Tag Archives: Alberta Primetime

We now return to our regularly-scheduled programming

Apologies for the extended hiatus: I dropped my laptop a couple of weeks ago, which knocked me out of a commission for a few days, until I could get to the Apple Store to have it looked at. As I had initially suspected, the hard drive was broken. Luckily, I regularly back up my system onto an external drive, so I didn’t lose any data or files. The hard drive on my MacBook is user-replaceable, so beyond paying for a new one, I figured I wouldn’t have to pay for any labour. But I made out even better than that: Apple gave me a new hard drive for free — knowing full well I dropped my laptop. The technician explained that the model that was originally installed in my MacBook was proving too fragile in the similar circumstances and they were getting a lot of them back. Customer service like that is why Mac users love Apple so much!

This blog also reached a milestone during my little break, despite the lack of new material: there have now been more than 10,000 hits since I started a little more than a year ago. Thanks to everyone who has come by and commented — good or bad — and shown an interest in the topics discussed here.

Speaking of discussions, I’ll be in my usual spot tonight for Alberta Primetime’s weekly crime panel. Consultant and former Edmonton police chief Fred Rayner, and youth justice advocate Mark Cherrington will join me to talk about these topics:

  • A recent law passed in Ontario that bans drivers 21 and under from any alcohol consumption.
  • Child abandonment cases such as a recent one in Kananaskis, when a “father” left his child in a sweltering car for several hours while he gambled inside a casino.

(Alberta Primetime airs live at 7 p.m. MDT on Access TV: Channel 13 in Calgary; Channel 351 on Bell TV; Channel 267 on Shaw Direct. You can visit the show’s segment archive to view past discussions about crime and other topics.)

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A primer for tonight’s Primetime panel

Retired Edmonton police officer Jack Kraus will be in Alberta Primetime’s Edmonton studio for tonight’s crime panel discussion, joining defence lawyer David Andrews and I here in Calgary.

I’m a bit humbled by one of this week’s topics, which is the Medicine Hat girl who was 12 years old when she and her ex-boyfriend murdered her parents and little brother in 2006. Two of my friends and colleagues at the Calgary Herald, Sherri Zickefoose and Robert Remington, wrote Runaway Devil, the best-selling book about the case. Sherri’s blog is a great repository of her writings about the case, along with her trenchant observations. Check it out — I can tell you I’ll be consulting her and Bob before the show tonight. Here, then, is the line-up:

  • A judge recently presided over a legally-mandated progress report for “Runaway Devil,” who is being held in secure psychiatric custody as part of the youth court sentence she received for murdering her family. The girl, who is now 16, will be gradually given more freedom and will be completely free by the time she’s 23.
  • A man accused of taking a hostage at the Edmonton Workers’ Compensation Board building has opted to represent himself at trial. Is this a recipe for an inevitable appeal if he’s convicted?

(Alberta Primetime airs live at 7 p.m. MDT on Access TV: Channel 13 in Calgary; Channel 351 on Bell TV; Channel 267 on Shaw Direct/Star Choice. You can visit the show’s segment archive to view past discussions about crime and other topics.)

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G20 gets the Primetime treatment

As fun as it is to appear on Alberta Primetime’s weekly crime panel, the gig created some white-knuckle moments for me during the Olympics and the NHL playoffs, when we’d be in the studio during some key games. How lucky I am that my latest sporting obsession, the World Cup, is being held in South Africa and the games are airing in the morning, before I go to work.

Still, there will be a little bit of World Cup with me on tonight’s show: I’ll be wearing an orange shirt in support of my team, which plays Friday morning against Brazil — a favourite of Calgary defence lawyer David Andrews, who will be on the panel with me in Calgary. No word whether consultant and former Edmonton police chief Fred Rayner, who will join us from the provincial capital, is a soccer fan. Maybe we’ll ask him in between tonight’s timely topics:

  • Did authorities go too far with the police presence and special powers given to law enforcement during the G20 summit in Toronto?
  • The parliamentary budget officer has estimated that a recently-instituted measure that eliminates two-for-one credits for offenders held in pretrial custody will necessitate the building of 13 new prisons and cost more than $5 billion a year.

(Alberta Primetime airs live at 7 p.m. MDT on Access TV: Channel 13 in Calgary; Channel 351 on Bell TV; Channel 267 on Shaw Direct/Star Choice. You can visit the show’s segment archive to view past discussions about crime and other topics.)

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Tonight’s crime panel topics

I’m back in the Calgary Herald newsroom after an extended weekend, and back on Alberta Primetime tonight for the show’s weekly crime panel. Here are the topics Calgary defence lawyer David Andrews, consultant and former Edmonton police chief Fred Rayner and I are slated to discuss:

  • How to better enforce suspended driver’s licences. It’s estimated as many as 90 per cent of suspended motorists continue to get behind the wheel.
  • Alberta considering legislation that would cut off social programs to offenders wanted on warrants.
  • A Supreme Court ruling that upheld blanket publication bans on bail (or “show cause”) hearings.

(Alberta Primetime airs live at 7 p.m. MDT on Access TV: Channel 13 in Calgary; Channel 351 on Bell TV; Channel 267 on Shaw Direct/Star Choice. You can visit the show’s segment archive to view past discussions about crime and other topics.)

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Tonight on Alberta Primetime

Here’s the line-up for the Wednesday night crime panel on Alberta Primetime. Defence lawyer David Andrews and I will be in Calgary, joined by consultant and former Edmonton police chief Fred Rayner in the provincial capital:

  • Police overtime costs: Calgary police went nearly $3 million over the $11.7 million set aside for OT in 2009.
  • Pharmacy robberies in Calgary: is illegal demand for OxyContin driving a trend?

(Alberta Primetime airs live at 7 p.m. MDT on Access TV: Channel 13 in Calgary; Channel 351 on Bell TV; Channel 267 on Shaw Direct/Star Choice. You can visit the show’s segment archive to view past discussions about crime and other topics.)

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Alberta Primetime panel: Supreme-ly absent

Readers of my blog will know I have faithfully appeared on Alberta Primetime’s Wednesday crime panel these past few weeks, even though I’ve had to miss two do-or-die games involving my beloved Canadiens during their improbable NHL playoff run. (I may not have that problem by this time next week, but I’d rather not dwell on that unpleasantness quite yet….)

Anyway, I mention this because I will be flying solo in Calgary for this week’s installment: apparently my usual cohort, defence lawyer David Andrews, thinks arguing a case in front of the Supreme Court of Canada is more important. The nerve! I suppose I could say “Good luck,” but, then again, he IS a defence lawyer…. Seriously though, it’s quite a feather in his cap and I’d be remiss if I didn’t offer my kudos. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it upon his return to the show.

On to this week’s panel, then, which will rely, then, on the astute insights of consultant and former Edmonton police chief Fred Rayner and defence lawyer Ed O’Neill on the following topics:

  • A proposal by federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews to reinstate “rape” as a distinct offence in the Criminal Code. The term was struck from the books in 1983 and rape is now prosecuted under the broader offence of sexual assault.
  • Reports from Calgary police that gangs are recruiting children, and not just targeting the typical teenage demographic.

(Alberta Primetime airs live at 7 p.m. MDT on Access TV: Channel 13 in Calgary; Channel 351 on Bell TV; Channel 267 on Shaw Direct/Star Choice. You can visit the show’s segment archive to view past discussions about crime and other topics.)

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Verbal stickhandling tonight on Alberta Primetime

For the second time in recent weeks, I’ll be sporting my Montréal Canadiens tie on Alberta Primetime as my beloved Habs once again face elimination from the Stanley Cup playoffs. Hey — it worked two weeks ago against Washington, so why not? Calgary defence lawyer David Andrews and I will occupy our usual spots on the show’s weekly crime panel, joined tonight in the Edmonton studio by retired police officer Jack Kraus. Here’s what we’ll talk about — bearing in mind we rarely get through the whole agenda (I blame Andrews!):

  • A case in Edmonton involving a police officer who shot a man four times while on duty. The officer was cleared by an internal investigation, but the Law Enforcement Review Board recently overturned that finding. How are complaints against police and allegations of misconduct handled in Alberta? Is there a need for change?
  • The federal government’s move this week to reform Canada’s pardon system — starting with the name: they’ll now be called “record suspensions.” If the government’s bill passes, applicants will have to wait longer before getting one as well as meet a higher burden to prove they’re deserving — and sex offenders need not apply.
  • An NDP MP’s private member’s bill (Bill C-232) mandating that all Supreme Court justices be bilingual has passed the House of Commons. Is it necessary? Is it fair?

(Alberta Primetime airs live at 7 p.m. MDT on Access TV: Channel 13 in Calgary; Channel 351 on Bell TV; Channel 267 on Shaw Direct/Star Choice. You can visit the show’s segment archive to view past discussions about crime and other topics.)

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