Customer declared deceased by Montreal TD Bank not amused, wins $3,000 lawsuit

Isadore Goldberg learned he was deceased from the teller at his bank.

He was not amused.

Goldberg, 89, a longtime Côte St-Luc city councillor who has a municipal park named after him, took TD Canada Trust and Toronto Dominion Bank to small claims court on the matter, and won.

Quebec Court Judge Dominique Vézina recently awarded him $3,000 in damages, saying the mistake “triggered inconveniences” for Goldberg, a “respected retired man” who had been a TD client for more than 30 years.

Goldberg’s 2012 visit to the bank branch in Montreal was prompted by a letter he received from Revenue Quebec asking where it could direct-deposit a cheque, since his bank had refused it.

‘I didn’t think it was very funny’

When he went to the branch for an explanation, he learned from the teller — who knew him — that according to TD’s file, he was deceased.

“I didn’t think it was very funny,” said Goldberg, a councillor in Côte St-Luc from 1982 to 2002.

He said he wanted to straighten out the matter then and there, but after a few minutes of discussion involving a couple of tellers, was told by a supervisor “move, you’re holding up the line.”

“That I didn’t like,” Goldberg said. “You’d think they’d be more sympathetic to someone who’s banked there over 30 years.”

Not only were his accounts frozen, an automatic action when TD receives a death notice, but all deposits received after the presumed date of death were returned to sender. It took “four to eight” days for TD to reinstate Goldberg’s banking status, but he also had to clarify matters with government agencies and fill out different forms, which caused him stress and nervousness and affected his quality of life, the judge said.

Goldberg told the court it ended up taking about 40 hours of his time over three months to straighten out the problems caused by the bank’s actions.

‘You’d think they’d be more sympathetic to someone who’s banked there over 30 years’

The bank initially offered him $300 for his trouble, which he considered insufficient.

TD admitted the mistake and apologized for it, saying it stemmed from an incorrect spelling of Goldberg’s first name, but maintained in court that it caused him no damage. Judge Vézina concluded otherwise.

“The notice of death received by TD did not concern this Mr. Goldberg but he was the one having to deal with the consequences of the blunder,” she wrote, noting that the bank “failed to verify” available information such as the branch where the account was opened, ages, addresses and social insurance numbers.

“Although the court finds no premeditation or bad faith on the part of TD for the mistake, it notes the lack of verification and the serious consequences for Mr. Goldberg,” the judge said.

Goldberg still maintains an account with the TD branch but has moved “90 per cent” of the assets once there to another institution.

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Video featuring two children explaining ‘how to kill your teacher’ sparks B.C. school board investigation

An online video featuring two children offering crude instructions on “how to kill your teacher” is under investigation by the Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district.

The video, posted on YouTube approximately a week ago, features two young boys displaying what appear to be toy guns and discussing how to kill a teacher.

Nanaimo RCMP, who estimate the boys to be 11 or 12 years old, were alerted to the video’s existence after it was noticed by a radio host in Florida.

The video, which has since been removed, was forwarded to all senior administrators in the school district in an attempt to identify the students.

But Nanaimo Mounties will not get involved unless it is determined that the boys are from the city, said Nanaimo RCMP spokesman Const. Gary O’Brien.

“The main thing is that we want to identify who the kids are and sit down with them, with their parents, to discuss the total inappropriateness of the video.” said O’Brien.

The main thing is that we want to identify who the kids are and sit down with them, with their parents, to discuss the total inappropriateness of the video

Radio host Shawn Wasson stumbled across the video during research for his show The News Junkie out of Orlando, Fla.

Concerned, Wasson dug deeper and found another video posted by the same user that featured a Nanaimo landmark.

The primary issue was safety, said Wasson.

“I thought if there was a teacher in the school district where these kids [might be] going, they would probably want to be aware of that, and at least have some sort of talk with these kids,” said Wasson.

“Kids need to know that when you post something like this online, whether you think it’s a joke or you’re living in a fantasy world, it can be taken differently by someone who may feel that they’re a target of what you’re saying.”

He said although less common in Canada, U.S. citizens are all too aware of the consequences of inaction when it comes to crimes like school shootings.

“This is a new reality. Some of this may have been going on before MySpace or YouTube or Facebook or any of those things popped up, and now . . . posting things like this that can get them in some pretty serious trouble,” said Wasson.

The school district does not currently have a social media policy in place but are working on one as part of their communications plan, said spokesman Dale Burgos.

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Leaving school-aged children home alone could become illegal if court convicts Winnipeg mother

The act of leaving an elementary school child home alone could soon be explicitly illegal, depending on whether a Manitoba judge decides to convict a mother for leaving her six-year-old home alone for 90 minutes.

Coming at the same time as a Maryland mother was investigated for letting her children walk to a park alone, the Manitoba case could signal the beginnings of a Canadian legal ban on latchkey kids — even when the child isn’t in danger.

“The Crown is arguing that the inherent dangers of leaving the child in a house should be sufficient,” said Mike Law, lawyer for the accused Winnipeg mother, whose name has not been made public.

Calling the case “precedent-setting,” Mr. Law said neither he nor prosecutors have found any record of a parent being convicted for leaving their school-age child in a home that, to all outside observers, is risk-free.

“No broken glass, no knives left around, it wasn’t the middle of winter, it wasn’t an apartment building where windows could be opened,” said the defence lawyer.

Winnipeg child abandonment cases are usually much more ghastly. Last March, a 22-year-old mother was convicted after abandoning her children, ages two and four, for hours as she drank at a hotel bar.

The year before, a 23-year-old faced child-abandonment charges after she wheeled her toddler into a ditch and wandered away to sleep off an ecstasy high.

In the case currently being decided, a Winnipeg mother was arrested soon after Child and Family Services became aware that she intentionally left her child unattended for 90 minutes as she ran errands.

The specific charge is child abandonment, which carries a maximum sentence of five years.

Under the Criminal Code, child abandonment is defined as doing anything to a child “so that its life is or is likely to be endangered or its health is or is likely to be permanently injured.”

“Even in a home environment, that child was endangered,” prosecutor Nancy Fazenda argued Monday, according to the Winnipeg Free Press.

Although nothing bad happened, in 90 minutes, Ms. Fazenda argued, the child could have choked to death, electrocuted themselves or fallen down a set of stairs — not to mention the consequences of a sudden flood, fire or home invasion.

The case is set to be decided in 30 days.

‘No broken glass, no knives left around, it wasn’t the middle of winter, it wasn’t an apartment building where windows could be opened’

In the U.S., the issue of “child independence” has recently been thrown into the spotlight after parents in Silver Spring, Maryland, were investigated for neglect after they directed their 10-year-old son and six-year-old daughter to walk to a local park on their own.

“The world is actually even safer than when I was a child, and I just want to give them the same freedom and independence that I had — basically an old-fashioned childhood,” mother Danielle Meitiv told the Washington Post.

Federally, there has never been a set age at which a Canadian child can be safely left alone — although various provinces and counties all keep their own guidelines on the question.

Under Manitoba’s Child and Family Services Act, a child under 12 years old is seen to be in “need of protection” if it is “left unattended and without reasonable provision being made for the supervision and safety of the child.”

In Ontario’s Simcoe County, the Children’s Aid Society draws the line at 10 years old. “There is no magical number of minutes that a child can be left alone,” reads a society pamphlet.

Other Ontario Children’s Aid Societies have simply warned that if a child under 10 is found home alone, “the onus is on the parent” to prove to authorities that “their child has not been left in a potentially harmful situation.”

In the U.K. — where thousands of citizens grew up as latchkey children during the Second World War — the issue of children being left home alone was recently highlighted by the case of Joan, a woman attempting to clear her record of a “police caution” for child neglect.

Eight years before, Joan had been handed the citation after leaving her six-year-old son home alone for 45 minutes as she took a driving lesson.

“He was in no danger when I left him,” she told the Sunday Times.

Britons do not appear to be taking Joan’s side. Last November, a YouGov poll commissioned by The Times found that two thirds of U.K. citizens wanted to make it illegal for any child younger than 12 to be left on their own.

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Argentina prosecutor who accused president of secret deals with Iran mysteriously found dead


The Argentine prosecutor who last week accused President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of trying to absolve Iranian officials from their involvement in the most deadly terrorist attack in the nation’s history has been found dead in his apartment.

Alberto Nisman’s body was discovered by his mother and a police officer in the bathroom of his apartment last night alongside a gun and the shell of a bullet, according to a statement by the Security Ministry, which didn’t provide the cause of death. Nisman was scheduled to present evidence for his accusations against Fernandez at a lower house commission today. He was 51, according to local media.

“The autopsy has already begun,” Prosecutor Viviana Fein, who is in charge of the investigation into Nisman’s death, told reporters in Buenos Aires today. “There were no witnesses or neighbors and there was no letter.”

Nisman alleged that Fernandez and her Foreign Minister Hector Timerman had sought to cover up an investigation he was heading into the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center that left 85 people dead and hundreds injured. Fernandez will need to show she’s fully co-operating with the investigation to ensure that Nisman’s death doesn’t tarnish the prospects of candidates from her alliance seeking to succeed her in presidential elections in October, said Buenos Aires-based political analyst Sergio Berensztein.

“This could constitute what’s commonly referred to as a black swan event in the sense that it could have an impact that’s impossible to determine today but that could be very significant in the electoral campaign,” Berensztein said. “If the president puts herself at the disposal of the investigation and provides all the tools needed so that this is cleared up quickly, she could emerge strengthened by this.”

The Public Prosecutor’s Office named Alberto Gentili as Nisman’s replacement until Jan. 31. Gentili worked with Nisman on the investigation of the 1994 bombing.

AFP PHOTO / TELAM / CLAUDIO FANCHINisman was found dead just hours before he was due to testify at a congressional hearing. “I can confirm that a .22-caliber handgun was found beside the body,” prosecutor Viviana Fein said.

Nisman’s mother and federal police officers assigned to protect the prosecutor entered the apartment after repeatedly trying to contact him on Sunday by telephone and by ringing the door bell. Since the door was locked from the inside, a locksmith was called to open it. Once inside, his mother and the policemen found Nisman’s body blocking the door in the bathroom. Next to the body was a caliber 22 pistol and a bullet casing.

“In criminal investigations when you have a body, a weapon and a bullet shell evidently things point in a certain direction but we’ll have to wait and see if the investigation corroborates this,” Security Secretary Sergio Berni said in an interview on Radio Nacional Rock. “We’re very respectful of what the family must be experiencing at the moment so we can’t give any more details.”

Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich said in his daily press conference he had nothing to add to the statement released by the Security Ministry and that investigations into the cause of death were being carried out.


AFP PHOTO / TELAM / CLAUDIO FANCHIPicture released by Telam showing members of the Argentine Naval Command carrying the lifeless body of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman, 51, out of his flat in the trendy Puerto Madero neighbourhood in Buenos Aires.

Lawmaker Patricia Bullrich of the opposition PRO party told TN news channel today that she had spoken to Nisman on Jan. 17 to co-ordinate his visit to Congress today.

“He told me had been threatened and that he was studying the case, that he was going to give us some very strong evidence and for that reason he had requested that the meeting should be private,” Bullrich said.

Nisman’s allegation is one of multiple court cases against Fernandez and her government that threaten to weaken her influence over elections in which a candidate for her party is tied in polls with two aspirants opposed to her government.

Argentine prosecutors in 2006 charged Iran and the Hezbollah group with organizing the 1994 bombing and issued eight arrest warrants, one of them for former President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Rafsanjani.

Seven years later, Fernandez said she signed a memorandum of understanding with the Iranians to set up a truth commission into the bombing.

AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

AP Photo/Rodrigo AbdA woman walks next to a mural with the names of people who died in the 1994 bombing of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The mural reads in Spanish “Memory and Justice.”

According to Nisman, the aim of the accord was for Iranian officials to be taken off Interpol’s wanted list. In exchange, Argentina would export grains and meat to Iran and receive oil.

Timerman said Jan. 15 that the accusations were “lies” and accused Nisman of trying to stoke up sentiment against Fernandez’s government during a year in which Argentines will vote for a new president.

Since the formal accusations had already been made, it’s likely that public pressure to see the evidence Nisman had against the government will make it difficult to cover up now, Berensztein said.

Buenos Aires province Governor Daniel Scioli, who plans to run for the presidency under Fernandez’s Victory Front coalition, had 24.7 per cent of voter support against 23.7 per cent for Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri and 17.2 per cent for lawmaker Sergio Massa in a Nov. 26-Dec. 3 poll of 2,400 people carried out by Management & Fit. The survey had a margin of error of two percentage points.


AFP PHOTO/Ali BURAFIFiremen, policemen and rescuers search for wounded people after a bomb exploded at the Argentinian Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) in Buenos Aires on July 18, 1994, killing 85 people and injuring about 300 others in the worst attack of its kind in the South American country.

In a Jan. 2-5 Polldata survey of 1,680 people, Massa led with 26.3 per cent against 24.5 per cent for Scioli and 21.1 per cent for Macri.

Fernandez’s government, which was censured in 2013 by the International Monetary Fund for misreporting its economic data, has created an atmosphere of mistrust with the public that may make it difficult for it to dismiss accusations of foul play, Berensztein said.

“There’s a problem in Argentina of a lack of credibility in public announcements because of the constant manipulation of statistics, which leads to predictable doubts,” Berensztein said.

With assistance from Daniel Cancel in Buenos Aires.

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Parents billed $24 for a ‘no-show fee’ after 5-year-old son misses birthday party

LONDON — It was not what Derek Nash expected to find in his 5-year-old’s school bag: A bill demanding a “no-show fee” for another child’s birthday party.

Nash said the bill from another parent sought 15.95 pounds ($24.00) because his son Alex had not attended the party at a ski centre in Plymouth, southwest England.

Five-year-old boy gets a bill for missing school friend’s birthday party
Plymouth Herald (@PlymouthHerald) January 19, 2015

Nash told the BBC on Monday he had initially accepted the party invitation, but later realized Alex was supposed to visit his grandparents that day. He said he did not have contact details to let the other family know.

The birthday boy’s mother, Julie Lawrence, told the BBC that her contact details were on the party invitation.

Nash says Lawrence has threatened him with small claims court but he has no plans so far to pay.

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Man trapped under subway train at Toronto’s Broadview station, paramedics say

A man was trapped beneath a subway train Monday morning after he was struck on the tracks at Toronto’s Broadview station, paramedics said.

ALL CLEAR: The delay at Broadview station has cleared. Service has resumed on Line 2 with residual delay.#TTC

Official TTC Tweets (@TTCnotices) January 19, 2015

Around 10:15 a.m., Toronto Paramedics were called to the station after the man was struck by the train. By 11 a.m., he was still trapped under the train and crews were working to free him, EMS spokesperson Kim McKinnon said.

She could not comment on the victim’s condition. Officers on scene reported that the man was “still conscious and breathing and talking to them,” Toronto Police spokesman Const. David Hopkinson said.

The victim was freed and taken to hospital, Const. Hopkinson said.

Service on the Bloor-Danforth line was suspended between Woodbine Station and St. George Station. But service was restored around 11:15 a.m., the TTC tweeted.

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Infected and undocumented: Thousands of Canadians dying from hospital-acquired bugs


Kim Smith was no stranger to stress — her job in community corrections often brought her face to face with members of Winnipeg’s violent street gangs.

But as she lay in a local hospital’s gynecology ward more than a year ago, nurses called her brother with an unusual question: Did Kim suffer from any kind of emotional troubles?

The woman, her caregivers said, had been telling them she wanted to kill herself.

It was a shocking turn of events, coming a week after Ms. Smith entered St. Boniface Hospital for a routine hysterectomy and ovary removal. In the days since the operation, however, she had been complaining of escalating pain in her gut, so intense she began to fear for her life — and then apparently wanted to end it.

By the time medical staff took the woman’s complaints seriously, an infection inside her belly had developed into necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease) and devoured large chunks of her abdomen.

Within hours of emergency surgery to drain “brown, foul-smelling liquid” and excise dead tissue, and four days after her 45th birthday, Ms. Smith was dead.

“She kept yelling at me, ‘I know my body, I know there’s something wrong in my stomach and nobody wants to listen to me. And I’m going to end up dying here,’ ” said Kym Dyck, her sister-in-law. “She died the most horrible, painful death anybody could suffer, and nobody would listen to her and reach out to her.”

Ms. Smith’s tragic demise was more dramatic than many cases of hospital-acquired infection (HAI). Necrotizing fasciitis is a frightening, but rare, complication. Still, about 8,000 Canadians a year die from bugs they contract in facilities meant to make them better, while many more see their hospital stay prolonged by such illness.

Yet after years of well-intentioned work and millions of dollars spent on combatting the scourge, the details and extent of the problem remain murky.

No national statistics, for instance, document the number of surgical-wound infections like Ms. Smith’s, one of the most common types of hospital-acquired pathogens.

A federal agency now publishes rates of sepsis, or blood infection, at individual hospitals, but their methodological value is a matter of debate. Government tracking of worrisome, drug-resistant bacteria is patchy and of questionable practical use, say infectious-disease physicians.

“There is no question that at a national level, both our surveillance for hospital-acquired infection and our surveillance for anti-microbial resistance is not serving our needs,” said Allison McGeer, an infectious-disease specialist at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital. “[And] we know, very substantially, that you can’t fix what you’re not measuring.”

Meanwhile, important lessons about how diseases spread inadvertently within health facilities often come to light in fits and start.

Two hospitals in Toronto and one in Quebec, for instance, announced independently in the late 2000s that they had discovered contaminated sinks were the source of separate, deadly outbreaks of infection.

Some word of the episodes got out through specialized medical journal articles, academic conferences and sporadic news stories. But there is no systematic way of disseminating such information across the system, said Darrell Horn, a former patient-safety investigator for the Winnipeg Region Health Authority.

“It’s just totally loosey-goosey,” he said.

You could sit and call every hospital in the country, and ask them when was the last time they cleaned the sink in the [neonatal intensive care unit] and how they cleaned it, and you’d get nothing but blank stares

“You could sit and call every hospital in the country, and ask them when was the last time they cleaned the sink in the [neonatal intensive care unit] and how they cleaned it, and you’d get nothing but blank stares.”

Health care is paying much more attention, at least, to the HAI problem than it did a decade ago, said Dr. Michael Gardam, infection-control director at Toronto’s University Health Network.

HandoutDarrell Horn, a Winnipeg-based medical error investigator, says the few reports done on incidents often end up in “black holes” with no one seeing them.

After heavy media coverage of the mostly hospital-based severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak and deadly hospital infestations of Clostridium difficile, said Dr. Michael Gardam, infection-control director at Toronto’s University Health Network.

As health-care-related infection became a very public affair, hospitals started hiring more experts, encouraging hand-washing and generally striving to prevent infection, rather than just treating it after the fact as an unavoidable cost of doing medical business.

Dr. Gardam’s hospitals have even begun characterizing hospital-acquired infections as adverse events, akin to more traditional medical error.

Whether because of such measures or not, Ms. Smith had few fears when she entered St. Boniface on Sept. 30, 2013, for an operation for uterine fibroids, her family says.

She likely did not know that most surgical-wound infections arise from bacteria patients carry into hospital on their skin, which can then sneak inside through incisions, especially when infection-control safeguards are not optimum.

As early as the day after her operation, the Métis woman began to complain of pain in her abdomen, only to be told by nurses that she simply needed to walk about, Ms. Dyck recalls.

Some of that suffering is reflected in her patient charts, obtained by the family and provided to the National Post.

On Oct. 1, she complained of gastrointestinal bloating and discomfort; the following day, heartburn, bloating and slight nausea, the records note.

On Oct. 3, the chart refers to her feeling unwell and weak, then projectile vomiting. The next day, she had “lots of gas pains,” and the day after that abdominal pain “controlled with PO” (prescription opioids).

Finally, early on Oct. 6, came the call about her self-destructive thoughts.

“Nurse found her confused, half-naked, pulled her IV out anxious. Saying she is at her end and is suicidal,” the chart said. A later notation suggested anxiety was prolonging her recovery and the sedative Ativan was administered.

Then, sitting at her side 12 hours later, her brother Trevor Smith noticed a strange purple discolouring of his sister’s feet, the kind of “mottling” that can be a sign of imminent death, and raised the alarm.

Lyle Stafford for National Post

Lyle Stafford for National PostTrevor Smith, the brother of Kim Smith holds her portrait in her Winnipeg, Manitoba home.

Ms. Smith was soon being wheeled into the operating room, where the surgeons who opened her up first observed “a large effluent of brown, foul-smelling liquid from the abdominal cavity.” They removed several abscesses, drained the liquid, then discovered the worst — necrotizing fasciitis expanding through the peritoneum (the lining of the abdomen) and abdominal muscles.

St. Boniface declined to comment on the case, saying it was prevented from doing so by provincial legislation. But Ms. Dyck said one doctor told her staff had likely not adequately disinfected her sister-in-law’s stomach before the hysterectomy, ensuring any bacteria that came with her into the operating room stayed on the outside.


While not every surgical infection is preventable, “they can be dramatically minimized” with well-documented precautions, Dr. Gardam says.

If hospital infections are at least sometimes preventable, to what extent is the problem being monitored and how much of that information becomes public?

Some provinces, such as Ontario and British Columbia, require hospitals to report to the government on a few common infections, such as C. difficile, blood infections transmitted by the “central lines” used to access major blood vessels, and pneumonia from ventilator use. Ontario hospitals must report their compliance with tactics designed to prevent surgical infections, though not the infections themselves.

Experts debate whether publicly reporting data actually benefits health care, but a 2012 study found that C. difficile rates in Ontario hospitals dropped by 25% after the province started divulging statistics on the disease.

Many provinces, though, have no such requirements, and the national picture is hazy. The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) reports rates of sepsis, and stats that indirectly address infection, such as the rate of death and re-admission to hospital following some procedures.

Some infectious-disease specialists, though, are unimpressed by its infection numbers, obtained by analyzing hospital records after the fact.

“Garbage in, garbage out,” Dr. McGeer said of the figures. “You cannot count infections using CIHI data, and CIHI knows that.”

What is needed to paint an accurate picture is experts at each hospital reporting “true cases,” she says.

That is the goal of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Nosocomial Infection Surveillance Program, arguably the country’s premiere example of transparency on the diseases that health care gives its patients.

The program’s focus is drug-resistant bacteria, the increasingly familiar methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) and C. difficile. It is based, though, on a sampling of just 57 teaching hospitals, a fraction of the country’s 250 or so acute-care hospitals. The SARS outbreak, for instance, erupted at a community hospital that is not part of that network.

Infectious-disease doctors have long complained that it takes too long for the data those hospitals submit to the Agency to be posted.

Lyle Stafford for National Post

Lyle Stafford for National PostBy the time medical staff took Kim Smith’s complaints seriously, an infection had developed into flesh-eating disease and devoured large chunks of her abdomen.

“If I want to know what’s happening with MRSA, I call my friends,” said Dr. McGeer.

More complete, and easier to access, is the system developed by the European Centre for Disease Control, says Lynora Saxinger, an infectious-disease specialist at the University of Alberta. It not only tracks drug-resistant bugs, but matches those stats with the use — or possible over-use — of antibiotics, considered the main cause of the problem.

The latest concern of infectious-disease specialists is a class of antibiotic-defeating organisms known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriacaeae (CRE), a “game changer,” said Dr. Saxinger. The death rate is as high as 50%.

CRE is part of the public health agency’s surveillance system, meaning those 57 hospitals submit their numbers, but Dr. McGeer said all acute-care hospitals in Canada should have to report them.

Meanwhile, “the last CRE outbreak … I heard about it on the news,” said Dr. Saxinger.

There is no evidence Ms. Smith was infected with a drug-resistant organism, but by the time she went in for emergency surgery, it appears little could have saved her. Indeed, once begun, necrotizing fasciitis has a 70% death rate.

Early the next morning, her blood pressure had sunk, the tell-tale black of more dead tissue had spread around her side to her back and she went into cardiac arrest, dying minutes later.

The hospital investigated the incident and assured the family that lessons learned from it would be passed on to staff — and help future patients, says Ms. Dyck. Mr. Horn says his experience across Canada suggests it is unlikely those lessons will be shared with anyone else in the health-care system, or the public.

Meanwhile, Ms. Dyck says the sight of doctors and nurses fruitlessly attempting to revive her sister-in-law — her abdomen left open as part of the flesh-eating treatment — remains etched in her mind, as is the thought it might all have been prevented.

“What I witnessed, I was traumatized by for months and months,” she said.

“It was just a terrible, terrible, painful death. And she knew she was going to die, that’s the worst thing.”

National Post

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Shawn Maxwell Rehn identified as man suspected of shooting two Mounties at St. Albert casino

The man suspected of shooting two Mounties in St. Albert Saturday morning has been identified by RCMP.

Shawn Maxwell Rehn, 34, was found dead in a private home hours after Const. David Matthew Wynn and auxiliary Const. Derek Bond were shot inside the Apex Casino in St Albert.

Wynn, 42, was last reported to be in grave condition, while Bond, 49, was released from hospital Saturday evening.

Police spent hours hunting for Rehn and cornered him in a home in Sturgeon County before finding him dead inside. Rehn had broken into the unoccupied house after fleeing the nearby casino.

An autopsy to determine how he died will be performed on Monday. Rehn’s family has been notified.

Rehn, who was from the greater Edmonton area, according to RCMP, was known to police.

In January 2005, Edmonton police issued an arrest warrant for Rehn after a man armed with a pistol allegedly forced his way into a home, saying he was owed money and forcing a 22-year-old man to drive to a bank to withdraw cash. The suspect allegedly left personal identification in the victim’s car.

In March 2003, a man described in the Journal as Shawn Rehn, then 22, was charged in connection with the theft of $150,000 worth of hockey memorabilia from a home in north Edmonton.

Wynn, 42, continues to fight for his life in hospital. He was a former paramedic in Nova Scotia and is a “treasured” St. Albert elementary school resource officer.

Counsellors will be at Keenooshayo Elementary School on Monday to offer support to students who know him.

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Mountie fighting for his life after shooting at St. Albert casino is also ‘treasured’ school resource officer

Bruce Edwards / Postmedia News

An RCMP officer fighting for his life in hospital after being shot inside a casino Saturday is a “treasured” St. Albert elementary school resource officer.

Counsellors will be at Keenooshayo Elementary School on Monday to offer support to students who know Const. David Matthew Wynn, 42.

Wynn has been working at the school for more than five years. He also assists with the DARE program, a prevention and education campaign about drug abuse.

“I spoke to the principal yesterday and he said that [Wynn] is a really treasured part of the Keenooshayo family,” Paula Power, spokeswoman for St. Albert Public Schools, said Sunday.

“He’s got a great rapport with the kids. He’s just part of the family there.”

Wynn was hit by one bullet early Saturday morning while he and his partner, auxiliary Const. Derek Walter Bond, 49, were investigating a stolen vehicle at the Apex Casino on 24 Boudreau Rd. The suspect in the shootings was later found dead inside a rural home about five kilometres north of the casino.

Bond, a volunteer with the force since 2008, was released from hospital Saturday evening.

Wynn, who joined the RCMP in 2009, remains in grave condition.

“This is a huge blow to the community. Const. David Wynn has a special relationship to the children of this community. He’s a DARE officer and has a place in a lot of hearts,” Tara McWheeldon wrote on The Community of St. Albert Facebook page.

RCMP said in a news release Sunday morning that they had no updates but would followup later this morning.

Bruce Edwards / Postmedia NewsRCMP investigate an acreage home in Sturgeon Heights where the suspect fled to after two uniformed RCMP officers were shot inside Apex casino in St. Albert.

The suspect in the shootings, known to police from previous run-ins, was found dead inside an unoccupied private home in a rural area east of St. Albert, RCMP said at a Saturday afternoon news conference. They have tentatively identified the man but have not released his name.

Police said the suspect had forced his way into the Sturgeon County home after fleeing the scene of the shooting at the

Wynn and Bond were shot inside the casino around 3 a.m., its closing time.

RCMP had been called to investigate a stolen vehicle in the parking lot, Marlin Degrand, criminal operations officer for the RCMP in Alberta, told a news conference Saturday.

The casino was still open, so the officers went inside to look and encountered the shooter. Degrand said the officers were shot without having a chance to return fire.

Wynn was carrying a 9-mm sidearm. As an auxiliary constable, Bond did not have a gun, Degrand said. Auxiliary officers carry pepper spray and batons. They are paired with full officers on their jobs.

After the shooting, RCMP tracked the suspect to the home in Sturgeon County, east of St. Albert.

Neighbour Ted Elkins said he wife woke him at 5 a.m. when she heard a chopper overhead.

“It’s very sad. It’s terrible, you know. They are investigating a stolen vehicle and next thing you know they are fighting for their lives,” Elkins said. “It’s very hard on families so you grieve with them too.”

He said the home was owned by a quiet couple in their 70s.

Police found the suspect dead when they entered the home, Degrand said. Officers didn’t fire their weapons or speak with the suspect before they entered the home.

Because the man died while the residence was under the custody and control of police, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) Is investigating the man’s death. The investigation will focus on the circumstances surrounding the death of the man in the residence. A news release from ASIRT issued Saturday evening said initial evidence suggests no shots were fired at any time by RCMP.

The cause of death and identity of the man have not yet been released. Police had earlier described the suspect as a white man between 25 and 35 wearing blue jeans and a two-toned striped blue jacket. They said he was considered armed and dangerous. Some Sturgeon County residents were told by police not to leave their homes.

The RCMP continues to be in charge of the investigation into the officer shootings.

Bruce Edwards / Postmedia News

Bruce Edwards / Postmedia NewsRCMP look for a suspect who shot two uniformed RCMP officers inside Apex casino in St. Albert.

“Despite the suspect having been found deceased, this remains a continuing investigation, a very complex, intensive [one] and it will be a lengthy one,” Degrand said.

Degrand would not say how many people witnessed the shooting in the casino. Investigators are looking through video surveillance and the business remains closed.

Deanna Blaquiere, whose band Chronic Rock performed at the casino’s Vee Lounge Friday night, said when she and her fellow musicians left the lounge at 1 a.m. there weren’t many patrons left.

A group of about nine men had just arrived at the bar, but otherwise, there were only about half a dozen other customers, Blaquiere said. The lounge is separate from the casino, which has VLT machines but no poker table.

It’s terrible, you know. They are investigating a stolen vehicle and next thing you know they are fighting for their lives

The RCMP has informed the Alberta Director of Law Enforcement of the suspect’s death. The director has told the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team to start an independent review of the circumstances.

The suspect’s death is considered an “in-custody death because police had established containment of the scene.

Degrand spoke about Saturday’s shooting “with deep regret.”

“This incident serves to remind us of the dangers that our front-line responders everywhere face in the performance of their duties,” he said at the first of two Saturday news conferences.

“Our thoughts of course are with our injured officers, their loved ones and their colleagues who are courageously pursuing this investigation as we speak.”

Bruce Edwards / Postmedia News

Bruce Edwards / Postmedia NewsRCMP are looking for a suspect after two uniformed RCMP officers were shot inside Apex casino, 24 Boudreau Rd., St. Albert.

Roads around the casino were blocked off early Saturday. Police tape could be seen near the door and surrounding the entire property.

A dark-coloured pickup truck had been abandoned in a ditch near where the suspect was found.

Debbie and Larry Martin live on an acreage that backs onto a rail line in the area of the police search. They woke up around 7 a.m. and saw officers and canine units searching the railway behind their community, Manor Estates in Sturgeon County.

Police told them if they left their house, they wouldn’t be allowed back.

“[The officers] kept circling around the crescent but at no point did anyone knock on our door and say don’t come out,” Debbie said.

Around 10:30 a.m. Larry went outside to get an update from an officer.

“He kind of indicated the guy was ‘no longer functioning,’” he said.

I extend our deepest sympathies to family and friends of both officers caught in the line of fire

Alberta Justice Minister Jonathan Denis said in a statement: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured officers and their families as they cope with this tragic event. This incident stands as yet another reminder to us all of the real and present dangers our police officers and peace officers face every single day as they work to keep our communities safe.”

Premier Jim Prentice issued a statement: “It is with shock and sadness that we learn of the serious injuries sustained by two officers in the line of duty as they served their home community of St. Albert early this morning.

“My thoughts are with their families as they pray for their husband, father and son. I know all Albertans stand in unity and gratitude alongside those impacted by the events earlier today as together we hope for the recovery of both officers.”

Alberta Justice Minister Jonathan Denis added: “I extend our deepest sympathies to family and friends of both officers caught in the line of fire at the St. Albert Casino. I commend the RCMP and all law enforcement agencies for their commitment to keeping our communities safe around the clock. Each and every day courageous men and women put themselves at risk to protect our communities, our province, and our country, and I stand with them.”

Prime Minister Stephen Harper tweeted: “Canada’s thoughts & prayers are with @RCMPAlberta officers today as they deal with an ongoing shooting investigation in the #StAlbert area.”

Saturday’s shootings occurred only one day after the release of a report into the deaths of three RCMP officers and the wounding of two others in Moncton, N.B. last June at the hands of camouflaged gunman Justin Bourque.

With files from The Canadian Press

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‘Baird you are not welcome in Palestine’: Protesters hurl eggs and shoes at Canada’s foreign minister

AP Photo/Nasser Nasser

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territory — Dozens of Palestinian protesters in Ramallah hurled eggs and shoes at the convoy of Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird.

Baird travelled to the West Bank city today to meet with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki.

The protesters held signs reading: “Baird you are not welcome in Palestine.”

Activists from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party had earlier called for a boycott of the minister because of the Canadian government’s perceived pro-Israel stance.

AP Photo/Nasser NasserA Palestinian protester holds a poster with a photo of Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird that reads in Arabic, “You should be ashamed of your biased position towards Israel,” during Baird’s meeting with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki, in front of the Palestinian foreign ministry in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday.

Baird is in the region for four days of meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials.

In a statement this morning, he described his meeting with Malki was “cordial and constructive,” and said it included “candid and frank exchanges on areas where we differ in opinion.”

Canada is opposed to the recent Palestinian bid to pursue war crime charges against Israel.

Baird’s statement says he asked Malki to “strongly reconsider the consequences of moving forward with any action that may be counterproductive to a negotiated solution with the State of Israel.”

It was also his first meeting with the Palestinian Authority since the United Nations Security Council blocked a Palestinian motion to set a three-year deadline for the establishment of a Palestinian state on lands occupied by Israel.

Baird has spoken out against the move, as he has with similar Palestinian statehood initiatives at the U.N..

AP Photo/Nasser Nasser

AP Photo/Nasser NasserPalestinian protesters hurl eggs at the vehicle of Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird as he leaves following his meeting with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki, in front of the Palestinian foreign ministry in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday.

The minister later met in Jerusalem with Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and is scheduled to meet with other Israeli politicians.

In a statement, Baird noted his meetings come a year after Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit to Israel, and the two signed a declaration outlining co-operation in the diplomatic, trade and development areas.

“Canada and Israel share similar views on the world stage,” said Baird.

“Canada strongly supports Israel’s right to defend itself by itself and its right to live in peace with its neighbours. Canada will fight any efforts internationally to delegitimize the State of Israel, including the disturbing Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Movement.”

AP Photo/Nasser Nasser

AP Photo/Nasser NasserA Palestinian protester carries a banner that reads in Arabic “we refuse to receive this criminal, get out you child killer,” while another protester chants slogans and holds a photo of Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird during Baird’s meeting with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki, in front of the Palestinian foreign ministry in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday.

ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty ImagesPolicemen stand guard in front of Palestinian protesters holding placards outside the Foreign Affairs ministry before the meeting between Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Maliki and his Canadian counterpart John Baird on Sunday in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

With files from The Canadian Press

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