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Seattle police chief won’t send officers to riots after less-lethal weapons taken away

Council has passed a motion ordering the Seattle Police Department to stop using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse rioters

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Seattle police chief Carmen Best has warned city council and businesses that her officers won’t be able to stop violent protests after the use of tear gas and rubber bullets were taken out of her arsenal.

Seattle has been the site of violent protests for weeks following the death of black man George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in Minnesota.

But now council has passed a motion ordering the Seattle Police Department to stop using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the rioters. Pepper spray can only be used in rare circumstances.

“With this Council ordinance, we hear loudly and clearly that the use of these less-lethal tools by SPD officers to disperse crowds that have turned violent have been completely banned by City Council,” Best said in a letter to council and area businesses.

“Under these circumstances, as created by Council, we cannot manage demonstrations as we have in the past. If I am not allowed to lawfully equip officers with the tools they have been trained to use to protect the community and themselves, it would be reckless to have them confront this level of violence under the current legal restrictions imposed by Council.”

Best said officers have been able to arrest some rioters, but only when they are able to do so safely with the use of force as an option.

“In large crowds, there is no safe way for officers to effect arrests when their colleagues do not have the tools necessary to protect them,” Best wrote.

“As City Council’s legislation goes into effect, it will create even more dangerous circumstances for our officers to intervene using what they have left – riot shields and riot batons.

“For these reasons, SPD will have an adjusted deployment in response to any demonstrations this weekend. The Council legislation gives officers no ability to safely intercede to preserve property in the midst of a large, violent crowd. Allowing this behaviour deeply troubles me, but I am duty-bound to follow the Council legislation once it is in effect. If the Council is prepared to suggest a different response or interpretation of the legislation, I stand ready to receive it.”

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Officers are also barred from using pepper-spray except in dire circumstances where the spray’s dispersal has no chance of hitting anyone else other than the intended target.

“Officers who typically deploy with OC as one of their standard less-lethal options will no longer be carrying this tool,” wrote Best.

One of the recent actions of the rioters was setting up their own autonomous zone which they declared police free.

The area, apparently run by warlords, quickly ran out of food and had to as for vegan donations.

A couple of weeks later the area was back in the hands of police – with barely a whisper from protesters.

After two people – including a 16-year-old boy – were shot and killed around the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone – police moved in and cleared the area.

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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Calgary councillor calls for immediate changes after shocking police arrest video

Jyoti Gondek said changes need to be made to the police act to enable the force to immediately fire officers for gross misconduct.

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A city councillor is calling on the Calgary Police Service to make immediate changes in the wake of shocking footage of a constable slamming a woman face-first to the ground while she had her hands cuffed behind her back.

Coun. Jyoti Gondek, who is wrapping up a three-year term on the Calgary Police Commission, said changes need to be made to the police act to enable the force to immediately fire officers for gross misconduct.

A three-day trial for Alexander Dunn has just wrapped up. he was charged with assault causing bodily harm. A judge will release his verdict at a later date.

Arrest video

The video of the incident, released to the media by the judge, has now been shown around the world – even being picked up by TMZ and the New York Daily News.

“The recently released footage of Constable Dunn with Ms. (Dalia ) Kafi was horrifying & painful to watch. While I appreciate the CPS explanation of why Dunn was not removed from the service immediately, the public is not asking for a technical response,” Gondek said Friday in a series of tweets.

“The public is not interested in hearing about the limitations CPS faces or the inability to take disciplinary action while the case is before the courts. We want to know what leadership will do to ensure it can never happen again.”

CPS has released a statement that said the trial “has raised questions about police accountability in Calgary.

Jyoti Gondek

“These questions are understandable, and we agree that the system needs improvement,” said the CPS statement.

It said there are two areas needing improvement including a quicker timeline in matters of police accountability and asking the province for clarity on when officers can be relieved without pay.

“I implore both the CPS & Calgary Police Commission to issue a clear statement about how the service will ensure that unethical use of force will be dealt with swiftly & justly. Make a statement that shows you understand the gravity of the issue,” said Gondek.

“Calgarians need to hear from CPS leadership that they understand unethical service members are not just “bad apples”. These are officers who hold power & have no desire to follow either the rules of the CPS or civil society.

“It is not enough to say that cases which are now coming into the public eye happened before the current CPS executive team came into their roles. How are you making sure policies & practices have changed?

“Push the Minister of Justice to assign “exceptional circumstances” status in situations where CPS has limited jurisdiction. Use these public revelations of misconduct to open up the Police Act.”

A CPS internal hearing will be held once the criminal matter has been dealt with.

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

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Good news for patch: Spanish firm looking to buy 2 million barrels of oil a month

The move comes after a refiner in India signed a six month deal for heavy oil from Canada.

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A massive Spanish refiner is looking to buy more than 2 million barrels of Canadian oil a month.

The move comes after a refiner in India signed a six month deal for heavy oil from Canada.

The deals have been done, in part, because of the threat of more U.S. sanctions against Venezuela, reports Bloomberg.

“Repsol SA is in talks with trading houses and producers for a contract to buy as much as 2 million barrels of Canadian oil a month, according to people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity,” reported Bloomberg.

“Spain’s biggest oil company is following in the footsteps of India’s Reliance Industries Ltd., which recently signed a six-month purchase deal for heavy Canadian oil.”

The deals have also been made because it’s expected exports from Mexico will increase in price next year.

Repsol has been Mexico’s biggest customer while being Venezuela’s third best.

The Madrid-based company has five refineries in it’s country.

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

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UCP launches new program to improve French service in Alberta

More than 268,615 Albertans speak French, and 86,705 Albertans identify French as their first official language.

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The UCP has launched a program to help deliver French services in the province.

“The 2020-2023 French Policy Action Plan builds on the 2018-2021 plan. It outlines the path for continuing to implement the  French policy that was endorsed by the government in 2019,” said the government in a release.

“All government departments are moving forward with new and existing initiatives – about 100 in total – that make life better for French-speaking Albertans.”

The first multi-year French Policy Action Plan was published in December 2018 for the 2018-2021 period.

In the government’s 2019 French Policy Annual Report, Alberta confirmed that it had successfully delivered on 37 planned initiatives and that ministries had undertaken 23 additional initiatives to improve services in French, said the release

More than 268,615 Albertans speak French, and 86,705 Albertans identify French as their first official language.

Alberta’s Francophonie is the third-largest outside Quebec, after Ontario and New Brunswick.

“I’m thrilled to unveil the 2020-23 French Policy Action Plan that builds on our commitment to further enhance services in French areas that are a priority for the Francophonie. This commitment supports the province’s significant French-speaking population. A vibrant multilingual workforce is an asset to Alberta’s and Canada’s economy. It helps diversify trade, boosts exports and imports, and creates jobs and growth,” said Leela Sharon Aheer, Alberta Minister of Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women.

Since 1996, Alberta’s Francophone population has grown by 40 per cent and enrolment in Francophone schools has increased by almost 270 per cent.

Statistics Canada predicts Francophone population growth is projected to be the highest in Alberta and the territories by 2036. The scenarios predict a 25 per cent to more than 50 per cent increase in Alberta in this time frame.

“Over the course of its two years of existence, the Alberta Advisory Council on the Francophonie has had an increasing number of exchanges and communications with government ministries on issues of prime importance to Alberta’s French-speaking population. I am pleased to see that our recommendations have contributed to the development of the new French Policy Action Plan, which involves 21 ministries and increases access to French-language services.,” said François Eudes, co-chair of the Alberta Francophone Advisory Council.

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

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