Premier Smith setting up panel to review response to COVID-19 and plan for next emergency response
Improving Alberta’s response to public health emergencies
Premier Danielle Smith is establishing an expert panel to review the legislation and governance practices used by the Government of Alberta during the management of the COVID-19 public health emergency and to recommend changes necessary to improve government response to future health emergencies.
“There are valuable lessons we learned from the Alberta government’s response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. It’s important that we apply those lessons to strengthen our management of future public health crises, and the panel’s recommendations will be key in doing so.”
As part of its review, the panel will invite experts and the public to provide their views on how the government can better respond to future health emergencies while mitigating impacts on the social well-being, mental health, civil liberties and livelihoods of Albertans. With this feedback in mind, the panel will review relevant legislation to ascertain whether there are amendments that can assist the government to improve their response to a future public health crisis.
“It’s crucial that we take the opportunity to review the province’s COVID-19 response and examine whether and how that approach can be improved in future health emergencies. I look forward to working with my fellow panelists and hearing from Albertans about how the province can best achieve this objective.”
The panel invites Albertans and experts to provide their input online at alberta.ca/PublicHealthPanel.
Panel chair Preston Manning will make recommendations to the Premier as to the final membership of the panel in the coming months. The panel will provide its final report and recommendations to the government by Nov. 15.
- In reviewing applicable legislation and governance practices, the panel will consider and balance various factors in the overall context of a public health emergency, including:
- general public health and health information
- mental health and wellness
- child and student health, mental health and education
- health professionals’ practice standards
- effective implementation of emergency measures
- protection of rights and freedoms
- economic and financial effects
- employment standards
- The budget for the panel is $2 million.
- Manning, as the panel chair, will be paid $253,000.
- Other panel members will be recommended by the chair for the Premier’s final approval.
Police investigating how shooter got firearm after autopsy and balistic analysis
News release from the Edmonton Police Service
Autopsy on shooter, ballistic analysis complete in line of duty deaths
An autopsy on the shooter and ballistic analysis of the firearm have been completed in the Mar. 16, 2023 EPS line of duty deaths.
The Edmonton Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy on Mar. 22, 2023, and confirmed that the 16-year-old male shooter’s cause of death was a single gunshot wound to the head consistent with being self-inflicted.
“We recognize that there is intense public interest in this investigation,” says EPS Deputy Chief Devin Laforce. “At this time, our priorities need to be the integrity of ongoing investigations, including the origin of the firearm, as well as the safety and privacy of all the families affected by this tragedy. For these reasons, we are not releasing or confirming the name of the deceased.”
A bullet casing recovered from the scene of a Mar. 12, 2023 shooting at a nearby restaurant in the area of 133 Street and 114 Avenue has been forensically matched to the firearm that was recovered at the 132 Street and 114 Avenue apartment, where Constable Brett Ryan and Constable Travis Jordan were fatally shot on Mar. 16, 2023.
Investigators believe the suspect in the Mar. 12 shooting to be the same 16-year-old male responsible for the deaths of the two EPS members, although this has yet to be confirmed. Detectives are also working to trace the origins of the firearm and how it came to be in the youth’s possession.
At this time, investigators continue to believe that the youth’s parents, police dispatch and Constables Ryan and Jordan had no information to suggest there was a firearm in the home when the family dispute call for service was made on Mar. 16.
“Both events have been served by robust investigations that have followed all lines of inquiry,” says Deputy Chief Devin Laforce. “All tips and other investigative avenues were pursued exhaustively by the investigating teams.”
The male shot on Mar. 12 in the restaurant remains in hospital in critical but stable condition, and the youth’s mother who was shot on Mar. 16 remains in hospital in serious but stable condition.
Search of four Edmonton homes results in Cocaine and Meth bust
News release from the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT)
Cocaine seized after four Edmonton homes searched
More than two kilograms of cocaine, cash, and four vehicles have been seized following an ALERT Edmonton investigation into cocaine trafficking.
The investigation began in October 2022. Police were able to identify four homes and four vehicles linked to the drug trafficking operation.
“Through the course of this five-month investigation, officers were able to identify several suspects, and seized several pieces of equipment which were being used to produce large, commercial-sized quantities of product. This tells us that this was a much bigger, sophisticated operation,” said Sgt. Jeff Woodliffe, ALERT Edmonton.
On February 23, 2023, police searched four homes and seized the following items as evidence:
- 2.6 kgs of cocaine;
- 28 grams of methamphetamine;
- 10 kgs of a cocaine buffing agent; and
- $11,000 in cash.
The investigation remains ongoing as investigators prepare reports and disclosure for Crown Counsel.
The Edmonton Police Service assisted throughout the investigation.
Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.
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.
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