Vancouver
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In brief

Vancouver and national news

COWARDS AT WORK



Workers had to repair a window at Little Sister’s after someone destroyed it in the pre-dawn hours of Jan 2. No bullet was found this time, unlike some six months ago when a BB pellet was discovered lodged in the window. Little Sister’s was bombed three times in its early years on Thurlow St. In recent months, vandalism against gay-identified businesses has increased on Davie St.



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SPECIAL COP TRAINING



Some male police recruits got a rare taste of what it actually feels like to be gay in Edmonton when they walked hand-in-hand down a busy street last month-and braved the stares and glares of passers-by. The recruits are part of a new training exercise launched by the Edmonton police force’s hate-crimes unit. “I’m trying to get them to understand what it’s like to be in that kind of situation,” Const Steve Camp told the Edmonton Journal. “They can intellectualize the process, but the emotional intellect is something totally different, and that’s what we tried to accomplish here.” Camp hopes the training will better equip the new officers and give them insight into “the emotional response” experienced by a lot of the people they’re soon going to serve. The recruits later reported that they felt intimidated, unsafe, uneasy and uncomfortable. Then they told their classmates all about the experience. Camp says he thinks it’s the first training program of its kind in Canada.



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MARITIME ATTACKER PLEADS GUILTY



Terry Curtis, the man who attacked Fredericton MP Andy Scott in his constituency office last November, pleaded guilty to assault and uttering death threats, Dec 29. At the time of the incident, Curtis’ wife linked the attack to his “Christian beliefs” opposing homosexuality, and told reporters that her husband attacked Scott because the MP supports same-sex marriage. Curtis is scheduled to be sentenced Jan 6, as Xtra West goes to press. His lawyer says she’ll recommend psychiatric care rather than jail time. The psychiatric assessment she commissioned for the court found Curtis to be bipolar with “slight psychotic tendencies.” No word yet on whether Crown counsel will ask for a stiffer sentence on the assault because it was allegedly motivated by hatred.



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GAY GAMES SHORTLISTS CITIES



The Federation of Gay Games (FGG) announced Jan 2 that Chicago and Los Angeles are now in the running to host the 2006 games. The games were supposed to be held in Montreal, but a falling out between that host committee and the FGG short-circuited those plans last November. Both US cities were finalists in the original 2006 bidding process. The FGG plans to announce its decision this March.