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Alberta

Red Deer MLA Jason Stephan repeats request for government inquiry into harms of covid restrictions on Alberta’s young people

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This announcement submitted by Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan

Today I made a member statement in the legislature, reiterating my requests for a public inquiry,  including a full-cost analysis of the harms of COVID restrictions on children and young adults.  I also asked why, on a per capita basis, does AHS not even produce half of the ICU beds as the lowest of the US states?   Trust would increase if AHS was more honest in acknowledging its own failings.

 My statement was as follows:

The truth is non-partisan.

Since last spring I have asked for an independent, comprehensive public inquiry, including a full-cost analysis of the harms of COVID restrictions on children and young adults. 

 Young Albertans are not “overwhelming our health care system”.

 We spend about $23 billion on this system, among the highest per capita in Canada. 

 Why, with this massive amount of money, can AHS only produce ICU beds, on a per capita basis, that is not even half of the worst of the US states?

 Trust would increase if AHS was more honest in acknowledging its own failings.

 Let’s give Alberta families and individuals a voice!  Where there is a famine of truth; contention fills the void.

 Dividing, labelling, compelling, and coercing others destroys trust.  Seeking to misrepresent others or twist their words is wrong.

 Some make sweeping judgements about others who do not agree with their opinions, framing them as extremists, seeking to vilify them.  This is not how things really are.  The truth about our neighbors is more complex, more nuanced, each of them possessing unique contexts and circumstances, all of which can be valued and respected.

 Mercifully a loving God views all of us, His children, by our eternal possibilities and in our best possible ways.

 Conflict is inevitable, contention is a choice.  Choosing to do what is right makes us happier and better.

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Alberta

'I'm sorry': Calgary parents plead guilty to neglect of disabled adult son

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CALGARY — A Calgary mother broke into tears Friday after she and her husband pleaded guilty to failing to provide the necessaries of life for their severely disabled adult son.

Malinda Phillips and Jonathon Grunewald entered their pleas in Calgary’s Court of Queen’s Bench.

In an agreed statement of facts, court heard that the 29-year-old man was mostly confined to his bedroom over five years. He had been diagnosed at birth with severe cerebral palsy, a seizure disorder and brain damage.

He was rushed to hospital in October 2020 when he was found unresponsive in the family’s home.

“He was admitted in critical condition, in a state of shock, and displaying the profound effects of hypothermia, sepsis and weighing only 43 pounds,” said Crown prosecutor Janice Walsh.

Hospital officials alerted Calgary police and officers charged the couple last year.

“I’m sorry,” sobbed Phillips before entering her guilty plea.

A sentencing hearing is be scheduled April 8. Court heard lawyers expect to present a joint recommendation for the sentences.

Walsh told court that Phillips and Grunewald admitted that their son hadn’t used a wheelchair for three years and “was essentially bedridden, except for special occasions including family dinners and outings.”

They were offered help for their son and in 2015 they began receiving $1,768 a month from Alberta’s Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped program.

Walsh said Phillips didn’t trust the medical community.

“(Phillips) acknowledged she had been offered home care assistance but turned it down as she did not believe it would be beneficial,” Walsh said.

The mother also admitted to withholding food from the son four to five days a week.

“She acknowledged that this has been going on for the past four to five years and she noticed his medical condition declining about three years ago but did not take him to the doctor,” said Walsh.

Court heard that Phillips was in a car accident in 2015 and suffered from depression and back pain. She would put her headphones on and “zone out,” taking three- to four-hour naps during the day.

Grunewald, who worked during the day, took over caring for his son in the evenings, said Walsh.

“He was aware that Malinda was not caring for him during the days but did not want to ‘pick a fight over it,'” Walsh said.

She added the son was not given any liquids until his father gave them to him at dinner.

Grunewald admitted the family had been offered fully funded, in-home medical assistance five days a week. He knew his wife had refused the service and “did not press the issue,” said Walsh.

The son now lives in a care home. Walsh said he has gained weight, increased his mobility and can sit in a wheelchair.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2022.

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Alberta RCMP investigating after child found wandering on highway near St. Paul

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ST. PAUL, ALBERTA — Alberta RCMP say they are investigating after a child was found wandering on a highway near a town northeast of Edmonton earlier this week.

Police in St. Paul say in a news release that they received a report about the child at about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

They say a concerned motorist found the child on Highway 881 near Township Road 582 and brought the child to the RCMP detachment.

Police say they have started an investigation and are looking for dashcam footage from the area on Tuesday morning.

Earlier this week, St. Paul Education issued a statement on its website saying it was investigating after kindergarten student remained on a bus after it was returned to the driver’s yard following morning drop off.

They say the child left the bus and found their way to a road in a rural area, where a concerned citizen intervened and took the child to the RCMP.

“Drivers are trained to do a mandatory walk through of their bus to ensure it is empty before leaving it,” said the statement from board chairwoman Heather Starosielski and Glen Brodziak, superintendent of schools. “Our initial review indicates this was not done.”

They said the driver has been removed from his duties pending an investigation.

The statement said schools also typically call home to confirm any student absences.

“Our normal procedure is for schools to start to make in-person phone calls at 8:45 a.m. each day beginning with the youngest children first,” it said. “The delay in noting the absence was in part due to the large number of absences that day in the school as a result of several buses not running due to varying road conditions.”

The statement said the school division is reviewing its transportation practices as well as its student absence reporting process.

“We will also fully co-operate should there be an RCMP investigation,” it added.

They said they are thankful for the safe return of the child and the quick response from the concerned citizen.

Environment Canada shows the temperatures in the area hovered around -24 C on Tuesday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 21, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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