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Alberta

Fort McMurray closes access to Lower Townsite – video

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From the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

Municipality closes access to Lower Townsite

Access to the Lower Townsite including MacDonald Island, downtown and Waterways is temporarily closed due to flooding concerns.

No entry is allowed. Residents who leave the Lower Townsite will not be allowed re-entry.

Residents in flood-prone areas should prepare a 72-hour emergency kit and stay alert.

The Athabasca River is currently breaking and water levels are extremely high. Members of the public should stay away from riverbanks as flooding is occurring in certain areas.

All residents are advised to avoid riverbanks and shorelines as they remain dangerous, and to avoid stopping on the Athabasca bridges to watch the river.

For alerts, updates and more information, visit rmwb.ca/riverbreakup.


Here are some videos which have been posted to youtube from locals who are documenting the flood.

With just 3 active cases, Red Deer among the most fortunate cities in Alberta

Alberta

Alberta politicians swap charges of bullying, misogyny after member ejected

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EDMONTON — Alberta’s Opposition NDP tried and failed Thursday to censure the deputy speaker for evicting one of their members from the house in a day that saw both sides accuse each other of belittling and marginalizing women in politics.

The governing United Conservatives voted down an NDP motion to discuss whether deputy Speaker Nicholas Milliken should still have his job after he ordered NDP member Marie Renaud out of the chamber during debate the evening prior.

Milliken ejected Renaud after she accused UCP members of trying to intimidate her through gestures while she was standing to speak to a bill.

Milliken said Renaud’s comments imputed unfair motives and were disrupting the house, and ordered her to withdraw the comments and apologize.

Renaud withdrew the remarks but would not apologize and was evicted for the balance of the night.

On Thursday, Renaud told reporters she faced mocking gestures, stares and facial expressions to try to throw her off balance during her speech.

“It happens frequently to a lot of women in our caucus. And last night was just bad and I called it out,” said Renaud.

Milliken is a United Conservative backbencher but is expected to be impartial when directing debate from the Speaker’s chair.

NDP house leader Heather Sweet said the NDP made the motion because Milliken failed to not only address Renaud’s concerns but focused the blame on her, calling into question his impartiality.

“It affects every single member from having the ability to stand in this house and to be able to feel freely without harassment to debate with the intent of having the Speaker be a neutral, non-partisan body,” Sweet told Speaker Nathan Cooper in making the motion.

UCP backbencher Laila Goodridge challenged Renaud, telling the house that bullying and intimidation can’t be countenanced but heckling is a part of politics, and having someone focus their attention on you in the house is respectful and appropriate.

“We need to be careful not to label everything and everyone we don’t like as bullying. Not liking something does not make it bullying,” said Goodridge. 

“I would suggest that if someone doesn’t want people looking at them when they speak, perhaps they’re not in the right field.”

The debate was the capstone to a Wednesday that saw typical attacks, insults and angry hyperbole between the NDP and UCP boil over. It even dragged in the memory of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

During debate of a bill that would allow non-constitutional referendums, NDP member Marlin Schmidt pointed out that even conservative icon Thatcher had concerns that referendums can be twisted to curtail minority rights.

“Just let me say that I am no fan of Margaret Thatcher,” Schmidt added.

“If nothing else goes right for me in a day, I can at least count on enjoying the fact that Margaret Thatcher is still dead. And the only thing I regret about Margaret Thatcher’s death is that it happened probably 30 years too late.”

At the direction of the Speaker, Schmidt apologized and withdrew the remarks.

On Thursday, UCP backbencher Miranda Rosin told the house that Schmidt’s remarks make it difficult for women to enter politics.

“The disgusting comments we heard, which celebrated the death of the greatest female leader in the 20th century … will not be encouraging to any woman who wishes to seek elected office,” said Rosin.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 9, 2020

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Three more patients die from COVID-19 outbreak at Edmonton hospital

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EDMONTON — Three more patients linked to a COVID-19 outbreak at an Edmonton hospital have died.

Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro reported the deaths at the Misericordia Community Hospital in a statement on Twitter.

The announcement comes one day after health officials said three patients had died from the illness, and 20 other patients and 15 staff had tested positive.

Alberta Health declared a full outbreak at the facility and said it would not be admitting new patients.

Shandro says his thoughts are with the families of the six patients who have died.

He says his department is monitoring the situation at the hospital and he has full confidence that measures are in place to prevent further spread of infections.

“Our hospitals remain safe, and this outbreak is being managed as safely and effectively as possible,” he said in the statement Thursday.

“I know the physicians, staff and volunteers at the Misericordia are working extremely hard in challenging circumstances, and I thank them for the care they’re providing.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 9, 2020

The Canadian Press

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july, 2020

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