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Education Minister’s former board (Red Deer Catholic) opts out of piloting new curriculum

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From Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools

RDCRS opts out of piloting new draft Kindergarten – Grade 6 curriculum this fall

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools (RDCRS) Board of Trustees voted at their April 27 Regular Board Meeting that the Division will be opting out of piloting the new Draft Kindergarten – Grade 6 Curriculum this fall.

The Division held seven days of feedback sessions with teachers to give them an opportunity to provide input into the draft curriculum. This feedback, along with a comprehensive review of the draft curriculum from the Division level, will be sent to Alberta Education to help guide revisions and recommendations moving forward related to the curriculum.

“Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools has decided to forego the opportunity to pilot the new draft curriculum. The Division will undertake a comprehensive curriculum review over the coming months and share the findings and recommendations with Alberta Education. The review will include extensive consultations with parents, educators and members of our broader stakeholder community. We expect the final report to be released by no later than November,” said Board Chair, Kim Pasula at Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools.

“We acknowledge and commend our students and families, and our school staff members, for all of their efforts in adapting to the challenges of the pandemic. The health and wellness of our community is our highest priority. While we have hope that we may soon be on the other side of the COVID-19 situation, the Board also made the decision to advocate for a delay in the implementation of the new curriculum.”

RDCRS has received many concerns from teachers, students and their families in regards specifically to age and developmentally-appropriate content, the academic language related to curricular objectives, in addition to the timing of the proposed changes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The focus of the Division in the fall will continue to be on the mental wellness of students, staff and families, as well as learning progressions and post-pandemic recovery in schools,” said Superintendent, Kathleen Finnigan at Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools. “We need to refocus on developing the strong relationships and connections Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division is known for, what we do so very well, and the reason why families choose our school division.”

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Alberta

Alberta legislation would set up independent agency to investigate police complaints

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The Alberta government has introduced legislation aimed at making police forces more accountable and responsive to the communities they serve.

The Police Amendment Act introduced Thursday would establish an independent agency called the Police Review Commission to receive complaints, carry out investigations and conduct disciplinary hearings to do away with the idea of police investigating police.

Mike Ellis, the minister of public safety and emergency services, said the province has been consulting with Albertans since 2018 to come up with the first major overhaul of the Police Act in 34 years.

“One thing that came up consistently was the need to change how complaints against the police are investigated to end the system of police investigating police,” Ellis said.

“The legislation answers those long-lasting calls to reform the public complaints process by establishing an independent agency to handle complaints against police.”

The Alberta Serious Response Team will continue to handle all cases involving death or serious injuries, as well as serious and sensitive allegations involving all police services. Its mandate would be expanded to include peace officers employed by provincial organizations as well as community peace officers at the municipal level.

The legislation would also require all jurisdictions with a population above 15,000 currently policed by the RCMP to establish civilian bodies to oversee policing priorities.

The United Conservative Party government is deciding next steps following the release of a third-party analysis last year of a proposal to create a provincial police force instead of using the RCMP in rural areas and some smaller communities.

“No decisions have been made regarding the provincial police service,” Ellis said. “This is about ensuring that the rural municipalities have a say at the table under our current model which is the RCMP, who is the current provincial police service provider.”

Ellis said it could be another 18 months before the Police Review Commission is up and running. He said negotiations are underway with the RCMP to see how they would fit in under civilian oversight.

“Right now K-Division has expressed they’re supportive of this, however, we’re still having discussions with Public Safety Canada because it still falls technically under the RCMP in Ottawa,” he said.

“We’re going to continue to negotiate with the RCMP because we believe the independent body is the right approach and we can continue going down that path.”

The proposed changes would also require police to develop diversity and inclusion plans to reflect the diverse and distinct communities they serve and to better understand local community needs.

The Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police supports the changes.

“Changes to update our Police Act are long overdue,” said Calgary Police Chief Mark Neufeld, president of the association in a statement.

“We have advocated for several years that the act needs reform to bring it more in line with the realities of the modern police workplace,”

Edmonton Police Chief Dale McFee said the changes “will provide an additional layer of public transparency” that will benefit both the public and police.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 8, 2022.

— By Bill Graveland in Calgary

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Alberta

TC Energy shuts down Keystone pipeline system after leak in Nebraska

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CALGARY — TC Energy Corp. says it has shut down its Keystone pipeline after a leak in Nebraska.

The company says it has mobilized people and equipment in response to a confirmed release of oil into a creek, about 32 kilometres south of Steele City, Neb.

TC Energy says an emergency shutdown and response was initiated Wednesday night after a pressure drop in the system was detected.

It says the affected segment of the pipeline has been isolated and booms have been deployed to prevent the leaked oil from moving downstream.

The Keystone pipeline system stretches 4,324 kilometres and helps move Canadian and U.S. crude oil to markets around North America.

TC Energy says the system remains shutdown as its crews respond and work to contain and recover the oil.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 8, 2022.

Companies in this story: (TSX:TRP)

The Canadian Press

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