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UDPATE and correction: When Emergency Lights come on, do you know what to do? Here’s a refresher.

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Please note a correction below in bold.

  • “Motorists must slow down to 60 kilometres per hour, or less if the posted speed limit is lower, when passing emergency vehicles or tow trucks stopped with their lights flashing.”If you are passing an emergency vehicle parked on the side of the road, remember, any road with a posted speed limit as 80 km/h or upwards means you must slow down to 60 km/h, whereas a road with a posted speed limit of 79 km/h or lower requires you to slow down to 40 km/h.

 

Here’s a timely update from the Parkland RCMP.  I was driving around the city this weekend and saw two instances where an ambulance, with siren and flashing lights on, made its way through traffic.  There were no real issues that I could see, because traffic was light.  But it was obvious that there was a ton of confusion as to what to do.  It’s one thing at an intersection and you’re stopped … you start to crowd right, and try to make a path.

But what about if you’re on the QEII travelling at 110 kph .. do you pull over and stop?  Do you slow down?  How slow?

Hopefully you’ll find some clarification in the article below and be a safer driver as a result of it.

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Parkland RCMP – Move over and stop for emergency responders

Spruce Grove, Alta. – Parkland RCMP would like to remind the public of the importance of pulling over and stopping for flashing emergency lights and sirens.  The Alberta Traffic Safety Act states:  when an emergency vehicle (ambulance, fire, police or peace officers) is approaching you from any direction and is sounding a siren, you must yield the right-of-way.

If you hear a siren or see flashing emergency lights:

  • Clear the intersection.
  • If you are driving on a road with one or two lanes, pull over on the right side of the road.
  • Remember to use your signal.
  • If you are driving on a road with three or more lanes, clear the intersection and move your vehicle to the nearest side of the road.
  • If you are in the centre lane, pull your vehicle over to the right side of the road, come to a complete stop and wait for the emergency vehicle to pass you.
  • Move right or left to the nearest curb on 1-way streets.
  • Emergency vehicles have the right-of-way and take precedence over all other traffic. Keep to the side of the street until they have safely passed and watch closely for additional emergency vehicles approaching from behind.
  • Don’t enter an intersection until the emergency vehicle is completely through it, even if you have a green light. The only exception to this rule is when a peace officer gives you other directions.
  • Remember, you must not follow within 150 m of any emergency vehicle that has its siren or lights operating
  • Be considerate of other drivers that have pulled over in front of you.
  • “Motorists must slow down to 60 kilometres per hour, or less if the posted speed limit is lower, when passing emergency vehicles or tow trucks stopped with their lights flashing.”If you are passing an emergency vehicle parked on the side of the road, remember, any road with a posted speed limit as 80 km/h or upwards means you must slow down to 60 km/h, whereas a road with a posted speed limit of 79 km/h or lower requires you to slow down to 40 km/h.
  • Failing to slow down puts emergency workers, including tow truck drivers and other motorists at risk of serious injury or even death.

If you fail to slow down for emergency vehicles or tow trucks parked road side with emergency lights flashing, fines for speeding are double.  If you fail to yield to emergency vehicles with emergency lights and sirens engaged, you could receive a fine and demerits.

By remembering these rules of the road, you will help emergency responders get to the scene as quickly as possible and keep emergency personnel safe who are assisting road side.

If you observe drivers who are putting emergency responders at risk, please contact the Parkland RCMP at 825-220-7267 or your nearest police department.   If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or by using the “P3 Tips” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.

Read more stories on Todavyille Edmonton.

President Todayville Inc., Honorary Lieutenant Colonel 41 Signal Regiment, Board Member Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award Foundation, Board Member Canadian Forces Liaison Council (Alberta) Musician, Photographer, Former VP/GM CTV Edmonton.

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Names in the mix: Conservative leadership contenders

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OTTAWA — The Conservative leadership race is underway and the deadline to register as a candidate was Thursday.

To register, a candidate had to submit 1,000 signatures, $25,000, and a full application form. Each also needs to be approved by the party’s leadership organizing committee.

These are the candidates who have been approved to run:

— Marilyn Gladu: A professional engineer for decades before she was elected an MP in 2015, Gladu is well-liked among her peers in the House of Commons, once being named the “Most Collegial Parliamentarian” in an annual survey. She represents the Ontario riding of Sarnia-Lambton, and has been the party critic on health and science files. She has two children.

— Jim Karahalios: A long-time activist in Ontario conservative circles, Karahalios is known for two advocacy campaigns targeting the Ontario Progressive Conservative party, one to end its once-upon-a-time support for a carbon tax, and a second over nomination issues plaguing the party under former leader Patrick Brown. A lawyer and businessman, he is the spouse of Belinda Karahalios, the Ontario Progressive Conservative MPP for the riding of Cambridge.

— Leslyn Lewis: A Toronto lawyer who came to Canada from Jamaica as a child. Though she’s never held elected office, she did run for the Conservatives in the 2015 election, losing to a Liberal. She runs a legal practice and among other things was until recently the vice-chair of Ontario’s Trillium Foundation, a major government granting agency. She holds multiple degrees, including a PhD. She has been endorsed by the Campaign Life Coalition, an organization that supports pro-life candidates.

— Peter MacKay: MacKay was a member of Parliament from 1997 to 2015 representing ridings in Nova Scotia. In 2003, he became the leader of the Progressive Conservative party, and was instrumental in its merger with the Canadian Alliance to form the current Conservative party in 2004. He went on to hold three cabinet positions in the subsequent Conservative governments. He left politics to resume his legal career. He is married to human-rights advocate Nazanin Afshin-Jam, with whom he has three children, and they live in Toronto. MacKay is the first candidate to have met all the requirements to run in the race, submitting the entire $300,000 fee and 3,000 signatures, as well as the application.

— Erin O’Toole: O’Toole is in his third term as an MP, having left the private sector for politics in a 2012 byelection for the Toronto-area riding of Durham. He was veterans-affairs minister in the last Conservative government, a post he received in part thanks to his earlier career in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He ran for the leadership of the party in 2017, finishing third. He is married to events planner Rebecca O’Toole and they have three children. In addition to meeting the first threshold for candidates, O’Toole has submitted a further 1,000 signatures, the entire refundable $100,000 compliance deposit and an additional $25,000 of the total fee.

— Rick Peterson: Peterson is making his second try for the Conservative leadership, having run and lost in 2017. After that campaign, he moved his B.C.-based business to Alberta, partially in an unsuccessful effort to try and secure a nomination to run as a candidate there. Since then, in addition to his finance business, he’s launched a not-for-profit focusing on getting people in the investment industry to support resource-sector workers and their families. He lives in Edmonton with his wife and three dogs.

— Derek Sloan: In his first term as a member of Parliament for the Ontario riding of Hastings-Lennox and Addington, Sloan previously worked as a lawyer and before that, owned a furniture business. He’s running with the support of several anti-abortion organizations. He is married and has three children.

These are the candidates who met the deadline to submit the required signatures and fee but who are awaiting official approval by the party:

— Richard Decarie: From Quebec, his conservative bona fides include work getting Stephen Harper elected as the first leader of the Conservative party. He’s also worked as a talk show host and in the not-for-profit sector, including with Food Banks Quebec. He is running expressly as a social conservative. He is married and has a daughter and a stepdaughter.

— Rudy Husny: The longtime Quebec operative for the Conservative party was until recently working for current leader Andrew Scheer. When the Conservatives were in government, Husny held several positions in the trade minister’s office, assisting with communications and stakeholder relations on files including international trade agreements.

All candidates must, by March 25, submit the refundable $100,000 compliance deposit, the entire non-refundable $200,000 entry fee and a total of 3,000 signatures to have their names appear on the ballot and attend party debates.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 27, 2020.

Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Province says books will be balanced again by 2022-23

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Premier Jason Kenney and Finance Minister Travis Toews present the 2020 Budget: A Plan for Jobs and the Economy.

From the Province of Alberta

Third-quarter results show the deficit has declined more than expected. With the deficit $1.2 billion lower than projected in Budget 2019, Alberta taxpayers can expect to pay $35 million less in debt-servicing costs.

Budget 2020 also provides stable funding for health, education and core social services. The budget focuses on finding cost efficiencies and creating jobs while maintaining the high-quality services Albertans expect.

“Budget 2020 continues our focus on creating jobs, growing our economy and streamlining programs and services to ensure a sustainable future. Our plan is working. We are on track to balance the budget by 2022-23 and Alberta’s surplus in that year is expected to be higher than that projected in Budget 2019. We are also maintaining funding for health and education while ensuring each dollar is wisely spent on what Albertans need most.”

Travis Toews, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance

Included in Budget 2020 is A Blueprint for Jobs – the government’s plan to get Albertans back to work. It supports dynamic growth from the technology, energy, agriculture and forestry sectors and supports diversification in other key sectors through initiatives, including:

  • Improving competitiveness through further reductions in the Job Creation Tax Cut.
  • Accelerating growth-oriented projects through the capital plan to provide job opportunities for Albertans.
  • Reducing red tape in all sectors to make Alberta the best place to do business in Canada.
  • Accelerating the reclamation of “legacy sites” – including orphan wells – in ways that prioritize job creation.
  • Filling gaps in the labour market, such as increasing access to training for Class 1 drivers.

“There is no greater job for our government than getting Alberta back to work. Budget 2020 and A Blueprint for Jobs leverage the natural strengths of our province and support new opportunities for diversification, economic growth and job creation. We are putting a growth and prosperity lens on everything we do to ensure the choices we make as a government support economic growth and jobs for Albertans.”

Travis Toews, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance

Budget 2020 capital plan highlights

The 2020 Capital Plan commits $6.9 billion in 2020-21 to build and maintain key infrastructure projects across the province. Over the course of the three-year fiscal plan, an estimated $772 million in new projects will be added, bringing the total capital plan to $19.3 billion. This will create opportunities for private sector participation and support more than 3,000 jobs, increasing employment by 2022. Some of the new projects include:

  • Twinning Highway 40 to facilitate economic growth and improve safety.
  • Funding to renovate the Peter Lougheed Centre to alleviate pressure on Alberta’s most-congested emergency department.
  • New funding for critical laboratory equipment needs in Edmonton and northern Alberta.
  • The Alberta Surgical Wait-Times Initiative, which will fund new operating rooms and purchase new hospital equipment. The initiative will reduce Alberta’s surgical wait times to an average of four months, funding 80,000 additional surgeries by 2022-23.
  • The launch of a new Rural Health Facilities Revitalization Program to provide infrastructure upgrades across Alberta.
  • Funding for the Red Deer Integrated Emergency Shelter for 160 new spaces for the homeless.
  • Funding for the Bow Reservoir Options project to assess the feasibility of a multi-use dam on the Bow River.

Bill 4, also tabled today, implements a fixed budget period. This provision is an amendment to the Fiscal Planning and Transparency Act and aligns with a recommendation from the MacKinnon Panel.

A fixed budget period will help organizations that provide services for Albertans to better plan their own budgets. The fixed budget period means a budget must be released each year in the month of February.

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