News Briefs – May 26, 2021

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

Whitefish man dies at Saddle Lake

On May 16 at approximately 5:30 a.m., Saddle Lake RCMP received a 911 call of a single vehicle rollover on Northwest 4 Road on Saddle Lake Cree Nation.
Saddle Lake and St. Paul RCMP responded and administered First Aid to the two occupants of the vehicle until emergency medical services arrived.
“The 42-year-old male driver from Whitefish Lake First Nations, Alta., and the 29-year-old female passenger from Saddle Lake Cree Nation were pronounced deceased at the scene,” says Cpl. Deanna Fontaine, media relations officer, Alberta RCMP Media Relations Group.
She adds the names of the deceased will not be released.
Saddle Lake RCMP, along with the assistance of an RCMP collision reconstructionist, are investigating the cause of the fatality.

Smoky River fire chief’s report

Fire chief Marcel Maure gave a short report to the M.D. of Smoky River council at its May 12 meeting on Smoky River Fire Services operations including:

  • 11 calls in May including two which were billable;
  • 10 fire permits handed out to date;
  • the current fire hazard in the M.D. as of May 12 was moderate;
  • money was received to hire one summer student;
  • the department currently has 25 members, 20 who practice regularly. Maure added he would like to see the number increase to 40.

Wildfire danger rating released

Hot, dry weather was expected the Victoria Day weekend which will raise the risk of wildfires, but such was not the case earlier in the week.
May 17, wildlife information officer Leah Lovequist reported in a news release that cooler temperatures and rain reduced the wildfire danger to low/moderate in the Slave Lake Forest Area.
Two new small grass wildfires occurred May 16, but both were extinguished quickly.
Since March 1, there have been 31 wildfires which have burned 32.47 hectares.
Until Oct. 31, a fire permit is required for any burning, except a campfire, in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta. To request your free fire permit, call your local Agriculture and Forestry office in Red Earth and Slave Lake [780] 849-7377, in Wabasca at [780] 891-3860, or in High Prairie at [780] 523-6619.
Only you can prevent forest fires. Please follow all the rules to properly put out your campfire and other fires because most wildfires are caused by human beglect.

COVID relief loans available

Small businesses and non-profits in the Lesser Slave Lake region impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, can now access additional financial relief and recovery support.
Community Futures Lesser Slave Lake will begin offering tailored small business loans as past of the Government of Canada’s Regional Relief.
Each of the loans has a forgivable portion if the remaining balance [75 per cent on RRRF loan, 50 per cent on RRRF expansion loan] is paid by Dec. 31, 2022.
In addition, the loans have zero interest until Jan. 1, 2023.
Deadline for applications is June 30.
For more information, please call Community Futures at [780] 849-3232 or by email at

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