Alberta briefs – September 21

An Alberta Liberal MLA who was running to become Calgary’s mayor has dropped out of the race.

Alberta Liberal drops out of Calgary mayoral race

CALGARY — An Alberta Liberal MLA who was running to become Calgary’s mayor has dropped out of the race.

Kent Hehr says he didn’t have enough support.

Hehr represents the riding of Calgary Buffalo in the legislature.

Under Liberal caucus rules, he did not have to step down during his mayoral bid.

He has not officially thrown his support behind any of the other candidates vying to replace outgoing Mayor Dave Bronconnier.

Today is the last day that candidates can come forward if they wish to run in any of the province’s municipal elections Oct. 18.

Trial date set for man charged in deaths of teen girl, woman

EDMONTON — An Edmonton man accused of killing a 13-year-old girl and a woman in separate incidents will be tried on both deaths early next year.

Michael Briscoe, 39, is charged with first-degree murder in the 2005 slaying of 33-year-old Ellie May Meyer.

Meyer’s body was found east of Edmonton.

Briscoe is also awaiting a new trial for the murder of teenager Nina Courtepatte on a golf course west of Edmonton, also in 2005.

The Court of Appeal determined that a new trial should be held, and that decision was upheld by the Supreme Court.

Both cases will be heard in Edmonton Court of Queen’s Bench starting Feb. 28.

Inquiry finds justice officials could not help dying inmate

EDMONTON — A fatality inquiry has found that Alberta Justice workers had no chance to save the life of an inmate.

Jack Ernest Auger died on Jan. 2, 2008, after being at the Peace River Correctional Centre for just one week.

The report found Auger died of a blood infection, mostly likely suffered during an altercation before his incarceration. Auger showed no signs of having any type of infection.

The report also found that even if doctors would have known something was wrong, there wouldn’t have been enough time to take blood samples and treat Auger.

The report says that’s because the infection was well advanced before he showed up at the facility.

Greenpeace mocks energy board with giant ‘rubber stamp’

CALGARY — Greenpeace has delivered a giant ‘rubber stamp’ to the Calgary office of Alberta’s energy regulator to mock its high approval rating of oilsands projects.

Greenpeace says the Energy Resources Conservation Board has never turned down a proposal for oilsands mining in northern Alberta.

The rubber stamp is as big as a coffee table and has the word “approved” emblazoned on the bottom and side.

Greenpeace made the delivery on the eve of a board hearing into a proposal by French oil giant Total for a new oilsands mine.