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Air Quality Alerts, CNG Buses & Red Deer’s Transportation Plan


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1:12 pm – A video surveillance system for Innisfail’s new RV Sanitary Dump Station has been ordered and will be installed in the next several weeks. Find out what else happened at Innisfail’s Council Meeting this week.

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12:54 pm – Due to wildfires burning in British Columbia, air quality is expected to be variable across much of the Central Zone of Alberta Health Services (AHS) over the coming days and potentially, weeks. This means a precautionary air quality advisory for the Central Zone. Details Here.

12:47 pm – Lacombe’s Police Chief says “the majority of people who attended acted responsibly” during the City’s recent Canada Day celebrations on July 1st where Police checkstops took place. Results Here.

12:22 pm – The Laura Avenue Extension project in Red Deer County remains on schedule. Here is the latest update.

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12:00 pm – Red Deer Transit rolled out it’s new compressed natural gas buses following a celebration at the Civic Yards this morning. Read More.

11:48 am – Thanks to the cooler temperatures and recent precipitation, Lacombe County has lifted its Fire Advisory. Fire permits are still required for all outdoor fires, excluding fires used for cooking or warming purposes and burning barrels. Read More.

11:39 am – Co-op is giving a boost to three local organizations that are creating new opportunities and experiences for central Alberta residents. The Innisfail Public Library, Blackfalds District Agriculture Society and Medicine River Wildlife Centre in Spruce View have all received donations through Co-op Community Spaces, a funding program supporting recreation, environmental conservation and urban agriculture projects. The Innisfail Public Library will receive $25,000 for a new Community Garden. The Blackfalds District Agriculture Society will receive $25,500 for a scenic rest area next to the Wadey Visitor Services Centre and Medicine River Wildlife Centre will receive $133,000 for a Wildlife Home Playground.

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11:26 am – Avoid traffic delays by knowing where Red Deer’s road closures are. Details Here.

11:15 am – Red Deer’s new multimodal transportation plan is moving forward. “Moving Red Deer Forward” charts the course for the future of driving, walking, cycling and transit in Red Deer. Read More.

9:37 am – Meteorologists with Environment Canada have issued special Air Quality Alerts for many parts of Alberta’S west country, including the Nordegg, Rocky – Caroline, Rimbey, Pigeon Lake, Devon and Drayton Valley regions among others. Details Here.

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CP NewsAlert: CFL, CFL Players' Association reach tentative collective agreement

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TORONTO — The second strike in CFL history is over.

Two sources told The Canadian Press that the CFL and CFL Players’ Association reached a tentative seven-year collective bargaining agreement Wednesday night.

The sources spoke on the condition of anonymity as neither side immediately offered confirmation.

The contract must still be ratified by both the CFL board of governors as well as the CFLPA membership but the expectation is players will report to their teams Thursday and go through an opening-day walkthrough.

More coming.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta premier Jason Kenney steps down as UCP leader

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney has stepped down as leader of the United Conservative Party after narrowly winning the party’s leadership vote.

Kenney received 51.4 per cent support in voting results released tonight in Calgary.

He told supporters that the number is not what he hoped for and is not enough for him to continue on as leader.

If Kenney had received less than 50 per cent plus one, he would have had to quit as per party rules and a leadership contest would have been called.

Normally, leaders consider 75 to 80 per cent — or higher — the minimum credible mandate to continue leading their party.

Kenney had earlier said he would accept a slim majority, because the voting pool was skewed by last-minute members interested only in scuttling his big-tent conservative party.

“While 51 per cent of the vote passes the constitutional threshold of a majority, it clearly is not adequate support to continue on as leader,” Kenney said.

“I’ve informed the president of the party of my intention to step down as leader of the United Conservative Party,” he said to gasps in the audience.

“We need to move forward united. We need to put the past behind us. And a large number of our members have asked for an opportunity to clear the air through a leadership election.”

The leadership review took on heightened importance over the past year as Kenney was buffeted by poor polling numbers, sluggish fundraising and open dissent from some in his party and caucus.

It was also punctuated by controversy. It had already been delayed by a year when it was set for an in-person ballot on April 9 in Red Deer, Alta.

When 15,000 members signed up — five times more than expected — the party said it couldn’t handle the logistics and moved to a mail-in ballot open to all 59,000 members.

Critics said the change was made to give Kenney the edge as it appeared he was going to lose the in-person vote.

Elections Alberta is also investigating allegations of illegal bulk buying of memberships in the review. And the party remains under investigation by the RCMP over allegations of criminal identity fraud in the 2017 contest that saw Kenney elected leader.

Kenney had made it clear that the vote and open dissent had become a “soap opera” distracting the party facing a provincial election next May.

He also said that if he got the required support, he would expect dissenters in his caucus to rally behind him or face unnamed consequences.

Two backbenchers who openly criticized Kenney last year — Todd Loewen and Drew Barnes — were voted out of caucus and sit as Independents.

Backbenchers Jason Stephan, Peter Guthrie and Brian Jean — who helped Kenney found the UCP — have been the most vocal. They openly urged the premier to resign for the good of the party.

Kenney has tried to downplay the dissent by tying it directly to unhappiness over COVID-19 restrictions his government bought in to try to stop the spread of the virus.

Opponents in caucus say the dissatisfaction is also over Kenney’s policies and management style, which they deem to be top-down, dismissive and undemocratic. They say Kenney has not done enough to gain a better deal for Alberta with the federal government on shared programs.

Conservative leaders in Alberta have not fared well after middling votes in leadership reviews.

Former Progressive Conservative premier Ralph Klein left after getting 55 per cent of the vote in 2006. Ed Stelmach and Alison Redford received 77 per cent in their reviews, but stepped down from the top job when the party pushed back.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 18, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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