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Alberta

Retired Oil Field Worker sparks national conversation with his pitch for a new route to move Alberta Oil

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The following Opinion piece comes from local writer / editorialist (and former oil field worker) Garfield Marks. 

We have not been able to run our bitumen through a pipeline to a refinery in New Brunswick. There has been resistance in parts of Ontario and in Quebec. What if we came up with another plan. Would we consider it? There will be road blocks, but not insurmountable, would we consider it?
Yes how about Thunder Bay?
Thunder Bay, Ontario, the largest Canadian port of the St. Lawrence Seaway located on the west end of Lake Superior, 1850 kms. from Hardisty, Alberta. A forgotten jewel.
So what, you may ask. 
They used to ship grain from Thunder Bay in huge tankers to ports all over the world. Why not oil?
The Saint Lawrence Seaway ships fuel, gasoline and diesel tankers, to this day.
We could run oil tankers to the Irving refinery in New Brunswick, bypassing the controversial pipeline running through eastern Ontario and Quebec.
The pipeline, if that was the transport model chosen, would only need to run through parts of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. Like, previously stated the pipeline would only be 1850 kms. long. 
The other great thing about Thunder Bay is the abundance of rail lines. Transportation for such things as grain and forestry products from western Canada. If you can’t run pipeline from Hardisty, through to Thunder Bay, use the railroad.
Why Hardisty, you may ask.
Hardisty, according to Wikipedia,  is mainly known as a pivotal petroleum industry hub where petroleum products such as Western Canada Select blended crude oil and Hardisty heavy oil are produced, stored and traded.
The Town of Hardisty owes its very existence to the Canadian Pacific Railway. About 1904 the surveyors began to survey the railroad from the east and decided to locate a divisional point at Hardisty because of the good water supply from the river. 
Hardisty, Alberta has the railroad and has the product, the storage capacity, and the former Alberta government planned on investing $3.7 billion in rail cars for hauling oil while Thunder Bay has the railroad and an under utilised port at the head of the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Economics are there along with opportunity, employment would be created and the east coast could end its’ dependency on imported oil. 
Do we have the vision or willingness to consider another option. I am just asking for all avenues to be considered.
In my interviews in Ontario there is a willingness to discuss this idea. 
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation is still reviewing the idea of shipping crude oil from western Canada through its system, and it’s a long way from happening, according to Bruce Hodgson, the Seaway’s director of market development.
“Obviously, there needs to be an ongoing commitment on the part of a producer, and so that’s going to be required for any project of this nature,” he said. 

We could consider it, could we not?
CBC NEWS did a story about this idea on March 7 2019;
A retired oil field worker in Alberta has “floated” a novel solution to Alberta’s oil transportation woes: pipe the bitumen to Thunder Bay, Ont., then ship it up the St. Lawrence Seaway to the Irving oil refinery in New Brunswick.
Marks’ proposal might be more than a pipe dream, according to the director of the Queen’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy.
‘I don’t think that it’s a totally nuts idea’
“I don’t think that it’s a totally nuts idea,” Warren Mabee said. “I think that there’s some flaws to it … but this is an idea that could work in certain circumstances and at certain times of year. … It’s not the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.”
The chief executive officer of the Port of Thunder Bay said shipping oil from the port “could easily be done.” 
“We ship refined gasoline and diesel up from Sarnia. We’ve done that for many many years,” Tim Heney told CBC. “So it’s not something that’s that far-fetched.”
There are, however, plenty of potential drawbacks to shipping crude through the Seaway, Mabee explained, not least of which is the fact that it isn’t open year-round.

The need to store oil or redirect it during the winter months could be costly, he said.
Potential roadblocks
Another potential pitfall is capacity, he added; there may not be enough of the right-sized tankers available to carry the oil through the Seaway. 
Finally, he said, the journey by sea from Lake Superior to the Irving refinery in New Brunswick is a long one, so it might make more sense to transport the product to a closer facility such as the one in Sarnia, Ont.
The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation is still reviewing the idea of shipping crude oil from western Canada through its system, and it’s a long way from happening, according to Bruce Hodgson, the Seaway’s director of market development.
“Obviously, there needs to be an ongoing commitment on the part of a producer, and so that’s going to be required for any project of this nature,” he said. 
So far, no producer has come forward seeking to ship crude through Thunder Bay, he said. 

Asked about the possible environmental risks of shipping oil on Lake Superior, both Hodgson and Heney said shipping by tanker is relatively safe; Hodgson noted that any tankers carrying the product would have to be double-hulled, and crews are heavily vetted. 
Time to rethink pipelines?
There hasn’t been a spill in the Seaway system for more than 20 years he said. 
Nonetheless, Mabee said, the potential for an oil spill on the Great Lakes could be a huge issue. 
“The St. Lawrence and the Great Lakes have a lot of people living in close proximity, a lot of people who rely on it for drinking water,” he said. “There’s a delicate ecosystem there. I think a lot of people would push back against this proposal simply from that perspective.”
In fact, one of the reasons Mabee appreciates Marks’ proposal, he said, is because it invites people to weigh the pros and cons of different methods of transporting oil. 
“If we’re not going to build pipelines, but we’re going to continue to use oil, it means that people are going to be looking at some of these alternative transport options,” he said.

“And if we don’t want oil on those alternative transport options, we need to give the pipelines another thought.

Time to consider all options, I dare say.

​Garfield Marks​

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Alberta

Search for missing man last seen at Red Deer hotel expands

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Missing Man

The Calgary Police Service Homicide Unit is seeking public assistance in relation to the disappearance of Abdikadir TUKHOV, who was reported missing in December 2016.

Abdikadir TUKHOV, 43, of Calgary was reported missing by friends on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. He was last seen on Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, leaving a residence in the community of Abbeydale.

Police have exhausted all footprints of life and as a result of new information from members of community, TUKHOV’s disappearance is considered suspicious. Friends also believe that TUKHOV may have been met with foul play.

TUKHOV lived a transient lifestyle and spent time in Calgary, Grand Prairie, Edmonton and Red Deer. It is believed he worked as a taxi driver in Grand Prairie prior to his disappearance.

Investigators are seeking public assistance to identify a man and a woman seen with TUKHOV at the Cambridge Red Deer Hotel (previously the Sheraton Red Deer), located at 3310 50 Ave., Red Deer, in the early morning hours of Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. Police believe they may have information about TUKHOV’s disappearance or his activities prior to his disappearance.

A photo of TUKHOV with the man and woman is available above.

The woman is described as 25 to 40, with an average build with brown hair.

The man is described as 30 to 45, with an average build. He can be seen wearing a hat in the photo.

“We know that people in the community have information about Abdikadir’s disappearance,” says Staff Sergeant Martin Schiavetta of the CPS Homicide Unit. “Abdikadir left behind a wife and two children and we ask that anyone who has information come forward so that we can provide closure to his friends and family. Even what seems like the most insignificant information can sometimes be enough to help detectives solve a case.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Calgary Police Service Homicide Tip Line at 403-428-8877. They may also contact the Calgary Police Service non-emergency number at 403-266-1234 or Crime Stoppers anonymously through either of the following methods:

TALK: 1-800-222-8477

TEXT: www.calgarycrimestoppers.org

Case # 16660072/4110

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Alberta

Million-Dollar Cocaine Seizure Made in Edmonton

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From ALERT (Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team)

Edmonton… Over a million dollars’ worth of cocaine has been seized after ALERT conducted search warrants at two Edmonton homes. ALERT seized over 11 kilograms of cocaine and 84 kilograms of a cocaine buffing agent.

ALERT’s Edmonton organized crime team made the seizure on June 8, 2019, and one person was arrested. The Edmonton Police Service and Alberta Sheriffs provided assistance.

ALERT alleges that an apartment in the Pembina neighbourhood was being used to package and press cocaine. That is where investigators located 84 kilograms of the cocaine buffing agent Phenacetin – one of the largest seizures of its kind by ALERT.

Phenacetin is a cutting agent used to dilute the purity of cocaine in order to maximize profits. It was banned in Canada in 1973 due to its carcinogenic and kidney-damaging properties.

The total value of the drugs seized is estimated at $1.4 million and includes:

11.37 kilograms of cocaine;
84 kilograms of Phenacetin;
902 grams of ketamine; and
$15,465 cash.

A 26-year-old Edmonton man was arrested. Mihnea Vasiu has been charged with drug possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime.

Vasiu became known to ALERT after he was observed meeting with targets in previous investigations.

Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.

ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime. Members of Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, Lethbridge Police Service, Medicine Hat Police Service, and RCMP work in ALERT.

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