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Alberta

Education Minister says school boards are confident and the decision on which day to return to school is theirs

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From the Province of Alberta

School start date: Minister LaGrange

Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange issued the following statement on school re-entry:

“Earlier this week I met with executives from the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) to discuss school re-entry. One of their requests was that I engage with education partners to get their views on the ATA’s request to delay school re-entry.

“While our re-entry plan, as written, already provides school boards with the ability to delay or stagger school start dates should they decide that is in their local best interest, I agreed to further engage with education partners and get their views on this ATA request. This was done by having follow-up discussions with the Alberta School Boards Association and the College of Alberta School Superintendents.

“These partners remain confident, as do I, that the school re-entry plan already provides local school authorities with the autonomy and flexibility to ensure local needs are met and to prepare schools for a safe re-entry.

“I have also had the chance to review all the planned re-entry dates for schools across the province, and I see that time is clearly available to allow teachers to prepare for re-entry before their students arrive.

“These plans and timelines were created by school boards who continue to follow the expert medical advice of Alberta’s chief medical officer of health.

“I would like to reinforce that I continue to support school boards using this flexibility to adjust their plans if necessary in the coming days as they make preparations for a safe return to school.

“I encourage local education partners to continue to collaborate and work together on the decisions related to school calendars.”

For more information on Alberta’s return to school plan, visit www.alberta.ca/returntoschool.

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

Edmonton Oilers sign defenceman Kris Russell to one-year contract extension

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EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers have signed defenceman Kris Russell to a one-year, US$1.25-million contract extension.

The 33-year-old Russell appeared in 55 games with the Oilers last season, posting nine assists, 14 penalty minutes and an even plus/minus rating. 

He also played in four games in the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs.  

The five-foot-10, 170-pound blueliner has appeared in 846 career NHL games over 13 seasons with Columbus, St. Louis, Calgary, Dallas, and Edmonton, registering 236 points (46 goals, 190 assists), 259 penalty minutes and a minus-5 plus/minus rating. 

He has added 20 points (three goals, 17 assists) in 53 career playoff games.  

Russell originally joined the Oilers as an unrestricted free agent in the 2016 off-season.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct.21, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

‘Bona fide police service:’ Alberta expanding power, status for First Nations police

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EDMONTON — The Alberta government has introduced proposed changes to the province’s Police Act which would expand the powers of First Nations police forces.

The changes are part of a number of proposed amendments under the Justices Statutes Amendment Act, Justice Minister Kaycee Madu said Wednesday.

First Nations police forces have been in place in Alberta for up to two decades, Madu said, but they haven’t received the credit they deserve for the work they’ve done in Indigenous communities.  

“They can be much more sensitive to local issues and cultures,” Madu said. 

Although First Nations police are recognized through an exemption in the current act, the amendment would give them the same status as city forces in Edmonton, Calgary, Medicine Hat and Lethbridge.

“One of the ways by which this is significant for First Nations policing is by acknowledging that they are a bona fide police service within the framework of policing in our province,” Madu said.  

“There is no question that this amendment would increase the stature of First Nations police services and commissions within the framework of policing in our province. It would put them on the same level with municipal police services.”   

Madu said First Nations police officers would be able to issue tickets for infractions on their reserves.

“There has been some difficulty with First Nation police services being able to enforce their bylaws. With this amendment, they would be able to issue a ticket and go to the courts to enforce them,” he said.  

“It is one problem we have heard time and time again from our First Nations people.” 

The proposed legislation would also give First Nations police chiefs a spot at the discussion table about changes to policing in the province. 

There are currently three First Nations forces in Alberta: the Blood Tribe Police Service in southern Alberta, the Lakeshore Regional Police Service northwest of Edmonton and the Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service just outside Calgary. 

“The Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service has operated since 2004 and meets all provincial policing standards and duties. I commend the minister and his government colleagues for fully recognizing the Tsuut’ina and all First Nation police agencies in the amended Police Act,” Chief Roy Whitney Onespot said in a statement.  

Other changes would allow the courts to send juror summonses electronically, including by email, and eliminate a summons form.  

They would also expand the list of offences subject to civil forfeiture under the Victims Restitution and Compensation Payments Act.

“This change will further deter crime as well as provide a source of new money, which will support police training and fund community crime prevention organizations and victims of crime initiatives,” said Madu.

— By Bill Graveland in Calgary

This report by The Canadian Press was first published October 21, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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