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Parker Thompson, clearly establishing himself as one of Canada’s young motorsport stars


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From Exclusive Autosport


Top-five finishes highlighted by late-race recoveries maintain momentum

 Canada’s Exclusive Autosport brought their USF2000 and Pro Mazda programs to the iconic Road America facility in late June, fueled by the momentum of strong outings during the month of May in Indianapolis. Championship leader Parker Thompson showed why he is considered a primary up-and-coming Canadian motorsports star, as he delivered a pair of performances that turned potential loss into huge gains in the fight for the title in the Pro Mazda Championship Presented by Cooper Tires. The Red Deer, Alberta standout made late-race surges in both main events of the doubleheader on the four-mile track in Wisconsin, passing both of his primary championship challengers to extend his lead to 46 points with a pair of fourth-place finishes. Parker’s rookie teammate Antonio Serravalle, from Unionville, Ontario, made his debut at the challenging track and logged crucial experience, scoring a top finish of 12th.

“We had a bit of a difficult weekend in Pro Mazda, where I feel we ran into a little bit of bad luck,” offered Michael Duncalfe, Exclusive Autosport Team Principal. “However, we showed how strong the EA Pro Mazda car is and Parker showed how talented he is behind the wheel – overcoming adversity and charging through the pack to bring home two fourth place finishes, ultimately extending our championship lead. Antonio did a good job this weekend also. He was only able to complete one day of testing at Road America prior to racing here. That said, I think he did a really good job. Not only is this his first year in cars, he is having to learn every circuit for the first time.  Although we didn’t achieve the results we wanted to, he continues to develop at an incredibly rapid rate. I look forward to seeing him continue to develop as the season progresses.”

The Pro Mazda component of the MRTI schedule for Road America featured a Thursday-to-Saturday run, and both Thompson and Serravalle took to the track for practice and qualifying on the opening day of action.  Coming off a successful test at the track the week prior, both drivers had a baseline from which to improve. Thompson topped the Thursday practice session, and then qualified second for the first of two races. For Race 2, Parker was fifth in the order after a late red flag prevented him from making a run at the pole. Serravalle qualified 13th for both races.

At the start of Race 1, Thompson fell back to sixth position throughout a frenetic opening lap, and then went to work from there.  Parker had his primary title challengers directly in front of him, and eventually made his way past Juncos Racing’s Carlos Cunha for fifth. Thompson then chased down Rinus VeeKay for the remainder of the race, making a bold last lap pass in Canada Corner to take fourth. With the pass, Parker extended his championship lead by two points. Serravalle completed the race to gain much-needed track time at Road America, finishing 13th in the final tally.

The second race of the weekend featured chaos from the green flag. An incident in turn five on the opening lap could have easily put Thompson on the sidelines, as he was sandwiched by the RP Motorsports Racing drivers as everyone fought for racing room. Parker’s PM-18 emerged unscathed as the race went to a full course caution. On the ensuing restart, Thompson was again drilled by a competitor, who had been hit from behind, pushing him off-line in turn one.  Again, the Exclusive Autosport machine continued unaffected, lighting a fire under the 20-year-old, who had dropped to 13th. Parker began his march forward, reeling in and moving past his competition before setting up a pass on VeeKay for fourth.  Thompson closed on Harrison Scott for third over the final laps, but just ran out of time. That move extended his championship lead by another three points over VeeKay, while he added yet another point by turning the fast lap of the race. Serravalle turned in a clean race, finishing 12th.

Exclusive Autosport, which celebrates its Canadian ownership by referring to itself as the ‘Eh Team’ is now thrilled to be planning its only trip north of the border for their ‘home’ race.  Although the team is based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the Toronto Indy is their defacto home race and the event is already in the team history book as the site of their first Mazda Road to Indy win. Thompson swept both USF2000 races on the streets last year, and he’ll be focused on further extending his championship lead when the team arrives for the July 13-15 event. It will also be the home race for Serravalle, who lives just outside Toronto in the suburb of Unionville.

Exclusive Autosport is pleased to be able to partner with great companies, such as AERO™ Advanced Paint Technology (, which is used on all their race cars.



PRO MAZDA – ROUNDS 8/9 – JUNE 21-24, 2018



Qualifying 1: 2nd – 2:00.826

Qualifying 2: 5th – 2:00.386

Race 1: Start – 2nd / Finish – 4th

Race 2: Start – 5th / Finish – 4th

Parker Thompson Quote: “Looking back at our Road America race week gets me fired up. We had such a fast race car, and yet no results to show for it. Nothing feels worse as a racecar driver then when you have a car to win a race, and you come home without stopping in victory lane. Unfortunately, some of our troubles were out of our control, like a fluke red flag late in our second qualifying session. But it still feels all the same. I am proud of how we salvaged points though. We kept the big picture in mind, and when the going got tough, I managed to drive from dead last to fourth. I’ll be carrying that intensity into the most important race of the year for me, my home race on the streets of Toronto!”


Qualifying 1: 13th – 2:03.088

Qualifying 2: 13th – 2:02.554

Race 1: Start – 13th / Finish 13th

Race 2: Start – 13th / Finish 12th

Driver Quote: “I’m trying to learn these tracks with very little time to practice but Road America is almost double the length of a normal track and we just didn’t have enough time on this track to be super competitive there. I’m looking forward to my home track race in Toronto.”


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City of Red Deer

City introduces new phone number to report non-emergency mental health, addiction, or homeless issues

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New streamlined way to reach Red Deer’s Social Diversion Team

Since launching in 2021, the Social Diversion Team (SDT) has been responding to calls throughout Red Deer for individuals in need of non-emergency support, whether experiencing mental health struggles, addictions issues, or homelessness.

Beginning March 1, 2024, the community will need to call the non-emergency police line at 403-406-2200 to connect with the Social Diversion Team. This move from the previous 2-1-1 call line will improve the caller’s ability to quickly connect with a Police Communications Operator who can quickly determine the nature of the call and dispatch the appropriate resources in a timely and efficient manner.

“This change simplifies calling and dispatching the Social Diversion Team,” said Peter Puszka, Municipal Policing Services Superintendent. “Red Deerians now need to remember only one contact number for all non-emergency community safety concerns and our experienced, well-trained Police Communications Operators can assess the circumstances of the call, determine which resource is appropriate and dispatch accordingly.”

Though the Alberta 2-1-1 has been the dispatching service since the onset of the program, the move to internal dispatching will simplify the call-in process, removing barriers like pre-recorded messaging and on-hold wait times, improve internal communication between the dispatchers and the responding Social Diversion Team, and allow for operators with local community knowledge to provide enhanced response.

While the phone number has changed, all other elements of the program remain the same. The two-person Social Diversion Team consists of a Licensed Practical Nurse and a Social Diversion Specialist, who respond to reports of individuals in distress. The team connects clients with the social services they need, such as housing supports, mental health supports, detox programs and harm reduction resources.

“We are excited to continue providing individuals with the right response at the right time,” says Ryan Veldkamp, Social Wellness & Integration Supports Superintendent. “We know that not every call is an emergency call, and that’s why the Social Diversion Team is the right choice for these situations where individuals are in crisis. The team continues to allow our first responders to concentrate on responding to critical medical emergencies and criminal matters.”

In its three years of operation, the SDT has averaged a response rate of 185 events per month or approximately 6 calls a day. The teams use their specialized training to provide assessment, intervention and support to those in need.

Stephanie MacDonald, Outreach and Housing Services Manager for Safe Harbour Society said, “The Social Diversion Team is very excited for this change over and believes that this will allow for a more effective and timely response.”

While the SDT continues to operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., 7 days a week, the 24/7 non-

emergency line will dispatch the SDT based on their availability, or utilize other policing and medical services when they are not.

To learn more about the Social Diversion Team, visit

When Should I call the Social Diversion Team?

If you see someone who is:

  • Experiencing a mental health or medical (non-emergency) crisis
  • Intoxicated or otherwise impaired
  • Requiring transport to appropriate services (i.e. a shelter)
  • Sleeping in an unsafe space and/or inappropriately dressed for the weather
  • Requiring social services (i.e. housing, nutrition, health or community supports)
  • Likely to come to harm without intervention

And the individual is not posing an immediate harm to themselves or others, call 403-406-2200

The team’s hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. However, the non-emergency (403-406-2200) line is operated 24/7. Outside of the Social Diversion team operating hours, callers will be provided with either a community referral, crisis intervention support, connected to 911, or offered a follow-up.

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$13 million for RDP’s Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing-Technology Access Centre in Alberta Budget

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Provincial funding to expand RDP’s Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing (CIM-TAC) will significantly boost applied learning and research opportunities

Expansion of Red Deer Polytechnic’s nationally recognized Technology Access Centre will provide more than 2,400 students direct and indirect innovative learning opportunities by 2030.

Red Deer Polytechnic (RDP) is celebrating a significant capital investment of $13 million by the provincial government to expand RDP’s Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing-Technology
Access Centre (CIM-TAC). The funding was announced today as part of the Government of Alberta’s 2024 budget.

“Red Deer Polytechnic is playing a critical role supporting technological innovation while creating opportunities for students. That’s why Alberta’s Government is making a strategic investment to expand the CIM-TAC and give RDP even greater capacity to train apprentices and help sectors across our economy remain competitive,” says the Hon. Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Advanced Education.

“We thank the Government of Alberta for the $13 million provided in Budget 2024 to expand our Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing–Technology Access Centre (CIM-TAC). This funding will help create new and innovative teaching and learning spaces at Red Deer Polytechnic, while expanding our applied research capacity to support Alberta based companies,” said Stuart Cullum, President of Red Deer Polytechnic.

“Because of this investment, Alberta based manufacturers across multiple sectors will have greater ability to develop, test and scale their ideas, while RDP students will be engaged at the forefront of made-in-Alberta technologies and manufacturing solutions. This expanded and enhanced innovation ecosystem will enhance productivity and social impact within our province,” said Cullum.

Students in a breadth of RDP’s programs and disciplines already benefit from education and skills-training opportunities within the CIM-TAC each year, through project work, internships, and workshops. The expanded CIM-TAC is anticipated to provide direct learning opportunities to 450 post-secondary students and indirect learning opportunities to an additional 2,000 students by 2030. These opportunities will afford RDP’s students direct interaction with community and industry partners to tackle real-world challenges in manufacturing and
advanced manufacturing. Additionally, over 500 junior and senior high school students will benefit from experiential learning within the CIM-TAC as part of dual-credit opportunities afforded through the Central Alberta Collegiate Institute (CACI).

RDP is Alberta’s third largest provider of skilled trades education. Learners enrolled in RDP’s apprenticeship and technology programs are among those who will benefit from the CIM-TAC expansion as this capital investment will support unique training opportunities.

“With the expansion of Red Deer Polytechnic’s CIM-TAC, our students will gain unparalleled access to advanced manufacturing technologies and immersive learning spaces. Students will have the hands-on experience and expertise needed to excel in the modern manufacturing sector. This expansion underscores our commitment to providing students with the tools and skills necessary to become industry-ready professionals, ensuring they emerge as highly sought-after innovators and contributors to Alberta’s economic prosperity,” says David Pye, Dean, RDP’s School of Trades and Technology.

The provincial Government’s $13 million investment in RDP’s CIM-TAC complements the recently announced historic $20 million gift to RDP from the Donald Family that will establish the Donald Family Institute for Healthtech Innovation. This parallel public and private funding support will be a game-changer for post-secondary training in central Alberta, in particular for healthcare providers and healthtech innovators.

“As RDP’s CIM-TAC grows capacity, it will undoubtedly provide new ways for students and faculty to engage in education and applied research with external health practitioners and researchers in this unique innovation ecosystem. Our students will have even more opportunities to gain valuable skills that prepare them for successful careers while also making meaningful contributions to Alberta’s healthcare sector,” says Heather Dirks, Interim Dean, RDP’s School of Health and Wellness.

Red Deer Polytechnic’s expansion plans for the CIM-TAC are in alignment with the Government of Alberta’s economic and social priorities, including the Ministry of Advanced Education’s 2030: Skills for Jobs Strategy.

This strategy outlines a need to increase student access, build capacity for skills training in technology and trades, and support research and commercialization through the post-secondary sector.

“As one of Canada’s Top 50 Research Polytechnics and Colleges, we already make a significant positive impact across our province and country,” says Dr. Tonya Wolfe, Associate Vice President, Applied Research.

“The future is very bright as we plan for the expansion of our Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing-Technology Access Centre. This means we can create even more impact in productivity in the manufacturing sector through collaboration between students, faculty and industry that help people solve challenges in their daily lives.”

The overall cost of the capital expansion of the CIM-TAC is projected to be approximately $21.3 million. This includes the $13 million provided by the Government of Alberta in Budget 2024, with $4.8 million in capital and equipment provided through Government of Canada grants, and $3.5 million from Red Deer Polytechnic’s own reserves. Construction on Red Deer Polytechnic’s CIM-TAC expansion is anticipated to begin in the fall of 2024.

Quick Facts:
• Red Deer Polytechnic’s expanded CIM-TAC will support a variety of sectors through advanced
manufacturing capabilities including energy innovation, transportation, aviation and agriculture. The Centre will also support RDP’s future expansion into more medical device manufacturing and healthcare innovations to support both patients and providers.
• RDP’s expansion of the CIM-TAC will grow the facility’s footprint from 15,000 square feet to
25,000 square feet.
• The CIM-TAC currently houses $7.6 million of advanced manufacturing equipment. As the facility expands, so too will RDP’s capacity to house additional technologies and equipment used for product development, advanced manufacturing and medical device manufacturing.
• In 2022, Red Deer Polytechnic attracted more than $2 million in applied research investment. RDP also completed 64 projects for 57 companies and participated in more than 1,300 engagements with industry partners.
• Since the CIM-TAC’s inception in 2009, Red Deer Polytechnic has supported more than 300 industry partners (including repeat clients).

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