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Alberta

Edmonton Police charge 19 year old with trafficking gun used to kill Constables Jordan and Ryan

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From the Edmonton Police Service

Charges laid in line of duty deaths

The EPS Firearms Investigations Unit (FIU) has completed their investigation into the origins of the firearm used in the Mar. 16, 2023, officer deaths.

Following the shooting deaths of Const. Brett Ryan and Const. Travis Jordan, FIU launched an investigation into the origins of the gun used by the 16-year-old male shooter.

Early in the investigation, detectives determined a bullet cartridge casing recovered from the scene of a Mar. 12, 2023, shooting at a nearby restaurant (133 Street and 114 Avenue) was forensically matched to the firearm that was recovered at the 132 Street and 114 Avenue apartment where both officers were tragically murdered. Investigators have since confirmed that the suspect in both shootings was the same.

Following several months of extensive investigation, FIU determined that Dennis Okeymow, 19, trafficked the firearm used in both shootings directly to the 16-year-old male shooter prior to Mar. 12.

On. Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023, police conducted search warrants on Okeymow’s residence, vehicles and cell phone. Okeymow was arrested without incident from the residence and police seized a stolen loaded handgun, ammunition, illegal drugs, $10,000 in cash and other items indicative of drug trafficking.

Okeymow is charged with:

  • manslaughter (x3) and criminal negligence causing death (x3) in relation to the deaths of Const. Ryan, Const. Jordan and the 16-year-old male shooter
  • criminal negligence causing bodily harm (x2) in relation to the man injured in the restaurant shooting on Mar. 12 and the youth’s mother, who was injured during the Mar. 16 shooting
  • firearms trafficking
  • unauthorized possession of a firearm
  • possession of a restricted firearm with ammunition
  • ·other drug trafficking related charges

“In my 20 years in this career, this is the most complex and tragic file I have worked on,” says Staff Sergeant Eric Stewart with the EPS Guns and Gangs Section. “It’s heartbreaking that the trafficking of a firearm has led to multiple deaths and life-altering injuries.”

“The trauma suffered by the impacted families as a result of this one simple transaction is unthinkable.”

FIU would like to thank the RCMP, the Calgary Police Service (CPS) and the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) and the many dedicated members of the EPS who assisted with this investigation.

Background information

On Sunday, Mar. 12, 2023, at approximately 12:25 a.m., a lone male suspect entered a pizza restaurant in the area of 133 Street and 114 Avenue carrying a firearm. The suspect shot a male employee and then fled the location. EMS attended and transported the injured 55-year-old male to hospital with serious life-threatening injuries.

At approximately 12:47 a.m. on Thursday, Mar. 16, 2023, Const. Travis Jordan and Const. Brett Ryan responded to a family dispute call in an apartment complex near 114 Avenue and 132 Street.

When the two officers arrived, they were met by a 55-year-old female complainant outside of the complex. The two officers then responded to the suite where she resided with her 73-year-old male partner and their 16-year-old son.

Immediately upon arriving at the suite, both constables were shot multiple times by the youth and were immediately incapacitated. The youth then reportedly shot his mother before turning the firearm on himself, taking his own life. The father was not physically injured during the shootings.  Neither officer discharged their firearm.

Following 911 calls by multiple reporters, additional police and EMS arrived. One of the injured officers was transported in a police vehicle to hospital, while the other injured officer was taken by ambulance. The female complainant was taken by ambulance to hospital. Soon after arriving at the hospital, both officers were declared deceased.

On Saturday, Mar. 18, 2023, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Edmonton conducted autopsies on both officers. In both cases the cause of death was confirmed to be gunshot wounds with the manner of death being homicide.

On Mar. 22, 2023, the Edmonton Medical Examiner confirmed that the 16-year-old male shooter’s cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the head consistent with being self-inflicted.

The 55-year-old man shot in the restaurant on Mar. 12 survived, but suffered life-altering injuries. The youth’s mother continues to recover from her injuries.

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Alberta

Indigenous-owned LNG projects in jeopardy with proposed emissions cap, leaders warn

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Indigenous leaders meet with Japan’s ambassador to Canada Kanji Yamanouchi. Photo courtesy Energy for a Secure Future

From the Canadian Energy Centre

By Cody Ciona

‘It’s like we’re finally at the table and we’re having to fight to keep our seat at the table’

A proposed cap on oil and gas emissions will threaten opportunities for Indigenous communities to bring cleaner alternatives to coal to international markets, Indigenous leaders warned during a recent webinar. 

Karen Ogen, CEO of the First Nations LNG Alliance, fears Indigenous-led projects like Cedar LNG and Ksi Lisims LNG are threatened by the cap, which is essentially a cap on production. 

“If we’re going to help China and India get off of coal and help reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, it makes common sense for us to be selling our LNG to Asia and to other countries. To put a cap on, it would just stop us from doing that,” Ogen said. 

“It’s like we’re finally at the table and we’re having to fight to keep our seat at the table.” 

Indigenous communities across Canada have increasingly become involved in oil and gas projects to secure economic prosperity and reduce on-reserve poverty. 

Since 2022, more than 75 First Nations and Metis communities have entered ownership agreements across western Canada. Among those are key projects like the Coastal GasLink pipeline and the joint investment of 23 communities to obtain a 12 per cent ownership stake in several oil sands pipelines. 

The planned federal emissions cap will stall progress toward economic reconciliation, Ogen said. 

“Our leaders did not accept this and fought hard to have rights and titles recognized,” she said. 

“These rights were won through persistence and determination. It’s been a long journey, but we are finally at the table with more control over our destiny.” 

Chris Sankey, CEO of Blackfish Enterprises and a former elected councillor for the Lax Kw’alaams Band in B.C., said the proposed emissions cap could stifle Indigenous communities pushing for poverty reduction. 

“We’re working hard to try to get our people out of poverty. All [the emissions cap is] doing is pushing them further into debt and further into poverty,” he said. 

“When oil and gas is doing well, our people do well.” 

Together, the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion, LNG Canada project and Coastal GasLink pipeline have spent more than $10 billion in contracts with Indigenous and local businesses

Indigenous employment in the oil and gas industry has also increased by more than 20 per cent since 2014. 

For Stephen Buffalo, CEO of the Indian Resource Council, an emissions cap feels like a step in the wrong direction after years of action to become true economic partners is finally making headway. 

“Being a participant in the natural resource sector and making true partnerships, has been beneficial for First Nations,” he said. 

“So, when you see a government trying to attack this industry in that regard, it is very disheartening.” 

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Alberta

Taxpayers Federation hoping for personal tax relief in Alberta budget

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From the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Albertans need income tax relief now

Author: Kris Sims 

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on the Alberta government to stick to its promise of cutting its income tax in tomorrow’s provincial budget.

“Cutting the provincial income tax was a huge campaign promise from the UCP and it needs to happen right away,” said Kris Sims, CTF Alberta Director. “Finance Minister Nate Horner should announce this income tax cut in the budget tomorrow.”

The provincial budget will be presented Feb. 29.

During the 2023, election the UCP promised to create a lower income tax bracket for the first $59,000 of earnings, charging eight per cent instead of the current 10 per cent.

The UCP said that move would save Albertans earning $60,000 or more about $760 per year.

The Alberta government currently charges workers who make under $142,292 per year a 10 per cent income tax rate.

By comparison, British Columbia charges an income tax of five per cent on the first $45,654 of earnings and seven per cent up to $91,310.

In B.C., a worker earning $100,000 pays about $5,857 in provincial income tax.

In Alberta that same worker pays about $7,424 in provincial income tax.

“Taxpayers need to see a balanced budget, spending restraint and our promised lower income taxes in this budget,” said Sims.

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