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Alberta

Ontario man arrested for sexual assault of Alberta girl he groomed online

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Submitted by the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team

St. Catharines man arrested for sexually assaulting youth he met online

Edmonton… A cross-Canada investigation between ALERT’s Internet Child Exploitation unit and the Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) has led to charges against a St. Catharines, Ont. man, and police believe there may be additional victims.

ICE alleges the suspect sexually assaulted an underage youth that he met via the internet. The victim was lured and groomed online before the two met in Edmonton, where she was forced into performing degrading sexual acts. Photos and videos of the offences were later posted online.

The alleged offences took place in Edmonton, Burlington, and St. Catharines and occurred over a period of several years, roughly 2012 and 2014. ICE has reason to believe other victims exist in those communities.

“What our victim endured is sickening and she displayed remarkable courage in coming forward. ICE is hoping other woman can muster the same strength; to contact police, to get help, and ensure no one else has to suffer in the same manner,” said Cpl. Dave Knight, ALERT ICE.

Jason Anderson, 41, was arrested by Niagara Regional Police on April 29, 2021 and has since been transported to Alberta. He has been charged with sexual assault, assault, sexual exploitation, and making child pornography.

Anderson appeared in a Calgary court on May 4, 2021 and was released on a cash bail under a number of conditions.

The investigation dates back to 2018 and is ongoing. The two agencies are working together to explore the possibility of additional victims in both provinces.

ICE is also looking to identify and speak with potential victims and witnesses. Anyone with information about this investigation is encouraged to call:

  • In Alberta – ALERT ICE: 780-509-3363;
  • In Ontario – Niagara Regional Police Service: (905) 329-8354 ext. 1009128;
  • Local police agency;
  • Or anonymously at cybertip.ca.

ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.

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Alberta

Covid no longer means special measures. Province brings treatment in line with flu and other viruses

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Adapting COVID-19 measures to support Albertans

With strong vaccine uptake, Alberta will gradually bring COVID-19 measures in line with other respiratory viruses to ensure health system capacity for the fall.

Nearly 75.6 per cent of eligible Albertans have now received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 64.3 per cent are fully immunized. Vaccines dramatically reduce the risk of severe outcomes and the risk of infection. While COVID-19 cases may rise in the coming months, a surge of hospitalizations and other severe outcomes is much less likely thanks to vaccines.

In the coming weeks, Alberta’s health system will take steps to make sure that it is ready to support all patients, including those with COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses, like influenza, which health officials expect to increase this year.

As a part of this, Alberta will bring COVID-19 quarantine, isolation, and other measures in line with those used for influenza and other viruses.

Testing for severe cases, provincial monitoring, outbreak management in high-risk settings, and other key measures will remain in place. Health officials will be able to adapt as needed if hospitalizations due to COVID-19 spike in the future.

“Our health system will keep protecting Albertans who are exposed to COVID-19 while also ensuring that we are able to handle all other viruses and illnesses. As the majority of us are vaccinated against COVID-19, we are adapting to make sure that the health system is ready to care for all Albertans, whatever their illness. Please get vaccinated to help protect your health and the health of those around you.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

“Our top priority is supporting the health of Albertans. COVID-19 is still with us but we are now in a place where we need to manage it through vaccinations and the proven public health measures used for other communicable viruses. We expect to see increased influenza and other viruses this year, and these changes will make sure the health system is ready and able to support all Albertans in the months ahead.”

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health

A two-phase transition will be used to safely monitor the impact of the initial changes, adapt as needed over the next few weeks, and give more time to vaccinate Albertans.

The following changes will be effective July 29:

  • Quarantine for close contacts will shift from mandatory to recommended. Isolation for anyone with COVID-19 symptoms and for confirmed positive cases is still required.
    • Unimmunized individuals who know they have been exposed to COVID-19 should monitor for symptoms and seek testing if they become symptomatic.
    • Anyone who is not fully immunized should avoid high-risk locations such as continuing care facilities and crowded indoor spaces if they have been in contact with a case in the past 14 days.
  • All positive cases will continue to be notified. Contact tracers will no longer notify close contacts of exposure. Individuals are asked to inform their close contacts when informed of their positive result.
  • Contact tracers will continue to investigate cases that are in high-risk settings such as acute and continuing care facilities.
  • Outbreak management and identification will focus on high-risk locations, including continuing and acute care facilities and high-risk workplaces. Community outbreaks with a surge in cases leading to severe outcomes will also be addressed as needed.
  • Asymptomatic testing is no longer recommended. Testing will continue to be available for individuals who are symptomatic.
  • Mandatory masking remains in acute and continuing care facilities, publicly accessible transit, taxis and ride-share.

The following changes will take effect on Aug. 16:

  • Provincial mandatory masking orders will be lifted. Some masking in acute care or continuing care facilities may still be required.
  • Isolation following a positive COVID-19 test result will no longer be required, but strongly recommended.
    • Individuals with symptoms of any respiratory infection should still remain at home until symptoms have resolved.
    • Staying home when sick remains an important way to care for those around us by not passing on any infection.
  • Isolation hotels and quarantine support will no longer be available.
  • Testing will be available for Albertans with symptoms when it is needed to help direct patient care decisions.
    • This testing will be available through assessment centres until Aug. 31 and, after that, will be in primary care settings including physicians’ offices. For those with severe illness requiring urgent or emergency care, testing will be available in acute care and hospital settings.
    • COVID-19 testing will also be offered as needed in high-risk outbreaks such as in continuing care facilities.
  • Public health will focus on investigating severe cases that require hospitalization and any deaths due to COVID-19.
  • Outbreak management and preventative measures will continue focusing on outbreaks in high-risk settings, such as continuing and acute care facilities.
    • Community outbreaks will continue to be addressed as needed.
    • Daycares and schools will be supported with measures that would be effective for any respiratory virus if outbreaks are identified.

Health officials will continue to closely monitor hospitalizations and other severe outcomes due to COVID-19 in the province. Additional measures will be taken, as needed, in specific facilities or areas where an outbreak is occurring leading to severe outcomes.

Universal masking will not be required in schools once students return. However, it is recommended as a temporary outbreak intervention in response to respiratory outbreaks. A guidance document to support return to schools is being finalized and will be released in mid-August.

A wastewater baseline testing program will also be launched to provide area trend information and monitor variants of concern. More details will be released in the coming weeks.

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Alberta

TC Energy Q2 earnings slip to $982 million but comparable profits up 21 per cent

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CALGARY — TC Energy Corp. is reporting lower net profits in its latest quarter as it continued to feel some effects from a large impairment charge that will be shared with the Alberta government on its cancelled Keystone XL export oil pipeline.

The Calgary-based energy producer says its net income attributable to shareholders was $982 million or $1 per diluted share in the second quarter, down from $1.28 billion or $1.36 per share a year earlier.

The results included a $2-million impairment charge for Keystone while it recorded a $408-million gain in the prior year’s quarter from the partial sale of Coastal GasLink LP.

Excluding one-time items, comparable earnings increased 21 per cent to $1.05 billion or $1.07 per share, from $863 million or 92 cents per share in the second quarter of 2020.

Revenues in the three months ended June 30 increased three per cent to $3.18 billion from $3.09 billion.

TC Energy was expected to post 96 cents per share in comparable earnings or $3.39 billion of revenues, according to financial data firm Refinitiv.

The company says the net financial impact on it from the Keystone XL termination was $1.1 billion as of the end of the quarter. It took an after-tax charge of $2.2 billion last quarter.

The Keystone XL expansion to an existing pipeline network would have increased Canadian oil export capacity by up to 830,000 barrels a day. It was suspended after newly elected U.S. President Joe Biden fulfilled a campaign promise to cancel its presidential permit.

TC Energy decided to start construction of Keystone XL in March 2020 after the Alberta government agreed to take a $1.5 billion equity stake and provide a $6 billion loan guarantee to ensure work started immediately.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 29, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:TRP)

The Canadian Press

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