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Ottawa asks U.S. to note cannabis pardons to ensure accurate picture


4 minute read

Ottawa is encouraging Washington to take careful note of criminal pardons granted to Canadians for pot possession so that U.S. officers have the most accurate information when deciding whether to let people cross the border.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says he made the point to a receptive Kevin McAleenan, the acting U.S. secretary of homeland security, during a meeting in Washington this week.

“It is important for the records that are kept on the American side to reflect the accurate legal status of Canadians,” Goodale said in an interview.

Parliament is studying a government bill that would ease the process of obtaining a pardon for possessing a small amount of cannabis now that recreational use of the drug is legal in Canada.

Under the legislation, which is before the Senate, Canadians convicted of simple pot possession over the decades before legalization could apply for a pardon, also known as a record suspension, without the usual fee or waiting period.

The RCMP cautions that Canadians convicted of cannabis-related offences could be refused entry to the U.S., even if they have been granted pardons in Canada.

Goodale said while U.S. officials have the right to decide who enters their country, Canada wants to ensure the Americans make decisions based on comprehensive data.

“There may be old information, or it could be conflicting information,” he said. “And we just want to make sure that it’s as complete and accurate and current as it can be, so that people are not unduly or improperly impeded at the border.”

Goodale said the U.S. agreed to work with Canada on the issue.

When possession and sharing of small amounts of marijuana became legal in Canada last October, it sparked concerns that more Canadians would be questioned at the border about pot, or even turned away.

Many U.S. states allow medical or recreational use of marijuana. But it means nothing when crossing the border because cultivation, possession and distribution of the drug remain illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

The border falls under federal jurisdiction, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers can deny Canadians and other non-citizens entry on a number of marijuana-related grounds.

These include a pot conviction in the U.S. or abroad, an admission of use without a conviction, or reason to believe someone is a drug addict or involved in trafficking.

A traveller could also be turned away if the federal officer believes they will violate the Controlled Substances Act by smoking pot, even in a state like Colorado or Washington where it’s legal.

Once ruled inadmissible, a traveller might require a special waiver to enter the U.S.

Goodale said the Americans acknowledged this week that the border procedures “have worked pretty well” to date. 

“There haven’t been the lineups and the disruption that some people had expected might happen after the law was changed,” he said. “And that’s a tribute to the good work of border officials on both sides.”

—Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter

Jim Bronskill , The Canadian Press

Central Alberta

COVID second wave completely avoiding Central Alberta

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Images from the Province of Alberta  

Despite concerns over a second wave, Covid-19 cases in Central Alberta Zone remain stubbornly low.  In the last week only 12 new cases were reported in the entire region.  That despite the fact students have been back in school for the entire month.

While the City of Calgary deals with over 500 active cases, and Edmonton battles over 700 active cases, Central region is bucking the trend.  As of September 29, the entire region has a total of 21 active cases!



Currently the municipality with most cases in the Central region is Mountain View County where there are 8 active cases.  That does not include the Town of Olds which has one case.


The following information is the latest from the province regarding specific municipalities in Central Alberta.  These numbers aren’t updated as quickly as the total numbers so there are still a few cases here which are actually now recovered.  This list shows 9 cases which are now recovered.

Central Alberta Communities – Active Cases
  1. 8 – Mountain View County
  2. 7 – Red Deer (0 cases in North Red Deer)
  3. 5 – Ponoka County
  4. 3 – Red Deer County
  5. 1 – Lacombe
  6. 1 – Sylvan Lake
  7. 1 – County of Lacombe
  8. 1 – Olds
  9. 1 – Drumheller
  10. 1 – Wetaskiwin
  11. 1 – Paintearth County
  12. 0 – Beaver County
  13. 0 – Camrose
  14. 0 – Camrose County
  15. 0 – Clearwater County
  16. 0 – Flagstaff County
  17. 0 – Kneehill County
  18. 0 – Minburn County
  19. 0 – Provost County
  20. 0 – Settler County
  21. 0 – Starland County
  22. 0 – Special Areas 2
  23. 0 – Special Areas 4
  24. 0 – Two Hills County
  25. 0 – Vermillion River County
  26. 0 – MD of Wainwright
  27. 0 – Wetaskiwin County

Here are the total number of cases for the entire province including all the recoveries.

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Smiles Thru Lindsey marks an important anniversary

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This week the friends, family, and loved ones of Lindsey More marked the difficult 5th anniversary of her death.

In her memory those who love her created Smiles Thru Lindsey to raise awareness about mental health, especially for school aged youth.

“Although Lindsey lost her battle with depression, she will continue to smile and forever help change the lives of those who battle the stigma of mental health.  She will never be forgotten.”

Rick More.

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october, 2020

sat03oct9:30 am4:30 pmCharity Checkstop9:30 am - 4:30 pm MST Taylor Drive, North of 32 ST, South of 43 ST Event Organized By: The Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre