Alberta briefs – June 16

Provincial officials are investigating the death of a worker who collapsed at a bitumen refinery north of Edmonton.

Worker killed at bitumen refinery

Provincial officials are investigating the death of a worker who collapsed at a bitumen refinery north of Edmonton.

Chris Chodan, a spokesman for Alberta Occupational Health and Safety, says a 40-year-old man who worked for a construction firm at Shell Canada’s (TSX:SHC) Scotford upgrader in Fort Saskatchewan has died on the site.

Few details were immediately available about what may have caused the man’s death.

Chodan says the provincial government sent an officer to investigate.

No one was immediately available for comment from Shell, or the construction company, PCL Industrial Constructors.

Officer charged with drunk driving

A Calgary police officer has been charged with impaired driving.

The off-duty officer was arrested by the RCMP two weeks ago near the town of Olds.

He is a constable working out of the District 2 station in Calgary and has been with the service for just over a year.

Sources say he was pulled over by RCMP officers who observed him driving on a road near Olds last month.

Kevin Brookwell of the Calgary Police Service says police were made aware of the charges on May 29.

He says it is up to police in the jurisdiction of the alleged offence to decide if the information will be released to the public.

The officer has been charged with impaired driving and driving over the legal limit.

He has also been suspended with pay pending a review by the chief of police.

Airdrie war memorial damaged

Vandals have struck a war memorial in Airdrie.

During the weekend, a cross that used to sit at the top of the cenotaph was found in pieces on the ground.

Park workers notified police about the damage when they found the crushed granite cross on Monday.

Federal Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson says the senseless damage “dishonours the memory of these brave men and women.”

He also says it inflicts pain and sadness onto the entire community.

RCMP investigating the incident say the vandals had to use a great deal of force to cause the damage.

“It appears it was an act of malicious vandalism. The wind certainly wouldn’t blow it over,” says Sgt. Damon Poole.

Cops shoot pig mauled by pit bulls

Edmonton police officers were forced to shoot a pet potbellied pig to put it out of its misery after it was severely mauled by its two housemates — a pair of pit bulls that lived on the same property.

“It’s one of our most unusual cases, seeing two dogs attacking another animal, which happens to be a pig,” said Art Becker, the city’s co-ordinator of animal control enforcement.

Police were called after receiving several calls from neighbours who complained about a commotion in the backyard, said spokesman Jeff Wuite.

When officers arrived, they were forced to cut a lock to the gated yard to gain access to the animals.

“Unfortunately, the pig’s injuries were too great to overcome and the pig was put down at the scene,” Wuite said.

At one time, six police cruisers were on scene to create a barrier and prevent a possible escape by the dogs, Becker said.