‘Too hard to fire incompetent Quebec teachers’ says MEI report

Written by admin on 15/11/2018 Categories: 长沙夜网

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“We don't hire these teachers. Management hired them, so maybe the management process is flawed – not the termination process.”

MONTREAL – Quebec’s public school system needs to brush up on weeding out bad teachers, according to a new report by the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI).

The report highlights the difficulties that school boards have in dismissing teachers, citing that only seven were fired for incompetence in the last five years.

This amounts to an estimated 0.01 percent of the province’s public sector teachers.

The findings follow access to information requests to the province’s 72 school boards.

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    “There is something seriously wrong with the process,” said Youri Chassin, Economist and Research Director at the MEI.

    “If a teacher is not that good, he or she should be fired and this is actually not happening at all in Quebec.”

    The MEI report blames unions for systematically stalling the firing process and suggests school boards should regularly evaluate teaching staff.

    The president of Quebec’s Provincial Association of Teachers is on the defensive and claimed all workers should have the right to proper representation and due diligence.

    “You don’t just fire people left right and centre because today you wake up and decided that person’s incompetent,” said Richard Goldfinch.

    Teachers are typically hired into permanent or tenured positions after a two year probation period, which is ample time for school boards to reconsider, according to union leaders.

    “We don’t hire these teachers. Management hired them, so maybe the management process is flawed not the termination process,” said John Donnelly of the Pearson Teachers’ Union.

    “Once we get them, we must protect them.”

    School boards are currently negotiating the local portion of the public sector teachers’ collective agreements and union leaders suspect the timing of the damning report is no coincidence.

    “Maybe in the French system it’s different than with us, but we will fight as hard as any of our French counterparts to protect our teachers from being fired,” insisted Goldfinch.

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Apache Canada faces up to $2.5M for 2014 pipeline spill northwest of Edmonton

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Apache Canada Ltd. is facing charges for a 2014 pipeline spill near Whitecourt, Alta., the energy regulator said Monday.

The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) said there’s a maximum penalty of $2.5 million in relation to five counts for contraventions of the Pipeline Act and the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.

An Apache Canada pipeline leaked about 1.9 million litres of produced water into a nearby creek about 40 km northwest of Whitecourt on Jan. 21, 2014.

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FEATURE: On average, there have been two crude oil spills every day in Alberta for the past 37 years   

AER said this is the third penalty in the past seven months Apache is facing related to pipeline spills.

“In October 2015, charges were laid against Apache for a pipeline spill approximately 33 km from Zama City that occurred in the fall of 2013. And on July 7, 2015, the AER directed Apache to address issues with its pipeline integrity management system,” AER said in a statement.

“The fine and four orders were a result of an AER investigation into the company for its failure to follow provincial legislation and AER requirements.”

When asked if it was taking steps to improve its pipeline safety, Apache Canada said in a statement it doesn’t comment on legal matters before the courts.

“Apache takes its environmental responsibility very seriously,” the statement said. “Pipeline integrity on our gathering systems is a critical component of meeting that responsibility and Apache has a robust Pipeline Integrity Management System in place to mitigate the risk of future pipeline incidents.”

The first court appearance for Apache Canada is set for Feb. 9 in Whitecourt.

Whitecourt is located about 180 km northwest of Edmonton.

READ MORE: How does Apache’s 9.5 million litre Zama City spill stack up?

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Fort McMurray’s airport, hotels and restaurants hurting with oil’s slide

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FORT McMURRAY, Alta. — Fort McMurray’s airport is the gateway to Alberta’s oil sands.

It was built close to two years ago, when oil prices surged. But as crude plummets, the number of people flying here goes with it.

READ MORE: Oil briefly slips below $29 as Iran vows to pump more into market

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    Joseph Gaudet has commuted from Prince Edward Island for nine years. He was laid for from his job as an equipment operator just a few hours before he spoke with Global News on his way home for the last time.

    Gaudet’s not sure what to make of the bad economy.

    “I feel sorry for guys that have been laid off. For me, Fort McMurray was excellent for me,” he told Global News before flying out of town.

    It’s a fear others sitting in the airport terminal have every day.

    “I work for a pretty good company, so we’re pretty healthy,” says Scott McNaughton, an oil sands worker from Vernon, B.C. “[But] it crosses my mind all the time. Will I have my job tomorrow?”

    Blaine Menuier from Sudbury, Ont. says fewer and fewer employees return to the work sites every tour of shifts he works.

    “We were running approximately 70 guys last year. Now, we’re negotiating work for about 10 men,” Menuier told Global News.

    The terminal saw a peak passenger total of 1,308,416 in 2014, but that dropped 16 per cent to 1,099,663 last year.

    Flights to the United States and Mexico have been grounded and airlines have even adjusted some domestic legs for the lower passenger loads.

    The Fort McMurray Airport Authority says it’s trimmed some costs and hopes it can handle any furthers drops in travelers.

    “You can’t let the snow pile up, you’ve got to keep the runways clear,” says Airport Authority CEO Scott Clements. “You have to meet all your regulatory standards, so we still have some flexibility with our plan.”

    READ MORE: More layoffs and continued recession in 2016: ATB report

    Fewer planes also means less need for hotels.

    Gone are days of no vacancy signs and stays for $200-300 a night for a room.

    Fort McMurray Hotel Group is the largest operator of rooms in the municipality.

    General Manager Jean-Marc Guillamot occupancy is just under 50 per cent across the municipality and rates down approximately $15 nightly.

    Many hotels have laid off staff or even closed floors of buildings to stay open, but few are optimistic about when the hospitality industry could see a recovery.

    “Realistically, 2020,” says Guillamot. “From now to 2020, I think we’re going to hop along.”

    READ MORE: Consumer confidence is surprisingly high — but falling: poll

    Bars and restaurants are also feeling the pain. There’s no more waiting for a table. You can have your your pick of any table.

    As a promotion, the Wood Buffalo Brewing Company started selling its beer for one-tenth the closing price of oil.

    It began at $60 a barrel, which worked out to $6 for a pint. Now, it’s nearing the minimum price it much charge: $2.88.

    “I hope it doesn’t go that low,” says Wood Buffalo Brewing Company’s Adam Solar. “But, the way that the markets are going right now, we’re not too sure. That’s as low as we can go.”

    The problem is, oil prices can continue to drop.

    Gaudet knows that all too well. He just hopes for the sake of this community, they don’t stay there for long.

    Follow @ReidFiest

    WATCH: The price of oil closed below $30 per barrel today, leaving many in the industry with an uncertain future and a big impact on Fort McMurray’s economy. Provincial Affairs reporter Tom Vernon reports.

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Eagles founding member Glenn Frey dead at 67

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Glenn Frey, founding member of the band the Eagles, has passed away at the age of 67.

The band announced Frey’s death Monday “With the heaviest of hearts” in a statement on its official website.

Frey passed away Monday in New York City after a “courageous battle”, succumbing to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia, the statement said.

“Word can neither describe our sorrow, nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community & millions of fans worldwide.”

Along with his role as the band’s lead guitarist, Frey was also a talented singer and songwriter. Frey’s vocals can be heard on many classic Eagles singles including Take It Easy and Tequila Sunrise.

With the Eagles Frey won six Grammy Awards and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

WATCH: Archive —; Eagles perform ‘Hotel California’ in Vancouver

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    After the band broke up Frey went on to launch a solo career, releasing hits The Heat Is On and You Belong to the City.

    Frey was born in Detroit Nov. 6, 1948. He was in a number of bands in Detroit during the 60s, before heading to California to pursue his music career. He performed backing Linda Ronstadt before starting the Eagles with Don Henley, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner in 1971.

     READ MORE: Glenn Frey 桑拿会所 tributes come from wide spectrum of entertainers

    The band achieved great success before breaking up in 1980. The Eagles reunited in 1994, launching a popular tour and releasing the album Hell Freezes Over.

    “He was like a brother to me; we were family, and like most families, there was some dysfunction. But, the bond we forged 45 years ago was never broken, even during the 14 years that the Eagles were dissolved,” Henley said Monday evening in a statement.

    “Glenn was the one who started it all. He was the spark plug, the man with the plan. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn’t quit,” Henley continued.

    Henley writes that crossing paths with Frey changed his life, adding Frey impacted millions of people all over the world.

    “I will be grateful, every day, that he was in my life. Rest in peace, my brother. You did what you set out to do, and then some.”

    Frey was married to wife Cindy and they had three children, daughter Taylor and sons Deacon and Otis.

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Dartmouth roommates concerned about emergency plan in case of power outage – Halifax

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A Dartmouth woman whose roommate is battling cancer is criticizing the municipality’s emergency plan.

Ellen Mouratis is concerned about a prolonged power outage at their shared apartment because she fears her roommate, Heather, would be unable to handle the loss of heat.

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During this weekend’s snowstorm, she called her local councillor and city officials in an effort to find out if there is a location in their neighbourhood that has been pre-designated as a warming centre.

She was dismayed to find out there isn’t.

READ MORE: Emergency preparedness kit key to surviving power outages

“The emergency plan they have for us is to wait 24 hours without heat and then turn on a radio with batteries and listen to when they come online to find out where in your neighbourhood you could go. That’s terrible,” she said.

“There should be one in every community of school or community centre that you know in advance is your designated place to go.”

The municipality’s Emergency Management Office (EMO) advises residents to have their own plans to take care of themselves for 24 to 36 hours.

Coordinator Barry Manuel says it is impossible to have warming centres set up instantly for every outage.

“Each agency will have a plan to provide the services they need to provide in an emergency and people should do the same thing with their own family,” Manuel said.

“All the centres we would use in an emergency we already know where they are now. We don’t designate them until we have a need.”

Manuel says EMO would determine when and where to open up a warming centre based on how many people are affected, the temperature, and how long the outage was expected to last.

“Just because we lose power doesn’t mean we need to open up a warming centre right away because again these warming centres they are a resource,” he said.

“I don’t want to abuse the resource. They are run by volunteers and I do want to make sure they are there when they’re needed.”

Coun. Waye Mason, who represents Halifax South Downtown, is currently working on establishing a Joint Emergency Management team in the urban core. Similar teams were set up in rural areas after Hurricane Juan.

The community-based volunteer group will work with the municipality’s EMO and help during emergencies.

“When activated, they can kind of be there to open up the warming centres to be eyes on the ground call into EMO and let them know what the local conditions are,” Mason said.

But Mason admits the team probably wouldn’t be applicable to Ellen and Heather’s situation, unless their outage was part of a larger emergency that had mass impact.

Instead, Mason suggests if they ever did lose power and felt they needed help, to call 311 or the police non-emergency line.

The women, however, have their own plan.

“My roommate is dying of five different cancers and she would need heat. We couldn’t wait 12 hours and then wait until somebody comes up with a place for us to go to,” said Mouratis.

“After a lot of thinking about it, I just decided that if it got bad, I would take her to the hospital.”

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Effort to curb overuse of antibiotics in cold, flu season

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WASHINGTON – It’s cold season and the miserable trudge in seeking antibiotics because their mucus turned green, or the cough has nagged for weeks.

Despite years of warnings, doctors still overprescribe antibiotics for acute respiratory infections even though most are caused by viruses that those drugs cannot help.

Now doctors are getting new tips on how to avoid unnecessary antibiotics for these common complaints — and to withstand the patient who’s demanding one.

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Sure bronchitis sounds scary. So describe it as a chest cold. And no, colour changes don’t mean it’s time for an antibiotic.

“Antibiotics are terrific. Thank God we have them for really bad things. But we need to be judicious in the way we use them,” said American College of Physicians President Dr. Wayne J. Riley, an internal medicine professor at Vanderbilt University.

Rather than sending patients off with little advice about what to do while their bodies fight off a virus, how about a prescription instead for some over-the-counter or home remedies that just might ease the cough or the pain?

READ MORE: Flu vaccine only 23 per cent effective this season, CDC says

“We’re calling for the symptomatic prescription pad,” Riley said, describing information sheets that suggest simple aids like humidifiers and plenty of fluid, have a space to scribble directions for an OTC drug — and tell patients when to return if they’re not getting better. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a sample on its website.

Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness, and inappropriate prescribing is one factor. Repeated exposure can lead germs to become resistant to the drugs. The CDC estimates that drug-resistant bacteria cause 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths each year in the U.S.

Another reason not to use them unnecessarily: side effects. Antibiotics are implicated in 1 of 5 emergency-room visits for bad drug reactions, CDC says. Particularly troubling is an increase in severe diarrhea caused by C-diff, the Clostridium difficile bug that can take hold in the gut after antibiotics kill off other bacteria.

CDC has seen improvement from pediatricians in antibiotic prescribing but overuse remains a big problem for adults, especially with respiratory illnesses, said Dr. Lauri Hicks, who heads CDC’s “Get Smart” antibiotic education campaign.

READ MORE: Flu vaccine offered little or no protection in Canada this year

Monday’s guidelines, from CDC and the American College of Physicians, move beyond simple statements that antibiotics don’t work for viruses like the common cold or the flu. They lay out how doctors begin deciding if antibiotics are warranted for some other common respiratory complaints, explain that decision to patients and offer guidance on symptom relief.

Among the advice, published in Annals of Internal Medicine:

—Acute bronchitis is airway inflammation, irritation that makes you cough, sometimes as long as six weeks. The guidelines say not to perform special testing or prescribe antibiotics unless pneumonia is suspected, something often accompanied by a fast heartbeat, fever or abnormal breathing sounds.

Over-the-counter symptom relief includes cough suppressants such as dextromethorphan; mucus-thinning expectorants such as guaifenesin; and antihistamines or decongestants.

—Sore throats are hugely common but adults are far less likely than children to have the strep throat that requires an antibiotic. A rapid strep test is available if patients have suspicious symptoms such as persistent fever, night sweats or swollen tonsils.

Pain-relieving options for adults include aspirin, acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, and throat lozenges.

READ MORE: Nasty flu season strikes as H3N2 cases spike across Canada

—Sinus infections can be very painful but usually clear up without antibiotics even if bacteria are to blame. The guidelines say antibiotics should be reserved for patients with no signs of improvement after 10 days, severe symptoms such as fever higher than 102, or what’s called double-sickening, when someone starts to recover and then gets worse.

Possible symptom relievers include decongestants, nasal sprays, saline nasal irrigation and pain medications.

Riley often has to explain how to tell if cough and cold relievers contain a sedating antihistamine, and that nasal sprays clear congestion quickly but that using them for too many days can trigger rebound symptoms. He asks if patients are taking multiple products that contain acetaminophen, best known as Tylenol, because too much can damage the liver. Often, his patients say an over-the-counter drug isn’t working when in fact, they didn’t take it as directed.

“There is a dizzying array” of drugstore symptom relievers, so don’t make miserable patients sort through them without help, said CDC’s Hicks.

“There isn’t a right answer that works for everybody,” she said. But sometimes something as basic as a humidifier “can make a difference in terms of how you feel when you wake up in the morning.”

___

Online:

CDC: 长沙桑拿按摩论坛长沙夜生活cdc.gov/getsmart

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“Communist revolution” best way to fix Newfoundland economy: internet

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When the Newfoundland and Labrador government asked for suggestions on ways to fix the province’s economic woes, it probably wasn’t expecting “Communist Revolution” to be one of the top picks.

But revolution is the top-rated answer to the question, “How can government be more innovative or efficient to provide quality services at lower costs?” on a provincial government website.

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    “If we carry out the communist revolution then there would be plenty of funding to go around. We should be receiving the benefit of the resources that are taken from here and sold at profit by capitalist corporations. Why should they get rich from our resources and from our labour?” wrote commenter “Levi”.

    The proposal has received 56 votes so far, with an average score of 4.2 stars out of 5.

    But you won’t find Premier Dwight Ball at the barricades: He told local media last week he isn’t entertaining communism as a way to solve the province’s financial problems, which are substantial.

    The provincial government is facing a $1.96 billion deficit, according to the latest budget update, due in part to the fall in oil prices and associated royalty revenue. So they’re asking residents for suggestions on how to save money and raise more of it.

    Among other consultation measures, the government has set up a website where anyone can post a suggestion and people vote on their favourites. The website was set up Jan. 12.

    There are some more conventional offerings, such as raising the HST and restructuring regional health care authorities.

    But many users are thinking outside the box.

    “Make every day Big Mary Monday, for Jesus sakes,” wrote “UpDaShore,” referring to fried chicken chain Mary Brown’s weekly special.

    “Replace tap water with Blue Star,” wrote “eversweet709.” Blue Star is a popular Newfoundland beer.

    “Stop wasting money on consultations,” wrote “commoncents.”

    Other commenters are playing with Newfoundland’s unique place names. “Resettle Dildo into Broad Cove,” is one such suggestion.

    “As we know, Newfoundland and Labrador is awash in red ink – much of which comes from the infrastructure costs required to service so many small communities. To remedy this, I propose we consider a more robust resettlement program,” wrote user “drewfoundland.”

    “It would also be an easy resettlement, since all Dildo has to do to get to Broad Cove is sail down Spread Eagle Bay. Since both towns are so close already, there will be very little mess to mop up afterwards. And if it goes well, it might lay the foundation of a future population growth strategy.”

    “But most importantly, moving Dildo into Broad Cove will be a powerful symbol of the sort of things the government expects from people in these hard times.”

    (Travel buffs, take note: Although Dildo is next to Broad Cove, you wouldn’t cross Spread Eagle Bay to get there – you’d use Dildo Arm, according to Google.)

    And lest you think all Newfoundlanders are left-leaning, a competing “Fascist Revolution” proposal has also appeared on the website. As of Monday afternoon, it remains quite unpopular, receiving a score of only one star after five votes.

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‘Run to Quit’ program helps smokers trade nicotine for runner’s high – Halifax

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Smoking is a daily, and often deadly, habit for thousands of Nova Scotians, but a new program wants to help people replace their nicotine addiction with a healthier alternative.

The Canadian Cancer Society is partnering with The Running Room to launch a nationwide program called Run to Quit in April.

READ MORE: Why smoking is especially bad for men, their health and genetics

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Barbara Stead-Coyle, the Nova Scotia CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society, said the program is a great approach to the quitting smoking.

“What we do is we start to replace the unhealthy habit of smoking with the healthy habit of running,” she said.

“The physical activity actually curbs the need for nicotine. It stops weight gain, which is also another barrier as to why sometimes people don’t want to quit smoking, and you’re becoming healthy.”

About 37,000 Canadians die every year from smoking, a number Run to Quit is aiming to reduce.

The program is debuting in six provinces following a successful pilot study in Ottawa.

RELATED: How smoking in movies drives kids to become smokers

“The research is clear. Smoking kills Canadians and we know that about 30 percent of all cancer deaths attributable to smoking,” Stead-Coyle said.

Bruce Bowen, manager of The Running Room in Halifax, said running is a well-known stress reliever. He said that’s important because stress can be a barrier to quitting smoking, or cause a relapse for people who are trying to quit.

He said the company’s president, John Stanton, used to smoke two packs a day, but traded the habit for running.

For people who are considering joining but are unsure about running, Bowen said there’s no reason to fear it.

“People are here to encourage you because you’re trying to make a commitment to change your lifestyle,” he said.

Getting support from a group can greatly increase the odds of overcoming the addiction to nicotine, Stead-Coyle said.

“It’s a very, very, powerful drug and we know that the withdrawal symptoms are significant, so having that support is really important for success.”

There are three ways to join the program: by signing up online for a virtual course, committing to run a 5- or 10-kilometre event, or showing up in person under the guidance of a coach.

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Wildlife Festival takes over Lethbridge at Exhibition Park

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LETHBRIDGE – Animals from owls to spiders, and even a kangaroo took over Exhibition Park on the weekend for the annual Wildlife Festival tour.

Canadian Raptor Conservancy bird handler and educator Matthew Morgan said the festival aims to bring wildlife educational demonstration right to people’s home towns.

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    “They don’t have to go far away to find it, they can have it in a nice, safe, controlled environment for both people and the animals,” Morgan said. “They can both get entertained and educated about a lot of the animals that are often right in your own backyard.”

    Some of those animals included snakes and bird species from Canada, as well as other exotic animals. Little Rays Repitle Zoo educator Kyle Laurie said he was hoping to teach responsible pet ownership. Laurie said most of the animals at the show are often purchased as family or exotic pets, and later given up.

    “Basically 80 to 90 per cent of our animals are unwanted pets,” Laurie said. “We don’t take any of our animals from the wild.”

    While most of the excitement and educational information was about the animals you don’t see everyday, organizers were hoping to teach children and families little things they can do to save wildlife at home.

    One of the biggest predators in Canada may be living closer than you think, Laurie said.

    “A lot of people have house cats at home, and they don’t realize that their house cats are basically little ninjas. They go outside and they hunt birds, and there’s nothing wrong with the cat; it’s just their instinct.”

    “When your cat goes outside, in Canada they’re killing about 300 million songbirds a year. By simply putting a bell on your cat, it will actually save the birds in the wild.”

    There are other small things you can do at home to help animals in the wild, like saving up to 22 litres of fresh water per person, per day, by shutting off the taps when brushing your teeth. But, these tasks are often easy to forget. That’s where the up-close-and-personal interaction with the animals at the show proves beneficial.

    “Suddenly they get like, ‘oh wow that was so close, that was so cool!’ and then they start listening, and start paying attention, and they start to take away a few things,” Morgan said. “I’ve had quite a few kids that come up and say, ‘oh, I remember you from last year, I remember some of the things you said.’ So, obviously they are taking away something, and that’s really fantastic. That means we’re doing a good job.”

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Experienced officers wanted on terror case: court

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VANCOUVER – The head of an RCMP team tasked with investigating a possible terror suspect has told a B.C. Supreme Court trial that he had concerns about entrapment and abuse of process near the start of a police sting.

Emails read in court show Sgt. Bill Kalkat asked undercover officers how they planned to avoid potential legal issues months before John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were arrested for plotting to blow up the B.C. legislature in 2013.

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Nuttall and Korody were found guilty of terrorism charges last June, but the convictions have not been entered while defence lawyers argue that police entrapped their clients in a sting.

Crown lawyer Peter Eccles asked Kalkat when he began thinking about entrapment and abuse of process as possible issues.

“Late February, early March (of 2013),” Kalkat replied, adding that such issues are always a concern for investigators when a crime has not yet been committed.

The senior officer also told court that he faced some challenges with the undercover team investigating Nuttall and trying to determine whether he posed a threat to public safety.

An experienced officer was important for the case, Kalkat testified, adding he asked that someone who’d worked on similar national security investigations be assigned.

“There’s a whole bunch of little fine details that come along in the national security world that just are not pressing in your typical homicide technique undercover operation.”

The undercover officer also needed to be familiar with the Muslim faith, which Nuttall had converted to, and have some knowledge of Islamic extremism.

“If you can’t talk the talk and walk the walk, it’s going to be very difficult to ingratiate yourself with that target and move forward,” Kalkat said.

But one of the officers on the case had less experience than what Kalkat had requested, creating challenges for the senior cop.

Investigators on national security cases don’t have a lot of examples to follow, unlike homicide or drug investigations that undercover officers usually work on, Kalkat said.

“That’s one of the difficulties you experienced with the undercover shop, that they were bringing pages out of the wrong playbook?” Eccles asked.

“That was one of the challenges I faced,” Kalkat replied.

Emails read in court suggested he asked for more details about the undercover team’s long-term plans.

“You can’t just go scenario to scenario. There has to be some sort of game plan. And I wasn’t seeing that with the undercover unit,” Kalkat said.

Court heard that at one point, a difference in opinion over how the case should proceed put the investigation on hold.

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