Bennett, Feehan to meet with Alberta Chiefs
May 25, 2016. The provincial and federal Indigenous relations ministers will be in Calgary Wednesday. Enoch Cree Nation Chief Billy Morin says Indian and Northern Affairs Canada Minister Carolyn Bennett and her Alberta counterpart Indigenous Relations Minister Richard Feehan will be addressing First Nations leaders at the Alberta Organization of Treaty Chiefs gathering.
Alberta introduces climate change bill
May 24, 2016. Environment Minister Shannon Phillips introduced Bill 20 in the Legislature Tuesday. The Climate Leadership Implementation Act applies a new carbon tax at $20 per tonne in 2017 which increases to $30 per tonne in 2018. The legislation also amends personal income tax regulations to allow for rebates of $200 for single adults, $300 per couple, and $30 per child to offset the direct costs of the carbon levy in 2017. The government will issue rebate cheques in January 2017. The government estimates that households will pay additional indirect costs between $70 and $105 per year. Under the new law, money raised from the carbon levy will be directed to fund investments that have the potential of lowering greenhouse gas emissions, or help Albertans, First Nations, and those who work in the coal industry, transition to a cleaner economy. Bill 20 would also establish Energy Efficiency Alberta which would drive new technologies. Wildrose leader Brian Jean condemned the new carbon tax bill, saying it will hurt families and businesses with increased costs at a time they can least afford it.
Timberlea RCMP detachment reopens in Fort McMurray
May 24, 2016. Wood Buffalo RCMP Detachment is operating again out of the Timberlea building on the north side of Fort McMurray. The majority of the local detachment personnel have returned to work. They were relieved of their duties for 14 days, as soon as RCMP reinforcements from across Alberta and Canada arrived in Fort McMurray. Wood Buffalo RCMP personnel were forced out of the Timberlea detachment on May 3 due to the massive wildfire. After evacuating, local RCMP personnel continued their work in ensuring the safe evacuation of more than 85,000, with police operations centred out of various locations until the RCMP’s south side facility was deemed safe and functional. There are still 79 members from other Alberta RCMP detachments working in Fort McMurray to assist with security patrols. Whenever possible, it is RCMP practice to relieve employees who are personally affected by a local emergency as soon as is possible.
Battlefords RCMP, communities support Fort McMurray RCMP families
May 24, 2016. Battlefords RCMP hosted a barbeque on Friday to celebrate National Police Week and raise funds for RCMP families of the Fort McMurray fires. The barbeque began at 11:30 a.m. and the line-up of community members supporting the event did not end until 1:30 p.m. This demonstration of support was extremely uplifting for all RCMP employees involved in this fund raising event, says Battlefords RCMP. The event garnered $1,500 for the trust fund set up to support the employees affected by the Fort McMurray fires.
Professors, scholars condemn Site C dam go-ahead
May 24, 2016. Professors from the universities of Alberta, Calgary, Athabasca and Mount Royal joined the more than 250 prominent university professors from across Canada, including legal scholars, political scientists, water scientists, and environmental scientists, to speak out against Site C dam, a hydroelectric dam on the Peace River in northeastern British Columbia. They released a statement of concern Tuesday and those concerns were supported by the president of the Royal Society of Canada. "Based on evidence raised across our many disciplines, we have concluded that there were significant gaps and inadequacies in the regulatory review and environmental assessment process for the Site C Project," reads the statement of concern. "Our assessment is that this process did not accord with the commitments of both the provincial and federal governments to reconciliation with and legal obligations to First Nations, protection of the environment, and evidence-based decision-making with scientific integrity." The group says the federal government must take the steps necessary to address the concerns, including whether the project infringes upon treaty and Aboriginal rights and not issue any further permits until the courts decide on the First Nations issues, and until the BC Utilities Commission has completed its review.
Lethbridge SD celebrates FNMI grads
May 24, 2016. The Lethbridge School District hosted its first-ever Grad Feathers Ceremony for its First Nation, Metis and Inuit Grade 12 students. Sarah Heimbecker, FNMI lead teacher for the district, said the time was right to bring all of the district’s FNMI students together for a joint graduation ceremony. Thursday night’s event included FNMI graduates from Chinook High School, Lethbridge Collegiate Institute, Victoria Park High School and Winston Churchill High School. The district celebrated 51 FNMI graduates, up from 26 the previous year, which had marked an all-time high for the district. As well District Associate Superintendent Wendy Fox was bestowed a Blackfoot name meaning Thunder Pipe Owl Woman in a ceremony conducted by Elder Peter Weasel Moccasin.