National Post from Toronto, Ontario, Canada on August 26, 1999 · 4
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National Post from Toronto, Ontario, Canada · 4

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Issue Date:
Thursday, August 26, 1999
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CANADA NATIONAL POST, THURSDAY, AUGUST 26, 1999 WEST TO EAST Mother fit to stand trial CRANBROOK, B.C. ACalgary woman accused of killing her two children has been found fit to stand trial, her lawyer said yesterday. Diana Yano, charged with two counts of second-degree murder, was found fit following a psychiatric assessment, lawyer Patrick Deardon said from Cranbrook. Her trial is to begin Sept 10. Police found her children dead last June in the family's time-share condo at Fairmont Hot Springs in B.C. Joshua, 3, and Brittany, 5, had been drowned in the bathtub. Calgary board to holdvote CALGARY George Cornish's first act as trustee of Calgary's public school board was to announce the date he will be replaced. The city will hold a by-election Nov. 29 for seven board seats that came open when the entire board was fired last week by Lyle Oberg, the Learning Minister. The minister said the board had become dysfunctional after a string of controversies and bitter infighting. Two of the dismissed trustees have said they will seek re-election, one will not and four others are still deciding. Man shot in drug war EDMONTON A 24-year-old man has been shot in what police say is part of a continuing battle for control over the city's drug trade. The man was shot in the shoulder, chest and leg and was in stable condition. A witness said he saw a man pumping bullets at someone in the entrance to an apartment building. "He was trying to get somebody bad," said the man, who did not give his name. The city has been hit with a number of recent gang-related shootings. Murder hearing delayed LETHBRIDGE, ALTA. Acourt hearing for the 14-year-old charged in a deadly shooting spree at an Alberta high school has been delayed until January. Prosecutors are seeking to try the teenager as an adult for last April's shooting at a high school in Taber. Jason Lang, 17, was shot dead in a hallway and two other students were shot at, one suffering serious injuries. The 14-year-old, who cannot be identified under the Young Offenders Act, is charged with first-degree murder and attempted murder. Jail postpones smoke ban REGINA Provincial justice officials have temporarily shelved plans to force inmates at the Regi-na jail to stop smoking amid fears a smoking ban could heighten tension in the jail. The Regina Leader-Post reported yesterday that the ban was to have been implemented in September. Inmates at the jail, northeast of Regina, have complained that tensions are already high because of poor conditions at the facility. There has been one suicide, six cases of self-mutilation and three escapes from the jail so far this summer. Cyclist had it coming: judge PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. All RCMP officer has been acquitted of assault for hitting and pepper-spraying a cyclist for not wearing a bicycle helmet and running a stop sign. Prosecutors alleged that Corporal Marvin Toma hit cyclist Brent Dexter with a baton soon after getting out of his patrol car and then pepper-sprayed him. Judge D.M. Levis said Cpl. Toma acted appropriately. Lesson in love will go unlearned Christie Blatchford In Stony Plain, Alta. The story of Tyler Onstine and the boy who killed him with a single shot from a 30-30 rifle one Saturday night last March should be a cautionary tale. Where it stops short is that, small instructive messages about parenting and guns and personal responsibility aside, there is nothing to be learned from it The greater moral lesson that one is supposed to take from such tales would be, in this instance, Thou Shalt Love and Honour Thy Children. Or perhaps, Thou Shalt Not Have Children Unless Thou Can Do This. And how is that taught, I ask you? Those who know it know it already; those who don't are already beyond reaching, or teaching. The boy who killed Tyler is the saddest boy in the world. He is 13-years-old. He is now on trial for second-degree murder. When he was arrested, weeping and hysterical, at the little white bungalow on a hobby farm on Highway 43 North where Tyler lived with his older brother and their dad, Terry, the boy's mother didn't even know where he wa& One day 'this week1, - when she spoke to him on the phone from the youth facility where he has been held since the shooting, he announced, i thathis lawyer, Shawn Beaver, wants him to come and live with him when the case is over. , , , ; Now, Mr. Beaver is a kind and lovely fellow, with a vast Clint Eastwood brow and that same springy hair. Perhaps he actually said this, and if he did, I am sure he meant it; God knows, I could barely restrain myself from making the same sort of offer yesterday when the mother told me the story. But I didn't have the heart to phone and ask Mr. Beaver yesterday, because my fear is that he said no such thing, that this was just a bit of bravado from a child so hungry for love that he wants to be adopted by a gentle lawyer who is merely representing him, that the boy saw ordinary adult concern and, because he has seen it so rarely, mistook it for the real article. My other thought is that perhaps the boy was trying to shame his mother into loving him more, in effect saying: "See? Someone Drug firm cancelled Toronto trial ' APOTEX Continued from PageAl "In Canada there are perhaps 200, and 1,000 in the United States ... It was a long fight, but this is great news for the patients." Thalassemia is an inherited disease that strikes children of Mediterranean or Asian descent. It causes severe anemia and sufferers must undergo blood transfusions every two weeks. But frequent blood transfusions also cause toxic levels of iron in the body, which can cause liver and heart damage. Ferriprox, the trade name for a chemical known as deferiprone, alleviates this problem by binding the excess iron and removing it from the body. The drug is an improvement over the previous treatment for the condition, an injected drug called deferoxamine, because it can be given orally. Costa Papageorgiou, president of the Thalassemia International Federation, applauded the approval of the new treatment "We wants me." If that was his intention, it didn't work. When the mom told me of Mr. Beaver's alleged offer, she allowed as to how that would be fine by her. "He the boy needs a family," she said, "and if Mr. Beaver wants him ... " Her voice trailed off. This was moments after she had sworn she would fight to get the boy back living with her; moments before she said that no, maybe the best thing would be to have him see his natural father in Calgary and live with him (this about a man who, by her account, last saw the boy when he was five and has shown no interest in him); before or after she said that what he wanted to do was to go to the Alberta Hospital and get the counselling he needs; before she said that perhaps he should live in the country somewhere, and in between many mentions, all uttered without a breath of insight into what it might mean, about how "every time he went AWOL from a group home, he returned, like a homing pigeon, to her. She is a little bit of a thing, very pretty, younger-looking than her 37 years. She is a landscaper now, taking a formal certification of some sort by THE BOY WHO KILLED TYLER IS THE SADDEST BOY IN THE WORLD correspondence course, and last summer worked at an Edmonton Wal-Mart. She has two children, the boy by one man, a six-year-old girl by another, and has functioned, it appears, as a single parent most of the time, the boyfriends drifting in and out of her life. She describes her own childhood as rough, as having been raised with bikers who taught her about self-reliance, and indeed, she's a tough cookie, a likeable one. Asked how her son came to be a ward of the province, she fudged the answer. He was difficult, acting up, she said, and besides, she has full access, which means she is able to see him when she likes. The boy has ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, a set of learning disabilities and difficulties that can range from mild to serious and is on medication, which is why, she said, the night of the shooting, though liquor was available, he wasn't drinking. She fought against it when authorities wanted to make him a permanent ward, she said, but indicated she "just gave up" at some point Two or three years ago in a nasty bit of irony, this was just about the same time that Tyler's natural mother, a troubled have patients all around the world that do not have access to ... injectable deferoxamine," he said. "The approval of this new oral drug in Europe gives them new hope." The drug has not yet been approved by Canadian authorities, and Mr. Betito said Apotex has not yet applied for approval in the U.S. The drug was at the centre of a controversy last year involving Dr. Nancy Olivieri, a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto and one of the doctors testing Ferriprox at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children. The drug company threatened to sue Dr. Olivieri for going public with negative research results about the experimental drug. She became concerned it could cause liver damage. But when she wanted to publish her findings, Apotex protested and threatened to sue, saying her study was flawed and accusing her of breaking a confidentiality agreement Because of the controversy, the hospital fired Dr. Olivieri as head of its blood diseases program. She was later reinstated. Apotex cancelled the Toronto portion of its drug trial in 1996. Dr. Olivieri is an expert on thalassemia and sickle cell disease. However, other researchers disagreed with her findings about the drug, including Dr. Gideon Koren, her colleague in the Toronto trials. National Post woman who had been in and out of his life, died of a drug overdose, according to his grandma, Tina Onstine the boy began living in foster homes. There was one he liked, this when he lived with an older couple. His marks at school went up. He seemed happy. He began at tending church, and to lose his interest in the gothicdevil busi ness in which a growing number of teens dabble. Just as he was getting settled, the couple decided they were too old to be fostering, and the boy began to be moved around. He kept running away, sometimes al most daily, and always would show up at her place in east-end Edmonton. Someone at a group home would call to report he was on the lam; Td say, TieTl be coming here." He had just been placed in a house not far from Stony Plain, where the trial is being held, when he ended up as an eager hanger-on to a small group of young people Tylers brother brought back to the bungalow. It was that night, just after Mr. Onstine and his girlfriend left the house, that the shooting happened. The boy's mother had no idea, she said, that he'd been moved again until a woman phoned her early the next morning to tell her the dreadful news. The mom thought the woman was joking until she spoke to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. She saw the boy the night after. "I've seen him scared before," she said yesterday in a coffee shop not far from her apartment, Tut Ive never seen him cry like that" Evidence at trial suggests that after the adults left the house, Tyler and the boy began play-fighting, which grew progressively and rapidly more serious, with Tyler chasing the boy about the isolated house with various guns and knives until, at last, they faced one another off in a childish parody of the wild west, both armed with loaded weapons, and the boy fired. i Since that night, March 13, the boy has been in secure custody, in, his mother says, a cell, under 23-hour-a-day lockup but for going to court this week for the trial. "Can you imagine a hyperactive kid in a little cell?" she said yesterday. He reads, she said, and tells her he can read better now. He draws colourful dragons, cartoon figures like Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, touching birthday cards for his sister and his mom, and great warriors. Some of the drawings have religious overtones, satanic 666 signs crossed out and side-by-side with intact Christian crosses. When she visits him every week, he presents the drawings to her, and at home, she places them between plastic sheets for safekeeping. But sometimes, his little room or cell becomes too confining, and he hurts himself; he has a scar on his forehead now, she said, caused by him banging his head repeatedly against the wall, which he does, she said, so he can go to "the hole" segregation because he likes it better there, and it's roomier. He has spent much time in the hole, she said. He has changed since the shooting, she said. He is more serious, shattered by what happened. "He's a better person." If convicted, the boy could be held in the custody of the state for as long as seven years. If acquitted, well, there's the rub: What he would return to is nothing more, nothing less, than the half-life he had before. His last, best chance may be that the Young Offenders Act, for all that it is about to be replace d by new legislation and for all the criticism it has endured over the years, has protected him from the harsher penalties an adult in his situation would receive and guarded his anonymity. The night before last, after court, when the boy talked to his mother, he told her that he had touched grass that day on the way to the courthouse. His escorts are nice to him, he told her, and that day, they didn't put the handcuffs on, and twice, on the way there and back, on that hot and sunny day in big-sky country, he had been able to bend down and rub between his fingers blades of sweet-smelling lawn. He was happy. If his life has taught him nothing else, it is to think small. National Post Christie Blatchford can be contacted at " Shannon Hyndman, a landscaper for the National Research Council, shines a giant stainless steel sphere in Ottawa yesterday. The sphere, which is placed in a round pool of cool water, is 3.65 metres in diameter and weighs approximately one tonne. Officer not on MURDER Continued from Page Al They were sexually assaulted and shot several times in the head and back, police said. Both were former nurses married to school-teachers.1-" Mrs. Moorbs 21-month-old son was unharmed, as was Ms. Ferguson's nine-year-old son. who was home from school with the mumps. Because of the similarities between the two cases, a task force was set up at the time, massive searches were conducted and 3,000 suspects were interviewed. No arrest was made. In 1997. Detective-Inspector Don MacNeil of the OPP's major cases section, who worked on the original task force as a constable, was assigned to manage the case. While reviewing it, he remembered facts that caused hiin to follow up further, police said. "We don't solve many cases 29 Public inquiry BREAK Continued from PageAl Details of the case are contained in reports filed by Robert Read, an RCMP corporal in Ottawa, and Brian McAdam, a former immigration control officer at the high commission in Hong Kong. "I believe there has been a massive conspiracy to cover up the whole issue," Cpl. Read said. In a report marked Top Secret, he wrote: The loss or control of CAIPS ... loss of control over im migration from Hong Kong ... from 1986 to 1992 is a most serious breach of national security." Cpl. Read, who has written or ders from his boss, Inspector Jean Dube, not to talk to the me dia, said: "I am going public be cause there needs to be a public inquiry into this whole thing. Officials would not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation. In fact, the investigation began in 1992, when the Department of External Affairs sent to Hong Kong an electronic data processing officer, David Balser, and RCMP Sergeant John Conohan. According to Cpl. Read and Mr. McAdam, the two carried out a cursory investigation. Neither Mr. Balser nor Mr. Conohan recommended further investigations or criminal charges, despite Mr. McAdam's reports, which indicated security breaches by lo cally employed staff and the discovery of fake Canada Immigration stamps in one of their desks. Mr. Conohan was also told about local staff who had given themselves unauthorized, top-level security clearance to access Giant sphere gets a polish 14. i'V'l if V W 1 M early suspect list years old," said Detective-Superintendent Larry Edgar. "With the new technology, with DNA, that does give us the opportunity now to go back and look at some of these cases." He said that Mr. West was not one of the original suspects. "His name was never on the list," said Det-Supt Edgar. The families of the slain women were told of the arrest this week. "I think there was a sense of shock; 29 years is a long time," he said. , , ' Albert Moorby, Mrs. Moorbs widower, declined to comment yesterday. "A lot of the people in the area went out and bought guard dogs after that happened there was a lot of panic and a lot of concern around here," said Mary Ray, a retired schoolteacher who has owned a farm near Palgrave for 32 years. National Post, with files from The Canadian Press, Southam News needed: officer the computer, according to one of Cpl. Read's reports. Mr. Conohan reported that the suspect in whose desk the fake stamps were found had fled to Taiwan, despite being given information that she was living in B.C., some of the reports allege. Documents also show that a second suspect, who operated the CAIPS computer, fled her job in September, 1993, because of gambling debts owed to Triads. Mr. Balser's report is described by investigators familiar with the allegations as "unintelligible bu-reaucratese." He makes no express mention of the deleted files, fake stamps or missing blank visas, which were included in Mr. McAdam's reports. Mr. Balser does talk about the potential for security breaches and recommends that locally engaged staff not be given high security clearance. He hints that someone could misuse blank visas, which were left lying in open cardboard boxes, but does not report allegations that at least 2,000 blank immigrant visas 81-year-old man RENFREW, ONT. An 81-year-old man was robbed at knifepoint and left to die from stab wounds on the side of a gravel road. Police said Kenneth Dick's body was found by a passerby. The victim's 86-year-old brother, David Dick, cried quietly over a cup of coffee at a nursing home yesterday after learning of the murder. "It's going to take a little while to get used to this," he said as he i VW """ ' J'r ;;'.f TONY CALDWELL THE CANADIAN PRESS Also in running for most beautiful' ; CENTURY i Continued from PageAl'" ''''' "Hitin t i... It's not the first time the Time poll has gone awry. Last year, fan lobby- ing propelled professional wrestler ,Ric Flair to the top, ahead of Adolf HMerandAIbertEnstein. i Mr. Flair, at the same time, was ' running second to Hank the Angry Drunken Dwarf, a fixture on the Howard Stern show, in People Magazine's "most beautiful people in the world" poll. The Time Web site says the person of the century will be selected in November by its editors from a list of submissions by readers. The site says the person is defined as "that person who, for better or worse, most influenced the course of history over the past 100 years." Reuters were found to be missing. Mr. Read alleges that Mr. Balser has told him on the record that he was ordered to "obfuscate" his report. Mr. Balser is now retired and could not be reached for comment Unable to get any answers to his concerns, Mr. McAdam continued with his complaints and a series of RCMP investigators were given the case and then abruptly transferred. . The Canadian Security Intelligence Service, was also brought in to investigate Chinese espionage and together with the RCMP launched Operation Sidewinder in 1995. That operation, which was to look at the influence of Chinese officials and tycoons at the Hong Kong mission, was also halted. The investigation into the penetration of CAIPS is now being conducted by Sergeant Sergio Pasin of the immigration and passport section of the RCMP. "If the RCMP does not tell the government that a disaster has occurred, the government cannot decide how to react to it, cannot decide when to tell the people of Canada what has occurred," said Cpl. Read. The Province stabbed to death wiped a steady stream of tears from his face. "I thought it was a shock when my wife died 12 years ago, but this I can't believe this." He suspected his brother, who lived in a retirement home, was heading to a farm left to him by his grandfather when he was killed. Police said at least one witness saw a green car leave the area after the slaying. They are looking for the driver and the passenger. The Canadian Press v 1 I

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