Monthly Archives: March 2019

Edmonton police release composite sketch of Saskatchewan Drive assault suspect

Edmonton police are asking the public for help identifying a man wanted in connection with an assault of a woman along Saskatchewan Drive earlier this month.

At around 11:45 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, police were called to the area of 116 Street and Saskatchewan Drive.

Police said a woman was walking along Saskatchewan Drive when she was grabbed by a man, choked until she was unconscious and dragged into the bushes north of the walking path. Bystanders in the area came to help the woman and the man left the area on foot.

The woman was taken to hospital with serious injuries. She has since been released from hospital.

The suspect is described as a dark-skinned man between the ages of 23 and 35. He is about 5’7″ tall with short, black hair and a thin, black beard. Police said the suspect has an average to stocky build.

He was reportedly wearing dark pants and a white or grey tank top with blue trim and a design on the front, a red zip-up hoodie with white piping, black shoes and a red and black Chicago Bulls baseball hat.

Police have released a composite sketch of the suspect and a still picture from nearby video surveillance in hopes of identifying the man.

Edmonton police are asking the public for help identifying a man wanted in connection with an assault of a woman along Saskatchewan Drive on Friday, Aug. 5, 2016.

Courtesy, Edmonton police

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to contact the Edmonton Police Service at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.

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Donald Trump struggles for support in Great Lakes region on road to 270

DES MOINES, Iowa – The numbers are stark for Donald Trump. Down in Colorado, Virginia and North Carolina.

Hillary Clinton is starting to spend a little money in Georgia and Arizona, states that any Republican running for president ought to be able to count on.

The road to 270 electoral votes – the threshold to clinch the presidency – increasingly looks to be a series of uphill climbs and dead ends for Trump in the usual collection of most competitive states.

The GOP nominee needs a place to reset the electoral map, and stops this past week in Michigan and Pennsylvania suggest he’s looking at the industrial heartland states on the Great Lakes. It’s a part of the country where he has said he can compete with Democrat Hillary Clinton.

WATCH: Donald Trump acknowledges he may lose to Clinton

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Trump will find the going there no easier than anywhere else.

“Trump has to start making some moves,” said Stephan Thompson, a senior adviser to Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis. “We need to see a positive week out of him to create a positive trajectory. You’re not seeing that anywhere, whether it’s in Wisconsin, Ohio or elsewhere.”

With three months to go until the Nov. 8 vote, the map for Trump is foreboding.

Early voting will not begin until next month, giving people ample opportunity to change their minds. But Clinton has a clear advantage in national and state preference polls at a critical moment in the campaign – after the conventions and as voters start paying serious attention to the race.

WATCH: Robert De Niro says Trump unfit for presidency

If Clinton claims states such as Colorado, Virginia and North Carolina, where recent polls suggest she has a significant lead, Trump would need to win most of the states bordering one of the Great Lakes to have any chance at reaching 270.

That’s provided he wins in Florida. A loss there, and he’ll need to sweep all but Illinois and New York, states firmly in Clinton’s column.

Right now, Trump doesn’t have a lead in any of the states where he will need to win and where recent polling exists, and in several states, he’s significantly behind Clinton.

Trump in running against history, too.

While Ohio has tipped back and forth in recent decades, a Republican presidential nominee has not carried Wisconsin since 1984, and Pennsylvania or Michigan since 1988. It was in Michigan where Trump delivered his indictment this past week of trade measures enacted under recent Democratic presidents, especially the North American Free Trade Agreement.

WATCH: Donald Trump pauses for protester says she’s “going home to mommy’

“Every policy that has failed this city and so many others is a policy supported by Hillary Clinton,” Trump told the Detroit Economic Club. “Trade deals like NAFTA, signed by her husband, that have shipped your jobs to Mexico and other countries.”

Clinton is quietly banking that voters once angry about NAFTA have accepted it or have retired since the pact was enacted two decades ago. She opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an Asian trade agreement she backed as secretary of state, but said at her own Michigan event this past week that “the answer is not to rant and rave and cut ourselves off from the world.”

Paul Maslin, a Democratic pollster in Wisconsin, said, “People have moved beyond trade, and fixing some old problem. They actually look for and respond more to future plans.”

WATCH: Hillary Clinton gaining ground in polls

Trump angered suburban Milwaukee’s Republicans in April when he sharply criticized Walker before losing the presidential primary. Last month, Trump toyed with not endorsing House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., before the state’s Aug. 9 primary, when Ryan walloped a little-known challenger.

“In Wisconsin, Trump’s negatives are deeper and fresher,” said Republican pollster Ed Goeas. An independent poll released this past week by Marquette University found Trump down 15 percentage points among likely voters in the state.

Though Clinton’s team isn’t advertising on television in either Michigan or Wisconsin, she is hardly ignoring the states. The campaign has staff in both, and Clinton’s running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, was in Milwaukee this month.

WATCH: GOP senate majority leader says he wants a ‘Trump free day’

Clinton followed Trump to Michigan this past week, making a stop in the Detroit area that was more tactically precise than the billionaire’s speech to the city’s well-heeled business leaders. She spoke in Warren, the heart of working-class Macomb County, northeast of Detroit, at a former auto parts manufacturing plant now being used to make military aircraft equipment.

“The door is closing fast,” said Michigan Democratic strategist Amy Chapman, President Barack Obama’s senior Michigan adviser in his 2008 and 2012 campaigns. “If the numbers look like this in a month, I’ll feel better.”

Trump was playing to a wider industrial audience during his economic address in Detroit, promoting “American steel” and “energy mined from American sources” – obvious signals to nearby Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Winning there will require motivating an overwhelming number of white, working-class voters in places such as western and central Pennsylvania and southeastern Ohio. And overcoming his current gap with Clinton. While polls show Clinton with an edge in Ohio, they peg her with an outright lead in Pennsylvania.

Ray Zaborney, a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based GOP campaign operative who advises most of the state’s Republican legislative candidates, said Trump is doing the right things in Pennsylvania, adding staff and making smart travel decisions. Still, he said, Trump “has got to find his groove and stay on his message.”

“It’s on his shoulders to turn it in the right direction,” Zaborney said.

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Canada-wide warrant issued for prisoner who escaped while on day leave south of Edmonton

RCMP have obtained a Canada-wide warrant for the arrest of a prisoner who failed to return to a minimum security federal institution south of Edmonton Saturday night.

Officers said Darell Moosomin was granted day leave from the Pe Sakastew Centre in Maskwacis on Saturday to attend the Samson powwow. He was escorted by an elder, but sometime Saturday evening the elder lost sight of Moosomin. He has not been seen since.

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The Correctional Services of Canada said Moosomin, 54, is a dangerous offender who is serving an indeterminate sentence for sexual assault, assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon, failing to comply with a probation order, operating a motor vehicle while disqualified and obstruction of a police or peace officer.

“Typically an offender will get a very specific end date. A judge will say, ‘you’ll have to serve seven years, six months, 14 days,’ something like that. In his case, he’ll be reporting to CSC or in CSC custody for the rest of his life with an indeterminate sentence,” Jeff Campbell, regional communications manager with CSC, explained Sunday morning.

“In his case I don’t have his entire case history but that’s the sentence that the court applied.”

Campbell said Moosomin’s current sentence started on Nov. 15, 1994 after he was convicted in Swift Current, Sask.

“He also had sentences previously for escape lawful custody, assault, break enter and commit and common assault,” Campbell said Sunday morning.

The CSC was notified of the prisoner’s absence at around 8:45 p.m. Saturday.

“Every temporary absence is only granted after a thorough assessment’s been done and it’s found that an offender could be managed safely in the community. Otherwise they would not be granted a temporary absence,” Campbell said.

The Pe Sakastew Centre in Maskwacis Monday, August 15, 2016.

Global News

Moosomin is originally from Mosquito Lake, Sask. RCMP say he has no known family or friends in the Edmonton area. Officers do not know where Moosomin may be headed.

Moosomin is described as a First Nations man who is about 5’9″ tall and 217 pounds. He speaks with a lisp and has the number 11 tattooed on his right hand. He also has a Playboy Bunny tattoo on his upper back. RCMP say he has a slash scar on his throat.

The Pe Sakastew Centre is a minimum security facility located about 95 kilometres south of Edmonton. The facility has the capacity to house about 60 inmates who live in residential houses. It promotes a healing process based on aboriginal culture.

“The idea here is to have offenders taking on more and more responsibility and accountability and get ready to safely reintegrate into a community,” Campbell said. “They use traditional teachings from indigenous cultures to assist offenders to get ready for eventual release.”

Campbell said because Moosomin is serving in a minimum security facility, he is considered to be a low risk to public safety. However, if anyone sees him they are asked to contact police.

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Ontario automakers faced more pain in ’09 than Alberta’s ongoing oil woes: federal memo

OTTAWA – Ontario’s auto sector absorbed a far greater economic wallop during the financial crisis than the damage low oil prices have inflicted on Alberta, says an internal federal analysis.

The February memo, prepared for Labour Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk, examined the two economic crises after some observers had called on governments to help Alberta’s energy industry — much like the 2009 bailout of the automotive sector.

The auto sector’s situation was much more dire, the document concluded.

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“With the current downturn in worldwide oil prices, some have advocated a similar type of assistance be made available to support the oil and gas industry,” said the briefing note, obtained by under the Access to Information Act.

READ MORE: Why contract talks with the ‘Detroit Three’ automakers are so critical for Canada

“However, the context differs considerably. The impact on the Ontario automotive industry was far more acute than what has been seen so far in the Alberta economy.”

The federal and Ontario governments spent a combined $13.7 billion to rescue automakers Chrysler Canada and General Motors Canada from potential bankruptcy.

At the time, consumers had difficulty securing car loans because of a credit crunch. Sliding sales stung the car companies, which could no longer generate enough cash to finance their operations.

WATCH: Ailing Alberta economy triggers mass sale of possessions

They couldn’t seek help from flagging financial markets, so they knocked on government doors.

Fast forward to today and Alberta’s energy-dependent economy remains hobbled by stubbornly low oil prices, which started their plunge about two years ago.

Cheaper crude has pushed once-booming Alberta into recession, leading to big drops in business investment in the energy sector as well as large-scale layoffs in the industry and along the supply chain. The fallout has also been felt at the national level.

The memo compared the two situations.

READ MORE: Canada’s trade deficit is widening, but expert says there’s more to the picture

The unemployment rate in Alberta’s oil sector climbed to 7.9 per cent in 2015, up from 2.9 per cent in 2011. By comparison, the analysis found, the jobless rate in Ontario’s auto manufacturing sector peaked at 21.9 per cent in 2009, an increase from 8.4 per cent in 2007.

It also noted that the 2008-09 recession was an international economic crisis, while the current context represents slowing global growth — but not a recession.

The 2009 bailout came amid concerns Canada could lose auto-sector jobs “at an accelerated pace” due to lower-wage jurisdictions in the southern United States and Mexico, the document added. Since oil and gas resources aren’t mobile, there was a lower risk of jobs being moved out of Canada, it noted.

The analysis also underlined the importance of GM and Chrysler to the entire automotive supply chain. A bankruptcy, it said, could have had a “ripple effect” across the country.

When it came to Alberta’s energy sector, the document said some “smaller highly leveraged” oil firms may have been at some risk of default. But it argued that major oil companies had yet to approach governments for assistance and remained in relatively good financial shape.

Since February, when the federal memo was created, Alberta’s economy has faced even more challenges.

READ MORE: Alberta unemployment rate now higher than Nova Scotia’s

Not only have crude prices remained low, the provincial economy suffered another hit when huge wildfires forced the temporary closures of critical production facilities. The blazes also destroyed more than 2,000 structures and triggered the evacuation of 90,000 people from Fort McMurray.

The latest labour market survey said Alberta’s overall unemployment rate climbed last month to 8.6 per cent — its highest mark in nearly 22 years.

Statistics Canada said the jobless rate in the province’s oil and gas sector peaked at 12.3 per cent in February. It fell to 11.8 per cent in March and was 9.7 per cent in July.

Alberta, however, has also received some help from Ottawa.

The federal government announced earlier this year that Alberta was eligible for an automatic payment of $251.4 million in financial relief through its seldom-used fiscal stabilization program.

In their March budget, the Liberals also boosted employment insurance benefits for hard-hit regions of the country, which included some parts of Alberta. The changes, however, were criticized for omitting Edmonton.

Mike Moffatt, a Western University economics professor, said the biggest difference between ongoing struggles in Alberta and 2009 was that, unlike today, the credit system back then had broken down.

He said the unusual set of circumstances had left banks unable to provide capital even when it made financial sense. So, if automakers couldn’t make their payrolls, they couldn’t turn to the banks for help, Moffatt added.

That made the “exceptionally rare” decision to provide an industry bailout necessary, he said.

“There was this underlying understanding that if we weren’t at the table, we could kiss the entire industry goodbye.”

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Ontario considers more changes to how gender is displayed on government ID

TORONTO – Ontario is considering more changes to the collection and display of gender information on government documents, not long after announcing gender-neutral driver’s licences and health cards.

Public consultations launched earlier this month look at how gender information is treated on government forms and identification documents, including birth and marriage certificates.

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A preamble to an online survey says “people with transgender and non-binary gender identity may face barriers and other negative outcomes when trying to access services” so the government wants to ensure its policies are inclusive.

Ontario has already announced that starting in early 2017, drivers will be able to select an X instead of an M for male or F for female on their licences.

People can also now obtain health cards without sex information displayed on the front of the card.

“There’s more work to be done on this, so we’re reaching out to Ontarians to make sure we develop good policy that the government can use to make appropriate decisions about when and how to collect, retain, use and display information about persons sex and gender,” Christine Burke, a spokeswoman for the government and consumer services minister, said in a statement.

Trans advocate Susan Gapka would like to see sex and gender not displayed on birth certificates. The type of changes the government is contemplating are relatively easy and low-cost to achieve, but mean so much to the community, she said.

“I was born again, so to speak, 20 years ago,” Gapka said. “Now I have to renew my health card and having the correct or the accurate way that I feel best describes me, as female, is really, really important to me. In fact, I had to change laws. We had to change laws and change society’s opinions so I could have that.”

The consultation survey says the government is proposing to collect gender information as the default and sex information only if needed. For example, sex is necessary for the Ontario Health Insurance Program, it says.

Greater use of X as a gender identifier is also possible on other identification, such as photo ID cards for people who do not have driver’s licences. And, the consultation document says, the government wants to see a consistent process for people who identify as trans or non-binary – defined as people who don’t identify exclusively as male or female.

“We also want to propose a policy where – once you change your sex information on your Ontario birth registration, you can use your birth certificate to change your sex information for any other government ID or service,” it says.

The survey asks participants what they think are good reasons for collecting and displaying sex and gender information on government ID, such as identification, law enforcement and fraud prevention, statistical evidence, health care and personal safety, for example to help someone access services at a shelter.

“If you don’t have documents that say who you are, that can be really isolating,” Gapka said. “It can give you a feeling that you’re not as good as everyone else and you’re not as valued as everyone else, (that) people don’t believe you.”

The consultation closes on Sept. 16.

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