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Legendary Calgary cop retires after decades of terrifying reporters

While Reuser’s set to retire May 1 after a distinguished and storied 46 years on the job, stories about him will be told in offices and squad cars for years to come.

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Calgary Police Service. Insp. Frank Reuser was already a legend when I began writing for the Calgary Sun in 1998.

While he’s set to retire May 1 after a distinguished and storied 46 years on the job, currently Calgary’s longest serving officer, stories about Reuser will be told in offices and squad cars for years to come.

I remember him as gruff; a disciplined man who spoke his mind in no uncertain terms.

Crime reporter Mike D’Amour

He also terrified most of the reporters in the city.

That posed a problem because Reuser was often the 2900 — the call numbers of a cadre of duty inspectors who were connected to, and oversaw, all that was going on in Calgary while on shift — and often a reporter’s first call after hearing various police-related incidents that screeched from the wall of scanners in most newsrooms.

Now, it was no secret the straight shootin’ Reuser did not easily suffer fools — a category into which we believed the seasoned copper put us all — and his gruff manner and zero tolerance for perceived BS was known to leave journalists shaking after hanging up the phone.

On one particularly hectic day, I brought a tray of coffee into the newsroom as I began my shift. Hadn’t taken my seat when my editor at the time — the Western Standard’s own Dave Naylor — told me to call the duty inspector to check out something he’d heard on a scanner.

I started to call, then my dialling finger stopped in mid-punch over the numbers of the phone. “Who,” I asked, “is the 2900 right now?” Naylor just smiled, and I knew.

“OK, I said, “but I’m telling you if he’s an (expletive) to me one more time, I’m going to tell him where he can shove it and be done with it.”

I completed dialling and had barely introduced myself when Reuser laid into me for having the temerity to even contact him.

That was it.

I looked across my desk at Naylor, shrugged my shoulders and thought of all the nasty things with which I was going to blast that hard-headed cop.

“Listen Frank …” I began. It was at that moment I looked down to see one unclaimed Timmy’s in the cardboard tray.

“Listen Frank,” I continued, “would you like to come to the newsroom for a coffee?”

A long pause on the other end of the phone. “I’ll be there in 15,” Reuser snapped, before abruptly ending the call.

He was at the paper in 14 minutes and — I swear this is true — all the chatter and other normal sounds heard in the newsroom stopped in that moment as everyone stared at the legendary cop.

Reuser didn’t seem to notice and sat at the desk next to me, tore the plastic top from the paper cup and immediately laid into me.

“You guys are lazy,” he said. “You call us, but can’t be bothered to get off your fat asses to check things out yourself.”

I explained to Reuser that without more staff, we had to pick and choose the calls we chased and calls to the 2900 were necessary to suss out the importance of the various reports we picked up on the scanners, or from from tips.

Reuser and I went back and forth for a while, then settled into a conversation that lasted more than three hours.

We shook hands when we parted, each with a better understanding of the other’s job. I’d like to say it was smooth sailing with the inspector after our visit, but it wasn’t.

Yet I will say Frank toned it down a bit when we called, and we reporters became a little more circumspect when choosing stories to contact him about. Over the course of the next several years, I had plenty of contact with Reuser and found him to be thoughtful and sensitive.

That became abundantly clear later on when I did a story about another inspector who was retiring. (Ring! Ring!) — “Hey Frank, it’s D’Amour,” I said. “What the hell do you want?” was the reply. “I’m calling about Pete’s retirement.” There was a brief pause, then Reuser started talking about his long-time pal.

It was evident from the emotion in Reuser’s voice that he did indeed have a big heart. I haven’t seen Frank in many years now, but I like to believe that when he does hand in his weapon and tin, he’ll spend at least a little time standing in his front yard with a hose, terrorizing the young punks while telling them to get the hell off his lawn.

Mike D’Amour was the former crime reporter for the Calgary Sun. He is now a freelance journalist living on Vancouver Island.

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B.C. NDP committee blasts own party on diversity

The email said the election has been “terrible” from the perspective of people of colour

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A B.C. NDP committee is slamming its own party for lack of diversity and says it should apologize.

The damning memo was from the NDP’s IBPoC (Indigenous, Black, Persons of Colour) executive committee was obtained by the Vancouver Sun.

The email said the election has been “terrible” from the perspective of people of colour, and that some IBPoC members have left the party, the Sun reported.

The committee called for anti-white supremacy training and diversity/equity training for all party leadership, as well as commitments to address policies important to people of colour, such as banning street checks and protecting hotel-worker jobs, said the paper.

The email said their committee voiced their displeasure in an Oct. 14 phone call with NDP provincial director Heather Stoutenburg and that some action was promised, including a written apology from the campaign leadership team and a video apology from Premier John Horgan “addressing what he did wrong and how he plans to do better.”

“While we have done a lot of work to ensure diverse representation in the legislature through our slate of candidates, we still have much more work to do — specifically within our campaign staff and campaign leadership team,” Stoutenburg said in a statement to the Sun.

“We’re working to assess and improve our hiring practices with a lens on diversity.”

B.C. voters go to the polls Saturday.

Polls taken this month point to a Horgan majority.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Trudeau gave $237-million contract benefiting Liberal buddy’s company

The $237 million was given to FTI Professional Grade, a company that was only established seven days before. It’s website said the company had two employees.

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The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is demanding answers after it was revealed the Justin Trudeau government gave a $237-million no-competition contract to a firm that had been created just seven days before and overpaid by nearly $100 million.

The details were revealed Thursday in the Journal de Montréal.

The report showed during the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the $237 million was given to FTI Professional Grade, a company that was only established seven days before. It’s website said the company had two employees.

The contract was for the manufacturing of 10,000 ventilators. 

After getting the money, FTI hired the firm Baylis to handle the manufacturing of the ventilators, said the paper.

Baylis belongs to Michael Baylis, an ex-liberal MP and an active member of the party since the 1980s. He is also a close friend of Trudeau.

According to the Journal de Montréal, the Trudeau government overpaid by nearly $100 million. 

“The company Medtronic is one of the main ventilator manufacturers. Medtronic sells its unit for approximately $10,000 US, or $13,700 CAD. The ventilators manufactured by Baylis were based on the Medtronic model, but Baylis charged the Canadian government $23,700 per unit,” said the paper’s report.

“This definitely needs to be looked into by a parliamentary committee. It’s possible that there are special circumstances given the urgency, but there’s no reason now, after the fact, not to go back and examine what those might be. If there is any evidence of inappropriate favouritism, it needs to be answered for. This is taxpayer money and it needs to be used prudently, not used to line the pockets of politically-connected individuals,” Aaron Wudrick, Federal Director at the Canadian Taxpayers Federation told Westphalian Times.

The Tories are also demanding answers.

“The awarding of the contract to FTI Professional Grade raises huge questions, because of the ties and proximity of Frank Baylis, who was a Liberal MP until 2019,” said Conservative MP Pierre Paul in an interview with the Journal.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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New test means travellers to Alberta can escape quarantine

“We just can’t allow (coronavirus) to shut everything down,” Premier Jason Kenney said.

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Alberta will give international arrivals at the Calgary International Airport a chance to escape the federally mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

The announcement was made Thursday by officials, including Premier Jason Kenney, who is currently in isolation after his municipal affairs minister Tracy Allard came down with COVID-19.

Kenney said starting in early November, international arrivals at YYC and Coutts will be offered a chance to participate in a pilot project that will see them get a COVID-19 test when they arrive.

The traveller would then have enter into quarantine until the test results come back. If negative, the person will be allowed to leave quarantine as long as they promise to have another test within six to seven days after arriving.

Kenney said every traveller would have to check in daily with health officials and stay within Alberta until the 14-day period expires.

Also on Monday, essential Alberta workers who have to leave the country will have access to a $150 fee-for-service test that will see results come in 72 hours before the person arrives at their destination.

“We just can’t allow (coronavirus) to shut everything down,” Kenney said.

“The impact (of the 14-day quarantine period) has been enormous.

“We must find a way to bring back safe travel.”

Kenney said in 2020 international visitors will spend $3.5 billion in Alberta, a whopping decrease of 63% for the previous year.

He said currently, only 3% of Alberta cases have been as a result of international travel.

Kenney said it’s hoped the pilot project can be expanded to Edmonton’s airport early in the new year.

“This announcement is welcomed by WestJet. WestJet has been advocating for a science-based rapid testing solution to help safely ease the quarantine requirements. With our home and largest hub in Calgary, guests from the province will be the first to experience this extremely important trial as an alternative to a 14-day quarantine,” said Ed Sims, CEO of WestJet.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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