above his Campbellton exotic pet business,Reptile Ocean,which has since closed. The exotic animals in the store and apartment,which were mainly reptiles,were seized by the dept. of National resources with the assistance of outside experts including Bruce Dougan of the Magnetic Hill Zoo in  Moncton..

Most of the creatures were parcelled out to zoos across North America,and the Magnetic Hill Zoo got two large Sulcata or African spurred tortoises. However 4 large alligators kept in the building’s basement had to be euthanized,as no zoo would take them.

The building remains vacant.

The unusual facts surrounding the deaths drew considerable international media attention to Campbellton in the weeks following the discovery of the boys’ bodies.

 

More news updates to follow once available.

Josie

 

 

Yesterday,March 22,2016, will go down as one of those days when anything can happen,good or bad.

First and foremost,the terrorist attacks at Brussels,Belgium. This makes the case that terrorism is the new reality and coping with  it in our daily lives is the new normal. How to live normally yet vigilant is indeed a never-ending balancing act from now on.

While all that news coverage is going on, breaking news  came out here in Canada that 46 y/o  former Toronto mayor Rob Ford passed away in palliative care from pleomorphic liposarcoma which he battled bravely for 18 months. He was quite a character—loud,brash,flamboyant,led a hedonistic lifestyle especially when it came to cocaine use but definitely loved by his followers because he cared about the well-being of Torontonians. His legacy is quite big indeed.

Also in Canadian news, is the presentation of the first federal budget by the Liberal Party in Parliament.

South of the border, there were ongoing primaries in Idaho,Utah and Arizona , the 1st 2 states  which were won by Democrat hopeful Bernie Sanders and the last one by Hillary Clinton.Republican hopeful Donald Trump won Arizona and fellow Republican Ted Cruz won Utah.

What a difference a day makes,indeed!

My prayers to the people in Belgium and to the Ford family!!!

With Easter fast approaching,hopefully, it’ll mean a new chapter/renewal for us all as we journey through this life.

Happy Easter! Joyueux  Pacques!

Josie

 

 

 

This news article from the Times and Transcript newspaper(based in Moncton,New Brunswick ,Canada came out today:

The trial for a man charged after a snake he owned killed two boys in Campbellton in 2013 has been pushed into the fall.

Jean-Claude Savoie,39,formerly of Campbellton but currently living in Montreal, was charged in March 2015 with criminal negligence causing death after a  lengthy investigation.

The charge was laid in relation to the death of two young boys at his home,who were having a sleepover with Savoie’s son.

On Aug. 5,2013, a 45-kilogram African rock python escaped an enclosure in Savoie’s apartment, situated above his exotic  pet business,Reptile Ocean. RCMP say autopsies determined that four-year-old Noah Barthe and his six-year-old brother Connor died as the result of being asphyxiated by the snake while sleeping in the apartment.

Savoie elected trial by judge and jury and the trial was set to take place Sept. 12 to 23.

The New Brunswick RCMP announced in a news release on Monday that the court has changed those dates. In order to accomodate witnesses who will be called to testify, the trial will now take place from Oct. 31 to Nov. 11.

 

I will keep you guys posted of any further developments regarding this.

Josie

 

Today, an article from Trevor McNally of the Campbellton Tribune came out.It stated that a trial date was set in the deaths of 2 Campbellton ,New Brunswick boys(Noah and Connor Barthe) who both died from asphyxiation from a 45 kg African rock python ( which escaped an enclosure in his apartment located on top of his shop called Reptile Ocean) on Aug. 5,2013.

The reptile shop owner  Jean-Claude Savoie who was charged in March 2015 with criminal negligence causing death wasn’t present today and instead, on his behalf , Mikael Bernard and  lawyer Les Matchim were both in court today.

Crown Prosecutor Francois Doucet and Bernard both agreed that a hearing was needed for a pretrial conference which was then set for next month  on Feb. 12 by Justice Larry Landry.

Preliminary pretrial motions were arranged and set for April 26 and 27. By that time, Savoie is expected to be available for the hearing and not necessarily though for a court appearance.

Josie

From a previous news article dated on Nov. 25,2015, the scheduled preliminary hearing began on Nov. 24,2015 in the Campbellton Provincial Court for Jean-Claude Savoie being charged with criminal negligence in the case of an African rock python weighing 45 kg  (under his care in the reptile shop –Reptile Ocean which he previously owned) which asphyxiated the 2 boys Connor(6 yo) and Noah Barthe(4 y/0) on Aug. 5,2013 after escaping from its enclosure.

Mr. Savoie ,38 y/0, who’s now living in Montreal,Quebec had earlier chosen to be tried by judge and jury in New Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench and won’t enter a  plea to the charge until and unless he’s committed to trial ff. this hearing.

Subsequent news reports stated that the presiding judge—Judge Brigitte Sivret ruled that a trial should go ahead. More details to follow once I do get pertinent info regarding this matter.

Quoting the L’ETOILE article by Michel Gourd, the events that prompted such a legal case involved the ff:

“The boys were killed while they were sleeping at their friend’s place next door to their family home. Earlier,they had spent the day with Savoie’s son, at the Savoie family farm.

Police said at the time that they believed the African rock python that was in an enclosure in the apartment found an opening through the ceiling,made its way to another part of the apartment and fell through the ceiling onto the floor near where the boys were sleeping together on the floor.

The snake then asphyxiated the boys.”

 

Josie

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