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Crime

Red Deer RCMP looking for help from public in arson investigation

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News release from Red Deer RCMP

Red Deer RCMP investigate arson

On Sept. 13, 2023 at 1:26 a.m., Red Deer RCMP were called to a residential structure and vehicle fire on Lancaster Dr.. Red Deer Fire and EMS responded as well. Upon arrival, a vehicle was fully engulfed in flames and the fire was spreading quickly to a second vehicle and the residence.

The owners of the residence were home at the time of the fire. The owners and several neighbours heard a loud bang before the owner exited his home and discovered his vehicle on fire. City of Red Deer Fire department extinguished the flames.

All residents of the house are safe and no injuries were reported.

One vehicle was completely destroyed by the fire. A second vehicle has heat and paint damage. The exterior of the garage has extensive surface damage.

Fire investigators attended the scene and located the source of the fire. The fire is deemed to be suspicious and RCMP are investigating the incident as an arson.

The initial RCMP investigation  is on-going and more information will be released once available.

Red Deer RCMP are asking the public’s assistance for any information or video surveillance in relation to this incident are asked to contact the Red Deer RCMP at 403-406-2200 or your local police. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at www.P3Tips.com or using the “P3 TIPS” app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.

To report crime online, or for access to RCMP news and information, download the Alberta RCMP app through Apple or Google Play.

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Addictions

Claims about ‘safer supply’ diversion aren’t disinformation

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News release from Break The Needle

This month, police in London, Ont., admitted to what critics have said all along: safer supply diversion is happening at alarming levels

Last spring, Canada’s minister of mental health and addictions claimed critics’ concerns about “safer supply” diversion — the illegal selling and trading of taxpayer-funded addictive drugs — were based on lies.

“For Pierre Poilievre to state untrue information about safer supply, and try to create barriers to accessing harm reduction services that are saving lives amid this ongoing crisis, is incredibly irresponsible and dehumanizing to people who use drugs,” read a statement by then-minister Carolyn Bennett’s office.

Fast forward a year, and it’s clear which side was telling the truth.

This month, police in London, Ont., admitted to what critics said all along: diversion of pharmaceutically supplied opioids to the streets is happening at alarming levels. London is home to Canada’s longest-running safer supply program, which dates back to 2016 and was significantly expanded in 2020.

The London Police Service released data that shows a staggering 3,000 per cent increase in the seizure of hydromorphone tablets — the opioid predominantly given out by safer supply programs — over the last five years. In 2019, London police seized just under 1,000 tablets. By 2020, that number had tripled. In 2023, they seized 30,000 hydromorphone tablets.

For context, hydromorphone is as potent as heroin and just two or three of these pills, if snorted, can cause an overdose in an inexperienced opioid user.

Earlier this month, the city’s deputy police chief, Paul Bastien, told CBC’s London Morning, “We recognize the value that safe supply plays as part of that harm reduction piece, but diversion is an important issue that is affecting community safety. I won’t say that everyone’s doing it, but some of the tablets from safe supply are being diverted for that purpose.”

“Criminal groups are fairly adept at exploiting policy changes that are well intended. But unforeseen consequences sometimes arise and this appears to be, at least in part, one of them,” he continued.

A reasonable person may assume that, given this alarming new evidence, proponents of safer supply would change their tune about widespread diversion being “fake news.” Unfortunately, they haven’t.

Some activists are now claiming on social media that London’s spike in hydromorphone seizures was not caused by safer supply, but rather by a high-profile theft of 245,000 hydromorphone tablets from an Ontario pharmacy. Yet the spike in seizures began years before this theft and, according to multiple addiction physicians, the street price of hydromorphone collapsed in the city well before 2023, suggesting an earlier influx of diverted supply.

However, these mental contortions aren’t surprising. As more and more evidence of widespread diversion emerged over the past year, accusations of disinformation and misinformation haven’t stopped –– they have simply evolved. The narrative changed from “Diversion doesn’t exist” to “Fine, it exists, but only on a small scale” to, now, “Fine, diversion exists at scale, but imagine the alternative?”

This is the angle already emerging in British Columbia, where the province’s top doctor, Bonnie Henry, authored a damning report that acknowledges the regularity and harms of safer supply diversion, yet still concludes safer supply is “ethically defensible” and advocates for its expansion.

Like many safer supply activists, Henry often argues diversion isn’t a significant concern because most opioid deaths are caused by fentanyl.

While it’s true that most opioid deaths are attributable to fentanyl, hydromorphone is still incredibly dangerous. When diverted into the black market, it creates new addictions, often among young people, which culminate in fentanyl use.

Moreover, data indicate hydromorphone is implicated in an increasing share of drug-related deaths in young people in B.C. In 2019, there were no reported deaths involving hydromorphone. By 2022, that number jumped to 22 per cent. Similarly, a recent report by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Ontario found the number of youth in the province who self-reported using prescription opioids for “non-medical” reasons jumped 71 per cent between 2021 and 2023.

Still, safer supply activists continue to insist, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that widespread diversion isn’t happening.

In 2017, Collins Dictionary declared “fake news” the word of the year. Since then, the term –– along with sister terms “misinformation” and “disinformation” –– have taken on a disturbing new life.

While fake news, misinformation and disinformation are very real democratic threats, some politicians and activists realized they could delegitimize opponents’ arguments and unflattering media stories by simply proclaiming them fake. Now, we’re in the dizzyingly ironic position of real news, and real facts, being dismissed as misinfo and disinfo by self-declared guardians of the truth.

This is the exact problem journalists and concerned medical professionals continue to face when raising the alarm on so-called “safer supply.” Despite the abundance of solid reporting, emerging data, whistleblower warnings and first-hand accounts of widespread diversion, harm reduction activists and their allies in government don’t just recklessly dismiss the problem, they weaponize the language of fake news to discredit a reality they don’t like.

Communities across Canada, and addicts themselves, deserve better.

A guest post by
Sabrina Maddeaux
Bold opinions and analysis of the political and economic issues that matter.
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Crime

While Illegal Aliens Kill and Rape, Bogus Crime ‘Studies’ Ideology Still Blunt Solutions

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From ToddBensman.com

By Todd Bensman

Time for border enforcement hawks to disengage with this intellectually fraudulent sham debate and find this new approach

Advocates of a borderless United States – those who will do or say anything to unleash and maintain a torrent of unimpeded illegal mass border migration – demand that Americans deny an especially resonate outcome: illegal border crossers who murder, kill with drunk driving, rape, rob and beat their hosts.

In their arguments for unmitigated releases into the country of illegal border-crossing strangers, libertarian and  progressive liberal pro-illegal immigration, anti-border enforcement activists always point to “studies” that compare illegal alien criminality to U.S. citizen criminality and then conclude that Americans commit as much or more than the illegal immigrants.

Media writers and pundits on the open-borders side parrot the “studies” to deflect detention and deportation proposals that would reduce illegal alien crime on grounds that the main danger to address are U.S. citizen criminals and, while you’re at that, let the border flows continue unimpeded since that population is less worrisome.

“No, Illegal Migrants Aren’t Fueling a Crime Wave,” reads the June 26 headline of a Bloomberg column by Justin Fox in a typical argument against illegal immigration enforcement.

“Migrant Crime Wave Not Supported by Data, Despite High-Profile Cases,” the headline of a February 15 New York Times report states in another one undermining recent demands for border enforcement.

“Ironically, studies indicate that immigrants commit less crime than U.S.-born individuals, and advocates have been pushing for less detention for years,” wrote Michael Lukens, Executive Director at the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, in a February 20 letter to the editor in The Washington Post. “Instead of alarmist tactics, ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] should be looking at the devastating impacts of detention and releasing immigrants because it is the right thing to do.”

As complicit in this redirection are Republican border hawks and many on the right who abhor unimpeded illegal border immigration because they frequently engage the citizens-versus-illegal-aliens comparison, ever trying to challenge, counter, and undermine the crime comparison studies.

But what opponents of unmitigated mass migration must finally be made to realize, especially now that illegal alien crime is figuring largely for the November 5 presidential election, is that the door their adversaries opened for them leads up a fake stairwell.

The citizen-illegal alien comparison is invalid at the jump and, because it is once again often cited, a different approach is necessary.

An invalid apples-to-rocks comparison

The notion that policy thinkers and media pundits must compare the measured crime rates of citizens and illegal aliens – it’s unclear who initially devised it – has no foundation in academic science because the two compared groups are not similar enough.

Here is why: Illegal immigrants – and not ever American citizens and legal residents – are uniquely subject to an elaborate, expansive, and lawful government deportation and detention apparatus that Congress built to block and remove them from the country, in some part, so that they are not present to commit crimes. The same apparatus, of course, cannot touch American citizens who will commit crimes.

To restate the seemingly obvious, illegal aliens blocked at the border or who are quickly removed from the country cannot inflict any harm on American inhabitants because they are not present. That means every single crime committed by an illegally present immigrant should never have happened, was avoidable, preventable, and unnecessary whereas the Department of Homeland Security detention and removal machine cannot prevent a single American citizen crime. The United States, unfortunately, has no such choice but to contend with its criminal citizens before, during and after every crime they commit.

What this means is that all crimes committed by illegal aliens amount to a 100-percent net-gain burden on American society and its criminal justice system that was always largely preventable and unnecessary.

These differences between the two groups amount to an insurmountable Grand Canyon for purposes of comparison, apples-to-rocks, thus invalid for any academic study at the jump.

The libertarian and progressive liberals who created and purveyed the citizen-versus-illegal immigrant crime rate comparison debate should be called out for their campaign of misdirection or, if you will “gas-lighting.”

The misdirection campaign has always neutralized deserved political backlash against the highly resonate problem of 100 percent unnecessary extra crime that illegal aliens commit in the United States and stunted political momentum for policy remedies that would reduce both. By design, the mass illegal immigration and its associated 100 percent extra crime victimization continue while those who either favor or disfavor illegal immigration fruitlessly wage battles over a totally invalid proposition.

A different approach is long overdue.

The comparison stands discredited anyway but…

Border enforcement hawks have done much to discredit the studies that conclude American citizens commit more crime than illegal aliens. For instance, the Center for Immigration Studies has found that the activist-academics who favor unimpeded illegal immigration have misused data to undercount criminal alien crime. (See Misuse of Texas Data Understates Illegal Immigrant Crime and Continued Misuse of Texas Crime Data)

But as this 2024 presidential campaign period shows, efforts to engage the comparison debate have done little to suppress its continued impact of nullifying momentum for policy change. Mass media outlets still default to the original ruse at a time when a new approach to this discussion is most needed at this key time in the American political cycle, presenting an opportunity for the polity to rise up on good information and demand a halt to the mass border incursions that fuel 100-percent unnecessary net increases illegal alien crime.

Even though they have done a laudable job at discrediting the original studies, border enforcement advocates should disengage from further such distracting attempts and call out the comparison studies as the mendacious intellectual sham they are, on grounds that the two groups are too different to be compared. They must parry every citation of the studies and re-direct to the correct policy discussion, which is the extent to which current American leadership uses existing border enforcement law to block, detain, and deport. They must argue that all illegal alien crime is a 100 percent net addition to America’s crime problem, no matter what the rates per alien are, and that American citizen crime rates are irrelevant to the discussion of a solution to that.

They must only ever argue that blocking, detaining and deporting illegal aliens are the main levers that enable or prevent illegal alien crime in the United States. Most Americans will instinctively understand that this objective truth is on their side.

No one on either side of this policy issue should ever again engage in this immoral sham, but border enforcement hawks should parry and thrust elsewhere.

Graves that need never have been dug

Having said all of this, the comparison “studies” ruse was useful in one important regard; it surfaced rare data that establishes a rare and important measure of this preventable illegal immigrant crime. The data used in them comes from the only U.S. state that has tracked its unnecessary, all-net-gain illegal immigrant crime for years: Texas.

Border enforcement advocates should use this rare data set, not to compare the incomparable but, rather, to emphasize that it was entirely a net total – preventable – addition to overall U.S. crime. The Texas data should be used to emphasize a need for the United States to protect its citizens by exercising existing deportation and detention requirements embodied in the Immigration and Naturalization Act.

America may never know the extent to which alien crime that will result from the three-plus years of the Biden border crisis, which has ushered into the country at least seven million strangers as of this writing. Most local, state and federal agencies will not log immigration status of criminals.

But the Texas Department of Public Safety tracks the immigration status of suspects who are booked into local jails through a program that submits fingerprints to the FBI for criminal history and warrant checks, and to DHS. The agencies return immigration status information on those whose fingerprints were already on file (which is not all of them).

From the resulting Texas statistics, we catch a sound partial glimpse at the vaster sea of nationwide blood and carnage that was up to 100 percent preventable and unnecessary, of murder, rape, child abuse, burglary, felony theft, drug trafficking, alien smuggling and drunken driving manslaughter.

Between June 1, 2011 and June 30, 2024, these 437,000 criminal aliens (308,000 classified as illegal) were charged with more than 533,000 unnecessary extra criminal offenses that should never have happened.

Those included 997 homicide charges (resulting in 498 convictions as of June 2024), 1,245 kidnapping charges (resulting in 354 convictions), 6,744 sexual assault charges (resulting in 3,537 convictions), 7,763 sexual offense charges (resulting in 3,537 sexual offense convictions), and 6,560 weapons charges (resulting in 2,138 weapons convictions). Texas includes another category called “All Other Offenses,” which tallies 298,912 (and 103,265 convictions).

The Texas data reveals hundreds of dead people who should be alive, thousands of sexual assault and sexual offense victims who should never have suffered the trauma, and tens of thousands of assault charges involving victims who would not have been hurt.

The Texas data shows that criminal aliens took up police time and clogged up the American justice system that could have been more dedicated to American criminals. Thousands of drugs, burglary, robbery and weapons charges need not have jammed the Texas criminal justice systems at taxpayer cost.

In all, more than 32,000 people identified by DHS as living in the country illegally were imprisoned in Texas.

But the number of criminal illegal aliens appears to be a highly undercounted one even when a state like Texas is working hard at the tally. We know this because the Texas program found that another 10,748 illegal aliens since 2011, whose immigration status hadn’t been federally determined at the time of their arrests, were only later determined to be illegally present when they were sent to Texas state prisons. There must be far more.

Among them were prisoners serving time for 134 more unnecessary, preventable homicides.

The graves of all their dozens of dead victims are real even as nary any of them have drawn national media attention like a mere few have lately.

The bamboozlers bear responsibility for tragedies that deportation would have prevented. Far too often, the preventable violence is exceptionally brutal, scenes from the most extreme horror movies in volumes far too numerous to catalogue here.

The huge scale of seven or ten million foreign national strangers allowed to enter the United States in three years means the size of the criminal class among them must be historically large as well. All their crime will be 100 percent extra on top of U.S. citizen crime and potentially reducible by up to 100 percent in with the exercise of lawful detention and deportation.

Far fewer bad things will happen if Americans finally slam closed the wrong door with its fake stairwell.

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