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R.C.M.P. warn against threatening an officer with COVID-19

The public is asked to abide by local, provincial, and federal health orders issued for public safety.

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An Alberta man was charged with multiple offences after coughing on officers and claiming to be positive for COVID-19.

On Sunday afternoon, RCMP officers responded to a disturbance complaint in Wetaskiwin, a city an hour south of Edmonton. The complaint was in regards to a man who was “yelling and swearing” at a residence in the city.

“The male stated he had COVID-19, and coughed intentionally into an officer’s face and again when escorted to the police car,” according to the press release.

“The male intentionally coughed into another officer’s face when being processed at the detachment.”

Dwight Tootosis, 59, of Wetaskiwin, was charged with two counts of assault on a police officer, two counts of failure to comply with undertaking, one count of mischief under $5,000 and failure to comply with the Public Health Act.

“The threat to transmit the COVID-19 virus is a threat to the wellbeing and health of our members which is a criminal offence,” said Assistant Commissioner John Ferguson, Alberta RCMP’s Officer-in-Charge of Criminal Operations.

“To actually carry out these threats would be (a criminal offence:) Assault on a Peace Officer.”

There has only been one charge laid in Alberta to date.

“We want Albertans to know that their provincial police force is fully operational, and continues to ensure the safety and security of Albertans,” a Tuesday press release said.

“These times are unprecedented… members of the public are reminded to adhere to current public health guidelines with respect to slowing the spread of COVID-19.”

First responders in Canada are more at risk because they are required to interact with the public, Over the past month, more than 200 healthcare workers have tested positive for the virus.

In Calgary, additional personal protective equipment (PPE) has been made available to first responders in the city including safety glasses, gloves and coveralls for Calgary Police.

Calgary Police Superintendent Steve Barlow said members are to take precautions prior to entering residences or premises.

Supt. Steve Barlow also said on Wednesday that Artur Pawlowski, a street preacher who is known to police, was issued a ticket for hosting a public gathering of more than 15 people at Olympic Plaza, and a second charge was laid against a person displaying novel coronavirus symptoms for refusal to self-isolate.

The Alberta government has made testing more readily available to first responders in healthcare including police officers, peace officers, bylaw officers and fish and wildlife officers.

Ontario has also moved to provide additional information on COVID-19 statuses, including whether someone is positive and who their contacts may have been.

“First responders put their lives on the line every day to protect Ontarians and they are at great risk of being directly exposed to COVID-19 as they fulfill their frontline duties,” said Ontario’s Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott, and Solicitor General Sylvia Jones.

A Saskatchewan woman – who was fined for violating the public health order in the province – then tested positive for COVID-19. Saskatchewan officials deemed the public information to override the privacy policies in the province.

The woman was originally fined for refusing to comply with the 14-day isolation period – a problem that has been seen in other provinces, including B.C., where a man visited hospitals and COVID floors to “investigate the real story” behind COVID-19.

“This is just absolutely appalling and completely unacceptable, this individual is just a complete idiot,” B.C.’s Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth said.

“There’s absolutely no place for this kind of nonsense, this kind of anti-science moronic behaviour, it’s just totally beyond the pale.”

The public is asked to abide by local, provincial, and federal health orders issued for public safety.

Provinces have granted authority to fine those who disregard health orders anywhere between $1,000 and $25,000 and jail time.

Provincial COVID-19 numbers as of today:

  • Quebec: 10,031 confirmed and presumptive cases, including 175 deaths
  • Ontario: 5,276 cases, including 174 deaths
  • Alberta: 1,423 confirmed and presumptive cases including 518 recoveries and 29 deaths
  • British Columbia: 1,336 confirmed cases, including 838 recovered and 48 deaths
  • Saskatchewan: 271 confirmed cases including 103 recoveries and 3 deaths
  • Nova Scotia: 342 confirmed cases, including 77 recoveries and one death
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 232 confirmed cases including 74 recoveries and 2 deaths
  • Manitoba: 221 confirmed cases, including 69 recoveries and 3 deaths
  • New Brunswick: 108 confirmed cases and 50 recoveries
  • Prince Edward Island: 24 confirmed cases including 17 recovered
  • Northwest Territories: 4 confirmed cases
  • Yukon: 7 confirmed cases

Deirdre Mitchell-MacLean is a Senior Reporter with Western Standard
dmaclean@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter @Mitchell_AB

News

Bigots deface French signs in historic Calgary neighbourhood

Located in the community of Rouleauville, also known as Mission, the stop signs also contained the French word ‘Arret’, French for halt.

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Bilingual signs in a historic Calgary neighbourhood have been defaced, with French words being spray-painted out.

Located in the community of Rouleauville, now known as Mission, the stop signs also contained the French word ‘Arret’, French for halt.

But vandals have recently gone through the community with black spray-paint and covered up the French part.

“Oh look: Calgary’s bigots have been busy -erasing one tiny French word. Come on guys, we’re a better city than this! #frab ⁦@cityofcalgary⁩ ⁦@nenshi,” Sheila Risbud tweeted.

Defaced signs

Leela Sharon Aheer, Alberta’s Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women, responded with disgust.

“These actions have no place in our province and must be condemned. Our government values the role of Franco-Albertans and is committed to ensuring the French language and culture flourish in Alberta,” she tweeted.

Rouleauville, now Mission, was originally named for Charles and Edward Rouleau — brothers who moved to Calgary from Quebec in the late 1800s.

The village had been founded by French Canadian priests. 

In 1907, when the village was annexed by the Calgary its French street names were replaced with the current numbered street system.

Council voted in June to add French to the signs.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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UCP hires fired federal Tory official as new executive director

Dustin van Vugt was fired in December after the federal Conservative party’s fundraising arm (the Fund) launched an internal audit into how the party handles expenses.

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The Alberta United Conservative Party has a new executive director – the man fired over the Andrew Scheer private school controversy.

Dustin van Vugt was fired in December after the federal Conservative party’s fundraising arm (the Fund) launched an internal audit into how the party handles expenses.

van Vugt was the executive director of the Fund.

The firing came less than 24 hours after Global News reported that Conservative leader Scheer was using Fund money to send his children to private school, an arrangement van Vugt took responsibility for.

In a statement, van Vugt described the arrangement as “normal practice for political parties” and said “all proper procedures were followed and signed off on by the appropriate people.”

The seven-person board, which included former prime minister Stephen Harper, were furious over the arrangement, Global reported at the time.

Other Tories said van Vugt was being made a scapegoat.

Van Vugt replaces Brad Tennant, who left the job to become a vice-president at the lobbying firm Wellington Advocacy. 

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Biden again vows to shutdown KXL pipeline calling Alberta oil ‘tar sands’

“I’ve been against Keystone from the beginning. It is tar sands that we don’t need — that in fact is very, very high pollutant,” Joe Biden said in an interview on CNBC.

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Likely U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden trashed the Alberta oil industry Friday and again vowed to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline expansion project.

“I’ve been against Keystone from the beginning. It is tar sands that we don’t need — that in fact is very, very high pollutant,” Biden said in an interview on CNBC.

“We’re gonna transition gradually to get to a clean economy.

“But the idea of shutting down Keystone, as if that is the thing that keeps the oil industry moving, is just not rational. It does not economically, nor, in my view, environmentally, make any sense.”

Biden was repeated statements made earlier this week by a campaign official that drew the ire of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.

Kenney noted the pipeline is part of “sensitive” Canada-U.S. relations and he would “hate to see thousands of miles of pipe pulled out of the ground” if Biden revokes the permit.

Kenney said he was “disappointed” in Biden’s stand and said Alberta officials hope to work with his campaign on the issue.

“It is supported by Americans and all the governors along the pipeline route,” said Kenney.

“KXL would guarantee North America energy independence.”

Kenney announced in April his government was providing $1.5 billion in equity investment and a $6-billion loan guarantee to TC Energy to get the Keystone XL project completed but so far no details have been publicly released. 

After the project is completed, Kenney said the government would sell its shares back to TC Energy but he did not say at what price.

Kenney said while the $1.5-billion has been used to put thousands of people back to work, the $6-billion part of the deal remains untouched.

The premier noted the cross border section of the pipeline has been completed and without the government’s $1.5 billion, work “wouldn’t have been able to start this year.”

He said the remainder of the money would be for the 2021 construction season which TC Energy won’t make a decision on until next January.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi called the Biden news “terrible”.

He noted TC Energy has had many stop-and-gos in the process and “it would be ridiculous to revoke the permit at this time.

“There has been an enormous amount of work gone into the project… and it fits into Canada’s climate goals,” said Nenshi.

If it is stopped “I would feel very disappointed…it feels very late in the game now,” Nenshi said.

 In 2015, Biden was then vice-president to Barack Obama who cancelled the permit.

“It’s still the right decision now. In fact, it’s even more important today,” Stef Feldman told the CBC Monday.

“Biden strongly opposed the Keystone pipeline in the last administration, stood alongside President Obama and Secretary [of State John] Kerry to reject it in 2015, and will proudly stand in the Roosevelt Room again as president and stop it for good by rescinding the Keystone XL pipeline permit.”

When he was elected, Trump overruled the Obama decision and approved the oft-delayed pipeline for construction.

Environmental groups in the States have fought tooth-and-nail in an effort to stop the pipeline.

A judge in Montana put a halt to further construction of the pipeline over concerns of what effects the project may have on endangered species.

The federal judge ordered the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers to conduct a further review and barred it from authorizing dredging in waterways covered by the permit.

The Keystone pipeline runs from Alberta to refineries in Illinois and Texas.

The new pipeline would run from Hardisty, Alberta to Steele City, Nebraska.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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