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Alberta

Heavy RCMP presence in hamlet of Fort Assiniboine – Update #2

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3 minute read

Dec. 17, 2021

Heavy RCMP presence in hamlet of Fort Assiniboine – Update #2

Fort Assiniboine, Alta.- On Dec. 12, 2021 at about 9:15 p.m., Barrhead RCMP were dispatched to a property on Township Road 632 in the area north of Fort Assiniboine in Woodland County, Alta. for a report of an incident where a suspect rammed through the locked gate at a rural residence and a firearm was discharged by the property owner. The suspect, who was known to the property owner, then fled the scene after the firearm was discharged.

Barrhead RCMP then received two additional calls reporting the suspect was at his residence Fort Assiniboine. Barrhead RCMP attended the residence. When officers went to the door of the residence they were challenged by the suspect who was inside the home. Officers were attempting to reposition and the suspect opened the door and an interaction occurred where two shots were fired at police vehicles by the suspect. Officers did not return fire.

Barrhead RCMP, with the assistance Westlock, Mayerthorpe, Swan Hills and  Whitecourt RCMP Detachments, as well as RCMP Police Dog Service, contained the residence. To ensure their safety, the residents in the community were evacuated to the Fort Assiniboine Fire Hall, which is located away from the suspect’s residence.

On Dec. 13, 2021, shortly before 1 a.m., the Alberta RCMP Emergency Response Team (ERT) attended and took control of the scene.  ERT arrested the suspect shortly before 4 a.m.

The suspect was examined by Emergency Medical Services on scene for minor injuries and then turned over to police.

No RCMP officers were injured during this incident.

Police remained on the scene and conducted a search of the residence pursuant to a search warrant. Police completed the scene examination at approximately 5 p.m.

Vernie Travis Huff (41) of Fort Assiniboine has been charged with:

  • Uttering threats (x2)
  • Pointing a firearm (x2)
  • Careless use of a firearm
  • Discharge firearm with intent
  • Assault on a Police Officer

Huff is also facing three additional weapons and property related charges.

Following a judicial hearing, Huff was remanded in custody and is scheduled to appear on Dec. 20, 2021, at Barrhead Provincial Court.

No further charges are being laid in this matter.

The investigation has not located any damage to property caused as a result of the discharge of the suspect’s firearm; however residents are advised to report any potential damage to Barrhead RCMP.

Barrhead RCMP would like to thank the community of Fort Assiniboine for their co-operation and patience, as well as the media for their assistance, during this incident.

As this matter is now before the courts, no further information can be provided.

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Alberta

U.S. senators call for trade crackdown on Canada over dairy quotas, digital policies

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WASHINGTON — A pair of senior U.S. senators is urging the Biden administration to get tough with Canada for “flouting” obligations to its North American trade partners. 

Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Republican Sen. Mike Crapo lay out their concerns in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai. 

The letter says American dairy producers still aren’t getting the access to the Canadian market they’re entitled to under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. 

It also describes Canada’s planned digital services tax as discriminatory and raises similar concerns about new legislation to regulate online streaming and news. 

All three, the senators say, would give preferential treatment to Canadian content and deny U.S. tech companies fair access to the market north of the border. 

The letter comes after meetings this week in San Diego between U.S., Canadian and Mexican trade emissaries, as well as the North American Leaders’ Summit in Mexico City earlier this month. 

The USMCA, referred to in Canada as CUSMA, has been at the centre of a number of bilateral and trilateral disputes since it went into effect in the summer of 2020. 

“Three years later, it is disappointing that Canada and Mexico have failed to come into full compliance with the agreement — and, in some cases, have flouted their obligations,” the senators write. 

“USTR must take decisive action to ensure full compliance with the agreement and with dispute settlement panel findings. It is critical to ensure that every chapter of USMCA is fully and timely enforced.”

Canada and Mexico have their own issues with how the U.S. is interpreting the deal, which was signed in 2018 after protracted trilateral efforts to replace NAFTA. 

As the Mexico City summit wrapped up, a dispute panel ruled against the U.S. over how it interprets the rules that determine the origin of core automotive components. 

It remains unclear whether the U.S. plans to comply with that decision.   

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2023. 

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

TotalEnergies EP Canada ups stake in Fort Hills oilsands project

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Calgary – TotalEnergies EP Canada Ltd. says it is increasing its ownership in the Fort Hills oilsands project by acquiring part of Teck Resources Ltd.’s stake in the mine.

Teck announced last year that it would sell its 21.3 per cent stake in Fort Hills to Suncor Energy Inc., the third partner in the project, for about $1 billion.

However, TotalEnergies EP Canada says it has exercised its pre-emption right to acquire an additional 6.65 per cent in the project from Teck for $312 million.

The deal brings the company’s stake in Fort Hills to 31.23 per cent. Suncor will own the rest.

French company TotalEnergies announced in September 2022 its plan to exit the Canadian oilsands by spinning off TotalEnergies EP Canada in 2023.

It says the acquisition of an additional interest in Fort Hills helps build TotalEnergies EP Canada for the future.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2023.

Companies in this story: (TSX:TECK.B, TSX:SU)

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