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Around Red Deer June 9th – 11th…..

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3:06 pm – Officials with Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools are celebrating the honour bestowed upon Allan Mahoney, a teacher at École Secondaire Notre Dame High School who received the Mayor’s Recognition Award on Thursday night for Distinguished Voluntary Service! Mahoney began his volleyball coaching career in 2011. He has coached the Notre Dame Senior Boys Varsity Volleyball Team for the past six years and has dedicated more than 15 hours per week working with students during the volleyball season. He coordinates and runs week-long volleyball camps during the summer for students in Grades 6-12. For the past seven years, Mahoney has coached the Central Alberta Kings Volleyball Club U18 team.

2:36 pm – A big Thank You going out to the Moovers and Groovers adult walking club in Innisfail. Find out why.

2:31 pm – The Town of Innisfail would like to thank everyone who gave their time at the 2017 Mayor and Seniors Garden Party for their contributions in making the event a great success. Read More.

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2:20 pm – The Town of Sylvan Lake is set to party with 1913 Days starting today! Details Here.

1:52 pm – Check out the progress being made on the Laura Avenue extension project underway in Gasoline Alley.

1:25 pm –  It’s Child Safety Week and Alberta Health Services (AHS) is reminding all Albertans to make all-terrain vehicle (ATV) safety a priority this week and every week. Read More.

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1:17 pm – The Ross Street Patio Party, Kick it to the Curb and JDRF Telus Walk to Cure Diabetes are all happening in Red Deer this weekend. Find out what else is going on throughout the City.

1:08 pm – The Reining Alberta Spring Classic is underway at Red Deer’s Westerner Park until Sunday (June 11). Read More.

12:15 pm – A Boil Water Advisory has been issued for parts of Red Deer’s Bower neighbourhood. Read More.

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12:08 pm – Residential building picked up in Red Deer last month, as residential permits were valued at $5.8 million in May, surpassing permit values of $3 million in May 2016. Read More.

11:59 am – A Red Deer Mother and Daughter are celebrating a Set For Life Lottery Win! Read More.

11:49 am – Penhold Fire Crews were called to power lines down on Lucina St. and Emma St. in Pnehold early Friday morning (June 9). There is no estimate of when the roads will re-open or when power will be restored. Fortis AB is on scene and working hard to restore service. As of 8:20 am, all Penhold units have been cleared of both scenes by Fortis who have set up road closures in the same locations and are hard at work trying to restore power in all areas of Penhold that are still without power. There are also lines down in the back alley of Fleming Ave. between Emma St. and  Lucina St. Residents have been warned not to go into their back yards or the alley until Fortis can make the situation safe. One resident has also suffered from medical distress due to the power outage affecting their medication equipment.

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11:35 am – The City of Red Deer has provided an update on the 67th Street Roundabout construction project. Read More.

11:28 am – Fire crews were called to a small kitchen fire on Hayter Street in Penhold Thursday June 8th. Officials say the source was determined to be a hard plastic container left on the stove top. The cause was the occupant placed the container on the stove inadvertently turning a burner on. There were no injuries and crews cleared from the scene within 40 minutes. Penhold Fire Chief Jim Pendergast  would like to remind everyone not to leave combustible materials on a stove or other potentially hot surface. Damage is estimated at less than $1000.00. 1 unit and 5 firefighters responded.

11:18 am – Innisfail RCMP were on patrol on highway 2 on June 7th and observed a vehicle failing to maintain the centre lane. A traffic stop was initiated with the vehicle, upon approach to the passenger’s side of the vehicle Police observed a zip-lock bag of marihuana in a bag on the passenger seat. Read More.

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11:11 am – Motorists can expect delays as construction on 32 Street starts on Monday, June 12. Details Here.

11:04 am – Red Deer RCMP arrested a number of people this week who were found to be breaching various court-imposed conditions or who had failed to appear in court on earlier charges. Read More.

10:52 am – Red Deer RCMP are looking for public assistance to identify the man who robbed a north end gas station at knifepoint at approximately 12:30 am on June 8. Read More.

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10:43 am – Rainfall Warnings have been issued for the Rocky Mountain House – Caroline and Nordegg Regions today. Details Here.

10:35 am – Good news to pass along regarding a missing Red Deer woman. Mounties say 26 year old Christina Linthorne has been located and RCMP thank the public for their assistance.

10:28 am – The Recreation Centre in Red Deer will close to the public this weekend, as the Catalina Swim Club hosts their annual “Freeze or Fry” swim meet. Read More.

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10:22 am – The City of Red Deer held it’s annual Mayor’s Recognition Awards at the Sheraton Hotel Thursday night. The award recipients joined the ranks of the nearly one thousand outstanding citizens who have crossed the stage between 1990 and today. Read More.

10:16 am – Your chance to part with your no longer needed but still useful items happens this weekend. Kick it to the Curb in Red Deer runs Saturday, June 10th and Sunday, June 11th. Read More.

10:10 am – Ross Street Patio Parties are back today and Red Deerians are invited to celebrate at the official kick-off event at 5 p.m. Friday, June 9, featuring St. James Gate. Read More.

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10:05 am – Some road closures from Red Deer motorists to make note of over the next few days. Find out where.

9:54 am – The Town of Sylvan Lake has partnered with the Sylvan Lake Chamber of Commerce, and Days Inn – Sylvan Lake to host approximately 25 travel agents from Alberta, for a weekend of enjoying all that Sylvan Lake has to offer. The Familiarization Tour runs Saturday, June 10th and Sunday, June 11th.

9:47 am – It’s Aboriginal Day at Ecole Mother Teresa School in Sylvan Lake. The event will kick-off with an Aboriginal dance performance by a family from the school, and will honour First Nations, Inuit, and Métis cultures by participating in Aboriginal games, learning about Aboriginal art, making bannock and participating in a variety of hands-on activities related to our Aboriginal peoples.

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9:41 am – They’re striking up the band at St. Elizabeth Seton School in Red Deer today. The Grade 5 students will present what they’ve learned in band class in a performance to the school community today (June 9).

9:35 am – It’s track and Fun Day at St. Teresa of Avila School in Red Deer today (June 9). Students and staff will gather as a community and take part in this fun-filled day. It includes outdoor activities and a hot dog BBQ provided by the parent council. In case of inclement weather, Tuesday, June 13 will be the alternate day.

9:10 am – Ecole Secondaire Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School in Red Deer is hosting a Spring Handball Tournament tomorrow on Saturday, June 10th. The event runs from 9:00 am – 6:30 pm.

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Justice

CP NewsAlert: L’Arche says co-founder Jean Vanier sexually abused 25 women

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MONTREAL — A report commissioned by a non-profit organization founded by the late Jean Vanier says the Canadian sexually abused 25 women during his decades with the group.

L’Arche International says the investigation identified 25 women who experienced a sexual act or an intimate gesture from Vanier between 1952 and 2019.

It says the relationships between Vanier, who died in 2019, and the women are “part of a continuum of confusion, control and abuse.”

Vanier, son of former Governor General Georges Vanier, worked as a Canadian navy officer and professor before turning to Catholic-inspired charity work.

He founded L’Arche in 1964 as an alternative living environment where those with developmental disabilities could be full-fledged participants in the community instead of patients.

More coming.

The Canadian Press

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Federal departments failed to spend $38B on promised programs, services last year

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By Lee Berthiaume in Ottawa

The federal government failed to spend tens of billions of dollars in the last fiscal year on promised programs and services, including new military equipment, affordable housing and support for veterans.

Federal departments are blaming a variety of factors for letting a record total of $38 billion in funding lapse in 2021-22, including delays and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

They also say much of the money remains available for future years.

The unspent funds also played a big part in the Liberal government posting a smaller-than-expected deficit in the year ending March 31, 2022.

Canada rang up a $90.2 billion deficit — $23.6 billion less than had been projected in the budget.

The unprecedented amount of lapsed funding, much of which has been returned to the federal treasury, has one observer suggesting it is a sign of long-standing challenges delivering on big federal projects for the country.

The amount of lapsed funds across government is spelled out in the most recent iteration of the public accounts, a report on federal revenues and spending by every department and agency tabled in the House of Commons every year.

The $38.2 billion that was reported as lapsed in the last fiscal year marks a new record over the previous year, which was $32.2 billion. That was a dramatic increase over the previous record of $14 billion in 2019-20.

That compares to around $10 billion about a decade ago, when Stephen Harper’s Conservative government was accused by political opponents and experts alike of using large lapses to make cuts by stealth.

Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada reported the largest lapses of all departments and agencies, with nearly $11.2 billion of their combined $28.2 billion budgets going unspent.

Much of that had been set aside for COVID-19 initiatives that were not needed, said Health Canada spokeswoman Tammy Jarbeau. Those include vaccines, personal protective equipment and rapid tests.

“Both Health Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada have rigorous internal financial management controls designed to prevent, detect and minimize errors and financial losses, and ensure the funding is spent in the best interests of Canadians,” she wrote in an email.

The pandemic figured in the responses and explanations from many other departments and agencies, with many blaming COVID-19 for delays.

One of them was the Defence Department, which reported a lapse of $2.5 billion in the last fiscal year. Much of the money wasn’t spent due to delays in the delivery of new military equipment such as Arctic patrol vessels and upgrades to the Army’s armoured vehicles.

There were also delays on major infrastructure projects for the military, according to Defence Department spokeswoman Jessica Lamirande. Those include upgrading and rebuilding two jetties for the Navy in Esquimalt, B.C., and a new armoury in New Brunswick.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on many of our business lines,” Lamirande said.

“The impacts of the pandemic on supply chain and industry capacity are causing manufacturing backlogs and delays.”

Lamirande added most of the unspent funds are expected to be available in future years through a process called reprofiling, in which schedules are revised to reflect planned spending in future years due to those delays.

Former parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page said the government’s handling of lapsed funding now is “a little more relaxed” than in previous years, when unspent funds were not reprofiled and even used to justify budget cuts in Ottawa.

But defence analyst David Perry of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute said the Defence Department’s lapse, which has been steadily growing in recent years, is a symptom of Ottawa’s continued difficulties purchasing new military equipment.

“If we’re not getting those procurement projects through, we’re not getting new equipment into the inventory, so we don’t actually have the gear for our troops,” he said, noting many of the delayed projects were launched under the Harper government.

Perry also noted the current rate of inflation, which is already naturally higher for military equipment and the defence sector than most other parts of the economy. Not spending money now means Canada will have to pay more for the same gear and services later, he said.

The Infrastructure Department, the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corp. and the Fisheries Department, which includes the Canadian Coast Guard, also reported delays with different capital projects, including on affordable housing and broadband internet.

“Due to the unprecedented circumstances over the last few years such as the COVID-19 pandemic, disbursing funds to proponents for many projects are expected to and will take longer,” CMHC spokeswoman Claudie Chabot said in an email.

Perry suggested a bigger problem.

“The government of Canada’s ability to actually deliver services to the public, especially when it comes to large projects, large capital projects, be it for equipment or infrastructure or IT projects, is struggling across the board,” he said.

Other federal entities with large lapses included Indigenous Services Canada, which failed to spend $3.4 billion, and Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, which reported a lapse of $2.2 billion.

Spokesman Vincent Gauthier attributed much of the latter lapse to “the timing and progress of negotiations for specific claims and childhood litigations,” adding that funds will available “in some instances” in future years.

Gauthier did not say why Indigenous Services, which is responsible for delivering federal services to First Nations, Inuit and Métis, failed to spend billions of dollars. He did say most of the money had been reprofiled “so that it will be available when recipients need it.”

Veterans Affairs Canada also reported a nearly $1 billion lapse last year, which the department blamed on fewer ill and injured ex-soldiers applying for assistance than expected.

However, critics have described earlier lapsed funding as evidence of the challenges many veterans face in accessing benefits and services. In 2014, the Royal Canadian Legion demanded the Harper government explain why $1.1 billion went unspent over seven years.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 30, 2023.

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