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Alberta

Lost in the Pandemic

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4 minute read

By Daryl McIntyre

Lost in the Pandemic

Such a surreal time. So many of you have said it. So many of us are living it. The reasons are myriad. We all have our own stories. I’m just going to share mine; my personal perspective.

I feel like I should be informing people. It’s what I did for 36 years. Through every major news story since the early 80’s .. I had the privilege and duty to share information. Now, I’m the one looking for it. I’m looking for the credible news sources to tell me what’s going on in our world right now. I really miss being in the centre of it all. I miss being the source of information .. not just the consumer.

I’m also finding something new. There are a lot of options for information these days. (though you really have to curate your sources) I appreciate the major news organizations… the so-called main stream media. I used to work within that system and I guarantee that every individual working at those news organizations is doing their absolute level best to serve the public with credible information . That is something I was proud of and proud to defend throughout my time in the industry.

Six months after having to leave my broadcasting job .. I have had a lot of time to reflect. I completely checked out from the news of the day after departing CTV Edmonton. I understand now why so many people are happy to avoid reality. It truly is “blissful ignorance.” I also missed being involved in the world of daily local news and I simply didn’t want to watch. It was too painful.

The reality of the Covid-19 pandemic however has forced me to re-connect. I need information. My friends and relatives need information. I am getting it through main stream media because I know the individuals involved. They are doing the best they can.

I am also gleaning information from other cited sources through social media. This is a delicate world. You need to be fully aware. You need to be thoughtful. You need to question. You need to analyze but there is a lot of important, useful, insightful information on line.

Old news people like to “preach” to the public they used to broadcast to as a way to continue to feel relevant. I’m not preaching. I just want all of you to focus on real information .. not spin. Facts .. not rumour. The most important thing you can do right now is focus on your family, your friends, your community.

Be informed. Be factually informed. Fight misinformation. Stick together literally or figuratively.

I look forward to seeing you all on the other side.

Daryl McIntyre worked in television news for close to 4 decades.  He was anchor of CTV News at 6 in Edmonton for more than 30 years. 

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Alberta

TDF funds defence of the “Coutts Three”

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The “Coutts Three,” Marco Van Huigenbos, Alex Van Herk and George Janzen

News release from The Democracy Fund

A jury trial is expected to proceed after pretrial applications.

LETHBRIDGE: The Democracy Fund (TDF) is funding the defence of three men charged with mischief in Lethbridge, Alberta. The men, known as the “Coutts Three,” are Marco Van Huigenbos, Alex Van Herk and George Janzen. All three are alleged to have been leaders of the 17-day trucker protest against COVID-19 restrictions that shut down the Coutts border in February 2022.

The matter is expected to proceed to a jury trial after pretrial applications are heard over the next few days. Jury trials are only available for serious criminal matters where the accused faces a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment or more.

The men should not be confused with the “Coutts Four,” who were among the twelve persons arrested in connection to an RCMP raid that resulted in the seizure of weapons and the end of the protest. According to Van Huigenbos, the message of the Coutts protesters “had been lost” following the arrests and the border blockade was voluntarily dismantled.

Donations for the three men can be made on this page.

About The Democracy Fund:

Founded in 2021, The Democracy Fund (TDF) is a Canadian charity dedicated to constitutional rights, advancing education and relieving poverty. TDF promotes constitutional rights through litigation and public education. TDF supports an access to justice initiative for Canadians whose civil liberties have been infringed by government lockdowns and other public policy responses to the pandemic.

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Alberta

Taking wildfire operations to new heights

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Drone and helicopter testing being performed by Alberta Wildfire personnel. Photo Credit: Alberta Wildfire

Budget 2024 enables Alberta to make use of leading-edge technologies to prevent and respond to wildfires.

As Alberta heads into wildfire season, many areas of the province are experiencing heightened wildfire risk. Alberta’s government continues to prioritize new technologies and tactics that will enhance front-line response and suppression efforts.

Budget 2024 will invest an additional $151 million over the next three years for wildfire preparedness, prevention, response and mitigation. This additional funding will enhance wildland firefighting capacity with increased wildfire resources such as personnel, aircraft, drones, artificial intelligence (AI) and night-vision technology.

“Alberta’s government is well prepared for the 2024 wildfire season. We have emerging technologies that will enable us to better protect forests and communities while continuing to prioritize proactive measures that build wildfire resilience throughout the province.”

Todd Loewen, Minister of Forestry and Parks

Aerial operations are integral to firefighting efforts and increased funding will enable the province to add two additional long-term helicopter contracts, two new air tanker contracts and additional drones for aerial wildfire surveillance. Budget 2024 will also support the renewal of 130 helicopter contracts by April 1.

“We live in a time where we have access to incredible technologies and last year, we recognized some great successes from various firefighting technology pilot programs. I can say with confidence that the additional night-vision equipped helicopters and drones will make a big difference in our wildfire mitigation and response efforts this year.”

Bernie Schmitte, executive director, Alberta Wildfire

Alberta Wildfire will continue to explore, research and test new developments in wildfire prevention, mitigation, smoke detection and suppression to assess how innovative technologies can support a rapid response and help extinguish wildfires. Wildfire management best practices are always evolving, and Alberta’s government is working to stay ahead of the curve.

For future wildfire seasons, the government is exploring options to potentially expand the province’s air tanker fleet and pilot more emerging firefighting technologies.

Quick facts

  • Night-vision goggles amplify light 60,000 times and allow helicopter pilots to work overnight and conduct activities like bucketing operations.
  • Wildfire suppression efforts are more likely to be successful at night, as temperatures are usually lower, humidity is typically higher and wildfires are less active.
  • Alberta has been successfully using an AI wildfire occurrence prediction system since 2022 to identify areas where wildfires are likely to occur.
  • Budget 2024 also includes hiring 100 new firefighters, which will result in five additional 20-person crews.
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