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Alberta

Update 4: Northwest Alberta wildfire (May 24 at 5:00 p.m.)

Published

May 24, 2019

From Government of Alberta:

Nearly 400 firefighters, 28 helicopters and eight air tankers continue to battle northwest Alberta wildfires. Evacuees can sign up for financial support Sunday.

Current situation

  • The Chuckegg Creek Wildfire is burning approximately three kilometres southwest of the Town of High Level in Mackenzie County.
  • This out-of-control wildfire has grown to almost 100,000 hectares.
  • Resources on the ground include about 261 wildland firefighters, 154 structural fighters and staff on the ground, supported by 28 helicopters, eight air tankers and 46 pieces of heavy equipment.
  • Continuing dry and windy conditions in most of Alberta have increased the danger of forest fires.
  • Evacuation centres have registered approximately 3,700 people as of May 24 at 2 p.m.
  • A voluntary evacuation is in place for Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement and areas north of High Level.
  • The province will provide one-time financial support to evacuees displaced by northwest wildfires.
  • You may qualify for the evacuation payment if you were:
    • living, working or vacationing in the affected area
    • forced to leave due to an evacuation order
    • paid for most of your costs to evacuate
  • Albertans who qualify will receive $1,250 for each adult and $500 for each dependent child.
  • Applications will open:
    • Online – starting Sunday, May 26 (Interac e-transfers may take 24 hours to go through)
    • In person at evacuation reception centres – starting Monday, May 27
    • If you require assistance registering, call 310-4455
  • Alberta Health Services evacuated 19 patients from the Manning Community Health Centre due to smoke from the wildfires.
  • Detailed information is available on emergency.alberta.ca, which is updated frequently.
  • Alberta Emergency Alerts has cancelled the High Level and Bushe River Reserve emergency alerts and have consolidated them into a larger Mackenzie County alert.

Reception centres

  • Reception centres are open at:
    • Slave Lake Legacy Centre (400 6 Avenue)
    • High Prairie Gordon Buchanan Centre (5409 49 Street)
    • Grande Prairie Regional College (10726 106 Avenue)
    • Peace River Misery Mountain Ski Hill (10408 89 Street)
    • La Crete Heritage Centre (25411 Township Road 1060, south of La Crete)
    • Fort Vermilion Community Cultural Complex (5001 44 Avenue)
    • Hay River Dene Wellness Centre (In K’atl’ Odeeche First Nation, 17 kilometres east of Hay River)

Highway closures

  • Highway 35 remains closed between five kilometres and 30 kilometres south of High Level. Highway 697 and the La Crete Ferry is identified as a detour. La Crete Ferry is operational with wait times of approximately one hour.
  • Highway 58 from High Level to approximately 70 kilometres from the junction with Range Road 45A remains closed.

Insurance information

  • Evacuated residents should retain all their receipts for food purchases, accommodation and other related expenses to provide to their insurer for possible reimbursement.
  • Most home and tenant’s insurance policies provide reasonable coverage for living expenses during an evacuation. Contact your insurance company for details.
  • Albertans who cannot remember or reach their insurance provider, can contact the Insurance Bureau of Canada at 1-844-227-5422 or by email at askibcwest@ibc.ca. Information to understand your fire insurance coverage is online at www.ibc.ca/ab/disaster/alberta-wildfire.

Air quality

Health

  • Mental health support is available by calling Alberta’s 24-hour Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642.

Pets and livestock

  • Animal Control are collecting household pets that have been left behind. Pets will be moved to a safe and secure location outside of the Town of High Level. If you have left your household pet behind, please contact 780-926-2201.
  • Mackenzie County has stock trailers to assist with livestock. transport. Visit www.highlevel.ca for more information.

Donations and volunteers

Canada Post

  • Canada Post has suspended mail delivery services in the communities of High Level, Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement, Meander River, Chateh and Keg River.
  • Mail will be held at the Edmonton depot until mail service resumes.
  • Check the Canada Post website for updates.

Income Support, Alberta Supports and AISH

  • Residents receiving benefits from the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) or the Income Support program by cheque rather than electronic deposit, and who are affected by the wildfire in High Level, can visit their nearest Alberta Supports Centres Alberta Supports [www.alberta.ca/alberta-supports.aspx] to pick up their cheque.
  • If you are in La Crete, you can pick up your cheque at the local reception centre. If you receive your benefits via direct deposit, your payment will be deposited as usual.
  • For information on child intervention and child care, residents may contact 1-800-638-0715
  • If persons with developmental disabilities, their families or contracted service providers need human, financial, or in-kind assistance to connect with loved ones, find accommodations or provide assistance to individuals receiving PDD supports, please contact the nearest Alberta Supports Centre for assistance. You can find a list of Alberta Supports Centres online Alberta Supports www.alberta.ca/alberta-supports.aspx or you can call the Alberta Supports contact Centre at 1-800-232-7215 provincewide between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday to Friday. 
  • For additional information on social benefits, affected individuals can contact Alberta Supports at www.alberta.ca/alberta-supports.aspx or call 1-877-644-9992, Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Health card, driver’s licences, ID cards, birth certificate

  • To get a replacement Health Care Insurance Card at no cost, you can contact 780-427-1432 or toll free at 310-0000 and then 780-427-1432 when prompted. Your Alberta Personal Health Card can be mailed to a temporary address.  
  • If driver’s licences, ID cards, and/or birth certificates were left behind during the evacuation, replacement cards and certificates can be ordered free of charge at a registry agent. A list of registry locations can be found at https://www.alberta.ca/registry-agents.aspx

Other information

  • Residents driving through the area should carry enough fuel as there may be shortages.

Public information

  • You can call 310-4455 for more information.

President Todayville Inc., Former VP/GM CTV Edmonton, Honorary Lieutenant Colonel 41 Signal Regiment, Board Member Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Award Foundation, Past Board Member United Way of Alberta Capital Region, Musician, Photographer.

Alberta

The old paving scam is back – don’t fall for it

Published

on

August 19, 2019

 

Alberta RCMP warns property owners of paving contractor scams

Edmonton—This summer, the Alberta RCMP has received reports of several incidents involving paving scams in Western Alberta. Travelling companies, posing as legitimate contractors, offer paving or sometimes roof sealing services typically to senior citizens in rural communities. These individuals have been known to provide few details of their identity and utilize non-descript vehicles rarely bearing commercial logos.

The Alberta RCMP urges property owners to beware of out-of-town companies offering such services. The contractors claim to have leftover asphalt from previous jobs and promise to provide quality services. However, the product used is believed to be cold, recycled asphalt or a gravel and oil mixture with no lasting properties. This results in the asphalt falling apart once it is driven on. By that time, these fraudsters are long gone, disappearing with their payment before the customer realizes they have been scammed.

We would like to remind residents to exercise caution when retaining contractor services and if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

Residents should be weary of any contractors who:

  • Come to your door saying they are working in the area offering a deal for leftover asphalt
  • Drive vehicles bearing no business names or logos
  • Pressure you into making a quick decision or refuse to take “no” for an answer
  • Ask for a down payment to buy materials
  • Refuse to give you a written quote with their business name, physical address and outlining the services they will provide prior to completing the work

Here a few tips to avoid falling prey to scammers:

  • Before agreeing to contract a person who comes to your door, get names of their previous customers and verify that they were satisfied with the work
  • Do some research on the company with either the Better Business Bureau in Alberta, with the Consumer Investigations Unit, with your local Rural Crime Watch or on social media site
  • Make sure to obtain a written quote from the contractor that includes the full business name, full address, phone number, GST number and provincial and municipal license numbers, if applicable
  • Ensure the quote you receive gives details such as the quantity and specifies the quality of materials being offered
  • Obtain quotes from local supplier as a form of comparison

The Alberta RCMP is working with the Alberta Consumer Investigation Unit (CIU) to counter this trend. If you or anyone you know have any information on these companies, please contact the Consumer Investigations Unit – North (north of Ponoka) at 587-985-4735 or the Consumer Investigations Unit – South (south of Ponoka) at 403-803-8229.

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Alberta

Energy Companies calling on average Canadians to make oil and gas top of mind for federal politicians

Published

on

Three of Canada’s top energy sector leaders are asking average Canadians to boost Canada’s energy industry ahead of this fall’s federal election.  The Presidents of Cenovus Energy, Canadian Natural Resources Limited, and MEG Energy have penned an “Open Letter to Canadians” urging everyone to talk to federal candidates about supporting the energy sector.

The letter makes a simple assessment of the facts surrounding energy creation worldwide and asks Canadians to back our own companies as they attempt to lead the way toward “a lower carbon future”…

Open letter to Canadians from:

Tim McKay, Canadian Natural Resources Limited,

Alex Pourbaix, Cenovus Energy,

Derek Evans, MEG Energy

We have big decisions to make as a country, and there is an opportunity for each of you to influence the outcome.

Canadians want to know what the energy sector is doing to address the global climate change challenge while working to strengthen our economy.

As energy company leaders, we believe Canada is ideally positioned to do its part to both positively impact climate change and ensure a strong and vibrant economy for the future.

This is not an ‘either’ ‘or’ conversation, it’s an ‘and’ conversation.

The world needs more energy to sustain a growing global economy that is expected to lift three billion people out of poverty in the decades ahead. We need more wind, solar and hydro, but oil and natural gas remain a large part of the mix too. This is true in even the most optimistic scenarios for the worldwide adoption of renewable energy.

The world also needs to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  But shutting down Canada’s oil industry will have little impact on global targets.  In fact, it could have the opposite effect, with higher carbon fuels replacing our lower emissions products.

A healthy Canadian oil and natural gas industry is vital in leading the way to a lower carbon future.

Made-in-Canada technologies that reduce emissions at our oil and natural gas operations could be adapted for sharing with other industries worldwide.  We are already making meaningful progress developing those solutions.

We’ve reduced the emissions intensity in the oil sands by about 30% over the past two decades, and a number of oil sands operations are producing oil with a smaller greenhouse gas impact than the global average.  We’re working to get those numbers even lower.

And Canada’s energy companies are the country’s single largest investors in clean tech.  Through organizations such as Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC) and the Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN) we are continuing to work on – and share – breakthrough technologies.

But we can’t do it alone.

And that’s why we are writing this letter.

As we head into the upcoming election, we are asking you to join us in urging Canada’s leaders of all political stripes to help our country thrive by supporting an innovative energy industry.  One that can contribute to solving the global climate change challenge and play a significant role in creating future energy solutions by developing our resources in the cleanest most responsible way possible today.

The choices we make will determine the quality of life we create for ourselves and future generations.  These choices will impact our ability to fund schools, hospitals, parks and the social programs that we as Canadians so deeply value.

This isn’t about any particular pipeline, policy or province. This is about the future of Canada.

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