News Briefs

Briefs include: missing Fort Simpson man believed to be found dead, Conservative MP Brian Jean resigns in Fort McMurray, and CNRL sees another wellbore failure at Cold Lake oilsands site.

Missing Fort Simpson man believed to be found dead
RCMP suspect a body found at a gazebo in Fort Simpson last week is that of Billy Cholo, a local man who had been missing since mid-December. A search party of more than 40 concerned residents was mobilized and sent out last Thursday and a body was found shortly after behind the health clinic. Police have determined the death to be sudden, meaning it will be investigated as a homicide. Family of the man in question told reporters the 45 year-old Cholo had a drinking problem, but they do not believe it to have caused his death.

Conservative MP Brian Jean resigns in Fort McMurray
Brian Jean, Alberta Conservative MP for Fort McMurray-Athabasca, is stepping down this week for unspecified reasons. Jean told the media in a written statement that the decision was difficult, but the time was right to move on, effective this Friday. The MP was first elected in 2004 and has served as parliamentary secretary to the minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. In late 2013, Jean faced criticism after a decision to include a crossword about himself in a constituency newsletter. Jean’s departure follows the resignation of another Alberta MP, Ted Menzies, who bowed out of federal politics in late 2013. Both resignations will trigger by-elections in Alberta in the coming months.

CNRL sees another wellbore failure at Cold Lake oilsands site
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (CNRL) is investigating another wellbore failure at its Primrose site near Cold Lake after employees discovered a parted casing in early January that allowed steam to be released into another area of the wellbore zone. The incident, found on Jan. 3, did not cause a spill or leak of bitumen, according to the company, who told The Journal there is “no impact to the environment nor and potential danger to people,” and that the incident is “unrelated” to the four bitumen leaks found on their property in May and June of last year that impacted 20.7 hectares of land in the area. CNRL stated late last year that the wellbore failures causing the leaks were a “solvable” challenge.

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