Alberta News in Brief for November 29

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016 12:04pm


New Fort Saskatchewan RCMP CO proud to be Metis

November 29, 2016. Insp. Christopher Culhane, new commanding officer at Fort Saskatchewan RCMP detachment since Nov. 14, is a proud Métis. Growing up in Edmonton, Culhane's ancestry, which can be traced back to Gabriel Dumont, was instilled at a young age, with stories handed down by his mother and grandfather, who spoke a little Cree. Culhane sees his Indigenous roots as allowing him to be both a role model, setting an example of what Indigenous people can achieve, and providing him with a unique perspective to help him lead a detachment in a region with a fast growing Aboriginal population. Building trust with all communities will be a major priority. Culhane’s policing career spans 21 years, with stops in British Columbia, Northwest Territories and Alberta.


First Nations, Metis lands exempt from proposed OHV helmet laws

November 29, 2016. An amendment to the Traffic Safety Act, if passed, would require recreational users of all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, dirt bikes, and other off-highway vehicles, to wear helmets when heading out on the trail. However, those riding on First Nations and Metis Settlement lands would be exempt along with those undertaking farming and ranching work. In September 2016, government consulted with Albertans and stakeholders about how to improve safety for people using OHVs and 65 per cent of those said helmets should be required. If passed, the new rules will come in to effect in May of 2017.


Alberta Liberals support pipeline construction

November 29, 2016. The Alberta Liberals unanimously passed a resolution at its annual party policy convention in Calgary on Saturday to approve the use of pipelines to stimulate the economy, so long as construction is “safe and cost effective, and includes the free consent of First Nations,” said leader David Swann. He said he wants the party to stand as a “centrist, moderate option” for Alberta voters who feel left out by the other major parties and may be looking to switch allegiances, particularly those from Alberta’s Progressive Conservative party. The Liberals now stand at 11.7 per cent support among Albertans. Swann will be stepping down as party leader at the end of the spring session of the legislature.


Senior men’s baseball team changes name

November 29, 2016. In the 2017 baseball season, the Senior AA Innisfail men’s team will play in the Parkland Baseball League under the name of “Trappers” instead of “Indians.” In a recent blog, team manager Desmond Bouteiller said the decision was made to change the name following an incident in Lloydminster. After stopping for lunch there, the team ended up playing in a road hockey tournament with teams of Indigenous descent. Bouteiller says he and his teammates paused when asked what their team name was. The team decided on “Trappers” in part to honour Innisfail's early history, which records explorer and fur trader Anthony Henday likely having seen the Rockies for the first time from a hill near Innisfail.


Further MGA amendments suggests agreements between municipalities, First Nations

November 29, 2016. Changes to the Municipal Government Act could push cities to form agreements with First Nations on their borders. Last week, Municipal Affairs Minister Danielle Larivee introduced draft amendments to a set of changes introduced last spring. The current set of changes give all towns and counties three years to make funding and co-operation agreements with adjacent municipalities. Following that move, the next set of changes require municipalities to take similar action with adjacent First Nations. However, as the MGA has no jurisdiction on First Nations reserves, agreements would be voluntary. Larivee said she views such action as a “first step” and Alberta Indigenous Relations would possibly consult further.


Edmonton’s Food Bank kicks in campaign

November 29, 2016. Edmonton’s Food Bank is aiming to collect 275,500 kg of food and raise $1.4 million during its Christmas/Festive campaign which runs from Nov. 14 to Jan. 6, 2017. Year round the food bank assists an average of 20,000 people per month through its hamper programs while providing organizations with food for 230 soup kitchens, shelters, schools and agencies assisting those less fortunate throughout our community. The Christmas campaign is essential to the work of the food bank by helping to keep the shelves stocked into the New Year. The food bank is collecting donations – food and money – at a variety of events throughout Edmonton including performances of A Christmas Carol, at the Citadel, from Nov. 26-Dec. 23; Safeway, Sobeys and IGA, until Dec. 13, with $2 donations earning five air miles; and the CP Holiday Train on Dec. 8 at 7935 Gateway Boulevard.