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Canada: Call diversion in Calgary to provide alternative response to police

Alberta Court of Appeal upholds sentence for man who killed Calgary Stampeder

  Alberta Court of Appeal upholds sentence for man who killed Calgary Stampeder CALGARY — The Alberta Court of Appeal has upheld the sentence of a man who killed a player with the Calgary Stampeders football team outside a nightclub. The Appeal Court's three judges on Monday unanimously dismissed a challenge from Nelson Lugela, who was found guilty in 2019 of second-degree murder in the death of Mylan Hicks. Lugela was sentenced to life in prison with no chance at parole for 18 years. Hicks, who was a 23-year-old player on the CFL team's practice roster, was shot twice in 2016 outside the Marquee Beer Market in Calgary, where he and his teammates were celebrating a win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

CALGARY — Police in Calgary are piloting a five-month project to divert 911 callers who need mental-health, addictions or social support to lines that provide referrals to community and government services.

  Call diversion in Calgary to provide alternative response to police © Provided by The Canadian Press

Starting in February, some 911 callers will be connected to the Distress Centre Calgary or the 211 line rather than to police, as long as they are not in a life-threatening or criminal situation.

Call-takers with 211 have been working with 911 operators online since earlier this month to iron out details of the partnership.

Calgary 911 Acting Cmdr. Glenda Sahlen says calls have increased by 30 per cent over the last decade — more than one million calls yearly — with many people seeking advice about non-emergency domestic violence, social disorder, mental health and addiction.

Gunsmith's family launches lawsuit against Toronto police over shooting death

  Gunsmith's family launches lawsuit against Toronto police over shooting death The family of a gunsmith shot and killed by Toronto police launched a lawsuit against the service Tuesday, alleging officers used excessive force and failed to serve a search warrant when they raided the man's home in southwestern Ontario late last year. Relatives of Rodger Kotanko, 70, are seeking $23 million in damages in the wrongful death suit filed in Ontario Superior Court. The province's police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit, is investigating. It has said one officer shot and killed Kotanko on Nov. 3, 2021, in Port Dover, Ont. A lawyer for Kotanko's family said the man's loved ones are "broken.


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The $16 million in funding for the service comes from the City of Calgary and the Calgary Police Service budgets.

Edmonton city council reallocated almost $11 million in December to social agencies to assist with mental-health calls rather than adding the money to the police budget.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 25, 2022.

The Canadian Press

Calgary Public Library's new program encourages families to read together .
The reading kits include various children's books, activity booklets, digital resources, book recommendations and discussion questions. Reading kits can also be accessed online. "We have a good age-range, and we have expert children's book folks at the library who came together to choose these titles," said Kate Schutz, service design lead at the Calgary Public Library, in an interview with the Calgary Eyeopener. "We chose some that have diverse characters. That was really important to us." Schutz said the project has been two years in the making.

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