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Around Red Deer April 3rd…..


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2:44 pm – – Red Deer College has been recognized for its excellence in marketing initiatives. RDC’s Marketing & Communications department recently received a bronze Paragon Award from the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations (NCMPR). This award was received for the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre/Centre des Jeux du Canada Gary W. Harris Case for Support. The awards are given each year, with judging conducted by industry experts and was presented last week at the annual NCMPR conference, held this year in Charleston, South Carolina.

1:21 pm – The City of Lacombe is poised for new growth with a diverse range of development choices after approving the recently amended Henner Heights Outline Plan. The plan covers 217 acres near the Burman University Campus bounded by C&E Trail to the east, Lake Barnett to the west, Highway 2 to the north, and Henner’s Pond to the south.

1:11 pm – The City of Lacombe has announced which projects will receive Recreational and Cultural grant funding in 2017. They include $3,000 for YU-Turn for an Indoor Mini-Stick Rink, $1,000 for a Youth Event at Lacombe Days, $700 for family badminton at the Lacombe Rotary Daybreak Club and $548 for the Lacombe Historical Society for their Heritage Gardening Project.

9:42 am – Lacombe County has their Draft Municipal Development Plan and Land Use Bylaw open for public viewing and feedback over the next week. Read More.

For more local news, click here!

9:33 am – On November 2nd, 2016, Blackfalds RCMP received a complaint of suspicious Halloween Candy that was thought to cause a child to get sick. Mounties had this candy sent to the RCMP laboratory and requested to have it tested. Results returned from the lab stating that “no drugs or common poisons were detected in the pieces of candy.” 

9:23 am – Some flooding and ice build up have forced the City to close some of the trails around Red Deer. Read More.

9:09 am – The fishing season is now underway and a few Central Alberta Lakes now have harvesting opportunities available for the first time in many years. Find out which ones!

For more local news, click here!


David Johnston plans to keep role, as House of Commons votes for him to step aside

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After members of Parliament voted in favour of his ouster Wednesday, David Johnston said his mandate to probe allegations of foreign interference comes from the government — not from the House of Commons.

The former governor general released a statement following the vote on a motion brought forward by the NDP, which the Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois supported while the Liberals stood opposed. It passed 174 to 150.

It called on Johnston — tasked by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau back in March with looking into allegations that China tried to meddle in the past two federal elections — to “step aside from his role.”

It asked the government to instead launch a public inquiry into the issue of foreign interference. Johnston, the former governor general, recommended against such an inquiry in his initial report last week.

“When I accepted the mandate to act as independent special rapporteur, I did so with full knowledge of the fact that the work ahead would be neither straightforward nor uncontroversial,” Johnston said in his statement.

“I deeply respect the right of the House of Commons to express its opinion about my work going forward, but my mandate comes the government. I have a duty to pursue that work until my mandate is completed.”

Earlier in the day, Trudeau said he maintained confidence in Johnston, despite the stance of opposition MPs.

Opposition parties initially decried his appointment because of Johnston’s family connections to the prime minister’s family and the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation.

Trudeau brushed off those concerns, telling reporters that he views the matter as political parties wanting to score “partisan points.”

“The fact of the matter is David Johnston has served this country in extraordinary capacities for decades,” Trudeau said Wednesday on his way into a meeting with his Liberal caucus.

“He’s taken this incredibly seriously.”

Government House leader Mark Holland has said he has been trying to negotiate with opposition parties to find additional avenues to address concerns about foreign interference that go beyond what has already been offered.

Holland has repeatedly said the hyper-political rhetoric around the discussions in public has been counterproductive, but he would not elaborate on what else the government is offering.

Johnston said in his report that due to the sensitive nature of national security and the intelligence he studied, there would be no way to divulge the information Canadians are seeking publicly. He said that would defeat the purpose of a public inquiry.

He said what he plans to do instead is hold a series of public hearings to further probe the issue.

Those hearings would focus on hearing from officials of both past and present governments, as well as members of diaspora communities affected by foreign interference attempts.

“Foreign governments are undoubtedly attempting to influence candidates and voters in Canada, and I have identified serious shortcomings in the way intelligence is communicated and processed from security agencies through to government,” Johnston said in his statement Wednesday

“As I have indicated, there is much work yet to be done and a further public process is required to identify specific reforms that are necessary to preserve the integrity of our democratic institutions.”

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh had attempted to walk a fine line in promoting his party’s motion. He has said that while he has no qualms with Johnston, he understands that others do and that creates an appearance of bias that taints his work.

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has been egging Singh on to trigger an election over the issue.

The NDP signed on to a confidence-and-supply deal with the Liberals, in which it agreed to support the minority government in key parliamentary votes in exchange for movement on shared priorities, such as dental care.

Singh has said he will not kibosh that deal over the issue, arguing that it wouldn’t make sense to set the wheels in motion for an election when Canadians have concerns about alleged foreign interference in the last two federal contests.

The motion was brought forward by NDP Jenny Kwan. She recently told reporters that the Canadian Security Intelligence Service informed her she has been a target of China since before the 2019 federal vote, because of her advocacy around human rights in China.

Trudeau has dismissed allegations of Johnston is in a conflict of interest as politically motivated attacks without any basis in fact.

Speaking to reporters last week, Johnston also defended his work, saying this has been the first time his impartiality has been questioned, which he finds “troubling.”

He has said his “friendship” with the prime minister is rooted only in the five or so times their families went skiing together decades ago.

Trudeau was also a student at McGill University at the time when Johnston was serving as principal and vice-chancellor.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 31, 2023.

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Court of Appeal overturns ruling directing Ottawa to help repatriate men in Syria

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OTTAWA — The Federal Court of Appeal has overturned a judge’s declaration that four Canadian men being held in Syria are entitled to Ottawa’s help to return home.

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