A couple of Americans caught trying to smuggle guns into Canada earlier this year have been heavily fined, while a third U.S. citizen will spend some time in a Canadian jail.
Timothy Alan Steinborn pleaded guilty Friday in Lethbridge provincial court to seven counts of smuggling goods under the Canada Customs Act. He was sentenced to three months in jail, prohibited from possessing weapons for 10 months, and the guns he attempted to smuggle over the border were forfeited for destruction.
Court was told Steinborn was hauling a trailer with his truck when he arrived at the Coutts border crossing Aug. 27, 2016 on his way to Alaska. The retired Army Ranger declared a few guns when he was asked by a border officer if he had any weapons, but he didn’t declare any others. During a search if his vehicle and trailer officials found several restricted and non-restricted rifles, a shotgun, several prohibited, loaded handguns and ammunition.
Crown prosecutor Amelia Pask Snook said Steinborn’s offences would normally attract a sentence of six to nine months, but because of his significant medical issues she suggested three months would be more appropriate.
The two other U.S. citizens who were caught last spring smuggling guns across the border were levied fines.
Daniel Driscoll and his wife Desiree were driving separate vehicles when they arrived at the Coutts border about 11 a.m. April 11 on their way to Alaska. Daniel, who is a member of the U.S. armed forces, said he didn’t have any guns, but when border officers asked his wife, she said her husband had two handguns in his vehicle.
Strong enrolment at college, U of L
Healthy enrolments are reported this semester at both Lethbridge College and the University of Lethbridge.
College officials say 5,416 students have enrolled this fall, 4,340 of them in post-secondary academic programs leading to certificates, diplomas or degrees.
The larger number also includes students taking upgrading courses or apprenticeships, as well as continuing or “professional education” courses.
And a record enrolment is reported by registrars at the U of L, where a 1.1 per cent increase has pushed numbers to 8,724 — including 753 at the downtown Calgary campus.
The number of graduate students has grown to 596, they add, and this year the number of First Nations, Metis and Inuit students on campus has grown to nearly 500.
“There’s balanced growth at both the undergraduate and doctoral levels,” pointed out Kathleen Massey, associate vice-president (students). “That’s a healthy thing for a research university.”
Northside fire ruled accidental
No injuries were reported and there is no dollar loss resulting from a Thursday fire on the northside.
At approximately 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, 21 Lethbridge firefighters from four stations responded to a commercial fire in the 200 block of 33 Street North at National Salvage.
The crews were able to contain the fire to a pile of vehicles scheduled to be recycled. An investigation has been completed and the fire was determined to be accidental, City of Lethbridge officials said Friday afternoon.
“The Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services would like to thank the public for maintaining a safe distance from the scene which allowed the crews to concentrate their efforts on fighting the fire,” officials said in a release.
Senate role improving: Wallin
It’s not headline news. But Canada’s Senate is starting to play a more democratic and effective role in governing the nation.
There’s less party politics, says Senator Pamela Wallin, and more thoughtful discussion.
“Reducing partisan disruptions has been a positive change,” she told participants Thursday at the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs.
Senate reform is underway but “We’re still trying to figure it out.”
Addressing a near-capacity crowd, Wallin paid tribute to Lethbridge’s long-serving senator, Joyce Fairbairn, and to SACPA’s 50 years of public education and discussion. The public needs to be engaged in issues like senate reform, she maintained.
Appointed to the Senate by a Conservative prime minister but now sitting as an independent, Wallin cited a decision by Liberal leader Justin Trudeau as a key step in the reform process. While still in opposition, he removed Liberal-appointed senators from the party’s caucus.
At first they were distraught, she said, but now they’re free to think for themselves when they consider legislative bills coming from the House of Commons. So are Wallin and others who’ve cut their ties with a party.
“I have found there is great freedom in this,” including the ability to raise critical questions or “to take a contrary view.”