Arrests in Regina involving Northern Ontario wildfire evacuees

Things have not gone entirely smoothly for Northern Ontario wildfire evacuees staying in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan government officials confirmed in a conference call Monday there have been incidents at the University of Regina campus where the evacuees have been staying.

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According to Regina Police Service, two incidents were alleged to have occurred at the University of Regina campus in the 3700 block of Wascana Parkway.  Three individuals were arrested, all of whom are among the evacuees to Regina from Northern Ontario.

In one incident on July 12 at 7:15 p.m. police were dispatched to a report of a fight in one of the residence towers.  The victim, a 24 year-old male, was assisted by EMS.

Regina Police say Edward Dawson Wade Keeper, 19, and Darian Moose, 22, were  charged with assault causing bodily harm in connection to the incident; Keeper also is charged with a breach of recognizance.  They made their first provincial court appearances in Regina on Monday morning.

A second incident took place July 13 around 4:09 a.m., when campus security were alerted to the sound of an altercation in one of the rooms.  Upon entering, police found a 28 year-old female who had sustained serious injuries consistent with a physical altercation.

A 29 year-old male was charged with aggravated assault and disobeying a court order, and made his first court appearance Monday. Regina Police Service say his name will not be released, as this is a domestic-related assault and naming the accused could identify the victim of the incident. 

In a provincial conference call with reporters Monday, Drew Wilby of the Ministry of the Attorney General confirmed three individuals had been remanded to Regina Correctional Centre and were appearing in court that day. 

Duane McKay from the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency also acknowledged "disturbances" and incidents involving damage at the university.

“There have been a few incidents over the last number of days,” said McKay.

These incidents had happened on the first day the evacuees were there, but the situations had been "brought under control," he said.

As for damage, “we are in close contact with the University of Regina to ensure that any damage is repaired,” McKay said. He could not go into specifics about the damage, but said it might have been to carpeting or bedding and was not considered “large-scale destruction.”

Regina is the only venue in Saskatchewan housing evacuees from northern Ontario at the moment. Approximately over 420 evacuees from the Pikangikum First Nation have been received since late last week and had been staying at the University of Regina. A command post has been set up at the university bringing together police, university and Red Cross staff.


McKay acknowledged evacuees were under "a great deal of stress" and that this was the second or third evacuation for them in the last number of weeks.

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