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Police recover massive stolen sports and hobby card collection, seize gun and ammo


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News release from Leduc RCMP

Leduc RCMP seek public assistance to identify break and enter – Update charges laid

Leduc RCMP Crime Reduction Unit (LCRU) have recovered over $35,000. in stolen property from The Hobby Spot break and enter, plus unrelated stolen property and have laid charges against one male in relation to this investigation.

On Feb. 7, 2023, Leduc RCMP received information that three of the stolen cards were sold at a card business in Edmonton, Alta. After continued investigation and the assistance of Edmonton Police Service, a suspect and residence were identified.

On Feb. 10, 2023, LCRU with the assistance of Leduc RCMP General Investigation Section and Drug Unit executed a search warrant at a residence in south east area of Edmonton where they arrested the suspect.

As a result of the search, police recovered a large quantity of the stolen property and seized some items including:

  • Semi-automatic rifle
  • 149 rounds of ammunition
  • Cash drawer
  • 5grams of suspected crystal methamphetamine
  • Over 500 capsules of various medications
  • 17 boxes/bottles of various medications
  • Several sets of building keys and vehicle keys/vehicle key fobs
  • Stolen mail
  • Many trading/collecting and gaming cards including NHL, NBA, MLB, Pokemon, Magic The Gathering, Yugioh, Dicemasters, MetaZoo and Flesh and Blood.
  • Comic books
  • Warhammer Models

Justin Jarrod Charest (32), a residence of Edmonton, was charged with the following:

  • Break and enter
  • Trafficking property over 5,000.
  • Possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000. (x2)
  • Unsafe storage of a firearm
  • Unauthorized possession of a firearm
  • Possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine
  • Fail to comply with release order (x4)

Following a judicial hearing, Charest was remanded in custody. He is scheduled to appear in Leduc provincial court on Feb. 28, 2023.

“This investigation shows the success that comes when we work collaboratively with our policing partner, in Edmonton police service,” says Constable Cheri-Lee Smith. “This multijurisdictional investigation, including the intelligence sharing shows the impact we can have in our communities.”

LCRU’s investigation into this incident is ongoing.

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Canada under pressure to produce more food, protect agricultural land: report

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Canada’s agricultural land is under increasing pressure to produce more food as demand grows domestically and internationally, while the industry grapples with limited resources and environmental constraints, a new report found. 

“We need to grow more food on less land and in a volatile climate,” said Tyler McCann, managing director of the Canadian Agri-Food Policy Institute.

The report by the institute released Thursday looks at the pressures on Canada’s agricultural land to produce more food while also mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change, said McCann. 

Despite Canada being a big country, it doesn’t have as much agricultural land as people might think, said McCann, with the report noting that agricultural land makes up only around seven per cent of the country. 

Because of that, we can’t take what we do have for granted, he said. “We need to be really thoughtful about how we are using our agricultural land.” 

In 2020, Canada was the eighth largest country in terms of cropland area, the report said, with that cropland decreasing by seven per cent over the previous two decades. 

Canada is a major producer and net exporter of agriculture and agri-food products, the report said, exporting $91 billion in products in 2022, and one of the top 10 exporters of wheat, canola, pulses, pork and beef. 

In the coming years, Canada will face increased demand from countries whose populations are growing, the report said. 

“With population growth on one side and climate change on the other, Canada will be amongst an increasingly smaller number of countries that is a net exporter,” said McCann, noting that Canada’s own population is growing, and farmland also needs to be protected against urban sprawl. 

The wildfires clouding Canadian skies this week are a “vivid reminder” of the pressure that extreme weather and the changing climate are putting on the agricultural sector, said McCann. 

“We need to clearly mitigate … agriculture’s impact on climate change. But we also need to make sure agriculture is adapting to climate change’s impacts,” he said. 

One of the ways the world has responded to demand for increased agricultural production over time is to create more agricultural land, in some cases by cutting down forests, said McCann. But that’s not a viable option for Canada, which doesn’t have a lot of land that can be sustainably converted into farmland — and even if it could, doing so could have a variety of adverse environmental effects, he said. 

Some of the practices used to reduce emissions and sequester carbon in agriculture can also improve production output on existing farmland, the report found, such as precision agriculture and no-till practices.

However, intensifying the production of current agricultural land also comes with potential environmental downsides, the report said.

For example, McCann said fertilizer is an important part of sustainable agriculture, but there’s a balance to be struck because excessive use of fertilizer can quickly turn food production unsustainable. 

“We need to be a lot more thoughtful about the inputs that we’re using,” he said, adding the same can be said about the use of technology in agriculture and the policies and programs put in place to encourage sustainable intensification of Canadian agriculture. 

The report recommends that Canada adopt policies that provide financial incentives and technical assistance to farmers and develop regulatory frameworks promoting sustainable land use, as well as promoting education and awareness campaigns, so that the country can “ensure the long-term sustainability of its agricultural sector while protecting the environment.”  

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 8, 2023.

Rosa Saba, The Canadian Press

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Lawyer tells Alberta’s highest court review board biased in de Grood’s case

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