Former home of Alvin and Kathryn Liknes demolished

A home in southwest Calgary, formerly occupied by a couple who police say were murdered along with their grandson, has now been demolished.

The house that once belonged to Alvin and Kathryn Liknes, became a crime scene after they disappeared along with their five-year-old grandson, Nathan O’Brien, in June of 2014.

The couple had been having their grandson over for a sleepover but when O’Brien’s mother came to pick him up the next day, the trio had vanished.

The case shocked people across Canada and around the world and an Amber Alert was issued that lasted for weeks.

READ MORE: Timeline: Missing Calgary family Nathan O’Brien, Alvin and Kathryn Liknes

The home was located in the 100 block of 38A Avenue S.W.

A southwest Calgary home that became a crime scene following the 2014 disappearance of Alvin and Kathryn Liknes and their grandson, has been demolished.

A southwest Calgary home that became a crime scene following the 2014 disappearance of Alvin and Kathryn Liknes and their grandson, has been demolished.

Loren Andreae/ Global News

A southwest Calgary home that became a crime scene following the 2014 disappearance of Alvin and Kathryn Liknes and their grandson, has been demolished

Loren Andreae/ Global News

A southwest Calgary home that became a crime scene following the 2014 disappearance of Alvin and Kathryn Liknes and their grandson, has been demolished

Loren Andreae/ Global News

A southwest Calgary home that became a crime scene following the 2014 disappearance of Alvin and Kathryn Liknes and their grandson, has been demolished

Loren Andreae/ Global News

A southwest Calgary home that became a crime scene following the 2014 disappearance of Alvin and Kathryn Liknes and their grandson, has been demolished.

Loren Andreae/ Global News

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Related

  • Calgary police search Airdrie property for more evidence related to Liknes and O’Brien homicides

  • Memorial for Alvin and Kathy Liknes

  • Trust fund launched to help grieving Liknes and O’Brien families

  • Missing Calgary family: Who were Nathan O’Brien, Alvin and Kathryn Liknes?

    Douglas Garland appears in court, friends of Liknes family launch trust fund

    Following an investigation, police confirmed a ‘violent incident’ had taken place in the Liknes home.

    READ MORE: Accused triple murderer Douglas Garland’s trial to begin in 2017

    Douglas Garland has been ordered to stand trial for three counts of first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of the Liknes couple and O’Brien.

    Garland’s trial is set to begin in January 2017.

    READ MORE: Police believed Liknes couple, Nathan O’Brien ‘likely murdered’ within 1st hours of investigation

    The bodies were never found.

    The home was sold before the trio disappeared. Family confirmed the buyers had always planned the demolition for a future infill.

    The demolition began on Friday and crews are still working away on the concrete foundation.

Feds to crack down on tax dodgers, looking to recoup $2.6 billion

OTTAWA – The Canada Revenue Agency is boosting its efforts to hunt down tax dodgers – including those who shelter cash offshore – under an expanded plan expected to recoup $2.6 billion in unpaid taxes over the next five years.

The agency shared some specifics Monday on how it will improve detection, auditing and prosecution of tax cheaters with help from a five-year, $444-million government commitment – an investment nearly one-sixth of the anticipated return.

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“We really want to put the axe into everything that touches tax evasion,” Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier told a news conference in Ottawa.

“There are people today, I imagine, who must be nervous.”

Details of the agency’s plan follow media reports on the so-called Panama Papers, some 11.5 million records leaked from a Panamanian law firm that shed light on the use of offshore tax havens around the world.

The extra government funding to fight tax evaders was announced in last month’s budget.

Under the plan, Ottawa will intensify its detection work abroad by examining all international funds transfers over $10,000 to and from Canada. So far, the agency said it has already collected information on all such exchanges since January 2015.

WATCH: NDP wonders what steps Trudeau government will take to crack down on overseas tax evasion following ‘Panama Papers’ release

The agency will also zero in on four selected international jurisdictions this year for deeper scrutiny.

The first place on the list is the Isle of Man, which saw $860 million worth of electronic transfers with Canada over a 12-month period. The agency said it has assessed the risk for all 3000 transactions involving about 350 individual taxpayers and 400 companies.

Lebouthillier declined to release the names of the other three jurisdictions that will go under the microscope. She said she didn’t want to tip off tax dodgers and give them the opportunity to transfer their offshore assets to avoid being caught.

READ MORE: Following leaked Panama Papers, Ottawa to study ‘tax gap’

The agency will also launch a special program aimed at stopping groups that create and promote tax evasion and tax avoidance schemes for the wealthy. It said it will be able to increase its investigations of such schemes 12-fold.

The government investment will allow the agency to hire more auditors and specialists, who will focus on “high-risk” individuals and multinational corporations.

“It’s unthinkable and it’s also intolerable that people can pay specialists to allow them to evade taxes,” Lebouthillier said.

“There are people who defraud the government, who do not pay their part.”

Her agency also reiterated that it will begin its work to estimate the so-called “tax gap,” the difference between what is owed in taxes and what is actually collected.

Lebouthillier has indicated Canada will work with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which uses the tax gap measure to help develop policies that target tax evaders.

She said she will attend an OECD meeting this week in Paris that will address the issue of tax shelters. Ottawa plans to collaborate with international partners on the matter.

Lebouthillier also announced that a new advisory committee has been created to explore the issue of offshore tax evasion and aggressive tax planning.

The committee will be made up of seven experts and chaired by Western University law professor Colin Campbell. The vice-chair will be Dalhousie University professor Kimberly Brooks.

Investigators visit Panama Papers law firm’s office

PANAMA CITY – Panamanian prosecutors visited the offices of the Mossack Fonseca law firm Monday to look into its allegations that a computer hacker was behind the leak of a trove of financial documents about tax havens the firm set up to benefit influential people around the globe.

Public ministry spokeswoman Sandra Sotillo said the visit to the offices of Mossack Fonseca was made by investigators from the intellectual property prosecutor’s office.

WATCH: NDP wonders what steps Trudeau government will take to crack down on overseas tax evasion following ‘Panama Papers’ release

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The firm filed a complaint charging the security breach shortly before media reports appeared last week using the documents to detail how politicians, celebrities and companies around the globe were hiding assets in offshore bank accounts and anonymous shell companies.

“Finally the real criminals are being investigated,” firm co-founder Ramon Fonseca said in a message to The Associated Press.

Fonseca has maintained that the only crime which can be taken from the leak was the computer hack itself. He has said he suspects the hack originated outside Panama, possibly in Europe, but has not given any details.

Panama’s government has said it will co-operate with any judicial investigation arising from the documents.

READ MORE: Panama Papers: Law firm regularly used name of Red Cross to hide money

Some critics of the government have called for a rapid investigation of the law firm, which is one of the most important in the world for creating overseas front companies.

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela has defended the country’s financial sector, which is considered of strategic importance for the economy. But Varela has also promised the international community that he is willing to make reforms to make the sector more transparent.

Saving the Famine Irish exhibit comes to Montreal

MONTREAL – It is a story of survival and compassion.

“Saving the Famine Irish: The Grey Nuns and the Great Hunger,” hosted by the Montreal Irish Monument Park Foundation, is playing at the Centaur Theatre from April 11 until April 17.

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Related

    About the Montreal Irish Monument Park

  • Montreal’s Irish community remembers Black ’47

  • 8 Irish phrases to help you get around on St. Patrick’s Day

    The exhibit comes from Connecticut’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac University, which hosted the exhibition from March 17, 2015 until March 17, 2016.

    The exhibit tells the story of the Grey Nuns, who helped sick Irish immigrants landing in Quebec after they fled the famine during the summer of 1847.

    “The story of the Grey Nuns and of the other religious orders who helped the dying Irish immigrants is one of kindness, compassion and true charity,” said Christine Kinealy, founding director of Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute at Quinnipiac.

    Kinealy is also one of the curators of the exhibit.

    “Nonetheless, almost 6,000 Irish immigrants perished in the fever sheds of Montreal,” she said.

    “They had fled from famine in Ireland only to die of fever in Canada. This is a remarkable story that deserves to be better known.”

    READ MORE: Montreal’s Irish community remembers Black ’47

    The foundation hopes the exhibit will help highlight the Black Rock monument – an engraved boulder that sits under Montreal’s Victoria Bridge in commemoration of the Irish famine victims.

    The foundation would like to  see the monument become a green space and cultural park to honour those who perished, as well as the people who helped them during the trying times.

Family of Oakridge home invasion victim speaks out as questions surround person of interest

Five days after a brutal attack, police continue to watch the Hayer family home in Vancouver’s Oakridge neighbourhood.

Inside, Jasbinder Hayer recovers from an attempted home invasion.

“She’s suffering, she’s 86 years old. But we’re lucky she survived,” son Gurpreet Hayer told Global News.

Police say Jason Anthony White is a person of interest in the assault that left the elderly woman with a broken hand.

White has 34 convictions to his name and spent eight years in jail for violently sexually assaulting a 74-year-old woman.

WATCH: Convicted sex offender arrested near UBC

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The courts recognized he was at high risk of committing more offences, but he was released anyway.

“It’s this incredible hypocrisy in the system,” Angela Marie MacDougall of Battered Women’s Support Services said. “On one hand the system recognizes how dangerous this man is. On the other hand, we’ll let him go and it’ll be an experiment — truly gambling with the lives of girls and women.”

White was designated a dangerous offender, a status that could have kept him in jail for life. But he appealed and won because — despite his lengthy criminal history — there was no evidence proving White couldn’t be controlled in the community.

“They just had to put some evidence before the court for the court to consider,” lawyer Paul Doroshenko said. “The court might have rejected that evidence or accepted that evidence, but it was a failure to put that evidence before the court that led to the court of appeal overturning the original decision for dangerous offender status.”

White was arrested on UBC’s Point Grey campus over the weekend after he breached a condition of his release. The Hayer family said he never should have been let out of jail. They have high praise for police, but feel the justice system let them down.

“This kind of guy, they should be keeping him inside somewhere,” said Gurpreet Hayer. “The system is soft. The judge should keep an eye on this guy.”

Experts say it will take another serious crime before White can be considered a dangerous offender again.

– With files from Tanya Beja