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Alberta

Police warn public after recent distraction style thefts targeting seniors

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The Edmonton Police Service is alerting the public following recent reports of distraction style jewelry thefts that appear to be targeting seniors.

On Thursday, March 7, 2019, an 86-year-old female was in the parking lot of a business in the area of 124 Avenue and 153 Street when she was reportedly approached by an unknown male and female in a black Dodge Durango. While speaking to the complainant, the female suspect reportedly placed fake gold rings on the woman’s fingers and a fake gold necklace around her neck, removing the wedding ring and necklace that she was wearing in the process. The suspects then allegedly drove away.

On Sunday, March 10, 2019, a similar incident reportedly took place in the parking lot of a grocery store in the area of 173 Street and Stony Plain Road. A 75-year-old male reported that while attempting to exit his vehicle he was blocked by an unknown female. The female then reportedly placed fake gold jewelry on his hands and wrists, removed his gold watch and quickly left the parking lot with an unknown male in a black SUV.

Investigators believe the two incidents in west Edmonton are linked and may involve the same suspects. In each incident the suspects are described as an adult male and female with a dark skin tone, dark hair and heavy accents that may be Eastern European or Middle Eastern. The female was also described as wearing a full length dress and a head scarf and both suspects reportedly drove rental vehicles that officers believe they may be switching regularly.

Detectives continue to actively investigate these incidents and believe the suspects are likely travelling across Alberta committing similar thefts. As a result, officers are concerned there may be additional complainants in Edmonton and are encouraging them to come forward.

Photos of the fake jewelry used by the suspects are included below.

 

 

Police are also warning the public, in particular seniors, to be aware of their surroundings when in parking lots and to be extra vigilant if approached by strangers who are trying to give away or sell something. Citizens are advised to look around when approaching theirs vehicles and, if they notice suspicious individuals approaching, change direction and proceed to the nearest public area.

Anyone who believes they may have been victimized is asked to contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.p3tips.com/250.

 

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Alberta

Premier Kenney’s reaction to Federal approval of Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

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Premier Jason Kenney reacts to approval of Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

This was a live video broadcast of the news conference held by Premier Jason Kenney in the moments after the Trans Mountain Pipeline was approved.

Media release from The Province of Alberta

“We appreciate the federal government’s second approval of this existing project. This approval is an important milestone for Alberta, and for Canada. The decision was made on the merits of the project that is supported by the majority of Canadians. Approving the TMX pipeline is a step forward for economic growth and prosperity.

“But approval is not construction and, regrettably, for far too long this project has been mired in uncertainty. TMX has been through countless months of consultation and a lengthy and rigorous review process. The immediate test is the start of construction, with shovels in the ground and real progress. Success will be measured by one thing alone: completion of this pipeline.

“At the same time, this is just the beginning. Without TMX and other coastal pipelines, we are underselling our resources to the United States and allowing OPEC countries to dominate global energy markets. That doesn’t reduce energy consumption, but sells Canadians short, making us poorer.

“We should never have been put in the position of depending on one coastal pipeline project, which is exactly what happened through the cancellation of Northern Gateway and the death of Energy East. These policies are now being enshrined in bills C-48 and C-69. Both bills pose a threat to Alberta’s energy industry and provincial autonomy.

“Albertans continue to urge the federal government to listen to the provinces, job creators and the Senate on these bills to restore investor confidence and diversify our markets.

“We remain committed to fighting for additional pipelines, growing the economy and creating good jobs.”

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Retired Oil Field Worker sparks national conversation with his pitch for a new route to move Alberta Oil

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The following Opinion piece comes from local writer / editorialist (and former oil field worker) Garfield Marks. 

We have not been able to run our bitumen through a pipeline to a refinery in New Brunswick. There has been resistance in parts of Ontario and in Quebec. What if we came up with another plan. Would we consider it? There will be road blocks, but not insurmountable, would we consider it?
Yes how about Thunder Bay?
Thunder Bay, Ontario, the largest Canadian port of the St. Lawrence Seaway located on the west end of Lake Superior, 1850 kms. from Hardisty, Alberta. A forgotten jewel.
So what, you may ask. 
They used to ship grain from Thunder Bay in huge tankers to ports all over the world. Why not oil?
The Saint Lawrence Seaway ships fuel, gasoline and diesel tankers, to this day.
We could run oil tankers to the Irving refinery in New Brunswick, bypassing the controversial pipeline running through eastern Ontario and Quebec.
The pipeline, if that was the transport model chosen, would only need to run through parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. Like, previously stated the pipeline would only be 1850 kms. long. 
The other great thing about Thunder Bay is the abundance of rail lines. Transportation for such things as grain and forestry products from western Canada. If you can’t run pipeline from Hardisty, through to Thunder Bay, use the railroad.
Why Hardisty, you may ask.
Hardisty, according to Wikipedia,  is mainly known as a pivotal petroleum industry hub where petroleum products such as Western Canada Select blended crude oil and Hardisty heavy oil are produced, stored and traded.
The Town of Hardisty owes its very existence to the Canadian Pacific Railway. About 1904 the surveyors began to survey the railroad from the east and decided to locate a divisional point at Hardisty because of the good water supply from the river. 
Hardisty, Alberta has the railroad and has the product, the storage capacity, and the former Alberta government planned on investing $3.7 billion in rail cars for hauling oil while Thunder Bay has the railroad and an under utilised port at the head of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Economics are there along with opportunity, employment would be created and the east coast could end its’ dependency on imported oil. 
Do we have the vision or willingness to consider another option. I am just asking for all avenues to be considered.
In my interviews in Ontario there is a willingness to discuss this idea. 
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation is still reviewing the idea of shipping crude oil from western Canada through its system, and it’s a long way from happening, according to Bruce Hodgson, the Seaway’s director of market development.
“Obviously, there needs to be an ongoing commitment on the part of a producer, and so that’s going to be required for any project of this nature,” he said. 

We could consider it, could we not?
CBC NEWS did a story about this idea on March 7 2019;
A retired oil field worker in Alberta has “floated” a novel solution to Alberta’s oil transportation woes: pipe the bitumen to Thunder Bay, Ont., then ship it up the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Irving oil refinery in New Brunswick.
Marks’ proposal might be more than a pipe dream, according to the director of the Queen’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy.
‘I don’t think that it’s a totally nuts idea’
“I don’t think that it’s a totally nuts idea,” Warren Mabee said. “I think that there’s some flaws to it … but this is an idea that could work in certain circumstances and at certain times of year. … It’s not the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.”
The chief executive officer of the Port of Thunder Bay said shipping oil from the port “could easily be done.” 
“We ship refined gasoline and diesel up from Sarnia. We’ve done that for many many years,” Tim Heney told CBC. “So it’s not something that’s that far-fetched.”
There are, however, plenty of potential drawbacks to shipping crude through the Seaway, Mabee explained, not least of which is the fact that it isn’t open year-round.

The need to store oil or redirect it during the winter months could be costly, he said.
Potential roadblocks
Another potential pitfall is capacity, he added; there may not be enough of the right-sized tankers available to carry the oil through the Seaway. 
Finally, he said, the journey by sea from Lake Superior to the Irving refinery in New Brunswick is a long one, so it might make more sense to transport the product to a closer facility such as the one in Sarnia, Ont.
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation is still reviewing the idea of shipping crude oil from western Canada through its system, and it’s a long way from happening, according to Bruce Hodgson, the Seaway’s director of market development.
“Obviously, there needs to be an ongoing commitment on the part of a producer, and so that’s going to be required for any project of this nature,” he said. 
So far, no producer has come forward seeking to ship crude through Thunder Bay, he said. 

Asked about the possible environmental risks of shipping oil on Lake Superior, both Hodgson and Heney said shipping by tanker is relatively safe; Hodgson noted that any tankers carrying the product would have to be double-hulled, and crews are heavily vetted. 
Time to rethink pipelines?
There hasn’t been a spill in the Seaway system for more than 20 years he said. 
Nonetheless, Mabee said, the potential for an oil spill on the Great Lakes could be a huge issue. 
“The St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes have a lot of people living in close proximity, a lot of people who rely on it for drinking water,” he said. “There’s a delicate ecosystem there. I think a lot of people would push back against this proposal simply from that perspective.”
In fact, one of the reasons Mabee appreciates Marks’ proposal, he said, is because it invites people to weigh the pros and cons of different methods of transporting oil. 
“If we’re not going to build pipelines, but we’re going to continue to use oil, it means that people are going to be looking at some of these alternative transport options,” he said.

“And if we don’t want oil on those alternative transport options, we need to give the pipelines another thought.

Time to consider all options, I dare say.

​Garfield Marks​

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