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Alberta

Dozens of liquor violations and other infractions – Sylvan Lake RCMP step up presence at beach and parks

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News Release from Sylvan Lake RCMP

Sylvan Lake RCMP advise of increased presence due to concerning behaviours and infractions

The recent hot weather and removal of COVID restrictions lead to Albertans flocking to recreational areas over the Canada Day weekend. Although Albertans are encouraged to take full advantage of the beautiful landscapes and everything this amazing province has to offer, the Sylvan Lake RCMP would like to remind recreational enthusiasts that Alberta’s Provincial liquor and cannabis laws apply in public areas.

Sylvan Lake RCMP, in partnership with Town of Sylvan Lake Peace Officers, continue to provide an increased presence in and around the parks and beaches of Sylvan Lake and area due to an increase in concerning behaviors.

In recent weeks, RCMP have charged dozens of liquor related infractions under the Gaming and Liquor Act over the long weekend. 49 liquor tickets were handed out among other infractions. Several complaints have been received in regards to underage drinking and assaults.

Under the GLA, it is an offence to have open liquor in public places that are not temporary residences (such as campsites and motorhomes), or designated picnic areas.  Open liquor is prohibited in all other public places, and can result in fines of $120.

“Our priority is to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable summer in our beautiful town,” says Staff Sergeant Jeff McBeth, Detachment Commander of Sylvan Lake RCMP. “Together, we can make this happen.”

Sylvan Lake RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance in reporting suspicious activity in these areas. Please contact the Sylvan Lake RCMP at 403-858-7200. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.

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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