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Alberta

Province setting up Alberta Parole Board to decide on early release for sentences less than two years

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From the Province of Alberta

Protecting Albertans from repeat offenders

Alberta’s government is introducing legislation to create an Alberta Parole Board to ensure our province has a fairer, faster and more responsive justice system that reflects the values of Albertans and meets the needs of our communities.

If passed, Bill 18, the Corrections (Alberta Parole Board) Amendment Act, would create the Alberta Parole Board. A provincial parole board would better protect Albertans, their loved ones and their property from repeat offenders, including parolees. The government is fulfilling a commitment to Albertans to better hold criminals responsible to protect public safety.

“Albertans expect, and deserve, a faster, fairer and more responsive justice system that holds criminals responsible. Our government’s platform committed that we would ensure repeat offenders, including parolees, are not able to re-victimize them. This is an important part of getting a fair deal for Alberta, and of getting more Alberta and less Ottawa.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

“Our government has heard loud and clear that Albertans want us to do everything we can to protect them, keep our communities safe and prevent people from being victimized. By creating an Alberta Parole Board, Alberta is taking control of a key component of the administration of justice in this province. It will help end the ‘revolving door’ justice system and will be more in touch with the current realities facing law-abiding Albertans who are frustrated with a justice system that does not make them feel secure and protected.”

Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General

“RMA has consistently expressed concerns regarding the impacts that repeat offenders have on police services and the justice system in rural Alberta. The creation of the Alberta Parole Board is intended to offer solutions to the current ‘catch and release’ system, contributing to increased safety for our rural communities through responsive oversight.”

Al Kemmere, president, Rural Municipalities of Alberta

The Alberta Parole Board would determine parole or early release eligibility for those serving sentences in provincial correctional facilities, which are sentences less than two years. Currently, Alberta contracts with the federal government to have the Parole Board of Canada make these determinations.

The Alberta Parole Board would also supervise provincial parolees through:

  • Community probation officers, with localized knowledge and ties to the community in which they work, who will closely monitor offenders released on parole from provincial correctional facilities.
  • Provincial correctional centre caseworkers and probation officers who will continue to do much of the same work for the Alberta Parole Board that they already do for the federal parole board.

If passed, the government plans to have the Alberta Parole Board in place and operating starting Jan. 1, 2021.

Quick facts

  • The Government of Alberta will appoint Alberta Parole Board members for provincial parole decisions.
  • Alberta would be joining Ontario and Quebec, which have had their own provincial parole boards since 1978. As with the Alberta plan, their boards make parole decisions for applicants serving a sentence of less than two years in provincial correctional facilities.

 

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Alberta

Northern Alberta First Nation requires masks in public following first COVID-19 case

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FORT MCKAY, Alta. — The chief of a northern Alberta First Nation says masks are now mandatory after the community learned of its first COVID-19 case.

Fort McKay First Nation Chief Mel Grandjamb announced the positive test in a video message posted to Facebook on Friday, and he says that protective masks will now be necessary for everyone outside of their homes and yards in the community.

Trips into and out of the First Nation will be limited to one per day, and travel within the community is strongly discouraged.

Grandjamb asked members to make sure youth stay at home, too.

He also asked people not to blame the person who tested positive, and encouraged the community to stick together.

He says contact tracing is being done, and that anyone who gets a call from health authorities should co-operate with them.

“The minute you’re out in the community, any public buildings, masks are mandatory. We will be monitoring the compliance and we will be talking to the individuals in the event of non-compliance,” Grandjamb said in the announcement.

“It’s proven from a number of studies and things that we read that masks will prevent the spread.”

Grandjamb said the community has had a plan since March 9 for what to do in the event of a positive test, and is following it.

He noted the announcement was not about instilling fear, and said essential service personnel will be required to undergo advanced screening.

Commercial drivers entering the community will also be screened.

“We have seen from observations in other communities that as the names of affected individuals are revealed that they can face negativity towards them,” he said.

“Let’s remember we are all family in this community.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 11, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Calgary Flames defenceman Travis Hamonic won’t play in NHL’s restart

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Calgary Flames defenceman Travis Hamonic has decided not to play in the NHL’s restart.

The Flames said Friday night that Hamonic has opted out of the NHL’s return-to-play program.

Players have until Monday at 5 p.m. ET to declare they are opting out following the ratification of the NHL’s return-to-play protocol on Friday night.

Hamonic, 29, had three goals and nine assists in 50 games this season.

The Flames will face the Winnipeg Jets in a best-of-five play in series starting Aug. 1 in Edmonton.

“Travis explained that due to family considerations, he has made the difficult decision not to participate in the Stanley Cup qualifier and playoffs,” Flames general manager Brad Treliving said in a statement.

“While we will miss Travis in our lineup, we understand and respect his decision. Our focus remains on preparation for training camp and our upcoming series in the NHL qualifying round.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 10, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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