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Alberta

It’s time for the Alberta Sovereignty Act – Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan

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This article submitted by Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan

THE ALBERTA SOVEREIGNTY ACT IS GOOD FOR ALBERTA

I supported the concept of the Alberta Sovereignty Act before the UCP leadership race. It was developed by the Free Alberta Strategy. I participated in their townhalls supporting their strategies, as did two of the UCP leadership candidates, Danielle Smith and Todd Loewen. Jason Kenney and his cabinet ministers did not.

What is the Alberta Sovereignty Act?

The Sovereignty Act affirms Alberta’s right to refuse and reject Federal Government actions or laws that intrude into provincial areas of jurisdiction or attack the interests of Alberta.

Ottawa recently released a “discussion paper” seeking to limit, or impose additional carbon taxes on, oil and gas development. This is not an isolated incident; this is a pattern of hostile behavior from Ottawa seeking to attack and take advantage of Alberta, holding it back.

Albertans should be aware that this discussion paper is likely a pretext, an excuse to either take more money from Alberta or prevent it from excelling ahead of other provinces.

Albertans should be aware that at any time Ottawa may leverage the Supreme Court of Canada decision permitting carbon taxes, overruling our Court of Appeal describing Ottawa’s carbon taxes as a “constitutional trojan horse”, to impose a targeted windfall or carbon tax on Alberta’s natural resources that discriminates and disproportionately punishes Alberta while sparing Ontario and Quebec from burden or harm.

The Supreme Court of Canada says carbon taxes are a tool that Ottawa has its disposal at any time to punish Alberta, yet under section 92A of the Constitution Act, Alberta has jurisdiction over its natural resources, not Ottawa.

The Alberta Sovereignty Act should be invoked to reject the “discussion paper” and tell Ottawa to leave Alberta and its constitutional jurisdiction alone.

The unfortunate truth is that Ottawa has made itself an unpredictable and hostile variable, a threat to the freedom and prosperity of Alberta businesses and families that should not be underestimated.

Alberta is compelled to protect itself.

Does the Establishment like the Alberta Sovereignty Act? No. Many Eastern politicians and their media pundits do not like the Alberta Sovereignty Act. It challenges the status quo they benefit under.

Their status quo has enabled a pattern of abuse and economic warfare on Alberta, disrespecting its jurisdiction over its resources, creating chaos and injecting commercial uncertainty, chasing away billions in private sector investments and thousands of Alberta jobs.

Albertans are becoming more aware that this is a rigged partnership. Alberta businesses and families give hundreds of millions more to Ottawa than they receive in return, with Ottawa using our money, not to benefit Alberta, but for political gain, primarily in Quebec, the structural welfare recipient under the partnership. Equalization is one of the devices that Ottawa uses for this purpose.

Albertans want change. Alberta held an equalization referendum. Ottawa ignored the result –to them Alberta is means to an end, they want our money. Strongly worded letters from Alberta politicians have accomplished nothing. It is time for less words and more actions.

Boundaries are reasonable and normal.

Boundaries are integral to adult relationships. The Alberta Sovereignty Act seeks to impose boundaries that Ottawa continually disrespects, to discriminate, attack, and force itself into Alberta’s constitutional jurisdictions.

Some of the UCP leadership candidates say the Alberta Sovereignty Act will produce chaos. They are wrong. It is a morally and fiscally bankrupt Ottawa, a trillion dollar plus fiscal train wreck, that is producing chaos. Ottawa is the risk that we can no longer afford, not a law that seeks to do something about it!

The Alberta Sovereignty Act is good for Alberta. Wisely applied it can help protect the Alberta Advantage, as the most attractive Canadian jurisdiction to start and grow a business, to work and raise our families. Alberta is a land of freedom and opportunity for us and our children. We must be vigilant to keep it that way.

The deadline to become a member of the United Conservative Party to vote in this leadership race is this Friday, August 12.  We invite all Alberta conservatives to become a member of the party, to vote and have your say on who will be the next leader and Premier of Alberta!

You can buy a membership here, or check if your membership is up-to-date here.

 

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Alberta

‘Ludicrous’: Prosecutor questions testimony of teen in Calgary hit-and-run cop death

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By Bill Graveland in Calgary

A prosecutor suggested Wednesday a teen charged with first-degree murder in the hit-and-run death of a Calgary Police Service officer had no reason to believe he was in danger.

Sgt. Andrew Harnett died in hospital on Dec. 31, 2020, after being dragged by a fleeing SUV and falling into the path of an oncoming car.

The alleged driver, who cannot be identified because he was 17 at the time, has testified he was scared when Harnett and another officer approached the vehicle during a traffic stop and he saw Harnett put his hand on his gun.

But during cross-examination, Crown prosecutor Mike Ewenson played the body-camera footage of the stop. He asked the accused, who is now 19, if there was any proof Harnett was being threatening or insulting during the routine traffic stop.

“You brought up George Floyd in your direct examination. Do you remember what happened to George Floyd?” Ewenson asked.

The accused replied: “He got pulled out of the vehicle and I think they stepped on his neck … and he said he couldn’t breathe.”

Floyd was a Black man who was killed during an arrest by Minnesota police on May 25, 2020.

During testimony Tuesday, the teen testified he and his friends had discussed the Floyd case on social media.

“Let’s talk about what we just saw with Sgt. Harnett if we could, because you’re bringing this up at a trial that involves his death,” said Ewenson. “Any abusive language from him?”

“No,” the teen replied.

“Anything that was insulting to your age, your race, your ethnic background or religion,” Ewenson asked.

“Not necessarily, no. Actually, I felt like I was being racialized, right? Just the fact that the door opened and the fact that he asked for my phone number. I’ve never been asked for my phone number.”

Ewenson said any talk of the traffic stop being racist was just something the teen wanted the court to “take his word for” and there’s nothing that would be considered racist from Harnett’s behaviour.

“That’s how I felt,” the accused replied.

The teen repeatedly told Ewenson that he wasn’t sure how he ended up in the neighbourhood. He said he was following his GPS to get to a party. He also said he didn’t know who the third person in the back seat of the vehicle was, who had come with a friend.

Ewenson said it’s unlikely there would be memory lapses after an event that was the “most traumatic, powerful” and “consequential” night of the teen’s life.

“So looking back on it, you realize the story is ludicrous? The story doesn’t make sense, does it?” Ewenson asked. “Everything for you is a mindless reaction.”

The suspect said at the time he panicked and just decided to take off because he was afraid. The teen said looking back, he wishes his decision had been different.

“Look, to be frank to you, I’ve sat for two years in jail and I’ve thought about this over and over and over again,” he said. “It’s different when I think about it now and what I was going through at the moment.”

Ewenson suggested it was more likely something illegal was inside the suspect vehicle that made fleeing a simple traffic stop worth the risk.

Closing arguments in the trial are scheduled for Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 28, 2022.

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Alberta

Incredible luxury homes and vehicles seized in massive international $55 million drug bust with Alberta roots

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Niagara-On-The-Lake home seized by police in Project Cobra operation

News release from the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT)

Project Cobra intercepts $55 million worth of drugs

More than an estimated $55 million worth of methamphetamine and cocaine has been seized following a cross-border investigation by ALERT, RCMP Federal Serious and Organized Crime, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Project Cobra is a nearly three-year organized crime investigation into transnational drug importation, drug trafficking, and money laundering.

Halifax County home seized by police in Project Cobra operation

As the result of enforcement initiatives on both sides of the border, 928 kilograms of methamphetamine and 6 kilograms of cocaine were intercepted. In addition, approximately $7 million worth of assets have been seized or placed under criminal restraint.

Project Cobra relied on the assistance of a number of police agencies and specialized units, including: Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Niagara Regional Police, Canada Revenue Agency, Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), and RCMP units in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Saskatoon, North Battleford, Sask., and Osoyoos, B.C.

Lamborghinis and Porsche seized by police in Project Cobra operation

Mercedes-Benz seized by police in Project Cobra operation

Police agencies collaborated to make numerous large-scale drug seizures during the course of Project Cobra. These were shipments destined for Alberta, and included the following seizures:

  • 342 kg of meth in Wyoming;
  • 308 kg of meth in Los Angeles;
  • 137 kg of meth in Calgary;
  • 84 kg of meth in Los Angeles;
  • 50 kg of meth at Lake Koocanusa, B.C.;
  • 7 kg of meth and 1 kg of cocaine in Calgary; and
  • 5 kg of cocaine in North Battleford, Sask.


Nineteen firearms were also seized, which included handguns, rifles, submachine guns, and suppressors.

Seven million dollars’ worth of property, bank accounts, luxury vehicles, and other suspected proceeds of crime has been seized or placed under criminal restraint. This includes a $3.5 million home in Niagara-on-the-Lake, two Lamborghinis, a Porsche, classic cars, and $200,000 cash.

Project Cobra began in 2020 and a series of 11 coordinated search warrants were executed in December 2021. Homes, vehicles, businesses, and storage locations were searched in Calgary, Bedford, Nova Scotia, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., and Leduc County, Alta.

Fifteen people and one business have been charged with 80 criminal offences ranging from participation in a criminal organization, to importation of a controlled substance, to laundering proceeds of crime, to drug trafficking.

The suspects were arrested and charged between May 2022 and August 2022:

  • Elias Ade, 38-year -old from Calgary, charged with 12 offences;
  • Abdul Akbar, 37-year-old from Calgary, charged with 8 offences;
  • Tianna Bull, 25-year-old from North Battleford, charged with 1 offence;
  • Lina El-Chammoury, 50-year-old from Calgary, charged with 2 offences;
  • Russell Ens, 39-year-old from North Battleford, charged with 2 offences;
  • Talal Fouani, 46-year-old from Calgary, charged with 3 offences;
  • Belal Fouani, 44-year-old from Calgary, charged with 3 offences;
  • Kari-Lynn Grant, 51-year-old from Calgary, charged with 4 offences;
  • Scott Hunt, 33-year-old from Calgary, charged with 3 offences;
  • Ricco King, 50-year-old from Bedford, N.S., charged with 5 offences;
  • Jarett Mackenzie, 32-year-old from Calgary, charged with 6 offences;
  • Jesse Marshall, 52-year-old from Calgary, charged with 4 offences;
  • Daniel Menzul, 32-year-old from Calgary, charged with 4 offences;
  • Sean Nesbitt, 44-year-old from Calgary, charged with 3 offences;
  • William Whiteford, 39-year-old from Leduc County, charged with 20 offences; and
  • Fouani Equity Funds Ltd. charged with 1 offence.

Fouani Equity Funds Ltd. is a Calgary-based investment company and was charged with laundering proceeds for an organized crime group.

Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.

ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.

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