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Last updateSat, 01 Oct 2022 10am

Sentence handed down in case with U.S. ties

Copy of court

Sentencing was handed down for a Drumheller man facing charges with international connections to the United States in Drumheller court on Friday, September 23.
Shawn Albrecht, 45, appeared in court alongside legal counsel Michael James to receive sentencing.
The accused was arrested in January 2022 following a year-long joint investigation involving multiple policing agencies, including Drumheller RCMP, Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit, and a policing agency in the United States.
Federal Crown prosecution noted they had reviewed case law in relation to the charges faced by Mr. Albrecht, and the case law was “very clear.”
Crown and defense presented a joint submission for a two year period of incarceration, followed by a probationary period of three years.
Mr. James noted mitigating factors in the case were Albrecht’s early and continued indication of remorse, and cooperation with the investigation.
He noted as the case does have ties to the United States, the case could have gone on for much longer, but both Crown and defense wished to move forward.
When given the opportunity to speak, Mr. Albrecht acknowledged he had made a mistake and expressed his remorse.
Albrecht pleaded guilty to a charge of child luring. All other charges were withdrawn.
Mr. Albrecht was sentenced to two years custody with three years probation following his release. He was also mandated to provide a DNA sample and will be required to register on the National Sex Offender Registry following his release.

Local win in Maxmillion draw

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“I’ll be delivering water, might be in a newer van.”
This is Mike Burfield’s response when asked about the windfall he will be receiving, following striking it big with a MaxMillion win on his Lottomax Ticket. He purchased his ticket at Riverside Value Drug Mart.
He is one of 11 winners across the country and the only one in Alberta to instantly win $1 million on the Tuesday, September 27 draw. He tells the Mail, he is an occasional lottery player, especially when the pot is big.
“Someone said it was $70 Million, and we were talking at the drug store. I said ‘I only need a million, that would get me going fine.’ And clerk (Gerry Radke) said ‘Remember me when you win,’” he laughs. “I checked the numbers the next day and said, ‘There’s a lot of zeros here.”
He went back to Riverside Value Drug Mart and asked Radke to check his ticket, and he learned it was indeed a winner.
“She sells million-dollar tickets!
Before it's official, he will be travelling to St. Albert to have the ticket officially verified before the prize will be paid out.
“It's pretty exciting. I’m not sure it is setting in yet what’s going on,” said Burfield.
Since the news is so new, he is still figuring out what he will do with the windfall.
“Of course, pay bills and have a little fun. And then we’ll put money away for the kids’ education and retirement,” he said. “Education will be looked after so they can go on to be doctors or dentists or whatever, they want to do, so that won’t hold them back.”
He has no plan to retire from his day job as owner and operator of Water Pure and Simple in Drumheller.
“That's not going to change. I have had a few customers, asking what’s going to change, and I told them, ‘I’ll be delivering water, might be in a newer van.”
As the word spread throughout the community, a refrain of 'it couldn’t have happened to a better person,” was also heard.
“I keep hearing a good family won it, so that makes me feel pretty good too,” said Burfield.

Electoral Boundaries Commission hear concerns over proposed riding changes

boundaries map

The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Alberta held a public hearing to gather opinions and suggests the proposed electoral boundary changes at the Badlands Community Facility (BCF) on Thursday, September 22.
This was the 18th public hearing the Commission has held, with additional hearings scheduled in Banff, Canmore, and Lethbridge, and wrapping up with two virtual hearings in mid-October.
Commission Chair Justice Bruce McDonald explained federal electoral boundaries, by law, are changed after every 10-year census.
Justice McDonald noted the population of Alberta has grown significantly since the last 10-year census in 2011, and the number of federal electoral districts, or ridings, in the province will increase from 34 to 37 to reflect these changes.
If the proposed boundary changes are approved without revision, the Town of Drumheller would see its federal riding change from Battle River-Crowfoot, currently represented by MP Damien Kurek, to the Bow River Riding, currently represented by MP Martin Shields.
MP Shields, who attended the public hearing, expressed several concerns with the proposed boundary changes.
One major issue is the sheer size of the proposed riding, which would extend from Innisfail, south of Red Deer, to the Saskatchewan border, and north of the banks of the Oldman River.
“The size of the riding makes it difficult to meet with rural constituents and communities,” MP Shields said during the hearing.
He noted some ridings in Calgary and Edmonton may only be the size of a few city blocks, making it much easier for MPs in those ridings to engage with constituents and attend multiple events within their ridings.
However, for MPs representing rural areas, the geographical area is much greater; the Bow River riding, currently, is approximately 24,036 square kilometres.
Bow River Director of Constituency Operations Andrea Hook echoed these concerns.
She explained there are currently some 30 municipalities and over 60 communities within the Bow River riding, but the proposed change could add an unknown number of new communities and municipalities to the riding.
Drumheller Mayor Heather Colberg also spoke about challenges municipal governments may face with the proposed changes.
She expressed, over the last five years serving on municipal council, she has built a working relationship with the Town’s current Member of Parliament, Damien Kurek.
While she said she would not begrudge building a similar relationship with MP Shields, she also understands the difficulties and challenges of losing and having to reestablish relationships with provincial and federal government representatives.
Mayor Colberg noted, as a municipal elected official, she also understands the difficulties of being invited to numerous events and activities locally and could not imagine the additional pressures of having to travel as far as MP Shields or MP Kurek to attend events across their constituency.
The new federal electoral boundaries are expected to become effective, at the earliest, by April 2024 ahead of the 2025 federal election.


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