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Around Red Deer May 9th…..

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2:57 pm – Lacombe residents are being encouraged to offer suggestions on how to make improvements to the Kinsmen Aquatic Centre. Read More.

11:44 am – Red Deer contractors and homeowners can now apply and pay for electrical, plumbing, heating, gas and service connection permits online through www.reddeer.ca/mycity. Details Here.

For more local news, click here!

10:37 am – Some road repairs are underway in Innisfail today. Read More.

10:30 am – Check out the details for street sweeping in Sylvan Lake today!

10:22 am – Street sweeping continues in Lacombe today. Read Where.

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10:11 am – Penhold firefighters joined their colleagues from across the province, including Blackfalds, at the Stair Climb challenge in Calgary over the weekend. Read More.

9:48 am – Westerner Park and STEP Energy Services have teamed up to install Pedestrian Cross-Walk LED signs to increase safety at the park. Officials say these new signs have been installed at the North gates, which is one of the highest traffic areas on the property. Read More.

9:32 am – Jodi Smith, Principal at École Mother Teresa Catholic School in Sylvan Lake has been selected as a recipient of the Distinguished Leadership Award by the Council for School Leadership of the Alberta Teachers’ Association! Read More.

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9:25 am – Street Sweeping in Penhold today:

  • Lincoln Street
  • Minto Street (from Fleming Avenue to Penhold Estates)
  • Mann Drive
  • Hives Link
  • Hawthorne Way

9:19 am – A 37 year old man is dead after a three-vehicle collision on Highway 12 at Tees Monday afternoon. The crash happened when an eastbound tractor-trailer unit struck the back of a pick-up waiting to turn left into Tees. The pick-up was pushed into the path of an oncoming SUV, killing the SUV driver. The semi and pick-up drivers were taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

9:03 am – Lacombe City Council has given first and second readings to Bylaw 440, the City’s annual property tax bylaw, which includes a 3.26 percent municipal property tax increase, initially approved by Council last December.

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8:55 am – For the third time, the Lacombe Fire Department has sent a decommissioned fire truck and other firefighting equipment to Natalio, Paraguay to help that community fight local fires! Read More.

8:40 am – Residential street sweeping will continue in Red Deer today starting with the Aspen Ridge neighbourhood. Read more.

8:32 am – Alyssa Henderson from Bashaw has been honoured with the prestigious 2017 4-H Alberta Premier’s Award! Read More.

For more local news, click here!

8:20 am – Maskwacis RCMP are wanting to confirm the well-being of 16 year old Azhlyn Buffalo. She was last seen May 7th around 7:00 pm at a residence on the Samson First Nation. Read More.

8:15 am – Innisfail RCMP are hoping you can help them find 32 year old Angie Beaverbones who walked away from her group home on May 4th. She has been known to frequent the Calgary, Rocky Mountain House, Maskawascis, or Red Deer areas.

7:53 am – The new St. Joseph High School in northeast Red Deer will host an Open House for all prospective students and their families tonight from 7:00 – 8:30 pm. This is a drop-in style event where students and their families will have the chance to tour the school, meet the administration team and register for 2017/2018 school year. The school will open its doors to students this September with an official opening and blessing ceremony during that month.

For more local news, click here!

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Business

Canada’s top five federal contaminated sites to cost taxpayers billions to clean up

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By Emily Blake in Yellowknife

With a cost estimate of $4.38 billion, remediation of the Giant Mine, one of the most contaminated sites in Canada, is also expected to be the most expensive federal environmental cleanup in the country’s history.

The figure, recently approved by the Treasury Board of Canada, spans costs from 2005 until 2038, when active remediation at the former Yellowknife gold mine is anticipated to end. That includes $710 million the federal government said has already been spent, but does not include costs for long-term care and maintenance.

“It doesn’t bother me so much that it’s going to cost $4 billion to clean up Giant Mine. What really bothers me is that the taxpayer is covering that cost,” said David Livingstone, chair of the Giant Mine Oversight Board.

It indicates the federal government failed to ensure private developers provided financial security to remediate sites. He said while that has improved over time, there will likely be more issues in the future.

“We as a society need to get a better handle on what it costs us to support mining industry and oil and gas industry,” he said. “If the numbers suggest that it’s going to cost more to clean up a site than that site generated in revenue to the Crown, we’ve got a problem.”

There are more than 20,000 locations listed in the federal contaminated sites inventory, from dumps and abandoned mines to military operations on federal land.

Environment and Climate Change Canada says that after Giant Mine, the four most expensive cleanups are the Faro Mine in Yukon, the Port Hope Area Initiative in Ontario, Esquimalt Harbour in British Columbia and Yukon’s United Keno Hill Mine.

More than $2 billion has been spent on the five sites so far, and it’s anticipated they will cost taxpayers billions more in the coming years. Their final price tags are not yet known.

The most recent numbers from the Treasury Board of Canada indicate more than $707 million has been spent on remediation, care and maintenance at Faro Mine, a former open pit lead-zinc mine. Its remediation project is expected to take 15 years to complete and is currently estimated to cost $1 billion, plus $166 million for the first 10 years of long-term operation and maintenance.

Parsons Inc. was awarded a $108-million contract in February for construction, care and maintenance at Faro Mine until March 2026, with the option to extend the contract for the duration of active remediation. The company said the contract could ultimately span 20 years and exceed $2 billion.

In 2012, Ottawa committed $1.28 billion in funding over 10 years for the cleanup of historical low-level radioactive waste in the municipalities of Port Hope and Port Grandby, Ont. To date more than $722 million has been spent on assessment and remediation.

The Port Grandby Project was completed earlier this year and has moved into long-term monitoring for hundreds of years. The Port Hope cleanup, which started in 2018, will continue into 2030.

The cleanup in the Esquimalt Harbour seabed in Victoria currently has a budget of $162.5 million. Roughly $214 million has already been spent on remediation and assessment. The Department of National Defence said that may include costs before 2015, when the remediation project began.

Cleanup of United Keno Hill Mine, a historical silver, lead and zinc mining property near Yukon’s Keno City, is estimated to cost $125 million, including $79 million during its active reclamation phase. That is expected to begin in 2023 and take five years, followed by a two-year transition phase then long-term monitoring and maintenance.  More than $67 million has been spent on remediation, care and maintenance at the site so far.

Other costly federal sites that have been cleaned up include the Cape Dyer Dew-Line, 21 former radar stations across the Arctic, for $575 million, the Sydney tar ponds and coke ovens on Cape Breton Island, N.S., for nearly $398 million, and the 5 Wing Goose Bay air force base in Labrador, for $142.9 million.

The 2022 public accounts state the gross liability for the 2,524 federal contaminated sites where action is required is nearly $10 billion based on site assessments. Of the 3,079 unassessed sites, 1,330 are projected to proceed to remediation with an estimated liability of $256 million.

The federal contaminated sites action plan was established in 2005 with $4.54 billion in funding over 15 years. That was renewed for an additional 15 years, from 2020 to 2034, with a commitment of $1.16 billion for the first five years.

Jamie Kneen with MiningWatch Canada said the contamination from Giant Mine highlights the importance of the planning and assessment process for development projects.

“If you don’t actually do any planning around something, you can end up with a pretty horrible mess,” he said. “In this case, it killed people before they started even capturing the arsenic. We don’t want that to happen anymore.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2022.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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Crime

Manitoba RCMP say woman and child safe after alleged “random kidnapping”

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Winnipeg –  A Manitoba woman and her two-year-old daughter are safe after stopping to help a man who was allegedly pretending to need help on the side of a road but who then jumped into their vehicle and demanded to be driven to Winnipeg, RCMP said Saturday.

Cpl. Julie Courchaine told a news conference that police were first called to a hotel parking lot in Portage la Prairie, west of Winnipeg, on Friday afternoon for a report of a man in a van who was acting erratically and possibly taking drugs.

Courchaine said police spoke with the man briefly before he put the van in gear, rammed a police vehicle, drove towards officers, and then rammed the police vehicle again before taking off.

A chase had to be abandoned when the van, which was allegedly stolen from Winnipeg, drove into oncoming traffic on Highway 1, Courchaine said.

Not long after, a 911 call came in from a person living just east of Portage la Prairie. The call got disconnected.

“But a male and a female voice could be heard before the phone went silent,” Courchaine said.

Courchaine said the woman also managed to call her husband. He, too, called 911. Investigators spoke with him and also found the van abandoned, and they put the separate pieces together.

“She was driving in the area, saw this male in distress on the side of the road, pulled over to assist him, at which point he jumps in. She was able to make a call to her husband as well as that 911 call to us,” Courchaine explained.

Investigators believed they were travelling to Winnipeg and Courchaine said police were in the process of issuing an Amber Alert when the woman called to say the man had fled the vehicle and she and her daughter were safe in Winnipeg’s Polo Park neighbourhood.

Courchaine said the woman did not know the suspect. Neither the woman nor the child were physically hurt, she said, and no weapons were used.

The suspect was known to RCMP, she said.

“This was an extremely difficult situation and we would like to acknowledge the victim, who did everything she could to keep herself and her child safe,” Courchaine said.

Police are now looking for Michael Stephen Klimchuk, 62, from Winnipeg,  who is wanted on two charges of kidnapping, two charges of forcible confinement, abduction of a person under 14, three charges of assault with a weapon on a police officer, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and possession of stolen property over $5,000.

Klimchuk is five-foot-eight-inches tall, weighs approximately 220 pounds, has blue eyes, long brown hair, and was last seen wearing a camo jacket and light-coloured pants.

Courchaine said he’s not believed to pose an imminent threat, but anyone who sees him or knows where he is should contact police immediately.

RCMP in Manitoba had tweeted a surveillance camera image of the suspect Friday night who they said they were trying to identify in connection with “a serious incident near Portage la Prairie,” but there was no mention of the alleged kidnapping.

When asked about the delay in releasing the information, Courchaine told the news conference it took time for police to connect the various elements.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2022.

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