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Energy competition heating up

Posted on March 23, 2016 by Lethbridge Sun Times

For southern Alberta homeowners, competition for their energy contracts seems to be heating up.
While Calgary-based Enmax has dominated the market for many years, two major challengers are hoping to lure customers away. Atco Energy has just launched a new retail enterprise and Edmonton-based Epcor has responded to Atco’s new perks and lower prices.
But Albertans will still be paying far more than their relatives in British Columbia. Even though the per-kilowatt rates charged in B.C. are similar, consumers’ monthly bills are much lower.
The difference, as Alberta homeowners know, is all the add-on charges on their monthly statements. While B.C. residents are billed about $45 for 600 kilowatts of power, Albertans end up — after all those extra changes — paying more than $100 for the same amount.
That’s based on power pegged at close to eight cents — a price now being discounted by “Encor by Epcor,” a spin-off of Edmonton’s utility services. It’s now offering 5.89 cents per kilowatt hour on a two-year contract — a saving it’s calling “huge.”
Two charged in shooting
Lethbridge police have laid charges against two local men, and are searching for a third person, in connection with a drug-related shooting last week.
Drug charges have also been laid against another man after a subsequent search warrant was conducted at a home the night of March 15. At approximately 2:30 a.m. police responded to several reports of shots fired in the alley behind Gonzo’s Gas along the 900 block of 9 Avenue North. Investigation determined a 26-year-old female and 30-year-old male were in the alley when they were shot at by subjects in a vehicle. The victims were not injured and the subjects fled the scene.
Police say the shooting was a targeted incident related to the drug trade and the parties involved are known to one another. Following further investigation, a search warrant was executed later the same evening at a home along Mount Sundance Crescent West. Two men were arrested without incident, one who is suspected to be involved with the shooting. Police seized 170 grams of fentanyl, nearly 20 grams of cocaine, 26.5 grams of crack cocaine and about $5,000 in cash, as well as two vehicles.
Leslie Babajidi Cole, 25, of Lethbridge is charged with 14 weapons charges including two counts of assault with a weapon, possession of stolen property under $5,000 (proceeds of crime), and three counts of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.
Samson Mandefro, 20, of Lethbridge is charged with possession of stolen property under $5,000 (proceeds of crime), and three counts of possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.
Refugees settling in
Nearly 160 Syrian refugees have settled in Lethbridge as of the beginning of March, Sarah Amies, director for Lethbridge Family Services Immigrant Services told a SACPA crowd on Thursday.
Amies presented an update on Syrian refugees as they settle into life in Lethbridge, including some of the challenges faced and some of the issues they can expect to face in the weeks and months to come.
She also spoke on the issue of people coming from vastly different cultures than they might expect to experience in Canada.
“(They are from) a part of the world where things work really quite differently on so many levels,” she said. “It’s really important that our client base clearly understands rules and regulations, and what Canadian law is.”

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