From ALERT – Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team
Project Evolve Dismantles Drug Trafficking Network
Eleven people have been arrested for their alleged role in a drug trafficking network, which operated in the Edmonton area and extended into the Bowden Institution.
Project Evolve was a lengthy and multi-faceted investigation led by ALERT’s Edmonton’s organized crime team, with the assistance of Correctional Service Canada, St. Albert RCMP, Morinville RCMP, Innisfail RCMP, Edmonton Police Service, and Winnipeg Police Service.
“I want to sincerely thank law enforcement for their incredible job in disrupting a significant drug trafficking network within Alberta’s correctional system,” said Kaycee Madu, Alberta Minister of Justice and Solicitor General. “ALERT has done a remarkable job partnering with federal, provincial and municipal law enforcement to remove deadly drugs like fentanyl from our prisons. This kind of organized criminal activity has no place in the correctional system.”
A total of 60 criminal charges have been laid against 11 suspects allegedly involved in trafficking drugs in the Edmonton area. ALERT alleges the network conspired to smuggle drugs into the prison system and had established connections to Bowden Institution.
Project Evolve resulted in the seizure of drugs and cash worth an estimated $300,000. Search warrants were executed at homes in St. Albert and Edmonton, with the following evidence being seized:
- 35 grams of fentanyl;
- 88 grams of methamphetamine;
- 620 grams of cocaine;
- 1,341 grams of a cocaine buffing agent;
- 1,745 grams of cannabis;
- a handgun with its serial number removed; and
- $206,000 cash.
“This was a very well-organized, well-coordinated group. Their drug activities jeopardized community safety and hurt communities big and small,” said Staff Sgt. Blayne Eliuk, ALERT Edmonton. “And by introducing drugs into the prison system, this substantially put the health and safety of not only inmates, but also corrections staff and officers, at risk.”
“Organized crime groups who traffic in illicit drugs destroy lives, homes and communities. Drugs and drug addiction contribute to spinoff crimes such as theft and break-and-enters, which result in citizens feeling less safe. Investigations such as this are a positive step towards reducing crime in St. Albert and keeping the community safe,” added Const. M-J Burroughs, St. Albert RCMP.
“I’d like to thank ALERT and my team at Bowden Institution for their combined efforts on Project Evolve. Partnerships such as this one between ALERT and Correctional Service Canada demonstrate intergovernmental departments working together to keep Canadians safe,” said Lawrence Hartigan, Warden of Bowden Institution.
Project Evolve concluded on December 17, 2020, with several arrests:
- David Klassen, a 31-year-old man, currently incarcerated;
- Nicolas Moores, a 29-year-old man from Edmonton;
- Garreth Curry-McCallum, a 23-year-old man from St. Albert;
- Jesse Riedlhuber, a 23-year-old man from Morinville;
- Brendan Baer, a 23-year-old man from St. Albert;
- Tyler Kemps, a 25-year-old man from Edmonton;
- Nolan Arndt, a 24-year-old man from St. Albert;
- Tyler Willimont, a 24-year-old man from Edmonton;
- Jessa Brianne Ivicak, a 23-year-old woman from Edmonton;
- Kolby Gordon, a 23-year-old man from St. Albert; and
- Chayce Anthony Krause, a 26-year-old man, currently incarcerated.
Both Klassen and Krause were incarcerated at Bowden Institution during the course of the investigation. Moores is currently serving a federal sentence under the jurisdiction of the Correctional Service Canada as the result of a conviction from a previous and unrelated ALERT investigation.
A full list of charges is available for download here.
Project Evolve began in June 2019.
Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.
ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.
Danielle Smith: Just ‘watch me’ protect Alberta from federal restrictions on oil, gas production
‘That is what the Sovereignty Act was about, sending the indication that we’re simply not going to comply with federal rules around this’
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith warned the federal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to “watch me” over how she will shield her province from economic damage and high fuel prices after the feds announced a plan to cut oil and gas production by a third via an “emissions” reduction scheme by 2030.
“You’ll just have to watch me if you don’t believe me. That is what the Sovereignty Act was about, sending the indication that we’re simply not going to comply with federal rules around this,” Smith said while speaking to reporters at the United Nations’ COP28 climate confab on Thursday.
Smith warned that the Trudeau government is risking a full-blown “constitutional crisis” over what she said are “economic sanctions” on Alberta because of Trudeau’s oil and gas production cut.
On Thursday, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault unveiled a plan at COP28 to slash oil and gas emissions by 35% to 38% below 2019 levels. He claimed that Canada needs to reach “carbon neutrality in Canada by 2050.”
Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson claimed that the federal government’s new rules are needed to keep the planet from “burning up.”
Smith agreed to attend COP28 to paint her province in a positive light and to promote its oil and gas industry in direct opposition to the Trudeau feds. She said Alberta and Canada are under attack by the Trudeau government and his “eco-extremist,” admitted socialist environment minister.
Smith issued a joint statement with Alberta Minister of Environment and Protected Areas Minister Rebecca Schulz on Thursday that said the Trudeau government’s new rules amount to a “de facto production cap on Alberta’s oil and gas sector” that is an “an intentional attack by the federal government on the economy of Alberta and the financial well-being of millions of Albertans and Canadians.”
“Alberta owns our resources and under the constitution we have the exclusive jurisdiction to develop and manage them,” Smith said.
“We have done so responsibly by setting a price on carbon as far back as 2007, developing a carbon offset and trading program (TIER), investing billions in commercial scale carbon capture, creating an innovation fund that has so far supported 260 emissions reducing projects with $2.6 billion in grants.”
My joint statement on the Federal government’s proposed emissions cap on Alberta’s oil and gas sector with Minister Environment and Protected Areas Minister Rebecca Schulz:
Today’s announced de facto production cap on Alberta’s oil and gas sector amounts to an intentional attack… pic.twitter.com/mNR69saHkP
— Danielle Smith (@ABDanielleSmith) December 7, 2023
Smith noted that Alberta has its own plan for “reaching carbon neutrality across our entire economy by 2050,” which may or may not come to fruition.
She then took a shot at Guilbeault, calling him an “eco-extremist” whose ideals are “threatening the jobs of hundreds of thousands of Albertans.”
“Ironically, they are also significantly undercutting global emissions reduction efforts by effectively de-incentivizing capital investment by the oil and gas sector in the emissions-reducing technologies and fuels the world needs Alberta to develop and share,” she said.
Earlier this week, Guilbeault announced at COP28 his first attack on the oil and gas sector via a methane emissions cap. Smith blasted his new rules as “unrealistic” and “unconstitutional.”
The Trudeau government is trying to force net-zero regulations on all Canadian provinces, notably on electricity generation, as early as 2035. His government has also refused to extend a carbon tax exemption on heating fuels to all provinces, allowing only Atlantic provinces this benefit.
Trudeau’s current environmental goals are in lockstep with the United Nations’ “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and include phasing out coal-fired power plants, reducing fertilizer usage, and curbing natural gas use over the coming decades.
The reduction and eventual elimination of the use of so-called “fossil fuels” and a transition to unreliable “green” energy has also been pushed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) – the globalist group behind the socialist “Great Reset” agenda – an organization in which Trudeau and some of his cabinet are involved.
Last month, after announcing she had “enough” of Trudeau’s extreme environmental rules, Smith said her province has no choice but to assert control over its electricity grid to combat federal overreach, by enacting its Sovereignty Act.” The Sovereignty Act serves to shield Albertans from future power blackouts due to federal government overreach.
Unlike most provinces in Canada, Alberta’s electricity industry is nearly fully deregulated. However, the government still has the ability to take control of it at a moment’s notice.
Guilbeault’s extreme eco-activist past
Guilbeault is as extreme as they come for an environment minister and his background shows a history of breaking the law via activism. In 1997, he joined Greenpeace and served for a time as a director and then campaign manager of its Quebec chapter for about 10 years.
He was arrested many times for environmental protests, the most famous arrest coming after an incident in 2001 when he climbed Toronto’s CN Tower with British activist Chris Holden. The pair hung a banner saying “Canada and Bush — Climate Killers.”
His extreme ideals have continued in his role as environment minister. He threatened arrest and jail time for Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe, who said that on January 1 his province will no longer collect a federally imposed carbon tax on electric heat in addition to natural gas.
Smith has repeatedly defended Alberta from Trudeau’s climate regulations and asserted Alberta’s right to control its power grid, also promising the province will not be “transitioning away” from oil and natural gas. She has called on Trudeau to replace Guilbeault because he is too “extreme.”
Alberta does have support from the Supreme Court, however, which recently sided in favor of provincial autonomy when it comes to natural resources. The Supreme Court ruled that Trudeau’s law, C-69, dubbed the “no-more pipelines” bill, is “mostly unconstitutional.” This was a huge win for Alberta and Saskatchewan, who challenged the law in court. The decision returned authority over the pipelines to provincial governments, meaning oil and gas projects headed up by the provinces should be allowed to proceed without federal intrusion.
The Trudeau government, however, seems insistent on defying the recent rulings by pushing forward with its various regulations.
Canada’s food costs expected to increase by $700 per family in 2024: report
‘When Trudeau’s carbon tax makes it more expensive for farmers to grow food and truckers to deliver food, his carbon tax makes it more expensive for families to buy food’
A new report estimates that food costs for a family of four in Canada will increase by $700 in 2024 amid the ongoing carbon tax and rising inflation.
On November 27, researchers from Dalhousie University, the University of Guelph, the University of Saskatchewan, and the University of British Columbia published Canada’s Food Price Report 2024, which reveals that food prices will only rise in 2024.
“The current rate for food price increases is within the predicted range at 5.9% according to the latest available CPI data,” the report stated. The report further revealed that the increases are expected to be less than in 2023.
According to the research, the total grocery bill for a family of four in 2024 is projected to be $16,297.20, which is a $701.79 increase from last year.
Bakery, meat, and vegetables are expected to see a 5% to 7% increase, while dairy and fruit prices are projected to ride 1-3%. Restaurant and seafood costs are estimated to increase 3-5%.
The report further revealed that, “Canadians are spending less on food this year despite inflation,” instead choosing either to buy less food or to buy poorer quality of food.
“Food retail sales data indicates a decline from a monthly spend of $261.24 per capita in August 2022 to a monthly spend of $252.89 per capita in August 2023, indicating that Canadians are reducing their expenditures on groceries, either by reducing the quantity or quality of food they are buying or by substituting less expensive alternatives,” it continued.
In addition to food prices, the report found that “household expenses like rent and utilities are also increasing year over year.”
“A recent report by TransUnion found that the average Canadian has a credit card bill of $4,000 and a 4.2% increase in household debt compared to last year, all of which are possible contributors to reduced food expenditures for Canadians,” it continued.
Canadian Taxpayer Federation Director Franco Terrazzano told LifeSiteNews, “The carbon tax makes grocery prices more expensive.”
“When Trudeau’s carbon tax makes it more expensive for farmers to grow food and truckers to deliver food, his carbon tax makes it more expensive for families to buy food,” he explained.
“The carbon tax will cost Canadian farmers $1 billion by 2030,” Terrazzano added. “The government could make groceries more affordable for Canadians by scrapping the carbon tax.”
Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre referenced the report, blaming the increased prices on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s policies, saying, “EVERYTHING is more expensive after 8 years of Trudeau. He’s not worth the cost.”
EVERYTHING is more expensive after 8 years of Trudeau.
He's not worth the cost. pic.twitter.com/0tCwaRJHwC
— Pierre Poilievre (@PierrePoilievre) December 7, 2023
The report should not come as a surprise to Canadians considering a September report by Statistics Canada revealing that food prices are rising faster than the headline inflation rate – the overall inflation rate in the country – as staple food items are increasing at a rate of 10 to 18 percent year-over-year.
Despite numerous reports indicating Canadians are experiencing financial hardship, the Trudeau government has largely ignored the pleas of those asking for help, while consistently denying their policies have any impact on inflation or the economy more broadly.
Trudeau has continued to refuse to extend the carbon tax exemption to all forms of home heating, instead only giving relief to Liberal voting provinces.
The carbon tax, framed as a way to reduce carbon emissions, has cost Canadians hundreds more annually despite rebates.
The increased costs are only expected to rise, as a recent report revealed that a carbon tax of more than $350 per tonne is needed to reach Trudeau’s net-zero goals by 2050.
Currently, Canadians living in provinces under the federal carbon pricing scheme pay $65 per tonne, but the Trudeau government has a goal of $170 per tonne by 2030.
The Trudeau government’s current environmental goals – which are in lockstep with the United Nations’ “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” – include phasing out coal-fired power plants, reducing fertilizer usage, and curbing natural gas use over the coming decades.
The reduction and eventual elimination of so-called “fossil fuels” and a transition to unreliable “green” energy has also been pushed by the World Economic Forum (WEF) – the globalist group behind the socialist “Great Reset” agenda in which Trudeau and some of his cabinet are involved.
However, some western provinces have declared they will not follow the regulations but instead focus on the wellbeing of Canadians.
Both Alberta and Saskatchewan have repeatedly promised to place the interests of their people above the Trudeau government’s “unconstitutional” demands, while consistently reminding the federal government that their infrastructures and economies depend upon oil, gas, and coal.
“We will never allow these regulations to be implemented here, full stop,” Alberta Premier Danielle Smith recently declared. “If they become the law of the land, they would crush Albertans’ finances, and they would also cause dramatic increases in electricity bills for families and businesses across Canada.”
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe has likewise promised to fight back against Trudeau’s new regulations, saying recently that “Trudeau’s net-zero electricity regulations are unaffordable, unrealistic and unconstitutional.”
“They will drive electricity rates through the roof and leave Saskatchewan with an unreliable power supply. Our government will not let the federal government do that to the Saskatchewan people,” he charged.
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