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Alberta

Operation ICE Tundra addresses child exploitation offences in Grande Prairie

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3 minute read

News release from the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team

Five child sexual exploitation suspects are facing charges as part of Operation ICE Tundra.  ALERT Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit made the arrests in response to an increase in child sexual exploitation offences in Grande Prairie.

ICE executed a total of seven search warrants on seven homes with assistance from Grande Prairie RCMP between November 27-30, 2023. While the investigations were independent of one another, they shared the common thread of individuals uploading and accessing child sexual abuse material over the internet.

Operation ICE Tundra was initiated in October after investigators noticed an increase in case referrals originating from Grande Prairie. ICE receives case referrals from the RCMP’s National Child Exploitation Crime Center.

“An operation of this scale isn’t possible every day, but it’s important our unit creates a presence in smaller communities, showing that we will not tolerate this abuse against children. When these types of files are shared online, it’s the children who are the victims and are revictimized each time that file is shared,” said Sgt. Kerry Shima, ALERT ICE.

During the investigation, ICE relied on its Mobile Evidence Recovery Technology Lab (MERTL) to allow forensic technicians to rapidly conduct a preliminary analysis of electronic devices and computers seized from the homes.

“Our intention is always to support and protect the community and we recognize that throughout Alberta our job is to protect not only the community, but the children and vulnerable youth in the community. Grande Prairie should be assured that we’re up there working with them,” Shima added.

Full forensic analysis is ongoing, which may lead to additional arrests, charges, or the identification of potential victims.

To date, the following individuals have been charged with access, possession and transmitting child pornography in Operation ICE Tundra:

  • Christopher Nanemahoo, 34-years old;
  • Patrick L’Hirondelle, 29-years old;
  • Stuart Kuechle, 36-years old;
  • Naitram Ramnarane, 56-years old; and
  • Dwayne Dyer, 46-years old.

Dyer is also being charged with firearms-related offences as three firearms inside his home were being unsafely stored.

ICE does not believe the suspects are known to one another, and the investigations do not appear to be connected.

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.

Alberta

Premier Smith announces plan to boost Alberta’s Heritage Fund to at least 250 Billion by 2050

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From CPAC on YouTube

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith delivers state-of-the-province address

In a televised address from Edmonton, Danielle Smith, the premier of Alberta, delivers an update on her government’s vision and legislative priorities.

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Alberta

Alberta looking to ban electronic vote tabulators ahead of next provincial election

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From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

electronic voting tabulators, which were supposed to speed up vote counting, instead saw election results delayed due with workers having to manually enter the results that each tabulator printed out.

The conservative Premier of Alberta, Danielle Smith, has confirmed she is looking to ban the use of electronic vote tabulators in future provincial elections after issues with them in the 2023 election saw massive delays in the tallying of votes.  

Smith, according to a report from True North, while speaking to a United Conservative Party (UCP) fundraiser on January 26 in the community of Bonnyville was asked if she would “end the use of voting tabulators across the province?” 

Smith replied with a firm “yes.” 

The 2023 Alberta provincial elections held in May saw Smith and her UCP win a majority, although a slim one, over the left-wing Alberta New Democratic Party (NDP).

Elections Alberta used what is called a Vote Anywhere Service, which allowed anyone to vote at any voting place regardless of which riding (jurisdiction) they were actually voting in. While paper ballots were used for the election, electronic tabulators were used to count the votes from all hand ballots. A form was then printed out with the result of each riding from the tabulators count of the hand ballots.  

However, the electronic voting tabulators, which were supposed to speed up vote counting, instead saw election results delayed due with workers having to manually enter the results that each tabulator printed out.  

Elections Alberta noted in June 2023, per True North, that “[w]e did not use any electronic data transfer from the tabulators, as the tabulators used for advance voting were never connected to a network at any time.” 

“As a result, it was a manual process to verify and enter these results.”  

As for Smith, before the 2023 election, she noted that she was confident in Elections Alberta’s plan to use electronic tabulators, as “we have the ability to do a hand count as a follow up in the event there are close results, I believe that’s going to be sufficient.” 

“That’s, I think, something that people expect in democracy – that you should be able to verify a vote if results end up very close,” she added.  

Elections Alberta, however, has pushed back on returning to hand counting ballots, saying it would increase the manual workload of employees.

There were many close results on election night, with the NDP losing a few seats by only a handful of votes in some Calgary ridings.  

Smith gave no timeline as to how or when she would make the change.

Many large municipalities in Alberta, including the province’s two biggest cities, Calgary and Edmonton, use electronic tabulators for ballot counting.

Issues surrounding electronic voting machines as well as tabulators came to a head in the aftermath of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, which saw Joe Biden declared the winner over Donald Trump. 

A report published by LifeSiteNews last year documented how a computer programmer, Clinton Eugene Curtis, who had previously testified to Congress on the integrity of voting machines, warned lawmakers in Arizona to never trust them.  

“Don’t use machines, because you can never, ever trust them to give you a fair election,” said Curtis. 

“There are too many ways to hack them. You can hack them at the level that I did when you first build them, you can hack them from the outside, you can hack them with programs that load themselves on the side. It’s impossible to secure them. You will never beat the programmer. The programmer always owns the universe.”  

Of note is that Curtis is a Democrat who had worked as a programmer for NASA, as well as the Department of Defense and other government agencies.

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