Questions over bus safety after fatal collision

A community northeast of Edmonton is mourning the loss of Maisie Watkinson after she was killed after a crash between a school bus and a semi-truck.

The bus was taking students to school in Thorhild. One part of the investigation will be whether the bus had its strobe light on in the fog. Nearly a decade ago the province of Alberta made amber lights and strobe lights mandatory on all buses outside city limits. The update to the regulations came after another teen was killed in a bus crash near Rimbey.

In both cases the buses were rear ended in the fog.

Seat belts are not required on school buses, but some wonder if there should be more regulations.

The ste of this week’s fatal crash had been identified as a dangerous stretch of road about a week before the collision. A report found nearly 40 per cent of vehicles in that area were going at least 115 km/h.

Albertans leads country in stolen vehicles

It appears many Albertans are not protecting their vehicles from would-be thieves. The province has triple the national average when it comes to stolen vehicles. AMA says 29 per cent of all auto thefts in Canada happen in Alberta, which is why it is teaming up with local police forces to raise awareness with the new campaign ‘Lock it or Lose it’.

Calgary considers increasing fire response times in new neighbourhoods

The targeted fire response times is currently seven minutes; council will consider upping it to 10 minutes in new areas

Firefighters in Calgary are sounding the alarm over a proposal to increase the targeted response times from seven minutes to 10 minutes in newer communities.

Members of a city council committee voted to increase the response times by three minutes until enough people live in the area to justify more and permanent services. Firefighters say it only takes seconds for fires to spread quickly and every minute counts.

Council will make a final decision later in March.

Will Canadians help foot the bill for royal wedding?

As royal watchers gear up for this year’s royal wedding between Prince Harry and actress Meaghan Markle this May, reports are emerging the bride’s dress will cost about $600,000 Canadian. The extravagant dress reportedly doubled the pair’s wedding budget.

So, who will foot the bill for the pricey dress and wedding? When Prince William married Kate Middleton in 2011, most of the wedding costs were reportedly covered by private funds, but the state likely paid for increased police presence. That means Canadians could be pitching in.

As a member of the Commonwealth, the Monarchy does come at a cost to Canada. In 2011-12, the Monarchist League of Canada determined “the routine cost of the Canadian Crown” was about $1.63 per Canadian.