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Red Deer Regional Hospital redevelopment cash needed now – Rachel Notley

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From the Alberta NDP

KENNEY MUST REVERSE HIS BROKEN PROMISE AND FUND THE REDEVELOPMENT OF THE RED DEER REGIONAL HOSPITAL: NDP

Alberta’s NDP are calling on Premier Jason Kenney to fund the redevelopment of the Red Deer Regional Hospital after breaking his promise to do so by not funding the project in this year’s budget.

In February 2020, Kenney promised $100 million towards a full redevelopment project with construction starting in 2021. However, the UCP’s most recent Capital Plan only provided $5 million for the hospital redevelopment this year.

“You cannot start construction on the expansion of a major hospital with $5 million. Promise made, promise broken by Jason Kenney,” said NDP Leader Rachel Notley.

“Red Deer Regional Hospital is a crucial healthcare facility, not just for the people of the City of Red Deer, but for families right across Central Alberta. But the city and the region have outgrown the hospital. We need more capacity in the emergency department and we need more specialized care,” said NDP Infrastructure Critic Thomas Dang.

“Now more than ever we all understand just how critical hospital capacity is. Jason Kenney promised to redevelop the Red Deer Hospital, but like so many of his promises, he has failed to deliver.”

Red Deer Hospital did not receive the promised funding to begin construction despite UCP MLA for Red Deer-South Jason Stephan campaigning on a promise to advocate for an expanded hospital.

“Jason Stephan has spent more of his time seeking to expand the number of people who will need the current hospital rather than expanding the actual hospital. He took an international Christmas vacation while the rest of us were locked down and many Alberta families made excruciating sacrifices. Now he’s publicly undermining the health measures that we all need to uphold to keep our families friends and communities safe,” said Notley.

“It’s an incredible failure of leadership from Jason Kenney to abandon his promise to the people of Red Deer to expand this hospital and then allow a quarter of his caucus to put lives at risk in Red Deer and across Alberta.”

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Alberta

Pastor, candidate under restraining order arrested for allegedly breaking COVID laws

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CALGARY — A Calgary mayoral candidate who is under a restraining order and a pastor both face charges for allegedly violating COVID-19 laws over the weekend.

The Calgary Police Service alleges Kevin J. Johnston was in violation of a court order when he attended an illegal gathering Saturday morning.

The injunction, obtained by the province’s health delivery agency on May 6, mandates that event organizers comply with public health restrictions, including masking, physical distancing and attendance limits.

Police also say Pastor Tim Stephens was arrested Sunday afternoon for organizing a church service that was held earlier in the day at Fairview Baptist Church, which police allege did not comply with public health orders.

Police say they received repeated calls from concerned citizens about services at Fairview Baptist Church in recent weeks, and that Stephens was proactively served a copy of the May 6 order last weekend.

On Friday, Alberta Health Services said the Court of Queen’s Bench imposed a restraining order on Johnston, requiring that he stay at least 100 metres away from health officers and must not publish any threats or hate speech directed at them.

Johnston is running in this fall’s municipal election and has been a vocal supporter of anti-lockdown protests.

“We are at a critical point in our province’s response to the pandemic and citizens must comply with public health orders in order to ensure everyone’s safety and well-being,” police said in a news release announcing Johnston’s arrest.

They didn’t say what event he allegedly attended.

Alberta Health Services has said Johnston has been aggressive and threatening towards two particular health workers as well as to the general AHS workforce.

Johnston appears regularly online, promoting far-right ideology.

Premier Jason Kenney tweeted Saturday that he was glad the restraining order was issued, calling Johnston a “nutbar.”

Police, meanwhile, said they did not enter Fairview Baptist Church during Sunday morning’s service, and that Stephens was arrested in the afternoon.

“The Pastor acknowledged the injunction, but chose to move forward with today’s service, ignoring requirements for social distancing, mask wearing and reduced capacity limits for attendees,” police stated in a news release.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 16, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Big third period lifts Vancouver Canucks to 4-1 victory over Edmonton Oilers

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EDMONTON — Matthew Highmore scored twice in the third period Saturday as the Vancouver Canucks topped the Edmonton Oilers 4-1. 

Travis Boyd and Bo Horvat also had goals for the Canucks (22-28-3), and J.T. Miller registered a pair of assists.

Oilers defenceman Adam Larsson opened the scoring with his fourth goal of the season midway through the first period.  

Thatcher Demko had a big performance for Vancouver, stopping 31 shots, including a breakaway chance by Connor McDavid. Mikko Koskinen had 37 saves for Edmonton (35-19-2). 

The result ended a two-game losing skid for the Canucks, who linger at the bottom of the North Division standings with three games left to play. 

With their final playoff tune-up complete, the Oilers will turn their attention to Wednesday’s first-round playoff series opener against the visiting Winnipeg Jets.

The Canucks broke the game open midway through the third period.

Highmore’s second goal of the afternoon came with 6:33 left to play. He sent a backhand shot towards the Edmonton net from the top of the slot and Koskinen fumbled with the puck before it dribbled over the goal line.

The goal, the Vancouver forward’s third of the season, sealed the score at 4-1. 

An odd-man rush saw Highmore blast a shot up and over Koskinen’s glove 9:13 into the period. Just 16 seconds later, Boyd snapped a shot past the Edmonton netminder from the middle of the slot to make it 3-1.

The Canucks outshot the Oilers 17-5 in the final frame on Saturday. 

McDavid had a prime chance to add to his NHL-leading 105 points in the third period when he picked up a Canucks turnover in the neutral zone and sped away for a breakaway. 

The Oilers captain attempted to put a wrist shot in from the top of the crease but Demko made a blocker save.

The Canucks netminder kept the score tied at 1-1 with a stellar stop midway through the second period. 

The Oilers were awarded their second power play of the game when Zack MacEwen hauled down Joakim Nygard. Alex Chiasson’s snapshot from the bottom of the slot nearly restored Edmonton’s lead, but Demko swept it off the goal line with his right pad. 

Edmonton’s first power play of the afternoon didn’t go as planned. Vancouver’s J.T. Miller was called for holding 1:12 into the second period and 15 seconds later, the puck was in the back of the Edmonton net. 

A shot by Leon Draisaitl went wide and was picked up by Tanner Pearson. He streaked up the ice and sent a backhanded pass across the top of the crease to Horvat, who popped it in to tie the game at 1-1. 

It was the Canucks’ fifth short-handed goal of the season and Horvat’s 18th goal of the year. 

Still stationed in the penalty box, Miller tapped his stick against the glass in appreciation. 

Edmonton was 0 for 3 on the power play and Vancouver went 0 for 2. 

Larsson opened the scoring 12:45 into the opening frame, blasting a slapshot past Demko from above the right faceoff circle. 

McDavid and Draisaitl had assists to extend their point streaks to eight games. McDavid has 21 points (five goals, 16 assists) over the stretch and Draisaitl has 17 points (7-10).  

Edmonton still won the 10-game season series with six victories over Vancouver. 

The Canucks will host the Calgary Flames on Sunday, kicking off a three-game series that will close out the season for both sides. 

Notes: Slater Koekkoek returned to the Oilers lineup after missing 20 games with a broken collarbone. … Canucks defenceman Jalen Chatfield turned 25 on Saturday. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 15, 2021. 

The Canadian Press

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