Post from Garett Chandler of Red Deer County
Today is my daughter Sophie’s eighth birthday and it’s caused me to reflect so here goes…
I was raised to never ask someone who they voted for and I’d certainly never tell someone how to vote, but I do think it’s important we tell our story at GT Chandler Contracting as #regularpeople who live and work in the oilfield.
At times it’s been frustrating listening and watching the rhetoric about the oil industry during this campaign. Too often the entire industry has been carelessly batted around, used as a wedge issue designed to elicit emotional responses from voters on both ends of the political spectrum. It saddens me when the industry is characterized as a set of numbers – be it GHGs or the tremendous wealth it’s contributed to our country – instead of its people.
What’s missing are the thousands upon thousands of #regularpeople’s stories who rely on the industry to get by. We’re proud to be a locally-owned and family-run business operating in central Alberta. From pulling slips to running a brake handle, I’m proud to have worked my way up from the bottom of the patch. When I first moved from Manitoba in search of “Alberta riches” almost 20 years ago I honestly wasn’t even sure what that meant.
Today, I know exactly what it means. It’s a roof over my three children’s heads. It’s a business I look forward to going to work in every day with the support of my wife. It’s the men and women who rely on us for a paycheque. It’s dance lessons, hockey practices and holidays. It’s late nights and early mornings. It’s the look my daughter gave me in this photo when I told her we wouldn’t be going home until the boiler was completely clean! The oilfield didn’t give me a job, it gave me so much more and I’m grateful for that.
And that’s why it’s been tough to see so many people line up to take shots at the industry. It’s important to remember we produce some of the most socially responsible oil and gas in the world and in my time in the patch I’ve seen systems change and regulations evolve to ensure the environment is protected. We’re blessed to live in a country with tremendous wealth which has allowed us to expand social programs and ensure everyone has the same opportunity to succeed. Oil has played a large role in that as have the #regularpeople who have gone to work, putting in long hours and honest days.
We aren’t delusional either, even if we’re misrepresented that way in the media a lot of the time. We understand that oil won’t be our primary source of fuel forever. We also understand that we aren’t ready to abandon it yet. Canadian oil and Canadian oil workers should continue to responsibly meet global needs for oil. The wealth generated doesn’t just help our country, it also helps our entrepreneurs who will lead the next wave of energy tech.
To see leaders stand on the national stage and tell us they would shut down the oilfield feels like a slap in the face. To have provinces refuse to have oil transported by pipeline through their territory, stopping it from reaching the global market where it would be bought at a fair price doesn’t just seem unfair, it’s unneighbourly.
It’s also no secret that Alberta workers have been hurt by the economic downturn. We’ve seen it firsthand. We’ve seen friends lose their jobs. Companies close their doors. And hardest of all we’ve seen the impact, the emotional toll, it’s had on people. It’s been devastating to say the least. These are #realpeople not numbers to be used to score political points. No matter what happens on Monday, our country is stronger when we come together to find solutions. When we have compassion for our neighbours. And when we focus on #realpeople.
Our company, GT Chandler Contracting, is full of #realpeople and we hope you think of them and the thousands of others who work in the patch when you cast your ballot.
Feel free to share if you agree and let me hear your story about being #realpeople working in the oilfield.
And if you’re fortunate enough to run into sweet Sophie today do wish her the happiest of birthdays!!
Province of Alberta puts criminals on notice!
From The Province of Alberta
Government announces plan to combat rural crime
The province is standing up for rural Albertans by acting on concerns to deter crime, reinforce property rights and give victims a stronger voice in the justice system.
“We are sending a strong signal to rural Albertans who have been victimized for far too long. We have listened to you. We have heard you. And we are standing with you. We want to ensure you know that we are going to do everything we can as a provincial government to help you feel safe in your communities.”
“In many ways, rural communities are the heart of this province – hard-working, salt-of-the-earth, and always ready and willing to lend a hand to a neighbour in need. It’s heartbreaking to see the scourge of criminal activity worsen in these communities over the past several years, and we need to take action. This is an issue that affects many in my own community, and it is one that I take very seriously. As we promised, our government is taking immediate steps to make sure everyone feels safe and secure in their homes and in their communities.”
Integrating provincial peace officers
In rural areas, police can be stretched across large distances, which can lead to longer response times. To help reduce response times, the government will create the Rural Alberta Provincial Integrated Defence Force – the RAPID Force – by expanding the roles and authorities of 400 peace officers in the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Branch, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Branch and the traffic arm of the Alberta Sheriffs. The changes will allow these officers to respond to a wider range of calls and to assist the RCMP and other police services in some emergencies.
Training and related planning is underway, to have the first of these officers available to assist rural Albertans by fall 2020.
Strengthening property rights
To defend the rights of law-abiding property owners, the government will introduce changes to the Occupiers’ Liability Act. These changes would eliminate the liability of law-abiding property owners who are protecting their property against trespasses who are, or who are believed to be, in the commission of a criminal act. This provision will be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018.
To strengthen trespass laws and further defend property rights, planned legislation includes a proposed five-fold increase to the maximum fines for trespassing offences, with fines of up to $10,000 for a first violation and $25,000 for subsequent offences, as well as possible prison time of up to six months. Corporations that help or direct trespassers would face fines up to $200,000. In addition to these increases, a proposed change would increase the maximum amount a court can order for loss of or damage to property from $25,000 to $100,000.
The planned legislation would amend the Petty Trespass Act to add explicit references to better capture land used for crops, animal-rearing and bee-keeping.
A proposed biosecurity regulation under the Animal Health Act would create offences and penalties for people who enter agricultural operations without authorization or encourage others to do so. Such incidents can introduce disease and threaten the welfare of animals.
Cracking down on metal theft
Government has proclaimed the Scrap Metal Dealers and Recyclers Identification Act to deter metal theft by making it more difficult for criminals to monetize stolen material by selling it for scrap.
Metal theft is a significant public safety risk. Thieves terrify property owners by trespassing and stealing materials such as copper wire and industrial batteries and frequently damage and interfere with critical systems like electrical lines, telecommunications cables and transportation infrastructure.
Criminals often steal metal from property owners and critical infrastructure in isolated areas to avoid detection. This has also made rural Albertans a target of trespassers and thieves looking for metal.
The Scrap Metal Dealers and Recyclers Identification Act was passed in 2012, but never proclaimed. An Order in Council signed Nov. 5 puts the legislation into effect immediately.
Regulations outlining requirements on dealers and recyclers to obtain proof of identification from sellers, record and retain details of transactions and share information with law enforcement will be in place by spring 2020. There is also an immediate requirement for scrap metal dealers and recyclers to report any suspected stolen property in their possession to authorities.
A new voice for victims
Community impact statements will recognize the far-reaching effects of a crime and how an entire community can suffer harm or loss.
A new program will enable communities to take part in the sentencing of offenders by letting them submit a statement describing how the crime has affected the community as a whole – including the emotional, physical and economic impact, or fears they may have for their own security.
A community impact statement could be written on behalf of any group of people, such as those in a geographic area, diverse segments of the population, and groups affected by the crime.
Community impact statement forms will be available online in early January.
There will also be additional support for victims, via a new Restitution Recoveries Program. The program will help victims collect outstanding payments on restitution orders by giving government the authority to use enforcement measures against offenders, such as garnishing wages or seizing and selling property, as needed.
This program will reduce red tape for victims who would otherwise have to navigate the legal system and attempt to collect court-ordered restitution at their own risk, effort and expense.
Attempted Robber learns not to mess with patrons at the Blackfalds Motor Inn
From Blackfalds RCMP
Blackfalds RCMP lay charges following robbery attempt
On Nov. 1, 2019 the RCMP took one male into custody following an attempted robbery at the Blackfalds Motor Inn. The male is facing several criminal code charges and the investigation into the incident continues.
At 12:42 a.m., the RCMP responded to a 911 call that a male fired a shot in the bar and that he was being held by bar patrons after he attempted to rob the bar. Responding officers took the adult male into custody and launched an investigation.
It was determined that one shot appears to have been fired, but not towards any person. Another shot from the gun was discharged during a struggle for the gun. Nobody in the bar was injured from either of the gun shots.
27-year-old Ryan Allan Bell from Red Deer is charged with 14 criminal charges, most being firearms related. They include discharge firearm while being reckless, careless use of a firearm and using a firearm in the commission of an offence.
He remains in custody and is next scheduled for court in the Provincial Court of Alberta in Red Deer on Nov. 7, 2019.
The investigation into this incident remains ongoing.
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