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Red Deer recovery community slated for fall completion

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Construction on the 75-bed recovery community project in Red Deer is on time and on budget and is expected to be completed this fall.

The Red Deer recovery community is a first-of-its-kind project in Alberta that will house a long-term addiction treatment program focused on helping people pursue recovery.

Currently 52 of 72 modular buildings are on site. The installation of mechanical and electrical systems as well as work on the building interiors are scheduled to get underway later this month. The final modular buildings will be arriving soon.

“Alberta’s government is making sure that every Albertan has the opportunity to pursue recovery from the devastating and destructive illness of addiction. I am pleased that this project is on time to start operations in the fall so that Albertans can begin their recovery as soon as possible.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

“Alberta Infrastructure plays a key role in delivering this essential project. Our goal is to have this facility up and running as soon as possible to bring more jobs and specialized care to the people of Red Deer.”

Nicholas Milliken, Minister of Infrastructure

“Addiction and mental health challenges have taken a significant toll on central Alberta over the past decade. Increasing treatment capacity in Red Deer is long overdue. Alberta’s government is proud to make this investment to save lives, support recovery and bring hope to the community of Red Deer.”

Mike Ellis, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions

“The Red Deer recovery community will be an important part of the recovery-oriented system of care that we are building in Red Deer to help people improve their lives. Our government is proud to invest in projects like this to build up our communities and bring more jobs to Albertans.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education and MLA for Red Deer-North

“It is essential that our community have access to quality mental health care. This project will not only expand access to addictions treatment for those in need, but it will also bring jobs to our city and help boost our economic recovery.”

Ken Johnston, mayor, City of Red Deer

Recovery communities are a form of long-term residential treatment that focus on supporting people who are pursuing recovery. Recovery is seen as a gradual, ongoing process of behavioural change through clinical and peer interventions aimed at improving a person’s overall well-being.

Alberta’s government is helping Albertans access life-saving addiction and mental health-related prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery resources.

Quick facts

  • This project is keeping Albertans working, supporting about 135 well-paid construction and construction-related jobs.
  • Alberta Health is in the process of opening four recovery community projects.
    • Red Deer (75-bed facility)
      • Construction slated for fall completion.
    • Lethbridge (50-bed facility)
      • Groundbreaking took place in May 2022 and the project is on schedule to be completed in late 2022.
    • Gunn (100-bed facility)
      • The project is in the design stage. Construction and completion dates will be determined as the project progresses.
    • Blood Tribe (75-bed facility)
      • The project is in the planning phase.
  • Contact Alberta 211 for information about addiction treatments and supports available throughout the province.
  • Albertans struggling with opioid use anywhere in the province can call the Virtual Opioid Dependency Program seven days a week at 1-844-383-7688 to access same-day treatment.
  • Albertans using substances at home alone can download the DORS app to a smartphone free of charge from any app store or via DORSApp.ca. When using the app, Albertans will receive a call from the STARS emergency centre if they become unresponsive to a timer. If an overdose is suspected, STARS will immediately dispatch emergency medical services to the person’s location.

This is a news release from the Government of Alberta.

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Alberta

Alberta legislation would set up independent agency to investigate police complaints

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The Alberta government has introduced legislation aimed at making police forces more accountable and responsive to the communities they serve.

The Police Amendment Act introduced Thursday would establish an independent agency called the Police Review Commission to receive complaints, carry out investigations and conduct disciplinary hearings to do away with the idea of police investigating police.

Mike Ellis, the minister of public safety and emergency services, said the province has been consulting with Albertans since 2018 to come up with the first major overhaul of the Police Act in 34 years.

“One thing that came up consistently was the need to change how complaints against the police are investigated to end the system of police investigating police,” Ellis said.

“The legislation answers those long-lasting calls to reform the public complaints process by establishing an independent agency to handle complaints against police.”

The Alberta Serious Response Team will continue to handle all cases involving death or serious injuries, as well as serious and sensitive allegations involving all police services. Its mandate would be expanded to include peace officers employed by provincial organizations as well as community peace officers at the municipal level.

The legislation would also require all jurisdictions with a population above 15,000 currently policed by the RCMP to establish civilian bodies to oversee policing priorities.

The United Conservative Party government is deciding next steps following the release of a third-party analysis last year of a proposal to create a provincial police force instead of using the RCMP in rural areas and some smaller communities.

“No decisions have been made regarding the provincial police service,” Ellis said. “This is about ensuring that the rural municipalities have a say at the table under our current model which is the RCMP, who is the current provincial police service provider.”

Ellis said it could be another 18 months before the Police Review Commission is up and running. He said negotiations are underway with the RCMP to see how they would fit in under civilian oversight.

“Right now K-Division has expressed they’re supportive of this, however, we’re still having discussions with Public Safety Canada because it still falls technically under the RCMP in Ottawa,” he said.

“We’re going to continue to negotiate with the RCMP because we believe the independent body is the right approach and we can continue going down that path.”

The proposed changes would also require police to develop diversity and inclusion plans to reflect the diverse and distinct communities they serve and to better understand local community needs.

The Alberta Association of Chiefs of Police supports the changes.

“Changes to update our Police Act are long overdue,” said Calgary Police Chief Mark Neufeld, president of the association in a statement.

“We have advocated for several years that the act needs reform to bring it more in line with the realities of the modern police workplace,”

Edmonton Police Chief Dale McFee said the changes “will provide an additional layer of public transparency” that will benefit both the public and police.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 8, 2022.

— By Bill Graveland in Calgary

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TC Energy shuts down Keystone pipeline system after leak in Nebraska

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CALGARY — TC Energy Corp. says it has shut down its Keystone pipeline after a leak in Nebraska.

The company says it has mobilized people and equipment in response to a confirmed release of oil into a creek, about 32 kilometres south of Steele City, Neb.

TC Energy says an emergency shutdown and response was initiated Wednesday night after a pressure drop in the system was detected.

It says the affected segment of the pipeline has been isolated and booms have been deployed to prevent the leaked oil from moving downstream.

The Keystone pipeline system stretches 4,324 kilometres and helps move Canadian and U.S. crude oil to markets around North America.

TC Energy says the system remains shutdown as its crews respond and work to contain and recover the oil.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 8, 2022.

Companies in this story: (TSX:TRP)

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