Alberta briefs – September 24

Enmax has launched a massive “Say No” campaign to protest against Bill 50, which will see $15 billion spent to build power transmission lines in Alberta.

Enmax protests power line spending

CALGARY — Enmax has launched a massive “Say No” campaign to protest against Bill 50, which will see $15 billion spent to build power transmission lines in Alberta.

The Calgary energy company says that if the bill is passed, transmission charges could triple over the next ten years.

Enmax estimates the owner of a 185-square-metre home will pay $300 a year more for electricity if the province’s energy projects go forward.

Enmax also says the projects will cost $20 billion, not the $15 billion that was suggested by the province.

Mayor Dave Bronconnier says Calgarians don’t need the power and that the province should be holding public hearings on its plan.

Premier Ed Stelmach says the province’s power projects are much bigger than just Enmax or the cities of Edmonton and Calgary and he says Bill 50 will be debated in the legislature.

“We left it over the summer so we could have input and obviously Enmax will be having input into the bill,” said Stelmach.

Epcor, Edmonton’s city-owned utility, supports the bill and says it supports private or government projects that provide critical upgrades.

Officer charged with luring suspended

CALGARY — A Calgary police officer charged with Internet luring is now suspended without pay.

Const. Randann Sargent was originally suspended back in June.

Chief Rick Hanson took the unusual step Tuesday of asking the police commission to continue Sargent’s suspension, but without pay, until the matter has been through court.

The police union opposed the chief’s request, but the commission agreed.

Sargent is accused of using a computer to communicate with a person believed to be under the age of 18 to have that person take photographs that fall within the definition of child pornography.

Syncrude worker hurt in tire explosion

FORT MCMURRAY — A oil worker was taken to hospital in critical condition after he was struck in the head by an exploding tire in the Fort McMurray area.

Occupational Health and Safety spokesman Chris Chodan says the man, in his mid-50s, was working on the Syncrude north mine site about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday when the heavy hauler tire exploded.

Debris from the explosion hit and critically injured the man, who was taken to a Fort McMurray hospital.

Another workplace injury happened on Monday evening when a man struck his head on the concrete floor while working at a fibreglass tank manufacturing company in Edmonton.

Chodan said the 66-year-old ZCL Composites Inc. employee was lowering a scissor lift to the ground before 6 p.m. when he slipped and hit his head on the floor.

He was taken to University Hospital with serious injuries.

Gun spotted floating in river

EDMONTON — Edmonton police have a weapon under lock and key thanks to a sharp-eyed construction worker.

Ryan Drummond was working on a bridge when he spotted something in the North Saskatchewan River around 4 p.m. Tuesday.

“We were just looking out to see what we could see and saw it in the water, kind of flickering,” he explained.

He and his buddies went back to the bridge on Wednesday, consulted other workers and they decided to call police.

Officers sent out a boat and recovered a long-barrelled rifle with a scope attached.

Police said the weapon will be tested to see if it was used in a crime.

Bawdy house conviction appealed

EDMONTON — A former driving instructor, sentenced last week on prostitution-related charges, is appealing his conviction and sentence.

Visha Juneja, 64, of Edmonton, was sentenced to 30 months in prison last Friday, after being found guilty on charges of keeping a common bawdy house and living off the avails of prostitution.

His lawyer, Shawn Beaver, confirms he has filed an appeal.

No appeal date has been set.

Juneja will have to apply for release on bail, pending the outcome of his appeal.