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Slain officer helping to catch his own killers

“I’m pissed off – it’s totally senseless,” said Calgary police chief Mark Neufeld

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Sgt. Andrew Harnett is working to catch his own killer.

Harnett, 37, pulled over an Infiniti vehicle in the neighbourhood of Falconridge Thursday night because it’s licence plate didn’t match.

The 12-year-veteran, nick-named “Hardcore” by his fellow officers, then followed all proper procedures and communicated details of the suspect car to the dispatcher through his in-car computer system, said Chief Mark Neufeld in a Friday press conference.

Neufeld said Harnett was also able to obtain footage of his interactions with the suspects, named as a 17-year-old and Amir Abdulrabhman, 19, both of Calgary. Both of the wanted men are known to Calgary police. They have been charged with first-degree murder.

Chief Neufeld at Friday press conferemce

“Sgt. Harnett did exceptional police work prior to his death,” Neufeld said.

The chief said he knew Harnett personally and had even gone on a patrol with “Andy.”

“This is what I have had nightmares about,” said Neufeld, adding there is no such thing as a routine police call.

“I’m pissed off – it’s totally senseless.”

Neufeld praised the officers leading the investigation, from the homicide to the traffic, to the crime scenes units.

“I am humbled by the progress we have made in the last 12 hours,” he said.

The tragedy began about 10:50 p.m. Thursday night when Harnett pulled over the Infiniti.

At some point the offenders fled and and accident happened with Harnett being struck and killed. Another car, driven by someone not involved, got caught up in the carnage and also hit Harnett.

As a supervising sergeant for Five District, Harnett was working alone, which is normal practice.

Acting on a tip for the public, police found the culprits’ car about 1:30 p.m., Friday in the northeast community of Taradale. The vehicle has been brought in for forensic testing.

Sgt. Andrew Harnett
Courtesy Calgary Police Service

Neufeld urged Calgarians to come forward with information leading to the arrest of the suspects.

Calgary Police Association President John Orr called Harnett an “exceptional police officer and an exceptional human being.”

“I want to let his family know he will be remembered always,” said Orr, who called the murder “cowardly.”

Mayor Naheed Nenshi, close to tears, also paid tribute to Harnett, noting the officer patrolled Five District in the northeast where he lives.

Neufeld noted Harnett was decorated by the Canadian Armed Forces when he was a military police officer with them, and had received at least two Chief’s Awards for live-saving with the CPS.

Premier Jason Kenney also paid tribute to Harnett calling his murder, a “terrible crime.”

Those thoughts were echoed by Justice Minister Kacyee Madu.

“I am saddened and heartbroken at the news of the death of Sgt. Andrew Harnett with the Calgary Police Service. I wish to extend my condolences to Sgt. Harnett’s family, friends, co-workers, and the entire Calgary Police Service at this very difficult time,” said Madu in a statement.

“As part of his service to Calgarians, Sgt. Harnett was on duty patrolling the streets on New Year’s Eve. While doing this as part of ensuring the safety of Calgarians, this tragic event took place that cost him his life.

“This is a devastating reminder of what the brave men and women of law enforcement face every day when they put on their uniform. As officers work to keep Albertans and our communities safe, their families hope to see them safe again at the end of their shift.

“As we grieve the loss of this officer, let us remember his selflessness in choosing a life dedicated to public service and safety, and the sacrifices made by his family in doing so.”

Harnett, who lived in Strathmore, leaves behind his wife Chelsea. The couple had no children.

…more to come

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard and the Vice-President: News Division of Western Standard New Media Corp. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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Federal bureaucrats very pleased with themselves at start of pandemic

In self-congratulatory internal emails, the department said it was “very proud” of doing a great job on pandemic management, “a great story for us.”

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“We’re good! We’re very very good!”

At least that’s what the staff at the federal Public Works department felt about themselves as COVID-19 deaths in Canada were approaching 9,000, according to Blacklock’s Reporter.

In self-congratulatory internal emails, the department said it was “very proud” of doing a great job on pandemic management, “a great story for us.”

“I know how difficult it has been,” wrote James Fitz-Morris, director of communications.

Fitz-Morris told staff “we should be very proud of what we put out.

“It’s a really great page that tells a great story for us,” he said July 31 as COVID deaths that day numbered 8,961.

The economy at the time had shrunk 11 percent, and unemployed totaled 2,182,600 Canadians.

A handout for reporters said: “The Government of Canada is dedicating approximately $6 billion to buying personal protective equipment, medical equipment and supplies to keep Canadians safe.”

Staff in a May 29 email exchange cautioned scriptwriters not to refer to “our government” in statements to the public. “You can say ‘our government’ but we can’t!” wrote Elizabeth Lindsay, director general of communications.

“We’re everybody’s government!” replied Fitz-Morris. “You sure are!!!!” replied Lindsay.

Cabinet in the first weeks of the pandemic heaped praise on federal managers for their pandemic response. At one press conference, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland described public health officers as national celebrities.

“I have observed as a former journalist that chief public health officers across the whole country have become this generation’s rock stars,” Freeland said April 14.

“Thanks to public servants who have been working around the clock,” Prosperity Minister Mona Fortier told the Commons finance committee May 28.

“Our amazing world class civil servants, they are doing an amazing job,” Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen told the Commons June 17.

“Many public servants are working hard to develop and deliver support to Canadians,” Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos testified at a May 8 hearing of the Commons government operations committee.

“Federal employees are continuing to be productive in their efforts to provide Canadians with the government services they depend on every day, and to provide critical services and the many new measures quickly developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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O’Toole hires former Huawei executive

O’Toole has already said if elected prime minister there is no way he would allow the Chinese-backed Huawei onto’s Canada’s 5G networks.

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Tory party leader Erin O’Toole has hired a former top executive of the controversial Chinese firm Huawei.

O’Toole brought on board Jake Enwright, who was Huawei Canada Vice President & Director of Corporate Affairs. He will handle research and issues management for the Conservatives.

O’Toole has already said if elected prime minister there is no way he would allow the Chinese-backed Huawei onto’s Canada’s 5G networks.

Enwright worked for former Tory leader Andrew Scheer, leaving his office in 2018.

Many countries around the world have banned Huawei claiming it would allow the Chinese to use the 5G system to spy on their countries.

Canada and its Five Eyes allies — the U.K., New Zealand and Australia — are under pressure from fellow member, the U.S., to ban Huawei on security grounds.

But Prime Minister Justin Trudeau still hasn’t made a decision on whether to allow it in Canada.

“Unlike Justin Trudeau, I don’t take entities of the Chinese regime at their word. If I’m PM Huawei will be banned from 5G,” tweeted Tory leader O’Toole on September 17.

It cames on the day, the Globe and Mail reported Huawei had communicated to Ottawa that it promised not to spy on Canada.

“Huawei Canada has put together a legal agreement between the company and the federal government that outlines a ‘no back-door, no-spying’ pledge,” the Globe reported from their sources.

Ottawa has spent almost two years studying whether to allow Huawei into 5G networks.

Bell Canada and Telus Corp have announced they will not partner with Huawei in their 5G network and instead go with Ericsson and Nokia.

Both companies use Huawei in their 4G networks.

Canada arrested Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou on on December 1, 2018, following an extradition request from U.S. officials who alleged she violated sanctions on doing business with Iran.

Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig were detained in China days later and were later charged with espionage.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Hamilton police drop COVID mask caper

Police said they have no leads and no suspects, in the theft of the masks that had just been flown in from China by the Department of Public Works.

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Hamilton police have dropped the case into the theft of millions of COVID-19 masks from the hamilton airport, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

Police said they have no leads and no suspects, in the theft of the masks that had just been flown in from China by the Department of Public Works.

“A report on their investigation was completed in October which found there were no additional investigative leads to pursue,” said Stéfanie Hamel, spokesperson for the department.

“The products were not recovered.”

Two million surgical masks, part of a shipment of 34 tonnes of pandemic supplies, were pilfered from a CargoJet warehouse at Hamilton last July. The department concealed the robbery at the time.

Hamel said the masks were “stolen between Saturday, July 4 and Monday, July 6” when the heist was reported to police. Authorities did not estimate the value of the loss but charter aircraft costs alone ranged from $500,000 to $800,000.

Hamilton’s airport authority Thursday said it only learned of the robbery when alerted by Blacklock’s.

“We comply with aviation regulations to ensure the airfield is safe and secure,” managers at John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport said in a statement.

“Services related to the storage or movement of goods by ground transportation from the airport are controlled by the respective cargo carriers.”

The robbery was disclosed in an internal Department of Public Works email.

Staff said they only learned of the heist when a shipment by Purolator truck from Hamilton to a federal warehouse in Vaudreuil, Que. failed to appear.

“A shipment of approximately two million surgical masks was picked up at the CargoJet warehouse,” wrote staff. “Canada has been advised by Purolator that the masks were not picked up by one of their subcontractors as scheduled.”

The robbery occurred after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Hamilton airport publicly announced the shipment.

CargoJet has declined comment on the robbery. Purolator also refused to respond to questions.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby7694

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