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Forest Fire Smoke, Westerner Days, Downtown Market & Music!

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3:49 pm – Lots going on around Innisfail over the next several days. Read More!

3:44 pm – Following several months of construction, the new entrance to the renovated/expanded Administration Office in Innisfail is now open! Town officials thank you for your patience as they begin to settle into their new surroundings.

3:35 pm – The Town of Innisfail’s FCSS department has a limited number of Westerner Days tickets to give to low-income families in Innisfail. The tickets are being offered on a first-come-first-serve basis to those who meet an established income threshold. For details, please contact Karen Bradbury, Community and Social Development Co-ordinator, at 403-227-3376, or at [email protected]

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3:27 pm – Child minding services are coming to the NexSource Centre in Sylvan Lake this Labour Day long weekend. Read More.

3:01 pm – $22,500 has been awarded to five rural Red Deer County cemetery boards for Capital Projects. Read More.

2:47 pm – The official Grand Re-Opening of Red Deer’s Discovery Canyon takes place on Friday, July 21st at 11:00 am! Read More.

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2:40 pm – Mayor Tara Veer and staff from the City of Red Deer want to Thank residents for their patience with the June 20th windstorm cleanup. See More.

2:23 pm – The parade may be over but there are still some road and trail closures Red Deerians need to be aware of to avoid traffic delays. Read More.

2:18 pm – On July 14th, Blackfalds RCMP received a report of a motorcycle taken from Cedar Square in the Town of Blackfalds. Can you identify the suspect? Read More.

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2:04 PM – Bard on Bower returns to the stage tonight with a live performance of Anthony & Cleopatra from Prime Stock Theatre between 7:00 – 9:30 pm. Read More.

1:58 pm – Shop at the ATB Financial Downtown Market today while listening to live tunes on the Ross Street Patio. Might as well grab some supper while you’re there! Details Here.

1:51 pm – Grab some fresh, locally grown produce at the ATB Financial Downtown Farmer’s Market today! It runs from 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm. Read More.

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1:36 pm – Today is day 1 of the Westerner Days Fair & Exhibition at Red Deer’s Westerner Park. Around 100 thousand people are expected to pass through the gates during the five day event from July 19th – 23rd. Details Here.

1:30 pm – Today is the third and final day of the Provincial 4H Dairy Show at Red Deer’s Westerner Park. Details Here.

1:24 pm – Forest fires in BC are generating huge amounts of smoke over western Canada. This smoke will cross the Rockies throughout the day today and is already in the Red Deer region. Read More.

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Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury starts moguls World Cup season with gold

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Ruka – Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury has started the moguls World Cup season right where he left off.

Kingsbury won a gold medal at the first moguls World Cup event of the season on Saturday. After earning silver at the Beijing Olympics he finished the last freestyle skiing season with three consecutive World Cup wins.

The 30-year-old from Deux-Montagne, Que., reached the top of the podium on Saturday with a score of 84.50. Japan’s Ikuma Horishima earned silver with an 80.48 and Australia’s Matt Graham took bronze with an 80.12.

Kingsbury had the final run of the day and was surprised when he heard his competition’s scores.

“They were lower than what I expected but I just had to stick to my game plan, do what I wanted to do,” said Kingsbury. “It’s nice that I was able to improve my scores from the Final 1 to the super final.”

It was Kingsbury’s 10th career victory in Ruka, Finland. He has now reached a World Cup podium 145 times in his storied career.

Now in his 12th season on the World Cup circuit, Kingsbury said that he’s as motivated as ever.

“I’m always excited for the first race of the season. So I’ve never had a problem with motivation, really,” said Kingsbury. “I want to be there. I want to be the last guy to go. I want to be in those positions. I want to feel nervous.”

Gabriel Dufresne of Joliette, Que., was the only other Canadian to advance past the qualifiers. He finished 11th with a score of 75.24.

Elliot Vaillancourt (Drummondville, Que., 18th), Kerrian Chunlaud (Sainte-Foy, Que., 22nd), Alexandre Lavoie (Quebec City, 23rd), Daniel Tanner (Calgary, 33rd) and Julien Viel (Mont-Sainte-Anne, Que., 38th) were all eliminated in the qualification rounds, as were Laurianne Desmarais-Gilbert (Sainte-Adèle, Que.) and Maïa Schwinghammer (Saskatoon), who just missed making the top 16 in the preliminaries and moving on to the first elimination round.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2022.

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Alberta

Reducing funding for RCMP on the table for Saskatchewan amid firearm buyback debate

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REGINA — Saskatchewan says it would consider reducing its funding for the RCMP if the force was to help the federal government with its proposed firearms buyback program.

Public Safety Minister Christine Tell says all options are on the table, signalling the province will not help Ottawa collect guns it has banned.

“We as a province fund the RCMP to a tune of 70 per cent, so it could even get more interesting,” Tell said Thursday.

The Saskatchewan Party government said it is pushing back to protect law-abiding firearms owners from what it views as federal intrusion on its provincial autonomy.

Under Ottawa’s proposed firearms buyback program, it would be mandatory for people to have their assault-style firearms rendered inoperable or have them discarded. That could also include centrefire semi-automatic rifles or shotguns designed to accept a detachable magazine that can hold more than five cartridges.

In response, Saskatchewan has introduced its own firearms act to forbid municipalities and police services from receiving federal money to help confiscate firearms.

The proposed law says a municipality, police service or board would have to get written approval from the province’s public safety minister before agreeing to support the federal buyback program.

It also states that Saskatchewan’s chief firearms officer would enforce which federal agent can or cannot confiscate firearms in the province.

“These legal firearm owners are not the ones committing the crimes,” Tell said.

The legislation was tabled Thursday, months after Tell wrote a letter to Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore, the head of Saskatchewan’s RCMP. It stated that the province would not support the Mounties using provincially funded resources to help confiscate firearms.

Alberta, Manitoba and New Brunswick have sent similar letters to their RCMP forces. They have joined Saskatchewan in asking Ottawa to not use up “scarce RCMP and municipal resources” for its buyback program.

In October, Blackmore said Mounties are service providers, not decision-makers, and any decisions over the buyback program are between the federal and provincial governments.

“As the service provider, we would be the individuals that get our information from them,” Blackmore told The Canadian Press.

That includes if additional resources would be needed by RCMP once the buyback program rolls out.

“It would depend on the level of expectation, and what that looks like, and what the involvement is if there are additional resources,” Blackmore said.

The specific role of the RCMP and the details surrounding the buyback program have not been determined.

On Friday, the Saskatchewan RCMP said it will continue to prioritize front-line services and the safety of communities is its highest priority.

The Saskatchewan Firearms Act also calls for helping firearm owners get fair market value for guns collected through the buyback program and would require all seized firearms to go through forensic and ballistic testing.

The Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, which advocates for hunters and the protection of the province’s hunting heritage, praised the proposed act, saying it would mitigate the “draconian” federal legislation.

There are approximately 115,000 licensed firearms owners in Saskatchewan, 75,000 of whom may be penalized under the federal government’s policy. That’s about 10 per cent of Saskatchewan’s adult population, the province said.

Saskatchewan’s NDP Opposition has stood united with the government to denounce the program.

“It does not strike the right balance for Saskatchewan,” justice critic Nicole Sarauer said last week in the legislature.

“These amendments are overbroad and capture rifles that have legitimate uses for both hunters and producers in Saskatchewan.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2022.

Mickey Djuric, The Canadian Press

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