Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Prairie Update

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Prairie Update

Article excerpt

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(Alta-Power Rates)

The Alberta government has announced it will cap consumer power rates at a maximum of 6.8 cents per kilowatt hour for four years.

The N-D-P government says the cap is based on forecasted rates by private operators five years from now.

It will be implemented next June as the first step in moving the province away from the deregulated power market implemented in the 1990s.

Currently, consumers who are not on contracts pay a fluctuating rate based on market prices -- with the average price currently at 3.8 cents per kilowatt hour.

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(Sask-Deficit)

Saskatchewan's finance minister says the province's projected deficit has more than doubled to about one-billion dollars.

Kevin Doherty says significant restraint measures are needed to start moving the provincial budget back to balance -- including spending cuts and a hiring freeze.

Doherty says revenues are down 400-million dollars from the June budget.

In his latest fiscal update, he says low oil and potash prices are having a greater impact on revenue than expected, but corporate income tax, personal income tax, provincial sales tax and fuel tax are also down. (The Canadian Press)

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(Alta-Sex-Offender-Program)

Criminal trial lawyers in Alberta are fighting what they say is the province's plan to close an intensive treatment program for sex offenders.

The Criminal Trial Lawyers Association in Edmonton and the Criminal Defence Lawyers Association in Calgary warn shutting down the Phoenix program could put the public at risk.

The secure program operated out of Alberta Hospital Edmonton provides 35 hours of therapy a week for convicted sex offenders serving provincial jail sentences.

Ian Savage of the Calgary lawyers association says a potential replacement program by Alberta Health Services would offer six hours.

Savage says the Phoneix recidivism rate is low. (The Canadian Press)

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(Alta-Child-Luring)

R-C-M-P are trying to locate a truck that may have been involved in an attempted child luring in Red Deer. …

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