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Red Deer Man Dies In Crash, Live Music & The Downtown Market!

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2:59 pm – Red Deer RCMP continue to see an increase in the number of stolen identity documents they are seizing during arrests and warn the public to take care to protect their identity, their bank and credit cards and their credit rating by not leaving wallets, purses or any personal documentation in vehicles and by checking their mail daily. Read More.

2:50 pm – City crews are still hard at work clearing hazardous trees and debris from parks and trails throughout Red Deer after the June 20th windstorm. Read More.

2:32 pm – Whether you’re a business owner, someone in the sign industry, or a member of the public, you will want to come to an open house on the review of sign regulations in Red Deer on Tuesday, July 11th. Read More.

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2:27 pm – The City of Red Deer’s Rip’n Rec Summer pass gives kids and youth 6 – 17 years old unlimited rides on Red Deer Transit, anywhere at any time and unlimited access to drop in activities at City rec centres for only $50. Read More.

2:15 pm – Kenny Shields and Streetheart, who were set to perform on Thursday, July 20 at Westerner Days Fair & Exposition, have cancelled their entire 2017 tour. In a statement released today, July 5, the band announced that they will be cancelling the remainder of their 2017 tour due to illness. A replacement has yet to be confirmed. Read Band Statement Here.

2:11 pm – Experienced and amateur artists from across Alberta and beyond will soon arrive at Red Deer College to immerse themselves in week-long visual arts courses. From July 10 to August 4, participants will enjoy personal growth and professional development as they pursue their crafts in a wide variety of mediums. Read More.

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10:12 am – A 59 year old Red Deer man is dead after the minivan he was driving struck the back of a semi parked along the northbound lanes of the QE2 around 1:00 am this morning. It happened near Township Road 312 south of Didsbury. Traffic was diverted for a period of time but has since returned to normal. No name has been released.

9:58 am – Heads up Innisfail drivers! Due to the installation of electrical conduit, there will be some road closures throughout town today. Read More.

9:18 am – How about some live music while you shop at the Downtown Market today? Here is whose on tap for the Ross Street Patio from 4:30 – 6:30 pm!

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9:10 am – You can find farm fresh food including meat, fresh vegetables and fruit, baked goods and handmade items at the accredited Farmer’s Market in downtown Red Deer today. It runs from 3:30 – 6:30 pm. Details Here.

9:00 am – RCMP are asking for the public’s help with any information regarding a break-in and robbery at the CIBC in Olds on July 3rd. Mounties say it happened around 4:00 am in the Mountain View Plaza where the suspects broke into a neighbouring business to gain access into the bank. An undisclosed amount of cash was then stolen from an ATM. If you have any tips on this incident, contact Crime Stoppers or call the Olds RCMP detachment at 403-556-3323.

8:45 am Free live music at the Alexander Way Parklet today from 11:30 am – 1:00 pm! Read More.

For more local news, click here!

8:35 am – Red Deer RCMP are thanking the public for their help in locating 60 year old Elaine Tirrell who was previously reported missing.

8:25 am – Road construction and the Downtown Market will mean traffic disruptions in various parts of the city today. Details Here.

8:18 am – New Live-Action Adventure Brings Entertainment One’s Hit Animated TV Series to Life in the ENMAX Centrium at Westerner Park December 13th, with an exclusive pre-sale beginning July 5th at 10:00 am. Read More!

For more local news, click here!

Economy

CFIB urges Ottawa to reverse trucker vaccine rule amid driver shortage, higher costs

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TORONTO — Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses is urging the federal government to reverse its policy banning unvaccinated truck drivers from entering Canada.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says the vaccine mandate is creating supply shortages and driving up shipping costs.

CFIB president Dan Kelly says businesses were already facing a major supply chain crunch and price increases on everything from fuel to building materials.

He says Ottawa’s border policy threatens to exacerbate those issues at a time when small businesses can’t handle any additional costs or uncertainty.

The CFIB represents 95,000 small- and medium-sized enterprises in Canada, including roughly 500 in the trucking sector.

The business group says the transportation industry has been one of the hardest hit by labour shortages, with a recent survey finding 68 per cent of businesses in the sector are unable to hire enough staff.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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National

Ottawa police contact trucker convoy leaders

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Ottawa police say they have been in touch with leaders of a trucker convoy over weekend protest plans in the capital and are getting ready for several scenarios.

Chief Peter Sloly told the police services board Wednesday that he is working with the RCMP and intelligence bodies to prepare for the protests against a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for cross-border truckers.

Sloly said the convoy organizers have been co-operative in telling police about their plans for the protest, which he predicts could last several days, but the situation is evolving rapidly.

Deputy Chief Steve Bell said police are “tracing parallel groups” that are preparing to join the truckers, as well as counter-protesters, and are monitoring social media.

Ottawa police estimate there could be up to 2,000 demonstrators, but this number is shifting quickly, and warn residents against travelling downtown during the event.

Sloly said while police support the right to peaceful protest, officers will be prepared to move protesters out of the demonstration zone should the situation become violent or threatening.

Some supporters of the convoy, including some Conservative MPs, have taken to social media to warn the vaccine mandate for truckers will leave store shelves empty. Some have gone so far as to predict Canadians will starve.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra has assured Canadians there’s no reason to fear food shortages will result from a small minority of truck drivers refusing to comply with the vaccine mandate.

In an interview, Alghabra said the large grocery store chains and other retailers have assured him they have plenty of goods to provide their customers, despite some labour shortages and supply chain bottlenecks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moreover, he said there’s been no “measurable impact” on the number of trucks crossing the border since the vaccine mandate went into effect on Jan. 15. Last week, he said almost 100,000 trucks crossed the border — about the same as usual for this time of year.

“I don’t want to minimize the fact that we have to remain vigilant and work together to address these issues (of supply chain disruptions),” Alghabra told The Canadian Press, adding he plans to hold a summit on the issue with retailers on Monday.

“But this notion that we’re going to starve is really unfortunate and does disservice to Canadians, to Canadian society and to the debate that we need to be having.”

Others with more extreme, far-right views have latched onto the protest. One online video includes a man expressing hope the rally will turn into the Canadian equivalent of the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former president Donald Trump.

Donald Trump Jr. took to social media Tuesday to endorse the Canadian truck convoy’s fight against “tyranny” and to urge Americans to follow suit.

A group called Canada Unity is organizing the movement, which its members refer to as the “freedom convoy.”

A “memorandum of understanding,” posted on the Canada Unity website, says its coalition is opposed to restrictions and mandates related to COVID-19, rules it deems are “unconstitutional, discriminatory and segregating.”

The memorandum’s goal, it says, is to form a committee with the Senate and Governor General that would override all levels of Canadian government to stop the use of vaccine passports, waive fines linked to COVID-19 and reinstate employees who were fired for breaking COVID-19 rules.

If the Senate and Governor General refuse to join such a committee, the group says they should “resign their lawful positions of authority immediately.”

Carissima Mathen, a professor of law at the University of Ottawa, said seeking to override all levels of government policy would not work, because the body who initially put the policy in place must be the one to reverse it. Alternatively, that policy could be undone by Parliament passing a law.

Mathen, who specializes in the Constitution, added the Governor General has very little involvement with the legal system in Canada.

Alghabra said he is “concerned about the small number of far-right, vocal opposition that is polluting much of our political debate.”

“It’s something that we all need to be aware of, we all need to call out,” he said.

“But at the same time, let’s not lose sight of this, that the vast majority of Canadians are vaccinated, the vast majority of truckers are vaccinated. Truckers as you and I are speaking today are delivering goods for Canadians.”

The Canadian Trucking Alliance has estimated that about 15 per cent of truckers — as many as 16,000 — are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19. It has strongly denounced any protests on public roadways, highways and bridges and has urged all truckers to get inoculated.

Alghabra said representatives of large grocery chains and other retailers have assured him the truckers’ vaccine mandate has had no measurable impact on their ability to stock their shelves.

“They are offended and hurt by this perception that people are trying to create that they are not able to deliver for their customers.”

Alghabra took particular aim at Conservative MPs, some of whom have offered full-throated support for the truck convoy. Some Conservatives have posted pictures of empty grocery store shelves, at least one of which turned out to be a stock photo of a British store.

“It’s irresponsible for anybody to spread fear … for political gains,” Alghabra said.

A day after refusing to say whether he supported the truck convoy heading to Ottawa, Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole appeared in a Facebook live event Tuesday evening to say he understands why many truckers, especially independent ones, are upset.

“You can understand why there’s some frustration and why people are protesting,” O’Toole said.

On Wednesday, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business also urged the federal government to reverse its vaccination policy for truckers. The organization represents 95,000 small- and medium-sized businesses, including about 500 in the trucking sector.

Earlier, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce had urged the government to give truckers more time to get vaccinated while the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition has also called for the vaccine mandate to be scrapped entirely.

But Alghabra said it would accomplish nothing to postpone or scrap the requirement that truckers entering Canada be fully immunized, since the United States has imposed the same requirement on truckers entering that country.

“It won’t really make a difference. The U.S. has a mandate,” he said.

The best way to end supply chain disruptions is to end the pandemic and the best way to do that is to get vaccinated, which is what the vaccine mandate is all about, he argued.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2022.

— With files from Stephanie Taylor and Erika Ibrahim

Marie Woolf and Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press

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