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Alberta

RCMP officer acted reasonably in shooting incident: ASIRT

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RCMP officer acted reasonably in shooting incident

January 17, 2019 Media inquiries

On Sept. 22, 2017, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) was directed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the discharge of firearm by a member of the RCMP, with no injuries to anyone.

In the early hours that day, Redwater RCMP notified surrounding areas to be on the lookout for a vehicle involved in two armed robberies and a vehicle pursuit, which had just occurred in their area. One of these robberies resulted in a gunshot injury to the victim. An RCMP officer was driving home after his shift at the Fort Saskatchewan detachment when he spotted a vehicle that matched the suspect vehicle, travelling in the ditch with no headlights or taillights on, just outside of Fort Saskatchewan. The officer reported the information to RCMP and EPS dispatch, and followed the suspect vehicle at a distance while providing updates. The suspect vehicle was intercepted by EPS patrol units, but failed to stop. Following a lengthy pursuit, the suspect vehicle was abandoned in a rural area and the occupants fled on foot.

The RCMP and EPS units established a perimeter to contain the area, as it was believed that the suspects might attempt to steal another vehicle to leave the area. The RCMP officer who had reported the suspect vehicle, still in full uniform, offered to assist and joined another RCMP officer in a fully marked police vehicle. An unidentified truck was observed driving in the area where the suspect vehicle had been abandoned, and a decision was made to stop the truck and identify the driver.

Two marked RCMP vehicles were positioned to stop the unidentified truck at the intersection of Township Road 472 and Range Road 242. As two officers approached the cab of the truck to speak with the driver and lone occupant, the reporting officer held his position behind the deployed spike belt with his firearm drawn at low-ready. The driver of the truck appeared nervous to the officers, was unable to produce identification, and provided an explanation for his presence that was suspicious. The two officers directed the driver to exit the vehicle. As one of the officers reached for the truck driver’s door handle to pull it open, the driver put the truck in motion and accelerated forward quickly, directly towards the officer positioned behind the spike belt. The officer fired his service pistol at the vehicle, and simultaneously jumped to the side, out of the vehicle’s path. Several rounds struck the vehicle but did not enter into the passenger cab of the vehicle, and no one was injured. Having passed over the spike belt, the tires of the truck rapidly deflated and the vehicle was stopped a short distance away. Ultimately, the driver exited the vehicle and was arrested without further incident. Further investigation determined that the truck was, in fact, stolen.

Under S. 25 of the Criminal Code, police officers are entitled to use as much force as is reasonably necessary to carry out their lawful duties. With potentially armed and dangerous individuals at large, the situation was already high-risk. The driver of the motor vehicle was stopped in circumstances where it was not possible for the involved officers to know whether he might have potential association or possible involvement in the earlier events that had resulted in an individual having been shot or the suspects at large. In this situation, the driver’s attempt to escape, the manner of his operation of the (stolen) motor vehicle, including the speed and the decision to drive directly at the officer, created a risk of imminent death or grievous bodily harm to the police officer. The risk was objectively serious and immediate. Furthermore, under S. 34 of the Criminal Code, any person, including a police officer, is entitled to the use of reasonable force in defence of themselves or another. At the point where the driver put the truck in motion in the direction of the officer, the officer was lawfully entitled to act in self-defence. The use of force ceased within a reasonable time frame, and the driver was arrested without further incident. While the officer’s shift had technically ended, he maintained his authorities as a police officer in the province of Alberta and at the time that the driver drove at him, he was entitled to act in the lawful execution of his duties in the face of an individual who was committing criminal offences in that moment, as a police officer, and as a person entitled to defend himself from grievous bodily harm or death.

Having reviewed the investigation, there are no reasonable grounds, nor even reasonable suspicion, to believe that the officer committed any Criminal Code offence. While it is unfortunate that the lives of both the officer and the driver were placed at risk during this encounter, that risk resulted from the driver’s attempt to escape what was a lawful detention by members of the RCMP. The force used in response to that escape attempt was reasonable given all of the circumstances.

ASIRT’s mandate is to effectively, independently and objectively investigate incidents involving Alberta’s police that have resulted in serious injury or death to any person.

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President Todayville Inc., Former VP/GM CTV Edmonton, Honorary Lieutenant Colonel 41 Signal Regiment, Board Member Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award Foundation, Past Board Member United Way of Alberta Capital Region, Musician, Photographer.

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Alberta

Update 23: Northwest Alberta wildfires (June 20 at 4 p.m.)

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Hot, dry conditions with strong winds create challenges for firefighting.

June 20, 2019

As fires spread in Mackenzie County, approximately 200 additional people evacuated on Wednesday from the area north of Highway 697, south of the Peace River and west of Steep Hill Creek, also called Range Road 164.

More than 700 evacuees from the Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement can return home today. Additional information for residents is online at https://www.facebook.com/paddleprairie

Approximately 8,500 people are still under evacuation orders.

The following communities issued mandatory evacuation orders this week:

  • Beaver First Nation – Boyer River (No. 164) and Child Lake (No. 164A)
  • Dene Tha’ First Nation – Bushe River (No. 207)
  • Mackenzie County
    • The Rocky Lane and High Level area north of the Peace River, south of Highway 58, west of Range Road 150
    • The Hamlet of La Crete
    • Range Road 164 to Range Road 150, south of the Peace River, north of Highway 697
  • Peerless Trout First Nation – Trout Lake community and high-risk persons in the surrounding area.

The following communities remain on evacuation alert and should be ready to leave quickly if the situation changes:

  • High Level
  • Mackenzie County
    • Area west of Range Road 164, south of the Peace River to Township Road 1010, and the Machesis Lake campground
  • Bigstone Cree Nation 166 A, B, C and D

Current situation

  • Chuckegg Creek wildfire, southwest of High Level, is about 330,000 hectares.
  • Jackpot Creek wildfire, north of Lutose, is about 77,500 hectares.
  • McMillan Wildfire Complex located in the Slave Lake Forest area, is more than 276,800 hectares.
  • Check Alberta Emergency Alerts for more detailed and frequently updated information.
  • People driving in fire-affected areas should carry enough fuel, as it may not be readily available.

Visit alberta.ca/emergency for detailed and frequently updated information.

Air quality

  • Wildfire smoke is causing poor air quality and reduced visibility at times.
  • Parts of northwestern Alberta are under special air quality statements.
  • Visit FireSmoke Canada for information and resources about smoke from wildland fires.

Financial supports

  • Evacuees should check alberta.ca/emergency for updates on evacuation payment eligibility.
  • You may qualify for the evacuation payment if you:
    • were living, working or vacationing in the affected area
    • were forced to leave due to an evacuation order
    • paid for most of your costs to evacuate
    • were forced to leave your residence (primary, working or vacationing) due to a mandatory evacuation order.
  • Albertans who qualify will receive $1,250 and $500 for each dependent child under 18 living in the same home when the evacuation order was given.
  • Apply online through the MyAlberta Evacuation Payment application using a smartphone, device or desktop. Interac e-transfers may take 24 hours to process.
  • If you need help applying, contact Alberta Supports to find the nearest centre: Toll-free: 1-877-644-9992 (Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.) In-person: Find an Alberta Supports Centre.
  • More than 11,700 individuals have received evacuee support totalling close to $11.9 million.

Reception and call centres

  • All evacuees need to register with an evacuation reception centre even if you have found alternate accommodations.
  • Reception centres may assist evacuees in person and/or by phone.
  • Mackenzie County evacuees must register at Fort Vermilion – Mackenzie County Office, 4511 46 Avenue, 780-927-3718.
  • Evacuees from Trout Lake and high-risk persons in the surrounding area of Peerless Trout First Nation must register their location with Jennifer Auger, 780-649-6553jennifer.auger@ptfn.net. If you evacuated to Edmonton, register at Edmonton Super 8 Hotel, 16818 118 Avenue.
  • The Government of Alberta contact centre is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday. Call 310-4455.

Insurance information

  • Most home and tenant insurance policies provide coverage for living expenses during an evacuation.
  • Evacuees should retain all of their receipts for food, accommodation and other related expenses to provide to their insurer.
  • Albertans can contact the Insurance Bureau of Canada at 1-844-227-5422 or by email at askibcwest@ibc.ca. Information about insurance coverage is available online at ibc.ca/ab/disaster/alberta-wildfire.

Re-entry information

Evacuees can find tips on re-entry by visiting https://www.alberta.ca/emergency.aspx. Information includes making sure all your utilities are working, cleaning up and how to deal with door-to-door salespeople offering services and insurance.

Justice and legal matters

  • If you have an appointment with a probation officer in an evacuated area, report to the community corrections office nearest you. Please call 780-427-3109 (to call toll-free, first dial 310-0000) for information.

Boil water advisory

  • A boil water advisory is in place for Meander River (Dene Tha’ First Nation).

Health

  • Mental health support is available by calling Alberta’s 24-hour help line at 1-877-303-2642, the Addiction Helpline at 1-866-332-2322, or Health Link at 811.

Donations and volunteers

  • Check the Mackenzie County Facebook page for an up-to-date list of donations needed and drop-off locations.
  • There have been reports that local residents in High Level are being solicited by email or phone for donations in support of firefighters or affected residents. Do not share your personal information with them or donate money.
  • When asked for donations (either over the phone, through an email, or in person), ask the canvasser for identification or printed information about the charity.
  • If you have concerns about the activities of a charitable organization including its fundraising practices, call Service Alberta: 1-877-427-4088.

Canada Post

  • Mail and parcel delivery in certain communities has been affected by the wildfires.
  • Canada Post has contingency measures in place to serve residents of these communities.
  • Check the Canada Post website for updates.

Other income and social supports

  • Evacuees who receive Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped or Income Support benefits by cheque should contact their worker to make arrangements to receive it.
  • Call Alberta Supports at 1-877-644-9992 between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday to Friday if you:
    • need information on other social supports
    • are a contracted service provider, family member or individual needing assistance through the Persons with Developmental Disabilities program
  • Evacuees in need of financial assistance for immediate needs can apply for an Income Support program emergency needs allowance. This benefit may cover your accommodation, clothing and other urgent needs. Please call 1-877-644-9992 for more information.
  • For information on child intervention and child care, call 1-800-638-0715
  • Employment insurance: evacuees can visit Service Canada online to apply at www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei.html. Use code 4812014812201900.

Health card, driver’s licences, ID cards, birth certificate

  • To get a replacement Health Care Insurance Card call 780-427-1432 or toll-free at 310-0000 and then 780-427-1432 when prompted. Your Alberta Personal Health Card can be mailed to a temporary address.  
  • If driver’s licences, identification cards, and/or birth certificates were left behind during the evacuation, replacement cards and certificates can be ordered free of charge at a registry agent.

Public information

  • You can call 310-4455 for more information – Monday to Friday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Related information

Backgrounder: Previous updates

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Alberta

A battle over beer … between curlers?

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Alberta’s Liquor Industry pushes back on Glenn Howard’s Ontario Beer ‘Facts’ in a new Social Media campaign.

Edmonton – Two Canadian curling stars are now battling off the rink in a war of ‘facts’ about provincial liquor laws that has broken out between Alberta and Ontario.

Brendan Bottcher, an Alberta curling champion, is starring in “Ontario Beer ‘Fake Facts’”, a social media campaign that launched today to counter misinformation being spread in Ontario about Alberta’s liquor laws and stores.

Brendan Bottcher stars in Ontario Beer Fake Facts

The Beer Store, a consortium of brewers that is fighting a move by the Doug Ford provincial government to sell beer and liquor in corner stores, has argued Alberta’s privatized system isn’t good for customers and allows for easier access to alcohol for minors. The Beer Store’s campaign is called “Ontario Beer Facts” and features Ontario curling champion Glenn Howard.

Glenn Howard throws shade on Alberta’s beer and liquor industries

“[Howard]’s jealous. Our liquor stores are better and [so are] our curling teams,” Bottcher quips in one of the “Ontario Beer ‘Fake Facts’” ads being launched today.

Alberta Liquor Stores Association (ALSA) produced the campaign in an attempt to set the record straight about Alberta’s thriving and socially responsible private liquor industry.

“In Alberta, our liquor industry is open for business – literally from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. We’re proud of the private liquor industry we’ve built here since 1993. Free enterprise doesn’t mean there is a free-for-all, Wild West system. But it does mean we have competitive prices and better service, hours and selection for our customers.”Ivonne Martinez, President of Alberta Liquor Stores Association

Oh, and on that whole thing about the price of beer in Alberta – Martinez had this to say.

“…And what about The Beer Store’s claim that a 24 pack of Coors Light is more expensive in Alberta than in Ontario? The Beer Store is owned by Labatts and Molson (National Brewers).  National Brewers, just like any manufacturer, sets the price for their products for each province. The price has nothing to do with the distribution model, the price is set by Molson themselves which set a higher price for their beer in Alberta…”

To view the Alberta campaign click here.

And to view the Ontario campaign click here.

Backgrounder About Alberta’s Liquor Industry:

  • The $3-billion industry contributes approximately $866-million annually to provincial revenues
  • 1,500+ private liquor stores operate in Alberta from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, including New Year’s Eve
  • Since the industry was privatized in 1993, it has created approximately 12,000 new jobs for Albertans
  • Alberta liquor stores offer more than 26,000 options, including 7,000 beer types; in Ontario, they sell less than 2,000 beer brands.

www.alsaweb.ca

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