Four stories in the news for Tuesday, May 21

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FAMILY MOURNS CANADIAN KILLED IN HONDURAS PLANE CRASH

A 32-year-old B.C. pilot who was killed in a plane crash in Honduras on Saturday was described as a happy child and spontaneous person by his father. Larry Forseth said Monday that the family is trying to “piece together” the tragedy. The Piper Cherokee Six plummeted into the Atlantic shortly after takeoff from Roatan en route to Trujillo, a port city on Honduras’s northern coast. Larry Forseth says his son Patrick was a “very experienced” pilot who had trained at the Coastal Pacific Aviation school in Abbotsford, B.C., and had also flown for companies in Canada.

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NEW ALBERTA LEGISLATURE SESSION WITH NEW GOVERNMENT

The Alberta legislature is to start a new session today with a lot of new faces and a new government in charge. Premier Jason Kenney and the 63 members of his United Conservative caucus are to be sworn in as legislature members and a Speaker is to be chosen. Former premier Rachel Notley heads up the 24-member NDP official Opposition. A throne speech is planned for Wednesday and a bill to repeal the provincial carbon tax is to be introduced.

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OFFICIALS ORDER EVACUATION OF ALBERTA TOWN

A northern Alberta town and a nearby First Nation are being evacuated due to the threat of an encroaching wildfire. Thousands of people are being told to leave High Level, as well as the Bushe River Reserve, via Highway 58 east of the communities since highways south and west have already been closed due to the blaze. The Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several days, but grew substantially from Sunday, when it covered about 25,000 hectares, to an estimated 69,000 hectares on Monday. Mayor Crystal McAteer said the evacuation is being co-ordinated in zones. People should expect to be away for 72 hours.

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ARCTIC HUNGER GREW AFTER FEDERAL PROGRAM: STUDY

Newly published research says food insecurity in Nunavut actually grew after the start of a federal program to fight hunger in the North. The study, published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, found that the ability of northerners to dependably afford food on the table declined significantly when  the Nutrition North program was being rolled out. In 2010, food insecurity affected about 33 per cent of Nunavut families. That number grew in 2011 to 39 per cent. By 2014, nearly 47 per cent of northerners couldn’t count on a regular square meal. That’s despite a budget that has increased 65 per cent, from $60 million in 2011 to $99 million in 2018.

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ALSO IN THE NEWS:

— The public hearings to determine who will participate at the inquiry into the death of former Nova Scotia soldier Lionel Desmond, who killed his family and himself in January 2017, will begin today.

— Edward Downey, who has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the deaths of Sara Baillie and her five-year-old daughter Taliyah Marsman, appears in court for a defence motion. His sentencing has yet to be scheduled.

— Robert Andrew Leeming will appear in court today on second-degree murder charges in the deaths of Calgary woman Jasmine Lovett and her toddler daughter.

The Canadian Press

CHEK News