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Alberta

More questions than answers on NHL scheduling

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MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS

Rumours are the lifeblood of sports. Few will argue the accuracy of such a statement. Perhaps the reason they draw so much attention on talk shows and in face-to-face conversation is the inevitable growth of broad and open discussions over a period of time.

Often, in sport and in every attention-getting issue, these debates take the simplest possible form: one group of gripers against another group of gripers. In the best of circumstances logic takes the place of emotion and the reasonable point of view is accepted.

Not always, of course.

Edmonton has much to offer in its bid, obviously starting with the region’s success in its war with coronavirus.

NHL scheduling — do they play or not? should they play or not? – has dominated these arguments almost since the first wide knowledge that COVID-19 had brought its crippling threat to North America. At times, the noise of fans desperate for the game and those who find desperate reason to keep everything, including sports events, locked down for the longest possible period has threatened to overshadow all but the most vital question of personal health and survival.

Self-distancing is at the root of all debates. Stay home as much as possible. Wear masks. Stay at least three metres away from other humans, except those who live in the same residence. Obviously, this has been good advice and continues to be.

But calls for a looser application of these valid regulations have apparently become the majority opinion. Larger social groups have been approved. More customers are allowed in many businesses than was the case only a few days ago. Haircuts are allowed, at long last.

Most important in the context of sports, golf courses and other athletic and fitness facilities have been opened. Beaches, too, but indoor swimming pools – in Edmonton anyway are still off-limits.

As I’m sure you know, the two-metre (roughly six feet) between unrelated individuals is still recommended.

Nowhere is the debate more heated than in talk of the NHL playoffs. Edmonton’s anxiety to become a so-called “hub” city for half of the games has been covered to the point of mental exhaustion for me, but still there are more questions than answers.

The biggest complaint seems to be articulated by those who think the NHL should live by the same rules as the rest of us. Many have complained in public at any suggestion that the 14-day isolation requirement for newcomers to the province should stay in place, even if it means the NHL and communication outlets in both North American nations would have to take their attractions to a city more welcoming.

Government officials insist that all possible precautions will be kept in place as newcomers arrive for the necessary training. The testing and recovery ratios are among the best in the world, but still concerns are expressed in strident tones. Edmonton has much to offer in its bid, obviously starting with the region’s success in its war with coronavirus.

From the standpoint of supporters, the status of Rexall Place among the very best facilities in the world should count as a major plus in the argument. Vancouver and Toronto have placed what they consider strong competitive bids. Vancouver’s COVID-19 numbers are in the same positive category as Edmonton’s. The same cannot be said for Toronto.

In only a short while, we’ll all learn whether Toronto’s financial opportunities overshadow the clear health advantages in smaller, western cities.

MORE QUESTIONS THAN ANSWERS.

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Alberta

Alberta Crude begins a trip around North and Central America to Irving Refinery in New Brunswick

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This was posted on the Cenovus Facebook page Thursday morning.

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We recently completed our first-ever sale of Cenovus-produced crude oil to Irving Oil. We took advantage of capacity we have on the Trans Mountain Pipeline to ship oil from Alberta to Burnaby, B.C., where it was loaded on to the Irving Oil-chartered tanker, Cabo de Hornos. The ship is now on its way to Irving Oil’s refinery in Saint John, N.B., a voyage of 11,900 kilometres via the Panama Canal. This means more Canadian oil being refined in Canada, creating economic value and improved energy security. We believe this Canadian success story demonstrates the ability of the two companies to help drive Canada’s economy with innovative solutions, even during these unprecedented times of turbulence created by the COVID-19 pandemic. #Cenovus #oilsands #CanadianEnergy
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Alberta

Brazilian cowboy to finish trek from Alaska to Calgary with Stampede honour

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CALGARY — Brazilian long rider Filipe Masetti Leite is almost at the finish line.

The 33-year-old is scheduled to complete a 3,400-kilometre journey on horseback from Alaska to Calgary today, the same day the Calgary Stampede was supposed to begin.

Although the annual event and a parade to kick it off were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Filipe Leite was crowned this year’s parade marshal.

He is to be met by Stampede officials and handed a marshal’s badge before receiving an RCMP escort to the exhibition grounds for a small ceremony.

Masetti Leite moved with his family from Brazil to Calgary when he was nine and later grew up in Toronto.

He has been on long horse rides before, but he says this one is to be his last so he can move on with new challenges.

“Sure enough the year I get picked to be the parade marshal — and it’s a huge honour — there’s no parade, no rodeo,” he says with a chuckle.

“But if this has taught me anything, it’s that you’ve got to be flexible. Someone, somewhere, wanted the Calgary Stampede to be cancelled when Filipe finished his ride, but I’m still blessed to be chosen.”

Masetti Leite covered about 16,000 kilometres riding from Calgary to his parents’ home of Espirito Santo do Pinhal, Sao Paulo, between 2012 and 2014. In 2016, he rode 7,350 kilometres from Brazil to Patagonia.

He says he was inspired to become a long rider by Aime Tschiffely, a Swiss school teacher who rode 16,000 kilometres alone from Buenos Aires to New York City in 1925 and wrote about his experiences.

Masetti Leite has also documented his travels and written the book “Long Ride Home: Guts and Guns and Grizzlies, 800 Days Through the Americas in a Saddle.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 3, 2020

The Canadian Press

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