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Alberta

Province of Alberta puts criminals on notice!

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Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General

Ministers Jason Nixon, Rick Wilson and Doug Schweitzer announced further steps to combat rural crime, which includes expanded authorities and roles for Government of Alberta peace officers from the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Branch, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Branch and the Alberta Sheriffs.

From The Province of Alberta

Government announces plan to combat rural crime

The province is standing up for rural Albertans by acting on concerns to deter crime, reinforce property rights and give victims a stronger voice in the justice system.

“We are sending a strong signal to rural Albertans who have been victimized for far too long. We have listened to you. We have heard you. And we are standing with you. We want to ensure you know that we are going to do everything we can as a provincial government to help you feel safe in your communities.”

Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General

“In many ways, rural communities are the heart of this province – hard-working, salt-of-the-earth, and always ready and willing to lend a hand to a neighbour in need. It’s heartbreaking to see the scourge of criminal activity worsen in these communities over the past several years, and we need to take action. This is an issue that affects many in my own community, and it is one that I take very seriously. As we promised, our government is taking immediate steps to make sure everyone feels safe and secure in their homes and in their communities.”

Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks

Integrating provincial peace officers

In rural areas, police can be stretched across large distances, which can lead to longer response times. To help reduce response times, the government will create the Rural Alberta Provincial Integrated Defence Force – the RAPID Force – by expanding the roles and authorities of 400 peace officers in the Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Branch, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Branch and the traffic arm of the Alberta Sheriffs. The changes will allow these officers to respond to a wider range of calls and to assist the RCMP and other police services in some emergencies.

Training and related planning is underway, to have the first of these officers available to assist rural Albertans by fall 2020.

Strengthening property rights

To defend the rights of law-abiding property owners, the government will introduce changes to the Occupiers’ Liability Act.  These changes would eliminate the liability of law-abiding property owners who are protecting their property against trespasses who are, or who are believed to be, in the commission of a criminal act. This provision will be retroactive to Jan. 1, 2018.

To strengthen trespass laws and further defend property rights, planned legislation includes a proposed five-fold increase to the maximum fines for trespassing offences, with fines of up to $10,000 for a first violation and $25,000 for subsequent offences, as well as possible prison time of up to six months. Corporations that help or direct trespassers would face fines up to $200,000. In addition to these increases, a proposed change would increase the maximum amount a court can order for loss of or damage to property from $25,000 to $100,000.

The planned legislation would amend the Petty Trespass Act to add explicit references to better capture land used for crops, animal-rearing and bee-keeping.

A proposed biosecurity regulation under the Animal Health Act would create offences and penalties for people who enter agricultural operations without authorization or encourage others to do so. Such incidents can introduce disease and threaten the welfare of animals.

Cracking down on metal theft

Government has proclaimed the Scrap Metal Dealers and Recyclers Identification Act to deter metal theft by making it more difficult for criminals to monetize stolen material by selling it for scrap.

Metal theft is a significant public safety risk. Thieves terrify property owners by trespassing and stealing materials such as copper wire and industrial batteries and frequently damage and interfere with critical systems like electrical lines, telecommunications cables and transportation infrastructure.

Criminals often steal metal from property owners and critical infrastructure in isolated areas to avoid detection. This has also made rural Albertans a target of trespassers and thieves looking for metal.

The Scrap Metal Dealers and Recyclers Identification Act was passed in 2012, but never proclaimed. An Order in Council signed Nov. 5 puts the legislation into effect immediately.

Regulations outlining requirements on dealers and recyclers to obtain proof of identification from sellers, record and retain details of transactions and share information with law enforcement will be in place by spring 2020. There is also an immediate requirement for scrap metal dealers and recyclers to report any suspected stolen property in their possession to authorities.

A new voice for victims

Community impact statements will recognize the far-reaching effects of a crime and how an entire community can suffer harm or loss.

A new program will enable communities to take part in the sentencing of offenders by letting them submit a statement describing how the crime has affected the community as a whole – including the emotional, physical and economic impact, or fears they may have for their own security.

A community impact statement could be written on behalf of any group of people, such as those in a geographic area, diverse segments of the population, and groups affected by the crime.

Community impact statement forms will be available online in early January.

There will also be additional support for victims, via a new Restitution Recoveries Program. The program will help victims collect outstanding payments on restitution orders by giving government the authority to use enforcement measures against offenders, such as garnishing wages or seizing and selling property, as needed.

This program will reduce red tape for victims who would otherwise have to navigate the legal system and attempt to collect court-ordered restitution at their own risk, effort and expense.

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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Alberta

Alberta RCMP launches initiative to showcase positive stories

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From Alberta RCMP

In order to connect with Albertans in a new capacity, the Alberta RCMP has launched the @Albertarcmpgrc Instagram account!

Through branching out on another platform, the Alberta RCMP wants to reach more Albertans, connecting with the people we serve so in turn, they can connect with us. The Alberta RCMP is committed to providing all of the communities where we live and work with policing services that they expect and deserve.

We are proud to serve all of the communities in our jurisdictions, both rural and urban, and we are proud of the many employees who make our organization what it is today. Alberta RCMP employees are a part of the communities they serve and they are proud of the many community activities, initiatives and groups they are a part of. Instagram will give us an opportunity to showcase the great relationships we are privileged to be a part of, both on and off duty.  Alberta is where we live, work, and raise our families, and we are excited to highlight many of the great things we are a part of and see here in the province.

“There’s so much happening day-to-day in the communities across Alberta that has such a positive impact on not only the citizens we serve, but our employees in all areas of our police service.“ said Deputy Commissioner Zablocki, Commanding Officer of the Alberta RCMP, “I’m happy to be able to share with Albertans what our employees are involved with, the passion they have to serve communities, and to learn about how all levels of the Alberta RCMP are working together with citizens to make their communities resilient, safe and secure.”

Followers can expect to see a continuation of campaigns such as #WhereWeWork, #CommunityMembers, and various stories about the locations that our employees call home. We will not post public safety messaging on Instagram due to the platform’s inability to easily share content.

Our first post is live and features a video showcasing our long history in Alberta, the beautiful sprawling landscape where we are proud to work, and our partnerships throughout the province.

The Alberta RCMP looks forward to connecting with all Albertans and hearing their thoughts and suggestions for Alberta’s policing needs.

Connect with the Alberta RCMP directly on Facebook @RCMPAlberta, Twitter @RCMPAlberta and now, on Instagram @RCMPAlbertaGRC.

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Alberta

Imperial Oil to write off up to $1.2 billion in Alberta natural gas assets

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CALGARY — Shares in Imperial Oil Ltd. were rising after it announced late Monday it would write down up to $1.2 billion on Canadian assets it doesn’t think it will ever develop.

In a brief news release, it said it has reassessed the long-term development plans of its unconventional natural gas portfolio in Alberta and no longer plans to develop a “significant potion” of those assets.

It says that will result in a non-cash writedown of between $900 million and $1.2 billion in the current quarter.

In Toronto, Imperial shares rose by as much as 94 cents or 4.2 per cent to $23.42 on Tuesday morning, despite falling benchmark U.S. oil prices.

Imperial said the exploration lands it is shelving haven’t been developed and aren’t producing, adding the move doesn’t include natural gas prospects that are also rich in petroleum liquids.

Last week, the Calgary-based company said it would lay off about 200 of its 6,000 employees across Canada as part of a cost-cutting initiative due to low oil prices, adding it has reduced the number of contractors it employs by about 450 since the start of the year.

“We did not expect the company to allocate much to its unconventional assets in 2021 (or beyond) given its focus on the oilsands as well as cash returns to shareholders,” said CIBC analyst Dennis Fong in a report.

He added he expects Imperial’s move to be “immaterial” to his financial estimates.

Imperial is 69.6 per cent owned by U.S. energy giant ExxonMobil Corp., which said in October it would cut its global workforce by about 15 per cent, equating to about 14,000 jobs.

Exxon announced Monday it would take an after-tax impairment of US$17 billion to US$20 billion thanks to removing certain natural gas assets from its development plan.

Imperial committed in March to cut spending by $1 billion, including a $500 million reduction in capital spending plus $500 million in lower operating expenses, due to lower energy demand caused by lockdowns to prevent spread of the COVID-19 virus.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 1, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:IMO)

The Canadian Press

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december, 2020

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