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Military qualify for commercial driver’s licences


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from Government of Alberta

The province is making it easier for Canadian Armed Forces members, Regular and Reserve, to find good jobs during and after their service.

L-R: Maj. Charmaine Berestovy, MLA Nicole Goehring, MLA Colin Piquette, Carolyn Patton and Chris Nash.


The government is now recognizing their unique training when it comes to operating commercial vehicles.

Since June 2015, Alberta has recognized the Department of National Defence’s (DND) training and testing requirements so that serving members and veterans can operate commercial vehicles without more testing. Previously, military veterans were unable to transfer their credentials when they left their military careers.

Working with the DND and the Canadian Forces Liaison Council, Alberta Transportation has expanded the current policy to include Reservists under this agreement. This change came into effect in November 2018.

“This agreement serves Regular and Reserve members, including veterans, in their current and future careers. These highly skilled men and women can save time and money on training and testing and take advantage of new job opportunities as they retire from the Canadian Armed Forces and transition to new careers.”

Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation

“Alberta’s recognition of military driving qualifications is an excellent opportunity for Reservists to advance their civilian careers without the financial and time burden of additional testing.”

Maj. Charmaine Berestovy, deputy commanding officer, 41 Service Battalion, 41 Canadian Brigade Group

“Through the ongoing partnership between the Canadian Forces Liaison Council and the Government of Alberta, Alberta Transportation is recognizing the rigorous training and special qualifications of Reserve Force members with the expanded DND Training and Testing Recognition agreement. The end result is safe, qualified and experienced drivers on Alberta roads.”   

Carolyn Patton, Alberta chair of Canadian Forces Liaison Council

“I applaud the Alberta government decision to exempt past and present Department of National Defence trained personnel from the incoming mandatory entry-level required training. This agreement creates a pathway into civilian careers as commercial drivers.” 

Chris Nash, president, Alberta Motor Transport Association

Quick facts

As of Dec. 17, 2018, 803 DND applications have been processed since the DND Training and Testing Recognition agreement was signed in 2015.

About 15 per cent of applicants were eligible for an Alberta Class 1 or Class 2 driver’s licence upgrade and
65 per cent of applicants were eligible for a Class 3 driver’s licence upgrade.

President Todayville Inc., Honorary Colonel 41 Signal Regiment, Board Member Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award Foundation, Director Canadian Forces Liaison Council (Alberta) musician, photographer, former VP/GM CTV Edmonton.

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Calgary police identify 15-year-old girl killed in shooting, investigation continues

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Calgary (CP) – Calgary police have identified a 15-year-old girl who was fatally shot this week as investigators try to determine whether she was the intended target or if it was a case of mistaken identity.

Officers responded to reports of a shooting in an alley in the Martindale neighbourhood early Tuesday morning.

They say the teenager was a passenger in a vehicle when she was shot and that the driver, who was not injured, immediately fled the scene before pulling over to call police.

Police say investigators have received several tips from the public.

They say evidence from the scene leads police to believe it was targeted, but investigators haven’t determined whether the occupants of the vehicle were the intended targets.

The girl has been identified as Sarah Alexis Jorquera of Calgary.

“This was a senseless act of violence that took the life of a young girl,” Staff Sgt. Martin Schiavetta of the homicide unit said in a statement Wednesday.

“At this point, we have more questions than answers and are working around the clock to hold those responsible accountable. Losing a 15-year-old is a tragic loss for our community, her school, her friends and, most importantly, her family.”

Police ask anyone with any information about the shooting to call investigators.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 29, 2023.

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‘A crisis’: Calgary charity seeks one-month homes for Ukrainian refugees after influx

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Ukrainian evacuees Dmytro Syrman, left, his wife, Anastasiia, centre, and their four-year-old daughter Varvara attend a news conference highlighting the need for temporary housing in Calgary on Wednesday, March 29, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

By Bill Graveland in Calgary

After six months under Russian occupation, Dmytro Syrman and his family decided to flee Ukraine for a safer life abroad and are now in Calgary.

The family lived in Dniprorudne, a mining city of 17,000 in southern Ukraine. Syrman worked as a human resources manager at an iron factory.

In August, Syrman, his wife, Anastasiia, and four-year-old daughter Varvara embarked on a six-day, 3,000-kilometre drive to Poland.

“On the 24 of February, when the Russian army attacked Ukraine and occupied our city in March 2022, we lost everything,” Syrman said Wednesday.

He said they began planning their escape when they realized Russian soldiers weren’t leaving their city.

“We started all of this because we were scared for Varvara,” he said. “When Russian bombs were falling near our city it was really scary.”

Their home is still under Russian occupation.

For the past year the family stayed in Poland, sent in their paperwork to come to Canada, and two weeks ago arrived in Calgary.

They’re now staying with a host family for a month while they look for long-term accommodation and to find jobs.

“We are here and starting a new life. We can’t believe about people who don’t know us and many helped us. We’re really shocked,” Syrman said.

The Syrmans were helped by Calgary’s Centre for Newcomers, which started a campaign to find 100 hosts for Ukrainian families or individuals for a month while they find housing of their own.

Kelly Ernst, chief program officer with the centre, said there has been a flood of Ukrainians trying to take advantage of a federal program that allows them to temporarily resettle in Canada.

The Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel program has been extended until July and Ernst said he expects people will continue to flee the war-torn country.

“We’re in a desperate, dire need at the moment for host homes to try to accommodate the evacuees coming from Ukraine. It’s reaching the proportions of being a crisis moment,” said Ernst.

He said people arriving elsewhere in Canada are migrating to Calgary because the rents are lower than in larger cities such as Toronto and Vancouver.

Ernst said approximately 450 people have been arriving in Calgary every week from Ukraine and his organization has helped people staying nights in the airport, off the street and at homeless shelters.

Natalia Shem, who is the manager of housing for the Ukrainian evacuees, said it’s difficult for the newcomers to find somewhere to live before arriving.

“It’s almost impossible to find long-term rent being outside of Canada and people who come here need one month of stay,” Shem said. “It’s an average time a family can find long-term rent, job and settle down here in Canada.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 29, 2023.

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