Quebec floods: Too many volunteers, too little co-ordination?

Thousands of West Islanders are heeding the call to volunteer. From making food to filling sandbags, the need for help for flood victims continues. But some volunteers are being turned away and feel they’re getting the runaround.

“They say to go make sandbags but you can’t get to the area to make the sandbags,” Lori-Ann Binsley said. “Then by the time you get there, they don’t need you anymore.”

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One resident from Les Cèdres was attempting to deliver perogies that her mother made for flood victims on Ile Cadieux Tuesday morning when she was told to leave the island immediately. She feels the mayor and his team are lacking co-ordination and discouraging volunteers.

“Too many cooks in the kitchen —; let’s put it that way,” said Svetlana Chernienko, who is gearing up for another delivery. “I’ll force my way back on the island if I have to.”

Her mother is cooking up a storm with her friend who drove in from Montreal to help. So far, they’ve delivered an estimated 5,000 perogies in the flood zones and on the menu today —; chicken soup for 500 people. Most portions will be headed to Terasse-Vaudreuil where residents need it most.

“What blows me away is how the community is coming together, people from everywhere,” Larysa Chernienko said.

Some residents willing to help out, clearly don’t know where to go. Even the Canadian Armed Forces have had people approach them offering to help out, only to be turned down.

“We have our own drill and it’s very hard to include volunteers in it but it’s always hopeful to see people want to help,” Capt. Pierre Leblanc said.

One mother-son duo has been doing the rounds helping food banks move their perishable goods to where they’re needed most and they’ve witnessed the co-ordination chaos first-hand.

“You just learn as you go along and hopefully pray that this never happens again and if it does, at least we have the knowledge now of how to get things moving quickly,” Sue Panton said.

Facebook groups such as West Island Flood Volunteers/Assistance are helping steer people in the right direction by posting what’s needed, and what services are being offered.

“It was pretty much a mess at first but people got together and started organizing better,” Andrew Panton said.

Despite being thrown in different directions, many are determined to stay the course and help out as best they can.

“Tomorrow and Friday, I’ll be making perogies so we can make a huge batch and bring them over again to the communities ’cause they need sustenance, they need good food,” Chernienko said.

Alberta NDP not concerned about pipeline after BC election; opposition troubled

Alberta Energy Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd says she doesn’t believe the outcome of the B.C. election puts the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion in jeopardy.

McCuaig-Boyd notes that the Kinder Morgan line taking Alberta crude to ports in British Columbia has already been approved by the federal government.

READ MORE: Justin Trudeau halts Northern Gateway, approves Kinder Morgan expansion, Line 3

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And she says her government will continue to work to get the pipeline to completion.

The future of the expansion was put in question after Tuesday’s general election in B.C.

Premier Christy Clark’s Liberal party, which supports the pipeline, won 43 seats, one short of a majority.

“Democracy is democracy,” Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman said Wednesday. “The people of British Columbia made their decision and I respect it.

“We’ll continue to see the results in the days to come but the federal approval has gone through. Premier Clark, we expect, will continue to work with us to make sure that we get that tidewater access that’s so important to both our economies.

“We want Alberta jobs and we’re not going to back down until we get market access both on the west coast – which we’ve already got the federal approval – and right now the premier’s in Ontario working to continue to create opportunities for that east coast access as well,” Hoffman said.

WATCH: Alberta Premier Rachel Notley chose her words carefully reacting to the uncertain vote results in B.C. Tuesday. As Reid Fiest reports, a possible BC NDP and Green Party coalition could create obstacles for the already approved $7.4 Billion pipeline.

READ MORE: What happens when B.C. elects a minority government?

The NDP won 41 seats and the Greens hold the balance of power with three seats — both parties ran on platforms that included opposition to the pipeline.

“It’s very troubling for Alberta and Albertans being that the balance of power is being held by the Greens,” Wildrose leader Brian Jean said. “Obviously the Greens are against Site C, they’re against the Kinder Morgan pipeline, LNG, as are the [BC] NDP, so this government in Alberta — the NDP government — is running out of friends.

“[Notley] doesn’t have a lot of friends here in western Canada.”

Jean said the Alberta NDP should do its best to work with B.C. for the benefit of Albertans.

“I think you can work with other levels of government for your people’s best interest and ultimately lines of communication should be re-established.”

Hoffman said the NDP will continue to work with colleagues in B.C.

“We continue to move forward with the federal approvals and we expect that we’ll be able to continue to get that market access that’s already been approved. We’re moving forward… We’ve been quite effective, I think, in making good inroads there and look forward to continuing to work with Premier Clark.”

McCuaig-Boyd says she is not worried.

“I don’t know that (opponents) have the (legal) tools to stop it,” she said Wednesday.

“We’ve taken out intervener status to defend Alberta. This is not just about Alberta. This is about Canada. This is a good project.”

READ MORE: Alberta government eyes intervener status on Trans Mountain pipeline

In an updated prospectus filed Wednesday, Kinder Morgan Canada said it is looking to sell shares at between $19 and $22 to help fund the $7.4-billion Trans Mountain expansion project rather than using a joint venture to fund it.

— With files from Emily Mertz, Global News

Woman shot by police in London terror raid charged with murder plot

A woman who was shot by officers during a raid by counterterrorism police in London was charged along with her mother Wednesday with preparing acts of terrorism and plotting murder.

The Metropolitan Police said Rizlaine Boular, 21, and two other women – one of them Boular’s mother, Mina Dich, 43 – are accused of preparing terrorist acts and conspiracy to murder “a person or persons unknown.”

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Boular, Dich and 20-year-old Khawla Barghouthi were detained April 27 during police raids in London and nearby Kent county. Boular was formally arrested upon her release from a hospital three days after she was shot and injured.

All three are due in court Thursday.

READ MORE: London attack: 8 arrested in raids across the country

Seven other people who were arrested as part of the same operation, including women ages 18 and 19 and a 16-year-old boy, have been released without charges.

Police say they disrupted an active terror plot when they made the arrests.

British officials have set the threat level from international terrorism at “severe,” indicating an attack is highly likely.

In an unrelated case that also unfolded on April 27, a London man was arrested near Parliament carrying several knives. Khalid Mohammed Omar Ali, 27, has been charged with preparing terrorist acts this year and with making or having explosives in Afghanistan in 2012.

READ MORE:  London Attack: Police commissioner urges tech firms to help in terror investigations

On March 22, an attacker drove an SUV into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge, killing four, before fatally stabbing a police officer inside Parliament’s gates. He was shot dead by police.

Britain has seen a series of trials over foiled terrorism plots since suicide bombers killed 52 London commuters on three subway trains and a bus in 2005.

The latest alleged plot is unusual in that those charged are all women, and include a mother and daughter.

Edmonton Eskimos’ Jason Maas good with giving up play-calling duties

There’ll be a surprise visitor this season at the Edmonton Eskimos‘ special-teams and defensive meetings.

Sophomore head coach Jason Maas expects to sit in on the sessions in 2017 after promoting Carson Walch to offensive co-ordinator and relinquishing play-calling duties to him. Maas served both as head coach and offensive co-ordinator last season while also calling Edmonton’s offensive plays.

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    Maas said he’s comfortable offloading some of his responsibilities to Walch so he can take a more complete role in running the team.

    “I’m one of those coaches that, when I feel like a guy is ready to become a co-ordinator and call plays I’m never going to stand in that guy’s way,” Maas said during a CFL conference call. “(Walch) is very deserving of the opportunity.

    “But the fact he’s a teacher, a communicator, he’s disciplined and organized are all things that bode well for him and will ultimately make him successful.”

    After winning the ’15 Grey Cup, Edmonton (10-8) finished fourth in the West Division last year to secure a cross-over playoff berth. After downing Hamilton 24-21 in the East semifinal, the Eskimos lost 35-23 to Ottawa in the division final and Grey Cup rematch.

    READ MORE: Edmonton Eskimos embrace bold new identity

    Still, Edmonton’s offence led the CFL in net yards (418.7 per game), finished tied with Calgary for most TDs (53) and was second in scoring (30.5 points), rushing, (103.7 yards) and passing (329.0 yards). Quarterback Mike Reilly threw for a league-high 5,554 yards while Adarius Bowman and Derel Walker were 1-2 in receiving with 1,761 and 1,589 yards, respectively.

    Walker is now with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers but both Reilly and Bowman remain as lynchpins of Edmonton’s high-octane unit.

    “It wasn’t long ago Derel was that practice-roster guy in his first year and then exploded to become an all-star,” Reilly said. “That’s the great thing about this league, you’re never really given a starting role right out of the gate.

    “You have to come in, bide your time, put in the work and when you get that opportunity be able to take advantage of it. We have three or four guys, if not more, who we have high expectations to come in and do all those types of things and it’s going to be about them showing up ready for camp and being ready to make an impact for our team.”

    READ MORE: Edmonton Eskimos bringing back full coaching staff

    Last year also marked the first time Reilly was involved in formulating a weekly offensive gameplan. He doesn’t expect Edmonton’s offence to skip a beat under Walch, who served as receivers coach last season.

    “He’s fiery (but) gets along and fits perfectly with the rest of our coaching staff,” Reilly said. “There’s not any surprises in terms of having Carson be the offensive co-ordinator because we all know him very well and he was very involved as a coach last year.

    “Watching Jason and Carson work together . . . it was a great match. Any time you have a change in title or who the offensive co-ordinator is, there’s going to be a little bit of that personality rubbing off but we’re always trying to improve, we’re trying to figure out what we didn’t do well last year and improve upon it so there’ll be those types of changes.”

    READ MORE: Adarius Bowman signs extension with Edmonton Eskimos

    Maas will still be involved in formulating the offensive gameplan, but giving Walch more responsibility will allow Maas to be move involved in other facets of his team, something that wasn’t always possible last year.

    “As the offensive co-ordinator I was installing our offensive schemes every day,” Maas said. “During special-teams meetings I was meeting with Mike and the other quarterbacks going over our reads and what not so I had very few opportunities to sit in on anybody else’s meeting.

    “Now, I’m going to be able to go into a different meeting . . . and have a different kind of focus on the day-to-day operations of our football club. Even when we’re doing walkthroughs now I won’t really have to be as dialled in so I can go over to our defensive walkthrough and watch them go through it.”

    Maas called his rookie season as a head coach a “grind.”

    “Getting used to that day-to-day grind mentally was the most challenging thing,” he said. “I’ve always said, ‘How do you know if you’re prepared to do anything if you’ve never done it before,’ and that’s kind of the head-coaching thing.

    “A lot of thinking goes into every aspect of your football team and I have sleepless nights just thinking about the most mundane things because you’re responsible for a lot of people and for things being successful. I feel like I’m going to be more prepared for that this year.”

Quebec floods: Floodwaters keeping many Île-Bizard residents from going home

Flood waters continue to recede in greater Montreal but it’s still too early for homeowners to start celebrating.
Hundreds remain forced from their houses and they don’t know when they can return.
150 homes in Île-Bizard alone have been evacuated.
Many of them are on Roger Street.
The road lined with mobile homes is flooded with water ranging between a few inches to a few feet deep.
None of the 93 homes have running drinking water nor sewage facilities.

The underground infrastructure system has been ruined.

“All the wood that was floating on the river went inside, not inside, but under the house. So it’s a big mess,” Louiselle Lamontagne, a homeowner on Roger Street told Global News.

No one expected city officials or anyone else to have stopped the Rivière des Prairies from flooding its banks.

But like many other flooded victims, people living here complain that city officials were slow to react.

“We see the army today but when we were asking to get out of the house, there was no help for that,” Lamontagne said.

Most homeowners don’t have flood insurance. They will have to rely on the government assistance program to help pay for water damage.

“A lot of these people are in flooding zones and the insurance won’t cover,” borough Mayor Normand Marinacci told Global News.

And when the waters do recede, the hard labour of cleaning up will begin.

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