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Alberta Justice Minister to meet with municipal leaders about forming Alberta Provincial Police

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Submitted by Minister Tyler Shandro

Alberta Provincial Police and the RCMP

To keep our communities safe and to protect our way of life, Alberta needs police services that are well managed, properly resourced, and accountable to local communities.

The national model that we have right now does not meet these expectations. The RCMP is stretched far and wide, dealing with everything from national threats to traffic stops in small-town Alberta.

We believe policing can be improved to meet the needs of all Albertans. That’s why our government has developed a proposal to create a provincial police service.

I want to be clear: this proposal is not a criticism of the RCMP. Our frontline officers do amazing work. Our concerns are with a national policing model that is bureaucratic and unaccountable.

Over the years, Alberta, other Canadian provinces, and even the federal government have repeatedly identified problems with this national policing model. This national model does a poor job of recruiting police officers. It fails to properly staff rural detachments. It trains police officers outside of Alberta. It uses a lab system that fails to process evidence fast enough. And it excludes municipalities from collective bargaining for the RCMP while offloading increased costs onto municipalities.

The provincial model that Alberta has proposed will increase the number of frontline police officers and civilian specialists in every detachment. It will expand the use of mental health nurses. It will reduce the transfer of officers in and out of communities. And, importantly, it will increase the ability for municipal governments to have a say in local policing, and be more cost-effective.

Alberta is not the only province interested in establishing a provincial police service. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan are all looking at the same issue. This spring, an all-party committee in British Columbia unanimously recommended replacing the RCMP with a provincial police service. And last year, a federal report recommended that the federal government explore ending the use of the RCMP for local policing and help provinces interested in setting up their own police service.

If a new provincial police service is created, it would not replace municipal or First Nation police services.  In fact, Alberta’s government will actively support municipalities and First Nations that are interested in creating their own police service.

Under the proposed provincial model, no municipality will face increased costs. Municipalities would pay the same or less for a provincial police service compared to what they pay for the RCMP. This is a far better bargain than the federal model, which will require municipalities to pay a larger share of policing costs in the coming years.

We believe that policing can be improved in our province. Over the summer, I will be meeting with municipalities, stakeholders and Albertans to continue this important and long overdue conversation.

Tyler Shandro

Minister of Justice and Solicitor General

This is a news release from the Government of Alberta.

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Alberta

Alberta extends electricity rebate program until December at a cost of about $600M

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Edmonton – The Alberta government says it will extend its electricity rebates until the end of the year as the cost of living continues to rise.

Dale Nally, who’s the associate minister of natural gas and electricity, says the United Conservative government is doubling the rebate to help reduce the financial burden on Albertans.

The government says the electricity rebate program will now offer about $600 million in relief through 2022.

It says the program will provide nearly two million homes, farms and small businesses with a monthly $50 bill credit each month from July until December.

The government says it will also provide a natural gas rebate to millions of Albertans starting in October, which will continue until March 2023 if prices remain high.

Last week, Finance Minister Jason Nixon announced a $3.9-billion surplus for the 2021-22 fiscal year ending March 31.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 6, 2022.

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Alberta

Telus Corp. marks opening of Telus Sky in downtown Calgary

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CALGARY — Telus Corp. marked the opening of its new 60-storey Calgary headquarters on Wednesday.

The new $400-million skyscraper, Telus Sky, has been in development for nine years and is now the third-tallest building in downtown Calgary. It features 750,000 square feet of office and retail space as well as 326 rental homes.

The building’s eye-catching design, by architects Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Dialog, along with developer partner Westbank and Allied, starts with a rectangular floorplate and then gradually twists as it rises.

Integrated into the facade of Telus Sky is Canada’s largest public art display. “Northern Lights” by Canadian author and artist, Douglas Coupland, creates a light show across the building’s exterior.

Telus Sky will be home to more than 1,600 Telus employees. It joins TELUS Garden in Vancouver, TELUS Harbour Toronto, TELUS House Ottawa, and Place TELUS Québec as one of the company’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum-certified buildings.

Among the building’s environmental features is a storm water management system that recycles rainwater for use in washroom toilets, reducing the building’s municipal water demand by 70 per cent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 6, 2022.

Companies in this story: (TSX:T)

Amanda Stephenson, The Canadian Press

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