Canada briefs – July 28

A fourth fugitive whose face was posted online by border authorities has been nabbed.

Fourth fugitive arrested in Toronto

OTTAWA — A fourth fugitive whose face was posted online by border authorities has been nabbed.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews says Henry Pantoja Carbonel was arrested in Toronto.

He was one of 30 people whose names and faces were posted online by the Canadian Border Services Agency earlier this month.

Carbonel is a 53-year-old Peruvian.

Toews says the website has generated a lot of tips from the public, although he didn’t say if the latest arrest was the result of such a tip.

The minister says the wanted 30 have all been deemed inadmissible to Canada and are subject to deportation.


B.C. First Nations groups boycotting public inquiry into Pickton case

VANCOUVER — Two prominent B.C. First Nations groups say they will not take part in the public inquiry into the case of serial killer Robert Pickton.

The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs and the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council say they have several concerns with the inquiry, including the narrow terms of reference and the appointment of former B.C. attorney general Wally Oppal as the commissioner.

Union Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says funding is also an issue, after the B.C. government refused to fund lawyers for several groups that wanted to take part.

Terry Teegee of the Carrier Sekani says the inquiry was an opportunity for some measure of justice for the murdered women but the scope of the inquiry won’t allow that.

Oppal had asked the province to grant funding for 13 groups representing sex trade workers, First Nations and Downtown Eastside residents but the province says it can’t afford to.

A report is due by the end of this year on the investigation of Pickton, who was convicted of murdering six women from Vancouver’s impoverished Downtown Eastside, as well as into several other missing women cases along the so-called Highway of Tears in northern B.C.


RCMP seizes 7,400 pairs of alleged counterfeit sneakers

MONTREAL — The RCMP now possesses a collection of shoes so big it would make Imelda Marcos blush.

Unlike the former Philippines first lady’s infamous collection of elegant footwear, the Mounties’ gargantuan stash consists of sneakers — more than 7,400 pairs of them.

And in contrast to Marcos’ voracious appetite for authentic brand names, these ones are allegedly fake, and intended for sale.

The RCMP seized the counterfeit shoes over the past month — about 4,000 from a warehouse Tuesday in Ste-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier, near Quebec City, and the rest from a shipping container in Montreal several weeks ago.

Police said Wednesday that an investigation was launched after the Canada Border Services Agency seized a cargo container in Montreal that had arrived from Taiwan. It was part of a joint operation between the RCMP and CBSA — dubbed Project Castille — where the forces co-operate to investigate counterfeit goods.

In this case, the country of origin and company shipping the merchandise set off alarm bells, an RCMP spokeswoman said.

Some big-name brands were among the allegedly fraudulent footwear: false Adidas, Alive, DC Shoes, Circa and Nike sneakers were seized.

“These are what I would call fashion sneakers — they’re not performance shoes,” RCMP Cpl. Lyse Levesque said.

Levesque said the shoes were sold at three locations across the province at dramatically marked-down prices — a sure warning sign that a product might be counterfeit.


Major earthquake could shake Olympic Peninsula: study

VANCOUVER — A new study says the next major earthquake to hit the Pacific Northwest could strike below Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula, south of Vancouver Island.

Professor Andy Calvert of Simon Fraser University, the lead author of the study, says it shows the fault line between two tectonic plates in the Pacific Northwest is seven kilometres deeper than originally believed.

He says the fault line underneath Washington state is actually 27 to 42 kilometres, not 25 to 35 kilometres as previously believed.

Calvert and his team came to the conclusion by looking at how long it took seismic waves to spread throughout the Earth.

The findings were published recently in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Questions about the possibility of an earthquake on the West Coast have been on the rise since early March, when a magnitude-9 earthquake and a subsequent tsunami killed thousands of people in Japan and resulted in a tsunami alert along the B.C. coast.


Defence plans to drop costly ships

NAPLES, Italy — The Department of National Defence plans to drop the use of a dedicated civilian cargo ship for hauling military supplies and equipment after discovering that Ottawa lost millions of dollars in the arrangement.

The existing contract for the use of the container ship will be allowed to lapse in October, according to internal federal documents.

The ship has been used 13 times since October 2007, most notably to move Canadian military equipment and humanitarian supplies to Haiti in January 2010 following the earthquake.

The documents say that most of the time, the ship has either been waiting for orders or sailing empty, at a cost of $21.3 million to taxpayers

“Of that, only $3.4 million is directly attributed to the movement of cargo with the remainder for empty transits, standby while awaiting tasking as well as support to two Naval exercises,” said a briefing note prepared for Defence Minister Peter MacKay and obtained by The Canadian Press.

Defence bureaucrats estimate that had they leased a ship on a spot basis — as they had done so in the past — it would have likely cost a total of $13 million.

“We will save money by eliminating the (full-time charter),” said the briefing note dated Oct. 22, 2010. “It will be cancelled.”