Four stories in the news for Wednesday, March 20
DRUG TREATMENT LACKING IN PRISON: EX-INMATE
A recently released prisoner from the Atlantic Institution in New Brunswick says he filed 70 complaints to try and get treatment for an opioid addiction because he feared painful withdrawal symptoms and the temptation of more drugs on the outside. Rob MacDonald, 41, says a long wait list meant he didn't get any help, even when one of his complaints was upheld by the commissioner of the prisoner service. MacDonald was released nearly two weeks ago after a decade of incarceration for drug-related offences and robbery. He says Correctional Service Canada linked him to treatment on the opioid substitute Suboxone at a clinic in Halifax, hut he says he should have received the medication when he was in prison.
PAROLE HEARING FOR WOMAN IN SON'S NEGLIGENCE DEATH
A woman convicted in her son's death after she failed to take him to the doctor for a strep infection is to appear before a hearing in Calgary today to seek full parole. Tamara Lovett, who is 50, was found guilty in 2017 of criminal negligence causing death and was sentenced to three years in prison. She was granted day parole last June after serving eight months. The Parole Board of Canada noted at the time that Lovett acknowledged she was to blame for her son's death and had held "extreme and unsupportable" views about conventional medicine. At her trial, court heard that Lovett gave seven-year-old Ryan dandelion tea and oil of oregano when he developed the infection that kept him bedridden in their Calgary home for 10 days in 2013.
POLITICIANS HIT ROAD FOR VOTES IN ALBERTA ELECTION
After firing up supporters at campaign kickoff events, the leaders of Alberta's two main political parties are heading out to stump for votes. NDP Leader Rachel Notley called the election Tuesday morning in Calgary before a crowd of cheering supporters, but is to start today in Edmonton with a campaign announcement. Notley is then to speak at events in Red Deer and Lethbridge. United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney spoke at a rally in Edmonton on Tuesday night, urging supporters to get involved in the campaign by helping spread the party's message. Earlier in the day he told a crowd in Leduc that the UCP platform will focus on jobs, the economy and pipelines.
SASKATCHEWAN TO MAKE ITS RETURN TO THE BLACK
For the first time in years, the Saskatchewan Party government will present a budget that the finance minister has said is balanced. Donna Harpauer is to release the province's 2019-2020 fiscal plan today and she's said the government will keep its promise to return to the black. The plan to balance the books was set in motion three years ago under former premier Brad Wall when the province was spending about $1.3 billion more than it was taking in. The Saskatchewan Party government knocked that figure down by increasing the provincial sales tax and cutting spending. Harpauer says this budget will contain a small surplus, which has been projected to be $6 million in previous budgets.
The Canadian Press