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Alberta

Commissioner of public inquiry into foreign funding of anti-energy campaigns reaches out to Albertans for information

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albertainquiry.ca

From Commissioner Steve Allan of the Public inquiry into anti-Alberta energy campaigns

Fight back on foreign funding

Commissioner Steve Allan has launched a website to support the independent public inquiry into foreign funding of anti-energy campaigns.

The website, AlbertaInquiry.ca, provides an avenue to participate in the inquiry via a submissions page that outlines how visitors can contribute relevant information to the inquiry. The site will also help visitors learn more about the inquiry, its mandate and the commissioner.

“At this stage in the process, I’m focused on information-gathering and fact-finding, and that’s why it is critical that I hear from anyone who has valuable information to share. I encourage anyone with relevant information to visit the website for further details.”

Steve Allan, commissioner

“The commissioner’s website marks an important milestone in the first phase of the independent inquiry. I’ve heard from many Albertans and Canadians who are anxious to participate in the process, and this website provides them an opportunity to do so.”

Sonya Savage, Minister of Energy

As outlined on AlbertaInquiry.ca, individuals and organizations that have information to support the public inquiry can do so by emailing [email protected]. Those submitting information are asked to include their name, contact details and any relevant documentation.

Background

In July, government launched a public inquiry into the well-funded misinformation campaign targeting Alberta’s oil industry.

The inquiry consists of two phases:

  • First, the commissioner will conduct a paper review, interview witnesses and complete additional research. This includes reviewing public submissions received via AlbertaInquiry.ca.
  • Second, based on the information gathered during Phase 1, the commissioner may hold a public hearing if deemed necessary.

The commissioner will submit a final report to government by July 2, 2020.

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

Alberta ombudsman says she doesn't have the power to probe EMS dispatch consolidation

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EDMONTON — Alberta’s ombudsman says she doesn’t have the power to investigate a complaint about the decision to consolidate ambulance emergency dispatch services in the province.

The complaint was filed by the cities of Red Deer, Calgary, Lethbridge and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

The municipalities have contended that the decision to consolidate the dispatch services to save the government money could put the lives of people in their communities at risk.

In a release late Friday, Ombudsman Marianne Ryan says the decision was technically made by Alberta Health Services, which her office is prohibited by law from investigating.

When the United Conservative government announced the consolidation in August 2020, then health minister Tyler Shandro said the province’s dispatch system would allow for better co-ordination of all ground ambulances and air resources.

At the time, the four mayors of the municipalities, none of whom are now still in office, said they were blindsided by the decision and would fight the change.

“While the issue being complained about clearly affects many Albertans, I am bound by my governing legislation to only investigate matters that are clearly within my jurisdiction,” Ryan said in the release.

“Given the substance of the complaint has been widely reported in the media and that it relates to an issue affecting a great many Albertans, I advised the mayors that I would be making a public statement.”

Last February, a judge granted an interim injunction sought by Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services after the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo stopped transferring emergency medical calls to the provincial dispatch centre.

The municipality, which includes Fort McMurray, stopped transferring calls after its council decided the provincial ambulance dispatch service was putting patients at risk due to delays and confusion.

A lawyer for Wood Buffalo had argued it was in the public interest for the municipality to keep handling emergency medical calls through its own dispatch centre.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2021

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Alberta Ombudsman can’t do anything about City of Red Deer complaint about 9-11 Dispatch

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Ombudsman Responds to Municipalities’ Complaint About Ambulance Dispatch

Marianne Ryan, Alberta’s Ombudsman took the unusual step of publicly commenting on a complaint received involving Alberta Health Services.

The City of Red Deer, along with the municipalities of Calgary, Lethbridge and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo filed a complaint to the Ombudsman regarding Alberta Health Services’ consolidation of ambulance emergency dispatch services.

The Ombudsman Act authorizes the Ombudsman to investigate administrative decisions of government ministries and many related bodies, but the Act specifically prohibits her from investigating decisions of Alberta Health Services (AHS).

“My office thoroughly analyzed the complaint and confirmed that the decision to consolidate ambulance dispatch services was indeed made by AHS. While many government-related bodies fall under my jurisdiction, AHS is not one of them,” stated Marianne Ryan, Alberta’s Ombudsman. “In fact, the Ombudsman Act specifically states that my powers of investigation do not apply to health authorities. My ability to investigate AHS decisions would require a change in legislation. While the issue being complained about clearly affects many Albertans, I am bound by my governing legislation to only investigate matters that are clearly within my jurisdiction.”

Investigations by the Ombudsman are conducted in confidence, and it is the Ombudsman’s general practice not to comment publicly on complaints, especially ones that are not being investigated.

“Given the substance of the complaint has been widely reported in the media and that it relates to an issue affecting a great many Albertans, I advised the mayors that I would be making a public statement.”

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