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Alberta

Whitecourt RCMP – police presence in Blue Ridge are in Woodlands County – Update #3 – Barrhead Incident

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June 19, 2020

Whitecourt RCMP – police presence in Blue Ridge are in Woodlands County – Update #3 – Barrhead Incident

Barrhead, Alta. – On June 18, 2020, at approximately 9 p.m., Barrhead RCMP received a complaint of a break and enter to a residence located in the area of Secondary Highway 658 near Fort Assiniboine, Alta. The suspect vehicle attempted to ram the complainant’s vehicle in an attempt to flee the property.

Barrhead RCMP attempted to locate the suspect vehicle and the suspect vehicle came to rest in a ditch in the area of the Athabasca river southwest of Fort Assiniboine, before both suspects fled into the forest. RCMP Air Services and the RCMP Police Service Dog was utilized and one of the suspects was taken into custody without incident. The second suspect remained at large.

Further investigation has resulted in the second suspect being identified as Bradley Gordon Duff 35, of no fixed address.

A 28-year-old female from Whitecourt, Alta. remains in custody awaiting a bail hearing.

Barrhead RCMP’s investigation into this matter continues.

The public are warned not to approach Duff as he is believed to be possibly armed and dangerous. Barrhead RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in locating Duff’s whereabouts as he is a suspect in this break and enter investigation and has outstanding arrest warrants on unrelated matters.

If anyone has information about Bradley Duff’s whereabouts, please contact Barrhead RCMP at 780-674-4848, 911 or your local police. 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.”

Background:

June 15, 2020

Whitecourt RCMP – police presence in Blue Ridge are in Woodlands County – Update #2

High Prairie, Alta. – On June 14, 2020, High Prairie RCMP received a report of a sighting of a male believed to be Bradley Duff during the night / early morning hours in the vicinity of Range Road 185 and Township Road 742 in Big Lakes County, Alta. This location is 3 km’s southwest of Triangle Hall, located 20 kms west of High Prairie on Highway 2, or 25kms south of Mclennan, Alta., on Highway 2.

Duff is believed to have been wearing all dark or black clothing and a red bandana covering his face and was in the process of removing items from a white Dodge truck parked off the roadway. The same white Dodge truck was later reported to Emergency Services by a passerby to be on fire on June 15, 2020, at 12:30 a.m.

Further investigation determined the Dodge truck had been stolen out of Whitecourt, Alta., and Bradley Duff was the last person known to have been seen driving it.

High Prairie RCMP Detachment has deployed multiple police resources to the area, including RCMP Police Dog Services Unit to conduct a search for Duff.

RCMP are asking that the public please avoid the area and refrain from posting photos and/or video on social media.

An update will be provided when available.

The public are warned not to approach Duff as he is believed to be possibly armed and dangerous. Duff continues to have warrants for his arrest. If anyone has information about Bradley Duff’s whereabouts, please contact Whitecourt RCMP at 780-779-5900 or your local police. 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.”

June 9, 2020

Whitecourt RCMP – police presence in Blue Ridge are in Woodlands County – Update

Whitecourt, Alta. – Whitecourt RCMP members are no longer in the area of Blue Ridge; however, their investigation continues.

On June 9, 2020, at 5:49 a.m., Whitecourt RCMP received a complaint of a vehicle in the ditch with a passenger unconscious with Emergency Services on scene. When the male became conscious, he fled into a forested area.

Whitecourt RCMP’s investigation revealed that the vehicle was stolen out of Edmonton in April 2020. Items in the vehicle and a description of the suspect who fled the scene led RCMP to believe that the suspect is Bradley Duff (35) of no fixed address. Duff is currently on outstanding warrants on other matters.

Whitecourt RCMP, with the assistance of RCMP Police Dog Services and RCMP Air Services conducted a lengthy search of the area and inquiries with residents of the area; however, were unable to locate the suspect.

Whitecourt RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in locating Duff’s whereabouts as he is a suspect in the stolen vehicle investigation and has outstanding arrest warrants on unrelated matters. RCMP caution the public not to approach Duff as he is considered dangerous. Duff has been known to have access to firearms in the past; however, it is unknown if he is armed at this time.

If anyone has information about Bradley Duff’s whereabouts, please contact Whitecourt RCMP at 780-779-5900 or your local police. 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.”

June 9, 2020

Whitecourt RCMP – police presence in Blue Ridge are in Woodlands County

Whitecourt, Alta. – Whitecourt RCMP would like to advise the public that there is a heavy police presence in the area of Blue Ridge in Woodlands County between Township Road 594 and 592 near Range Road 102 outside Whitecourt.

RCMP are asking that the public please avoid the area and refrain from posting photos and/or video on social media.

An update will be provided when available.

 

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Alberta

Alberta government says jobs, economy, COVID to be focus of fall legislature sitting

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EDMONTON — The Alberta government plans a busy fall legislature sitting aimed at adding jobs and diversifying the economy while focusing on tamping down the renewed surge of COVID-19.

Government house leader Jason Nixon says this will include proposed legislation on recognizing professional credentials to address labour shortages. The bill will be introduced by Premier Jason Kenney.

“Our focus will be on Alberta’s workforce, a couple of bills around diversifying the economy, a big focus on building infrastructure for our future, (and) growing our resources, particularly on the energy side,” Nixon said in an interview Friday.

There will also be new initiatives on environmental protection and conservation.

Nixon said there will be 18 to 20 bills for the sitting, which begins Monday and is scheduled to run to the first week of December. 

“It’s a very robust fall agenda,” he said.

Nixon said the government will continue to take steps to reduce COVID-19 cases, which have severely stressed the health system.

No COVID-19-specific bills are planned, he said, noting they were passed in previous sittings. 

“There’s certainly other stuff to be done to manage the pandemic … but we’ll stand ready if Alberta Health needs us to pass any legislation to deal with the pandemic.”

He said debate in the chamber is expected to return to some semblance of normalcy.

In the spring sitting, both the United Conservative government and the Opposition NDP reduced their numbers in the chamber to prevent the spread of the virus. 

This time, with all NDP members and all but one on the UCP side vaccinated, all will be allowed back in for debate.

The lone UCP member has a medical exemption and will be tested regularly, said Nixon.

He said there are still masking rules and members will try to maintain distancing where possible.

The NDP said it plans to hold the government accountable for what went disastrously wrong on COVID-19.

“This fall sitting of the legislature will be laser-focused on getting answers from the UCP on why they’ve failed Albertans so miserably in managing the devastating fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Christina Gray, the NDP house leader.

“Since July 15, more than 85,000 additional Albertans have been infected with the virus and 700 have died.”

Gray said the NDP will call for an all-party inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic with the power to compel documents and testimony.

Nixon said the government will not agree to such a motion. He said it would be wrong to redeploy vital health resources right now and that Kenney has promised an eventual review of how the province handled the pandemic.

Kenney has also promised to bring forward a motion to ratify and act on the results of Monday’s provincewide referendum on Canada’s equalization program.

Final results aren’t in from Edmonton, but figures from Calgary and other cities suggest the referendum will pass with about 60 per cent in support of urging the federal government to remove the principle of equalization from the Constitution.

Kenney has said the issue is not about removing equalization, something no province can do unilaterally, but about getting leverage to negotiate other issues surrounding federal transfers to attain a better deal with Ottawa.

Political scientist Jared Wesley said Kenney will likely continue to focus on initiatives such as the equalization referendum, if only to change the narrative on his low popularity ratings.

“The premier will be spending most of his time, if he has anything to say about it, outside the province, stumping for this fair deal,” said Wesley, with the University of Alberta.

COVID-19 numbers have been trending down in recent weeks. But Kenney and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province’s chief medical officer of health, say the situation remains precarious.

On Friday, there were just over 10,000 active COVID-19 cases in Alberta. And there were 191 COVID-19 patients in intensive care. 

Alberta’s fourth wave troubles began after Kenney lifted almost all COVID-19 related health restrictions as of July 1, boasting that the pandemic had moved to the “endemic” phase and there was no need to plan for a renewed case surge.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 22, 2021.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

'You're looking at it:' Undercover officer says suspect led them to burial site

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CALGARY — A Calgary man who killed his girlfriend and is on trial for the murder of her young daughter took undercover officers in the middle of the night to a remote, snow-covered area where they were buried.

Robert Leeming, who is 36, has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the death of Jasmine Lovett and not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of 22-month-old Aliyah Sanderson. 

The mother and toddler were reported missing in April of 2019 after they didn’t show up for a family dinner.

Court heard this week that Leeming was befriended by two undercover officers, who told him they had retrieved a bag of evidence from a nosy neighbour. 

They offered to help him with his problems — including removing the bodies of Lovett and her daughter, who were in a shallow grave under a pile of mulch and branches in a day-use area west of Calgary.

One of the officers testified that Leeming knew exactly where the bodies were.

The officer said they went to the area in the early morning of May 6, 2019, and walked a short distance on foot.

“I said, ‘OK, where to?’ And (Leeming) goes, ‘You’re looking at it.’ And he points down. And underneath and against my left foot were branches and a pile,” said the officer.

“(Leeming) goes and he grabs a branch and lifts it up as if to prove what’s underneath all these branches. As he does that, I see a small bit of blue that I believe to be the moving blankets.”

Investigators previously testified that the mother and child were doused in gasoline and wrapped in blue blankets before they were covered in dirt, mulch and branches.

The trial also heard that Lovett had skull fractures and was shot in the head. Aliyah died of blunt force head trauma.

The officer said Leeming boasted about steps he had taken to hinder a possible police investigation — including hiding wads of raw bacon around his house to throw off cadaver dogs and filling the back of his car with mulch.

“Well, mulch is death, right? So it smells like death,” Leeming told the officers in a tape recording played in court.

“You cleaned that car up good?” asked the undercover officer. 

“Oh, yeah,” he replied.

The officer said Leeming also expressed relief that his 2014 Mercedes seized by police was an older model.

“It’s funny ’cause they were telling me the Mercedes, they pretty much can hook up to the computer in the car and know exactly where I’ve been,” Leeming said with a laugh. 

“It’s too old a car. If it was an ’18, then I’d be in jail.”

The prosecution was expected to wrap up its case Friday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 22, 2021.

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

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