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Calgary

Temporary Face Coverings Bylaw comes in effect this weekend: free masks will be available while supplies last

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from the City of Calgary

Temporary Face Coverings Bylaw comes in effect this weekend: free masks will be available while supplies last.

The temporary Face Coverings Bylaw (BYLAW NUMBER 26M2020) regulations that require the wearing of face coverings in indoor public premises and public vehicles begins Saturday, August 1, 2020.

“In entering the temporary regulations this Saturday, we want to remind Calgarians to not only have a face covering at hand to wear when entering an indoor public space or public vehicle, but to exercise our kindness and compassion that Calgarians are known for,” says Kay Choi, Manager, Strategic Services, Calgary Community Standards. “With underlying medical conditions or disabilities inhibiting the ability for some to wear a face covering, we ask that people not pass quick judgements, and kindly ask others if they are unable to wear a face covering before they assume.”

Under the bylaw business operators or owners are required to display Face Coverings Bylaw requirement signage in public entryways of the business or vehicle. The City of Calgary has made downloadable signage (including translated versions) and a business and operators guide available on Calgary.ca/covid19.

The City of Calgary, as part of an allotment of face coverings provided by the Province of Alberta, will be making free disposable face coverings available at a number of locations across Calgary, the next 500,000 which will be available starting August 1.

“We have several spots in Calgary where you can pick some free face coverings up,” says Deputy Chief Susan Henry, Calgary Emergency Management Agency. “We recognize that cost and availability may be a barrier for some, so this may help ease the burden on those who don’t already have their own face coverings.”

“Please take only what you need to make sure all those who need them have a chance to get some. If you have your own cloth or homemade face covering, remember those work just fine to help protect others as long as it fits you well.”

The City of Calgary’s primary focus is educating Calgarians on the importance of wearing face coverings in indoor public spaces and public vehicles, rather than enforcement. Failure to wear a face covering where required or failure to display prescribed signage can result in a penalty of $50 or $200.

More information about the bylaw, as well as a list of pick-up locations for the face coverings are available on calgary.ca/covid19.

Read more on Todayville Calgary.

Alberta

Protecting the right to vote for Canadian citizens: Minister McIver

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Minister of Municipal Affairs Ric McIver issued the following statement in response to Calgary City Council’s vote to extend the right to vote to permanent residents:

“Yesterday, Calgary city council passed a motion advocating for permanent residents to be extended the right to vote in civic elections. Alberta’s government has been clear since the beginning: only Canadian citizens are able to vote in civic elections. That will not be changing.

“The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms affirms the right of every Canadian citizen to vote and to run as a candidate. This right extends to voters in municipal, provincial and federal elections.

“Protecting our democracy is of the utmost importance. Our provincial election legislation, like the Local Authorities Elections Act, has also been clear since its inception that voting is a right of Canadian citizens.

“Alberta’s government is also ensuring that voting is accessible for more Albertans. The Municipal Affairs Statutes Amendment Act proposes to enable special ballot access for any voter who requests it, without having to provide any specific reason such as physical disability, absence from the municipality or working for the municipal election. The ministries of Seniors, Community and Social Services and Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction are also making it easier for individuals to obtain the identification Albertans need for a variety of services, including the ability to cast a ballot.

“Our government will continue to protect the integrity of our elections and make sure voting is accessible for all Albertans who are Canadian citizens.”

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Alberta

Three Calgary massage parlours linked to human trafficking investigation

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News release from the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT)

ALERT’s Human Trafficking unit has searched and closed three Calgary massage parlours. A year-long investigation has linked the businesses and its owner to suspected human trafficking.

ALERT arrested Hai (Anna) Yan Ye on April 16, 2024 and charged the 48-year-old with advertising sexual services, drug offences and firearms offences. The investigation remains ongoing and further charges are being contemplated.

Ye was linked to three commercial properties and two homes that were allegedly being used for illegal sexual activities and services. The massage parlours were closed following search warrant executions carried out by ALERT, the Calgary Police Service, and the RCMP:

  • Seagull Massage at 1034 8 Avenue SW;
  • 128 Massage at 1935 37 Street SW; and
  • The One Massage Centre at 1919 31 Street SE.
  • 1100-block of Hidden Valley Drive; and
  • 3100-block of 12 Avenue SW.

As result of the search warrants, ALERT also seized:

  • $15,000 in suspected proceeds of crime;
  • Shotgun with ammunition; and
  • Various amounts of drugs.

“We believe that these were immigrants being exploited into the sex trade. This has been a common trend that takes advantage of their unfamiliarity and vulnerability,” said Staff Sergeant Gord MacDonald, ALERT Human Trafficking.

Four suspected victims were identified and provided resources by ALERT’s Safety Network Coordinators.

ALERT’s investigation dates back to February 2023 when a tip was received about suspicious activity taking place at the since-closed Moonlight Massage. That location was closed during the investigation, in December 2023, when the landlord identified illegal suites on the premises.

The investigation involved the close cooperation with City of Calgary Emergency Management and Community Safety, Alberta’s Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods (SCAN) team, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), and the RCMP.

Ye was released from custody on a number of court-imposed conditions.

Anyone with information about this investigation, or any case involving suspected human trafficking offences, is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or the Calgary Police Service non-emergency line at 403-266-1234.

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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