La Crete Fire Department Open House

Satisfy your curiosity and plan to attend the La Crete Fire Department Open House on Monday, October 15, 2018.

Meet and greet your local firefighters, get a chance to ask questions, take a station tour or try on the equipment. There is something for everybody so bring out the whole family.

DMI sells Peace River mill

TORONTO – Mercer International Inc. has signed a deal to acquire Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd., which owns a bleached kraft pulp mill in Peace River, Alta., and a 50 per cent stake in a joint venture which operates a bleached kraft pulp mill in Quesnel, B.C.

Under the agreement with Marubeni Corp., Nippon Paper Industries Co. Ltd., and Daishowa North America Corp., Mercer will pay $465 million for the assets.

Mercer says the deal will boost its annual production capacity for pulp by about 41 per cent.

For more info please click link below

Northern Alberta county. (La Crete) Grapples with natural gas shortage

When families in the remote northern Alberta communities of Mackenzie County build homes, many insist on wood stoves and propane tanks.

Steady population growth over the past decade is outstripping the capacity of the natural gas system to heat homes and businesses, and the shortage has become so severe county officials are considering bylaws to prevent new buildings from connecting to the grid.​

To solve the problem, Mackenzie County is calling for a new pipeline to connect another source of natural gas to its system.

“It’s not reasonable and we really need to see this happening very soon because otherwise we’re not going to continue to grow,” said Reeve Peter Braun.

The project is estimated to cost $45 million. A new 65-kilometre pipeline would connect the existing grid to the Wolverine meter station, a natural gas source south of the Mackenzie County hamlet of La Crete.

Northern Lights Gas Co-op, the not-for-profit distributor that supplies the affected area, owns the grid that connects homes, businesses, schools and health centres to natural gas.

The grid includes communities such as La Crete, Buffalo Head Prairie, Paddle Prairie, Keg River and Carcajou. People in those communities faced a state of emergency last winter triggered by outages during a –40 C cold snap.

“Heat in the home is, in our mind, an essential service,” John Klassen, vice-chair of the gas co-op, told CBC News. “These projects are large dollar-value projects which a small co-op like ours just can’t seem to handle on its own.”

Klassen said the co-op is saving for the new pipeline by charging each user an additional $20-per-month fee, and levying a small tax on every kilojoule of natural gas used.

Klassen estimated it will take his company 10 years to save enough money for the proposed pipeline, by which time he said its price tag may have increased.

‘It’s not a frivolous thing’

Census data shows the county’s population has nearly doubled over the past two decades, surpassing 11,000 in 2016.

Northern Lights Gas Co-op connects an average of 73 new homes to its grid every year.

Waiting a decade for a pipeline crucial to growth and development in northwest Alberta is unacceptable, said Mackenzie County’s chief administrative officer Lenard Racher.

The county is now advocating for provincial funding on behalf of the gas co-op, asking the Alberta government to help pay for the project.

“We’re not naive, we know that every community has challenges but we’re fighting for our little piece of the pie,” Racher said. “If we get this pipeline built here, we’re destined to succeed, but without it we’re destined to fail.”

Mackenzie County wants the province to cover half the pipeline’s $45-million cost with a grant and the other half with a low-interest loan.

“It’s not a frivolous thing,” Racher said. “If we don’t act now, we will be in trouble in two to three years. That is an absolute given.”

For full story and video’s clicks link below

School Bus, with 21 Children On-board, Involved in Collision

Fort Vermilion, Alberta – The RCMP responded this morning at 8:41 a.m. to a collision involving a school bus carrying 21 children. All children were assessed on scene by EMS, and then bussed to a local hospital for further observation. No serious injuries were reported to the RCMP and the children have been released from the hospital.

The school bus was en route to the Hill Crest Community School and travelling on Spruce Road. When it turned north onto Highway 697 the bus went off the road and came to rest in a treed area. Hill Crest Community School is a Kindergarten to Grade 9 school.

Preliminary investigation leads RCMP to believe that the 54-year-old school bus driver may have suffered a medical episode prior to the collision. He was taken via ground ambulance to a local hospital and where he is in stable condition.

Parents have been made aware by the Fort Vermilion School Division No. 52.

The investigation into the cause of this collision remains ongoing. The RCMP do not have further information at this time.

Search for teen who fell into Athabasca River now recovery mission

The search for a teenager who fell into the Athabasca River is now a recovery operation, police said, as he is presumed dead.

Family told CTV News, Gorden Krahn was on the Highway 2 bridge Tuesday night near Slave Lake.

RCMP said boats, helicopters, drones and search teams combed the area along the river, and checked all possible locations where the 17-year-old could have survived.

Clink on the link for a news video.

No fatalities reported as of late Wednesday night, but some seriously injured in Saskatchewan crash

All 25 passengers onboard the West Wind Aviation flight that crashed shortly after taking off from the Fond-du-Lac, Sask., airport Wednesday night “have been accounted for and removed from the scene of the crash,” the RCMP said late Wednesday.

There were no fatalities, RCMP added in a 10:30 p.m. CST news release.

“There was no explosion or fire. A number of people have suffered injuries, some serious enough to require air ambulance services which are currently en route,” the release said.

The ATR-42 plane took off from the airport at around 6:15 p.m. CST. Onboard were 22 passengers and three crew members — two pilots and a flight attendant.

click link for full details

Alberta government officially scraps bill that would get rid of Daylight Saving Time

The Alberta government has officially scrapped a bill aimed at doing away with the semi-annual time change.

Late Monday afternoon, MLAs voted to kill Bill 203, the Alberta Standard Time Act. This means Albertans will continue to change their clocks twice a year.

Edmonton-South West MLA Thomas Dang, who introduced the private member’s bill, said despite the vote, he wants to continue the conversation.

“In principle, what we heard from everybody in the house is, ‘We support this initiative because Albertans support this initiative.’ We just need to make sure we’re not moving that alone,” he said.

“It’s important that since the committee did recommend the government work with other jurisdictions to move this issue forward, that it’s something that as it continues to move through other legislatures and provinces and states across North America, that we’re a part of that conversation and we really try to guide that conversation.”

The topic has been debated for months, with people and organizations across the province speaking out for and against the idea.

In a survey released in August, more than two-thirds of the 13,500 Albertans who responded said the province should scrap Daylight Saving Time.

However, several organizations — including the Oilers Entertainment Group — were against the proposed bill.

Had Bill 203 passed, there would have been two hours difference between Alberta and B.C. from November to March and one hour difference between Alberta and B.C. from March to November. The time in Alberta would have been the same as in Saskatchewan all year round.

Bill 203 was defeated by a vote of 46 to 6.

Alberta government officially scraps bill that would get rid of Daylight Saving Time

50+ killed in Las Vegas Strip massacre

Thousands of country music fans ran for cover as a gunman fired on them from a hotel on the Las Vegas Strip — a mass shooting that is now the deadliest in modern US history.

More than 50 people were killed Sunday night when the shooter fired hundreds of bullets into the crowd, police said.
Over 400 others were rushed to hospitals after the mass shooting and ensuing stampede at the outdoor Jason Aldean concert.
The gunman, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, unleashed a hailstorm of bullets from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said.
Inside his room, authorities found a cache of weapons, including 10 rifles, the sheriff said.
“We believe the individual killed himself prior to our entry,” Lombardo said.
The massacre started around 10:08 p.m. Sunday (1:08 a.m. ET Monday) at the Route 91 Harvest festival, Lombardo said.
Taylor Benge was enjoying the concert with his sister when he heard a relentless onslaught of “200 to 300” bullets.
“My sister, being as noble as she is, threw herself on top of me and said, “I love you, Taylor,” the 21-year-old said.
“Even after an hour and 30 minutes, I didn’t know if I was safe.”
Police said they believe Paddock acted alone. “Right now, we believe it’s a sole actor, a lone-wolf-type actor,” the sheriff said.
But why the massacre happened remains a mystery.

Edmonton terror attacks: Police officer stabbed, people struck by U-Haul

A terrorism investigation is underway in Edmonton, where a police officer was stabbed and four pedestrians struck down by a fleeing U-Haul truck Saturday night.

A 30-year-old Edmonton man is in custody and police think he acted alone, but they aren’t ruling out the potential for others to be involved.

“We are urging Edmontonians to be vigilant and aware of their surroundings,” Edmonton Police Service Chief Rod Knecht said in a 3 a.m. news conference on the attacks.

At around 11:30 p.m., reporter Laurel Gregory was just wrapping up a live report at the end of Global Edmonton’s News at 11 when a police officer shouted out a warning: “Get behind a tree. Or a car. This is for your own protection!”

click link for full details



Dentist, patient agree: Alberta dental guide should take bigger bite out of fees

A dentist and a patient both agree that the new Alberta dental fee guide doesn’t drill down deep enough to cut patient costs.

On Thursday, the Alberta Dental Association and College released the guide, which includes recommended fees for specific dental procedures.

But some of the fees are nearly double those recommended in British Columbia.

Soon after its release, Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said she was “disappointed” with the fee guide and is examining “rather extreme measures” if the ADA&C doesn’t make dental services more affordable.

‘The public deserves better’

After moving to Alberta from B.C. two years ago, Leah Ettarh was floored when she received a $900 dental bill for a cleaning for her and her son.

At the time, she spoke with CBC about the bill in hopes that it would lead to a change.

“Even for people who are fortunate enough to have insurance, there’s still a huge gap in what the insurance will pay and what they’ll still be out of pocket for,” Ettarh said Thursday.

“So it hasn’t really made it much more affordable, and I think Minister Hoffman has expressed that and I’m glad she’s taking a hard stance on this and making the college re-evaluate what they’ve put out because the public deserves better than that.”

Fee guide caught dentist off-guard

Red Deer dentist Michael Zuk said he was caught off-guard by Thursday’s announcement and thinks more dentists should have been consulted.

He said his office’s fees for checkups and X-rays are nearly half those recommended in the fee guide to ensure patients continue to book their appointments there.

“Simply because we work in the office from 8 in the morning until 9 at night, Monday to Friday — and even open weekends now — our overhead is lower per dentist because we don’t have banker’s hours.”

Hoffman said that if the ADA&C doesn’t meet her standards of affordable fees, as a last resort she is examining the possibility of separating the dental association from the regulatory college.

That’s something Zuk said he would support.

“The dental association is like a dentist union — it’s supposed to help dentists. The dental college is the side that is supposed to discipline dentists. Those are completely opposite interests,” Zuk said.

“You can’t have a group both being your friend and beating you up at the same time. Most provinces have separated [them] for a good reason.”

Should Alberta let the sun set on daylight saving time? Have your say online

Albertans are being asked for their input on ending the twice yearly ritual of changing the clocks.

The head of the legislature’s Standing Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future says this could have an impact on the entire province.

“It is important for this committee to hear from as many people as possible about Bill 203,” said Graham Sucha, MLA for Calgary-Shaw.

If passed, Bill 203 would repeal the Daylight Saving Time Act and replace it with Alberta Standard Time.

Alberta would then remain on Mountain Daylight Time year round.

It would take effect on Nov. 2, 2018.

Albertans can submit opinions online. The deadline for submissions is July 28.

In April, the NDP MLA behind the bill, Thomas Dang, said 82 per cent of nearly 26,000 respondents to a survey he conducted said they wanted to end daylight saving time.

For more information clink on the link below

Sears Canada closing 59 locations, cutting 2,900 jobs

Sears Canada will close 59 stores and cut approximately 2,900 jobs under a court-supervised restructuring, the beleaguered retailer said Thursday following years of dwindling sales and a revolving door of top executives.

The announcement came after the Ontario Superior Court of Justice granted the department store chain temporary protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA).

The company plans to continue operating throughout the restructuring and said it intends to emerge as a leaner, more focused operation better able to compete in the hyper-competitive retail industry.

“However, to achieve that goal and to right-size its business, the Sears Canada Group anticipates that a number of stores will have to be closed, operating costs reduced, business lines exited, and head count reductions implemented,” Sears Canada said in documents filed with the court.

The 30-day court protection from creditors will give it some “breathing space” as it tries to revamp its business, the retailer said. The court also authorized Sears Canada to obtain up to $450 million in financing to maintain operations.

Under the court-supervised plan, Sears Canada will close 20 full-line department stores, 15 Sears Home stores, 14 Sears Hometown locations and all 10 of its Sears Outlet stores. Its department stores range from 30,000 to 300,000 square feet, with many serving as shopping hubs in small towns throughout the country.

About 500 office positions will be eliminated immediately, with the rest of the job losses coming as the stores begin to close. As of May 30, Sears Canada employed approximately 17,000 people, with 10,500 in part-time positions and the rest working full-time.

The move, which retail experts had been anticipating for some time, marks a culmination of struggles for a company with roots in Canada that stretch back generations.

Sears Canada has piled up losses and seen its stock nosedive, losing more than 80 per cent of its value in the last year, despite efforts to refashion itself at a time when more Canadians are shirking bricks-and-mortar in favour of online shopping. It has also gone through several leadership changes in recent years.


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For the list of stores stated to close clink on the link below


Fort Vermillion RCMP Recover $75,000 worth of Stolen Property

Fort Vermillion, Alberta – Fort Vermillion RCMP have recovered $75,000 worth of stolen property after executing a search warrant on a rural property off of Highway 58.

On June 1, 2017 Fort Vermillion RCMP investigated a break and enter complaint from a resident. Information obtained through the investigation lead members to have sufficient grounds for a search warrant on another property.

On June 5, 2017 Fort Vermillion RCMP executed the search warrant and made entry to the residence and searched the property. As a result of the search the following stolen property was recovered:

  • 2 flat deck trailers
  • A holiday trailer
  • Ride-on lawn mower
  • Electric stove
  • Wood splitter
  • A mower deck
  • 4 industrial size water containers
  • 9 firearms and a cross-bow

A 50 year old male from Fort Vermillion and 47 year old female from Hinton, were arrested on scene and will be facing several Criminal Code charges.

“The execution of this warrant will bring to a close two RCMP files, as the holiday trailer was stolen out of High Level and one of the flat decks was stolen out of Slave Lake”, said Fort Vermillion RCMP Cpl. Greg Beach.


For more information click on the link below:

New survey reveals 71 per cent of Albertans suffer from digital eye strain

This Vision Health Month, optometrists are urging Albertans to take action to protect themselves from digital eye strain. Edmonton, Alberta, May 16, 2017 – A new survey commissioned by the Alberta Association of Optometrists revealed that more than 70 per cent of adults in Alberta are experiencing symptoms of digital eye strain. The survey also found that Alberta adults spend an overwhelming amount of time on digital devices – averaging more than 10 hours per day. For more than half of respondents, a digital device is one of the first things that they see after waking up (56 per cent), and one of the last things they see before going to bed (52 per cent). “Technology is an important part of our lives,” said Dr. Jim Asuchak, practicing optometrist and president of the Alberta Association of Optometrists. “But when people spend a significant amount of time using electronics, they are more likely to experience digital eye strain which can cause headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision, eye irritation and back, neck and shoulder pain.” While digital eye strain can be prevented and treated, the survey revealed that most Albertans are not taking simple steps to protect themselves. Only four per cent of respondents are taking advantage of the benefits of blue-light blocking lenses. Only 13 per cent of Albertans are practicing the 20-20-20 rule by looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes, and only 35 per cent of Albertans have their screen properly positioned. Of grave concern to optometrists is the fact that only 41 per cent of surveyed Albertans are visiting their optometrist on an annual basis. Many patients do not realize that their discomfort is being caused by digital eye strain until they have a comprehensive eye exam. “The good news is, when it comes to digital eye strain, optometrists can help provide relief to those who are suffering,” said Dr. Asuchak. “Most importantly, we are also able to determine whether patients have an underlying eye health condition that could be causing or contributing to their symptoms.” May is Vision Health Month, and the Alberta Association of Optometrists wants to remind Albertans to follow best practice when it comes to their eye health. Children should have their first eye exam between six and nine months, another between the ages of two and five and every year after that. Healthy adults should see an optometrist at least every two years, and seniors should have annual eye exams. In Alberta, annual eye exams are covered for children up to age 19 and seniors 65 and older. Visits to an optometrist for eye-related emergencies or treatments are covered for all Albertans. Survey details An online omnibus survey was conducted between April 20-21, 2017. Eight hundred and four Albertans aged 18 and over were surveyed. The estimated margin of error for the total sample is +/- 3.5%. About the Alberta Association of Optometrists The Alberta Association of Optometrists represents more than 700 optometrists across the province. The Association works to promote excellence in the practice of optometry, to enhance public recognition of optometry as the primary vision care provider in Alberta, and to advance the interests of the profession.

For more information or to find an optometrist, visit Media contact Jenna Shaw Edelman 403.817.0624

Digital devices are causing Albertans pain

A new survey shows that digital eye strain is elevating to alarming rates in Alberta


There’s no escaping them. Whether it’s working on a computer, sending a text message or watching TV, digital devices play a significant role in Albertans’ lives.A new survey commissioned by the Alberta Association of Optometrists reveals that adults in Alberta spend an average of 10.5 hours per day on digital devices, and all of that screen time is causing digital eye strain.


Alberta optometrists are speaking out about this growing concern during Vision Health Month.


“We are definitely seeing an increase in the number of patients coming in with digital eye strain symptoms,” said La Crete optometrist Dr. Joel Heath.“In many cases, people are surprised to learn that it’s their smartphone, computer, TV or tablet that is causing the problem.”


“When we stare at something close up, the eye muscles have to work much harder than when we look far away, which over time can cause the muscles in our eye to become tired and strained,” explained Dr.Heath. “Also, when we stare at screen, we blink less. We typically blink 12 times a minute, but when looking at a screen, we tend to blink only five times a minute, which can lead to dry eyes.”


These factors coupled with the blue light emitted from digital devices can all result in people feeling the adverse effects of digital eye strain.


While there are quick and simple steps people can take to prevent digital eye strain, the survey data shows that many adults in Alberta aren’t protecting themselves as much as they could. Special lenses are available that can filter out the blue light emitted from screens. Unfortunately, only 20 per cent of Albertans are aware that computer glasses are available, and only four per cent actually use blue-light blocking lenses. The 20-20-20 rule, which involves looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes, can help relax the eyes, yet only 13 per cent of Albertans use it. Even something simple like properly positioning a computer screen can help protect the eyes, but the survey shows only 35 per cent of Albertans have their screen positioned slightly below eye level and at arm’s reach.


Some people may not realize that the symptoms they are experiencing are being caused by their digital device use. That’s why it’s important to visit a doctor of optometry on a regular basis. During a comprehensive eye exam, optometrists can determine if the adverse symptoms patients are experiencing are a result of digital eye strain or are an indicator of a larger problem. They also provide customized treatment options for patients to help eliminate or minimize symptoms.


The Alberta Association of Optometrists recommends children have their first eye exam between six and nine months, another between the ages of two and five and every year after that. Healthy adults should see an optometrist at least every two years, and seniors should have annual eye exams. In Alberta, annual eye exams are covered for children up to age 18 and seniors 65 and older. Visits to an optometrist for eye-related emergencies or treatments are covered for all Albertans.


“While there’s no avoiding digital devices, it’s important to remember that digital eye strain can be prevented,” said Dr.Heath. “By educating themselves about digital eye strain, Albertans can save themselves a lot of discomfort and pain.”


For more information and to find an optometrist near you, visit


Survey methodology: An online omnibus survey was conducted between April 20-21, 2017. Eight hundred and four Albertans aged 18 and over were surveyed. The estimated margin of error for the total sample is +/- 3.5%.


Angel Flight Alberta Thanks Vision Credit Union

Angel Flight Alberta would like to send a HUGE thank you to the La Crete Vision Credit Union for their generous donation to Angel Flight Alberta! Donations like these allow us to continue in our mission helping Albertans in medical need.

Angel Flight Alberta is a charitable organization that provides free air transportation for people needing medical services at hospitals and centralized medical care facilities in Edmonton and Calgary. We use a network of volunteer pilots, aircraft owners and ground support to fly as needed, and as often as our capacity allows. We are unified to help Albertans get to and from their medical appointments efficiently, reducing stress, and at NO COST to the patient or family. Medical appointments are already stressful without worrying about travel, time off work, family logistics, and most common; expenses. By transporting patients to and from their appointments, often the same day, we enable patients to receive vital non-emergent medical care, that might otherwise be inaccessible due to financial, geographic, or medical limitations. We’re here to assist you!

Families from La Crete have had the privilege of having been flown to their appointments, and here are two testimonies of their experiences:


By Anne Krahn:

Our son Jase has Partial Trisomy 18. It’s a condition that presents differently in each person that is diagnosed with it. In Jase’s case, we deal with the following medical issues: G-tube and specialty formula for feeding, a wheelchair due to his inability to sit or stand, a seizure disorder, asthma, visual impairment, requiring oxygen equipment for night time sleeping and illnesses, scoliosis and developmental delay. Our family took 12 medical trips in 2016, all of which were for scheduled appointments. Each of these appointments requires my husband taking a day or 2 off work, the cost of gas, hotel rooms and meals. I had recently started to see ads for Angel flight on Facebook and was curious about it. Shortly thereafter, I chatted with a mom in the clinic who had had the opportunity to use this service and had an amazing experience. I went home and applied online for upcoming appointments we had with the scoliosis clinic at the Stollery, as well as a Home Nutrition appointment. A few weeks later, we drove to the La Crete airport with our luggage for the day. We took off at 10 a.m. with Dr. Wessels and arrived at the Villeneuve airport shortly after 11 a.m. Our rental vehicle from Enterprise was warm and waiting for us when we landed. We made the short drive to the Stollery for our appointments which took several hours, grabbed some lunch , and headed back to the airport. By 7 p.m. we had landed back at the La Crete airport! We are so grateful to have been given the gift of an Angel flight. Thank you so much to Dr. Wessels, our pilot, who donated the use of his plane and his time Kerry Pawluski, who coordinated everything so well, and everyone else at Angel flight who works to make this blessing possible!


By Becky Banman:

In the past year my transplanted kidney, that I received 15 years ago has failed. Since there is no dialysis unit in the community we live in I have been in Edmonton on dialysis since October. I live in la Crete 7 hours north of Edmonton. My family, husband and four kids are there and have come to Edmonton as many weekends as possible to come and see me. But when it came to Christmas, I really wanted to go home for a few days(3 days) in between dialysis runs. Angelflight made it possible for me. Instead of driving 7 hours when I’m not feeling great, angelflight van picked me up from my temporary home here in Edmonton and took me to the airport and within a few hours I was home!! The flight with angelflight made it possible for me to be home and I got to La Crete feeling so much better after a short flight instead of a long drive! Instead of my husband coming to Edmonton one day and us driving back the next, angelflight had me home Friday afternoon, giving us so much more time together as a family This way my husband didn’t have to take more time off and make the exhausting drive again. We are so grateful for the people of angelflight, the organizers, drivers and pilots. All of these people volunteer their time and abilities to help people like us, people on a medical journey of some kind, and make the aspect of travel so much easier. There’s a of things that are great about living in the north, but all the driving for medical trips isn’t one of them! Angelflight is an organization that helps with that aspect and we are so thankful to have heard about them and had such a great experience with them! Thanks again Angelflight!



Learn more about Angel Flight Alberta by visiting their website:

Warning over ‘Blue Whale’ suicide challenge

EDITOR’S NOTE: Global News has not been able to independently verify the reports of suicides in Europe related to the “Blue Whale Challenge.”

“I want to play the game. Are you sure? There’s no way back.”

That is how the game begins. It’s a disturbing one and it’s called the “Blue Whale challenge.” It has teens completing a number of tasks over a 50-day period, the last one being to kill yourself. This is the newest twist to suicide pacts that are being shared among vulnerable teens online.

Just last month, authorities in France put out a public safety alert for parents to pay attention to warning signs if your child is acting strangely.

“I find that very disturbing. We know that youth is a time when we try to get our identity established and try to find our crowd of people,” family therapist Alyson Shafer said.

Click link to read full story.

Kevin O’Leary drops out of Conservative leadership race, will endorse Maxime Bernier

Kevin O’Leary is dropping out of the Conservative leadership race and will endorse Maxime Bernier.

The businessman and reality TV star is ending his campaign only hours before the last leadership debate in Toronto, and two days before party members can start casting their ballots.

O’Leary is confident he could win the Conservative race, but now believes he cannot defeat Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the next election, multiple sources tell CBC News.

He has cited his failure to gain traction in Quebec and his poor French-language skills as reasons for dropping out of the leadership race.

Bernier will hold a press conference at 4:30 p.m. ET in Toronto to discuss the developments. will carry it live.

O’Leary has spent the better part of his relatively short campaign — he entered the race in January — taking jabs at Trudeau, branding the prime minister “surfer dude” and calling his leadership a “disaster” for the country. He has also said Trudeau negotiating with U.S. President Donald Trump is like “Bambi versus Godzilla.”

25 illnesses in 4 provinces linked to E. coli-tainted Robin Hood flour

There have been 25 cases of E. coli infections linked to a recalled batch of Robin Hood brand all-purpose flour, the Public Health Agency of Canada says.

The flour in 10-kilogram bags was sold in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

It was recalled Tuesday by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) after it was determined some of the flour was contaminated with E. coli O121.

The 25 cases of illness occurred in four provinces — 12 in B.C., four in both Alberta and Saskatchewan, and five in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Six people required hospitalization, the Public Health Agency said Wednesday in a release.

“These individuals have recovered or are recovering,” the agency said.

A spokesperson for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said it is looking into how the flour, which was sold in Western Canada, ended up making people sick in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The agency said any 10-kilogram bags of Robin Hood brand all-purpose flour with a best-before date of April 17, 2018, should be thrown out or returned to the store.

The recalled product’s UPC is 0 59000 01652 8.

According to the company that produces Robin Hood flour, the recalled product was produced at a mill in Saskatoon.

“The investigation is ongoing and it is possible that additional products linked to the outbreak investigation may be identified,” the health agency said.

Symptoms of E. coli poisoning can include nausea, vomiting, mild to severe abdominal cramps, and watery to bloody diarrhea

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Semi-truck driver escapes injury, after load crashes through truck’s cabin

Emergency crews were busy Wednesday, after a load of piping smashed through the cabin of a semi-truck on a highway.

Crews were called to the Highway 19 overpass at Highway 2 at about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Witnesses told police the driver had slammed on the brakes, and that prompted the load of piping to crash into the cabin, some smashing into the windshield.

The driver then apparently drove onto the median, and was stuck in his truck for a short time.

By the time emergency crews arrived, the driver had managed to get out of the vehicle and was walking around; he was not injured in the incident.

“It was good to know that he was out walking around and that he wasn’t injured by this, because otherwise this could’ve been a completely different incident,” David Brooks, Deputy Fire Chief with Leduc Fire Services said.

Police said there was heavy fog in the area at the time, and that may have been a factor in the crash.

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Cocaine Valued at More than $7,200 Seized in High Level Drug Bust

High Level, Alberta – As a result of an ongoing investigation by the Town of High Level Crime Reduction Unit, High Level RCMP’s CRU and General Duty officers executed a search warrant at a residence in the Deerglen Trailer Park on March 5, 2017. Approximately 2 1/2 ounces of Cocaine was seized with a street value between $7200 – $9000, along with close to $1000 cash and other items related to the distribution of controlled substances.

Two adult males are facing charges varying from simple possession to possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime. Judicial Hearings have not yet been held, at which time formal charges will be laid, therefore no names can be released at this time.

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Cocaine Valued at More than $7,200 Seized in High Level Drug Bust

Son of accused Canadian Mennonite pot smuggler wanted on U.S. drug charges

Like father, like son.

Twenty-eight years ago, a Mennonite farmer from Leamington, Ont., named Abraham Harms fled to Cuauhtemoc, Mexico, as a fugitive after being charged by police for smuggling marijuana from Mexico into Canada.

Now, his son Enrique is indicted on charges of trafficking thousands of kilograms of drugs in the U.S. and is a fugitive himself — this time from American law.

More than two decades earlier, he had been jailed in Mexico for smuggling marijuana in his truck, claiming at the time he was set up by his father.

It’s suspected Enrique Harms operates under the protection of none other than Joaquin (El Chapo) Guzman’s Sinaloa cartel in Mexico because it took control of most of the drug trade along the U.S.-Mexico border around El Paso, Texas, after the death of the main leader of the Juarez Cartel in 1997.

“Those border points are gateways and cartels control the gateways,” says Ryan Cortez, an undercover drug agent in Oklahoma.

“And they’re very territorial. So did [Enrique Harms] have a connection to a cartel? With those amounts, he had to.”

Upcoming court cases in Canada

American authorities have been concerned for several years about Mennonites bringing Mexican cartel drugs into Canada. The most recent court cases in Canada have been in Ontario.

Franz Klassen and his cousin Abraham Klassen were both sentenced in a Simcoe, Ont., courtroom in 2016 to six years in prison for smuggling cocaine into Canada.

Another pair of men, Jacob Dyck and Abram Klassen, are expected in court next month in Lethbridge, Alta., on charges of importing cocaine at the border crossing at Coutts, Atla.

Dyck and Klassen’s trial is expected to begin in Calgary on March 31.

The original Mennonite drug smuggler

The first Mennonite ever to be arrested, and subsequently convicted, for cross border drug trafficking, according to American authorities, was one of Harms’s mules — a Manitoba farmer named Cornelius Banman in 1989.

Harms had a nearly perfect front. He used farmhouses in southwestern Ontario to stash drugs and money and recruited Mennonites like Banman to move his drugs, according to Canadian and U.S. authorities.

Abe Harms

Abraham Harms, shown when he was arrested by Leamington Police Services in 1989, fled to Mexico after being released on bail. (the fifth estate)

In 1989, Harms was arrested in an undercover investigation in Ontario.

Once he was released on bail by the Leamington Police Services, he fled immediately to Cuauhtemoc, a town in the state of Chihuahua.

fifth estate co-host Hana Gartner tracked him down there in the 1992 documentary and that interview will be rebroadcast in tonight’s episode, “The Mennonite Connection.”

Two years later, while still a fugitive from the law in Canada, Harms died in a car crash in Mexico.

Some speculate that his son, Enrique, may have had a hand in that accident, although that has never been proven.

“One doesn’t know a family’s problems. But if money, drugs, that could play into it, it’s a possibility,” says Cortez.

After his death, Abraham Harms’s career as a suspected smuggler was immortalized in a ballad by a local Mexican band — Banda Joven.

The lyrics for “El Corrido de Abraham” say:

I’m tired of being poor,
Abraham said to his sons.
I’m going to the U.S.
To sell a few kilos…
God took Abraham away
But his sons remained.


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Man Killed in Collision Near Paddle Prairie

A man was killed in a head-on motor vehicle collision on Highway 35 on Tuesday, February 21, 2017.

High Level RCMP say shortly after 8 a.m., emergency crews responded to a collision involving a semi and a passenger car, approximately 15 kilometres south of Paddle Prairie, Alberta.

The lone 36-year-old male occupant of the car was pronounced deceased at scene. The lone occupant of the semi was unharmed.


Alberta family escapes house fire after cat wakes owner

A family in the northwestern Alberta community of Clairmont escaped a house fire Wednesday after a cat alerted its owner to danger.

“The family cat bit the mom on the arm fairly hard and kind of woke her up to make her aware that something was not right in the home,” County of Grande Prairie fire Chief Trevor Grant told CBC News Friday.

“It is the first time I’ve experienced a cat waking a family member up.”

Firefighters got a call around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday about a house fire on 100th Avenue in Clairmont, a hamlet of 2,200 people eight kilometres north of Grande Prairie.

When they arrived, they found a family of four safe from the fire — thanks in part to their feline friend.

This cat, rescued from the house in Clairmont, was not the one that alerted its family of the fire. (William Vavrek Photography)

Fire crews moved one more cat out of the home and made quick work of the flames, containing them to underneath the trailer.

Other than minor smoke damage, the interior of the home was unaffected. No one was injured.


Teenage girls touched at WEM water park, man charged with 6 counts of sexual assault

A 39-year-old man faces six counts of sexual assault after several teenage girls were inappropriately touched Saturday evening at the West Edmonton Mall World Waterpark.

Edmonton police were called to the water park at about 10:30 p.m. after receiving reports of a sexual assault.

A man allegedly “both followed and inappropriately touched at least six teen girls while swimming in the park,” said police spokesperson Scott Pattison.

The girls, who Pattison said are all under 16, spoke to a lifeguard about the alleged assault. The lifeguard called security and kept an eye on the man.

When police officers arrived security led them to the man, who was arrested at the scene.