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Alberta

Anti-Mandate and Anti-Mask protestors say staging protests outside the homes of politicians a suitable response to “government’s excessive overreach”

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News Release from Calgary Freedom Central

Multiple media outlets have reached out today for comments from the protesters who visited Jyoti Gondek’s house yesterday and Jason Copping’s home on January 1st.
The protesters have asked Calgary Freedom Central to post their answers to their questions here. The media is welcome to quote from these answers in their coverage of this story.
1. Why are you protesting at these politicians’ homes?
For over a year and a half we have been protesting non-stop the government’s excessive overreach into our lives and businesses on the premise of a public health emergency. We have held in excess of a hundred protests around the city, as well as sent thousands of emails to our MLA’s and city councillors to express our concerns about these measures.
Not once has any politician seriously considered any public input on these policies that have dramatically affected the well-being and livelihoods of millions of Albertans. Instead, they have responded with hate speech and slander against the people they are meant to represent, calling anyone who stands up for their rights and freedoms self-serving racists, misogynists, conspiracy theorists and other names.
Their policies and rhetoric have driven many thousands of Albertans into joblessness, ill-health and despair. They have torn apart families and destroyed childhoods with their fear-based narrative and unscientific mandates. They have forced their overreaching policies into the homes of every Albertan and have ignored all opposing voices.
They have hid themselves away from any form of public accountability for nearly two years. So we now feel it is time to take our message to their homes, and we have received overwhelming support for these protests from the public.
2. Do you feel your message is being heard?
It has become very clear to us that after nearly two years, none of these politicians are willing to listen to the voices of the people they supposedly represent. It seems to us that they are taking their orders from Justin Trudeau and elsewhere, and have relinquished all accountability to the people of Alberta.

Protestors outside the home of Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek

3. Do you plan on protesting at other homes?
Yes. We expect to continue protesting outside their homes until all vaccine and mask mandates and restrictions are removed and an open dialogue is started with the public.
4. Would you welcome a conversation with these politicians?
Yes, we would welcome an open conversation that allows for the voices of the public and uncensored medical professionals to be heard.
5. What do you say to people who think you shouldn’t be protesting at their homes?
These politicians have entered the homes of every Albertan over the past 22 months with their draconian policies, while ignoring or disallowing all voices of dissent. They have neglected their duties as elected representatives and have disregarded the very foundations of our democracy.
They have now decided that they have the right to impose experimental medical procedures on the population through coercion, threats and intimidation. This goes far beyond their responsibilities as elected representatives, making it a personal matter for which they must be held accountable by the people.
They believe it is acceptable for them to threaten and intimidate Albertans, but cry foul when the people show up to peacefully protest at their homes. This reveals the profound level of hypocrisy within our current political establishment.
If they were to actually listen to the voices of their constituents, there would not be a need for protests outside their homes. If they were acting lawfully and in the best interest of the people they are supposed to represent, they would not have any reason to be concerned about people protesting outside their homes.

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

First test production of plastic a milestone for Heartland Petrochemical Complex

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CALGARY — The $4.3-billion Heartland Petrochemical Complex, which has been under construction northeast of Edmonton since 2018, has produced its first plastic pellets.

Owner and operator Inter Pipeline Ltd. said Tuesday the newly commissioned facility has been producing test pellets steadily since late June, an important milestone en route to the expected start of full commercial operation sometime this fall.

The Heartland Petrochemical Complex will convert Alberta propane into 525,000 tonnes per year of polypropylene beads, an easily transported form of plastic that is used in the manufacturing of a wide range of finished products.

Steven Noble, spokesman for Calgary-based Inter Pipeline, said the facility will be the first integrated propane dehydrogenation and polypropylene production facility in North America. He said approximately 70 per cent of Heartland’s total production capacity has been already contracted out to long-term customers.

“Through the duration of the project’s construction, we’ve seen demand for polypropylene increase significantly … including at one point hitting an all-time record (market price),” Noble said in an interview. “The demand that we initially forecast certainly hasn’t gone away.”

The Heartland facility is being built with the support of a $408-million grant from Alberta’s provincial government. The cash grant, part of an incentive program aimed at growing the province’s petrochemicals sector, is to be paid to Inter Pipeline in equal instalments over three years once the complex is operational.

Noble said by creating a new market for propane, the Heartland facility is an example of how natural resource development in Alberta is diversifying.

“The fact that we’re now looking at our raw resources in a different way, and figuring out different ways to get value out of them and create other refined products right here at home … is really the part of the story that everyone here is excited about,” he said.

The Heartland Petrochemical Complex is expected to employ 300 people once fully operational.

The polypropylene produced at the facility will be branded as Heartland Polymers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2022.

Amanda Stephenson, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Edmonton council to ask province to support new centre to fight downtown crime

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By Fakiha Baig in Edmonton

City council has voted unanimously to ask the government of Alberta to support the creation of a hub in Edmonton’s Chinatown where social workers, firefighters and peace officers could work together to reduce crime.

City administration submitted a report to council Monday that describes the proposed Healthy Streets Operations Centre.

David Jones, who is with the city and presented the report, told councillors it would not be a traditional police station.

“The people who will see the benefits of this include Chinatown residents and businesses, but also people who are on the streets who are vulnerable and being preyed on by some of the criminal element,” Jones said.

The creation of the centre is one of several actions the city has promised to address a spike in violent crime downtown, in nearby Chinatown and on the transit system.

Edmonton police officers have already increased their presence in problem areas.

In May, Justice Minister Tyler Shandro used his ministerial power to demand a report from the city on what is being done to get crime under control.

Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said during Monday’s council meeting that the city has delivered with its plan for the centre and now it is time for the province to step up.

“Edmonton gets the lowest per-capita funding to support ending homelessness compared to seven other cities (in Alberta). I think it’s really important that we ask the people whose inaction has caused harm to the community to be stepping up,” Sohi said.

“Most of the violence in Chinatown is related to houselessness … and addictions causing a lot of harm to the community and to individuals. We’re asking city taxpayers to pick up the pieces or pay for the consequences of lack of investment in health and lack of investment in housing.”

Sohi added he gets the sense the province wants to help.

The provincial government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The report says the centre will operate seven days a week, 21 hours a day, and could cost up to $18.1 million over the next four years.

The city and Edmonton Police Service could partially support the centre and Jones said there have also been offers from different businesses in Chinatown to provide a building for the hub at no cost.

But council voted in favour of asking the provincial government to determine how it can provide mental health, housing and shelter support.

Sohi said he plans to engage with the province and will report back to council on Aug. 15.

Jones said to get the centre up and running by next summer, the city aims to hire four peace officer sergeants, 16 community peace officers, two community safety liaisons and three firefighters or fire prevention officers.

The report said community members asked for increased security in problem areas and that building a centre in “hot spots” can effectively reduce crime. Research cited in the report has also shown it wont displace violence to other areas.

“Studies have consistently found no noticeable displacement and, in some cases, a diffusion effect, meaning that hot-spot policing reduces crime in the areas adjacent to the hot spots as well.”

Dr. Temitope Oriola, a criminology professor at the University of Alberta, said the hub model has been around for at least a decade in Canada and the centre is a good start.

“The real test is to ensure it is not too heavily tilted toward and reliant on policing,” he said in a email.

“The approach needs to have law enforcement as one of several critical components with people, community revitalization and customized social service at the epicentre.”

Oriola added the centre would be most effective in reducing crime if it also goes hand-in-hand with other initiatives in the city that address addictions issues and homelessness.

“Employment created should also focus on those most directly connected to Chinatown,” he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 4, 2022.

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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