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Nenshi and council order mandatory masks for Calgarians

Calgarians will have to wear masks in public places as of Aug. 1.

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Calgarians will likely have to wear masks in public places as of Aug. 1.

City council passed first reading of the motion Tuesday night by a vote of 12-3.

Only councillors Sean Chu, Jeromy Farkas, Joe Magliocca vote against the bylaw.

Council will work out final details of the bylaw next Monday.

Farkas said it was “egregious” the province is downloading the responsibility to the municipality and would have rather the order come from chief medical officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw.

He said the bylaw wouldn’t target those now responsible for passing on the virus like attendees at large house parties.

He also said the bylaw should have an ending date.

Chu said the responsibility for masks lies with the provincial government and they should have done it in March.

Magliocca said he didn’t support the bylaw because “we’ve got too much government in people’s lives.”

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the decision was the right one.

“No one takes this decision lightly. Those calling for it are looking at the data and making decisions based on our collective health. We have an opportunity to get this right, and we know this is how to do it,” he tweeted.

Calgary Emergency Management Agency Chief Tom Sampson said the bylaw is a step to protect Calgarians, their mental health and the economy.

“I would consider it a personal loss if we had to go back to the province and ask to shut businesses,” said Sampson.

The city said under the bylaw business operators or owners are required to display signage in public entryways of the business or vehicle. The City of Calgary will make downloadable signage available to businesses and operators on Calgary.ca/covid19.

Businesses are not expected to deny services as not everyone is required to wear a face covering. Exceptions to the face coverings bylaw include:

  • Children under 2 years of age
  • People with underlying medical conditions or disabilities inhibiting their ability to wear a face covering
  • People who are unable to place, use or remove a face covering safely without assistance
  • People who are eating or drinking at a public premises that offers food or beverage services
  • People engaging in an athletic or fitness activity
  • People who are caregiving for or accompanying a person with a disability where wearing a face covering would hinder the accommodation of the person’s disability
  • People who have temporarily removed their face covering where doing so is necessary to provide or receive a service (for example, a visit to the dentist)

“This temporary bylaw should be considered one of our most important tools to keep Calgary open,” says Kay Choi, Manager, Strategic Services, Calgary Community Standards.

“With businesses reopening, more social interactions and the number of cases increasing in Calgary, these additional measures will better mitigate a potential resurgence being experienced around the world. We know that navigating the COVID-19 pandemic has been tough for local businesses and a second wave may further exasperate an already challenged economy.”

Hinshaw announced earlier the province has identified 141 new cases of COVID-19 along with 2 more deaths from the virus.

Premier Jason Kenney called the increases in daily cases the last week “troubling” and urged young people to “knock it off” if they aren’t social distancing properly.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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Phillips appeals decision not to fire cops who followed her

The appeal said the decision “fail(ed) to recognize the severity” of the two officers’ actions.

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Shannon Phillips, who as Alberta environment minister was watched and followed by members of the Lethbridge city police, is appealing a decision not to fire the officers involved.

The appeal, sent by Phillips’ lawyer, Michael Bates, to the Law Enforcement Review Board last week, said the decision “fail(ed) to recognize the severity” of the two officers’ actions.

It said targeting a cabinet minister for “personal political reasons,” should be enough to prove that neither is fit to be a police officer.

“I think public confidence in law enforcement was severely shaken in Lethbridge, and in fact across the province with the revelations of what happened,” the Lethbridge West MLA told the Star.

“I also think the public had a lot of questions about whether justice was seen to be done in this instance.”

Phillips had a Good Friday 2017 meeting with stakeholders involved in the Castle Mountain wilderness area.

As Environment Minister, Phillips made a controversial decision to limit access to the area, including the use of quads.

Sgt. Jason Carrier and Const. Keon Woronuk both had an interest in quadding.

Carrier was on-duty but on a meal break with two other officers when Phillips entered the Chef Stella Diner to meet informally with stakeholders, said a decision paper issued July 9 after an LPS internal investigation.

The decision said Carrier texted the acting sergeant Woronuk that Phillips was at the restaurant and sent him a photo. Woronuk arrived at the diner a short time later.

Woronuk also set up surveillance and subsequently following one of the stakeholders while running a police information check on them.

Woronuk found a nearby position of surveillance of the diner and Carrier took position at nearby parkade with a view of the diner, according to agreed facts entered at the hearing. Phillips eventually left the diner on foot.

“The intent of Const. (Keon) Woronuk to target an attendee of Minister Phillips’ meeting is truly troubling,” stated the hearing’s presiding officer Paul Manuel, a former Calgary Police Service inspector.

Woronuk later posted photos of the meeting on a Facebook page under the name “Mike Corps” which included identifying the stakeholders and, “was accompanied by a long caption criticizing Minister Phillips and her NDP government,” CHAT reported.

Phillips and NDP justice critic Kathleen Ganley called on Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer to order an independent, out of province investigation. Phillips said the investigation is needed to see if the corruption is “more broad” within the LPS.

Schweitzer called in the Alberta police watchdog, ASIRT to investigate.

Woronuk, a 19-year veteran, admitted to five charges under the Police Service Regulation including two counts of corrupt practice and a single count each of deceit, discreditable conduct and insubordination.

He was demoted from senior constable to first-class constable for two years.

Carrier, a 23-year veteran, admitted to discreditable conduct and neglect of duty and was demoted to senior constable for one year.

At the time, Phillips took issue with demotions being the outcome.

“That they can still drive by my house is not an acceptable penalty,” she said.

“I don’t feel safe…these people are still driving around in cruisers, who made a plan to follow me for political purposes.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Alberta experts fear Prussian fish attack in bodies of water

Nicole Kimmel, an aquatic invasive species expert with Alberta Environment and Parks, says the dangerous fish has been spotted in four Edmonton-area ponds.

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The Prussians are coming! The Prussians are coming!

Prussian carp that is. And they could be on their way to killing a lot of Alberta’s native fish.

Nicole Kimmel, an aquatic invasive species expert with Alberta Environment and Parks, says the dangerous fish has been spotted in four Edmonton-area ponds.

Prussian carp

A species of wild goldfish, Kimmel said it’s believed the fish were dumped there by humans.

The government says if you catch a Prussian carp, you are to kill it immediately. Even being caught with a live one will result in a charge.

If you are found dumping the carp into a water body, you could be hit with a fine of up to $100,000.

Kimmel said if the carp is found in a body of of water a pesticide can be used to kill them.

She said the Blood First Nation had a carp invasion a few years ago and “the native fishery is already vanishing.”

Kimmel said the main plan of attack is to educate people not to dump their carp into other bodies of water.

“This should go without saying, but NEVER transplant a species from one area to another. Invasive Prussian Carp are incredibly harmful to surrounding aquatic ecosystems and there are steep fines for letting them loose,” said Environment Minister Jason Nixon.

 In Canada, Prussian carp has only been found in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Alberta brewery shocks Maori people by naming beer after their pubic hair

New Zealand TV presenter Te Hamua Nikora, a member of the Maori community, blasted the brewery on his FaceBook page.

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An Alberta brewery has unwittingly offended the Maori people of New Zealand by naming one of its beers after their pubic hair.

The Hell’s Basement brewery in Medicine Hat used the Maori word “huruhuru” to name its “New Zealand hopped pale ale”.

Unfortunately, in the Maori language “huruhuru” means pubic hair.

New Zealand TV presenter Te Hamua Nikora, a member of the Maori community, blasted the brewery on his FaceBook page.

“Some people call it appreciation, I call it appropriation,” he wrote.

Nikora said he contacted the brewery to inform them of their blunder.

“Don’t call beer pubic hair unless you make it with pubic hair,” he said.

Brewery co-founder Mike Patriquin said in statement to the New Zealand news site RNZ he thought “huruhuru” meant “feather” and he didn’t realise it was a reference to pubic hair.

“We did not realise the potential to offend through our artistic interpretation, and given the response we will attempt to do better in the future,” he said.

“To those who feel disrespected we apologise. We also do not think pubic hair is shameful, though we admit it may not go well with beer.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

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