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Alberta

ASIRT says shooting of armed suspect reasonable use of force

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From ASIRT (Alberta Serious Incident Response Team

On Sept. 27, 2017, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) was directed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the arrest of a 29-year-old man in Lloydminster that resulted in an officer-involved shooting. 

During the arrest, the man was struck by a police vehicle and two RCMP officers discharged their service pistols, resulting in serious injury.

ASIRT interviewed police and civilian witnesses, including the 29-year-old man and both subject officers. Large portions of the events, including the uses of force were captured on audio and video recordings. ASIRT’s investigation is complete.

Having reviewed the investigation, executive director Susan Hughson, QC concluded there were no reasonable grounds, nor reasonable suspicion, to believe the involved officers committed any criminal offence.

On Sept. 27, 2017, Lloydminster RCMP officers attempted to stop a Dodge truck in relation to an outstanding investigation. The truck entered the drive-thru of a fast-food restaurant. An officer in a marked RCMP vehicle pulled behind the truck and activated its lights and siren. Other officers pulled in front of the truck. In response, the driver of the truck drove over the drive-thru curb and up an embankment to the roadway, speeding past two officers standing with their service pistols pointed at the truck. As the driver exited the parking lot, he headed northbound on 40 Avenue and engaged in a high-speed criminal flight from police.

As the truck approached 52 Street, it collided with a SUV driven by a 25-year-old woman, causing extensive damage to both vehicles and causing the woman’s vehicle to roll, landing on its roof. The woman did not sustain serious injury. The visible damage to her vehicle and the force of the collision would have easily left an observer with the belief that any occupant would have likely sustained serious injury or died. Data downloaded from the truck confirmed that immediately prior to the collision, it had been travelling at a speed of 144 km/h, and was moving at 124 km/h at the moment of collision.

The truck stopped on the side of the road. A passenger fled on foot from the truck to an adjacent field. The 29-year-old exited the truck holding a handgun, and immediately ran towards a man who stopped his truck to provide assistance.

An officer in pursuit pulled over his marked police vehicle and exited upon seeing the collision. He shouted verbal commands to drop the gun as the 29-year-old man ran towards the second truck. When the armed man failed to comply, the officer fired his service pistol. The man kept running and reached the civilian’s truck, attempting to gain entry. With a gun in hand, the man began banging on the driver’s window and yelling for him to “get out of the truck.”

As the armed man stood at the driver’s door, a second officer drove up in his unmarked RCMP SUV and clipped the armed man with the vehicle, causing him to spin away and fall, dropping the gun. As the second officer exited his SUV, the man got up, grabbed the handgun and raised it. The officer fired two shots from his service pistol striking the man.

The man fell to the ground, where he was arrested and handcuffed. RCMP members contacted Emergency Medical Services, who responded to the scene, provided medical attention and transported the man to a nearby hospital. He was subsequently transferred by STARS air ambulance to an Edmonton hospital where he was treated for what would ultimately turn out to be serious, permanent injuries including partial paralysis.

Under S. 25 of the Criminal Code, police officers are entitled to use as much force as is reasonably necessary to carry out their lawful duties. When necessary, where an officer believes, on reasonable grounds, that the person presents an imminent risk of death or grievous bodily harm to the officer or any other person, he or she may use force that is intended or likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm. An officer may also use lethal force in limited circumstances to prevent the flight of a person.

During the course of these events, the 29-year-old man demonstrated he was highly motivated to escape, having driven over an embankment and fled police. He was not only prepared to endanger others to do so, but had possibly already injured or killed an uninvolved woman who had simply been in his path, having forcefully collided with her vehicle. Instead of remaining at the scene of the collision or checking on the condition of the driver of the other vehicle, the man took a handgun from the truck before running towards a vehicle that stopped to provide assistance. In these circumstances, the man objectively presented a risk of death or grievous bodily harm to the occupant of that vehicle. Having directed the man to stop or drop the gun, the first officer’s use of force was reasonable and necessary. This risk became even more immediate when the man reached and attempted to enter the stopped truck. The use of the police vehicle to remove the armed man from the vehicle door of the innocent bystander was reasonable in the circumstances.

Having been fired on by the first officer, and struck by a police vehicle, the man stood and instead of running or surrendering, decided to pick up the handgun. In that moment, the man presented a risk of grievous bodily harm or death to not only the innocent bystander but also to the officer.

The officers’ use of force during this event, while they were lawfully placed and engaged in the lawful execution of their duties, was both reasonable and justified in the circumstances. In the opinion of the executive director, there can be no doubt that the actions of the officers prevented the man from committing what could be characterized as an armed robbery, or more simply, a “car-jacking”, that could have easily resulted in the serious injury or death of the driver of that vehicle. As such, no charges will be laid against the officers.

ASIRT’s mandate is to effectively, independently and objectively investigate incidents involving Alberta’s police that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person.

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Alberta

A battle over beer … between curlers?

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Alberta’s Liquor Industry pushes back on Glenn Howard’s Ontario Beer ‘Facts’ in a new Social Media campaign.

Edmonton – Two Canadian curling stars are now battling off the rink in a war of ‘facts’ about provincial liquor laws that has broken out between Alberta and Ontario.

Brendan Bottcher, an Alberta curling champion, is starring in “Ontario Beer ‘Fake Facts’”, a social media campaign that launched today to counter misinformation being spread in Ontario about Alberta’s liquor laws and stores.

Brendan Bottcher stars in Ontario Beer Fake Facts

The Beer Store, a consortium of brewers that is fighting a move by the Doug Ford provincial government to sell beer and liquor in corner stores, has argued Alberta’s privatized system isn’t good for customers and allows for easier access to alcohol for minors. The Beer Store’s campaign is called “Ontario Beer Facts” and features Ontario curling champion Glenn Howard.

Glenn Howard throws shade on Alberta’s beer and liquor industries

“[Howard]’s jealous. Our liquor stores are better and [so are] our curling teams,” Bottcher quips in one of the “Ontario Beer ‘Fake Facts’” ads being launched today.

Alberta Liquor Stores Association (ALSA) produced the campaign in an attempt to set the record straight about Alberta’s thriving and socially responsible private liquor industry.

“In Alberta, our liquor industry is open for business – literally from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. We’re proud of the private liquor industry we’ve built here since 1993. Free enterprise doesn’t mean there is a free-for-all, Wild West system. But it does mean we have competitive prices and better service, hours and selection for our customers.”Ivonne Martinez, President of Alberta Liquor Stores Association

Oh, and on that whole thing about the price of beer in Alberta – Martinez had this to say.

“…And what about The Beer Store’s claim that a 24 pack of Coors Light is more expensive in Alberta than in Ontario? The Beer Store is owned by Labatts and Molson (National Brewers).  National Brewers, just like any manufacturer, sets the price for their products for each province. The price has nothing to do with the distribution model, the price is set by Molson themselves which set a higher price for their beer in Alberta…”

To view the Alberta campaign click here.

And to view the Ontario campaign click here.

Backgrounder About Alberta’s Liquor Industry:

  • The $3-billion industry contributes approximately $866-million annually to provincial revenues
  • 1,500+ private liquor stores operate in Alberta from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, including New Year’s Eve
  • Since the industry was privatized in 1993, it has created approximately 12,000 new jobs for Albertans
  • Alberta liquor stores offer more than 26,000 options, including 7,000 beer types; in Ontario, they sell less than 2,000 beer brands.

www.alsaweb.ca

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Alberta

Update 23: Northwest Alberta wildfires (June 20 at 4 p.m.)

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Hot, dry conditions with strong winds create challenges for firefighting.

June 20, 2019

As fires spread in Mackenzie County, approximately 200 additional people evacuated on Wednesday from the area north of Highway 697, south of the Peace River and west of Steep Hill Creek, also called Range Road 164.

More than 700 evacuees from the Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement can return home today. Additional information for residents is online at https://www.facebook.com/paddleprairie

Approximately 8,500 people are still under evacuation orders.

The following communities issued mandatory evacuation orders this week:

  • Beaver First Nation – Boyer River (No. 164) and Child Lake (No. 164A)
  • Dene Tha’ First Nation – Bushe River (No. 207)
  • Mackenzie County
    • The Rocky Lane and High Level area north of the Peace River, south of Highway 58, west of Range Road 150
    • The Hamlet of La Crete
    • Range Road 164 to Range Road 150, south of the Peace River, north of Highway 697
  • Peerless Trout First Nation – Trout Lake community and high-risk persons in the surrounding area.

The following communities remain on evacuation alert and should be ready to leave quickly if the situation changes:

  • High Level
  • Mackenzie County
    • Area west of Range Road 164, south of the Peace River to Township Road 1010, and the Machesis Lake campground
  • Bigstone Cree Nation 166 A, B, C and D

Current situation

  • Chuckegg Creek wildfire, southwest of High Level, is about 330,000 hectares.
  • Jackpot Creek wildfire, north of Lutose, is about 77,500 hectares.
  • McMillan Wildfire Complex located in the Slave Lake Forest area, is more than 276,800 hectares.
  • Check Alberta Emergency Alerts for more detailed and frequently updated information.
  • People driving in fire-affected areas should carry enough fuel, as it may not be readily available.

Visit alberta.ca/emergency for detailed and frequently updated information.

Air quality

  • Wildfire smoke is causing poor air quality and reduced visibility at times.
  • Parts of northwestern Alberta are under special air quality statements.
  • Visit FireSmoke Canada for information and resources about smoke from wildland fires.

Financial supports

  • Evacuees should check alberta.ca/emergency for updates on evacuation payment eligibility.
  • You may qualify for the evacuation payment if you:
    • were living, working or vacationing in the affected area
    • were forced to leave due to an evacuation order
    • paid for most of your costs to evacuate
    • were forced to leave your residence (primary, working or vacationing) due to a mandatory evacuation order.
  • Albertans who qualify will receive $1,250 and $500 for each dependent child under 18 living in the same home when the evacuation order was given.
  • Apply online through the MyAlberta Evacuation Payment application using a smartphone, device or desktop. Interac e-transfers may take 24 hours to process.
  • If you need help applying, contact Alberta Supports to find the nearest centre: Toll-free: 1-877-644-9992 (Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.) In-person: Find an Alberta Supports Centre.
  • More than 11,700 individuals have received evacuee support totalling close to $11.9 million.

Reception and call centres

  • All evacuees need to register with an evacuation reception centre even if you have found alternate accommodations.
  • Reception centres may assist evacuees in person and/or by phone.
  • Mackenzie County evacuees must register at Fort Vermilion – Mackenzie County Office, 4511 46 Avenue, 780-927-3718.
  • Evacuees from Trout Lake and high-risk persons in the surrounding area of Peerless Trout First Nation must register their location with Jennifer Auger, 780-649-6553jennifer.auger@ptfn.net. If you evacuated to Edmonton, register at Edmonton Super 8 Hotel, 16818 118 Avenue.
  • The Government of Alberta contact centre is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday. Call 310-4455.

Insurance information

  • Most home and tenant insurance policies provide coverage for living expenses during an evacuation.
  • Evacuees should retain all of their receipts for food, accommodation and other related expenses to provide to their insurer.
  • Albertans can contact the Insurance Bureau of Canada at 1-844-227-5422 or by email at askibcwest@ibc.ca. Information about insurance coverage is available online at ibc.ca/ab/disaster/alberta-wildfire.

Re-entry information

Evacuees can find tips on re-entry by visiting https://www.alberta.ca/emergency.aspx. Information includes making sure all your utilities are working, cleaning up and how to deal with door-to-door salespeople offering services and insurance.

Justice and legal matters

  • If you have an appointment with a probation officer in an evacuated area, report to the community corrections office nearest you. Please call 780-427-3109 (to call toll-free, first dial 310-0000) for information.

Boil water advisory

  • A boil water advisory is in place for Meander River (Dene Tha’ First Nation).

Health

  • Mental health support is available by calling Alberta’s 24-hour help line at 1-877-303-2642, the Addiction Helpline at 1-866-332-2322, or Health Link at 811.

Donations and volunteers

  • Check the Mackenzie County Facebook page for an up-to-date list of donations needed and drop-off locations.
  • There have been reports that local residents in High Level are being solicited by email or phone for donations in support of firefighters or affected residents. Do not share your personal information with them or donate money.
  • When asked for donations (either over the phone, through an email, or in person), ask the canvasser for identification or printed information about the charity.
  • If you have concerns about the activities of a charitable organization including its fundraising practices, call Service Alberta: 1-877-427-4088.

Canada Post

  • Mail and parcel delivery in certain communities has been affected by the wildfires.
  • Canada Post has contingency measures in place to serve residents of these communities.
  • Check the Canada Post website for updates.

Other income and social supports

  • Evacuees who receive Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped or Income Support benefits by cheque should contact their worker to make arrangements to receive it.
  • Call Alberta Supports at 1-877-644-9992 between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday to Friday if you:
    • need information on other social supports
    • are a contracted service provider, family member or individual needing assistance through the Persons with Developmental Disabilities program
  • Evacuees in need of financial assistance for immediate needs can apply for an Income Support program emergency needs allowance. This benefit may cover your accommodation, clothing and other urgent needs. Please call 1-877-644-9992 for more information.
  • For information on child intervention and child care, call 1-800-638-0715
  • Employment insurance: evacuees can visit Service Canada online to apply at www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei.html. Use code 4812014812201900.

Health card, driver’s licences, ID cards, birth certificate

  • To get a replacement Health Care Insurance Card call 780-427-1432 or toll-free at 310-0000 and then 780-427-1432 when prompted. Your Alberta Personal Health Card can be mailed to a temporary address.  
  • If driver’s licences, identification cards, and/or birth certificates were left behind during the evacuation, replacement cards and certificates can be ordered free of charge at a registry agent.

Public information

  • You can call 310-4455 for more information – Monday to Friday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Related information

Backgrounder: Previous updates

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june, 2019

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