‘I don’t remember that night’: Accused takes the stand in Kelowna manslaughter trial

WATCH: One of the men accused of fatally stabbing Esa Carriere at Kelowna’s Queensway bus loop during the fireworks on Canada Day in 2018 took the stand to tell the judge what he says he remembered from that night. Jules Knox reports.

One of the men accused of a fatal stabbing in downtown Kelowna during Canada Day in 2018 took the stand on Wednesday, and told the judge that he doesn’t remember any of the events around that time.

Noah Vaten, who is one of the men accused in the manslaughter of Esa Carriere, said he went down to City Park to watch the fireworks earlier in the afternoon.

He had spent the day drinking and smoking cannabis, and his last memory is doing a line of cocaine while it was still light out, he said.

Read more:
Trial begins for two men accused of 2018 Canada Day homicide in Kelowna

Vaten testified that his next memory isn’t until hours later, when he was arrested for kicking at the windows of the Rutland police station.

Court heard he then spent the night in the drunk tank but was released the next morning, as police hadn’t connected the homicide to Vaten at that point.

Vaten said he hitchhiked across the country about a month later to meet up with his brother in Toronto.

He would finally be arrested for manslaughter in Manitoba in January 2019 while he was on a trip to visit his mother.

During a police interview, he consistently told officers that he has no memory of the stabbing.

“I didn’t know basically if I stabbed anybody or not,” he told court. “I trusted the police that if I did stab somebody, they would do their job.”

Read more:
‘I killed Esa:’ Suspect admits to fatal stabbing in RCMP interrogation video

Vaten told the judge he has been homeless for much of his life, and he played video games to deal with his anxiety.

He said that when the officer told him during his police interview that he could play video games in jail, he felt like he was being offered a home to live in, food to eat, and games to play.

Court heard that’s when he admitted to killing Carriere, although even at the time he still maintained that he didn’t remember how.

The Crown cross-examined Vaten Wednesday afternoon.

“You’re not telling the court that you did not stab Esa Carriere?” the Crown asked.

“That’s correct,” Vaten replied.

Read more:
Four charged with manslaughter in 2018 Kelowna stabbing death

“It’s entirely possible that you did stab Esa Carriere?” the prosecution asked.

“Theoretically,” Vaten said, adding that there’s a possibility to everything.

Vaten admitted to having an association with the people who had a role in Carriere’s death

He also went on to say that if he did know what happened that night, he would have pled guilty if he was guilty.

Read more:
Surveillance video shows last moments of Kelowna homicide victim’s life

Four people were originally charged with Carriere’s manslaughter, although two of the accused’s identities are protected under a publication ban because they were minors at the time of the offence.

Nathan Truant is also on trial for manslaughter, although the case has largely centred around Vaten’s activities.

Read more:
Friend of Kelowna homicide victim calls Canada Day stabbing ‘shocking’

Vaten is expected to continue on the stand on Thursday.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

U.S. Senate talks on police reform collapse as Democrats, Republicans fail to reach deal

WATCH: Biden hopeful for a deal on George Floyd police reform bill after Memorial Day

Bipartisan congressional talks on overhauling policing practices have ended without an agreement, top bargainers from both parties said, marking the collapse of an effort that began after killings of unarmed Black people by officers sparked protests across the U.S.

“It was clear that we were not making the progress that we needed to make,” Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., told reporters Wednesday. He cited continued disagreements over Democrats’ efforts to make officers personally liable for abuses, raising professional standards and collecting national data on police agencies’ use of force.

Talks had moved slowly for months, and it had became clear over the summer that the chances for a breakthrough were all but hopeless. Booker said he’d told South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the lead Republican negotiator, of his decision earlier Wednesday.

Repeated visits to Washington by victims’ relatives helped keep pressure on the issue. But in the end, Booker said, “I couldn’t get to a point where I can meet with families and tell them that we were going to address the specific issues that were putting your family member in harm’s way.”

Read more:
U.S. House passes George Floyd police reform bill a 2nd time after Biden’s blessing

Scott said he was “deeply disappointed” that Democrats had walked away from accords reached on several issues, including banning chokeholds, curbing the transfer of military equipment to police and increased funds for mental health programs, which address problems that often lead to encounters with law enforcement officers.

“Crime will continue to increase while safety decreases, and more officers are going to walk away from the force because my negotiating partners walked away from the table,” Scott said in a statement.

Democrats rejected a deal “because they could not let go of their push to defund our law enforcement,” said Scott, using a catchphrase of progressives from which most Democrats in Congress have disassociated themselves. “Once again, the Left let their misguided idea of perfect be the enemy of good, impactful legislation.”

The failed congressional effort followed high-profile police killings last year of Black people including George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky. Those killings and protest demonstrations in scores of cities that followed called attention to abusive police behavior and the disproportionately high number of Blacks who are victims of fatal encounters with law enforcement.

In a written statement Wednesday, President Joe Biden called Floyd’s killing “a stain on the soul of America,” adding, “We will be remembered for how we responded to the call.”

He said Senate Republicans had “rejected enacting modest reforms” that then-President Donald Trump had backed and some law enforcement organizations were open to. He cited new Justice Department policies on chokeholds and other practices, and said his administration would seek ways, including with executive orders he could issue, “to live up to the American ideal of equal justice under law.”

Booker cited support parts of the effort had won from police organizations, and said he was talking to the White House, other congressional Democrats and civil rights and other outside groups about still making some progress on the issue. But he avoided specifics.

“I just want to make it clear that this is not an end,” he said.

Read more:
U.S. House passes sweeping police reform bill named after George Floyd

Attorneys Ben Crump and Antonio Romanucci, who have represented shooting victims’ families, expressed “extreme disappointment” in the talks’ outcome.

“We can not let this be a tragic, lost opportunity to regain trust between citizens and police,” they said. They said the Senate should vote anyway on Democrats’ policing bill — which Republicans would be certain to defeat with a filibuster, or procedural delays, but would let voters “see who is looking out for their communities’ best interests.”

The police killings and the public reaction quickly caught the attention of both political parties, and work began in Congress to write legislation that would curb and monitor the police use of force. But from the beginning, some from each party voiced suspicions that their rivals would make few concessions in hopes of retaining an issue — crime for Republicans, restraining police for Democrats — that they could use to appeal to voters in election campaigns.

Political roadblocks soon emerged. Democrats blocked a Republican Senate bill last year that they said was too weak, while a tougher House-approved bill this year was derailed in the Senate by the GOP.

Lobbying trips to Washington by victims’ families and Biden’s call this spring for a bipartisan deal by May 25, the anniversary of Floyd’s death, seemed to provide momentum for the effort. But May 25 came and went without an agreement.

Booker and Scott, among only three Black senators, refrained from criticizing each other throughout the talks and held to that on Wednesday. The two have said they are friends and have cited similar experiences of being challenged by officers.

“We disagree on a lot of issues, and in this case, I’m disappointed that we have those disagreements,” Booker said. “But we both share the humiliation of being stopped by police officers.”

© 2021 The Canadian Press

U.S. court orders Facebook to release records of anti-Rohingya accounts to Myanmar probe

WATCH: Ex-Myanmar soldiers give details of Rohingya atrocities

A U.S federal judge has ordered Facebook to release records of accounts connected to anti-Rohingya violence in Myanmar that the social media giant had shut down, rejecting its argument about protecting privacy as “rich with irony.”

The judge in Washingon, D.C, on Wednesday criticized Facebook for failing to hand over information to investigators seeking to prosecute the country for international crimes against the Muslim minority Rohingya, according to a copy of the ruling.

Facebook had refused to release the data, saying it would violate a U.S. law barring electronic communication services from disclosing users’ communications.

Read more:
Bangladesh sends more Rohingya refugees to island despite human rights concerns

But the judge said the posts, which were deleted, would not be covered under the law and not sharing the content would “compound the tragedy that has befallen the Rohingya.”

“Facebook taking up the mantle of privacy rights is rich with irony. News sites have entire sections dedicated to Facebook’s sordid history of privacy scandals,” he wrote.

A spokesperson for Facebook said the company was reviewing the decision and that it had already made “voluntary, lawful disclosures” to another U.N. body, the Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar.

More than 730,000 Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar’s Rakhine state in August 2017 after a military crackdown that refugees said including mass killings and rape. Rights groups documented killings of civilians and burning of villages.

Myanmar authorities say they were battling an insurgency and deny carrying out systematic atrocities.

Gambia is seeking the data as part of a case against Myanmar it is pursuing at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague, accusing Myanmar of violating the 1948 U.N. Convention on Genocide.

In 2018, U.N. human rights investigators said Facebook had played a key role in spreading hate speech that fueled the violence.

In Wednesday’s ruling, U.S. magistrate judge Zia M. Faruqui said Facebook had taken a first step by deleting “the content that fueled a genocide” but had “stumbled” by not sharing it.

Read more:
UN expert voices human rights concerns as Rohingya denied vote during Myanmar election

“A surgeon that excises a tumor does not merely throw it in the trash. She seeks a pathology report to identify the disease,” he said.

“Locking away the requested content would be throwing away the opportunity to understand how disinformation begat genocide of the Rohingya and would foreclose a reckoning at the ICJ.”

Shannon Raj Singh, human rights counsel at Twitter, called the decision “momentous.”

In a Twitter post, she said it was “one of the foremost examples of the relevance of social media to modern atrocity prevention & response.”

(Reporting by Poppy Elena McPherson; Editing by Martin Petty)

© 2021 Reuters

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney to face leadership review in spring: UCP president

WATCH ABOVE: As COVID-19 rages through Alberta, intensive care units there are filling up with patients like never before, fuelling more calls for Premier Jason Kenney to step down over how he handled the crisis. As Heather Yourex-West explains, there are concerns a political shakeup would only make things worse.

While he did not face a confidence vote at a meeting with his United Conservative Party caucus on Wednesday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney will now face a leadership review in the spring, the party’s constituency associations were told later the same day.

As his government scrambles to try to keep the health-care system from collapsing due to skyrocketing COVID-19 cases amid the pandemic’s fourth wave, Kenney has come under fire from members of his party, including some UCP MLAs, over decisions he has made to deal with the public health crisis.

READ MORE: Alberta Premier Jason Kenney faces down restive UCP caucus over COVID-19 crisis 

Some have criticized him for doing too little and too late to address this summer’s onslaught of coronavirus hospitalizations in the province, while others say he has infringed on people’s individual rights with his public health measures, like the recently announced vaccine passport program.

Late Wednesday night, Global News obtained a letter sent to UCP constituency associations by party president Ryan Becker. Many associations had been calling for an early party review and vote on Kenney’s leadership, according to Joel Mullan, the UCP’s vice-president of policy.

“I am writing to share with you our intention to schedule the 2022 annual general meeting, and the accompanying leadership review vote, next spring,” Becker’s letter read. “I have spoken with the premier, who specifically asked that we make this change so that we could deal with any leadership issues well in advance of the next election.

“We are all aware that recent government decisions on responding to the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic have caused anger and frustration among some party members and there is a growing desire to hold a leadership review.

“We have determined the best way for members to be heard at this time and for our party to uphold our member-driven, grassroots tradition is for the 2022 AGM and leadership review to take place in the spring.”

Until this plan was announced, Kenney’s next leadership review was not expected to take place until late 2022.

Dave Prisco, the UCP’s director of communications, told Global News that the party is “working to confirm a date and venue to make it a reality.”

Global News has reached out to the premier’s office for comment on the spring leadership review and will update this story once we receive a response.

When asked Tuesday about his leadership being called into question by UCP members, Kenney told reporters he was focused on the COVID-19 crisis and not politics.

The fourth wave of the pandemic has hit Alberta harder than any other part of Canada. Amid the intensifying strain on the province’s health-care system, Kenney has apologized for trying to shift from a pandemic approach to an endemic approach to COVID-19. However, he has also said he does not regret lifting nearly all public health restrictions on July 1.

READ MORE: Alberta asks feds for help as 29 COVID-19 deaths reported in 24 hours Tuesday 

Watch below: Some recent Global News videos about Jason Kenney.

This week, Kenney’s government confirmed it has reached out to the federal government to ask for assistance should it be needed to transfer patients out of province if hospitals can no longer admit new people and to bring in critical care staff if needed.

“We are treading water as furiously as we can with this big tsunami that’s trying to drown us,” Dr. Paul Parks, president of emergency medicine with the Alberta Medical Association and an emergency room physician in Medicine Hat, Alta., said this week.

“I really don’t think we need ventilators or we need space or rooms or beds or materials. We need human beings for sure, for sure. And that’s been clear to us that for the last month or longer as the numbers are climbing.”

READ MORE: Alberta health-care workers desperate for COVID-19 help: ‘We are treading water as furiously as we can’ 

There are now 1,040 people in Alberta hospitals with COVID-19, the highest hospitalization number the province has seen since the pandemic started in March 2020.

On Wednesday, Alberta Health said it has identified 1,336 new cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, along with 20 additional deaths from the disease.

On Tuesday, Kenney announced Tyler Shandro had resigned as health minister and replaced him with former labour and immigration minister Jason Copping, arguing the health portfolio needed a fresh set of eyes. Shandro has been appointed to Copping’s former cabinet post.

READ MORE: Tyler Shandro loses health portfolio as Premier Jason Kenney shuffles cabinet

Kenney has tried to address the intensifying crisis with a renewed effort to get more Albertans vaccinated. Those numbers have improved since last Wednesday, when the premier announced his government was bringing in a vaccine passport for non-essential businesses.

–With files from Global News’ Tom Vernon and The Canadian Press’ Alanna Smith

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

U.K.'s Boris Johnson says humanity needs to 'grow up,' face climate crisis at U.N.

WATCH: ‘You can do it’: Boris Johnson encourages developing countries to turn away from coal

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told world leaders at the United Nations on Wednesday night that humanity has to “grow up” and tackle climate change, saying humans must stop trashing the planet like a teenager on a bender.

Johnson is due to host a major United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland in six weeks’ time. He is using a trip to the U.N. General Assembly in New York to press governments for tougher emissions-cutting targets and more money to help poor countries clean up their economies.

In a speech to the General Assembly on Wednesday, he said it’s now or never if the world is to meet its goal of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

“If we keep on the current track then the temperatures will go up by 2.7 degrees or more by the end of the century. And never mind what that will do to the ice floes,” Johnson said. “We will see desertification, drought, crop failure, andmass movements of humanity on a scale not seen before. Not because of some unforeseen natural event or disaster, but because of us, because of what we are doing now.”

Read more:
‘Climate migrants’: Report warns 200 million could be pushed out of homes by 2050

In his speech, Johnson compared humanity to an impetuous 16-year-old — “just old enough to get ourselves into serious trouble.”

“We have come to that fateful age when we know roughly how to drive and we know how to unlock the drinks cabinet and to engage in all sorts of activity that is not only potentially embarrassing but also terminal,” he said.

“We believe that someone else will clear up the mess we make, because that is what someone else has always done,” he added. “We trash our habitats again and again with the inductive reasoning that we have got away with it so far, and therefore we will get away with it again.

“My friends, the adolescence of humanity is coming to an end,” Johnson, said, adding: “We must come together in a collective coming of age.”

Hopes for a successful Glasgow summit have been boosted by announcements this week from the world’s two biggest economies and largest carbon polluters, the United States and China. Chinese President Xi Jinping said his country will no longer fund coal-fired power plants abroad, while U.S. President Joe Biden announced a plan to double financial aid for green growth to poorer nations to $11.4 billion by 2024.

Britain has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, and Johnson has championed the expansion of renewable energy, saying the U.K. could become the “Saudi Arabia of wind.” But he is under fire from environmentalists for failing to scrap new North Sea oil drilling and a proposed new coal mine in northwest England.

Johnson also challenged the message of Muppets character Kermit the Frog, who sang: “It’s not easy being green.”

“He was wrong,” he said. “It is easy to be green.”

–With files from Reuters

© 2021 The Canadian Press

Middlesex County declares state of emergency due to flooding

Middlesex County has issued a state of local emergency due to heavy rainfall, which is expected to continue through Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

Middlesex County Warden Cathy Burghardt-Jesson convened a meeting of the Middlesex County Emergency Operations Control Group Wednesday evening and declared a state of local Emergency in accordance with the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.

“We are urging all residents of the County to stay at home until conditions improve. We will keep the public updated as more information becomes available,” said Burghardt-Jesson.

Read more:
City of London launches speed enforcement campaign using cameras to track and ticket speeders

Environment Canada is estimating total rainfall between 75 to 100 mm by Thursday morning, with some areas of London and Middlesex Centre reaching upwards of 125 mm.

The heaviest rainfall is expected to fall this evening with rates of 15 to 25 mm per hour.

“There is no secret water levels across the region have been rapidly rising, and a number of roads have seen some water issues,” said Burghardt-Jesson.

Several roads in the area are underwater and in danger of washouts, prompting Middlesex County to close a number of County roads and monitor others.

Current Road Closures:

  • Pike Road from Mullifarry Drive to Napperton Road (Adelaide Metcalfe)
  • Napperton Road from Kerwood Road to Pike Road (Adelaide Metcalfe)
  • Elginfield Road from Centre Road to Cassidy Road (North Middlesex)
  • Petty Street from Centre Road to Narin Road (North Middlesex)

Watching:

  • Cassidy Road from Elginfield Road to McGillivray Drive (North Middlesex)
  • Mullifarry Drive from Centre Road to Pike Road (Adelaide Metcalfe)
  • Thames Road from Calvert Drive to Glendon Drive (Southwest Middlesex)

Read more:
Rainfall warning issued for London, Ont. and area, 50-60 mm expected, potential for flooding

“I think everyone is quite concerned with how much water has fallen in a short period of time,” said Burghardt-Jesson.

“It easy to get caught up and think you are safe and that you know the road well, but when water crests and if a culvert is breached, it’s easy to lose your way.”

Residents are asked to avoid driving their vehicle through water or in areas where the road is not viable.

The risk of washouts is possible and driving through water can be extremely dangerous due to hidden objects or the road being weakened or washed away, the County said.

There are reports of flooding in London as well. City officials were forced to close a section of Oxford Street west between Beaverbrook Avenue and Proudfoot Lane in the city’s west end.

London Hydro also announced hundreds of customers were without power Wednesday night with outages reported in Glen Cairn, Woodfield, Central London, and Old East Village.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

First, it was the semiconductor chip. Could a tire shortage be next?

Consumer Matters: Need some new snow tires this winter? As Anne Drewa reports, industry experts are suggesting you get them now.

The auto industry may have another shortage on the horizon.

While not nearly as bad as the global semiconductor chip shortage, which has wreaked havoc on the sector, there’s growing concern that shopping for certain types of tires this winter may be challenging.

“If you are thinking you need a new set of winter tires this year, work on it now before fall because there is going to be a limited supply for the right size for your car,” said Motormouth YouTube Channel’s Zack Spencer.

The global shipping container shortage, pandemic disruptions within the rubber sector, and a rising demand from China — a major consumer of rubber — are influencing supply.

“The shortage in the world has more to do with the supply chain. It’s harder to move product through shipping. It’s hard to move product from factory to the market,” said Kal Tire’s Barrie De Boer.

The company said its inventory of winter and all-weather tires for passenger and light trucks is in good supply, but it’s carefully monitoring the situation.

Still, specific brands and sizes may be in short supply.

Read more:
Shopping for a new vehicle? Why the semiconductor chip shortage is making certain models hard to find

“If you are really specific about the size of tire and the make and model, there might be some challenges,” De Boer said.

Wade Bartok, president and CEO of OK Tire North Shore, said his store is well-prepared because the company stocked up early, hoping to avoid a shortage.

But he still urged customers to plan ahead and even start thinking about spring.

“All the tire manufacturers assure us there’s going to be an abundance of tires and not to worry, but on the rubber side, the raw materials appear to be the pinch point.”

The best advice if you are in the market for tires? Shop early and be flexible.

“With tires, it’s very competitive with lots of great operators, and you expect to come in and there will be a tire on the shelf. That might not be the case,” Bartok said.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Blackberry reports $144M loss, revenue down 32% in Q3 2021

WATCH: Ottawa pledging $40 million for Blackberry to develop self-driving cars

BlackBerry Ltd. says its net loss surged to US$144 million in its latest quarter as revenues fell 32 per cent.

The Waterloo, Ont., based company, which reports in U.S. dollars, says it lost 25 cents per share in the three months ended Aug. 31, compared with a loss of four cents per share or US$23 million a year earlier.

Read more:
Blackberry trims loss to $62M after nearly 16% revenue drop in Q1 2021

The loss includes 12 cents per share for a non-cash accounting adjustment to the fair value of the convertible debentures as a result of market and trading conditions.

Excluding one-time items, it swung to an adjusted loss of US$33 million or six cents per share, versus an adjusted profit of $58 million or 10 cents per share in the second quarter of its fiscal 2021.

BlackBerry was expected to report an adjusted loss of seven cents per share and a net loss of 13 cents per share on US$163.5 million of revenues, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

The company says it has appointed John Giamatteo, who was president and chief revenue officer at McAfee, as president of its cybersecurity business effective Oct. 4.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

Hamilton Tiger-Cats cruise to victory against dreadful Ottawa Redblacks

A second straight win has vaulted the Hamilton Tiger-Cats into sole possession of first place in the CFL‘s East Division.

Jumal Rolle returned an interception 88 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter to secure Hamilton’s 24-7 victory over the Ottawa Redblacks in the nation’s capital in a rare Wednesday night game.

Rolle’s pick six was Hamilton’s third in their last four games after Simoni Lawrence turned the trick on Labour Day and again last week against the Calgary Stampeders.

The win boosts the Ticats’ record to 4-3 and moves them two points ahead of the second place Toronto Argonauts, who host Montreal Friday night.

Making his second straight start at quarterback, David Watford completed 15 of 25 passes for 115 yards and one touchdown amid a steady rain at TD Place Stadium in Ottawa.

Losers of their last five games, Ottawa didn’t get much production from their offence on Wednesday night and turned the ball over six times, including two fumbles and three on downs.

Read more:
3rd-string QB David Watford, Tiger Cats down Stampeders 23-17

QB Dominique Davis was pulled from the game after he gifted a touchdown to Rolle and ended the game with a ho-hum stat line of six completions on 14 attempts for only 50 yards.

Backup Matt Nichols didn’t offer the Redblacks much of a spark as Hamilton’s vaunted defence held the 34-year-old veteran to 68 passing yards on 7 of 10 attempts.

The lone score by the Redblacks came early in the fourth quarter when CFL combined-yards leader DeVonte Dedmon returned to put 67 yards for a touchdown.

Running back Sean Thomas Erlington, who was listed as a game time decision for Hamilton, returned to action and recorded 41 rushing yards on nine carries while Watford carried the ball 10 times for 51 yards.

After going 5-for-5 on field goal attempts last week, Hamilton’s Taylor Bertolet converted three of his six kicks against Ottawa — connecting from 14, 39 and 50 yards — but missed from 34, 43 and 52 yards out.

Next up for the Tiger-Cats is a home game against the Alouettes on Oct. 2 where Hamilton has won their last 11 games dating back to the 2019 season.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Canadian men drawn with South Africa at rugby sevens event in Edmonton

WATCH ABOVE: Jacob Thiel with Team Canada join Global News Morning Calgary live via Skype to talk about the Canada Sevens tournament being held in Edmonton.

Canada has been drawn in Pool A with South Africa, Hong Kong and Mexico at the HSBC Canada Sevens in Edmonton this weekend.

The Canadian men are coming off a sixth-place finish Sunday in Vancouver where South Africa won as the HSBC World Rugby Seven Series returned after a lengthy pandemic-prompted hiatus. The Blitzboks defeated Kenya 38-5 in the final at B.C. Place Stadium.

In Vancouver, Canada defeated Germany 24-5 and Chile 19-14 before losing 29-19 to the U.S. On Day 2, the Canadians lost 31-5 to Britain in the quarterfinal, beat Spain 33-19 and then were defeated 26-7 by the U.S. in the fifth-place playoff.

Canada's Phil Berna, centre, is tackled by Great Britain's Alex Davis, back, and Max McFarland, right, during HSBC Canada Sevens quarterfinal rugby action, in Vancouver, on Sunday, September 19, 2021.

Canada's Phil Berna, centre, is tackled by Great Britain's Alex Davis, back, and Max McFarland, right, during HSBC Canada Sevens quarterfinal rugby action, in Vancouver, on Sunday, September 19, 2021.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

South Africa scored 38 tries in Vancouver, with Angelo Davids accounting for 10 of them, becoming the first player to 10 tries in a Series event since France’s Terry Bouhraoua at Cape Town in 2017.

Davids will miss the Edmonton event, having returned to South Africa after a scan revealed a broken hand. He will be replaced by Selvyn Davids.

READ MORE: Edmonton, Vancouver to host World Series rugby sevens tournaments in September 

Hong Kong finished seventh in Vancouver while Mexico was 12th.

Pool B in Edmonton features Kenya, the U.S., Spain and Chile while Pool C is made up of Britain, Ireland, Germany and Jamaica.

The Vancouver and Edmonton events, which also feature a four-team women’s competition, will serve as a truncated 2021 World Series season.

Only seven of the men’s core teams are taking part in the Canadian events with New Zealand. Fiji, Australia, Argentina, Japan, France and Samoa among those missing due to pandemic-related travel restrictions.

Chile, Germany, Hong Kong, Jamaica and Mexico are invited teams. The Mexican men’s and women’s sides were late additions after France withdrew due to travel issues.

The Mexican men went 0-5-0 in Vancouver, outscored 252-7. The Mexican women also lost all five outings, outscored 231-0.

The women’s competition features just four teams: Canada, Britain, the U.S. and Mexico.

The “Fast Four” competition format sees the teams play each other before the top two decide the gold and the other two meet for third.

Britain won the women’s event in Vancouver, downing the U.S. 34-12 in the final. The Canadian women placed third, blanking Mexico 48-0.

Former Canada captain Kelly Russell is coaching the women at the Canadian events.

Rugby Canada is fielding young teams at the Canadian tournaments after a spate of retirements and veterans taking time off in the wake of the Tokyo Olympics.

The 2022 World Series season will start with back-to-back combined events in Dubai. The first, Nov. 26-27, will be held behind closed doors while the second, Dec. 3-4, will see fans in attendance at the Sevens Stadium.

The full 2022 schedule will be announced later with “alternative host options” being considered to replace Australia and New Zealand events in January.

Attendance at Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium is limited due to COVID protocols. Rugby Canada is making half of the 32,000-capacity lower bowl available and may push that to 60 per cent if demand warrants.

Last season, the men got in six of 10 planned tournaments and the women five of eight before the schedule stalled after the Canada sevens in Vancouver in March 2020. A women’s event in Langford, B.C., scheduled for early May last year was one of the tournaments cancelled.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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