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Lacombe County: Fire Permit Season Begins March 1 – Have you got yours?

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9 minute read

February 26, 2019

Fire Permit Season Begins March 1: Have you got yours?

Lacombe County reminds people that permit requests are free and easy to submit online, through the “myLacombeCounty” app and in person.

(Lacombe, Alberta, February 26, 2019) Lacombe County reminds ratepayers that fire permit season starts on March 1, 2019. In 2017, permit season was moved up a month – starting March 1 rather than April 1 – in response to changing environmental conditions, including drier spring conditions.

“This winter has not brought a lot of snow to Lacombe County and as a result, spring conditions will likely be drier. This was evident in 2018 as well, with an early fire ban put in place by the end of last April,” said Drayton Bussiere, Lacombe County Fire Chief. “Residents are also encouraged to check on any controlled burns performed outside of permit season, as larger burns can smolder through the winter and reignite as it warms up. By complying with the fire permit process and by using safe burning practices, all Lacombe County residents can help us keep our County safe throughout the season.”

Burning without a fire permit can result in a hefty fine.

Under Lacombe County’s Fire Protection Policy, anyone found burning without a permit will be required to pay for the fire department response fees. A flat rate of $300 will be charged for responses to a fire when a person is in contravention of the Forest and Prairie Protection Act for failure to have a fire permit or any other provision of the Act and fire suppression is not required.

“It’s about public safety and burning responsibly,” said Bussiere. “Fire permits are free of charge and easy to obtain, yet we continue to have situations where people don’t take out a permit and can be charged under the bylaw, the intent here is not to generate revenue but to ensure the safety of all Lacombe County residents and their neighbours.”

The past several years have seen many producers brush lands and burn the brush during the winter months. It is very important to remember to check these piles as they can smolder for many months, and can be rekindled by wind. Combine this with dry spring conditions and the resulting fires can be disastrous.

Fires that are started by rekindled brush piles are your responsibility and you can also be charged for the fire response. Should a Fire Department respond to a fire for which a permit has not been issued, or if a permit has been issued and the permit holder contravenes any of the conditions of the permit, the property owner will be assessed costs at the following rates:

• fire truck – $500 per hour
• water truck – $300 per hour
• rapid response unit/mini pumper – $300 per hour
• equipment van – $300 per hour
• equipment other than fire apparatus – Lacombe County cost
• personnel other than fire department members – Lacombe County cost

Beginning on March 1, 2019, online fire permits can be submitted from the Lacombe County website homepage (www.lacombecounty.com), and through the “my Lacombe County” app (Apple users). People are also able to request permits in person at the Lacombe County Office, or by calling 403-782-8959.

Frequently Asked Questions

When do you require a fire permit?

The Forest and Prairie Protection Act prohibits the lighting of an outdoor fire, excluding an attended outdoor camp fire which has been set for cooking or warming purposes, between March 1 and October 31 each year, on land in a permit area, unless the person is a holder of a subsisting fire permit.
The Forest and Prairie Protection Act states that no person shall:

  1. a)  light an outdoor fire without first taking sufficient precautions to ensure that the fire can be kept under control at all times, or
  2. b)  light an outdoor fire when weather conditions are conducive to a fire readily escaping out of control, or
  3. c)  fail to take reasonable steps to control a fire for the purpose of preventing it from spreading unto land otherthan his own, or
  4. d)  deposit, discard or leave any burning matter or substance in a place where it might ignite other matter andresult in a fire.

How can you obtain a permit?

Beginning on March 1, online fire permits can be submitted from the Lacombe County website homepage (www.lacombecounty.com) and from the new “my Lacombe County” app. Permits can also be requested in person at the Lacombe County Office, or by calling 403-782-8959.

What you need to know

In Lacombe County, fire permits are required during the fire season, which starts March 1st and ends October 31st each year, but can be extended if the risk or danger of wildfire exists.

Before lighting any fire, a permit holder must take precautions to ensure that the fire is kept under control at all times. The following rules apply to all permits issued in Lacombe County:

  • A fire permit is valid only for the period that it is issued for.
  • Upon issuing a permit, the County may specify any special fire control condition that, in their discretion, isimportant to the safety of the county residents.
  • The fire must be set at the time and place indicated on the permit.
  • The number of fires set at one time and minimum equipment needed may be specified on the permit.
  • Anyone who sets a fire under the authority of a permit must:

o Have a the permit at the fire site
o Produce and show the permit to a County employee on request
o Keep the fire under control, and
o Extinguish the fire before expiration, or upon cancellation of the permit, or obtain a renewal.

What can you burn?

Burnable debris includes: Prohibited debris includes:

  • Brush and fallen trees
  • Used power and telephone poles that do notcontain preservatives
  • Wood or wood products not containingpreservatives
  • Solid waste from tree harvesting
  • Straw, stubble, grass, weeds, leaves, and treeprunings
  • Solid waste from post and pole operations thatdoes not contain wood preservatives
  • Animal manure
  • Pathological waste (waste from human healthcentres)
  • Wood or wood products containing woodpreservatives
  • Waste materials from construction sites
  • Rubber, including tires
  • Plastic, including baler twine
  • Oil
  • Containers that held pesticides or any otherchemicals
  • Plastic or rubber coated materials, includingcopper wire.

Special provisions for stubble burning

A Stubble Burning Permit is required throughout the year prior to burning the stubble or swath of any crop. A field inspection will be required prior to the issuance of a permit. Phone the Agricultural Fieldman at 782-8959 a few days in advance for inspection arrangements. Stubble Burning Permits may only be obtained at the County office from the Manager of Environmental and Protective Services or the Agricultural Fieldman

Remember to recycle

Many items that you may consider burning can be recycled: Plastics, paper, cardboard and metal materials, used oil, tires and beverage containers, along with many other items. Call the Recycle Info Line at 1-800-463-8320 for local information or visit the Lacombe Regional Waste Services Commission website (www.lrwsc.ca).

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Tories, NDP at odds over federal spending as Liberals prepare fiscal snapshot

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OTTAWA — Opposition parties have laid out their demands for the federal Liberal government as Ottawa prepares to update Canadians on the country’s finances after four months of COVID-19 — and where it expects the economy to head for the rest of the year.

Wednesday’s fiscal snapshot will be the first public assessment of the country’s economic and financial situation since the pandemic started in earnest in March, forcing provinces into lockdown and the Liberal government to start doling out billions in aid in lieu of a federal budget.

The snapshot is expected to give an idea of how the government sees the rest of the fiscal year playing out, including figures for a potential deficit.

But the Conservatives and NDP made clear Sunday that they want more than just numbers: they want action. That includes additions, changes and expansions to federal COVID-19 support programs along with more accountability and transparency.

Yet while the Conservatives also called for the Liberals to produce a plan to get government spending under control, the NDP warned against any premature efforts to cut federal assistance.

Conservative finance critic Pierre Poilievre on Sunday blasted the Liberals’ handling of the economy while small business critic James Cumming underscored the importance of accurate fiscal projections and planning from the government for Canadian business.

“What business needs as they start to open up is some level of certainty,” Cumming said during a news conference on Parliament Hill.

“They need to understand what the government’s finances are to understand how long these programs are going to last to assist them and when they will be starting to phase out. And a lot of that has a lot to do with the financial health of the government.”

Federal figures last week showed direct government spending on COVID-19 supports at just over $174 billion, which included another increase to the budget for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. That is now expected to cost $80 billion as eligibility increased to 24 from 16 weeks.

At the same time, Statistics Canada last week reported that the Canadian economy shrank 11.6 per cent in April — the largest monthly drop on record. That follows a 7.5 per cent contraction in gross domestic product in March. Both are expected to hit Ottawa’s bottom line through lost tax revenue.

Parliamentary budget officer Yves Giroux has previously predicted that the increased spending and lost revenue could combine to see the federal deficit top $250 billion this year.

With COVID-19 in retreat across most of the country — at least for the moment — Poilievre said it was time for the Liberals to produce a plan to start getting what he described as Ottawa’s “fiscal mess” under control.

That includes weaning Canadians off the CERB and getting them back to work by phasing out the $2,000-per-month benefit based on how much they earn rather than simply cutting off anyone who earns more than $1,000 in a month.

“The government is punishing Canadians for working,” Poilievre said. “We think that people on it should be rewarded when they make the courageous decision to go back to work and make a wage.”

Poilievre, who also demanded more money for the federal auditor general’s office to better scrutinize government spending during the pandemic, dismissed suggestions that Ottawa needs to keep the taps wide open to stimulate the economy as it starts to reopen.

He instead took aim at various Liberal policies and regulations around natural-resource development, particularly in Alberta and Saskatchewan, as having stunted economic growth and prosperity in Canada.

“Removing these government obstacles is the way you unleash growth and create a cornucopia of opportunity for our workers and businesses that will generate the wealth,” he said. “More deficit spending does not create jobs and growth.”

Bloc Quebecois Leader Yves-Francois Blanchet also called last week for the CERB to be phased out to encourage Canadians to return to work. He made an exception for seasonal workers in the arts, hospitality and agricultural industries who will not earn a full income until next summer.

Yet NDP finance critic Peter Julian warned against any early cut to COVID-19 benefits and support and instead repeated longstanding calls from his party for the federal government to crack down on tax havens and tax wealthy Canadians and businesses to pay for the federal aid.

“There’s been a call for … dealing with the economic and financial fallout of the pandemic through cutting services,” Julian said in an interview.

“We actually believe that now is the time to handle the pandemic from the revenue side. We believe in tackling the tax haven problem, which is more acute in Canada than any other country. And to put in place a wealth tax.”

The NDP is also pressing for the Liberals to ease the criteria for businesses to access the federal wage subsidy, which covers up to 75 per cent of employees’ salaries, to encourage more hiring. And it wants the government to provide promised support for Canadians living with disabilities.

While the fiscal update will be presented in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Julian said the report itself will not require a vote. However, he suggested NDP support for future legislative proposals from the government could be contingent on the Liberals accepting the NDP’s requests.

The Liberals have leaned heavily on the NDP since being elected to a minority government in October. That included securing NDP support for several confidence motions in the winter and spring that, if defeated, could have triggered a federal election.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2020.

Lee Berthiaume, The Canadian Press

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version said the federal deficit could top $250 million this year.

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The latest numbers on COVID-19 in Canada for Monday, July 6

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The latest numbers of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada as of 11:20 a.m. on July 6, 2020:

There are 105,690 confirmed cases in Canada.

_ Quebec: 55,863 confirmed (including 5,574 deaths, 25,346 resolved)

_ Ontario: 35,948 confirmed (including 2,689 deaths, 31,426 resolved)

_ Alberta: 8,259 confirmed (including 155 deaths, 7,532 resolved)

_ British Columbia: 2,947 confirmed (including 177 deaths, 2,608 resolved)

_ Nova Scotia: 1,064 confirmed (including 63 deaths, 998 resolved)

_ Saskatchewan: 796 confirmed (including 14 deaths, 711 resolved)

_ Manitoba: 314 confirmed (including 7 deaths, 302 resolved), 11 presumptive

_ Newfoundland and Labrador: 261 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 258 resolved)

_ New Brunswick: 165 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 162 resolved)

_ Prince Edward Island: 32 confirmed (including 27 resolved)

_ Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed (including 13 resolved)

_ Yukon: 11 confirmed (including 11 resolved)

_ Northwest Territories: 5 confirmed (including 5 resolved)

_ Nunavut: No confirmed cases, 1 presumptive

_ Total: 105,690 (12 presumptive, 105,678 confirmed including 8,684 deaths, 69,399 resolved)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 6, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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