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Girlfriend of man shot to death by Edmonton police claims officers used excessive force

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The girlfriend of a wanted man killed by police on Boxing Day in an Edmonton parking lot believes police used excessive force.

Buck Evans, 34, was shot by multiple officers around 2 p.m. last Wednesday after the truck he was riding in was stopped by police in the parking lot of the Urban Village condo complex.

‘We all bleed the same’

“I had to watch someone I love gunned down, when literally there could’ve been different ways of going about it,” ​ Melissa Dumais said in an interview with CBC News. “I just don’t see how it’s fair. We all bleed the same. We all feel the same.” 

Dumais said she has been consulting with a lawyer and plans to pursue litigation against the officers involved. 

“I hope that I can get the cops that did this to him, because I am going to be taking it to court,” Dumais said. “I have enough evidence that this was excessive force.

“It may make my life a living hell, in the end. So be it.” 

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), an independent provincial agency, is investigating the shooting. The organization investigates actions involving Alberta police that result in serious injury or death.

Edmonton police say Buck Evans had several outstanding warrants and was considered armed and dangerous. (Facebook)

In a statement released last week, ASIRT said Evans refused to get out of the truck when ordered to by police. ASIRT said Evans fired a gun before he was shot by the officers.

At the time, Evans was wanted in connection with an ongoing investigation and had outstanding warrants against him. Police believed he was armed and dangerous, and a tactical unit had been following the truck.

“Independent evidence gathered to date would suggest that the man was in possession of a firearm and that the firearm was, in fact, discharged by the man,” the ASIRT release said.

Dumais said she was in the truck with Evans and a friend on the day of the shooting. She said police stopped them and ordered her and their friend to get out of the truck.

After speaking to Evans, she got out and was arrested. Dumais said Evans had tears in his eyes when he spoke to her.

Edmonton police shot and killed a 34-year-old man Wednesday. ASIRT is still investigating. 1:03

She said when she got out of the truck, Evans was sitting in the backseat with his hands up.

“The gun was nowhere near his hands,” she said. “The driver had his hands up, I had my hands up. And Buck had his hands up.”

Dumais said she knew Evans had a gun when she got into the truck earlier that day.

“He knew what was coming,” said Dumais, who had been dating Evans for about two months. “He knew he was going to die that day.”

She said the gun was on the floor when she got out of the truck.

Video of the incident shows police vehicles surrounding a truck near the Urban Village condo complex in southeast Edmonton. A barrage of gunfire can be heard on the video.

“The amount of gunshots that I heard go off, it just goes to show that either way he was going to die that day,” Dumais said. “Whether he complied or he didn’t.”

Dumais was in handcuffs across the parking lot when the police began firing. The last time she saw Evans, he was being loaded into a stretcher. 

She said she knew he was dead. 

“Being handcuffed, there was nothing I could do,” she said. “You want to be there for the person you love. You want to be beside them when they take their last breath.”

Change in behaviour

Dumais said Evan’s demeanour had changed in the days leading up to his death. He seemed frantic and was constantly looking over his shoulder.

“He told me that he felt like something bad was going to happen,” she said. 

When she saw the gun in the truck, Dumais said, she questioned Evans about it. She described it as an SKS, a type of semi-automatic rifle.

“I seen that, and I instantly knew something was wrong.”

Dumais, who shared an apartment with Evans in the west end, said she did not know that he was wanted on outstanding warrants.

“I just want people to know that Buck wasn’t a monster that they portrayed him out to be. He had a good heart. He’s gone through a lot, but he’s still a good person at the end of it all.”

ASIRT did not respond to an inquiry from CBC News. It is not known when their final report on the shooting will be released.

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Future of Ottawa: Chefs with Kathryn Ferries

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This week in the Future of Ottawa series, we’re taking a deep dive into the bar and restaurant industry—what it’s like now and where it’s headed. Read on for a guest post from Kat Ferries on the future of chefs, or read posts from Quinn Taylor on bars or Justin Champagne on fine dining.

Kat Ferries is Sous-Chef at Stofa Restaurant and a 2020 San Pellegrino North American Young Chef Social Responsibility Award Winner.

Apt613: What is the current landscape for chefs in Ottawa?

Kat Ferries: There is such great talent in Ottawa with so many chefs either being from here originally or have returned after traveling and have since opened some incredible restaurants. Many chefs have focused menus that really highlight their strengths, their heritage, and their passion for food. Dominique Dufour of Gray Jay, Marc Doiron of Town/Citizen, Steve Wall of Supply & Demand, Daniela Manrique Lucca of The Soca Kitchen, and so many more are all cooking up beautiful and delicious food in this city.

If you care to make a prediction… Where is the food industry in Ottawa going for chefs in 2021?

The industry right now is, unfortunately, in a really tough spot. The pandemic has been so devastating on mental, physical and emotional levels for so many and I know that many of my friends in this industry are burning out. There are many discussions happening on work/life balance and what is healthy for everyone. Some may never return to the long, hard hours we are expected to put in day after day and instead opt for a more flexible schedule or hire more staff to lighten the load on everyone, with some even leaving the industry indefinitely. Some may throw themselves back into this industry 10x as hard and create some of the best restaurants and concepts we’ve yet to see. I think all that will happen after the pandemic though.

For this year, it’s mostly about survival and finding happiness in creating what we can in the spaces we have while following all the laws and guidelines from public health officials. I think we will see more chefs creating experiences for guests that we otherwise wouldn’t have: think pop-ups, virtual dinner clubs, cocktail seminars, collabs, etc.

Where in your wildest dreams could the Ottawa culinary community grow in your lifetime?

I would love to see the Ottawa community support more small, local restaurants so our streets are bustling late into the nights like they are in Montreal, New York, or Europe. Having a local restaurant to frequent should be so much more commonplace, where you can enjoy a night out more often than just Friday or Saturday night. I would also love to see many more of our local chefs highlighted for the amazing food they create!

What is the best innovation to take place in your industry since the pandemic started affecting Ottawa?

Turning all our restaurants into mini-markets for customers to enjoy the food and wine of their favourite places at home. We have bottle shops for all your wine, beer and cocktail needs as well as menus that reflect what each restaurant does best. Some have even pivoted to a point where they are 100% a store and have paused any type of “service-style” dining.

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Future of Ottawa: Fine Dining with Justin Champagne

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This week in the Future of Ottawa series, we’re taking a deep dive into the bar and restaurant industry—what it’s like now and where it’s headed. Read on for a guest post from Justin Champagne on the future of fine dining, or read posts from Kathryn Ferries on chefs or Quinn Taylor on bars.

Justin Champagne went to culinary school at Northwest Culinary Academy of Vancouver. He got his start in fine dining restaurants at C Restaurant under Chef Robert Clark, then at Hawksworth Restaurant under Chef Eligh. He staged at three-Michelin-starred Atelier Crenn under Chef Dominque Crenn before moving to Ottawa and spending five years at Atelier, working his way up to Sous-Chef. He’s now the Head Chef of Bar Lupulus.

Apt613: What is the current landscape of fine dining restaurants in Ottawa?

Justin Champagne: Ottawa punches well above its weight class when it comes to quality restaurants in general. Fine dining is no exception to that—we have some amazing chefs here that are doing really great things. We also have some phenomenal sommeliers in town that are a huge factor when it comes to a guest’s experience in a fine dining restaurant. While there are some fantastic fine dining restaurants in town I do believe there’s room for more, and definitely room for more creativity and unique styles of cooking! I think we’ll see more small fine dining restaurants opening up, “micro-restaurants” where there’s maybe 20 seats. This will be over the next few weeks as the industry did take a big hit financially with COVID-19, but we still have a lot of great young chefs who have the fire inside of them to open their own location!

If you care to make a prediction… Where is fine dining going in Ottawa in 2021?

I’m not sure it’ll be 2021 or 2022 with the way the vaccine rollout and stay-at-home order is going, but I do expect there to be a wave of people looking to go out to fine dining restaurants. We’ve been cooped up cooking for ourselves or ordering takeout for over a year now. People are getting antsy and ready to go out and have fantastic meals again with exceptional wine and not have to worry about doing all the dishes afterwards!

Where in your wildest dreams could fine dining go in Ottawa in your lifetime?

That’s the fun part about “fine dining,” it can go anywhere and it can mean many things. Fine dining is about amazing service and well thought out, unique food that the kitchen spent hours fussing over, being meticulous in execution. Outside of that, you can have a lot of fun and be creative in different ways. My wildest dream I guess is that fine dinning restaurants begin to thrive and are able to charge without backlash the kind of prices that they need to charge in order to keep the lights on and pay their staff a proper living wage!!

What is the best innovation to take place in your industry since the pandemic started affecting Ottawa?

I’m not sure if I would really say there’s been a best “innovation” in my industry during the pandemic, but I will say that seeing the “adaptability” by all the restaurants in Ottawa has been incredibly inspiring. Ottawa’s food scene has always been a tight-knit community, “everyone helping everyone” kind of mentality. And this pandemic has really helped show that—restaurants helping restaurants through all of this!

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Ottawa’s Giant Tiger chain celebrating 60 years in business

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OTTAWA — An Ottawa staple, along with what might be the most famous cat in Canada, are celebrating a milestone Monday.

Giant Tiger is 60 years old.

“It all started with a very simple idea,” says Alison Scarlett, associate VP of communications at Giant Tiger. “Help Canadians save money every single day. Bring them products that they want and need. When you focus on those core principals, it really is quite simple to succeed.”

In 1961, Gordon Reid opened the first Giant Tiger in Ottawa’s ByWard Market. The company now has more than 260 locations across Canada and employs roughly 10,000 people.

“If you were at our store on opening day 60 years ago, the in store experience would be a little bit different from your local Giant Tiger store today. So that’s changed. A lot of our products and offerings have changed or expanded as Canadian consumers wants and needs have changed or expanded,” says Scarlett.

The homegrown department store continues to be a favourite for many shoppers looking to for the best deals on everyday products.

Helen Binda has been shopping here for decades.

“Many years. I can’t remember when. I’ve always loved Giant Tiger. It’s always been a good store for me.”

“I think its amazing and I think that we need more department stores,” says shopper Fay Ball. “And if it’s Canadian, all the better.”

The Canadian-owned family discount store carries everything from clothing to groceries, as well as everyday household needs. They’ve also expanded their online store and like most retailers provide curbside pickup during the pandemic.

“Doing what is right for our customers, associates, and communities. That has enabled us to be so successful for all of these years,” says Scarlett.

To celebrate, Giant Tiger is hosting a virtual birthday party at 7 p.m. Monday with live musical performances from some iconic Canadian artists.

You can visit their Facebook page to tune in. 

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