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Red Deer to have a drug treatment court to help break the cycle of crime and addiction


9 minute read

From the Province of Alberta

Supporting recovery and combatting drugs in Red Deer

A new drug treatment court in Red Deer will help support addiction treatment and recovery, while increased support for law enforcement will target drug traffickers and suppliers.

Red Deer will have one of five drug treatment courts outside of Edmonton and Calgary as part of government’s four-year investment of up to $20 million toward expanding the program across the province.

The government is also providing Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT) with a $50-million budget increase for initiatives to disrupt and dismantle organized crime. A portion of this new funding will allow ALERT to expand regional organized crime units across the province, including the addition of three new investigators to the regional unit based in Red Deer.

“Our government will be opening a drug treatment court in Red Deer to reduce crime by offering treatment to those struggling with addiction to help get their lives back on track. We are also ensuring law enforcement in central Alberta have the resources they need to disrupt and dismantle the organized crime groups that traffic and supply the illegal drugs that fuel addiction and take a terrible toll on our communities.”

Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General

“Our government has made several important investments in mental health and addiction services across the province over the last year to ensure all Albertans have access to the supports they need to get on the road to recovery. This announcement is no exception. Drug treatment courts are an important way to help Albertans on the road to recovery. We are committed to ensuring people everywhere, including in Red Deer, get the support they need now and in the future.”

Jason Luan, Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions

“I am pleased that our government has chosen Red Deer as one of the locations for five new drug treatment courts in Alberta. This provides a new avenue for Albertans struggling with substance abuse in central Alberta. I look forward to seeing the positive impact it has on its participants, their families, and our broader community.”

Adriana LaGrange, MLA for Red Deer-North

“The City of Red Deer welcomes news that the Government of Alberta has selected our city for a drug treatment court. With the significant public safety and health issues our community and region are facing, this will help to break the systemic cycle of addiction and crime as a much-needed alternative legal mechanism, as well as alleviate backlog pressures currently facing our justice system locally. Additional capacity in the local justice system will also help support the interests of victims of crime.”

Tara Veer, mayor, City of Red Deer

Expanding drug treatment courts

Drug treatment courts help break the cycle of crime motivated by addiction by giving people who commit non-violent offences access to judicially supervised treatment and recovery. Treatment is supplemented by frequent drug testing, incentives, sanctions and social services support.

“A drug treatment court in Red Deer will be an integral part of a positive, fundamental course correction in the public interest, providing opportunities for us to support individuals choosing to forsake crime, make restitution, and seek freedom from addictions, while respecting businesses and families in our wonderful community. Better days are ahead.”

Jason Stephan, MLA for Red Deer-South

“Rehabilitation of offenders is part of the sentencing regime courts must follow. Those people who are motivated to commit offences because of their addiction to drugs are often most in need of rehabilitation. A drug treatment court serving Red Deer and surrounding areas will assist the court in meeting this objective and we very much look forward to this addition to the court in central Alberta.”

Assistant Chief Judge James A. Hunter

“Drug treatment court is the reason I am alive today. I was facing four years in jail for trafficking methamphetamine in Camrose and was so sick and deep into my addiction that my life was falling apart. My children and I were near death. Today, I am proud to say that I continue my life in recovery and advocate for others who struggle with addictions and mental health.”

Pamela Spurvey, 2007 graduate, Edmonton Drug Treatment Court

“Drug treatment court was an integral part of my recovery journey. Like many, I caused a tremendous amount of harm while in active addiction. Without this program, I might not be alive today and I certainly wouldn’t be living a quality life in recovery. I am grateful for this government’s continued expansion of this program so others get the same opportunity for recovery that it gave me.”

Sheldon Bailey, participant, Drug Treatment Court

“Parents Empowering Parents (PEP) has built a strong partnership with the drug treatment court program over the years. This innovative program and the partnership we’ve built has meant that participants and their families are supported through their long-term recovery. We are excited to hear about the expansion of this program across the province and look forward to seeing its positive impacts.”

Lerena Greig, executive director, Parents Empowering Parents (PEP) Society

“The announcement of the Red Deer Drug Treatment Court is an indication of the innovative and progressive work that Minister Schweitzer has undertaken to combat rural crime in Alberta. Drug treatment courts have proven success in creating the opportunity to change the lives of those who are caught in this cycle of addiction and crime.”

Grace Froese, director, Provincial Drug Court Expansion and Development, Edmonton John Howard Society

New funding will be used to establish drug treatment courts in five locations outside of Calgary and Edmonton. The court in Red Deer, along with a new program in Lethbridge announced earlier this year, is expected to be operational by late 2021. Three additional sites have yet to be determined.

Drug treatment courts have been operating in Edmonton since 2005 and Calgary since 2007, and part of the $20 million in additional funding is also being used to double the total combined capacity of the two existing courts to about 80 participants a year.

Expanding ALERT

As part of a build-up of regional organized crime units around the province, ALERT is adding three positions to an existing team of 15 investigators based in Red Deer.

“The added resources, and enhancement of our ALERT team in Red Deer, will create more opportunities for collaboration, intelligence sharing, and provide a more versatile response to serious and organized crime in the central Alberta region.”

Supt. Dwayne Lakusta, chief executive officer, ALERT

This move will expand ALERT’s geographic reach in rural areas. It also creates opportunities for investigators from smaller law enforcement agencies to gain experience working on complex cases, which they take back to their respective organizations.


Cam Talbot gets shutout as Calgary Flames beat Dallas Stars 2-0 in NHL playoffs

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EDMONTON — Goalie Cam Talbot stopped 35 shots for the shutout, leading the Calgary Flames to a 2-0 win over the Dallas Stars in NHL playoff action Friday.

The Flames lead the best-of-seven first-round series 2-1. Game 3 is set for Sunday.

They won without Matthew Tkachuk in the lineup. Tkachuk, the team’s top point-getter in the regular season, was knocked woozy in Game 2 and didn’t dress.

Mikael Backlund and T.J. Brodie scored for the Flames.

Dallas goalie Anton Khudobin, making his first start of the series, turned aside 21 shots for the loss.

The teams were playing the second game in two nights. The tempo was slower and there was a lot less post-whistle pushing, shoving, swearing, and face-washing.

After a scoreless first period, Backlund scored his third of the playoffs shorthanded. He jumped on the puck after Dallas’s Roope Hintz fell down at centre. He cut in on the backhand and managed to roll the puck up and over Khudobin’s pad.

Talbot held the Flames in the game, particularly in the second period, when Dallas outshot Calgary 16-4.

Midway through the third period, Brodie fired a slapshot through traffic for the insurance goal, the puck zipping by Khudobin as Calgary’s Derek Ryan fell on top of him, knocking his mask off. The referees determined there was no goaltender interference as the puck had already gone in before Ryan collided with Khudobin.

Tkachuk (23 goals, 61 points in the regular season) was out after getting sandwiched between Stars Jamie Benn and Jamie Oleksiak late in Game 2. After the hit, Tkachuk looked wobbly. He returned to the bench, went down the tunnel to the dressing room and didn’t return.

Talbot was the understudy to David Rittich during the regular season, but looked better in the exhibition game against Edmonton in return to play action and has played every minute of the post-season.

Signed as a free agent last summer, Talbot started 22 games in the regular season, logged a 12-10-1 record with a .919 save percentage.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published August 14, 2020.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

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Horvat scores in OT, Canucks beat Blues for 2-0 series lead

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EDMONTON — Bo Horvat scored on a breakaway at 5:55 of overtime Friday night to give the Vancouver Canucks a 4-3 victory over the defending champion St. Louis Blues and a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference series.

Horvat took a stretch pass from Quinn Hughes and chipped the puck through Jordan Binnington’s legs.

Game 3 of the best-of seven series is Sunday.

St. Louis overcame a 3-1 deficit in the third period to tie it, with David Perron redirecting in the tying goal with eight seconds left.

With Binnington pulled for the extra attacker, Alex Pietrangelo shot from the point, and Perron redirected it past Jacob Markstrom. It was initially waved off as a high stick, but ruled a goal on review.

Horvat opened the scoring in the first with an end-to-end, short-handed rush. Wheeling and picking up speed in his own faceoff circle, Horvat hit high gear through the neutral zone, blew past Brayden Schenn, turned Jaden Schwartz inside out and fired a wrist shot low past Binnington’s blocker.

Horvat also scored twice in the opener and has six goals in the post-season.

Elias Pettersson and Tanner Pearson also scored for Vancouver, and Markstrom made 34 stops. Ryan O’Reilly and Sammy Blais added goals for the Blues, and Binnington turned back 21 shots.

Pearson made it 2-0 on a power-play midway through the second, and O’Reilly countered on another power play late in the period. Pettersson connected in a power play early in the third, and Blais made it a one-goal game with 10:58 to go.


TORONTO (AP) — Tomas Tatar and Jesperi Kotkaniemi each scored twice, Carey Price stopped 30 shots and Montreal rebounded without coach Claude Julien to rout Philadelphia and tie the series at a game apiece.

Julien was home in Montreal a day after a stent was placed in a coronary artery. The team said doctors expect a full recovery.

Julien was rushed to St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto overnight Wednesday with chest pain. He had surgery Thursday. Because Julien left the NHL bubble in Toronto, he will have to follow quarantine protocol if he wishes to re-enter it. Kirk Muller will serve as interim head coach for the rest of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.

Game 3 is Sunday night.

The Canadiens roughed up Flyers goalie Carter Hart, who turned 22 on Thursday, and scored four goals through two periods to send him to the bench.

Joel Armia also scored for Montreal.

The Canadiens continued their sensational surge through Toronto hockey and bounced back fine after a 2-1 Game 1 loss. Montreal was the last team in the East to qualify for the expanded playoffs, and then needed four games to win its best-of-five series over Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.


Andre Burakovsky scored late in the third period, Philipp Grubauer stopped 30 shots and Colorado beat Arizona to take a 2-0 series lead.

Burakovsky scored with 2:53 left in regulation when a shot by Kazem Kadri hit Arizona defenceman Jakob Chychrun’s shin pad and left goalie Darcy Kuemper out of position.

The Avalanche scored early in the opening two periods on goals by Nathan MacKinnon and Tyson Jost. Arizona responded each time, tying it on a goal by Clayton Keller in the first and Michael Grabner in the second.

Game 3 is Saturday.

The Associated Press

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august, 2020

fri07augAll Daymon17WALK TO BREATHE from Calgary to Edmonton(All Day)

thu27aug(aug 27)12:00 amsun30(aug 30)11:59 pmHUGE Garage Sale for Crime Prevention12:00 am - 11:59 pm (30) PIDHERNEY CURLING CENTRE, RED DEER, AB, 4725 43 St, Red Deer, AB T4N 6Z3 Event Organized By: The Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre