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Five Things to Know: Terror victim was VPD dad, truck hits overpass

Vancouver Sun logo Vancouver Sun 2017-08-19 Harrison Mooney
ian-and-valerie-wilson © Handout

The Canadian killed in Thursday’s Barcelona terror attack has been identified, Friday’s commute was nearly a disaster, and the guy organizing a white supremacist rally says he isn’t a white supremacist, although if that were true, he’d be organizing a potluck instead. Here are five things you need to know.

Father of VPD officer killed in Barcelona terror attack

The Canadian killed in Thursday’s terrorist attack in Barcelona has been identified as Ian Moore Wilson, the father of Vancouver Police Department Staff Sgt. Fiona Wilson.

On Friday afternoon, the VPD released a statement from Sgt. Wilson, who remembered her father as “compassionate, generous, adventurous, and always game for a lively debate, a good book, exploring new places, and a proper-sized pint.”

“In the midst of this tragedy,” she said, “my dad would want those around him to focus on the extraordinary acts of human kindness that our family has experienced over the past several days, and that is exactly what we intend to do.”

Wilson thanked several people and organizations for their love and support, including the VPD and the RCMP, the Catalan first responders at the scene, as well as “the people who assisted my dad in his final moments,” before concluding: “He was desperately loved by us all and will be dearly missed.”

Crane truck hits overpass, nearly spoils Friday commute

The Friday evening commute nearly descended into chaos Thursday after a truck carrying a crane collided with a section of the CP Rail overpass just south of Barnet Highway in Coquitlam.

The collision left a massive dent in the overpass, and had officials worried about structural damage. The Lougheed Highway and the train track were both shut down so crews could do a safety assessment. 

Had it gone poorly and structural damage been found, the West Coast Express would not have run, and the roads into Coquitlam and the Fraser Valley would have been horribly snarled. 

Fortunately, only 15 minutes after warning commuters that the train might be out of service, and 20 minutes before the first train was scheduled to depart, TransLink announced that the bridge had been deemed safe for service, allowing everyone to get home with only minor delay.

B.C. government attempts to seize Richmond mansion

The B.C. government is attempting to seize a $5-million, 13,000-square-foot mansion in rural Richmond that was allegedly used for many, many misdeeds. Among them, according to Postmedia’s Sam Cooper: illegal gambling, money laundering, kidnapping and blood-soaked assaults.

I’m honestly not sure why the government would even want it after all that. Violence and criminality of this sort is what turns a regular mansion into a haunted mansion, and no one likes a haunted mansion.

The mansion, an eight-bedroom, 11-bathroom property, is reportedly at the centre of an anti-gang investigation.

“This is a large and complex investigation,” Sgt. Brenda Winpenny, of B.C.’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, said Friday. “We anticipate charges and arrests.”

A civil forfeiture action filed June 29 in B.C. Supreme Court alleges that defendant Wen Feng, a woman whose listed address is an expensive property north of Toronto, bought the Richmond property at 8880 Sidaway Rd. in October 2015. The sale price was recorded as $4.4 million. 

Yet another reason I wouldn’t want this place. For $4.4 million, I expect at least a dozen bathrooms.

State of emergency in British Columbia extended for a third time 

The province has extended its state of emergency due to the record-breaking wildfires across B.C. this summer. 

This is the third extension of the state of emergency, which is expected to remain in effect until September 1, which will bring its total duration to eight weeks.

“This will be the longest provincial declaration in the history of the province,” said Chris Duffy of Emergency Management B.C.

As of Friday, 140 wildfires were burning in B.C., with 26 evacuation orders affecting about 4,400 people, and 41 evacuation alerts impacting an estimated 20,700 others.

Guy posts white supremacist content, organizes white supremacist rally, but says he’s not a white supremacist

And finally, if you want to understand the prejudice behind the organizers of Saturday’s “anti-Islam” rally in Vancouver, Postmedia’s Nick Eagland and Dan Fumano have a story for you.

The duo spoke to Jesse Wielenga, vice-president of the Worldwide Coalition Against Islam Canada, on Friday, and he sounds truly unpleasant.

Earlier this week, Wielenga posted “14 WORDS” on his public Facebook profile, a coded term commonly used by white supremacists and neo-Nazis, referring to the 14-word slogan, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”

Wielenga said he doesn’t consider himself a white supremacist. Most would beg to differ, though, so we’ll just add that misguided self-assessment to the lengthy list of his opinions worth ignoring. 

“I laugh at that word,” he said. “They see you’re pro-white, so now you’re a supremacist.”

Yeah, pretty much.

hmooney@postmedia.com

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