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Red Deer Mounties Arrest Four With Outstanding Warrants

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By Sheldon Spackman

It’s been a busy week for Red Deer City RCMP as four people wanted on outstanding warrants have now been arrested.

The first one happened October 18th around 3:30pm when Mounties found a suspicious vehicle in a residential parking lot and arrested 27 year old Debra-Lynn Pidhirney who was wanted on 18 outstanding warrants and 34 year old Francois Joseph Alexander who was wanted on three. The pair face various possession of stolen property, failing to comply with conditions, weapons, assault with a weapon and fraud charges. Later that afternoon, police arrested 24 year old Todd Kenneth Deschambeault, who was wanted on four warrants for failing to comply with court-ordered conditions.

Then around 1am on October 19th, RCMP spotted a suspicious vehicle in a hotel parking lot and subsequently arrested 34 year old Darren Christopher Ray. Ray was wanted on 15 warrants out of Blackfalds, Red Deer and Innisfail for charges including possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking, possession of stolen property, unauthorized possession of a firearm, resist or obstructing police, failing to attend court and failing to comply with conditions. All four now have upcoming court dates.

Red Deer’s RCMP Inspector Inspector Gerald Grobmeier says “As part of our Project Pinpoint initiative, we continue to aggressively focus on prolific offenders who continue to engage in criminal behaviour”, adding “We’re checking to ensure they’re complying with conditions that have been imposed on them by the courts and we’re putting them back in jail when they refuse to do so.”

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Feds, Quebec launch talks on keeping military in long-term care facilities

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Ottawa and Quebec have started talking about the future of military in long-term care homes after the province called for the Canadian Armed Forces to stay in nearly two dozen facilities until September.

Quebec Premier Francois Legault has asked the military to remain an additional four months so the province can hire and train thousands more workers to take over when the troops leave.

Yet the request has raised questions about the sustainability of keeping hundreds of trained military medical personnel in the homes for another four months — and what other options might be available.

Senior federal government officials who spoke the condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing talks say Ottawa is looking at whether the Canadian Red Cross can shoulder some of the burden and whether there are ways to speed up the hiring of workers in Quebec.

The Canadian Armed Forces have almost 1,800 members deployed to support long-term care homes in Quebec and Ontario hit hard by COVID-19, with the majority in 23 Quebec facilities.

The military this week released explosive reports on what troops found in some of the homes after arriving last month, with troops alleging a notable lack of trained medical personnel in Quebec facilities.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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Opposition parties call on Liberals to restore human-trafficking victims fund

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OTTAWA — Members of Parliament from every opposition party have joined together to call on the Liberal government to reverse its decision to allow funding to expire for programs that help victims of human trafficking in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The MPs say without funding from Ottawa, these organizations will no longer be able to offer their specialized assistance to these women and girls who the ongoing pandemic has made even more vulnerable.

These organizations had been receiving funding through a five-year federal program, which ended in March 2020, that was set up by the former Conservative government alongside efforts to reform Canada’s prostitution laws.

That program is being replaced by a new national strategy to combat human trafficking, but that funding has not yet started to roll out.

This has left groups that help victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation with a gap in funding since March, with no clear idea of when new money will be made available.

A group of four MPs — from the Conservatives, Bloc Quebecois, NDP and Greens — sent a joint letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other ministers responsible for this file, urging them to restore funding to these groups and enable them to continue their work.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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may, 2020

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