Monthly Archives: July 2019

Cause of death questioned in Lisa Goltman fatality inquiry

EDMONTON – Friday was supposed to be the final day of the fatality inquiry into the death of a 22-year-old woman in an isolation room at Alberta Hospital.

However, Dr. Anny Sauvageau, the chief medical examiner at the time of Lisa Goltman’s death in May 2013, was on the stand far longer than expected – almost two whole days.

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  • Mother breaks down during fatality inquiry for Lisa Goltman

    Fatality inquiry into the death of 31-year-old Alberta Hospital patient

    Goltman was a patient at the hospital, diagnosed with bipolar disorder. On the night she died, she was placed in a seclusion room around 11 p.m. At 2:30 a.m., a visual check reported her alive and breathing. At 3 a.m. she was unresponsive. Staff began CPR and paramedics were called. By the time EMS arrived at about 3:45 a.m., rigor mortis had already set in, the inquiry heard.

    READ MORE: Family searches for answers after Alberta Hospital patient dies 

    On Friday, Sauvageau said her autopsy showed Goltman had been dead for at least four hours by the time staff said they reported it.

    “I had, based on a lack of information, concluded the death was natural,” she testified.

    Sauvageau said she didn’t have access to Goltman’s medical records at the time. She said, since receiving them, she would now classify the cause of death as undetermined.

    READ MORE: Mother breaks down during fatality inquiry for Lisa Goltman 

    She was questioned about the possibility that Goltman was asphyxiated by a blanket in the isolation room.

    The inquiry is proving so complex, at least three more days have been added to its schedule, likely at the end of May.

    With files from Emily Mertz, Global News

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Two Regina universities receive federal research grants

REGINA – Canada’s brain power just got a big boost.

MP Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, sat in for the Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan this morning during an announcement at the University of Regina.

“Today’s announcements involve 33 different universities,” Goodale said.

“There are 94 projects a total investment of approximately $23 million over the next number of years to support scientists and make it attractive to do their work in Canada.”

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Teams at both the University of Regina and the First Nations University of Canada are receiving grant money from the Canada Foundation for Innovation John R. Evans Leaders Fund.

Dr. Carrie Bourassa received $205,178 and is working on an action plan for cultural safety practices.

“Our research is community-based, indigenous community-based, we’re the cultural safety evaluation training and research lab… We’re really looking at Patient safety,” Bourassa said.

Her team will be focusing on making sure indigenous patients are properly respected, to help prevent situations like Attawapiskat and La Loche.

Dr. Garth Huber received $49,980. He is a physics professor at the University of Regina studying the interactions of subatomic particles. He spoke about how his childhood dream was to be a scientist.

His high school physics teacher was in the front row as he explained what the grant money would be used for.

“Our goal is to better understand nature at the most fundamental level. When you go to the very, very smallest scale and what goes on there. There are many mysteries going on at the smallest scale of nature that we don’t understand.”

Huber’s team, in theory, will be team Canada of the science world. Multiple countries will work together to build one large subatomic particle detector.

Goodale hopes this will attract ambitious students to the University of Regina. Ones that are curious, creative and can now better collaborate with other students across Canada, and even the world.

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Regina-based program takes an artistic approach to First Nations suicide prevention

REGINA – “I like the laughing game because Dusty’s face goes red and it kind of scares me, but it makes me laugh,” Montana, a student at Peepeekisis School, said.

Montana and her classmates were playing a variety of theatre games with two researchers from the Indigenous People’s Health Research Centre.

Dustin Brass and Erin Goodpipe travel to Peepeekisis School every Thursday to run their program and research project “Acting Out! But in a Good Way.”

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    On the surface, it looks like they’re just running artistic programming, but there’s something much deeper at work.

    “It started off as a suicide prevention measure, but we found that kids already know what they’re doing is wrong, right?” Goodpipe said.

    “We’re not trying to talk down to them, what we’re trying to do is insert strength into their identities through the arts as a health intervention.”

    “That’s why now we use theatre games, visual arts, filmography, and we want to use that approach to teach them some skills and enjoy working in relational ways with each other,” Brass explained.

    Recently, a mental health crisis has been taking place across the country, linked to suicides in First Nation communities.

    The remote Ontario community of Attawapiskat recently declared a state of emergency following 10 suicide attempts on the weekend of April 8-10 and a suicide pact involving 13 youths.

    READ MORE: Attawapiskat in state of emergency after 11 suicide attempts on Saturday; nearly 100 since August

    In Manitoba, the Pimicikamak Cree Nation has had six suicides in the past two months and 140 attempts in the last three weeks.

    Georgina Jolibois, the MP for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, said La Loche, Sask. is also walking a dangerously fine line.

    Back at Peepeekisis, located about an hour’s drive northeast of Regina, Brass said Acting Out is having the desired effect on helping kids’ mental health.

    “Just as you were filming others, a student talked to me about some good and bad times he was remembering to change his emotions during games. And I thought, jeez that’s exactly what we’re up to,” he said.

    “We come together and show them that hey, we can be vulnerable, we can cry together, we can laugh together. We can do these things together and that’s ok.”

    Brass and Goodpipe use holistic learning methods when they do their school visits. Over the past five years about 1,800 youths have been involved in lessons put on through Acting Out.

    Now they want to take their programming and research to a bigger platform through developing policy.

    “Policy change is so impactful, because it not only supports the one group that you worked with, but it starts to impact schools across this nation. So that’s where I’d like to see this work go in the next little while; to be able to listen and write that properly,” Brass said.

    Both Goodpipe and Brass are hopeful that the Trudeau government will follow through on their promise to listen to First Nations concerns.

    “I don’t know how many more statistics they need to see. We’re talking about human beings here that are under their care,” Brass said.

    “At alarming rates, our suicide rates are astronomical. There needs to be something done, just like with the missing and murdered indigenous women, just like the survivors of residential schools.”

    With files from Whitney Stinson

    Follow @davidbaxter_

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‘That’s their job, so do it’: calls for Saskatchewan government to get back to work

REGINA – Running a political campaign can be grueling experience.

But with a late budget not yet finalized and some key players noticeably absent, some are starting to ask the question: when is the government getting back to work?

Since the election, the legislature has been a quiet building. Political columnist Murray Mandryk is arguing that with such an important budget on the horizon, elected leaders should be working overtime.

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“Everyone can say, ‘Oh, the MLA’s are tired, they just had a campaign.’ Of course they are, it’s grueling. I’m not making light of it all that much,” he said. “The fact of the matter is they were elected to do a job; do it.”

READ MORE: Brad Wall says election win a chance to keep promises

At a health press conference Friday morning, Health Minister Dustin Duncan was noticeably absent. Minister of Corrections and Policing, Christine Tell said she didn’t know where he was, but was “just asked to be here.”

Newly-elected MLA Eric Olauson was also spotted after the election at an Arizona baseball game.

READ MORE: UPDATE: Saskatchewan budget tanks on oil prices; deficit up to $427 million

Opposition leader Trent Wotherspoon said elected officials are taking too long to get back to work and that “action is required.”

Brad Wall was back in the rotunda again, assuring media that the treasury board has met a number of times since the election and that progress will be made on finalizing the June 1st budget.

“Next week cabinet will meet. Caucus will then get into the budget deliberations in an all day meeting on [April 22]. Then treasury board meets next week and we’ll be back earlier mid-May in the house,” he said.

But Mandryk believes tackling an economic package of this magnitude should require all hands on deck.

“I’m sorry that puts them in a bit of a bind… but not really. That’s their job, that’s what they got elected to do, so do it.”

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Remains of Edmonton man reported missing in 2015 found in central Alberta

EDMONTON — Human remains found in central Alberta earlier this month have been identified as an Edmonton man who went missing nearly one year ago.

Human bones were located in a wooded area outside Innisfail on April 5. The Calgary Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed Friday the bones belonged to 42-year-old Dwayne Demkiw of Edmonton.

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  • Mounties investigate after human bones discovered in central Alberta

    The father of two was last seen at around 4 a.m. on Sunday, May 31, 2015 as he was leaving work in northeast Edmonton. His vehicle was found in southeast Calgary at around 11 a.m. the same day. He was reported missing that afternoon.

    Demkiw’s disappearance was being investigated as a homicide by the Edmonton Police Service. In July 2015, police said they strongly believed that harm had come Demkiw.

    READ MORE: Edmonton police believe ‘harm has come’ to missing man; homicide unit investigating

    In June 2015, Demkiw’s father, who lives in Saskatchewan, plastered his Saskatoon neighbourhood with missing posters, doing anything he could to bring his son home.

    At the time, Eugene Demkiw and his wife, Angeline Demkiw, said their son was a kind man who would never harm anyone. They said their son’s disappearance was like a bad dream.

    Demkiw grew up in North Battleford and Saskatoon before moving to Edmonton 16 years ago.

    Earlier in June 2015, police scoured an area of southwest Edmonton in relation to Demkiw’s disappearance.

    The case is still under investigation by the RCMP and the EPS.

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