This Week in New Brunswick

Couple steals diamond from Saint John jewelry store

Grigori Zaharov and Natalia Feldman have both pleaded guilty to the theft of a $10,000 diamond from W. Smith and Co. Fine Jewellers. The couple swapped the diamond with a cubic zirconia, which is similar to diamond at first glance. When the clerk suspected that Zaharov had pocketed the diamond, she confronted the couple and they immediately left the store. The clerk then checked the security video, in which she saw Zaharov pocketing the diamond, and called the police. After the video was made public, police received a tip telling them the couple had been seen at the Halifax casino. This eventually led to their arrest and the recovery of the diamond. Zaharov and Feldman are also accused of stealing two diamonds worth approximately $20,000 from a store in Charlottetown. The sentence for the Saint John offence will lead to a maximum penalty of two years in prison, although Feldman, who never touched the diamond, may receive a shorter sentence than Zaharov.

Three-stream garbage system “running smoothly”

Since its implementation one month ago, officials say southeastern New Brunswick’s three-stream garbage system has so far been effective. In an interview with the CBC, Roland LeBlanc, director of solid waste at southeast Eco360, said cleaner recyclable material is being produced by waste management plants since the change. Roland said, “instead of 50 per cent in the blue bag being recyclable, we’re seeing 70 to 80 per cent now.” He also said that approximately 70 per cent of the province’s eligible population is participating, with apartment buildings and businesses also expressing interest. Currently, apartment buildings and businesses do not need to comply with the sorting regulations. As well, the system app, which provides users with garbage-sorting information, has been downloaded 8,000 times.

New Brunswick Indigenous protestors on RCMP “threat list”

Thirty-five Indigenous anti-shale gas protesters with ties to New Brunswick and the 2013 Kent County protests are included on a list of 89 secretly investigated persons considered “potential threats to public safety” by the RCMP. The RCMP conducted Project SITKA, which was launched in early 2014 to “assess the threat posed by individuals and/or groups (Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal) willing and capable of utilizing unlawful tactics in association with Aboriginal public order events,” as quoted by a CBC article. Many, like Carleton professor of criminology and criminal justice Jeffrey Monaghan, see this investigation as a violation of civil liberties. In an interview with the CBC, Monaghan said the investigation, which did not notify investigated individuals, was “outside of any kind of procedural expectations we would have for a criminal justice process.”

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