Alberta briefs – July13

A Penhold town councillor has been chosen to represent the Alberta Party in the Innisfail-Sylvan Lake riding in the next provincial election.

Klooster to run for Alberta Party in the next provincial election

A Penhold town councillor has been chosen to represent the Alberta Party in the Innisfail-Sylvan Lake riding in the next provincial election.

Danielle Klooster, who is also communications manager for the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce, was announced as the party’s candidate on Tuesday.

“Before getting involved in the Alberta Party, I was frustrated at continually being told I had to fit into one political box or another,” said Klooster in a statement. “In the Alberta Party, I found a party that is interested in common sense decisions, not prescribed ideology. Good ideas come from everywhere.”

The Alberta Party has been around since the mid-1980s, but undertook a major rebuilding effort last year to move towards the centre of the political spectrum.

In February 2010, the Alberta Party and Renew Alberta, a movement working to establish a centrist political party in Alberta, agreed to join forces.

The party is led by Glenn Taylor, who is mayor of Hinton.

Ring road deal to be reworded for First Nation: Ouellette

CALGARY — Alberta Transportation Minister Luke Ouellette says the government will reword an agreement to ease concerns of the Tsuu T’ina First Nation over a potential southwest ring road.

Ouellette said the 2009 deal is still on the table and wording will change to guarantee a land swap.

The offer had the band giving up 400 hectares of land in exchange for $275 million and another 2,000 hectares of land that the province would make best efforts in acquiring.

But members of the First Nation voted it down, and Ouellette says band officials told him it wasn’t explained well enough to their people.

The minister says provincial officials and those from the First Nation have been talking and if they can’t work it out, he and the chief will talk and “make it work.”

He’s optimistic a deal could be signed for the federal government to OK by the time Premier Ed Stelmach leaves office in October.

“We’re saying we respect everything they want, we will clarify, no matter how the wording is, they’re going to get what that deal is saying,” Ouellette said.

Four injured in apartment fire

EDMONTON — Four people, including two children, have been seriously injured in a fire at an Edmonton apartment building.

The fire broke out just after 1:30 on Tuesday afternoon and at least two large propane tanks exploded.

Smoke could be seen billowing above the area, blocks from the scene, flames shooting out the top of the building.

The block around the building was closed off by firefighters.

The building has 50 units. Six units were extensively damaged by the fire, many more suffered water damage.

Red Cross is helping residents who have been left homeless. More than 60 firefighters battled the blaze.

Grant Starchuk was rescued from the building by fire crews.

“I was in the bathroom getting ready for work, then the fire alarm went off and smoke came through the door.” Starchuk said tearfully. “I went to the balcony and smoke was coming from the roof, so I just waited for the fire department to get me down off the ladder which they did.”

Another child was rescued from the building as residents and neighbours watched in shock.

“I seen the baby come out covered in a soot. A moment later the mom come out cover in soot head to toe,” said Tim Matthews.

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