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Police, security stand by: Protests planned at Alberta hospitals against COVID rules

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CALGARY — Alberta Health Services has strengthened its security ahead of planned protests expected to take place outside of several hospitals this afternoon against COVID-19 measures. 

The health provider says in a statement posted to social media that protective services staff have been added at the sites to help patients and staff enter and exit safely. 

It says fencing has been added around the hospitals to provide a “safe space” and police forces have been contacted.

The Calgary Police Service says it is working with protest organizers, who are to demonstrate outside the Foothills Medical Centre, to lay out expectations for the rally. 

The force says in a statement that it will not tolerate any behaviour that hinders people from entering or leaving the hospital and will have officers there to monitor — with backup available, if needed. 

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, Justice Minister Kaycee Madu and Alberta Health Services have all been critical of hospital protests planned in cities across the country.

“While Canadians are entitled to peaceful protest, one can still question the appalling judgment of those protesting across the country today,” Kenney said in a statement Monday. 

“It is outrageous that a small minority feel it’s appropriate to protest at hospitals during the pandemic, while our health-care workers continue to tirelessly battle the global menace of COVID-19.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 13, 2021.

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Alberta

Veteran Canadian rider Mario Deslauriers wins Spruce Meadows Grand Prix

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CALGARY — Canada’s Mario Deslauriers and Bardolina 2 posted two clear rounds Saturday to take the Queen Elizabeth II Cup Grand Prix at Spruce Meadows.

In a jump-off with Mexico’s Carlos Hank Guerreiro and Australian Katie Laurie, Deslauriers and the 12-year-old mare didn’t put a rail down and topped the leaderboard with a time of 53.05 seconds.

Deslauriers said Bardolina 2 can be difficult to ride, but she was on her game Saturday in Calgary.

“Today, she jumped incredible,” Deslauriers said. “She was straight like an arrow and she jumped beautiful.”

Deslauriers and Bardolina 2 were Canada’s lone show jumping entry in the summer’s Tokyo Olympics where the duo placed 22nd.

“She was very good I think in the medal round (there),” Deslauriers said. “She had two fences down that were very cheap, but overall she jumped super well.

“Before she came here, she had to do three weeks quarantine because I was over my limit when I came back from Europe.

“Really, I jumped her one time at home, she got in the truck and came here, so I think she’s matured a lot. I can count on her. I don’t need to practise so much any more.”

Deslauriers, 56, is from Saint-Jean, Que., but lives in New York.

The North American is the last of three September tournaments totalling $5.6 million in prize money.

Spruce Meadows resumed hosting international show jumping events after a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 18, 2021.

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Alberta

Mother and child lived in same complex as man charged in their murders: Alberta RCMP

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HINTON, Alta. — RCMP in Alberta say a man charged in the deaths of a woman and her 16-month-old toddler lived in the same apartment complex as the victims, but otherwise had no connection to them.

Police say in a news release that Robert Keith Major, 53, from Hinton, Alta., has been charged with two counts of second-degree murder and one count of indignity to human remains.

Mounties in Hinton have said the bodies of the 24-year-old woman and her child were found after they’d been reported missing on Thursday night from the community 290 kilometres west of Edmonton.

Police say they are not releasing the names of the woman and child out of respect for the wishes of the family, adding the family has asked for privacy to grieve.

They say they are not seeking any other suspects in the case.

Major remains in custody and will appear in Edson provincial court on Tuesday.

Autopsies are taking place Saturday and Sunday, police say.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 18, 2021.

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