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Where should cannabis stores be? Where should people use cannabis? What about home growing? City wants to know what you think…

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Tell us what you think about cannabis rules in Red Deer

A survey seeking input on rules in Red Deer related to the legalization of cannabis is posted to The City’s website, and citizens are encouraged to go online and tell us what you think.The survey comes on the heels of the March 5, 2018, council meeting where City Council gave first reading to a pair of bylaws that outline rules around everything from the distance a recreational cannabis retail store is located from schools, health facilities, liquor stores and recreation facilities, to areas where stores could be located.The survey focuses on three key areas:
  • where recreational cannabis retail stores should (or should not) be located in Red Deer
  • where it should be ok (or not ok) to use recreational cannabis
  • where home growing should take place

The survey will be posted to The City of Red Deer’s website between March 26 and April 9, 2018. A public hearing will be held on April 16, 2018 at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers for residents and stakeholders to present their ideas and concerns about cannabis as it relates to the proposed amendments.

While the survey focuses on the key areas outlined above, the public hearing on April 16, 2018 is related only to the land use bylaw amendments currently being considered, which outlines where cannabis retail stores are located as well as the minimum distance between recreational cannabis retails stores and liquor stores, schools, health and recreational facilities.

The proposed bylaw calls for a 300 metre minimum distance, which is an increase from the Province’s minimum distance of 100 metres, with the exception of post secondary schools remaining at 100 metres.

The bylaw is proposing to limit retail cannabis sales to commercially zoned areas, mostly along Gaetz Avenue and 67 Street, and in the downtown.

Responses to the survey will be stripped of any identifying information and will be presented to City Council before it makes its decisions around rules and regulations related to the legalization of cannabis. Public are invited to participate in the survey and/or also submit any general comments as part of the public hearing submission. For more information about public hearings, visit www.reddeer.ca/publichearings.

“While the federal and provincial governments dictate much of what happens as it relates to the legalization of cannabis, we, as a municipality, can implement some rules and regulations that are right for Red Deer,” said Emily Damberger, Planning Manager. “These land use bylaw amendments are about responding to the needs of our community all while being business friendly and acknowledging the change in federal and provincial legislation.”

Retailers will be licensed by Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission (AGLC); however, before a license is issued, a development permit must be approved by the municipality. The City of Red Deer is not currently approving any development permits as recreational cannabis is still illegal.

Citizens can complete the survey at www.reddeer.ca/surveys until April 9, 2018.

For more information about the legalization of cannabis, please visit www.reddeer.ca.

For more information, please contact:

Communications & Strategic Planning
The City of Red Deer
403-342-8147

Emily Damberger
Planning Manager
The City of Red Deer
403-406-8708

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Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury starts moguls World Cup season with gold

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Ruka – Canada’s Mikael Kingsbury has started the moguls World Cup season right where he left off.

Kingsbury won a gold medal at the first moguls World Cup event of the season on Saturday. After earning silver at the Beijing Olympics he finished the last freestyle skiing season with three consecutive World Cup wins.

The 30-year-old from Deux-Montagne, Que., reached the top of the podium on Saturday with a score of 84.50. Japan’s Ikuma Horishima earned silver with an 80.48 and Australia’s Matt Graham took bronze with an 80.12.

Kingsbury had the final run of the day and was surprised when he heard his competition’s scores.

“They were lower than what I expected but I just had to stick to my game plan, do what I wanted to do,” said Kingsbury. “It’s nice that I was able to improve my scores from the Final 1 to the super final.”

It was Kingsbury’s 10th career victory in Ruka, Finland. He has now reached a World Cup podium 145 times in his storied career.

Now in his 12th season on the World Cup circuit, Kingsbury said that he’s as motivated as ever.

“I’m always excited for the first race of the season. So I’ve never had a problem with motivation, really,” said Kingsbury. “I want to be there. I want to be the last guy to go. I want to be in those positions. I want to feel nervous.”

Gabriel Dufresne of Joliette, Que., was the only other Canadian to advance past the qualifiers. He finished 11th with a score of 75.24.

Elliot Vaillancourt (Drummondville, Que., 18th), Kerrian Chunlaud (Sainte-Foy, Que., 22nd), Alexandre Lavoie (Quebec City, 23rd), Daniel Tanner (Calgary, 33rd) and Julien Viel (Mont-Sainte-Anne, Que., 38th) were all eliminated in the qualification rounds, as were Laurianne Desmarais-Gilbert (Sainte-Adèle, Que.) and Maïa Schwinghammer (Saskatoon), who just missed making the top 16 in the preliminaries and moving on to the first elimination round.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2022.

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Alberta

Reducing funding for RCMP on the table for Saskatchewan amid firearm buyback debate

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REGINA — Saskatchewan says it would consider reducing its funding for the RCMP if the force was to help the federal government with its proposed firearms buyback program.

Public Safety Minister Christine Tell says all options are on the table, signalling the province will not help Ottawa collect guns it has banned.

“We as a province fund the RCMP to a tune of 70 per cent, so it could even get more interesting,” Tell said Thursday.

The Saskatchewan Party government said it is pushing back to protect law-abiding firearms owners from what it views as federal intrusion on its provincial autonomy.

Under Ottawa’s proposed firearms buyback program, it would be mandatory for people to have their assault-style firearms rendered inoperable or have them discarded. That could also include centrefire semi-automatic rifles or shotguns designed to accept a detachable magazine that can hold more than five cartridges.

In response, Saskatchewan has introduced its own firearms act to forbid municipalities and police services from receiving federal money to help confiscate firearms.

The proposed law says a municipality, police service or board would have to get written approval from the province’s public safety minister before agreeing to support the federal buyback program.

It also states that Saskatchewan’s chief firearms officer would enforce which federal agent can or cannot confiscate firearms in the province.

“These legal firearm owners are not the ones committing the crimes,” Tell said.

The legislation was tabled Thursday, months after Tell wrote a letter to Assistant Commissioner Rhonda Blackmore, the head of Saskatchewan’s RCMP. It stated that the province would not support the Mounties using provincially funded resources to help confiscate firearms.

Alberta, Manitoba and New Brunswick have sent similar letters to their RCMP forces. They have joined Saskatchewan in asking Ottawa to not use up “scarce RCMP and municipal resources” for its buyback program.

In October, Blackmore said Mounties are service providers, not decision-makers, and any decisions over the buyback program are between the federal and provincial governments.

“As the service provider, we would be the individuals that get our information from them,” Blackmore told The Canadian Press.

That includes if additional resources would be needed by RCMP once the buyback program rolls out.

“It would depend on the level of expectation, and what that looks like, and what the involvement is if there are additional resources,” Blackmore said.

The specific role of the RCMP and the details surrounding the buyback program have not been determined.

On Friday, the Saskatchewan RCMP said it will continue to prioritize front-line services and the safety of communities is its highest priority.

The Saskatchewan Firearms Act also calls for helping firearm owners get fair market value for guns collected through the buyback program and would require all seized firearms to go through forensic and ballistic testing.

The Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation, which advocates for hunters and the protection of the province’s hunting heritage, praised the proposed act, saying it would mitigate the “draconian” federal legislation.

There are approximately 115,000 licensed firearms owners in Saskatchewan, 75,000 of whom may be penalized under the federal government’s policy. That’s about 10 per cent of Saskatchewan’s adult population, the province said.

Saskatchewan’s NDP Opposition has stood united with the government to denounce the program.

“It does not strike the right balance for Saskatchewan,” justice critic Nicole Sarauer said last week in the legislature.

“These amendments are overbroad and capture rifles that have legitimate uses for both hunters and producers in Saskatchewan.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2022.

Mickey Djuric, The Canadian Press

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