Second blockade in as many weeks by a group calling itself Water Wells First

Chained to a tractor wheel weight, three Chatham-Kent residents say they will be arrested before leaving North Kent Wind barricade

Derek Spalding, CBC Windsor

Chatham-Kent residents frustrated with wind turbine construction, which they blame for tainting their drinking water, staged another blockade Tuesday morning and have temporarily shut down the North Kent Wind project.

It is the second blockade in as many weeks by the group calling itself Water Wells First. It is protesting what it believes is provincial inaction on pile driving residents claim is pushing bits of sediment into their drinking water.

“The people here in the community just feel like they’re sitting like…


Derek Spalding, Nanaimo Daily News

Housekeeping staff at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital have experienced hair loss and respiratory irritation because of a toxic chemical used to eliminate the spread of C. difficile, according to a scathing health and safety inspection by WorkSafe B.C.

The workplace watchdog issued five different orders against Compass Group Canada, the housekeeping contractor at the hospital, in its followup inspection last month. The report indicates that Compass did not provide adequate training for its health and safety committee members, including one manager who had been in the position for 10 months. …


Derek Spalding, Nanaimo Daily News

Toxic chemical burns occur frequently for housekeeping staff at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital because their employer has not provided proper training, according to a worker who spoke out against the company yesterday.

She does not want to publicly reveal her name for fear of repercussion from her employer, but said coworkers often have red wrists and arms because of the strong chemical called Virox 5, which has been used to prevent the spread of Clostridium difficile that has infected more than 100 patients and killed three others in the past year.

Her employer, Compass Group…


These are the stories of how Ottawa police Det. Shane Henderson and a teenage girl met at a Cooper Street hotel and how their journey together would lead to Canada’s first human trafficking conviction.

Detective Shane Henderson, photographed in downtown Ottawa Wednesday, vividly remembers rescuing Mary from a hotel room — where she was being trafficked from. PHOTO BY JULIE OLIVER /Ottawa Citizen

Derek Spalding, Ottawa Citizen

The scantily dressed teenager stood on the hotel balcony taking nervous drags from her cigarette. She’d been in downtown Ottawa for almost two weeks, forced to have sex with a long line of men.

But on that warm summer night in 2011, one man standing outside her hotel room door had something very different in mind.

Ottawa police Det. Shane Henderson had…


Woman who fell onto the sidewalk with her foot stuck in a bus door filed a complaint asking for her boot back.

Michelle Goulin-Chartier waits for a bus this week in the 5800 block of Malden Road. Last fall, she and her daughter were caught in the rear door of a transit bus while trying to exit.

Derek Spalding, Windsor Star

The petrified mother stood on the sidewalk screaming at the bus driver, telling him to wait. Please don’t drive away, she thought with her arm jammed in the door.

Frantic, she tried to pry the door open. Her four-year-old daughter was still on the bus.

For Michelle Goulin-Chartier that Sunday afternoon trip on the South Windsor 7 should have been routine. …


Condo complex source for highest number of city building condition inspections

Derek Spalding Windsor Star

The cluster of 14 condo buildings on Meadowbrook Lane looks tired. Built in the 1970s, the mixture of two-and three-storey walk-ups show obvious signs of aging with patches of roof shingles falling off, rotting wooden window trim and intercom systems that haven’t worked in years.

On paper, Courtyards of Parkway may sound charming, but tenants living on the sweeping 14-acre property tell a different story. …


Stan Reist’s bees struggle to survive each winter, forcing him to increase his stock to meet the demand from mid-Island farmers who need his pollinators.

Derek Spalding, Times Colonist

NANAIMO — Some British Columbia beekeepers have recovered from four years of declining hive numbers, but several operators are still experiencing losses that could soon reduce the valuable supply of bees that pollinate the province’s agriculture sector every year.

The B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Lands will survey beekeepers over the next few months to find out who are still losing stock because of mites that plagued the industry and decimated…


Fourth municipality in Greater Victoria bans pesticide use since 2008

Derek Spalding, Times Colonist

Magda Opalski kneels on her vibrant-green front lawn in the Uplands neighbourhood of Oak Bay. She speaks thoughtfully about the hours she spends in her garden as she rakes her gloved fingers through a half-empty bag of top soil.

For two years, she and her husband, Stefan, have used eco-friendly pesticides to manage pesky weeds in order to comply with an Oak Bay bylaw that banned cosmetic use of pesticides last year.

The community became the fourth municipality In Greater Victoria do so since 2008, along…


Emma Lorimer doesn’t know every penny raised goes toward literacy programs. She doesn’t need to know. Today, on that floor, it’s all about her new books.

Derek Spalding Times Colonist

Sometimes adults forget how fairy tales shape their lives.

At the Times Colonist Book Sale, these same grown-ups politely step around a tiny brown-haired girl sprawled out — belly down — on the basement floor of the Victoria Curling Club.

The rink, temporarily transformed into a book warehouse for the weekend, houses thousands upon thousands of soft and hard covers laid out on tables for the annual two-day frenzy.

Emma…


OC Transpo has never identified crime trends, but numbers show men regularly assault women.

Derek Spalding, Ottawa Citizen

A Citizen analysis of assault and harassment reports collected by OC Transpo is offering the first detailed look at the violence taking place around our city’s transit system.

The data show a substantial number of the 108 reported incidents in 2013 involved men assaulting or harassing women, and that the violence is often occurring in broad daylight.

The transit provider has never used the reports collected last year to identify specific trends, but the numbers show nearly half of the 75 attacks…

Derek Spalding

Derek Spalding is an award-winning journalist with experience working in major newsrooms across the country.

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