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Sweetgrass and CFWE news - May 18, 2016

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Compiled by Shari Narine







Syncrude promises to keep paying employees who fled Fort McMurray fires

May 18, 2016. Syncrude president and CEO Mark Ward told hundreds of employees at a meeting in Edmonton Tuesday that there would be no layoffs because of the temporary shutdown of facilities due to the wildfires in Wood Buffalo and they would continue to be paid. The wildfires forced thousands of oilsands workers from their homes and forced companies to curtail or shut down their oilsands operations. Companies had begun bringing workers back to camps and had begun restarting operations but were once more forced to retreat when wildfires caused another round of evacuations on Monday evening.



Calgary roundtable to explore race relations


May 18, 2016. Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi will provide opening remarks for the Canadian Race Relations Foundation’s roundtable for diversity, inclusion, race and multiculturalism. Nenshi’s address, "The Urban Agenda: Calgary," will celebrate Calgary's success as a hub of diversity and model of inclusion, while also exploring unresolved issues and challenges. “Seeking the champions among us through ongoing, thought-provoking discussions is our aim," said CRRF executive director Anita Bromberg. Dr. Cora Voyageur, an Indigenous professor in the department of sociology at the University of Calgary, is one of the panel members, who will participate in the discussion. The City of Calgary, the Alberta Human Rights Commission, and Bow Valley College have joined with CRRF to host the roundtable in Calgary on Wednesday. This is the CRRF's fifth roundtable in its six-city series, which also  includes Toronto, Vancouver,Montreal, Winnipeg and Halifax.



Public assistance requested for man charged in stabbing


May 18, 2016. Okotoks RCMP are seeking the public’s help in locating Joshua Mindy Shingoose, wanted on charges of aggravated assault and assault with a weapon. Charges stem from an incident at a house party in Okotoks on March 19, where a male suffered a severe stab wound. The RCMP attended the scene and located a knife used in the assault. Further investigation, and public assistance, determined that the suspect was Shingoose, 34, of Calgary. Okotoks RCMP is requesting anybody who may have seen Shingoose or knows of his whereabouts to phone 403-938-4202 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)



Alberta Oil magazine to contribute to “rebuild Fort McMurray” cause 


May 18, 2016. Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Mayor Melissa Blake will speak on Rebuilding Together – Better, Stronger, More Resilient,” at the upcoming event sponsored by Alberta Oil magazine. Artist Russell Thomas, whose portrait of RMWB Fire Chief Darby Allen has put him in the spotlight, will be painting live at the luncheon. Ten dollars from every $125 ticket sold for The 200 Luncheon will be donated to United for Fort McMurray. As well, higher contributions will earn perks: for $1,000 join the Builders’ Club and receive a signed commemorative print of Allen and a free ticket to the luncheon, or for $100 donation, get a limited edition hard hat with a “United for Fort McMurray. We will rebuild” sticker. The 200 Luncheon is also when Alberta Oil releases its list of the 200 most productive oil and gas firms in Canada including the top-performing energy services companies. The event takes place May 31 in Calgary.



Notley, government earn opposition praise for Fort McMurray wildfire communication


May 17, 2016. Former Wildrose leader Danielle Smith has praised the NDP government for how it has shared information with the public in dealing with the Fort McMurray fire. She has also praised the government for keeping now Wildrose leader Brian Jean informed with what’s happening in his home riding. Smith says she never received any such briefings or consideration from the PC government during the 2013 flood, although her riding of High River was gravely impacted. Jean and Don Scott, former PC advanced education minister who Jean defeated last year in the Fort McMurray-Conklin riding, both agree that Premier Rachel Notley has done an admirable job in handling the worst devastation in Alberta’s history.



Trans Mountain expansion project panel includes former Chief


May 17, 2016. Former Chief of the Tsawwassen First Nation Kim Baird is one of three people appointed by the federal government to form the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain expansion project panel. Baird is joined by former Yukon premier Tony Penikett and University of Winnipeg President Dr. Annette Trimbee, who was also a member of Alberta’s royalty review panel. “I encourage communities, Indigenous groups and citizens to engage the panel and let their views on the project be known so the government can make decisions that reflect the interests and needs of Canadians,” said Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr in a statement. The Kinder Morgan project will see the twinning of the 1,500 km pipeline that would triple capacity to 900,000 barrels of crude per day between Strathcona County in Alberta and Burnaby, B.C. The National Energy Board has until May 20 to release its recommendation report. Environment and Climate Change Canada also has until May 20 to release its assessment on upstream greenhouse gas emissions. The panel will begin its work in June and report its findings in November. In December, the federal cabinet will make its final decision on whether to approve the proposed twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline.



Government tabling legislation to take control of environmental monitoring


May 17, 2016. The provincial government is tabling legislation that moves environmental monitoring, evaluation and reporting functions back into government. That role was held by the Alberta Environmental Monitoring Evaluation and Reporting Agency. Bill 18, An Act to Ensure Independent Environmental Monitoring, also establishes the position of the chief scientist and a science advisory panel. The minister of environment and parks will also be required to establish an Indigenous wisdom advisory panel to ensure traditional ecological knowledge is incorporated into the environmental science program. These panels were previously established by AEMERA and will be continued. “This legislation puts us well on our way to stronger monitoring, better reporting and the right governance model in place,” said Minister Shannon Phillips,



Five in custody for attack on man


May 17, 2016. Five male suspects are in custody following a shooting on May 16 in the Samson townsite. However, charges have not yet been laid and the Maskwacis RCMP Detachment is still investigating with assistance from the Community Response Unit, Wetaskiwin General Investigation Section and Police Dog Services. Red Deer Forensic Identification Section attended to the scene to provide their expertise in the investigation as well. A 36-year-old male suffered a single gunshot wound to his left leg and was also physically assaulted and bear sprayed. RCMP responded to a complaint of shots fired in the Samson townsite and located the victim, the lone occupant, in his vehicle. The victim had attempted to drive away from his assailants but car problems didn’t allow him to. The assailants vandalized the car by jumping on the roof and smashing out windows. The vicitm was transported by ambulance to Wetaskiwin hospital and then by STARS Air Ambulance to an Edmonton hospital, where he remains in stable condition.