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Around Red Deer April 24th…..


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2:33 pm – RCMP are looking for a suspect after a 49 year old man was beat up in Red Deer’s Riverside Meadows neighbourhood on April 21st. Read More.

2:15 pm – A Teacher from RDC has been honoured with a 2016 Top Instructor Award! Read More.

2:01 pm – École Secondaire Notre Dame High School fine arts students will gather to celebrate theatre arts by participating in the Zone 4 West One-Act Play Festival on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week. Read More!

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1:53 pm – Red Deer RCMP have made several arrests over the past 12 days and seized numerous stolen vehicles, i.d. and other items in the process. Read More.

10:25 am – Charges have now been laid against two men accused of crashing a stolen truck that fled Police into a house in Red Deer’s Clearview Ridge neighbourhood on April 21st. Read More.

10:18 am – Just a reminder of the road construction underway in Lacombe this week. From April 24-27, ATCO Gas crews will be working in the intersection of Highway 2A and 50 Avenue decommissioning an old gas main. Lane restrictions will be in effect for eastbound traffic on 50 Avenue. Please use 47 Avenue or Wolf Creek Drive as alternate routes. More details here.

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10:05 am – The École Secondaire Notre Dame High School Boys Handball team played in the Zone Final Friday night. After a slow start, the Boys got their act together and ran away with the game. Up 11 – 5 at the half, the Boys rolled to 27-11 victory over Hunting Hills! The team will now take part in Provincials starting on Thursday at 6:40pm, then again at 11:40am Friday morning. Games can be live streamed at this link.

9:56 am – Have a nice looking property in Red Deer County? Have it nominated to be part of the 2017 Rural Beautification Tour! Read More.

9:45 am – City staff in Lacombe have been taking advantage of the few nice days we’ve had this spring to upgrade the Michener Park campsites. They’ve added new gravel to all the camping sites, all around the fire pits and the picnic tables. City officials say the road leading into the campsites will be refinished as well. Once the work is finished, the campground will look like new again, and better serve the recreation needs of campers well into the future.

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9:35 am – Street sweeping resumes in Blackfalds again today:

Parkwood Road
Prairie Ridge Ave.
Prairie ridge Cl.
Pinewood Cl.
Premier Cr.
Prospect Cl.
Parkside Cr.
Coachill St.
Cooper Cr.

9:28 am – Firefighters from around the Region, including the Town of Penhold, took part in some training in Red Deer on Saturday. Along with Ponoka County Fire and Rescue, trainess were kept busy at the City of Red Deer training grounds performing live fire training drills. Students maneuvered through a smoke filled three story building for search and rescue exercises, climbed the aerial ladder, extinguished a simulated car fire and learned about over haul once the fire is out. 

9:02 am – Grade 8 Girls singles and doubles Badminton will be playing in the city finals at St. Francis of Assisi Middle School today. The games will take place between 4 – 8 pm.

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8:39 am – Blackfalds RCMP are looking for a stolen excavator. It’s a Caterpillar 345CL excavator, from a work site near the intersection of Highway 2 and Highway 597 (Blackfalds/Joffre exit). It’s believed the excavator was loaded on a flat deck trailer being towed by a Semi Truck. The excavator was loaded 200 yards North of the Blindman Bridge on Highway 2, in the North bound lanes, so an entire lane would likely have been blocked during the loading process. The incident occurred sometime between 7:30 pm on April 21 and 7:00 am on April 22.

8:34 am – A Boil Water Advisory is in place for seven properties in Red Deer’s Westpark neighbourhood. Read More.

8:22 am – The Boil Water Advisory previously issued for the Hamlet of Springbrook is now over. Read More.

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Cost of living: Pepsi and Coca-Cola absent in meeting with federal industry minister

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Innovation, Science and Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne speaks to reporters in the foyer of the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023. Canada’s industry minister made a point of calling out Pepsi and Coca-Cola for not sending representatives to a meeting he convened on Monday with manufacturing companies to discuss stabilizing grocery prices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick


Canada’s industry minister made a point of calling out Pepsi and Coca-Cola for not sending representatives to a meeting he convened on Monday with manufacturing companies to discuss stabilizing grocery prices.

François-Philippe Champagne singled out the two companies when asked by a journalist what the consequences would be if major industry players did not succeed in stopping high inflation.

“This morning, (their CEOs) did not attend the meeting,” Champagne said of beverage giants Pepsi and Coca-Cola.

“I intend to call on them and I will continue to do so. … I don’t stop,” he told reporters.

The Canadian leaders of seven international manufacturing companies, including Nestlé and Kraft Heinz, met with Champagne.

He summoned them to answer to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s call earlier this month for Canadian grocers to come up with a plan to stabilize prices by Thanksgiving.

If major grocers fail to deliver ideas, Champagne said, “the consequence is for all 40 million Canadians because we will be able to see who is taking action and who is not.”

A government source told The Canadian Press that the CEOs of Pepsi and Coca-Cola responded to the federal government summons by stating they were not available Monday. The source was granted anonymity because they were not allowed to speak publicly about the matter.

It’s unclear, however, whether another meeting between major food companies and the government will take place.

Monday’s meeting brought together top Canadian executives from McCain, Unilever, Nestlé, Lactalis, Lassonde, Kraft Heinz, and Smucker Foods.

All avoided speaking with journalists. The CEO of the Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada association, Michael Graydon, attended the meeting and agreed to answer questions on their behalf.

Graydon called the meeting “very productive.”

”We’re very much about co-operation and support, collaboration,” he said. “It’s an industry that needs to align and work collectively to find a solution.”

He said manufacturers want to collaborate with other players in the supply chain, such as major retailers like Loblaw and Costco, whose leaders Champagne met with one week earlier.

In a statement, Pepsi said it is open to meeting with Champagne.

“We are pleased that our industry association, FHCP, led a productive conversation with the government and representatives from industry today,” it said.

“We were not able to attend today’s meeting, but we offered to meet with the minister. We are committed to collaborating with the government to identify solutions during this challenging time for Canadians.”

Trudeau has said that if the government isn’t satisfied with what major grocers come up with to stabilize prices, he would intervene, including with tax measures.

Graydon said it remains to be seen how detailed the plans will be by the government’s Thanksgiving deadline.

”We’ll have to see whether, you know, the detail of how much completeness can be done by that time. But I think everybody’s working very hard to achieve that,” Graydon said.

Champagne said he is happy Graydon “wants to do something,” because “it’s a gain for Canadians.”

“It’s clear that what’s important is that we have timelines, work plans, and obviously concrete actions,” the minister said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 25, 2023.

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Regulator rules in favour of Trans Mountain route deviation

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Workers place pipe during construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion on farmland, in Abbotsford, B.C., on Wednesday, May 3, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

By Amanda Stephenson in Calgary

The Canada Energy Regulator has approved Trans Mountain Corp.’s application to modify the pipeline’s route, a decision that could spare the government-owned pipeline project from an additional nine-month delay.

The regulator made the ruling Tuesday, just one week after hearing oral arguments from Trans Mountain and a B.C. First Nation that opposes the route change.

It didn’t release the reasons for its decision Tuesday, saying those will be publicized in the coming weeks.

By siding with Trans Mountain Corp., the regulator is allowing the pipeline company to alter the route slightly for a 1.3-kilometre stretch of pipe in the Jacko Lake area near Kamloops, B.C., as well as the construction method for that section.

Trans Mountain Corp. had said it ran into engineering difficulties in the area related to the construction of a tunnel, and warned that sticking to the original route could result in up to a nine-month delay in the pipeline’s completion, as well as an additional $86 million more in project costs.

Trans Mountain has been hoping to have the pipeline completed by early 2024.

But Trans Mountain’s application was opposed by the Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc Nation, whose traditional territory the pipeline crosses and who had only agreed to the originally proposed route.

In their regulatory filing, the First Nation stated the area has “profound spiritual and cultural significance” to their people, and that they only consented to the pipeline’s construction with the understanding that Trans Mountain would minimize surface disturbances by implementing specific trenchless construction methods.

The Stk’emlúpsemc te Secwépemc argued that Trans Mountain never said its originally proposed construction method was impossible, only that it couldn’t be done in time to meet a Jan. 1 in-service date for the pipeline.

The First Nation didn’t respond to a request for comment by publication time.

The Trans Mountain pipeline is Canada’s only pipeline system transporting oil from Alberta to the West Coast. Its expansion, which is currently underway, will boost the pipeline’s capacity to 890,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 300,000 bpd currently.

The pipeline — which was bought by the federal government for $4.5 billion in 2018 after previous owner Kinder Morgan Canada Inc. threatened to scrap the pipeline’s planned expansion project in the face of environmentalist opposition and regulatory hurdles — has already been plagued by construction-related challenges and delays.

Its projected price tag has since spiralled: first to $12.6 billion, then to $21.4 billion and most recently to $30.9 billion (the most recent capital cost estimate, as of March of this year).

Keith Stewart with Greenpeace Canada said it’s alarming to see the regulator over-rule the wishes of Indigenous people in order to complete a pipeline on deadline.

“Every Canadian should be outraged that our public regulator is allowing a publicly owned pipeline to break a promise to Indigenous people to protect lands of spiritual and cultural significance,” Stewart said.

The federal government has already approved a total of $13 billion in loan guarantees to help Trans Mountain secure the financing to cover the cost overruns.

Trans Mountain Corp. has blamed its budget problems on a variety of factors, including inflation, COVID-19, labour and supply chain challenges, flooding in B.C. and unexpected major archeological discoveries along the route.

Given the Canadian regulatory system has a reputation for being slow and cumbersome, it was surprising to see the Canada Energy Regulator rule so quickly on Trans Mountain’s route deviation request, said Richard Masson, executive fellow with the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy.

“It’s a challenging decision to have to make, when you’ve got a $30 billion pipeline that needs to be completed,” Masson said.

“If there’s no feasible way to do that tunnel, then I guess you have to allow for this.”

Masson added that if the regulator had denied Trans Mountain’s request, it would have been bad news for taxpayers as well as the federal government, which is seeking to divest the pipeline and has already entered into negotiations with several interested Indigenous-led buyers.

It also would have been bad news for Canadian oil companies, who have been eagerly anticipating the pipeline’s start date to begin shipping barrels to customers.

“If this can result in the pipeline being completed by year-end and started up in the first quarter, that’s good news. The world is still looking for oil, and oil prices are up at US$90 a barrel,” Masson said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 25, 2023.

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