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Alberta

Parkland RCMP Serious Crime Unit assists with the arrest of homicide suspect

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Dec. 1, 2020

Parkland RCMP Serious Crime Unit assists with the arrest of homicide suspect

Spruce Grove, Alta. – On Nov. 27, 2020 members of the Parkland RCMP Serious Crime Unit arrested a suspect that was connected with the 2017 murder of 24-year-old Alexander Blanarou of Abbotsford, B.C.

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) took conduct of the 2017 investigation supported by the Abbotsford Police Department (APD).  After an extensive three year investigation, Michael Schweiger (31) of Spruce Grove was arrested without incident and charged with second degree murder. He was remanded into custody and has been returned to B.C.

This arrest serves as another great example of collaboration between different police agencies. Crime transcends borders and by working together with partner agencies and sharing information, police continue to keep their communities safe.

No further details will be released as the matter is now before the courts.

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Alberta

WestJet grounds Max flight before takeoff after system indicates ‘potential fault’

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CALGARY — WestJet says a Boeing 737 Max that was scheduled to fly from Calgary to Toronto on Friday returned to the gate before taking off due to a warning in the cockpit.

A WestJet spokeswoman, Lauren Stewart, said that after the plane’s engines were started, its monitoring system indicated a “potential fault that needed to be verified and reset.”

The process takes time and requires an engine run, which the airline does not perform with passengers on board, Stewart said.

In the interests’ of passengers’ time, WestJet cancelled the flight and booked passengers on the next available flight to Toronto, Stewart said.

The aircraft has since been cleared by maintenance and will return to service as scheduled on Jan. 24, Stewart said.

The Max was cleared to fly in Canadian airspace on Wednesday after it was grounded for nearly two years following deadly crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Indigenous business coalition leader says Keystone XL denial will hurt communities

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CALGARY — The leader of a group promoting Indigenous participation in oil and gas development as a solution to poverty on reserves says the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline by U.S. President Joe Biden is a major setback.

Dale Swampy, president of the National Coalition of Chiefs, says the decision means fewer jobs in the short term for Indigenous people in constructing the pipeline and supplying goods and services for it.

He adds it also implies more long-term unemployment for those who work in exploring and developing conventional and oilsands projects in Western Canada because it impedes investment in production growth.

The end of the pipeline means Natural Law Energy, which represents five First Nations in Alberta and Saskatchewan, will no longer be able to make an equity investment of up to $1 billion in Keystone XL, as well as a plan by builder TC Energy Corp. to make similar deals with American Indigenous groups.

But Swampy, a member of the Samson Cree Nation in central Alberta, points out that the impact on Indigenous people goes beyond that, noting that four of his five sons work in oil and gas but one of them has been unable to find a job in the current downturn.

In a report published in December, energy industry labour data firm PetroLMI said about 13,800 self-identified Indigenous people were directly employed in Canada’s oil and gas industry in 2019. That’s just over seven per cent of total industry employment, compared to three per cent in other industries.

“It’s quite a blow to the First Nations that are involved right now in working with TC Energy to access employment training and contracting opportunities,” said Swampy.

“Within Alberta, First Nations are pretty closely entrenched with all of the activities occurring with the oil and gas industry. Any change, especially a big change like this, really affects our bands’ ability to keep our people employed.”

Swampy is a former CEO of the Samson band. The coalition he heads was created in 2017 by Indigenous equity partners in the cancelled Northern Gateway pipeline and has a membership of about 80 bands.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 22, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:TRP)

The Canadian Press

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