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Alberta

Defence says man had no choice but to shoot hunters in Alberta roadside confrontation

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EDMONTON — An Alberta man accused of killing two Métis hunters had no choice but to shoot the men to protect himself, his father and younger brother, his lawyer told a jury during his opening statement.
Anthony Bilodeau, 33, and his father, Roger Bilodeau, 58, face two counts each of second-degree murder. They have both pleaded not guilty.

The two were charged after Jacob Sansom, 39, and his uncle Maurice Cardinal, 57, were found dead at the side of a rural road near Glendon, Alta., about 215 kilometres northeast of Edmonton, on March 28, 2020.

Sansom was shot once in the chest and Cardinal was hit three times in his shoulder.

“There was probably an angel looking down on him,” Brian Beresh said Tuesday of his client, Anthony Bilodeau.

“And it takes the form of the CNRL video,” he added, referring to security video footage from a gas station that shows the confrontation between the two sides the night before the bodies were found.

Beresh said Anthony Bilodeau got a call from his father and younger brother, Joseph Bilodeau, saying they were following a pickup truck that had stopped at the driveway of their property before speeding off.

Joseph Bilodeau, who is now 18 and was not charged in the case, testified last week that he had also seen a truck on his parents’ farm earlier in the day and suspected the one they were following had something to do with it.

Beresh said Anthony Bilodeau, who lived nearby, was asked to bring a gun for protection and catch up with his father and brother. He was still on the phone with them a short time later when the truck with his father and brother and the other truck stopped on the side of road.

A man from the other truck punched in the passenger window of Roger Bilodeau’s Ford F-150 and then tried to pull him out, along with Joseph Bilodeau, Beresh said.

“Things changed very quickly when during the call, he heard the shattering of glass and then his brother Joseph scream, ‘Don’t kill my dad! Don’t hurt my dad!” Beresh told the jury.

“When he arrived at the scene, to his horror, he could see a man who appeared to be strangling or fighting with his father, who was still partially in the truck.”

Joseph Bilodeau has testified that he managed to get himself into the back seat of his father’s truck by the time his brother arrived.

Beresh said one of the first things Anthony Bilodeau did when he got there was to tell the men to stop fighting.

“Despite his attempt to de-escalate the situation, things got worse,” Beresh said.

The man who had pinned his father down in the truck then charged at Anthony Bilodeau while shouting to another man to grab a gun so they could kill him, Beresh said.

“In that short period of time, which the video confirms, Anthony had no choice,” his lawyer said. “He responded to protect himself and his father.”

Last week, Crown prosecutors argued that the killings were in no way justified, as the security footage also shows Anthony Bilodeau shot Sansom within 26 seconds of arriving at the scene, then shot Cardinal as the hunter was walking away.

Joseph Bilodeau also testified that he feared for his life during the confrontation with the two men, but he didn’t have any conversations with his brother and father about calling police.

Anthony Bilodeau is expected to take the witness stand Wednesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2022.

Daniela Germano, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Alberta extends electricity rebate program until December at a cost of about $600M

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Edmonton – The Alberta government says it will extend its electricity rebates until the end of the year as the cost of living continues to rise.

Dale Nally, who’s the associate minister of natural gas and electricity, says the United Conservative government is doubling the rebate to help reduce the financial burden on Albertans.

The government says the electricity rebate program will now offer about $600 million in relief through 2022.

It says the program will provide nearly two million homes, farms and small businesses with a monthly $50 bill credit each month from July until December.

The government says it will also provide a natural gas rebate to millions of Albertans starting in October, which will continue until March 2023 if prices remain high.

Last week, Finance Minister Jason Nixon announced a $3.9-billion surplus for the 2021-22 fiscal year ending March 31.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 6, 2022.

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Alberta

Telus Corp. marks opening of Telus Sky in downtown Calgary

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CALGARY — Telus Corp. marked the opening of its new 60-storey Calgary headquarters on Wednesday.

The new $400-million skyscraper, Telus Sky, has been in development for nine years and is now the third-tallest building in downtown Calgary. It features 750,000 square feet of office and retail space as well as 326 rental homes.

The building’s eye-catching design, by architects Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Dialog, along with developer partner Westbank and Allied, starts with a rectangular floorplate and then gradually twists as it rises.

Integrated into the facade of Telus Sky is Canada’s largest public art display. “Northern Lights” by Canadian author and artist, Douglas Coupland, creates a light show across the building’s exterior.

Telus Sky will be home to more than 1,600 Telus employees. It joins TELUS Garden in Vancouver, TELUS Harbour Toronto, TELUS House Ottawa, and Place TELUS Québec as one of the company’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum-certified buildings.

Among the building’s environmental features is a storm water management system that recycles rainwater for use in washroom toilets, reducing the building’s municipal water demand by 70 per cent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 6, 2022.

Companies in this story: (TSX:T)

Amanda Stephenson, The Canadian Press

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