Canada in Brief, April 12-18

April 12, 2018 Updated: January 9, 2019

More staffing needed to address expected influx of asylum seekers: Union

More staffing resources are needed to address an anticipated spike in illegal border crossings from the United States this summer, says Canada’s Customs and Immigration Union.

National president Jean-Pierre Fortin says the government’s preparations for another influx of irregular migrants this summer is largely a reallocation of staff from other areas of the country.

He warns it could lead to overworked border security staff and longer wait times at ports of entry across the country as the busy summer travelling season sets in. The union wants the government to instead commit to hiring more customs and immigration staff.

Tom Cochrane reworks song lyrics to honour Humboldt Broncos

Tom Cochrane reworked the lyrics of his song ‘Big League’ for a special performance honouring the Humboldt Broncos on April 10.

The Juno Award-winning singer and songwriter played an acoustic version in front of a green and yellow backdrop on TSN’s NHL playoff preview special.

The song is written from the perspective of a father whose son was a hockey player with big dreams cut short by a truck driving in the wrong lane.

Fifteen people died when the Humboldt Broncos bus collided with a semi-trailer on April 6. Cochrane updated the lyrics to say they were “riding to immortality” and placed an emphasis on the unpredictability of life.

Pipeline protesters should face criminal charges: Judge

A B.C. Supreme Court judge says the Crown should consider laying criminal contempt of court charges against Green party Leader Elizabeth May and dozens of other demonstrators alleged to have violated a pipeline court injunction.

May, New Democrat MP Kennedy Stewart, and others arrested last month were originally charged with civil contempt of court over allegations that they protested within five metres of two Trans Mountain sites in Burnaby, B.C.

But Justice Kenneth Affleck said at an April 9 hearing there’s no doubt in his mind that the alleged actions of the protesters amount to criminal contempt and the matter should be taken over by B.C.’s attorney general.

‘Star Wars’ fan builds two-metre-tall starfighter from scrap

A Nova Scotia man has hand-built the dream ride of “Star Wars” fans: A remote-controlled, rideable TIE fighter replica.

Allan Carver of Queensland welded together steel, foam, and scrap wheelchair motors to create a two-metre-tall, rideable replica of the Imperial Fleet’s go-to fighter.

Carver says the starfighter—complete with wings, wheels, and a cockpit large enough to carry a full-grown man—tops out at 10 km/h and is programmed to emit TIE fighter sound effects.

He says he was inspired to build the replica last December during the release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

Alberta judge quashes parts of sex offender registry law

An Alberta judge has rejected attempts to justify a law that requires anyone convicted of two sex offences be automatically placed on the national sex offender registry for life.

In a ruling released April 9, Queen’s Bench Justice Andrea Moen re-affirmed her earlier decision that judges and prosecutors should have discretion over who is added to the list.

She also said it was unconstitutional to automatically keep an offender on the list permanently.

Moen said the Crown failed to prove police investigations would be made easier by keeping all offenders on the list, even those whose risk to re-offend was barely higher than an average citizen.

With files from The Canadian Press