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Tip received on Amber Tuccaro’s homicide file

January 24, 2020

In early December 2019, the Banff RCMP was contacted by a male who alleged that his father may be responsible for a missing person from the Banff area. The male also stated that he believed that his father may be linked to numerous missing persons and homicide files in Alberta. On January 20, 2020 the male advised the RCMP that he believed his father to also be involved in the disappearance and murder of Amber Tuccaro.

RCMP members have investigated the initial allegations and determined that many of the names of missing persons files provided to RCMP by the individual had already been solved. Investigators assigned to the Amber Tuccaro file are reviewing the information provided by the individual and will take whatever investigative action is deemed appropriate.

The RCMP continue to seek information on the Amber Tuccaro case but caution that erroneous information can have negative effects to the investigation and to the well-being of the family.

The Amber Tuccaro case remains under investigation.


Contact information

Alberta RCMP


2020 Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund now open for applications

January 24, 2020

The Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund is now accepting applications for grants in 2020. The annual $2 million program supports registered charities taking action to improve access to mental health care in every region of Canada.

“Over the last decade, the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund has helped more than 650 organizations on the front line of mental health care drive real change in their communities,” said Bell Let’s Talk Chair Mary Deacon. “We welcome this year’s fund applicants and look forward to offering our support to even more exciting projects in 2020.”

“One in 5 Canadians experience mental health challenges, and initiatives like Bell Let’s Talk Day remind us to tell our family, friends, colleagues and neighbours: you are not alone,” said the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health. “These initiatives encourage us to support each other, enable organizations doing important work, and change the conversation around mental health. Join me, today and every day, to be there for one another.”

Bell invites registered charities to apply for a grant up to $25,000 to support local mental health programs by visiting All applications are reviewed by a committee of mental health experts from across Canada. The 2020 application period runs until March 16 and all 2020 grants will be disbursed before December 31, 2020.

Here are some ways that the Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund has supported organizations doing great work in mental health at the local level:

“CMHA Yukon has long had a vision to provide training for Peer Supporters and develop a Peer Support program,” said Tiffanie Tasane, Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association, Yukon Division. “Our Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant is not only allowing this vision to become a reality but enabling other Peer Support initiatives in the Territory.”

“With funding from Bell Let’s Talk, Pacific Post Partum Support Society is providing one-on-one text support to mothers and their families experiencing postpartum depression/anxiety or distress,” said Sheila Duffy, Director of Pacific Post Partum Support Society. “This technology expands our reach by increasing accessibility while also reducing barriers, so we can support families in a timely manner. As soon as mothers make that first connection, their healing process can begin.”

“Our Bell Let’s Talk Community Fund grant has helped The Mustard Seed improve access to culturally appropriate treatment for Indigenous clients,” said Randi Sager (Lakota/Nêhiyaw), Provisional Registered Psychologist and Indigenous Counsellor at The Mustard Seed in Calgary. “Not only has the program strengthened peoples’ Indigenous identity and created a sense of community, but it has also empowered people to create positive changes in their lives. One of the biggest changes we have seen is clients embracing their Indigenous identities without shame or guilt, which has led to them embarking on journeys of healing. hiy! hiy! (Thank you).”

“Bell Let’s Talk helped Artbeat Studio expand our arts outreach programming by growing our capacity to reach farther and have greater impact in the community. Our Reach Out Arts programming empowers marginalized members of the community through creative exploration while developing meaningful connections amongst peers,” said Uyen Pham, Executive Director of Artbeat Studio in Winnipeg. “This outreach sparks relationships and learning opportunities that extend way beyond each session – it promotes social inclusion, confidence building, and mental wellbeing through creative expression.”

“With funding from Bell Let’s Talk, Scarborough Health Network can close the gap on mental health services for transitional age youth,” said Lydia Huber, Manager of Mental Health at Scarborough Health Network Foundation. “We are able to provide specialized psychiatric and psycho-social treatment to ensure these vulnerable young patients receive the intensive age-appropriate support they need. This program will give our patients access to a network of highly experienced mental health professionals, and an array of social services such as housing, job placement and education supports which will lead to recovery and fulfillment.”

“The Bell Let’s Talk grant has completely transformed the living environment of the Haut-Richelieu Hospital’s psychiatric unit, making it easier for families to be reunited at times when they need it the most,” said Julie Coupal, Executive Director of the Fondation Santé. “A completely renovated patio will be used to offer gardening workshops starting in the spring while patients will also have access to exercise equipment, which has a considerable impact on their well-being.”

“Funding from Bell Let’s Talk has allowed us to open the door for vulnerable youth with our new after-school program, Reach for the Stars,” said Amanda Beazley, Executive Director of Boys and Girls Club of Charlottetown. “Now youth who are at risk of developing mental health and addictions challenges have a safe, supportive and inclusive space to develop the skills to make healthy choices, build healthy relationships and bolster their self-esteem.”

“Bell Let’s Talk helped us continue to grow our Seeds of Success program to support Nova Scotians living with mental illness,” said Faye LeBlanc, Managing Director of the Northwood Foundation. “The program promotes mental wellness by providing our residents with purposeful therapeutic activities which allows them to feel, think and act in ways that help them enjoy life and cope with its challenges.”

Bell Let’s Talk Day is January 29
Everyone is invited to join the conversation on Bell Let’s Talk Day by sending messages of support across multiple platforms to drive awareness and action in mental health.

Bell donates 5 cents to Canadian mental health programs for each of these communications on Bell Let’s Talk Day, at no cost to participants beyond what they would normally pay their service providers for online or phone access:

  • Talk: Every mobile and every long distance call made by Bell wireless and phone customers
  • Text: Every text message sent by Bell wireless customers
  • Twitter: Every tweet and retweet using #BellLetsTalk, featuring the special Bell Let’s Talk emoji, and every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at
  • Facebook: Every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at and every use of the Bell Let’s Talk frame
  • Instagram: Every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at
  • Snapchat: Every use of the Bell Let’s Talk filter and every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view
  • YouTube: Every Bell Let’s Talk Day video view at

Since the first Bell Let’s Talk Day in 2011, Canadians and people around the world have sent a total of more than 1 billion messages of support for mental health, bringing Bell’s total commitment to $100,695,763.75, which includes the company’s original $50 million anchor donation when Bell Let’s Talk launched in 2010.

About Bell Let’s Talk
The Bell Let’s Talk mental health initiative is focused on 4 key action pillars: Anti-stigma, Care and Access, Research and Workplace Leadership. Since its launch in September 2010, Bell Let’s Talk has partnered with more than 1,000 organizations providing mental health services throughout Canada, including hospitals, universities and other care and research organizations. To learn more, please visit

Media inquiries:

Jacqueline Michelis


Town and Devon Library partnering to offer Cree language classes – Devon Dispatch

The Town of Devon and the Devon Library announced this week that introductory nehiyawewin (Cree) language classes would be offered this February.

The program is another step forward in Devon’s reconciliation and collaboration with its Indigenous neighbours in Treaty 6 territory. Feedback from residents during an open house in November 2019 indicated they would like to see Indigenous language classes be part of the town’s Indigenous workshops and programs offered.

“This is another step towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples of Treaty 6 territory and beyond as we continue to work to bring awareness and understanding of Indigenous cultures and languages,” stated Mitch Wincentaylo, Indigenous Engagement coordinator for the Town of Devon, in a town press release. “By bringing nehiyawewin classes to the Devon community, we are doing our part to facilitate the learning and preservation of the Plains Cree language.”

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Symposium on gender equality to go next month – EverythingGP

Jan 24, 2020

The Grande Prairie Friendship Centre will be hosting the Indigenous Iskwew+ In Leadership Symposium next month.

Iskwew is the Cree word for woman.

The symposium is to go on both February 13 and 14 at the Pomeroy Inn.

Delaine Lambert-English, the symposium coordinator for the Grande Prairie Friendship Centre, says the symposium will have three panels and three specific themes.

“One of the topics is resiliency, one of the topics is empowerment and the last topic is passion. So, what we would love to do is have the panelists share their story of resiliency and talk about how they turned that into a passion, and how to work in a strength-based environment, and how to welcome people into the circle.”

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U of L professor reflects on high Indigenous prison population – CTV News

January 23, 2020

LETHBRIDGE — After a prison watchdog revealed Wednesday that 30 per cent of prisoners in federal custody are Indigenous peoples, a University of Lethbridge Indigenous governance and management professor Don McIntyre said he believes that’s a problem that needs to be fixed.

“Indigenous inmates are walking through a system which is not (built) for them,” said McIntyre.

McIntyre has also researched Indigenous legal theory and laws and is part of the Timiskaming First Nations Reserve.

Since 2010, the number of Indigenous prisoners has increased by 43.3 per cent while the non-Indigenous population has seen a decline of nearly 14 per cent.

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Portage College Public Legal Education Program Funding Renewed

January 21, 2020

The Alberta Law Foundation recently announced renewed funding for the Portage College Public Legal Education (PLE) program, which offers public legal education workshops and resources in cooperation with communities and organizations in northeast Alberta.

The program is running for its nineteenth consecutive year. Program Coordinator Shelley Jackson explains: “Back in 2000, past President Bill Persley recognized that legal issues were a barrier for some students in completing their education. He contacted the Alberta Law Foundation and it resulted in PLE being established at Portage College. It started as strictly student programming but later grew to include partnerships with the communities in our service area. We’re now the only rural-based PLE program in the province.”

Nancy Broadbent, President and CEO of Portage College, sees the value of PLE to communities. “The College is very fortunate to have a partnership with the Alberta Law Foundation. Public Legal Education opens the door to valuable information for our community members which may not otherwise be accessible.”

Improving the legal education and knowledge of Albertans is a major objective of the Alberta Law Foundation, which, like the PLE programs it funds, is a non-profit organization. In 2018-2019 alone, over $22 million in funding was granted to 45 organizations across Alberta.

The Portage College PLE program offers workshops and resources covering a variety of law-related topics to a diverse range of audiences. Past sessions have included: Self-Representation in Court, Landlord and Tenant Rights, Responding to Hate, Aboriginal Hunting & Fishing Rights, Restorative Justice, Wills and Estates, and many more.

“We deliver out in the communities and we rely on partnerships with organizations. The topics are different all the time—it could be domestic violence and human rights one month, a Revenue Canada tax presentation at tax time, then Indigenous rights, resistance, and history the next month,” says Shelley Jackson.

The program has exceeded all major training goals in just the first 6 months of 2018-2019:

  • 1321 course participants (120% of target)
  • 59 sessions (118% of target)
  • 204 hours of presentation (272% of target)

“PLE is always looking for opportunities to deliver workshops in our service area. If you have an idea for a workshop in your classroom, or community, send me an email at or call me at 780-623-5680. Most sessions are free. People can also sign up for our free newsletter or find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.”

Media Inquiries:
Jaime Davies, Corporate Communications Manager
780-623-5581 or email


AB Government: Aboriginal consultation to reduce red tape

A new red tape reduction strategy aims to improve consultation for industry and Indigenous people.

An updated guide – The Government of Alberta’s Proponent Guide to First Nations and Metis Settlement Consultation Procedures – outlines a more cost-effective and efficient application process for industry to follow when there is a legal duty to consult.

A duty to consult is triggered when a development project may adversely affect treaty or Aboriginal rights, or cultural or harvesting practices.

“We heard from industry that they wanted to take steps to improve the consultation process. This new guide not only responds to what industry told us, it benefits First Nations and Metis Settlements. The updated guide will help industry come to the table better prepared to address Indigenous people’s concerns. This will make the overall consultation process more effective, informed and respectful.”
Rick Wilson, Minister of Indigenous Relations

The Aboriginal Consultation Office (ACO) will provide training for industry on the changes in process outlined in the guide.

Reducing red tape will improve the consultation process by:

  • Providing a clearer application process to improve overall consultation and give industry and Indigenous communities more certainty when moving development projects forward.
  • Reducing delays and costs to industry proponents by ensuring their applications have little chance of having to be returned due to lack of information or errors.
  • Ensuring the ACO can better respond to industry needs while increasing the number of applications processed.
  • Moving more quickly to the development stage of proposed projects.

“These changes should help make consultation more efficient. We believe it will also help us be better prepared when working with Indigenous Peoples on important matters such as treaty or Aboriginal rights and harvesting and cultural practices. We want a process that benefits everyone.”

Al Reid, executive vice-president, Stakeholder Engagement, Safety, Legal & General Counsel, Cenovus Energy Inc.

Red Tape Reduction Awareness Week

Alberta has declared Jan. 20-24 Red Tape Reduction Awareness Week. This coincides with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business’s own Red Tape Awareness Week, which aims to raise awareness of the costs of regulatory burdens to businesses across Canada. This year, the CFIB gave Alberta B-minus for its efforts to cut red tape, the highest grade the province has ever achieved.

Quick facts

  • In 2018-19 the ACO processed 7,400 applications.
  • The guide will provide proponents with consultation information and advice specific to Alberta Energy Regulator-administered activities under the Public Lands Act, Water Act and Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, which are processed through the Electronic Disposition Act.
  • To date, has received more than 4,500 submissions.
  • Ministries are currently taking inventory and analyzing the regulatory burden imposed on Albertans and businesses, modernizing regulation requirements, processes, forms and policies, and eliminating those that are unnecessary.
  • The Canadian Federation of Independent Business estimates that in 2017, the cost for businesses in Alberta to comply with regulations was about $4.4 billion.

Related information

Media inquiries

Ted Bauer
Press Secretary, Indigenous Relations


Statement from the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health on Nicotine Vaping in Canada

January 22, 2020

During National Non-Smoking Week, the Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health (CCMOH) wants to highlight that smoking continues to pose a significant risk to the health of Canadians with over 45,000 people dying from smoking-related causes each year. We recommend that Canadians needing support with nicotine addiction speak to  a health care provider and seek out proven cessation therapies, such as medication or approved nicotine replacement therapies.

At this time, we also remain significantly concerned by the substantial rise of nicotine vaping among Canadian youth. In follow up to our previous position statements on this issue in July 2014, April 2019 and October 2019, we provide the following set of regulatory and policy recommendations that we believe are necessary to be taken by federal, provincial/territorial and municipal governments to address this rapidly emerging public health threat. We acknowledge that governments have already taken steps to implement some of these recommendations.

This statement pertains to nicotine vaping devices. The CCMOH released a related statement on cannabis vaping on January 6, 2020.

The overarching objectives of these recommendations are to protect young people from inducements to use vaping devices by regulating such devices as equivalent to tobacco products, and to encourage smokers who use vaping devices to use them solely to end or reduce their use of all nicotine-containing products.

These recommendations are made in the context of the emerging evidence of the short and long-term harms associated with the use of vaping products. We recognize that evidence is still emerging on the effectiveness of nicotine vaping products to help smokers decrease or stop their use of all nicotine-containing products. It is important that the regulatory and policy approaches for vaping products be reviewed as the evidence of health risks and benefits evolve. For example, if it becomes clear that vaping products are effective in helping people stop or reduce their use of all nicotine-containing products, then it may then be appropriate to approve, license and regulate vaping products in the same way as other tobacco cessation products.

Opportunities for both federal and provincial/territorial jurisdictions

Federal action would be preferred to create national consistency, but individual provinces/territories can consider individual action.

  • Ban all flavoured vaping products and then provide regulatory exemptions or market authorizations for a minimum set of flavours to support smokers who choose to use vaping to end or reduce their use of nicotine-containing products
  • Limit the nicotine content in vaping products, including pods, to a maximum of 20mg/ml (levels lower than this may further decrease the addictive potential for youth) and adopt other appropriate standards regarding nicotine delivery
    (e.g. temperature, use of nicotine salts) as evidence on vaping products evolves
  • Regulate all constituents of e-liquids based on potential to cause harm when inhaled rather than oral ingestion
  • Tax vaping products in a manner consistent with maximizing youth protection while providing some degree of preferential pricing as compared to tobacco products
  • Consider making the age of 21 the minimum sales age for both tobacco and vaping products, knowing that establishing the legal minimum sales age requires balancing policy objectives to minimize an illegal market while delaying the onset of youth use through limiting access through social sources
  • Create requirements for age-verification of internet purchases of vaping products that are the same as those required for cannabis
  • Enhance surveillance and reporting of vaping product use and population health impacts

Opportunities for Federal Jurisdiction

  • Restrict the advertising/marketing/promotion/sponsorship of vaping devices in a manner consistent with maximizing youth protection, including online advertising/promotion and social influencers, while allowing adult-oriented marketing of vaping devices as a product that supports adult smokers solely to end or reduce their use of all nicotine-containing products
  • Require product manufacturers to disclose all ingredients of vaping devices to Health Canada as a condition of being marketed, including establishing consistency in reporting nicotine levels in both open and closed vaping systems
  • Require plain and standardized packaging along with health risk warnings for all vaping products
  • Include vaping as part of smoke-free restrictions for locations under federal jurisdiction
  • Enhance compliance, enforcement and public reporting of the provisions of the Tobacco and Vaping Products Act

Opportunities for Provincial/Territorial Jurisdictions

  • Ban all point of sale advertising of vaping devices and products with an exception for specialized vaping product stores accessible only to those of minimum age
  • Require a vendor’s licence for those selling vaping devices and products
  • Include vaping as part of provincial/territorial smoke-free restrictions
  • Routinely use youth test purchaser programs for all tobacco and vaping product retail locations

Opportunities for Municipal Jurisdictions:

  • Include vaping as part of municipal smoke-free restrictions
  • Restrict the density of tobacco and vaping products retail sites and ban the sale of vaping products and devices within at least 250 metres of a school

Along with these policy and regulatory actions, we recommend that federal, provincial and territorial governments continue to work collaboratively to:

  • Enhance public awareness and educational initiatives on the risks of vaping products targeted at youth, parents, educators and health care professionals
  • Establish comprehensive cessation initiatives for people with nicotine addiction, especially for youth
  • Monitor and research the short and long-term health effects of vaping products
  • Research the effectiveness of vaping products in supporting smokers to end or reduce their use of all nicotine-containing products
  • Research the effectiveness of policy approaches to address youth vaping

A number of other products for the delivery of nicotine have or are being developed (e.g. heated tobacco devices, oral nicotine products). We encourage federal and provincial/territorial governments to work together to develop a broad regulatory approach to all alternative methods of nicotine delivery (i.e. other than tobacco products) that offers strong youth protection while allowing appropriate access for adult smokers to products if they are proven effective in decreasing or stopping the use of all nicotine-containing products.  A key component of any such regulatory approach should be the requirement for the manufacturer to provide enough evidence to satisfy the regulator that allowing any new product on the market is in the public interest before that product can be legally sold.

Dr. Theresa Tam
Chief Public Health Officer of Canada

Dr. Bonnie Henry
Provincial Health Officer, British Columbia
Chair, Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health

Dr. Brendan E. Hanley
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Yukon
Vice-Chair, Council of Chief Medical Officers of Health

Dr. Janice Fitzgerald
I/Chief Medical Officer of Health, Newfoundland and Labrador

Dr. Heather Morrison
Chief Public Health Officer, Prince Edward Island

Dr. Robert Strang
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Nova Scotia

Dr. Jennifer Russell
Chief Medical Officer of Health, New Brunswick

Dr. Horacio Arruda
Director of Public Health and Assistant Deputy Minister
Ministry of Health and Social Services, Québec

Dr. David Williams
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontario

Dr. Brent Roussin
Chief Provincial Public Health Officer, Manitoba

Dr. Saqib Shahab
Chief Medical Health Officer, Saskatchewan

Dr. Deena Hinshaw
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Alberta

Dr. Michael Patterson
Chief Medical Officer of Health, Nunavut

Dr. Kami Kandola
Chief Public Health Officer, Northwest Territories

Dr. Evan Adams
Chief Medical Officer, First Nations Health Authority, British Columbia

Dr. Tom Wong
Chief Medical Officer, Public Health, Indigenous Services Canada

Important Links


Media Relations
Public Health Agency of Canada

Public Inquiries
Call toll-free: 1-866-225-0709


Nine times lucky? Alberta’s Northern Cree takes another shot at Grammy gold – CBC

Jan 21, 2020

‘It’s giving us an opportunity to get recognition for our music’

Even the biggest pop stars might want to clear the Grammy Awards red carpet on Sunday when Northern Cree arrive dressed to impress.

It’s the ninth time Alberta’s Indigenous singing group is nominated at music industry’s biggest night, and co-founder Steve Wood says he’s planning a few surprises. Among them, expect members of the 17-person act to sport traditional Cree designs that could easily overshadow the edgy threads worn by Shawn Mendes and Lil Nas X.

“Even if you’re famous, you don’t want to be next to us on the red carpet,” Wood says with a chuckle on the phone from Maskwacis, Alta.

“Taking nothing away from any of the artists, what I’m saying is that people are always looking for something they haven’t seen before.”

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Indigenous leaders protest against major Alberta oilsands mine proposal –

January 20, 2020

Indigenous leaders from British Columbia and Alberta who oppose Teck’s Frontier mine say its impact will be felt by First Nations well beyond the site of the massive oilsands project.

Members of Indigenous Climate Action, the Tiny House Warriors and the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs were among those who gathered Monday in North Vancouver outside the office of Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson calling on him to stop the project.

The Teck Frontier mine north of Fort McMurray, Alta., would produce 260,000 barrels of oil a day and about four million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year, for more than 40 years.

The federal government must make a decision on the project by the end of February under the Environmental Assessment Act.

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