As the on-site investigation into a house explosion in Mississauga comes to a close, residents are being allowed to return to the site and investigators are shifting their focus to mysterious letters found at the scene in an attempt to determine the cause of the blast.
About 700 homes were evacuated after a house located at 4201 Hickory Dr. was levelled by an explosion around 4:20 p.m. Tuesday, leaving as many as 25 neighbouring residences damaged and nine people injured.
Two bodies were recovered from the rubble, 55-year-old Dianne Page on Tuesday and 55-year-old Robert Nadler on Thursday. Police said Thursday that although the explosion is considered a criminal investigation, the homicide bureau is not yet involved.
READ MORE: Mississauga house explosion: Investigators identify second body pulled from rubble
Paul Camilleri, Page’s nephew, told Global News Saturday that Nadler had served 10 years in prison in connection with the killing of a friend after a dispute over money in 1982.
“We had a happy family until this all happened,” Camilleri said.
“We can’t get back our aunt, none of us personally said our goodbyes … I’m basically going to live my entire life in regret that this happened.”
WATCH: Nephew of house explosion victim says aunt was ‘wonderful person,’ deeply religious
Peel Regional Police Sgt. Josh Colley said Monday that police and the Ontario Fire Marshal had concluded their on-site portion of the investigation, which now shifts towards the letters found at the scene.
“They’ll be working extremely hard to analyze letters that were found, some of the documentation that was found … and it will continue behind the scenes,” he said.
“They’re still working on the cause of the explosion and that will take some time and we want to make sure that we analyze all the evidence and are certain with the cause.”
READ MORE: Mississauga house explosion: Investigators identify body of woman found in rubble
Colley said expert analysis of the evidence is required, which could take weeks, so he could not provide a time frame on the investigation.
“I spoke earlier about handwriting analysis, the biggest portion is making sure the letters are associated to the right addresses,” he said.
“Because there have been numerous houses that were destroyed, we just have to make sure that what we have recovered thus far we can put back to the specific addresses.”
WATCH: Police still working to determine cause of Mississauga house explosion
Colley said the cause of the explosion is the main focus of the investigation and that autopsies on both bodies had been completed, but the cause of death was not released.
“Unfortunately that’s part of the investigation and that’s why they’re analyzing every piece of evidence,” he said.
“They want to be certain when a determination is made whether deliberate, accidental so that’s what’s taking so much time with this investigation.”
READ MORE: Mysterious notes found at Mississauga house explosion scene may lead to cause: police
Colley said he could not confirm Nadler’s criminal background because it is something police will be focusing on as part of their investigation.
“When we’re able to provide more information and we’ve figured out a cause and moved forward from there, we’ll be able to provide a lot more information to the media and to the public just to give them a sense of why and how this happened,” he said.
Colley said Wednesday that notes found at the scene of the explosion could provide insight into the cause of the blast.
WATCH: Investigators looking at mysterious notes found in rubble of Mississauga home explosion
Global News obtained one of the notes found at the scene and turned it over to police Wednesday.
The notes appear to be written by a woman who complains of an inability to maintain her house due to persistent health issues.
“I am sorry the house is a mess. I stopped vacumming [sic] when the power went off in the upstairs bathrooms. I stopped ironing a few month ago; When I could not stand up for long periods of time. I stopped dusting when I had to deal with my vertigo (the last year it began and now I have it often),” the note stated.
“I just stopped caring as much because of my pain … I trust God to look after me and my husband to take us home. I sleep away my days cause I am in pain. Vertigo is the worst.”
The notes also make several references to the Bible and the woman’s husband, who was also categorized as having health issues.
“Dear God, You know that my health and my husband’s health are in poor condition. We ask that you help us, we have trusted you with all of our lives and possessions because everything belongs to you; including us,” it reads.
“We have put all of our faith and trust in you. Only you can save us from man and his laws … Why are we still here God?”
WATCH: 700 addresses initially impacted by evacuation in Mississauga: fire chief
Mississauga Fire Chief Tim Beckett said Monday families in 69 residences remain under an evacuation order, but residents will continue to be allowed back to their homes this week.
“Over the period of the next couple of days we will start releasing that site, whether it be all at once or within sections, back to the residents, back to the insurance companies and in a very co-ordinated effort to ensure that the residents’ safety and the safety of any public coming into the area is addressed,” he said.
“On Tuesday, the night of the explosion, we had some 700 addresses that were impacted by the evacuation zone. Over time we have now been able to bring people back into the area and we’re now currently at 69 addresses that are unable to return to their homes.”
READ MORE: Explosion destroys home in Mississauga; at least 1 person dead, up to 25 houses damaged
Beckett added that of the 69 addresses, 32 units were in an apartment building located at 1360 Rathburn Road East in addition to 37 other homes.
He also said that some residents will be allowed into their homes on a 15-minute supervised visit to get their “personal needs,” before the homes are turned over to insurance companies and engineers are brought in to assess structural damage and whether they are safe to be occupied.
“Walking down the street was a little surreal just seeing where houses were and where it no longer is,” said neighbour Anna Wolanin.
“We eventually walked up the steps and they deemed that we could not go in to retrieve things. There’s a lot of glass everywhere, the ceiling is hanging.”
WATCH: Residents returning to site of Mississauga house explosion
Marco Mastrorilli said his grandparents live a few houses down from the blast, while his uncle lives across the street.
“It’s just devastating to see what happened. Never expected anything like this in my life,” he said. “I’ve been visiting them … for 17 years and never, never in my life expected this.”
Sandra Marasovic said emergency crews allowed her back into her house to retrieve some of her belongings and she’s grateful for the help they have provided.
WATCH: Displaced residents speak out after Mississauga house explosion
“That was the best phone call I’ve ever had in my life when they said, ‘You can go to your house for 10 minutes,’” she said.
“I was so ecstatic just to be in there for 10 minutes and see everything’s fine —; yeah there’s broken stuff but you know, it’s your life, your life is in there.”
Excitement was building Monday as NASA — as well as both professional and amateur astronomers — anxiously awaited the arrival of Juno, the first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter since Galileo came to an end in 2003.
Overall, Juno’s mission is to better understand the evolution of Jupiter, a planet so large that more than 1,300 Earths could fit inside it. Jupiter, and its collection of more than 60 moons, has presented planetary scientists and astronomers with many mysteries yet to be uncovered.
WATCH LIVE: Juno mission to Jupiter
READ MORE: WATCH: Hubble captures brilliant aurora on Jupiter as Juno spacecraft nears
Scientists hope to explore Jupiter’s atmosphere in an effort to ascertain how much water it contains. This, in turn, will help planetary scientists to determine if theories on planet formation are correct.
Juno’s journey to Jupiter
Juno’s journey to Jupiter
Jupiter: Into the Unknown (NASA Juno Mission Trailer)
Hubble captures bright aurora in Jupiter’s north pole
NASA’s Juno spacecraft makes its way to Jupiter
Our solar system was created from a swirling cloud of dust and gases. When Jupiter — a giant gas planet — formed, it held on to much of that primordial material, acting like a giant history book. Juno will measure not only the water but other elements such as ammonia contained in the atmosphere, which will lead to a better understanding of our early solar system formation.
Then there is Jupiter’s rich and interesting cloud system, something that it is well known for, most notably, the largest and longest-lasting storm known in our solar system, the Great Red Spot.
Like the sun, different parts of Jupiter rotate at different speeds, depending on the latitude. This churns up gases and produces the colourful bands of clouds we see today. Juno will study their composition, temperature and motions and will also measure the clouds to unprecedented depths.
An illustration depicting Jupiter’s interior.
One of the most interesting things about Jupiter is its powerful magnetic field. It is the strongest of any other planet in our solar system.
WATCH: Astrophysicist Jesse Rogerson joined Global News to discuss the significance of Juno reaching Jupiter.
Here on Earth, our magnetic field is created by a combination of a liquid layer of iron, nickel and other metals around our inner solid core where the flow of liquid iron becomes electrically charged.
READ MORE: Juno’s mission to Jupiter: 7 weird and wonderful facts about this giant planet
When it comes to Jupiter, scientists believe that the powerful magnetic field is created as hydrogen is squeezed into metallic hydrogen where it acts like an electrically conducting metal.
Jupiter’s intense magnetic field allows for bright, strong aurorae at its poles, just like our northern and southern lights here.
Juno will sample some the charged particles and magnetic fields near Jupiter’s poles while also observing the aurorae.
Scientists hope that studying this relationship will help better understand magnetic fields as well as aurorae.
Measuring the magnetic field will also help scientists determine if Jupiter has a solid core, something that remains unknown.
When protesters across the country occupied the offices of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) in April, the groups vowed to stay until their demands were met.
In Toronto, the sit-in lasted nine days. Vancouver protesters left after six days.
However, outside the INAC office in Regina, the protest continues 78 days after it started.
READ MORE: Protest held outside Regina Indigenous and Northern Affairs office, doors closed to public
Since April, the camp on Albert Street has grown from a table and a few chairs to 11 sleeping tents, a large kitchen tent and a traditional teepee where group meetings and smudge ceremonies are held.
Prescott Demas joined the ‘Colonialism No More’ camp three days into the protest.
“The more I learned, the more I wanted to be involved [and] the more important it seemed,” he said.
In those 78 days the group has faced hurdles, both man-made and natural.
READ MORE: Fence erected outside Indigenous and Northern Affairs office in Regina
Just days after ‘Colonialism No More’ set up camp, a fence was erected that pushed protesters further from the building. INAC said in a statement at the time that it did not request the fence. It was eventually taken down.
The group of protesters have also been at the mercy of mother nature. Demas said the building creates swirling winds that have uprooted tents and even the teepee.
“The wind was gusting around 70 [km/h] that day and it took the teepee onto Albert St.”
READ MORE: ‘Colonialism No More’ protestors mark one month outside Regina’s INAC office
Now the camp faces the threat of eviction from the building’s property manager. According to Demas, Anderson Builders Group 1989 Inc. has talked to the protesters about landscaping plans that would prevent the group from pitching their tents on the building’s property.
“He’s been opposed to us being here pretty much since the start,” Demas said.
When Global News reached out to Anderson Builders Group 1989 Inc. they provided no comment.
Protesters said Monday that they have no intentions of leaving their camp.
Colonialism No More lists their long-term demands as follows:
that the true spirit and intent of the Treaties be upheldthat the Treaty rights of urban, off-reserve Indigenous peoples be respected and upheldthat the Indian Act be revoked
KELOWNA —; Matthew Jensen was confronted with a sight no parent wants to see: mould in his children’s bedroom.
Jensen has had ongoing issues with leaks in his house at Hiawatha Mobile Home Park since he moved in two years ago. The wet ceiling in the living room, creating an environment were more mould could grow.
“We have a fear factor about the mould that’s present. ” said Jensen.
“We have a standing concern that it is going to have long-term implications, even though it isn’t manifesting itself, it’s too risky, so we have to go.”
The issue has already forced one of his neighbours to move out earlier this past spring.
READ MORE: Mould forces Kelowna family out of their home
Westcorp Property Management purchased the park in 2007 with plans to develop the land.
Due to mould complaints, the developer hired inspectors this past spring, who confirmed more than half of the trailers in the park have issues.
“Fifty-one units have been identified as having mould or have the susceptibility for mould because there’s already elevated moisture content,” explained Gail Temple, a vice-president of Westcorp.
“We are waiting for their lease to end, and then we are not going to extend the lease to them. We are just going to decommission the units after that.”
She said two homes had dangerous levels of mould so those residents were assisted to move right away, adding other residents of the other units shouldn’t be concerned.
However, resident Michelle Simpson believes the exposure of the mould outside of her trailer and in neighbourhing homes is the reason why her young son is consistently sick.
“He gets coughing, vomiting. It is just horrible,” Simpson said.
Her lease ends in September but despite her health concerns, Simpson said she has nowhere to go.
“I can’t afford a place on my own in Kelowna. It sucks. It’s going to be hard.”
Simpson won’t be alone trying to find rare, affordable housing.
Westcorp has warned all Hiawatha residents it won’t be renewing any more leases past this winter.
It plans to start constructing townhouses next year.
2016 marked the 19th annual Western Canadian Amateur Motocross Nationals at the Temple Hill Motorcycle Park in Raymond, Alberta.
Hundreds of motocross athletes took to the two kilometere race track to be crowned the best racer in the amateur ranks.
The track is one of the most difficult in North America, with elevation changes and a wide variety of obstacles.
Riders as young as four-years-old participated in the event.
“It’s about the confidence and the speed,” said eight-year-old Evan Kingma.
Evan and his twin brother, Austin, have been riding dirt bikes since they were two-years-old, and have been competing for the last two years.
It’s not uncommon to see young riders on the Temple Hill track; in fact, Lethbridge Motorcycle Club President, Scott Lowry says the younger the rider the better.
“The bikes are smaller and there are surprisingly less injuries,” said Lowry. “They’re pretty good little riders.”
For younger riders it’s about learning the fundamentals.
“It’s more about having fun and learning how to ride a bike,” said Lowry. “As they grow into racers they develop that competitive edge.”
The confidence that young riders develop while racing can sometimes ensure a winning ride.
“It’s not a team sport, it’s just them by themselves out there,” said Evan and Austin’s father, Adam Kingma. “They’re making all the decision and it’s fantastic seeing them making the right decisions.”
The decision-making skills that the riders develop can also help them off the track.
“Riding is something that can build confidence and prepare you for life,” said Lowry.
For many, the sport of motocross is a family affair, with parents passing down their need for speed to their children. Parents say that although it can be nerve-wracking to watch, it is just as rewarding to see the next generation of riders grow into champions.
“We’re in it for good rides and that’s what it’s all about,” said Adam Kingma. “As long as they’re enjoying it we’re going to keep doing it.”
Many professional motocross riders were once in the same position as these young amateurs.
“There are lots of really good riders that have come through and raced this exact event and this same track and have gone on to have very successful careers.” Said Lowry.
A 16-year-old girl is facing a second-degree murder charge in the death of a six-week-old boy after he died in Saskatoon Sunday morning.
Saskatoon police responded to a home in the 200 block of Waterloo Crescent at around 7 a.m. CT Sunday, where they found the injured infant boy. He later died at Royal University Hospital.
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A police service spokesperson confirmed the boy’s age Monday; however authorities have not said how he died.
The 16-year-old girl, who cannot be named, made a brief first court appearance Monday morning. She lowered her head almost immediately after walking into the court room and didn’t look up to face the judge or gallery.
Roughly two dozen people left the room after her appearance concluded.
READ MORE: Photo released of suspect in Saskatoon’s 8th homicide of 2016
The girl is also charged with breaching two conditions of a previous youth sentence. Those stem from a December 2015 guilty plea in a case out of North Battleford.
The girl had pleaded guilty to a number of charges that spanned from January to August 2015, according to court documents. The incidents included setting fire to a home and theft with a weapon in North Battleford.
The girl was also charged with an assault causing bodily harm and assault with a weapon in August of 2015 in Meadow Lake.
She is expected to be back in Saskatoon provincial court Tuesday morning.
WINNIPEG —; The sight of seeing a small passenger plane crash into a field is a moment Heather Manchulenko said she will never forget.
“This is the kind of thing you see on movies, not in real life. And just horrible, right away,” Manchulenko said.
A Piper PA-28 plane crashed on the eastern outskirts of Winnipeg, near Deacons Corner, on Canada Day. Two members of the Canadian Forces, Capt. Zachary Cloutier-Gill and Capt. Bradley Ashcroft, who were off-duty at the time, were killed.
Manchulenko and her family was driving south on the Perimeter on Friday morning, near the TransCanada Highway, when they noticed a plane taking off from Lyncrest Airfield. She said the plane appeared to be flying very low to the ground and was having a difficult time gaining altitude.
“Instead of flying up, the plane did a complete nosedive, disappeared behind the hill again and then there was a big cloud of smoke,” Manchulenko explained.
She said her husband Kevin ran towards the crash site seconds after it landed but was blocked off by the Red River Floodway. The remains of the plane had been consumed by flames and Manchulenko said they were distraught that they were not able to get the men help in time.
“No matter how hard we wanted – nothing we could do.”
Flags at 17 Wing air base are now at half mast, as both Cloutier-Gill and Ashcroft were Royal Canadian Air Force members and worked at 1 Canadian Air Division.
“Winnipeg and Manitoba is the beating heart of the air force. To lose two members of our RCAF family is very shocking and very sad for all of us,” said David Lavalee, public affairs officer of 1 Canadian Air Division.
The Transportation Safety Board said its investigators are continuing to pick through the wreckage in order to determine the cause of the crash and expects to have answers shortly. It confirmed on Monday that the small plane did not have a blackbox on board.
Saskatoon residents have been doing a little less swatting and slapping this summer. The annual return of mosquitoes hasn’t been as bad as in years past but city officials say you’ll still want to be prepared as the risk of West Nile climbs over the next few weeks.
“To date they’ve been right on our five year average or a little bit low,” said Jeff Boone, the city’s supervisor of pest management.
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READ MORE: Reduce the risk of contracting West Nile virus: Saskatchewan health officials
According to Boone, the number of mosquitoes per trap, per week has mostly been in the single digits.
In the spring, city crews began to control the population at it’s aquatic life stage.
“We target the larval stage of mosquitoes, it’s much more effective to target the larval stages because the larval are isolated to the water bodies so we use a biological insecticide on the water to help kill immature mosquitoes.”
Plus, Boone said timely rains have helped for small skeeter numbers in Saskatoon.
“The nice thing is our rains have been fairly evenly spaced out so they’ve had an opportunity for our crews to get in there and treat any standing water and then also there’s been a certain amount of drying between each rain event,” he said.
READ MORE: Global scientists begin large study of 10,000 pregnant women in Zika-hit areas
Although there aren’t as many mosquitoes to swat and slap away, the risk of West Nile virus is still there.
“We’ve seen Culex tarsalis, the mosquito that vectors the West Nile virus but in very, very low numbers.”
The threat is about to increase as the number of mosquitoes carrying the virus typically peaks on August long weekend.
Health Canada recommends using insect repellents that contain DEET and cover exposed skin to prevent mosquito bites. City officials say residents can also assist in reducing mosquito populations by simply eliminating standing water on your property.
“Reducing standing water is a huge benefit to us because, standing water can allow mosquitoes to develop in as little as four days,” Boone said.
READ MORE: How do you avoid mosquito bites? Edmonton elementary school students weigh in
According to other experts, mosquitoes can lay eggs in as little as two ounces of water and over a thousand eggs can be laid in one cup of water over a season.
“So removing any standing water from the backyards is very, very helpful, also netting surfaces where you can’t remove standing water like rain barrels, making sure eaves-troughs are clean. All of that helps to reduce the mosquito population,” Boone added.
Small business owner Judi Dormaar is paying close attention in her two local stores as the minimum wage creeps closer to 15 dollars an hour.
“I believe people deserve that, but as a small business owner, how do I absorb that?” Dormaar said. “I think I’m going to have to make some changes. You know, I’ll have to put in some hours myself, even though I already work a lot of hours, but I’ll make changes where I’ll probably have to cut some staff hours.”
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Minimum wage in Saskatchewan going up in October
Minimum wage increase not mentioned in 2016 provincial budget
The Government of Alberta is moving full steam ahead on its plan to raise the minimum wage. There is an increase in the amount every October until it maxes out at 15 dollars an hour in 2018. The raise is hoping to address the issue that more than 300,000 Albertan’s make less than that.
READ MORE: Alberta updates plans to bring in $15/h minimum wage
President of the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce, Harry Gross, said there are other solutions that should be addressed before the wages go up.
“Approximately 60 per cent of the people at minimum wage are women, how do we solve that issue?” Gross said. “If it’s truly a training issue or an education issue then lets spend time focusing on that. If it’s an apprenticeship issue then again, lets focus on solving the issues.”
Dormaar said without sound financial planning, some local businesses could be closing their doors.
“A store can’t stay open if you’re just paying the rent and paying wages of people. You have to make more than that to sustain your own living,” she said. “I expect there are going to be some changes, or people will start and won’t last as long as they used to.”
While the onus is on the business owner to adjust to the new realities, there are ways the average consumer can help.
“I think more than ever, it’s going to be important to support your local businesses,” Dormaar said.
Until then, she said all you can do is stay positive, and plan ahead.
Prince Amponsah has a commanding presence as makes his entrance in a local production of “The Changeling,” but getting back onstage was intimidating for the 30-year-old.
“It was hard to imagine going back into it again, especially right after the accident,” he said.
The “accident’ was an electrical fire that tore through Amponsah’s rental apartment in November 2012.
“I stumbled out to the hallway but I wasn’t able to get any farther, I had collapsed and passed out,” he said, adding that he doesn’t remember it himself.
Amponsah’s roommate ran back into the burning building and dragged him out to safety.
“He was right next to the door frame but his pants were on fire. It was like a nightmare,” said Pawel Tosick.
“Waking up from that fire, you know pulling him out, and then seeing the city lights kind of expose him, it was kind of like a horror movie.”
In a way, that was only the beginning for Amponsah.
He was in a medically induced coma for three weeks. Doctors and family described to him how badly he was inured, but he was in a fog due to the medication, so it took awhile for the extent of his injuries to sink in.
“People were telling me my arms had been amputated and it just wasn’t registering,” Amponsah said.
“But as I was slowly coming to and off the medication, I was able to lift my head and look at my body and saw all the bandages and my missing arms and I just remember this huge shiver going through my body and then everything sort of dawned on me at that point.”
Since then, it’s been nearly four years of multiple surgeries, physiotherapy and excruciating pain.
Amponsah said the biggest hurdle has been swallowing his pride and accepting help, even asking for it. Something he’s doing now, by raising money through an online fundraiser for a prosthetic arm he can control through muscle signals.
For him, surviving the fire changed his perspective and there’s no holding back.
“Just jump off the cliff and just go for it, you know? Because when you’re close to losing your life, you really do start to appreciate everything,” he said.
“It gave me the chance to look back and think what could I have missed out on?”
His doctors said he has never stopped pushing himself.
“He lives independently, he’s out acting and being an activist and he’s really made a remarkable recovery,” said Dr. Amanda Mayo, a physiatrist at St. John’s Rehab.
Amponsah wants to help other survivors get to that place, so he is going to university for social work in the fall.
“Hopefully someone can hear my story and whatever they’re going through can sort of relate to it in some way or see that it is possible to get through what they’re going through,” he said, adding he is just thrilled he has a second chance at life —; an encore if you will.
WINNIPEG – It was a sight for sore eye for fans of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Monday.
Receiver Weston Dressler was back on the practice field after sitting out last week’s game and barring a setback he’ll be back in the lineup on Thursday when the Bombers face the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Dressler, 31, suffered what was suspected to be a concussion. He left the game in the first quarter of their home opener against the Montreal Alouettes after a violent helmet-on-helmet collision.
“Yeah, I’ve gotten hit hard many times, but you know that’s football.” said Dressler. “Just get up and try to go on to the next play.”
RELATED: Winnipeg Blue Bombers WR Weston Dressler to miss Friday’s game
Dressler was criticized by some for not trying to avoid the hit by getting out of bounds. He said in hindsight, he probably should have just ran to the sidelines to avoid the collision.
“Some people say get out of bounds in that situation. In my eyes at that time, second and long is a bad situation for the team.” Dressler said. “In hindsight, obviously with the injury coming out, might have been better off going out of bounds, but that’s football.”
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Dressler has been cleared by doctors to play this week. He said he’s suffered a concussion before, but that was “a long time ago”.
“I feel like I’ve always been a smart player.” said Dressler. “Sometimes you got to take calculated risks and that’s football. You can’t play scared of getting hit, you can’t play scared at all.”
WATCH: Weston Dressler discusses his return to the lineup this week