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I Wrote An Open Letter To Prime Minister Trudeau In Response To The Trans Mountain Pipeline


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‘Vigilant and cautious’: Doctors group wants Alberta to cancel Calgary Stampede

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EDMONTON — A doctors group has sent a letter to Alberta Premier Jason Kenney urging him to cancel major summer events, including the Calgary Stampede, or postpone them until this fall.

The Edmonton Zone Medical Staff Association’s COVID-19 committee warns that Alberta’s ‘Open for Summer’ plan that could see most restrictions lifted by late June or early July is rushed. It notes British Columbia and Ontario won’t reach that milestone until September.

“In our opinion, it is unsafe to hold a major event such as the Calgary Stampede, which may draw attendees and participants from multiple provinces and countries before at least 70 per cent of eligible Albertans have been fully vaccinated with two doses,” the letter reads.

Almost 65 per cent of eligible Albertans have received at least one shot of the vaccine against COVID-19.

It’s widely expected the world-renowned rodeo and fair will open July 9, but it is to be a scaled-down version with what Stampede officials have said will be a priority on safety. The chuckwagon races won’t be held and some indoor events could be moved outdoors.

The doctors say with an increase in COVID-19 variants, this is not the time for the Stampede.

“Planning such an event with the current unknowns, along with concerns of reduced vaccine protection against highly transmissible variants, puts attendees and their contacts at risk.

“It also increases the risk of a fourth wave of COVID-19 later in the autumn of this year.”

The doctors also urge the Alberta government to step up vaccinations with mobile and 24-hour clinics as well as to prioritize second doses for high-risk groups.

“Like everyone, we sincerely hope that we are at the beginning of the end of this pandemic and not at the end of the beginning. Regardless, it is too early to declare victory over this unique and dangerous pathogen,” says the letter.

“We need to remain vigilant and cautious.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 4, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Major drug haul; ALERT seizes $3 million in drugs and cash

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Post submitted by Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT)

Three million dollars’ worth of drugs and cash was seized from two Calgary homes, including what is believed to be the province’s largest seizure of gamma-hydroxybutyrate (GHB).

On April 27, 2021 ALERT Calgary’s organized crime and gang team concluded a short-term investigation with a record drug haul. ALERT seized enough methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine, and GHB to equal an estimated 100,000 doses.

The GHB seizure of 113.5 litres is believed to be the largest seizure of its kind in Alberta.

Meanwhile, the amount of methamphetamine and fentanyl pills seized ranks amongst ALERT Calgary’s biggest busts.

“The totality of what was seized is staggering, and represents a high degree of community harm. Behind so many doses are crimes committed to feed that addiction; be it property crimes, thefts, frauds, and robberies, and all feeding into social disorder,” said Supt. Dwayne Lakusta, ALERT CEO.

In total, ALERT seized roughly $3 million worth of drugs and cash:

  • 113.5 litres of GHB;
  • 22.3 kilograms of methamphetamine;
  • 18,000 fentanyl pills;
  • 1.5 kilograms of fentanyl;
  • 4.1 kilograms of cocaine; and
  • $386,220 cash.

GHB is colourless and odourless, and is commonly referred to as the “date-rape drug” but is usually abused as a club drug. In July 2013 Edmonton Police Service seized 106 litres of GHB, which at the time, was believed to be Alberta’s largest seizure.

ALERT’s investigation is ongoing and additional charges are being contemplated. To date, 14 drug-related charges have been laid against three suspects:

  • Ashley Stanway, 30-year old from Calgary;
  • Rayann Blackmore, 22-year old from Calgary; and
  • Harmandeep Tiwana, 28-year old from Calgary.

ALERT began its investigation just a month prior after receiving information about suspected drug trafficking activity in the Calgary region.

Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.

ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.

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