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National recognition for RDC’s Alternative Energy Initiative

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RDC’s Alternative Energy Initiative recognized nationally as a leader in sustainability

Red Deer College’s commitment to environmental stewardship has been recognized on the national stage with two honours.

The College is proud to be recognized by Clean50 for its use of sustainable technologies to provide learning and research opportunities for students, faculty and industry partners, as well as to reduce its energy consumption. In addition, RDC’s Alternative Energy Lab has received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification from Canada Green Building Council.

Clean50 Top Project for 2021

RDC’s Alternative Energy Initiative has been named one of Canada’s Clean50 Top Project Award (https://clean50.com) winners and this project has been declared a Clean50 Top Project for 2021.

Clean50 celebrates innovation among organizations who contribute to a sustainable low-carbon Canadian economy to expedite collaboration and constructive change.

“RDC takes great pride in receiving this national recognition as a leader in sustainable technology, through the reduction of the College’s overall carbon footprint,” says Dr. Peter Nunoda, RDC President. “The Alternative Energy Lab, which is part of the College’s larger Alternative Energy Initiative, is a hub for alternate energy education and research, in addition to providing RDC’s faculty and students with opportunities to collaborate with, and support, central Alberta businesses.”

RDC’s Alternative Energy Initiative provides a framework to guide the College’s development as an alternative energy technology leader, reducing operational utility demands and costs.

The project submitted by RDC to Clean50 highlighted initiatives such as the College’s installation of more than 4,200 solar panels, which is the largest array among Canadian post-secondary schools, as well as a combined heat and power unit, replacement of exterior lighting with new energy efficient LEDs, and the Alternative Energy Lab, which is a vital teaching and learning space.

“RDC’s alternative energy projects play a significant role in reducing the institution’s carbon footprint which positively impact RDC’s operations and the environment. Electricity production at the College from alternative energy sources equates to powering 1,300 homes or removing 1,100 cars off the road each year,” says Jason Mudry, RDC’s Director of Campus Management.

“These projects also help RDC drastically reduce its utility costs by up to $750 thousand annually. These savings provide funds for use in other educational and operational initiatives.”

RDC’s Alternative Energy Initiative has vastly trimmed RDC’s use of external sources of electricity. At times, the College is able to sell power to surrounding communities in central Alberta as the largest independent electrical producer in Red Deer.

LEED Silver Certification for RDC’s Alternative Energy Lab

The College’s Alternative Energy Lab is among the newest learning spaces on RDC’s main campus, opening in 2019. This nationally-recognized LEED Silver certification highlights the College’s efforts to ensure the Lab embodies sustainability in its design, construction and ongoing operation.

“RDC’s Alternative Energy Lab offers tremendous value to a variety of stakeholders, including to more than one thousand students annually in a wide range of programs,” says Kylie Thomas, RDC Vice President Academic & Research. “The Lab enhances the entire immersive alternative energy educational experience for our students by offering an engaging platform to learn about these systems and apply their knowledge and skills to real-world situations. These incredible opportunities help prepare our learners for a variety of promising careers in the growing sector of alternative energy.”

Canada Green Building Council recognized RDC’s Alternative Energy Lab with LEED Silver certification for reasons including:

  •   the facility was built with a high-performance building envelope that has about fifty per cent more insulation value than a typical building
  •   an extensive photovoltaic array attached to the building that produces a significant amount of electricity for use in the Lab and other locations of main campus
  •   the Lab uses high-efficiency building mechanical systems to reduce energy consumption

    RDC is also LEED certified with its Four Centres and Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. RDC’s new Residence was also designed with sustainability in mind, as it is constructed with renewable structural materials and a high-performance building envelope.

Alberta

Canadian men to face Ireland in Edmonton rugby sevens quarterfinal

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EDMONTON — Canada will play Ireland in the Cup quarterfinals Sunday after winning two of three on Day 1 of the HSBC Canada Sevens.

The Canadian men, who finished sixth last week at the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series event in Vancouver, opened play Saturday by beating Hong Kong 21-12 and Mexico 47-0 before running into a South Africa buzzsaw in the closing match of the day at Commonwealth Stadium. The Blitzboks, who downed Kenya to win the Vancouver tournament, ran in seven converted tries in a 49-0 win.

South Africa is now 9-0-0 in the two Canadian events, which stand as a truncated 2021 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series due to the pandemic. The 2022 campaign kicks off in late November in Dubai.

Earlier, Canada’s Josiah Morra, Phil Berna and Brennig Prevost scored tries against Hong Kong with Prevost adding three conversions.

Thomas Isherwood, in his World Series debut, had three tries in the lopsided win over Mexico while Anton Ngongo and Ciaran Breen had two apiece.

Pool A winner South Africa will play Hong Kong in the quarterfinals while the U.S. takes on Britain and Germany meets Vancouver runner-up Kenya.

Germany, an invited team, scored the upset of the day by beating Vancouver bronze medallist Britain 19-10 to reach a Series Cup quarterfinal for the first time.

The U.S. went unbeaten Saturday, overcoming Kenya, Spain and Chile to win Pool B. Ireland secured top spot in pool C with two wins and a draw.

Canada is fielding a new-look team at the Vancouver and Edmonton events.

Co-captains Nate Hirayama and Harry Jones along with Connor Braid, Justin Douglas and Conor Trainor have retired in the wake of the recent Tokyo Games, where the men finished eighth in their Olympic debut. 

Other players are taking time off in advance of the 2022 season. 

Berna, Jake Thiel and Andrew Coe are the only Olympians on the current Canadian squad although Morra has also played in the World Series. Thiel is serving as the team’s vice-captain. 

Due to the pandemic, the World Series ground to a halt after the Canadian men finished third in Vancouver in March 2020. The men got in six of 10 planned tournaments and the women five of eight before the schedule stalled. A women’s event in Langford, B.C., scheduled for early May last year was one of the tournaments cancelled. 

Only seven of the men’s core teams are taking part in the Canadian events with New Zealand, Fiji, Australia, Argentina, Japan, France and Samoa among those missing due to pandemic-related travel restrictions. 

Like Vancouver, Edmonton has a four-team women’s competition that features Canada, Britain, Mexico and the U.S. 

Canada will face the U.S. in Sunday’s semifinal after drawing 26-26 in the opening match of the day. The Canadian women also defeated Mexico 40-12 and played to a 7-7 tie with Britain, the winners in Vancouver who will face Mexico in the other semifinal.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 25, 2021

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Judge says unvaccinated prospective jurors in sex assault trial will be excused

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CALGARY — An Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench justice has ruled that prospective jurors in an upcoming sexual assault trial in Calgary will be excused if they’re not vaccinated against COVID-19.

Justice N.E. Devlin wrote in his ruling Thursday that allowing unvaccinated people to serve on the jury could unfairly compromise the health of other jurors, court staff and anyone else connected with the trial.

Further, Devlin said an unvaccinated juror could be a distraction to other jurors by causing them to fear for their health, and he said a juror who developed symptoms could scupper the entire proceedings.

A recent decision in Ontario saw an Ottawa judge rule that all jurors participating in a murder trial would need to be fully inoculated with two doses of vaccine.

But a Quebec Superior Court judge ruled earlier this month that a juror did not need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to participate in a Montreal fraud trial, citing privacy concerns and jury representativeness in his ruling.

Devlin, however, wrote that during juror selection for the sexual assault trial in Calgary this week, the “handful” of people who were not fully vaccinated “spanned the age, gender, and ethnic spectrum” and that excusing them would not reduce the jury’s representativeness.

“Factually, I am satisfied that vaccination is a safe and highly effective means of preventing the spread of the coronavirus, the development of COVID 19 infections, and severe illness in those who do become infected,” Devlin wrote.

“The public and judicial resources dedicated to a jury trial are both scarce and precious, especially right now. Needlessly increasing the risk that a trial run under these circumstances is aborted due to a COVID 19 infection would bring the administration of justice into disrepute in the eyes of the public.” 

A decision from B.C. Supreme Court last month did not allow the Crown to ask jurors questions about their vaccination status, citing privacy.

Devlin wrote that “judicial discretion to safeguard the proper administration of justice is paramount over any provincial privacy legislation.”

He noted that when he asked whether unvaccinated jurors should be excused from serving, neither the Crown nor the accused took a position.

In the Quebec case, Justice Mario Longpre noted that provincial jury law only allows those with mental incapacity or impairment to be exempted.

Longpre wrote that Quebec law, unlike Ontario’s, does not permit jurors to be disqualified by reason of physical incapacity “even if it were to be concluded that the fact of not being adequately vaccinated constitutes such an incapacity.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 25, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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