News Release from the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team and Alberta RCMP
Investigation into fatal RCMP officer-involved shooting near High Prairie continues
On June 17, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) was directed to investigate the circumstances surrounding an encounter between members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and a 29-year-old man that took place that same day near High Prairie.
The incident was ongoing when the matter was assigned to ASIRT, and while the man was not believed to have sustained any injuries, ASIRT was directed to investigate on the basis that police officers had discharged their service firearms.
Following the assignment of the matter to ASIRT, RCMP officers continued to search for the man. On June 18, the man appeared at a containment point and a confrontation occurred during which officers discharged their firearms, fatally injuring the man. ASIRT’s investigation will examine not only the first encounter that resulted in the discharge of service weapons but also the circumstances surrounding the death of the man during the final encounter.
On June 17 at about 10:57 a.m., a fully-marked RCMP unit initiated a traffic stop on a red Cadillac which was associated with a 29-year-old man who had outstanding criminal warrants. The Cadillac fled from police, who did not pursue the vehicle. The RCMP officers who had attempted the traffic stop broadcast for other officers to be on the lookout for that vehicle, and at about 11:30 a.m., a different RCMP unit located the Cadillac just east of Range Road 175 about three kilometres north of Highway 679. The vehicle was stuck in the mud and partially covered with a blanket.
Two RCMP officers cleared the vehicle, which was unoccupied, and found a bag containing three different types of ammunition, as well as identification belonging to the man. Two additional police officers, one of them a Police Service Dog (PSD) handler, attended to the location. The PSD established a track and all four officers and the police dog began tracking east into thick bush for approximately three to six kilometres over about two hours. When the officers eventually encountered the man, whose identity was visually confirmed as the wanted 29 year old, the man and police exchanged gunfire. During this incident, the PSD was struck by gunfire and killed. No police officers were injured during this incident, nor was the man believed to have been struck. The officers received direction to disengage, and were removed from the area by a civilian Search and Rescue helicopter.
Additional police resources were deployed to the area, including members of the RCMP’s Emergency Response Team (ERT). ERT members attended to the area of the initial incident, and again encountered the man. During this encounter, several police officers discharged their firearms. At the time, the officers believed the man had been struck. After attempts to communicate with the man or force him out of the thick bush were unsuccessful, a physical search of the area was conducted, but failed to locate the man.
After a lengthy search through dense brush spanning several hours, police made contact with the man on two additional occasions, and issued verbal commands to him. No shots were fired during these encounters, and officers were able to establish that the man did not, in fact, appear to be injured.
Police established containment around the roads in the area and continued searching for the man. On June 18, at about 11:45 a.m., two RCMP officers who were assigned to maintain containment spotted the man in a ditch on the west side of Range Road 170, about two kilometres north of Township Road 770. The officers exited their marked police vehicle and a confrontation occurred between the man and the police officers, during which both officers discharged their service firearms. The man fell to the ground in the tall grass, and additional police officers and ERT medical officers responded to the area. Medical officers attempted to treat the man, but ultimately he died at the scene. A loaded semi-automatic .22-calibre rifle, as well as a range finder, were recovered from the incident scene and have been seized as exhibits.
ASIRT’s investigation will examine the actions of police during this incident, while the RCMP will maintain responsibility for the investigation of the man and his actions. As ASIRT’s investigation is underway, no further information will be released at this time.
ASIRT’s mandate is to effectively, independently and objectively investigate incidents involving Alberta’s police that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person, as well as serious or sensitive allegations of police misconduct.
Province orders dismissal of Chestermere Mayor, three councillors, and all three CAO’s
City of Chestermere/Facebook)
City of Chestermere councillors and senior staff dismissed
Minister of Municipal Affairs Ric McIver has issued a ministerial order dismissing four of the City of Chestermere’s municipal councillors and all three chief administrative officers (CAOs).
After the city failed to comply with the supervision of the official administrator and some of the minister’s directives that have been in place since March 15, 2023, Minister McIver has dismissed Mayor Jeff Colvin, Coun. Mel Foat, Coun. Blaine Funk and Coun. Stephen Hanley, as well as the three CAOs.
The directives, intended to restore good governance to the City of Chestermere, were issued following a municipal inspection. Since then, the city has continued to be managed in an irregular, improper and improvident manner.
“The directives issued by my predecessor are not onerous and represent the bare minimum that citizens ought to expect from their municipal government. However, after undertaking all reasonable efforts to have the city comply with its obligations, it has failed to do so. I am profoundly disappointed that it has come to this, but the people of Chestermere deserve better. This community should be able to have trust in its local elected government.”
While the minister determined that the city has failed to comply with its obligations, he has also determined that dismissal of Coun. Shannon Dean, Coun. Sandy Johal-Watt and Coun. Ritesh Narayan was not justified given their efforts to hold council to account and attempt to move council in a more positive direction toward proper governance practices and compliance with legislation.
Councillors Dean, Johal-Watt and Narayan remain as elected councillors but will have no role in the governance of the city until a byelection is held and council quorum is restored.
The ministerial order dismissing Chestermere council members and senior administration is effective Dec. 4. An official administrator and interim CAO are in place to oversee the City of Chestermere’s governance and operations until a byelection is held to elect new councillors for the vacant positions at a date to be determined in 2024.
- A municipal inspection was ordered by the minister of Municipal Affairs under the Municipal Government Act (Section 571) in May 2022.
- The independent inspection, which concluded in September 2022, found the City of Chestermere to be managed in an irregular, improper and improvident manner.
- An official administrator was appointed in September 2022 to supervise the municipality and its council.
- On March 15, 2023, the minister of Municipal Affairs issued 12 binding directives through a ministerial order requiring the City of Chestermere to take action to address key areas of concern.
- On Oct. 18, the minister of Municipal Affairs issued to the City of Chestermere a notice of intent to issue a ministerial order which would dismiss all seven council members from office, as well as all three CAOs.
Premier Smith reacts to Liberal Government’s announcement on new methane reduction targets at COP 28
Federal methane emissions targets: Joint statement
“Once again, the federal government is setting unrealistic targets and timelines. Infrastructure can only be updated as quickly as technology allows. For example, Alberta will not accept nor impose a total ban on flaring at this time, as it is a critical health and safety practice during production. Any regulation that completely prohibits this is putting lives at risk”
Premier Danielle Smith and Minister of Environment and Protected Areas Rebecca Schulz issued the following statement on the federal government’s proposed methane emissions regulations:
“The federal government has unilaterally established new methane emissions rules and targets to help win international headlines. Instead of building on Alberta’s award-winning approach, Ottawa wants to replace it with costly, dangerous and unconstitutional new federal regulations that won’t benefit anyone beyond Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault’s post-office career.
“Managing emissions from Alberta’s oil and gas industry is our constitutional right and responsibility, not Ottawa’s, and we are getting the job done. Using a province-led approach, Alberta has already reduced methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 45 per cent – hitting our target three years early – and we’re just getting started.
“Meanwhile, not only is it illegal for Ottawa to attempt to regulate our industries in this manner, Ottawa also hasn’t even hit one of its past arbitrary and unscientific emissions targets largely because it has little to no credible expertise regulating the natural resource, agricultural and other industry sectors in this space.
“Ottawa could have helped us keep reducing emissions with joint incentive programs in line with Alberta’s Emissions Reduction and Energy Development Plan. It could have listened to the Supreme Court’s declaration that the Impact Assessment Act was unconstitutional and abandoned this kind of arrogant and ineffective scheme. Instead, these new regulations threaten our successful province-led approach and impede good work that’s already underway.
“Once again, the federal government is setting unrealistic targets and timelines. Infrastructure can only be updated as quickly as technology allows. For example, Alberta will not accept nor impose a total ban on flaring at this time, as it is a critical health and safety practice during production. Any regulation that completely prohibits this is putting lives at risk. A total ban would also be costly, resulting in shut-ins and loss of production.
“This approach will also cost tens of billions in infrastructure upgrades, yet Ottawa has provided virtually no financial support to do so. Thousands of Albertans could be put out of work in the coming years due to these costly regulations. A federal government willing to invest $37.7 billion into just three battery plants in Ontario and Quebec cannot credibly refuse to provide tax credits and financial incentives for producers in Alberta and Saskatchewan to assist with achieving a carbon-neutral economy by 2050.
“For years, Alberta, not Ottawa, has done the hard work and achieved results. We strongly support reducing methane emissions and have invested tens of millions into developing these technologies. Minister Guilbeault must work with us, and not against us, to keep cutting methane emissions and charting a course for carbon neutrality by 2050.
“Given the unconstitutional nature of this latest federal intrusion into our provincial jurisdiction, our government will use every tool at our disposal to ensure these absurd federal regulations are never implemented in our province.”
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