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Alberta

Whitecourt RCMP Traffic Services vehicle stop leads to arrest of subject on outstanding warrants for 44 charges

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2 minute read

Sept. 30, 2020

 

Whitecourt RCMP Traffic Services vehicle stop leads to arrest of subject on outstanding warrants for 44 charges

Whitecourt, Alta. — On the afternoon of Sept. 23, 2020, Whitecourt RCMP Traffic Services was patrolling the town of Whitecourt, Alta. A Whitecourt RCMP Traffic Services member conducted a traffic stop for failing to comply with seat belt legislation. Further investigation revealed that the vehicle was unregistered, uninsured and was mis-using an Alberta license plate.

The 40-year-old driver from Red Deer, Alta., was issued traffic tickets under the Traffic Safety Act for:

 

  • Uninsured motor vehicle
  • Unregistered motor vehicle
  • Misuse of license plate
  • Driver fail to wear seat belt

These violations are scheduled for Provincial Court in Whitecourt.

This investigation involved the passenger allegedly providing the investigating officer with multiple false names. A search of the vehicle was completed that resulted in the seizure of a quantity of suspected methamphetamine. Further investigation determined the identity of the passenger of the vehicle to be Matthew Phillip Levesque (35) of Whitecourt who was wanted on outstanding warrants related to 44 various charges including breach of multiple release orders including 24-hr house arrest.

As a result of this traffic stop, Matthew Phillip Levesque is charged with:

  • Obstructing a peace officer
  • Identity fraud
  • Possession of methamphetamine
  • Failing to comply with release order (x3)
  • Passenger failing to wear seat belt (TSA)

Following a judicial hearing, Levesque was held for a bail hearing and will be held for court in multiple jurisdictions related to the outstanding warrants.

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Alberta

Alberta ombudsman says she doesn't have the power to probe EMS dispatch consolidation

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EDMONTON — Alberta’s ombudsman says she doesn’t have the power to investigate a complaint about the decision to consolidate ambulance emergency dispatch services in the province.

The complaint was filed by the cities of Red Deer, Calgary, Lethbridge and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

The municipalities have contended that the decision to consolidate the dispatch services to save the government money could put the lives of people in their communities at risk.

In a release late Friday, Ombudsman Marianne Ryan says the decision was technically made by Alberta Health Services, which her office is prohibited by law from investigating.

When the United Conservative government announced the consolidation in August 2020, then health minister Tyler Shandro said the province’s dispatch system would allow for better co-ordination of all ground ambulances and air resources.

At the time, the four mayors of the municipalities, none of whom are now still in office, said they were blindsided by the decision and would fight the change.

“While the issue being complained about clearly affects many Albertans, I am bound by my governing legislation to only investigate matters that are clearly within my jurisdiction,” Ryan said in the release.

“Given the substance of the complaint has been widely reported in the media and that it relates to an issue affecting a great many Albertans, I advised the mayors that I would be making a public statement.”

Last February, a judge granted an interim injunction sought by Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services after the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo stopped transferring emergency medical calls to the provincial dispatch centre.

The municipality, which includes Fort McMurray, stopped transferring calls after its council decided the provincial ambulance dispatch service was putting patients at risk due to delays and confusion.

A lawyer for Wood Buffalo had argued it was in the public interest for the municipality to keep handling emergency medical calls through its own dispatch centre.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 26, 2021

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Alberta Ombudsman can’t do anything about City of Red Deer complaint about 9-11 Dispatch

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Ombudsman Responds to Municipalities’ Complaint About Ambulance Dispatch

Marianne Ryan, Alberta’s Ombudsman took the unusual step of publicly commenting on a complaint received involving Alberta Health Services.

The City of Red Deer, along with the municipalities of Calgary, Lethbridge and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo filed a complaint to the Ombudsman regarding Alberta Health Services’ consolidation of ambulance emergency dispatch services.

The Ombudsman Act authorizes the Ombudsman to investigate administrative decisions of government ministries and many related bodies, but the Act specifically prohibits her from investigating decisions of Alberta Health Services (AHS).

“My office thoroughly analyzed the complaint and confirmed that the decision to consolidate ambulance dispatch services was indeed made by AHS. While many government-related bodies fall under my jurisdiction, AHS is not one of them,” stated Marianne Ryan, Alberta’s Ombudsman. “In fact, the Ombudsman Act specifically states that my powers of investigation do not apply to health authorities. My ability to investigate AHS decisions would require a change in legislation. While the issue being complained about clearly affects many Albertans, I am bound by my governing legislation to only investigate matters that are clearly within my jurisdiction.”

Investigations by the Ombudsman are conducted in confidence, and it is the Ombudsman’s general practice not to comment publicly on complaints, especially ones that are not being investigated.

“Given the substance of the complaint has been widely reported in the media and that it relates to an issue affecting a great many Albertans, I advised the mayors that I would be making a public statement.”

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