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Elderly couple dies after car struck by train in Langley, says fire official





An elderly couple died after their car was struck by a train in Langley, according to firefighters.

Brian Godlonton, deputy fire chief for Langley Fire Rescue Services says the small, white car was hit around 9:30 a.m. PT on the Langley bypass at Glover Road.

“As you can see the car’s been pushed quite a ways down the tracks,” Godlonton told reporters Sunday afternoon at the crash scene.

Firefighters were first to the area and pulled the two victims from the car. Neither passengers could be revived and were pronounced dead.

Ken Enns, a local resident, saw the car being pushed by the train. “It was pretty ugly,” he said,

The train was a Canadian National Railway freight train, operating on Canadian Pacific Rail tracks. It was heading to Roberts Bank, loaded down with coal, Godlonton said.

‘Unfortunately, they happen far too often,’ said Brian Godlonton, deputy fire chief with Langley Fire Rescue Services about vehicle and train collisions in Langley B.C. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

Staff Sgt. David Brown with Langley RCMP said the intersection is well marked with flashing lights and arms.

“We do not understand why the vehicle stopped on the tracks,” he said.

Brown said it appeared that the car became stuck between the arms of the train track, which come down to stop traffic, and was dragged.

Firefighters, police and paramedics responded to the scene after 9:30 a.m. PT on Sunday Dec. 20, 2018. (Shane MacKichan)

Godlonton said the area has more than 30 trains passing through each day. He agreed with Brown that the tracks are well-marked.

June Fancello, who works at a local bakery, said she drives across the tracks everyday, coming to and from work.

“Normally, people being responsible drivers, I don’t see there being any problems,” Fancello said, describing the accident as “horrific.”

There have been other incidents of vehicles being hit by trains at other intersections in Langley where the rail tracks run.

Godlonton said safety officials from B.C. and Alberta recently held a round table to address rail safety.

As investigators continue to probe the cause, he appealed to motorists to use caution.

“Everybody is in a hurry to get to where we’re going, but you need to approach these railway crossings with caution because as you can see the outcomes aren’t great when anything is colliding with the train,” he said.


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‘Too soon to celebrate’ Ottawa’s low case count, says Etches





Ottawa Public Health (OPH) logged just 11 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the lowest daily total since Sept. 1.

Because of the lag between testing and reporting, the low number could simply reflect low turnout at the city’s testing sites on weekends — all month, new case counts have been lower on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 

During a virtual news conference Tuesday, the city’s medical officer of health Dr. Vera Etches said she doesn’t read too much into a single day’s report.

“I don’t think we can make too much of 11. Actually, it could be a lot higher tomorrow — I would expect that, on average,” she said. “It’s too soon to celebrate.”

Provincewide, public health officials reported 1, 249 new cases Tuesday.

OPH also declared 62 cases resolved Tuesday, lowering the number of known active cases in the city to 462. Two more people have died, both in care homes currently experiencing outbreaks, raising the city’s COVID-19 death toll to 361. 

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Santa Claus isn’t coming to Ottawa’s major malls this year





Santa Claus may still be coming to town this Christmas, but he won’t be dropping by any of Ottawa’s major malls, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, Cadillac Fairview said Santa won’t be making an appearance at any of its 19 malls across Canada, including Rideau Centre in downtown Ottawa. On Tuesday, Bayshore and St. Laurent shopping centres confirmed they, too, are scrapping the annual tradition.

“Due to the evolution of the situation in regards to COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our Santa Program and Gift Wrap Program this year,” Bayshore spokesperson Sara Macdonald wrote in an email to CBC.

Macdonald said parent company Ivanhoé Cambridge cancelled all holiday activities “due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country.”

Macdonald said families that had already booked an appointment to visit Santa will receive an email with more information.  

Virtual visits with Santa

Rideau Centre said based on customer research and discussions with public health officials, its North Pole is going online this year.

“Children will be able to have a private chat with Santa,” said Craig Flannagan, vice-president of marketing for Cadillac Fairview. “You’ll also be able to join a 15-minute storytime with Santa over Facebook Live.” 

At Place d’Orléans Shopping Centre, visitors are invited to take a “selfie with Santa” — actually, a life-size cutout of Santa Pierre, the man who’s been playing Santa at the east end mall for years.

“We understand that this is not ideal, but in lieu of this tradition we will be doing what we can to maintain and encourage holiday cheer,” according to a statement on the mall’s Facebook page.

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Ottawa Bylaw breaks up two large parties in Ottawa over the weekend





OTTAWA — Ottawa Bylaw is investigating social gatherings of more than 10 people in private homes across Ottawa last weekend.

Mayor Jim Watson tells Newstalk 580 CFRA that Ottawa Bylaw broke-up two house parties over the weekend, with 20 to 25 people at each party.

“That’s the kind of stupidity that angers me, that’s where the bulk of the transmissions are taking place, if we exclude the tragedy of the long-term care homes; it’s these house parties with unrelated people,” said Watson on Newstalk 580 CFRA’s Ottawa at Work with Leslie Roberts.

“The message doesn’t seem to be getting through, particularly to some young people who think they’re invincible.”

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Bylaw and Regulatory Services Director Roger Chapman says, “There are still ongoing investigations from this past weekend that could result in charges.”

Chapman says recent investigations led to two charges being issued for social gatherings of more than 10 people in a private residence in contravention of the Reopening Ontario Act.

“In one case, up to 30 individuals were observed attending a house party in Ward 18 on Oct. 24,” said Chapman.

“The second charge was issued following a house party in Ward 16 on Oct. 31, where up to 16 individuals were observed to be in attendance.”

The fine is $880 for hosting an illegal gathering.

Alta Vista is Ward 18, while Ward 16 is River Ward.

Ottawa Bylaw has issued 24 charges for illegal gatherings since the start of the pandemic.

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