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Family of murdered Calgary police officer issues statement

Harnett was killed New Year’s Eve in a hit-and-run after pulling over a car in Falconridge that had mismatched licence plates.

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The family of slain Calgary police officer Sgt. Andrew Harnett has issued a statement Monday about his love of Calgary, Canada and duty.

Harnett was killed New Year’s Eve in a hit-and-run after pulling over a car in Falconridge that had mismatched licence plates.

Police allege a 17-year-old male was the driver along with a 19-year-old passenger. Both have been charged with first-degree murder.

HARNETT FAMILY STATEMENT:

“The last few days have been indescribable and overwhelming. The outpouring of support you have shown us is helping to carry us through this difficult time. It is also a reflection of how many people Andrew touched and legacy of the loyalty and kindness he will leave behind.

Andrew was an incredibly loyal and giving friend. He was the type of friend that would give you the shirt off his back without question, be the first person to volunteer to help someone move, build a garage, fence or lend you his truck.

He was a kid at heart with the zest to do anything fun with his friends from bon fires, to quading, snowmobiling and motorcycling. Andrew’s life was incredibly full of all the things he loved. He lived with no regrets and exhausted every opportunity to have a good time. His loyal group of friends bonded over the many hunting trips down to the hunt ‘shack,’ or on their annual motorcycle trip down to Wallace, Idaho.

Harnett

Sports were also a passion of Andrew’s. Anyone who knew him knew he loved NFL football, specifically the Miami Dolphins (whether they were terrible or not), and he attended many of the Seattle Seahawks games. He was also a huge CFL fan, loyal to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and couldn’t wait to go to the Grey Cup in Hamilton. He was a big WWE wrestling fan and could be spotted with friends acting out a wrestling promo or laying a ‘stone cold stunner’ on an unsuspecting buddy after a few beers.

Harnett at football in game in Hamilton

Andrew was dedicated to his country and to Calgary, first joining the military police in Edmonton and then serving the city of Calgary bravely and proudly throughout his 12-year career with the Calgary Police Service. He was proud to be a ‘street officer’ and work in District 5, where he spent his whole career. Yet another demonstration of his loyalty. He loved working in one of the busiest areas of the city.

He knew the risks of the job and showed up everyday regardless. Andrew would have given everything for the police, and he did. He was passionate about his role in the community and participated in many fundraising activities through the CPS. Andrew didn’t need formal recognition for anything, but he earned the respect of those that knew him, worked with him and of his community. His two Life Saving Awards are a testimony to his dedication to going above and beyond.

Andrew was born and raised in Hagersville, Ontario, where he was surrounded by a loving family and a supportive community. It’s been said before, Andrew grew up determined to be a police officer at a young age and spent his youth volunteering with Crime Stoppers while building relationships with local law enforcement. Many of these relationships have spanned a lifetime and exist today.

He took every opportunity that was provided to him to make the most of growing up in Ontario. The skills he learned from skating on the quarry, building tree forts, waterskiing at the cottage and learning survival skills with his brothers and numerous friends, stayed with him throughout his life. As a child he was a prankster and loved to wrestle with his brothers, which was great for them until he grew much bigger and stronger. Andrew was one of the strongest people you would have met. He was a loving brother, son, partner and friend. He had a passion for life that was unequalled. His two older brothers, mother and late father were, and are, immensely proud of his time in the military, and his service with the CPS.

In addition to all of the things Andrew was to everyone else, he was also an incredibly loving and supportive partner and spouse to Chelsea, who he’s shared his life with for the last seven years. Together they enjoyed traveling, vacationing, sampling the Calgary brewery scene, attending sports events with friends and had many plans for an incredible future together. Andrew and Chelsea were also expecting their first child together in the summer of 2021. Andrew couldn’t have been more excited to be a loving and dedicated father and now a piece of his legacy will live on as part of the CPS family.

The Harnett Family

Donations

In response to a number of donation requests, those wishing to provide financial support to the family can do so through a trust account that has been set up in Sgt. Harnett’s memory at ATB Financial (account #07149-00721001979) or via electronic transfer to SgtHarnettFamily@gmail.com. Donations can also be made to local Legion branches in Andrew’s honour.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/nobby769

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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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. MajorTom

    January 5, 2021 at 1:51 pm

    It is my understanding that Sergeant Harnett also served with distinction in the Royal Canadian Army Cadets! End of Watch! May he rest in peace! Reinstate capital punishment!

  2. BillyHW

    January 5, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    Dieversity.

  3. Mars Hill

    January 4, 2021 at 11:23 pm

    Thank God you were able to be a part of this mans life, you’re better for it, his blood runs through your veins. Do your grieving and the best you can to forgive the two individuals responsible for this. Many are praying for you.

  4. Emily

    January 4, 2021 at 6:49 pm

    RIP

    Calgary used to be a great city until early 2000’s when it started to become a third world hole like Vancouver.

  5. godot

    January 4, 2021 at 5:33 pm

    Rest in Peace, Sergeant Andrew Harnett.

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News

BC drops more COVID fines under pressure from Justice Centre

On Tuesday, the JCCF announced that five more “public health” tickets issued to its clients have been dropped by Crown Prosecutors in BC.

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BC officials have dropped five more COVID-19 related tickets in response to pressure from the Justice Centre.

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF) is funded by voluntary donations and represents its clients free of charge.

On Tuesday, the JCCF announced five more “public health” tickets issued to its clients have been dropped by Crown prosecutors in BC.

Three tickets totalling $6,900 were issued to a health care worker named Nadine Podmoroff, who organized three outdoor events in Castlegar and Nelson.

Podmoroff said, according to JCCF, that leading up to the Dec. 21, 2020 event she was in contact with Castlegar RCMP who gave her the green light to proceed without being ticketed as long as the laws were followed.

Policed “monitored the event throughout and said we behaved peacefully,” said Podmoroff, who added RCMP did not issue any tickets until two days after the event when they arrived at her home and issued a ticket of $2,300.

Podmoroff organized two additional outdoor rallies shortly after, for which she was also ticketed.

JCCF filed a Notice of Constitutional Question on Nov. 5, 2021, challenging the validity of the tickets issued to Podmoroff. On Nov. 15, 2021, the Crown dropped two tickets challenged by the notice, as well as an additional ticket issued to an unnamed individual who spoke at a protest with Podmoroff.

Podmoroff has one remaining ticket from Dec. 21, 2020 which JCCF is attempting to have dropped.

“The scientific data unequivocally shows outdoor public gatherings are not, and never were, a public health risk,” said Jay Cameron, litigation director at JCCF.

Additional tickets issued to JCCF’s clients for protesting or holding in person religious services have also been recently dropped in BC, according to the organization, which is in the process of having dozens of more tickets dropped in the province — such as a church in Fort St. John that was fined for recording a Zoom service in its building with staff present.

“The Justice Centre will continue to defend BC citizens against the Government’s unjust violation of their Charter rights,” said Cameron.

BC-based non-profit the Canadian Society for the Advancement of Science in Public Policy’s (CSASPP) Executive Director, Kip Warner, among others involved in combating state overreach, speaks highly of the JCCF.

“The problems Canadians are facing are across the country and are best met with areas of responsibility allocated to different competent campaigns,” Warner told the Western Standard.

“For that reason Alberta’s JCCF and BC’s CSASPP have a complimentary, productive, and professional working relationship.”

Reid Small is a BC-based reporter for the Western Standard
rsmall@westernstandardonline.com
Twitter.com/reidsmall

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News

Liberals axe mandatory minimum sentences for many firearms crimes

“Conservatives believe that serious, violent offences that are committed with firearms deserve mandatory prison time. It’s shameful that the Liberals think we should be weakening firearms laws in Canada,” said Rob Moore in a statement.

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The Liberal government is moving again to eliminate the mandatory minimum prison (MMPs) times handed to people convicted of some gun crimes.

A proposed Liberal bill would affect 14 Criminal Code sections and six drug-related offences.

The gun offences that would see MMPs dropped include possessing a restricted firearm with ammunition, weapons trafficking, discharging a firearm while committing an offence, reckless discharge of a firearm, and extortion and robbery with a firearm.

It follows a similar bill the party introduced February that died without being passed when the election was called in August.

It would remove MMPs from 13 firearms offences and one for a tobacco offence.

MMPs would remain for murder, treason, impaired driving and sexual offences, as well as a some firearms offences.

“With Bill C-5, we are turning the page on the policy of the former government. It is a policy that in the end did not discourage crime or make our justice system more efficient or more fair,” Justice Minister David Lametti said.

“All the approach did was imprison too many indigenous, black and marginalized Canadians.

“Indigenous adults represent 5% of the general population but account for 30% of federally incarcerated inmates. That’s double where it was 20 years ago.”

The legislation also would repeal MMPs for all six offences to which they apply under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, including possession, trafficking and the production of substances classified under Schedules 1 and 2 of the act.

“This measure will allow for more effective rehabilitation and integration by allowing individuals to keep their job, to care for their children or family members or to seek counselling or treatment for substance and addictions abuse,” Lametti said. 

“Think about your own kids. Perhaps they got into trouble at some point with the law. I bet you would want to give them the benefit of the doubt or a second chance if they messed up. Well, it is a lot harder to get a second chance the way things are now.

“And that’s particularly true if you are a young person who happens to be indigenous or black.”

Conservative justice critic Rob Moore was less than pleased with the proposal.

“Conservatives believe that serious, violent offences committed with firearms deserve mandatory prison time. It’s shameful that the Liberals think we should be weakening firearms laws in Canada,” said Moore in a statement.

“This bill is soft on crime and puts communities and victims at risk.”

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News

Indigenous leaders welcome ‘Elders Wisdom Panels’ recommended by Allan Inquiry

Stephen Buffalo, President & CEO of Indian Resource Council, wants the premier to formally accept the Allan report in the legislature and Energy Minister Savage to give a mandate to elders panels.

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Indigenous leaders are calling on the Alberta government to implement vital First Nations recommendations from the Allan Inquiry’s Final Report, including the establishment of Elders Wisdom Panels.

The statements were issued in a press release by the Indian Resource Council which was founded in 1987 by chiefs following the recommendation of a task force that was established to study the role of the Crown in the management of First Nations oil and natural gas resources.

The IRC now represents more than 155 oil and gas producing First Nations across Canada.

“Commissioner Steve Allan has defined a vital instrument — Elders Wisdom Panels — for opening a novel path to relationship development, establishing common purpose and the cooperative and constructive economic foundations for reconciliation,” said Stephen Buffalo president and CEO of IRC.

“We call upon Premier Jason Kenney to advance a motion of acceptance in the Alberta Legislature of the Allan Inquiry Final Report’s six recommendations. Energy Minister Sonya Savage should then work with Chief Littlechild and other respected elders to formulate the terms and mandate for Elders Wisdom Panels, including the implementation of regulations that require Elders Wisdom Panels as constructive intermediators for all substantive resource developments.”

In his report, Steve Allan noted that $102 million had gone from nine U.S. foundations to indigenous environmental initiatives from 2003 through 2019.

Allan said elders panels could “breach the divide, not only within and between First Nations communities, but also to advance greater understanding among all Canadians of First Nations issues, as well as the responsible stewardship of Canada’s natural resources.” 

Bearspaw First Nation, part of the Stoney-Nakoda Nation in Alberta, has been involved in resource development and natural gas for nearly 70 years. Chief Darcy Dixon believes the Allan report and elders panels could facilitate more development.

“The Allan Inquiry provides solid recommendations for resolution of conflicts among indigenous groups, energy developers, environmental groups and governments. For too long we have been handicapped by the Indian Act and a government bureaucracy that restricts our ability to create strong economies for ourselves and to become true business partners. Elders Wisdom Panels would certainly help bring about mutually beneficial agreements, as well as a greater level of mutual understanding,” he said.

Former Grand Chief Wilton J. Littlechild, a lawyer and one of three commissioners of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, also gave his endorsement.

“Commissioner Steve Allan’s recommendations must not be ignored,” said Littlechild, who added the panels could help Canada fulfill its obligations under the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Ermineskin Cree Nation, located 80 kilometers south of Edmonton, has been involved in oil and gas for more than 60 years from the Bonnie Glen Field at Pigeon Lake. Chief Randy Ermieskin believes economic development and reconciliation go together.

“Reconciliation begins when indigenous people grow their own economies for financial security and stability and have meaningful participation in the greater Canadian and international marketplace. First Nations themselves also need to come together to joint venture and partner in large projects, many of which are in the energy sector. We are a force that is not going away,” said Ermineskin.

Mac Van Wielingen, Founder of ARC Financial Corp and incoming chair of the Business Council of Alberta, believes the indigenous aspects of the “large and comprehensive” Allan report have received too little attention.

“The public discussion to date has focused narrowly on foreign funding of opposition to Canadian oil and gas development… [but] the Allan Inquiry Final Report has many other constructive recommendations,” said Van Wielingen.

“Canada’s resource sector is ideally placed to accelerate indigenous reconciliation through partnership, education, training and economic development that advance multi-generational self-reliance and shared prosperity. Elders Wisdom Panels will help bridge the opportunity gaps and build the structural conditions for economic and social sustainability among all Canadians.”

Harding is a Western Standard contributor based in Saskatchewan
lharding@westernstandardonline.com

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