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Alberta

Province twinning David Thompson Highway (#11) from Sylvan Lake to Rocky Mountain House

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Premier Kenney announces highway 11 expansion

From the Province of Alberta

Improving David Thompson Highway and creating jobs

The Government of Alberta will twin a 66-kilometre stretch of the David Thompson Highway between Sylvan Lake and Rocky Mountain House.

This $120-million project is part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan and will create about 582 jobs, while upgrading the highway and improving traffic flow along this important recreation corridor.

“Alberta’s government is taking every possible step to get folks back to work. Infrastructure upgrades like this will create jobs today, while ensuring our roads and highways can support the needs of Albertans for years to come. Ultimately, this will create more opportunities for Albertans and visitors alike to access the natural beauty and hospitality of our province.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

“The David Thompson Highway leads to some of the most breathtaking scenery in Canada and has become a popular route for the tourism industry. Twinning this highway will increase and improve access for Albertans and tourists alike to enjoy Alberta’s outdoors. The project is part of our government’s recovery plan to create jobs, diversify our economy and get Albertans back to work.”

Ric McIver, Minister of Transportation

The David Thompson Highway project is part of the more than $10 billion infrastructure spending announced as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan. This spending includes: $6.9 billion Budget 2020 capital spending, $980 million accelerated for Capital Maintenance and Renewal, $200 million for Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program and water infrastructure projects, $600 million in strategic infrastructure projects, $500 million in municipal infrastructure and $1.5 billion for Keystone XL.

“The twinning of the David Thompson Highway is an important infrastructure project for our community and will support further investment in the province. It will address the congestion at the 781 intersection that continues to plague the area and, frankly, is long overdue. Most importantly, this project will create jobs right here in central Alberta at a time when Albertans need it most.”

Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, and MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake

“This project represents major progress on transportation infrastructure that will positively impact many communities in Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre. The David Thompson Highway – named after one of Western Canada’s true pioneers – sees considerable use by industry, tourists and Albertans recreating in the surrounding areas. Twinning the highway will ensure this gateway to the Rockies is upgraded for use for generations to come – boosting tourism, shoring up industry supply chains and allowing Albertans to explore what I consider the most beautiful area in the province.”

Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks, and MLA for Rimbey- Rocky Mountain House- Sundre

Alberta’s government is helping create more than 50,000 good jobs for Albertans by building schools, roads and other core infrastructure that benefits Albertans and communities. It will further diversify our economy by helping sectors grow and succeed and return investment to our province by ensuring we have the most competitive tax environment in Canada

Quick facts

  • Sylvan Lake and the David Thompson Country region are popular summer vacation destinations.
  • Design work will start in 2020 with construction activities getting underway in the 2021 construction season following land acquisition. A project of this scope typically takes about four years to build.
  • The project will be completed in phases over the following several construction seasons.
  • About 5,800 vehicles use this section of Highway 11 each day.
  • This project is anticipated to support 344 direct and 248 indirect jobs.

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Alberta

Lightning the latest to learn Dallas Stars’ defence can be downright offensive

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EDMONTON — The Tampa Bay Lightning are the latest team in the NHL playoffs to discover how much the Dallas Stars’ defence can be, well, downright offensive.

The Stars scored twice via defenders jumping into the play en route to a 4-1 win over the Lightning in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final.

Dallas head coach Rick Bowness calls it a high-risk, high-reward strategy change born out of necessity in the modern game.

“We had to change the way we were playing with the puck,” Bowness told reporters Sunday on a Zoom call.

“Since we went to (return to play training) camp on July 11 that was the focus, and it continues to be the focus.

“In this league, you better have your fourth guy joining the rush or you’re not going to create enough chances off the rush, and you’re not going to spend enough time in the offensive zone.”

Dallas is three wins from the Stanley Cup in a playoff run powered by the offensive production of defenders like Miro Heiskanen, John Klingberg, and Jamie Oleksiak.

Heiskanen, 21, is the team’s top playoff point-getter, with five goals and 18 assists. Klingberg is tied for third (three goals, 17 points). Oleksiak has five goals in 22 playoff games after never getting more than five in any regular season in his eight-year NHL career.

Bowness said the strategy carries high risk if everyone isn’t in sync. The forwards have to gain the zone and dish the puck and fill the gap when the defence activates. If a player loses the puck or doesn’t rotate, the dominoes can fall on a disastrous odd-man attack headed at high speed the other way.

“Some nights it’s there, it works, and some nights it doesn’t. But they’re coming,” said Bowness.

“We’re after our D all the time to keep coming, and when that happens you’re putting a lot of onus on the puck carrier to make the right decisions.

“We’re here where we are because of the play of our defence and their chipping in offensively when they have to.”

With Dallas, the defence can play offence, but the offence can also hustle back and play defence, as evidenced in the third period of Game 1. Tampa Bay found its legs in the final frame and leveraged three Dallas minor penalties to blitz Anton Khudobin with 22 shots on net in 20 minutes.

Khudobin stopped them all, but credited teammates with clearing out rebounds and stopping pucks at the point of attack. The Stars allowed 35 shots on Khudobin in total but blocked another 26.

Dallas forward Jason Dickinson said they are succeeding in keeping shots to the perimeter and collapsing in on the net when pucks got through.

“We’re all on the same page. We don’t get running (around). When we’re in doubt we pack it in and we’ll expand from there and protect the house first,” said Dickinson.

“When it does open up, we have (Khudobin) there to shut the door for us.”

Khudobin, a journeyman backup in his 11th season, is having a storybook post-season, starting 19 games for an injured Ben Bishop and racking up 13 wins. Against the Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference final he allowed just eight goals on 161 shots for a .950 save percentage.

But Bowness said even keeping shots at a long distance is not good news.

“When we’re seeing that, we’re on our heels and that’s not how we play the game. We play the game on our toes going north,” he said.

The Lightning have yet to lose back-to-back games in this post-season, which has seen teams play in so-called isolated bubbles in Edmonton and Toronto to prevent contracting the coronavirus.

Forward Blake Coleman said they’ll be a different team in Game 2 Monday night at Rogers Place.

“Nobody is proud of the way we played, and we have a very proud group,” said Coleman.

“I expect every guy to look in the mirror and bounce back and play better than they did in Game 1.”

Looming over the series is the question of whether former two-time league scoring champion and Lightning team captain Steven Stamkos will return.

Stamkos has been out since March after undergoing surgery for a core muscle injury. He’s skating with the team in practice.

Will he play in Monday’s Game 2? Tampa head coach Jon Cooper was asked.

“I guess there’s always a chance, but as of now I don’t think so,” Cooper replied.

Bowness said they’re planning for him: “We’re expecting Steven to play at some point.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 20, 2020.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

RCMP in Alberta say man dead after he called 911 and told police he wanted shootout

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CALLING LAKE, Alta. — RCMP in Alberta say a man is dead after he’d called them multiple times, telling them he wanted a gunfight with police.

Police say officers in Athabasca, Alta. received multiple 911 calls from a 51-year-old man who asked police to come to his home in nearby Calling Lake.

They say during those calls he made comments that he wanted to engage RCMP members in a shootout.

Police allege the man exited the residence multiple times before ultimately confronting RCMP members on the street.

They say that confrontation led to an RCMP member discharging a service firearm.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene, and no other injuries were reported.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team, the province’s police oversight agency, says it has been directed to investigate the officer-involved shooting and will provide more details later.

RCMP, meanwhile, say they will continue to investigate the actions of the man and the events leading up to the confrontation.

The Canadian Press

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