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Around Red Deer May 17th…..

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12:25 pm – Property Assessment Inspections are now underway in Red Deer County. Read More.

11:36 am – RCMP have recovered a van that was stolen during an assault and car-jacking in Red Deer on May 14th. Read More.

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9:56 am – A Blackfalds man wanted on several outstanding warrants is now facing additional firearms related charges after being arrested in a field east of Red Deer on May 15th. RCMP were responding to complaints of an erratic driver. Read More.

9:41 am – On Tuesday, autopsies of a 39 year old man and 6 year old girl found deceased in a Lancaster residence on May 14th were conducted at the office of the Medical Examiner in Calgary. Determination of the cause and manner of death are pending further test results. Investigators have completed the examination of the scene and it is no longer being contained. RCMP are continuing to work with the medical examiner and an update will be provided when the tests have been completed.

9:11 am – Boys Semi-Final Rugby action takes place at Ecole Secondaire Notre Dame High School today starting at 4:30 pm. The Girls Rugby Semi-Finals are at the Olds High School starting at 5:00 pm.

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9:04 am – Track and Field students from Ecole Secondaire Notre Dame High School are taking part in the Area’s Competition today.

8:48 am – Social Media Breakfast Red Deer will host its 50th event at the Scott Block Theatre in downtown Red Deer tomorrow, Thursday, May 18th starting at 8:00 am. The guest speaker of this event will feature Mike Morrison, founder of SocialWest, the largest social media conference on the prairies. Details Here.

8:39 am – As part of Crime Prevention Week this week, Innisfail RCMP will host an Open House and Free BBQ lunch today from 11:30 am – 2:00 p.m. in support of Crime prevention week. Members will be on hand to provide short tours and discuss any crime prevention related topics. This is being provided in support of Innisfail Restorative Justice Society, and Innisfail Victim Services unit. On hand will be members from the Innisfail Police Dog training centre and RCMP Safety bear. All Innisfail and area residents including children are welcome to attend. 

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8:24 am – The City of Red Deer will have representation at a Senior’s Information Fair taking place at the Golden Circle on Thursday, May 18th. Find out more.

8:14 am – Red Deer College and seven School Divisions in central Alberta will sign the Learning Pathways in Central Alberta Memorandum of Understanding today at 4:00 pm. This signing is a renewal of the original Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), signed in 2013. The renewed MOU will provide an on-going framework for the partnership, which will continue to benefit learners in the region by enhancing opportunities for high school completion and the transition to post-secondary education. Also, the 2017 Community Awards will be held at the College tonight. Community members, alumni and distinguished guests will celebrate and honour two deserving individuals and one community partner that will receive awards.

7:59 am – A water service disruption will take place along Tamarac Blvd in the Town of Springbrook today starting at 1:00 pm. Details Here.

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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

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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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