Latest hateful act against Muslim community ‘crossed a line,’ Couillard says

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says a line has been crossed with the torching of a mosque leader’s car. He’s calling on citizens to come together and take a clear stand against hate.

Police confirmed Wednesday a car belonging to Mohamed Labidi, president of the Quebec City mosque where six men were shot dead in January, was set on fire earlier this month.

The incident occurred the day after Quebec City’s mayor announced an agreement with the mosque on the creation of a new Muslim cemetery in the city.

“The more that people who commit these acts feel condemned by society, the more — I hope — it’ll be harder for them to repeat them,” Couillard told reporters Thursday.

Couillard said political leaders and influential people in the media have the responsibility to choose their words carefully.

Public figures need to “send the right information and to participate in the outburst among the population of anger towards these types of acts,” he said.

The mosque also said excrement was thrown at its doors several days after the car was destroyed.

Labidi car

Mohamed Labidi’s car was a total loss. (submitted)

It has reported hateful incidents before, including in July when it received a package containing a defaced Qur’an and a hateful note. In June 2016, a pig’s head was left at the entrance of the same mosque during Ramadan.

Couillard said the car burning “crossed a line” and “clearly represented hate and also violence.”

As devastating floods roll through South Asia, Canadians reach out to help

Ontarians are reaching out to help provide relief while monsoon season continues to hit parts of South Asia with devastating intensity, killing more than 1,000 people and directly affecting 40 million more.  

The areas most affected by the flooding are northern India, southern Nepal and northern Bangladesh.

The flooding continued to devastate on Thursday, when a building collapsed in Mumbai, partly because the foundations were weakened by some of the heaviest rainfall seen in that city in 15 years. The accident killed at least 16 people and injured 30 more.

‘Everybody is together on this’

According to Statistics Canada, at a population of over 1.6 million, the South Asian community is the largest group of visible minorities in Canada and Ontario. They count for over seven per cent of the province’s total population.

Umesh Kumar, the president of the India Canada Association in Ottawa, has been leading a relief effort to send money and resources to families in India.

Umesh Kumar

Umesh Kumar is the president of the India Canada Association in Ottawa. (CBC)

“Everybody is together on this — they aren’t thinking twice,” said Kumar.

“They lost their bikes, homes, clothes, medicine — everything. Everybody needs some kind of help, and they are counting on us.”

The association has a goal of raising $5,000, as well as collecting computers and clothing donations. The group is also looking for a pharmaceutical company in India to help distribute medicine.

Monsoon season is a yearly occurrence, which typically starts in June and ends in September, but Kumar says this period was more intense than usual.

“Some of them were thinking they could handle it, but they were not prepared for this kind of incident. This was unexpected,” Kumar said.

Clean drinking water is the priority

Matt Capobianco, the deputy director of the Toronto-based charity GlobalMedic, is helping to prepare two people who will travel to Nepal, which has over 1.7 million people in need of aid. The response team is made up of volunteers who typically have day jobs as emergency responders.

Matt Capobianco

Matt Capobianco, the deputy director for GlobalMedic, stands with a household water purification system used to provide drinking water to flood zones. (Grant Linton/CBC)

For this type of disaster, Capobianco says getting clean drinking water to families in need is the priority. The team will bring 96,000 Aquatab water purification tablets, which clean 10 litres of water each.

Aquatabs

One Aquatab can clean 10 litres of water. GlobalMedic is bringing 96,000 tabs to Nepal. (Linton/CBC)

“The areas we’re responding to in Nepal are very rural areas, so you have livestock defecating all over, and the flood waters coming in and taking all that defecation and spreading them out throughout the community,” Capobianco told CBC Toronto.

“So not only does that affect those people who are wading through those waters, it also affects the water sources that they would traditionally drink,” he said.

GlobalMedic will also hand out hygiene kits filled with toothpaste, soap, sanitary napkins and anything else to help displaced families stay clean and healthy.

‘They only want to survive’

On the streets of Little India in Toronto’s east end, many people said they were helping their friends and family back home, however they can.

Nabeel Rahman is concerned about his relatives in Bangladesh. He says they’re safe from the immediate flooding, but he’s concerned about the safety of their water supply.

Nabeel Rahman

Nabeel Rahman is concerned for his family’s health back in Bangladesh. (Nadeau/CBC)

“You expect flooding. It’s an advantage that brings in minerals and pollens that helps agriculture. But on the other hand there’s a lot of water-borne diseases,” Rahman told CBC Toronto. “Our water table is really high and we get water from the hand pumps.”

Afroz Zahid

Afroz Zahid is helping to gather supplies to send to people hit by the floods in parts of South Asia. (Nadeau/CBC)

Afroz Zahid, also from Bangladesh, says members of the mosque she attends in Canada are working together to collect money and food. They fill containers with supplies and send them to the areas that need it the most.

“We’re good here in Canada. People there don’t have shelter or food — they only want to survive,” Zahid said.

Corn maze celebrates Leafs’ Stanley Cup win of 50 years ago

It started out as a joke about the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

When the Montreal Canadiens marked their centennial season in 2009, the Hunter Brothers farm celebrated the team by carving its logo into a corn maze.

The family took some ribbing for it from Maple Leafs fans, so Chip Hunter promised that in 2017, he’d carve the logo of their team into the family cornfield to celebrate the 50 years since Toronto last won a Stanley Cup.

The cornfield tribute to the Leafs would only go ahead if they didn’t win another cup in the meantime, which of course they didn’t do. 

So this year, the Maple Leafs dominate the family’s annual corn maze near Florenceville-Bristol.

“We didn’t want to be too negative about it, I guess, and it helped that they were also celebrating their 100th season,” said Chip’s son, Lee Hunter.

“We decided to give the Leafs fans a break.”

Annual corn maze

Hunter Brothers farm creates a corn maze, cut to a different theme, every year. 

Themes of the 17 mazes carved so far have included the Beatles, Harry Potter, and important moments in Canadian history, such as the 400th anniversary of Acadie in 2004, and the 2005 centennial of Alberta and Saskatchewan’s joining Confederation.

Lee Hunter, corn maze, NB

Lee Hunter says the family starts planning the mazes in the winter, then hires a survey engineer to figure out how to place it on the cornfield. (Pat Richard/CBC)

Sports themes are popular. After watching the Toronto Blue Jays game in 2015 in which Jose Bautista famously flipped his bat, the family cut a corn maze the next year in the shape of the slugger, along with the team’s logo and the cheer “OK Blue Jays.”

Lee said the family starts planning the mazes in the winter, then hires a survey engineer to figure out on a computer how the image can be placed on the field.

Planting starts in late June, and once the corn grows, survey engineers lay out the design on the field, using paint and GPS co-ordinates. A crew from the farm then removes the corn to create the design and the paths through the maze.  

Annual Corn Maze at The Hunter Brothers Farm0:57

This year, the farm changed things up a little and hired a graphic designer to draw the maze, Lee said.

“We decided to go all out and test the whole process a little bit more thoroughly,” he said.

Getting to know the farm again

Lee’s dad, Chip, said the maze is the cornerstone of the family farm’s annual fall festival and stays open from early September to late October.

Aside from creating the maze, which includes questionnaires and games for those walking through, the Hunter family also sets up pig races, straw structures, a corn house and an area for children to feed their animals.

Chip Hunter, Corn Maze, NB

Chip Hunter says the maze is the cornerstone of the family farm’s annual fall festival. (Pat Richard/CBC)

The idea of the open farm day started in the 1990s, Chip said. Farmers came up with entertaining ways to get people visiting their properties and becoming acquainted with farming again — something many people are now far removed from.

“The idea back then was definitely ‘show people where your food comes from,'” Chip said.

‘It becomes a whole different experience for a child when they are on the farm, rather than seeing it in a book.’ – Chip Hunter

“And a big part of the corn maze and the entertainment part of it was to encourage schoolchildren to visit.

“It becomes a whole different experience for a child when they are on the farm, rather than seeing it in a book or hearing people talking about it.”

Lee said the Leafs maze will certainly get people talking. But celebrating the hockey team only seemed fair, especially after the Montreal corn tribute.

“This kind of made up for it,” Chip  said.

Can you navigate this giant Jose Bautista bat flip corn maze?0:43

MacEwan University defrauded of $11.8M in online phishing scam

An Edmonton university says it is the victim of an email “phishing attack” that resulted in the transfer of $11.8 million to a bank account staff believed belonged to a vendor.

MacEwan University says “inadequate” controls on banking information played a role in the fraud, which was discovered Aug. 23.

It also said several opportunities to identify the fraud were missed.

Most of the money — more than $11.4 million — has been traced to accounts in Canada and Hong Kong, the university said in a news release Thursday.

Funds frozen

The funds have been frozen, the university said, adding it is working with legal counsel in Montreal, London and Hong Kong to pursue civil action to recover the money.

The status of the rest of the missing money isn’t known.

“A series of fraudulent emails convinced university staff to change electronic banking information for one of the university’s major vendors,” the news release said.

When the fraud was discovered, the university notified authorities, including the Edmonton Police Service, law-enforcement agencies in Montreal and Hong Kong, and the corporate-security units of banks involved with the electronic transfer of funds.

Investigation underway

The news release said the university has conducted an interim audit of business processes and has put in controls to prevent further incidents.

An investigation will determine what permanent business-process controls will be put in place, the university said.

Its internal audit group has asked outside experts to help in an “extensive multifaceted investigation” that has already started.

Students reassured

Final results of the review are expected within a few weeks.

MacEwan said is has notified “key stakeholders” including the advanced education minister and the auditor general’s office.

MacEwan spokesperson David Beharry said in the news release that the university wants to assure students that its information technology systems were not compromised.

“Personal and financial information, and all transactions made with the university are secure. We also want to emphasize that we are working to ensure that this incident will not impact our academic or business operations in any way.”

Ontario gasoline prices projected to shoot up amid fallout from Harvey

A tracker of gasoline prices predicts that parts of Ontario are in for an ‘eye-popping’ jump at the pump amid the impact of tropical storm Harvey on Houston and the U.S. oil infrastructure.

In a tweet on Thursday, Dan McTeague, a senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy.com, warned areas including Toronto, London, Ottawa and Hamilton they could see a hike in gas prices of eights cents or more per litre on Saturday, on top of a projected rise of five cents per litre on Friday.

Meanwhile, Roger McKnight, chief petroleum analyst for En-Pro International, said prices are expected to rise by five cents a litre Friday and seven cents on Saturday.

Increases like that would push the price to $1.309 a litre in the Greater Toronto Area by Saturday, McKnight tweeted.

The pump price predictions come as the fallout continues from the devastating hit on the Houston area before Harvey moved to the Louisiana coast. The storm has resulted in the shutdown of roughly 25 per cent of the refining output of the United States, Reuters reported.

On Thursday, U.S. gasoline prices shot up after Colonial Pipeline Co, which runs the biggest U.S. fuel transport system, announced it would shut its main lines to the U.S. northeast, citing outages at pumping points and lack of supply from refiners, Reuters said.  

The U.S. national average for a gallon of regular gasoline has risen from about $2.35 US a week ago to hit $2.45 US.

Tweeted McTeague: “As I had been warning …. the closure of America’s proverbial gasoline aortic artery — the Colonial Pipeline spells much higher prices.”

“Potential shortage with 30% production of gasoline offline in US will have US suppliers snapping up scarce Canadian supplies if price low,” he wrote in another tweet.

McKnight said in a posting on Facebook that flooding from Harvey has affected pump stations along the Colonial pipeline that feed gasoline into the U.S. Northeast, “including New York where gasoline futures prices are set.”

“Ontario prices follow the wholesale price changes in Buffalo and Syracuse,” McKnight said.

As supply to the U.S. Northeast has tightened, “prices in both locations are spiking forcing prices up north of the border because gas prices in Canada are made in the USA.”

The impact of Harvey on gasoline supplies and prices also comes as Canada and the United States head into the Labour Day weekend, which usually means more people on the road.

No criminal wrongdoing in switched-at-birth cases, Manitoba RCMP say

Manitoba RCMP have found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing after investigating two cases where babies were switched at birth in the same year at the same northern Manitoba hospital.

Norman Barkman, Luke Monias, Leon Swanson and David Tait Jr. — all born in 1975 at what was then called Norway House Indian Hospital — discovered only recently they had gone home with the wrong families.

Swanson and Tait were born three days apart — Swanson on Jan. 31, 1975, and Tait on Feb. 3, 1975 — at the hospital.

Both men know each other and were raised and continue to live in Norway House, a remote community about 460 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

Monias and Barkman were born at the same hospital on June 19, 1975, and grew up as friends in the Garden Hill First Nation, also in northern Manitoba.

DNA tests confirmed that in both cases, the men had been switched at birth.

The Mounties closed their investigation Thursday after reviewing medical records and interviewing family members, along with hospital employees.

“There is no evidence a criminal offence was committed in relation to these incidents,” a news released issued by police said.

Health Canada report released

Health Canada also released the results of its own review into the switched-at-birth cases on Thursday.

The federal department found that in 1975, Norway House Indian Hospital did not place identification bands on babies in the room where they were delivered.

“The circumstances involved in these cases had tragic results for the mothers, the babies and their families. There is no way of knowing whether these two incidents were unique,” the report says.

While only emergency births now occur at Norway House Hospital, Health Canada made recommendations for how the hospital, and any other Health Canada facility where births occur, could still improve in order to prevent infants from going home with the wrong parents.

The recommendations in the report include:

  • Implementing a number-matched four-band mother-infant bracelet system, with two bands on the baby (ankle and wrist) and bands on the parents.
  • Applying identification bands to the infant, mother and mother’s partner (if present) in the delivery room immediately after birth, or as quickly as the clinical situation allows.
  • Training hospital staff to be highly compliant with the above process, with regular performance audits.

Currently, the hospital places an identification band on the infant, but not on the mother of another family member. The report’s authors, Dr. David Creery and Maura Davies, said staff could be better trained at ensuring number-matched bracelets are placed on both mothers and the babies.

‘Administrative error’ led to delay in sentencing in La Loche shooting case

Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Justice is blaming “an administrative error” for a delay in the sentencing hearing for the teen responsible for the La Loche school shootings.

The teen, who cannot be named because of his age, has pleaded guilty to shooting and killing four people and wounding seven others in January 2016.

On Friday, the final arguments for the sentencing were expected to take place in Meadow Lake, 290 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.

Instead, the process was adjourned after it was announced that the Crown prosecutor on the case, Lloyd Stang, had been appointed as a provincial court judge in Melfort on Thursday.

Timing ‘could have been better’

Stang had to step away from the case as a result of the appointment, and a new timeline for the rest of the proceeding will be set Sept. 11.

La Loche school shooting Crown prosecutor Lloyd Stang

Crown prosecutor Lloyd Stang stepped away from the sentencing hearing after he was appointed as a judge. (CBC)

A new Crown prosecutor has to be brought up to speed on the case.

“The timing of this appointment could have been better,” a spokesperson for the ministry said Friday afternoon via email.

“Unfortunately an administrative error was made and Judge Stang was appointed before the conclusion of the sentencing hearing.”

Speaking in the Meadow Lake provincial courthouse on Friday, Judge Janet McIvor said the announcement about Stang’s appointment caught everyone by surprise.

“On behalf of the court I feel I must apologize,” said McIvor. “This has been an exceptional circumstance.”

4 killed, 7 wounded

On Jan. 22, 2016, the teenager in question stalked through a school in La Loche firing a shotgun. He killed teacher Adam Wood, 35, and teaching assistant Marie Janvier, 21.

He wounded seven others before eventually surrendering to police.

Earlier in the day, he shot and killed teenage brothers Dayne and Drayden Fontaine at a home in the village.

The sentencing hearing has been stretched out over several weeks throughout the summer, beginning in May, continuing in June and then resuming briefly last Friday, until newly revealed evidence unexpectedly cut proceedings short.

A central question expected at the sentencing hearing was the mental state of the teen at the time of the crimes. On Friday, the judge was expected to hear the findings of the Gladue report — which outlines factors in an Indigenous offender’s life that may have contributed to their criminal history.

Defence lawyer Aaron Fox La Loche, Sask. shooting

Defence lawyer Aaron Fox says the teen shooter has shown remorse for his actions and a youth facility would be the best place for him to get treatment. (CBC)

Two expert witnesses previously called by defence attorney Aaron Fox — psychiatrist Dr. Mansfield Mela and psychologist Dr. Monty Nelson — have signed a letter saying that evidence contained in that Gladue report supports their assertion the teen suffered from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

Questions over FASD

Stang had wanted to cross-examine those experts on Friday morning, prior to closing arguments. 

The Crown has argued for an adult sentence in the case, saying the seriousness of the crime and the fact the killer was only a few weeks shy of his 18th birthday when he carried out the shootings mean an adult sentence is appropriate. 

The defence maintains the teen should be sentenced as a youth, arguing he has shown remorse for his actions and that a youth facility would be the best place for him to get treatment.

Two of the surviving adult victims have said they want the teen sentenced as an adult.

The maximum youth sentence for first-degree murder is 10 years in custody. A youth sentenced as an adult receives an automatic life sentence with no parole possible for 10 years.

La Loche Mayor Robert St. Pierre expressed his concern about the latest delay, saying it makes it more difficult for his community to move on from the tragedy.

Drawn-out process

“As we get further into the fall, and towards Christmas, then we’re back in January,” said St. Pierre. “So we’re that much closer to that anniversary [of the killings], and the anxieties start percolating again.”

St. Pierre said the process has been long and drawn out.

“If we want to move on, we’ve got to get to that point,” he said. “We’re not at that point yet, and it’s going to be that much longer.”

Prosecutor Pouria Tabrizi-Reardigan will be taking over the file from Stang and said he wants to conclude the file as soon as possible.

The justice ministry said the hearing will continue to have appropriate Crown resources dedicated to it.

“We will ensure the case continues to be prosecuted as intended,” the spokesperson said.

“New processes have been implemented to ensure that this type of error never occurs again.”

Sask. Justice Ministry admits error in pulling prosecutor off La Loche shooter case

Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Justice is blaming “an administrative error” for a delay in the sentencing hearing for the teen responsible for the La Loche school shootings.

The teen, who cannot be named because of his age, has pleaded guilty to shooting and killing four people and wounding seven others in January 2016.

On Friday, the final arguments for the sentencing were expected to take place in Meadow Lake.

Instead, the process was adjourned after it was announced that the Crown prosecutor on the case, Lloyd Stang, had been appointed as a provincial court judge in Melfort on Thursday.

Timing ‘could have been better’

Stang had to step away from the case as a result of the appointment, and a new timeline for the rest of the proceeding will be set Sept. 11.

La Loche school shooting Crown prosecutor Lloyd Stang

Crown prosecutor Lloyd Stang stepped away from the sentencing hearing after he was appointed as a judge. (CBC)

A new Crown prosecutor has to be brought up to speed on the case.

“The timing of this appointment could have been better,” a spokesperson for the ministry said Friday afternoon via email.

“Unfortunately an administrative error was made and Judge Stang was appointed before the conclusion of the sentencing hearing.

“New processes have been implemented to ensure that this type of error never occurs again.”

The ministry went on to say that the hearing will continue to have appropriate Crown resources dedicated to it.

“We will ensure the case continues to be prosecuted as intended,” the spokesperson said.

‘That much closer to that anniversary’ 

Speaking in the Meadow Lake provincial courthouse on Friday, Judge Janet McIvor said the announcement about Stang’s appointment caught everyone by surprise.

Defence lawyer Aaron Fox La Loche, Sask. shooting

Defence lawyer Aaron Fox says the teen shooter has shown remorse for his actions and a youth facility would be the best place for him to get treatment. (CBC)

“On behalf of the court I feel I must apologize,” said McIvor. “This has been an exceptional circumstance.”

La Loche Mayor Robert St. Pierre expressed his concern about the latest development.

“As we get further into the fall, and towards Christmas, then we’re back in January,” said St. Pierre. “So we’re that much closer to that anniversary [of the killings], and the anxieties start percolating again.”

St. Pierre said the process has been long and drawn out.

“If we want to move on, we’ve got to get to that point,” he said. “We’re not at that point yet, and it’s going to be that much longer.”

New dates

The Crown has argued for an adult sentence in the case, saying the seriousness of the crime and the fact the killer was only a few weeks shy of his 18th birthday when he carried out the shootings mean an adult sentence is appropriate. 

The defence maintains the teen should be sentenced as a youth, arguing he has shown remorse for his actions and that a youth facility would be the best place for him to get treatment.

Prosecutor Pouria Tabrizi-Reardigan will be taking over the file from Stang and said he wants to conclude the file as soon as possible.

The sentencing hearing has been stretched out over several weeks throughout the summer, beginning in May, continuing in June and then resuming briefly last Friday, until newly revealed evidence unexpectedly cut proceedings short.

That evidence centred on a letter by two expert witnesses responding to a Gladue report — which outlines factors in an Indigenous offender’s life that may have contributed to their criminal history — and the diagnosis that the teen has fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

FASD diagnosis will be argued

On Jan. 22, 2016, the teenager in question stalked through a school in La Loche firing a shotgun. He killed teacher Adam Wood, 35, and teaching assistant Marie Janvier, 21.

He wounded seven others before eventually surrendering to police.

Earlier in the day, he shot and killed teenage brothers Dayne and Drayden Fontaine at a home in the village.

A central question expected at the sentencing hearing was the mental state of the teen at the time of the crimes. On Friday, the judge was expected to hear the findings of the Gladue report.

Two expert witnesses previously called by defence attorney Aaron Fox — psychiatrist Dr. Mansfield Mela and psychologist Dr. Monty Nelson — have signed a letter saying that evidence contained in that Gladue report supports their assertion the teen suffered from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

Stang had wanted to cross-examine those experts on Friday morning, prior to closing arguments.

Two of the surviving adult victims have said they want the teen sentenced as an adult.

The maximum youth sentence for first-degree murder is 10 years in custody. A youth sentenced as an adult receives an automatic life sentence with no parole possible for 10 years.

La Loche, Sask., residents disappointed in postponement of shooter sentencing

People from the village of La Loche, Sask., are disappointed after final arguments in the case of a teen shooter have been likely postponed for months.

The teen, who cannot be named because of his age, has pleaded guilty to shooting and killing four people and wounding seven others in January 2016.

The adjournment was required after Crown prosecutor Lloyd Stang was appointed as a judge, and could no longer continue on the case.

La Loche Mayor Robert St. Pierre expressed his concern about the latest development.

“As we get further into the fall, and towards Christmas, then we’re back in January,” said St. Pierre. “So we’re that much closer to that anniversary [of the killings], And the anxieties start percolating again.”

La Loche school shooting Crown prosecutor Lloyd Stang

Crown prosecutor Lloyd Stang stepped away from the sentencing hearing after he was appointed as a judge. (CBC)

Speaking in the Meadow Lake provincial courthouse, Judge Janet McIvor said the announcement caught everyone by surprise.

“On behalf of the court I feel I must apologize,” said McIvor. “This has been an exceptional circumstance.”

St. Pierre said the process has been long and drawn out.

“If we want to move on, we’ve got to get to that point,” he said. “We’re not at that point yet, and it’s going to be that much longer.”

New dates

The Crown has argued for an adult sentence in the case, saying the seriousness of the crime and the fact the killer was only a few weeks shy of his 18th birthday when he carried out the shootings mean an adult sentence is appropriate. 

Defence lawyer Aaron Fox La Loche, Sask. shooting

Defence lawyer Aaron Fox says the teen shooter has shown remorse for his actions and a youth facility would be the best place for him to get treatment. (CBC)

The defence maintains the teen should be sentenced as a youth, arguing he has shown remorse for his actions and that a youth facility would be the best place for him to get treatment.

Prosecutor Pouria Tabrizi-Reardigan will be taking over the file from Stang, who said he wants to conclude the file as soon as possible.

New dates for the proceeding will be set Sept. 11.

The sentencing hearing has been stretched out over several weeks throughout the summer, beginning in May, continuing in June and then resuming briefly last Friday, until newly revealed evidence unexpectedly cut proceedings short.

That evidence centred on a letter by two expert witnesses responding to a Gladue report — which outlines factors in an Indigenous offender’s life that may have contributed to their criminal history — and the diagnosis that the teen has fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

FASD diagnosis will be argued

Sask School Shooting 20170119

‘He and he alone is responsible for his acts,’ says Phyllis Longobardi, the former assistant principal at the La Loche school. She was shot during the rampage. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

On Jan. 22, 2016, the teenager in question stalked through a school in La Loche firing a shotgun. He killed teacher Adam Wood, 35, and teaching assistant Marie Janvier, 21.

He wounded seven others before eventually surrendering to police.

Earlier in the day, he shot and killed teenage brothers Dayne and Drayden Fontaine at a home in the village.

A central question expected at the sentencing hearing was the mental state of the teen at the time of the crimes. 

On Friday, the judge was expected to hear the findings of the Gladue report.

Two expert witnesses previously called by defence attorney Aaron Fox — psychiatrist Dr. Mansfield Mela and psychologist Dr. Monty Nelson — have signed a letter saying that evidence contained in that Gladue report supports their assertion the teen suffered from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

Stang, the Crown prosecutor in the case who is vacating the role, wants to cross-examine those experts on Friday morning, prior to closing arguments.

Weeks of emotional testimony 

The final arguments will come after weeks of emotional testimony, in which the court heard a host of victim impact statements and a statement from the shooter himself.

Phyllis Longobardi, the former assistant principal at the school, was shot during the rampage. She laid the blame for the shooting squarely at the feet of the young man.

“He and he alone is responsible for his acts. Not bullying, not suicide,” she told reporters during the sentencing hearing.

“[The shooter] should not be allowed to live a few years behind bars and then be able to forget.”

Later in the courtroom, the teen apologized to the families of the victims.

“‘I am sorry I ruined your life and took your daughter away,” he said to Janvier’s mother, who was in court.

After his arrest, the teen told an RCMP investigator the Fontaine brothers had not been “part of the plan.”

Two of the surviving adult victims have said they want the teen sentenced as an adult.

The maximum youth sentence for first-degree murder is 10 years in custody. A youth sentenced as an adult receives an automatic life sentence with no parole possible for 10 years.

After final arguments are heard, the judge will set aside another date for the actual announcement of her decision. 

Final arguments in La Loche shooter’s sentencing postponed after prosecutor appointed as judge

The final arguments in a sentencing hearing for the La Loche, Sask., teen who shot and killed four people and wounded seven others in one of the country’s worst mass shootings have been postponed.

The adjournment was required after Crown prosecutor Lloyd Stang was appointed as a judge, and could no longer continue on the case. Prosecutor Pouria Tabrizi-Reardigan will be taking over the file.

“On behalf of the court I feel I must apologize,” said Judge Janet McIvor. “This has been an exceptional circumstance.”

Judge McIvor said the announcement caught everyone by surprise.

The teen has pleaded guilty to the January 2016 shootings in the northern Saskatchewan village, but cannot be named because he was a youth at the time of the crime. 

La Loche school shooting Crown prosecutor Lloyd Stang

Crown prosecutor Lloyd Stang is arguing for an adult sentence for the teen who killed four people in La Loche, Sask. (CBC)

The Crown has argued for an adult sentence in the case, saying the seriousness of the crime and the fact the killer was only a few weeks shy of his 18th birthday when he carried out the shooting rampage mean an adult sentence is appropriate. 

The defence maintains the teen should be sentenced as youth, arguing he has shown remorse for his actions, and that a youth facility would be the best place for him to get treatment. 

New dates for the proceeding will be set Sept. 11.

The sentencing hearing has been stretched out over several weeks throughout the summer, beginning in May, continuing in June and then resuming briefly last Friday, until newly revealed evidence unexpectedly cut proceedings short.

That evidence centred around a letter by two expert witnesses responding to a Gladue report — which outlines factors in an Indigenous offender’s life that may have contributed to their criminal history — and the diagnosis that the teen has fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

FASD diagnosis will be argued

Defence lawyer Aaron Fox La Loche, Sask. shooting

Defence lawyer Aaron Fox says the teen shooter has shown remorse for his actions and a youth facility would be the best place for him to get treatment. (CBC)

On Jan. 22, 2016, the teenager stalked through a school in La Loche, firing a shotgun. He killed teacher Adam Wood, 35, and teaching assistant Marie Janvier, 21.

He wounded seven others before eventually surrendering to police. 

Earlier in the day, he shot and killed teenage brothers Dayne and Drayden Fontaine at a home in the village. 

A central question expected at this hearing was the mental state of the teen at the time of those crimes. 

On Friday, the judge was also expected to hear the findings of the Gladue report.

Sask School Shooting 20170119

‘He and he alone is responsible for his acts,’ says Phyllis Longobardi, the former assistant principal at the La Loche school. She was shot during the rampage. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

Two expert witnesses previously called by defence attorney Aaron Fox — psychiatrist Dr. Mansfield Mela and psychologist Dr. Monty Nelson — have signed a letter saying that evidence contained in that Gladue report supports their assertion the teen suffered from fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. 

The Crown prosecutor in the case, Lloyd Stang, wants to cross-examine those experts on Friday morning, prior to closing arguments.

Weeks of emotional testimony 

The final arguments will come after weeks of emotional testimony in which the court heard a host of victim impact statements and a statement from the shooter himself.

Phyllis Longobardi, the former assistant principal at the school was shot during the rampage. She laid the blame for the shooting squarely at the feet of the young man.

“He and he alone is responsible for his acts. Not bullying, not suicide,” she told reporters during the sentencing hearing.

“[The shooter] should not be allowed to live a few years behind bars and then be able to forget.”

Later in the courtroom, the teen apologized to each one of his victims by name.

“‘I am sorry I ruined your life and took your daughter away,” he said to Janvier’s mother, who was in court.

After his arrest, the teen told an RCMP investigator the Fontaine brothers had not been “part of the plan.”

Two of the surviving adult victims have said they want the teen sentenced as an adult.

The maximum youth sentence for first-degree murder is 10 years in custody. A youth sentenced as an adult receives an automatic life sentence with no parole possible for 10 years.

After final arguments are heard, the judge will set aside another date for the actual announcement of her decision.