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Alberta

Alberta Votes 2019 – All Three major parties made big promises on Monday

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Alberta’s political parties are in full-on campaign mode as Election Day approaches on April 16th. Each day the parties release information about their policies and platforms, candidate information and reactions to the day’s news. It can be difficult to try and keep up with it all, so from now until the election we’ll compile the news and information released from the parties each day.

(Parties listed in alphabetical order)

Alberta Party 

Stephen Mandel announced a plan to bring film and motion picture jobs and head offices back to Alberta from BC.

“Alberta has the beauty and talent to be the preferred location for film and television production in Canada, but the NDP has completely ignored this opportunity. The Alberta Party will put incentives in place to massively expand our screen industries, which will generate spin-off benefits for every city, town and village across our province.”

Stephen Mandel – Leader of the Alberta Party

FILM IN ALBERTA PROGRAM

  • The Film in Alberta Program will be the most attractive program of its kind in Canada. Corporations will receive a tax credit of up to 65% of eligible salaries or a tax credit of 35% on all eligible expenditures within Alberta.
    • The corporation must have a permanent establishment in Alberta.
    • Some genres will be excluded from the credit including, but not limited to, pornography, talk shows, live sports events, game shows, reality television, and advertising.
    • There will be no limit on production or video length. This will make Alberta the first jurisdiction in Canada to encourage YouTube and online creators to produce content here in Alberta. It will also attract e-sports broadcasting to Alberta.
    • Reduce red tape to film in locations under provincial jurisdiction.
    • The program is based on Manitoba’s model, which includes incentives for rural productions to achieve the full credit.
  • Hollywood has been coming to Alberta to make films since 1917. Productions made in Alberta have won more Emmys, Golden Globes and Oscars than any other region in the country. Alberta has an incredibly rich and diverse setting for film and television production — including mountains, foothills, plains, farmland, boreal forest, and urban locations. This competitive advantage can’t be offshored.
  • In 2017, the total volume of film and television production in Alberta was $308 million, while British Columbia and Ontario were close to $3 billion each. This program is expected to increase the economic impact of screen industries in Alberta to approximately $1.5 billion with benefits seen within the first few years. Spin-off economic activity across the province will boost hotels, the food industry and other support services.
  • The industry employs a variety of highly skilled workers such as programmers, electricians, and carpenters. Stimulating a huge expansion in this industry will create thousands of high-skilled, well-paying jobs and retain post-secondary graduates in Alberta.

 

NDP 

Rachel Notley introduced a plan to cap child care fees at $25 a day and add 13,000 more spaces across Alberta.

“Finding safe, quality, affordable child care shouldn’t be a lottery,” said Notley. “It should be something families in Alberta can depend on.”

Rachel Notley – Leader of the New Democratic Party of Alberta

To help more parents join or stay in the workforce, Rachel Notley is committing to expand $25-a-day child care across Alberta.

UCP

United Conservative leader Jason Kenney outlines the United Conservative education platform.

“As math scores plunge and report cards become increasingly difficult to understand, a United Conservative government will reset the curriculum rewrite, restore fundamentals to math and affirm the primary role of parents in choosing how their children are taught. It’s time to bring common sense to education.”

Jason Kenney, Leader of the United Conservative Party of Alberta

The United Conservative plan laid out by Kenney will:

  1. Maintain or increase education funding while seeking greater efficiency by reducing administrative overhead and pushing resources to front line teachers.
  2. Continue to build new schools. This will include ordering an immediate audit of class sizes to determine what happened to previous funding dedicated to class size reduction, and prioritizing public infrastructure funds for schools and health care infrastructure.
  3. End the focus on so-called “discovery” or “inquiry” learning, also known as constructivism, by repealing Minister Order #001/2013. A UCP government will develop a new Ministerial Order which focusses on teaching essential knowledge to help students develop foundational competencies.
  4. Pause the NDP’s curriculum review, and broaden consultations to be open and transparent, including a wider range of perspectives from parents, teachers, and subject matter experts.
  5. Reform student assessment so that students, parents and teachers can clearly identify areas of strength and weakness. This will include bringing back the Grade 3 Provincial Achievement Test, returning to a 50/50 split between Diploma and school grades for Grade 12, and implementing language and math assessments for students in grades 1, 2, and 3 to help both parents and teachers understand and assess progress in the critical early years, and remedy where necessary.
  6. Require clear, understandable report cards.
  7. Focus on excellence in outcomes, including benchmarking the Alberta education system against leading global jurisdictions; ensuring teachers have expertise in subject areas by introducing teacher testing; expand options for schools to facilitate expertise; requiring that the education faculties in Alberta’s universities themselves require that teachers take courses in the subjects they will one day teach in schools.
  8. Support safe schools that protect students against discrimination and bullying; and reinforce the need for open, critical debate and thinking as key to lifelong learning.
  9. Proclaim the Education Act (2014), taking effect on September 1, 2019. A UCP government will trust the hard work done by those who created the 2014 Education Act, and proclaim that legislation, already passed by the Legislature. Unlike the NDP’s curriculum review, conducted largely in secret, the 2014 Education Act resulted from years of widespread public consultation.
  10. Affirm parental choice through a Choice in Education Act. Alberta has a strong legacy of diversity in education. A UCP government will uphold the established right of parents to choose the education setting best suited for their children including: public, separate, charter, independent, alternative and home education programs.
  11. Reduce paperwork burdens on teachers, principals and other school staff, and reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens throughout the system.
  12. Review and implement selected recommendations from the Task Force for Teaching Excellence. A UCP government will work with parents, teachers and principals to once again make Alberta’s schools the choice-based, excellent classrooms that all Albertans desire and deserve. A UCP government will defer to parents as the natural guardians of a child’s best interests and will trust teachers as professionals.
  13. Review the current funding formula to ensure that rural schools have adequate resources to deliver programs in an equitable way.
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Alberta

A battle over beer … between curlers?

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Alberta’s Liquor Industry pushes back on Glenn Howard’s Ontario Beer ‘Facts’ in a new Social Media campaign.

Edmonton – Two Canadian curling stars are now battling off the rink in a war of ‘facts’ about provincial liquor laws that has broken out between Alberta and Ontario.

Brendan Bottcher, an Alberta curling champion, is starring in “Ontario Beer ‘Fake Facts’”, a social media campaign that launched today to counter misinformation being spread in Ontario about Alberta’s liquor laws and stores.

Brendan Bottcher stars in Ontario Beer Fake Facts

The Beer Store, a consortium of brewers that is fighting a move by the Doug Ford provincial government to sell beer and liquor in corner stores, has argued Alberta’s privatized system isn’t good for customers and allows for easier access to alcohol for minors. The Beer Store’s campaign is called “Ontario Beer Facts” and features Ontario curling champion Glenn Howard.

Glenn Howard throws shade on Alberta’s beer and liquor industries

“[Howard]’s jealous. Our liquor stores are better and [so are] our curling teams,” Bottcher quips in one of the “Ontario Beer ‘Fake Facts’” ads being launched today.

Alberta Liquor Stores Association (ALSA) produced the campaign in an attempt to set the record straight about Alberta’s thriving and socially responsible private liquor industry.

“In Alberta, our liquor industry is open for business – literally from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. We’re proud of the private liquor industry we’ve built here since 1993. Free enterprise doesn’t mean there is a free-for-all, Wild West system. But it does mean we have competitive prices and better service, hours and selection for our customers.”Ivonne Martinez, President of Alberta Liquor Stores Association

Oh, and on that whole thing about the price of beer in Alberta – Martinez had this to say.

“…And what about The Beer Store’s claim that a 24 pack of Coors Light is more expensive in Alberta than in Ontario? The Beer Store is owned by Labatts and Molson (National Brewers).  National Brewers, just like any manufacturer, sets the price for their products for each province. The price has nothing to do with the distribution model, the price is set by Molson themselves which set a higher price for their beer in Alberta…”

To view the Alberta campaign click here.

And to view the Ontario campaign click here.

Backgrounder About Alberta’s Liquor Industry:

  • The $3-billion industry contributes approximately $866-million annually to provincial revenues
  • 1,500+ private liquor stores operate in Alberta from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, including New Year’s Eve
  • Since the industry was privatized in 1993, it has created approximately 12,000 new jobs for Albertans
  • Alberta liquor stores offer more than 26,000 options, including 7,000 beer types; in Ontario, they sell less than 2,000 beer brands.

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Alberta

Update 23: Northwest Alberta wildfires (June 20 at 4 p.m.)

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Hot, dry conditions with strong winds create challenges for firefighting.

June 20, 2019

As fires spread in Mackenzie County, approximately 200 additional people evacuated on Wednesday from the area north of Highway 697, south of the Peace River and west of Steep Hill Creek, also called Range Road 164.

More than 700 evacuees from the Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement can return home today. Additional information for residents is online at https://www.facebook.com/paddleprairie

Approximately 8,500 people are still under evacuation orders.

The following communities issued mandatory evacuation orders this week:

  • Beaver First Nation – Boyer River (No. 164) and Child Lake (No. 164A)
  • Dene Tha’ First Nation – Bushe River (No. 207)
  • Mackenzie County
    • The Rocky Lane and High Level area north of the Peace River, south of Highway 58, west of Range Road 150
    • The Hamlet of La Crete
    • Range Road 164 to Range Road 150, south of the Peace River, north of Highway 697
  • Peerless Trout First Nation – Trout Lake community and high-risk persons in the surrounding area.

The following communities remain on evacuation alert and should be ready to leave quickly if the situation changes:

  • High Level
  • Mackenzie County
    • Area west of Range Road 164, south of the Peace River to Township Road 1010, and the Machesis Lake campground
  • Bigstone Cree Nation 166 A, B, C and D

Current situation

  • Chuckegg Creek wildfire, southwest of High Level, is about 330,000 hectares.
  • Jackpot Creek wildfire, north of Lutose, is about 77,500 hectares.
  • McMillan Wildfire Complex located in the Slave Lake Forest area, is more than 276,800 hectares.
  • Check Alberta Emergency Alerts for more detailed and frequently updated information.
  • People driving in fire-affected areas should carry enough fuel, as it may not be readily available.

Visit alberta.ca/emergency for detailed and frequently updated information.

Air quality

  • Wildfire smoke is causing poor air quality and reduced visibility at times.
  • Parts of northwestern Alberta are under special air quality statements.
  • Visit FireSmoke Canada for information and resources about smoke from wildland fires.

Financial supports

  • Evacuees should check alberta.ca/emergency for updates on evacuation payment eligibility.
  • You may qualify for the evacuation payment if you:
    • were living, working or vacationing in the affected area
    • were forced to leave due to an evacuation order
    • paid for most of your costs to evacuate
    • were forced to leave your residence (primary, working or vacationing) due to a mandatory evacuation order.
  • Albertans who qualify will receive $1,250 and $500 for each dependent child under 18 living in the same home when the evacuation order was given.
  • Apply online through the MyAlberta Evacuation Payment application using a smartphone, device or desktop. Interac e-transfers may take 24 hours to process.
  • If you need help applying, contact Alberta Supports to find the nearest centre: Toll-free: 1-877-644-9992 (Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.) In-person: Find an Alberta Supports Centre.
  • More than 11,700 individuals have received evacuee support totalling close to $11.9 million.

Reception and call centres

  • All evacuees need to register with an evacuation reception centre even if you have found alternate accommodations.
  • Reception centres may assist evacuees in person and/or by phone.
  • Mackenzie County evacuees must register at Fort Vermilion – Mackenzie County Office, 4511 46 Avenue, 780-927-3718.
  • Evacuees from Trout Lake and high-risk persons in the surrounding area of Peerless Trout First Nation must register their location with Jennifer Auger, 780-649-6553jennifer.auger@ptfn.net. If you evacuated to Edmonton, register at Edmonton Super 8 Hotel, 16818 118 Avenue.
  • The Government of Alberta contact centre is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday. Call 310-4455.

Insurance information

  • Most home and tenant insurance policies provide coverage for living expenses during an evacuation.
  • Evacuees should retain all of their receipts for food, accommodation and other related expenses to provide to their insurer.
  • Albertans can contact the Insurance Bureau of Canada at 1-844-227-5422 or by email at askibcwest@ibc.ca. Information about insurance coverage is available online at ibc.ca/ab/disaster/alberta-wildfire.

Re-entry information

Evacuees can find tips on re-entry by visiting https://www.alberta.ca/emergency.aspx. Information includes making sure all your utilities are working, cleaning up and how to deal with door-to-door salespeople offering services and insurance.

Justice and legal matters

  • If you have an appointment with a probation officer in an evacuated area, report to the community corrections office nearest you. Please call 780-427-3109 (to call toll-free, first dial 310-0000) for information.

Boil water advisory

  • A boil water advisory is in place for Meander River (Dene Tha’ First Nation).

Health

  • Mental health support is available by calling Alberta’s 24-hour help line at 1-877-303-2642, the Addiction Helpline at 1-866-332-2322, or Health Link at 811.

Donations and volunteers

  • Check the Mackenzie County Facebook page for an up-to-date list of donations needed and drop-off locations.
  • There have been reports that local residents in High Level are being solicited by email or phone for donations in support of firefighters or affected residents. Do not share your personal information with them or donate money.
  • When asked for donations (either over the phone, through an email, or in person), ask the canvasser for identification or printed information about the charity.
  • If you have concerns about the activities of a charitable organization including its fundraising practices, call Service Alberta: 1-877-427-4088.

Canada Post

  • Mail and parcel delivery in certain communities has been affected by the wildfires.
  • Canada Post has contingency measures in place to serve residents of these communities.
  • Check the Canada Post website for updates.

Other income and social supports

  • Evacuees who receive Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped or Income Support benefits by cheque should contact their worker to make arrangements to receive it.
  • Call Alberta Supports at 1-877-644-9992 between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday to Friday if you:
    • need information on other social supports
    • are a contracted service provider, family member or individual needing assistance through the Persons with Developmental Disabilities program
  • Evacuees in need of financial assistance for immediate needs can apply for an Income Support program emergency needs allowance. This benefit may cover your accommodation, clothing and other urgent needs. Please call 1-877-644-9992 for more information.
  • For information on child intervention and child care, call 1-800-638-0715
  • Employment insurance: evacuees can visit Service Canada online to apply at www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei.html. Use code 4812014812201900.

Health card, driver’s licences, ID cards, birth certificate

  • To get a replacement Health Care Insurance Card call 780-427-1432 or toll-free at 310-0000 and then 780-427-1432 when prompted. Your Alberta Personal Health Card can be mailed to a temporary address.  
  • If driver’s licences, identification cards, and/or birth certificates were left behind during the evacuation, replacement cards and certificates can be ordered free of charge at a registry agent.

Public information

  • You can call 310-4455 for more information – Monday to Friday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Related information

Backgrounder: Previous updates

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