Gang-related activity results in two shootings
November 22, 2016. Maskwacis RCMP and the Wetaskiwin/Maskwacis General Investigation Section are currently investigating two gang-related shootings that occurred between Nov. 19 and Nov. 20 on the Samson Cree Nation. In both instances a person was shot after a suspect or suspects fired a gun indiscriminately towards a residence. Both victims received treatment at the Wetaskiwin hospital for non-life threatening injuries. Due to the indiscriminate nature of the shooting both crimes posed a significant safety risk to innocent persons. In one instance, a bullet narrowly missed a 15-month-old infant. Police believe that both shootings are the result of increased tension between rival gangs. The RCMP are concerned for the safety of the public and remind people that allowing gang members or gang associates into their residence, whether or not they are family, increases the risk to their safety. The RCMP are requesting the assistance of the community in solving both of these crimes. If you have any information about these shootings please call the Maskwacis Detachment at 780-585-3767 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).
Wildrose calls for emergency debate on child welfare program
November 22, 2016. The Wildrose Opposition is calling for an emergency debate in the legislature on the state of Alberta’s child welfare program following a report released by the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate last week into the death of a child who had previously been in kinship care. A report from the Edmonton Journal further underscored the concerns, releasing information from the medical examiner showing the severity of the abuse the child was subject to. “These shocking details laid out for Albertans require action and a debate in the legislature in order to lift the curtain of secrecy surrounding this case and recognize the demand for justice,” said Brian Jean, Wildrose leader. The OCYA report found a kinship care program that failed to do proper screening, training or inspection in homes, says Wildrose.
Banff named to “must see” list for National Geographic Traveler
November 22, 2016. The National Geographic Traveler lists “the magic … from First Nations community leaders” as one reason why Banff National Park has been named to the magazine's Best of the World’s 21 must-see places to visit in 2017. "It's no secret that 2017 marks Canada's sesquicentennial celebration of cool. But we love Canada for little reasons as much as landmarks and milestones. So our story is about how an outward journey to Banff leads to an inner sense of happiness. The magic comes from person-to-person interactions with big-hearted Canadians, from First Nations community leaders to horse-packing cowboy guides to park rangers to some of the country's newer citizens, who hail from foreign lands but find a happy home in Canada. We aimed to honour the inclusive feeling of Canada, a warm embrace that brings a human-scale equivalent to those majestic landscapes," said George Stone, National Geographic Traveler editor-in-chief. Minister of Culture and Tourism Ricardo Miranda called the naming of Banff a “prestigious honour and we could not be more thrilled with the recognition of our province.”
Provincial funding for restorative justice programs
November 22, 2016. The provincial government is supporting restorative justice programs with $360,000 in grants. The program will provide up to $50,000 annually to eligible First Nations, non-profit organizations, and community groups that practise, promote or develop restorative justice initiatives throughout Alberta. The programs are an alternative or supplement to any sentence and can be initiated at any time during the criminal justice process, with the consent of both the victim and the offender.