Alberta Pension Plan engagement
The Alberta Pension Plan Engagement Panel is giving the office of the chief actuary of Canada some time to release findings before scheduling new public sessions.
This fall, the Alberta Pension Plan Engagement Panel, led by former provincial treasurer Jim Dinning, invited Albertans to discuss the findings of an independent report on a potential provincial pension plan. The panel has been collecting feedback from Albertans since then, with more than 76,000 Albertans participating in five telephone town hall sessions and more than 94,000 Albertans completing the online survey. The first phase of the engagement is now complete, and the panel will now analyze what it has heard from Albertans so far.
“Albertans can rest assured that their voices have been heard and that’s why I tabled the Alberta Pension Protection Act, which provides Albertans with certainty that their pension contributions are safe and that we will not proceed with a provincial plan without their say through a referendum. This is a complex process and one that we do not take lightly.”
During this first phase of engagement, it quickly became clear that Albertans wanted more precise information on the value of the asset transfer Alberta would be entitled to receive if it were to withdraw from the Canada Pension Plan. While the LifeWorks report was able to provide a reasonable asset transfer value by relying on publicly available data, determining a more precise number requires analysis from the federal government.
Following discussions between Canada’s finance ministers, the federal finance minister has committed to asking the chief actuary of Canada to provide an opinion on Alberta’s share of the CPP assets. Alberta’s government is hopeful that this work can be completed promptly so that Albertans can have as much information as possible as they consider the possibility of a new plan. To that end, the panel has decided to give the chief actuary of Canada some time to release their findings before scheduling new public engagement sessions.
Albertans continue to have the opportunity to participate in the conversation by reading the information on AlbertaPensionPlan.ca and completing the online workbook.
“We are pleased with how many Albertans we have reached with our consultations to date. The LifeWorks report presents an opportunity worth exploring and Albertans have answered that call, but what we’ve heard loud and clear is that they want to hear how the federal government calculates the asset transfer number. We will start the next round of public meetings when we have more clarity on that number, but in the meantime, we encourage everyone to have a look at our workbook and provide feedback there.”
Throughout this entire process Alberta’s government committed to ensuring the most-up-to-date information is provided to Albertans.
‘Liberal’ parents of gender-confused kids among supporters of Alberta’s proposed ‘transitioning’ ban
Parents whose kids have undergone medical or surgical ‘transitioning’ say that Premier Danielle Smith’s policies will spare other families from ‘the heartache their families have been through.’
As highlighted in a recent Epoch Times report, parents whose kids have undergone medical or surgical “transitioning” say that Smith’s new policies will only benefit families in general and spare them from “the heartache their families have been through.”
On January 31, Smith announced what is perhaps the strongest pro-family legislation in Canada, protecting kids from life-altering so-called “top and bottom” surgeries as well as other extreme forms of transgender ideology.
According to Crystal, a mom from Calgary, her son Noah, when he was in Grade 9, had a friend who made a “transition” from a female to a male. Her son had noted he was what is called a “trans ally,” but suddenly he began to identify himself as “she/they.”
“Fast forward to the early part of Grade 10, and out of the blue I get a text from my kid while he’s at school saying, ‘I’m now identifying as she/they,’” said Crystal, who said she is “quite a liberal parent.”
However, despite being a “liberal,” she admitted that she did not have an easy time with her son changing names and using different pronouns.
“Out of the blue is this vitriol towards me when I didn’t get it right,” she said, adding she then just decided to call her son “kiddo.”
However, Noah then told her he wanted hormones. Crystal and her ex-husband had thought Noah was just going through a phase, as he was “well known” for this.
“He would try on different so-called ‘identities’ like a jock, a nerd, a rapper,” Crystal said, and even as he was supposed to be “transitioning,” took on a look of a “goth.”
According to Crystal, her son did not “even remotely” show signs of wanting to change genders before.
Alberta’s forthcoming regulations include a ban on so-called “top” surgeries (mastectomies, breast constructions) as well as “bottom” surgeries (vaginoplasties, phalloplasties) for children ages 17 and under. Puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones are also restricted to those age 16 and older but only with parental consent.
Smith said her United Conservative Party (UCP) government will soon introduce legislation that, if passed, would bar doctors in the province from medically or surgically “transitioning” children under age 17. The new legislation will also mandate parental consent for pronoun changes in school. Coming in the fall will be additional legislation that bans men who claim to be women from competing in women’s sports.
Campaign Life Coalition (CLC) praised Smith’s decision to introduce legislation to ban doctors from chemically or surgically “transitioning” children, calling it a “political miracle.”
Crystal’s line in the sand for her son: ‘No medical affirmation’
When the Alberta government was researching its new policy regarding banning surgically or chemically “transitioning” children, Crystal said she was one of the parents they talked with to get feedback.
She admits at the time she was not a fan of Smith or her party, but now says she is “doing this right.”
Crystal noted that if this policy had been in place only three years ago, all the heartache could have been avoided.
“This is blowing up relationships,” she said.
When speaking to her son, Crystal noted that her “line in the sand will always be [that] there will be no medical affirmation.”
As a result, she then said she was “hit with the vitriol.”
Due to Crystal having had to deal with her son wanting to become something other than his birth sex, she contacted parents with similar situations via a group called Our Duty.
After connecting with parents on the site, Crystal noted how her son Noah “checks a lot of the boxes” with other kids who say they are transgender.
She said that kids in these situations all use the same “script” of saying they are going to “kill myself if I don’t get the proper medical intervention if you don’t use the pronouns.”
“It’s the constant threat of suicide,” she noted.
Complaint filed against doctor who gave hormones
Despite Crystal trying to delay her son wanting to undergo a “medical transitioning,” she did book an appointment with a doctor to talk about hormones.
However, after being referred to a clinic to further talk about her son’s matter, she said the personnel were “aggressive.”
Crystal noted how the clinic was constantly emailing and calling her to make an appointment for her son, and she was told she had to have all the paperwork and blood work done before the meeting.
She said that this made “no sense,” so she told the clinic that she was “not signing a consent form.”
When she went to the appointment with her son, she was taken to a room with a doctor alone and was told that this appointment was not for her but for Noah.
The doctor only spoke with her for 10 minutes and was already willing to prescribe her son hormones. At this point, she confronted the doctor for not doing a thorough psychological assessment or any other screening. The doctor mentioned to her that while she was able to oppose the treatment, she could end up in the courts and that he would testify on Noah’s behalf. He then said he had always won in similar situations with other parents.
Crystal filed a complaint with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta against the doctor regarding her experience with her son, but for the time being, is not making public his name.
Her son later went to that doctor alone and started to take hormones. It was at this point she realized she had no control over the situation.
Crystal said that in the past her family doctor along with a child psychologist did not affirm Noah’s gender dysphoria. She noted that it was only the “gender experts,” all of whom had “zero history with my child,” who suggested this.
“They did not solicit the qualified professionals we had in place,” she said.
As for Noah, who is now in grade 12, the doctor who had the complaint against him told Noah that it was his mom who did this, which made her son mad.
“I will never forgive you for this,” he told her.
He then ran away from home and told people that he was not “safe” at home with his mom.
“I just want to be your mom,” she had mentioned to him.
While many so-called “gender-affirming care” workers claim that the effects of puberty blockers can be reversed, according to Dr. Jane Anderson, vice president of the American College of Pediatricians, as per The Epoch Times, the hormones can severely impact brain development.
Puberty blockers can cause heightened depression, severe mood swings, and weight gain.
Edmonton triples venture capital investment in 2023
Alberta’s tech sector continues its strong momentum, with Edmonton seeing its strongest growth ever, proof Alberta remains a hot tech market.
As global and national investment have declined, Alberta has remained a strong tech market and is showing continued leadership, as shown by Pitchbook ranking Calgary as the 12th fastest-growing tech ecosystem in the world and LinkedIn ranking Calgary as one of the best places to hire and recruit tech workers.
At the end of 2023, Alberta’s five-year growth rate for venture capital dollars invested reached an impressive 48.5 per cent, more than triple Canada’s compounded average growth rate of 13 per cent, according to the 2023 Canadian Venture Capital Private Equity Association fourth-quarter report.
The province’s growth rate means Alberta finished 2023 with $707 million invested over 86 deals, in line with Alberta’s 2022 record-breaking year. In contrast, Canada ended the year with a 31 per cent decline in investments. Over the past five years, Alberta technology companies have secured more than $2.7 billion in venture capital funding across 350 deals, creating thousands of jobs for Albertans.
“While Canada as a whole saw massive declines, Alberta has held steady. We are a major venture capital player in Canada, as technology drives growth across all sectors.”
Alberta’s two largest cities continued to attract investment dollars in 2023, with Calgary and Edmonton coming in fourth and fifth respectively for number of deals, with $501 million invested in 64 deals in Calgary and $188 million invested in 21 deals in Edmonton. Edmonton saw a 324 per cent increase from $58 million in 2022 to $188 million in 2023. In total, Alberta captured 10.3 per cent of dollars invested in 2023 and 13 per cent of venture capital deals in Canada.
“Edmonton’s tripling of venture capital investment in 2023 underscores our city’s position as a dynamic tech capital within Alberta’s thriving innovation ecosystem, reaffirming our role as a powerhouse driving technological advancement and economic prosperity across diverse sectors. It is the local innovators’ relentless pursuit of solutions to real-world problems, with the continuing support of the Government of Alberta, which not only attracts significant investment but also propels our city to the forefront of Alberta’s tech revolution and fosters job creation for our community.”
“At Platform Calgary we are working with our partners to continue this momentum by linking up high potential tech startups with the investors that can help them take their businesses to the next level. The evidence is clear, Alberta is emerging as one of the most exciting and resilient tech ecosystems in the world. Together with our growing tech community, we can secure Alberta’s position as the best place in the world for anyone to launch and grow a tech business.”
Alberta remains a growing market for the technology and innovation sector, and Alberta’s government celebrates its steady contribution to the Alberta economy, including in the fourth quarter of 2023. The end of last year saw venture capital investments in the province increase by 35 per cent for dollars invested and 19 per cent for deals closed compared with the third quarter. There were 25 deals closed valued at a combined $173 million in the fourth quarter of 2023.
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