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Around Red Deer March 22nd…..

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5:01 pm – The City of Red Deer is pleased that the Federal Budget announced on Wednesday will continue with stable Gas Tax funding for municipalities but is also hoping to benefit from Infrastructure Investments. Read More.

2:39 pm – Red Deer RCMP have arrested numerous people wanted on outstanding warrants. They were arrested between March 15th – 21st. They include 29 year old Daniel Wade Shields, 24 year old Rickell Jessica Frenchman, 27 year old Kayla Marie Cecka, 22 year old Kyla Joy Harter, 25 year old Matthew Robert McKinney, 20 year old Courtney Darlene Reid, 40 year old Brandy Christine Carl, 25 year old Nicholas Dale Krock and 46 year old James Mitchell. Read More.

1:13 pm – The Red Deer Catholic Regional School District has amended it’s Three Year Capital Plan. This, after Alberta Education’s school projects announcement on March 21st that indicates St. Patrick’s Community School will receive funding for modernization and has now been removed from this plan. Priority #1. Our Lady of the Rosary 8 classroom addition. #2. A new 6-9 middle school in Red Deer. #3. A new K-5 school in Red Deer. #4. A new K-5 French Immersion school in Red Deer. #5. A new K-5 school in Sylvan Lake.

12:48 pm – Red Deerians are being encouraged to turn off the lights for Earth Hour Saturday night! Read More.

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12:19 pm – Members of the public are invited to join the Red Deer College Board of Governors, President & CEO Joel Ward and special guest, Minister of Advanced Education Marlin Schmidt on Wednesday, March 29th from 5 – 6 pm as RDC’s new Board Chair is introduced. A report on the College’s contributions to central Alberta will also be presented. A reception is to follow in the Arts Centre Foyer.

11:54 – The Honourable David Eggen, Minister of Education, will visit St. Patrick’s Community School in Red Deer this Saturday, March 25 at 1:00 p.m. to discuss the new modernization project. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Minister Eggen announced funding to modernize St. Patrick’s Community School on March 21st. This comes as exceptional news as the school has been operating at 130% capacity. The school is one of seven in the province to undergo modernization. This modernization will provide improvements to the school including functional upgrades to ensure students have access to effective and modern learning environments. The Minister will visit with the school Principal, Senior Administration and Trustees.

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11:16 am – Red Deer RCMP are looking for a missing woman. Read More.

10:59 am – On Friday, March 24 at 7:00 AM, Red Deer County road bans will come into effect. With the recent warmer conditions, Red Deer County Operations staff have implemented road bans on many different County roadways, excluding all industrial and commercial subdivisions. Gravel roadways will be banned on an as-needed basis. For a complete listing of effected roads, go to www.rdcounty.ca or contact Red Deer County at 403.350.2150.

10:23 am – Rocky Mountain House RCMP are looking for an assault suspect possibly on the O’Chiese First Nation. Read More.

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10:09 am – Improvements to Main Street in Lacombe will soon be underway. Here, the City’s Engineering Services Manager Jordan Thompson provides a brief overview of the upcoming 2017 Main Street Improvements project:

9:54 am – The Red Deer Regional Catholic School Board received an update Tuesday regarding their current capital projects. St. Marguerite Bourgeoys School Work is progressing in the last stage of the project. This work is expected to be completed by the end of March. St. Gregory the Great Catholic School Ceiling grid has started on the second floor, painting is occurring in all areas, gym floor hardwood is starting in April and all other work is progressing on schedule. The school is scheduled to be completed at the end of May. St. Joseph High School Construction is complete other than some seasonal deficiencies which will be addressed in the spring. Our Lady of the Rosary Modular relocation is currently out for tender with results expected by the end of this month. St. Elizabeth Seton Modular relocation will be going out to tender shortly. Father Henri Voisin Modular addition planning has begun. ABC School, as part of the P3 contract, will deal with all aspects of this project.

9:32 am – The Red Deer College Men’s and Women’s Curling teams are competing in Camrose for a national title over the next few days. The University of Alberta (Augustana) will host the event from March 22nd to 25th at the Rose City Curling Club.

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Media

Trudeau’s Online News Act has crushed hundreds of local Canadian news outlets: study

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From LifeSiteNews

By Clare Marie Merkowsky

Trudeau’s Online News Act, framed as a way to support local media, has hurt small media outlets while giving massive payouts to legacy media, a study has found.

According to a new study, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Online News Act has successfully crushed local media outlets while mainstream media has remained relatively unaffected.  

According to an April study from the Media Ecosystem Observatory, Trudeau’s Online News Act, also known as Bill C-18, has caused a 84 percent drop in engagement for local Canadian outlets, as Big Tech company Meta – the parent company of Facebook and Instagram – has refused to publish links to Canadian news outlets on their platforms.  

“We lost 70 per cent of our audience when that happened,” Iain Burns, the managing editor of Now Media Group, which manages news posts for outlets serving smaller communities, revealed. He further explained that he experienced a 50 percent loss in revenue following the move. 

“We’re not the only ones. Many, many outlets are in this situation,” Burns added.

The Online News Act, passed by the Senate in June 2023, mandates that Big Tech companies pay to publish Canadian content on their platforms. While the legislation promised to support local media, it has seemingly accomplished the opposite.  

While Meta has blocked all news on its platforms, devastating small publishers, Google agreed to pay Canadian legacy media outlets $100 million to publish their content online. 

The study, a collaboration between the University of Toronto and McGill University, examined the 987 Facebook pages of Canadian news outlets, 183 personal pages of politicians, commentators and advocacy groups, and 589 political and local community groups.  

“The ban undoubtedly had a major impact on Canadian news,” the study found.  

“Local news outlets have been particularly affected by the ban: while large, national news outlets were less reliant on Facebook for visibility and able to recoup some of their Facebook engagement regardless, hundreds of local news outlets have left the platform entirely, effectively gutting the visibility of local news content,” it explained.   

However, LifeSiteNews has been relatively unaffected by the ban as viewership on its official Facebook page has remained relatively the same, similar to its Instagram account since most views already came from the United States.  

Similarly unaffected was Meta: “We find little evidence that Facebook usage has been impacted by the ban.”  

“After the ban took effect, the collapse of Canadian news content production and engagement on Facebook did not appear to substantially affect users themselves,” the study said.  

While local media outlets’ viewership has declined thanks to Trudeau’s new legislation, larger media outlets have thrived due to increased payouts from the Trudeau government.  

Legacy media journalists are projected to have roughly half of their salaries paid by the Liberal government after the $100 million Google agreement and the subsidies outlined in the Fall Economic Statement.  

Mainstream Canadian media had already received massive federal payouts, but they have nearly doubled after Trudeau announced increased subsidies for legacy media outlets ahead of the 2025 election. The subsidies are expected to cost taxpayers $129 million over the next five years.   

However, just as government payouts increase, Canadians’ trust in mainstream media has decreased. Recent polling found that only one-third of Canadians consider mainstream media trustworthy and balanced.   

Similarly, a recent study by Canada’s Public Health Agency revealed that less than a third of Canadians displayed “high trust” in the federal government, with “large media organizations” as well as celebrities getting even lower scores.  

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Indigenous

No accounts on $7.9 million dollar ‘Truth’ Fund

Published on

From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Blacklock’s Reporter

The First Nation prompted an international outcry in 2021 when it announced the discovery of 215 children’s graves hidden at the Kamloops Residential School. It said remains were found using ground penetrating radar.

Cabinet at the time lowered the Peace Tower flag at half mast for 161 days, approved $3.1 million for a national Residential Schools Student Death Register and another $238.8 million for a Residential Schools Missing Children Community Support Fund.

The Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations has confirmed it spent millions to uncover the “heartbreaking truth” of unmarked Indian Residential School graves in Kamloops, B.C. No remains have been recovered to date and no accounting of what became of the $7.9 million has been disclosed.

“The community had received $7.9 million for field work, records searches and to secure the Residential School grounds,” said Carolane Gratton, spokesperson for the department. “Details of initiatives taken by Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation are best directed to the community.”

The department has not released financial accounts under the Access To Information Act. The First Nation said in a statement it “continues to grieve children that are in our care and are focused on the scientific work that needs to be done” but would not discuss the $7.9 million.

The 2021 funding was to document the “heartbreaking truth,” according to a 2022 department briefing note. “Our thoughts are with survivors, their families and communities as the heartbreaking truth about Residential Schools’ unmarked burials continues to be unveiled,” said the note.

“Funding is available to support communities, survivors and their families on their healing journey through researching, locating and memorializing those children who died while attending Indian Residential Schools,” said the note Indian Residential School Sites: Unmarked Burials.

“If pressed on Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Kamloops Indian Residential School site, the Government of Canada has provided $7.9 million over two years to the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Nation to support the community in conducting this important work,” said the note.

The First Nation prompted an international outcry in 2021 when it announced the discovery of 215 children’s graves hidden at the Kamloops Residential School. It said remains were found using ground penetrating radar.

Cabinet at the time lowered the Peace Tower flag at half mast for 161 days, approved $3.1 million for a national Residential Schools Student Death Register and another $238.8 million for a Residential Schools Missing Children Community Support Fund. The Fund expires in 2025.

“I think Canadians have seen with horror those unmarked graves across the country and realize that what happened decades ago isn’t part of our history, it is an irrefutable part of our present,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau earlier told reporters.

No remains have been recovered at the Kamloops site to date. A Senate committee in a 2023 report described questions regarding documentation of the 215 graves as “Residential School denialism.”

“Denialism serves to distract people from the horrific consequences of Residential Schools and the realities of missing children, burials and unmarked graves,” said the Senate Indigenous peoples committee report Honouring The Children Who Never Came Home. It recommended “the Government of Canada take every action necessary to combat the rise of Residential School denialism.”

Published with kind permission from Blacklock’s Reporter. First published here.

Blacklock’s Reporter (founded October 2012) is an Ottawa-based Internet publication covering Canadian government administration.

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