Nov 16

Diabetes expert testifies in murder trial of Calgary parents accused of not treating teen

WARNING: This story contains content some readers may find disturbing. Discretion is strongly advised.

A pediatric endocrinologist testified Wednesday in the trial of two parents accused of killing their teenage son, telling court the 15-year-old didn’t seem like he received “proper care for his diabetes.”

Emil and Rodica Radita were arrested in February 2014 and pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the trial by judge alone on Tuesday.

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    Scroll down to read our live blog, which will be updated with key testimony from court throughout the week

    READ MORE: Calgary parents accused of not treating diabetic teen plead not guilty to first-degree murder

    Police allege they denied Alex (Alexandru) Radita treatment for diabetes, which ultimately killed him. Court heard Tuesday Alex, 15, weighed 37 pounds when he died.

    Dr. Daniele Pacaud testified Wednesday as an expert in diabetes in children. She said she reviewed documents and photos regarding the case and concluded the boy was in a “severe state of malnutrition.”

    She told the court Alex “seemed to have not been provided with the proper care for his diabetes.”

    Dr. Pacaud will continue testifying Thursday.

    Watch below: Global’s Jill Croteau was in court on the first day of the first-degree murder trial of Emil and Rodica Radita

    A paramedic testified Tuesday Emil Radita told her he called EMS four hours after he found his son lying in bed, emaciated and cold to the touch.

    Police were called to the Radita home in the community of Citadel on May 7, 2013.

    An autopsy revealed Radita died from a bacterial sepsis (Staphyloccus Aureus) from complications of neglect and starvation, due to the Type 1 diabetes.

    Court documents show Alex had previously been removed from the Raditas’ British Columbia home by child welfare because the parents weren’t properly treating the diabetes. A judge later returned him to his parents’ care.

    Calgary police allege Alex was not given the necessary treatment once the family moved to Alberta, and the teen’s health declined to the extent that he was confined to his room and subsequently died.

    The trial is scheduled to last five weeks.

    LIVE BLOG: Global News’ David Boushy is live at the trial of Emil and Rodica Radita, who are charged with first-degree murder in the 2013 death of their diabetic son, Alex Radita.

Nov 16

Olympic underdog Jan Hudec questions why Alpine Canada left him off ski team

Canadian Olympic medallist Jan Hudec was one of the most successful athletes cut from Team Canada’s ski team last week.

Within the last two years, the 34-year-old went from earning Canada’s first Olympic medal in men’s alpine skiing in two decades to being cut from the team.

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    Alpine Canada stated he did not meet their standards to be named to the roster and refused to show proof of progress during his rehabilitation after his eighth surgery and being sidelined most of last season.

    The organization emailed the following statement to Global News about the decision:

    “Jan Hudec failed to meet the set out standards to be named to the team. Under coach’s discretion, Jan was selected to the team, subject to further physical, health and World Cup performance parameters laid out by Alpine Canada Alpin to ensure his health, performance and ACA resources were allocated effectively.  Jan declined to agree nor adhere to the set out requirements, therefore declining his spot on the Canadian Alpine Ski Team at this time.”

    Former Alpine Canada CEO Max Gartner, who’s now Hudec’s advisor, disagrees with the organization’s version of events and said it came down to how it decided to delegate its budget and that Hudec was asked to pay more than any other athlete.

    “Jan agreed to all the physical requirements and the rehab and all those things. It’s just the price tag for him to be able to race for this year was just way to high,” Gartner said. “Initially, Alpine Canada wanted $70,000 from him. They did cut it down to $35,000.

    “But for an Olympic athlete who just won a medal two years ago, to be charged more than any other athlete ever in the program, I didn’t understand that position.”

    According to Alpine Canada, their men’s speed program costs roughly $250,000 per athlete a year. What the skier pays out of their own pocket varies, especially in Hudec’s case, since he was initially named to the team under “coaches discretion,” a clause in the selection criteria. But his selection was subject to Hudec proving progress in his rehabilitation under Alpine Canada testing and monitoring.

    “Before any money was going to be spent, there was going to be these tests and Jan agreed to those. Then after that, when he was fit, to participate in the training camps in Chile and prior to Lake Louise, Alpine Canada had to support that,” Gartner said.

    Gartner said the agreed timeline of physical tests changed and Hudec could not pay the requested amount from Alpine Canada.

    “From an organizational stand point, you’re always under pressure from sponsors, investors, people that contribute to the sport to be putting up results. Unfortunately, a lot of decisions are based on metrics and science from guys sitting in suits behind desks,” Hudec said.

    Gartner said Hudec has never been your cookie-cutter downhill skier but has always put up results under pressure over the years.

    “Three weeks out of the Olympics, he was flat on his back and couldn’t move and he got there – and won a medal. So Jan is one of those people that has a special gift,” Gartner said.

    Despite an injury riddled career, the Calgarian has seven international podium finishes; including an Olympic bronze medal in Sochi 2014, a World Championship silver and five World Cup medals.

    “I think I’m the dark horse, the underdog,” Hudec said.

    Current CEO of Alpine Canada Mark Rubinstein said they considered several things when deciding to leave an athlete like Hudec off their team at this time.

    “Factors include injuries, factors include how many years has an athlete been off skis. factors include age, even though that by itself isn’t determinate, without question, as we get older it’s harder to bounce back,” Rubinstein said.

    Hudec thinks he still has what it takes to compete at a high level or at least expected the support from Alpine Canada to train this summer and go from there, after the record he’s had in past seasons.

    “It puts unhealthy pressure on athletes, especially athletes that have performed in the past. It’s not like I’ve been flat-lining my whole career,” Hudec said.

    “We didn’t understand why they wouldn’t give him the support to attend the training camps over the summer time, with the full support of Alpine Canada (financially). By the time Lake Louise comes around, it would be pretty clear whether he could compete,” Gartner said.

    Hudec also feels that his age should only speak to his experience in the sport.

    “In Super G and downhill, age is actually on your side,” Hudec said. “A lot of the top athletes that retired were in their mid to late 30s.

    “The young guys are important to push us but we’re also important for the young guys to give them leadership and give them something to strive to so they know where they can be very easily if we just stick together and work as a team.”

    In the meantime, Hudec plans to do what he does best: find a way to win another medal, if he’s still got it.

    “I want to go out with a bang and have some great results. If I don’t feel like I’m physically fit to do that, I’m not going to put myself in that position.”

    With a tight budget compared to competing countries like Austria that has had more than triple the amount of athletes on its Alpine roster, Alpine Canada stands by its selection but said it will keep the door open to Hudec for further discussion.

    Gartner, who worked for Alpine Canada for more than 25 years, said the organization needs to support its athletes through the ups and downs.

    “Because none of their careers go straight up in a line. There’s always challenges, especially in alpine skiing,” Gartner said. “You get injured and sometimes your equipment doesn’t work that well. Without that support, you lose those athletes way too early and some of them could be champions.”

    With files from the Canadian Press

Nov 16

Edmonton neighbourhood signs legal document to stop infill

Residents of a south Edmonton community have said it’s their last-ditch effort to stop lot-splitting in their area. The majority of residents in Westbrook have signed a restrictive covenant that would prevent subdivision.

Those organizing the effort said they expect to have 80 per cent of residents on board by the end of June.

A restrictive covenant is an agreement between two or more neighbours that would restrict a specific action on a property, like subdividing a lot.

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    Westbrook is just one of the communities looking to put a stop to infill, after the city changed the rules in April 2015, allowing all lots that are more than 50 feet to be sub-divided.

    WATCH: Edmonton city councillor holds infill forum for Rio Terrace residents

    “I understand their frustrations,” said Ward 5 Councillor Michael Oshry.

    Oshry said the decision to introduce the infill bylaw was made because of “lots and lots of appropriate evidence.”

    “I’m not sure it’s necessarily going to accomplish what they’re looking for,” he said Tuesday.

    Those who deal in real estate law said it’s a big step to take, and owners should be careful.

    “Each owner would have to sign,” said Shane Parker, a real estate lawyer for more than two decades. “If you get 80 per cent agreement you would obviously then have 20 per cent that won’t agree.”

    Those who don’t sign the covenant would still be able to subdivide their properties.

    “The end result could be a checker board effect. That wouldn’t be the intended result,” said the Parker and Dubrule lawyer.

    The city may also have a legal argument against the agreements.

    “It may be open to an attack that it could be voided because it is against public policy,” Parker said, and warned about the unintended consequences.

    “Ways to discharge a restrictive covenant are very limited.”

    Parker added the entire neighbourhood would have to sign off if you decide to go against the covenant or you would have to take it to court and prove that the reason for the restrictive covenant no longer applies.

    “I would strongly urge caution with owners to review this with their own lawyer, obtain independent legal advice to make sure they understand what encumbering their property will mean for them in the future.”

    WATCH: New infill approach helps older Edmonton neighbourhood maintain character: city

    Residents in other neighbourhoods aren’t taking as dramatic of an approach, instead putting out lawn signs and lobbying their councillors.

    Jason Chin is a resident in Lansdowne. The home right next door to his will be torn down and two skinny homes will replace it.

    Even though it’s too late for his next-door neighbour, Chin has recently put up a sign on his front lawn that reads: “City Council- subdivisions not needed or wanted here.”

    “It’s the context, it’s the characteristic of the neighbourhood,” Chin told Global News.

    Chin has lived in Lansdowne for the last five years and said he chose the neighbourhood because of the way it looks.

    Lansdowne isn’t looking at a restrictive covenant yet, but hasn’t closed the door on it completely. He said for now they will ask the city to take a step back on the project and see how it’s affecting communities.

    “Why are we actually in such a rush to do it when we can probably work out other solutions?”