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Alberta

Edmonton officer won’t face criminal charges for firing gun after training

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EDMONTON — An Edmonton police officer won’t face criminal charges for firing a loaded Glock service pistol after a training exercise in June 2019.

The shot, which didn’t cause any injuries, happened as members of the Edmonton Police Service tactics and firearms training units were finishing their day at a centre in the city.

The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team says an investigation determined about 10 officers were sitting in a bullpen area doing a debrief of the day and making plans for an evening graduation ceremony.

It found officers were relaxing, throwing around a tennis ball and using laser training pistols to bounce lasers off mirrors and onto each other.

A training officer told investigators that he lasered the involved officer, then popped down behind some desks.

That officer responded by raising his Glock and pulling the trigger.

“A metal pinging sound was heard as the round struck a battering ram that had been placed on top of the other officer’s desktop shelving unit,” said a news release from ASIRT.

“Remarkably, the discharge of the firearm resulted in no injury to any of the many officers in the bullpen at the time.”

Officers immediately provided statements. Some described the officer who fired the Glock as appearing embarrassed, shocked and ashamed.

“The involved officer put the firearm down and left to report the incident to a supervisor,” said the release.

The officer declined to provide a statement, so it’s not clear why he fired the gun.

The investigation determined that he either mistakenly raised the Glock believing it to be a training pistol; knowingly raised and fired the Glock believing it to be unloaded or loaded with simulated ammunition; or knowingly pulled the Glock and intentionally fired the gun.

Investigators ruled out the third option because the discharge happened during a relaxed, positive, lighthearted moment and there was no evidence of bad blood between the two officers.

“There is no evidence reasonably capable of providing reasonable grounds, nor reasonable suspicion, to believe that the subject officer discharged the firearm with the intent to harm or injure anyone, or with any malice,” said the release.

Investigators said it was still a serious circumstance that could have led to other criminal charges.

“At best, the involved officer’s handling and use of the firearm fell far short of the specific and rigorous duty of care,” said the release. “That no one was injured or killed was nothing short of exceptional good fortune.”

ASIRT said it forwarded the matter to the Alberta Crown Prosecution Service. The Crown determined there was a reasonable likelihood of conviction, but that it wasn’t in the public interest to proceed with criminal prosecution, said the release.

“The fact that the officer will not face criminal prosecution does not mean that the officer’s conduct was not viewed as serious or deserving of some form of sanction.”

The Edmonton Police Service said Monday in an email that its professional standards branch has started its own investigation.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 11, 2021.

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Alberta

Calgary man appeals conviction for drunk-driving crash that killed his daughter

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CALGARY — A Calgary man who killed his daughter and seriously injured her best friend in a drunk-driving crash is appealing his conviction and sentence.

Michael Shaun Bomford was found guilty last January of dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm, as well as causing the 2016 crash while impaired.

He was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison.

Bomford has filed an appeal that claims the sentence was excessive and unreasonable in the circumstances.

He also suggests the trial judge erred by ruling hearsay text messages admissible at trial.

Bomford is serving his sentence at the Drumheller Institution in Alberta.

Court heard Bomford had three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system when he took his 17-year-old daughter, Meghan, and her friend, Kelsey Nelson, to get police checks so that they could become junior ringette coaches. 

His daughter did not survive the crash, while Nelson suffered a severe brain injury and has no recollection of it.

Bomford’s trial heard that he lost control of his Jeep while driving 112 km/h in an 80 km/h zone. The Jeep rolled into the median and all three occupants were thrown out of the vehicle. (CTV Calgary)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Premier Kenney Goes Ballistic on President Biden and PM Trudeau in defence of Keystone XL

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The day before President Biden’s inauguration, the incoming government announced the President would rescind the Presidential permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline.  True to his word, one of the first actions of the new President was to retroactively cancel the pipeline which is partially owned by the Canadian Government.
Considering the massive investment by the Province of Alberta which would leave Alberta taxpayers also on the hook for about a billion dollars, Premier Jason Kenney has been speaking out loudly and aggressively.   Premier Kenney has used strong language including “This is not now you treat a friend and ally.”
Regarding Canada’s response (The federal government is a part owner of the pipeline) Kenney is also calling on Prime Minister Trudeau and the federal government to stand up and retaliate with statements such as. “When the former Trump administration slapped punitive tariffs on Ontario and Quebec steel and aluminum in 2018, the Trudeau government imposed $16 billion worth of countervailing tariffs on U.S. goods the very same day.  By contrast, when Alberta oil was attacked on Wednesday: nothing.”
Here are statements Premier Kenney has released over the last three days in full:

January 19

“Canada should be President Biden’s first priority in re-establishing U.S. energy security. Canada is the environmental, social and governance (ESG) leader among global energy powers.
Alberta’s oilsands, once a source of carbon intensive barrels, has reduced carbon intensity by over 20 per cent in the past nine years. The average barrel produced in Canada is now cleaner than one produced in California.
Canada leads the world in key environmental categories like methane regulation, water use, and innovations like carbon capture and sequestration; and individual Canadian firms hold the top ESG scores in the industry.
TC Energy, the builder of KXL, has also committed to being net zero by 2030, ahead of its US peers, and hire a U.S. union workforce.
You won’t get those commitments from Venezuelan shippers.
Canada’s oil reserves are vast at 170 billion barrels, making Alberta’s oilsands the third largest supply in the world, holding more oil than Russia, China and the USA combined. Keystone XL secures access to this strategic supply for purpose-built U.S. refining capacity in the Gulf.
On environmental and strategic grounds this should be far preferable to carbon-intensive rail transit — or alternate supply from Venezuelan tankers.”

January 20

The United States is our most important ally and trading partner. Amongst all of the Canadian provinces, Alberta has the deepest economic ties to the United States with $100 billion worth of exports, and strong social connections that go back over a century.
As friends and allies of the United States, we are deeply disturbed that one of President Biden’s first actions in office has been to rescind the Presidential permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline border crossing.
My thoughts are with the 2000 people who lost their jobs today, and all those who are coping with the devastating consequences of this decision.
The US State Department’s own exhaustive analysis conducted under President Obama’s administration concluded that Keystone XL would actually reduce emissions, as the alternative will be to move this energy by higher emitting and less secure rail transport.
The Government of Canada has more ambitious emissions goals than the new US Administration, and our provincial government is investing billions of dollars in the development of emissions reductions technology.
This means that Alberta, Canada, and the Keystone XL pipeline are part of the solution in the energy transition.
For months we’ve been told that the Biden transition team would not communicate with foreign governments on this or other issues. And now a decision has been made without even giving Canada a chance to communicate formally with the new administration.
That’s not how you treat a friend and ally.
We will continue to fight for Alberta’s responsible energy industry, and for the 59,000 jobs that this project would create.
Alberta’s government calls for the federal government and Prime Minister Trudeau to immediately enter into talks with the Biden administration on their cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline in the context of a broader agreement on energy supply and climate action.
Failing an agreement with the American government, we call on the Government of Canada to respond with consequences for this attack on Canada’s largest industry. We are not asking for special treatment, simply the same response that Canada’s government had when other areas of our national economy were under threat from the US government.

January 21

“He has been so anti-oil himself during his five-plus years in office (including not objecting loudly to the Obama administration’s first cancellation of Keystone in 2015), that the incoming Biden administration must have known our Liberals wouldn’t put up much of a stink if it killed Keystone.
When the former Trump administration slapped punitive tariffs on Ontario and Quebec steel and aluminum in 2018, the Trudeau government imposed $16 billion worth of countervailing tariffs on U.S. goods the very same day.
By contrast, when Alberta oil was attacked on Wednesday: nothing.
Also, Trudeau can be blamed for making the death of Keystone matter so much. Had Trudeau not killed two other all-Canadian pipelines — Energy East and Northern Gateway — the end of Keystone wouldn’t be such a crippling blow.”

From January 20

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