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Alberta

$1,200 Covid payment for 76,500 more Albertans including truck drivers, janitors, taxi drivers, security guards, farm workers, etc

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More Albertans to receive $1,200 Critical Worker Benefit

76,500 more workers to receive a one-time payment to recognize the risks they have taken to support Albertans and the economy.

The Critical Worker Benefit is a joint federal-provincial program with $465 million available to recognize the hard work of critical workers during the pandemic.

During the first round of the Critical Worker Benefit Alberta’s government provided $1,200 payments to over 277,800 workers in the healthcare, social services, education and private sectors who deliver critical services to Albertans or support food and medical supply chains.

Workers in new job categories will be eligible for the same $1,200 payment. This includes workers in social services and the private sector who provided critical services to Albertans, were essential to the supply and movement of goods, and faced greater potential risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their work environments.

To be eligible for the benefit, employees must have worked a minimum of 300 hours during the period of Oct. 12, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2021. Support staff working in licensed child care must have worked a minimum of 243 hours during this period.

Eligible social services sector employers do not need to apply. Employers of support staff working in licensed child care programs, disability support workers providing independent living supports, respite, community access, and employment supports, and front-line workers in seniors-serving organizations and non-profit affordable housing providers will be contacted by the Government of Alberta to confirm details.

Eligible private sector workers making $25 per hour or less will also qualify for the benefit. These workers include: truck drivers, farmworkers, security guards, cleaners, funeral workers, employees at quick service and dine in restaurants and taxi drivers who can demonstrate they worked at least 300 hours during the eligibility period. The complete list of eligible workers for this phase of the program are available in the Application Guidelines for the private sector at alberta.ca/criticalworkerbenefit.

Private sector employers can apply on behalf of employees at alberta.ca/criticalworkerbenefit as of June 22. Employers have until July 23 to apply.

Employers will be responsible for distributing the $1,200 Critical Worker Benefit to their eligible employees.

Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses, and protect Alberta’s health care system.

Quick facts

  • Alberta’s government contributed $118 million to the $465 million program.
  • A total of about $367 million has been spent on about 289,800 workers.
  • $355 million has been spent on about 277,800 workers in the phase one of the Critical Worker Benefit. This includes social services workers, health care workers, education workers and critical private sector workers, such as grocery cashiers, pharmacy assistants, and gas station attendants.
  • Announced in April 2020, Alberta also used $12 million of the one-time federal funding along with a provincial investment totalling $30 million to date to provide a $2 an hour wage top-up for about 12,000 health care aides working in long-term care and designated supportive living facilities.
  • About $99 million is available for about 76,500 workers in the social services and private sectors.
  • The break down of benefit recipient is:
    • Up to $18.5 million in the social services sector supporting 14,300 workers
    • Up to $80.3 million in the private sector supporting 62,200 workers

 

Workers in the following private sector occupations are eligible to receive the Critical Worker Benefit:

  • truck transportation, primarily engaged in the transportation of goods, in the following occupations:
    • ­transport truck drivers
    • ­light duty cleaners
    • ­janitors, caretakers and building superintendents
    • ­security guards and related security services
    • ­material handlers
    • ­dlivery and courier services drivers
    • ­other trades helpers and labourers
  • crop production, animal production or aquaculture directly involved in the production of food for human consumption
  • funeral homes, cemeteries and crematoria
    • not eligible: municipally-run funeral homes, cemeteries and crematoria
  • security guards
    • not eligible: private investigators, armoured car guard, house detective, personal bodyguards and security
  • light duty cleaners, janitors and specialized cleaners working in commercial, institution and industrial locations
    • not eligible: private residence cleaners
  • taxi drivers
    • not eligible: chauffers and drivers of ride-share companies such as Uber and Lyft
  • workers in full-service restaurants and limited services eating places – workers must be primarily involved in the preparation, cooking or service delivery in an eligible establishment
    • not eligible: drinking places that do not serve food onsite

Read the application guidelines for the private sector for more information.

This is a news release from the Government of Alberta.

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Alberta

Red Deer South MLA lambastes Premier Kenney for weighing in on the race to replace him

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Article submitted by Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan

Kenney, the time for you to be quiet is now

When you are a departing leader of a political party, one of your responsibilities is to build unity. One way of doing so is to stay out of the leadership race to replace you. Jason Kenney promised he was not going to be a “color commentator” in the race, and then proceeded to become one. Kenney misrepresented a platform commitment of Danielle Smith —a leading candidate—sowing division and creating disunity.

While misrepresenting the ideas of others and then attacking the straw men manufactured out of the misrepresentation may be standard practice in a junior high school debate, it’s dishonest and disrespectful.

Kenney called the Alberta Sovereignty Act “nuts” and “nuttier than a squirrel turd”. Is that going to produce unity? In his leadership review, when he called those who disagreed with him “bugs”, “kooks” and “lunatics”, how did that work out
for him?

Kenney says the Sovereignty Act would make Alberta the “laughingstock” of Canada. Perhaps we already are.

When Albertans held a provincial referendum and rejected equalization, who did Trudeau appoint as environment minister? He chose Steven Guilbeault, the Greenpeace activist, arrested for climbing on Ralph Klein’s roof when he was away, frightening Klein’s wife who was home alone. I bet Trudeau thought that was funny.

What does Trudeau do with Kenney’s sternly worded letters? Perhaps they are trophies he hangs on the walls.

The premier of Quebec said one of his favorite things about Canada is equalization, so what progress has Kenney made on equalization? None.

The Sovereignty Act seeks to do what Quebec does. Is Quebec a laughingstock?

Kenney says the Sovereignty Act would be a “body blow” to Alberta jobs and the economy and “draw massive investment away”. Isn’t that going to be the result of Trudeau’s new “discussion paper?”

This paper was released in August with a submission deadline in September. It proposes either a new cap-and-trade or carbon tax only on oil and gas development, disproportionately punishing Alberta while sparing Quebec and other provinces that Trudeau bribes for power.

Kenney should consider stopping his straw man attacks and start focusing on Ottawa where he came from. No straw man is required as Ottawa is already responsible for driving away hundreds of billions in investment out of Alberta and thousands of Alberta jobs with it along with more “body blows” to come if we get this imminent new cap and trade or new carbon tax imposed on our natural resources.

Is Kenney working on his latest sternly worded letter?

But wait, under section 92A of Canada’s constitution, isn’t Alberta supposed to have jurisdiction over the development of our natural resources? Isn’t Trudeau again seeking to do indirectly what he cannot do directly? Isn’t this a sneaky,
backdoor, constitutional trojan horse? Isn’t this what the Sovereignty Act is intended to address, to assert constitutional boundaries that Ottawa continually seeks to circumvent, trespass, attack and undermine? When Ottawa abuses its
power, isn’t the Sovereignty Act to be a check and balance?

Yes, a good idea, improperly applied can be detrimental, and if that is the version that Kenney wants to manufacture, attack, and fearmonger, that is his choice.

Properly applied the Sovereignty Act will benefit Alberta, counteracting the commercial uncertainty and chaos from Ottawa by asserting the constitutional boundaries that Ottawa habitually disrespects, seeking to undermine and intrude into
Alberta’s constitutional jurisdiction to develop its oil and gas resources.

Kenney says the Sovereignty Act does not respect the rule of law.

Properly applied the Sovereignty Act supports the rule of law as it asserts Alberta’s constitutional jurisdictions and resists abuses of power emanating out of Ottawa.

Kenney says he “isn’t really following the leadership race”. He is.

Kenney started saying he does not know which candidates are supporting the Sovereignty Act. He knows.

He also knew the deadline for members to participate in the leadership race had ended the day before he chose to improperly misrepresent a platform policy of a leading candidate who is not part of his inner circle.

Great leaders speak the truth in love inspiring the best in those they serve. They do not fearmonger, they do not call names, they do not misrepresent others’ ideas and then attack the straw men they manufactured with their misrepresentations.

It is disappointing to see Kenney failing in his responsibility to build unity. I have faith his successor will do better.

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Alberta

Edmonton gondola needed better Indigenous consultation, councillor says

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By Angela Amato in Edmonton

The sole city councillor to vote in support of a gondola across Edmonton’s river valley says the outcome may have been different if there were better Indigenous consultation.

A recommendation that a city agreement with Prairie Sky Gondola be terminated passed 12 to one on Monday.

Karen Principe, councillor for Ward Tastawiyiniwak, was the lone vote against nixing the project.

But she says more meaningful consultations with Indigenous people were needed before signing the land-lease agreement with Prairie Sky.

The gondola project has been criticized for several reasons, including financial risks to the city and controversy around building on the Rossdale Burial Site.

The Rossdale Burial Site is an Indigenous burial ground that has been recognized as a cemetery by the City of Edmonton since 2005.

The decision comes after a meeting last week where citizens, councillors and the Prairie Sky Gondola team discussed the project.

“It was a very tough decision,” said Principe. “I just thought that it was such a great, creative idea and something unique for Edmontonians.”

Chief Darlene Misik of Papaschase First Nation sent out a statement Thursday, saying her community supported the Prairie Sky Gondola Land Agreement.

“Without this opportunity to access and develop our significant presence beyond the appearance of what is quite frankly an unkept cemetery, the city will wait yet another 15 years or until something else triggers a discussion before considering that perhaps something should be done at the Rossdale Flats,” Misik wrote.

Nisha Patel,The sole city councillor to vote in support of a gondola across Edmonton’s river valley says the outcome may have been different if there were better Indigenous consultation.

A recommendation that a city agreement with Prairie Sky Gondola be terminated passed 12 to one on Monday.

Karen Principe, councillor for Ward Tastawiyiniwak, was the lone vote against nixing the project.

But she says more meaningful consultations with Indigenous people were needed before signing the land-lease agreement with Prairie Sky.

The gondola project has been criticized for several reasons, including financial risks to the city and controversy around building on the Rossdale Burial Site.

The Rossdale Burial Site is an Indigenous burial ground that has been recognized as a cemetery by the City of Edmonton since 2005.

The decision comes after a meeting last week where citizens, councillors and the Prairie Sky Gondola team discussed the project.

“It was a very tough decision,” said Principe. “I just thought that it was such a great, creative idea and something unique for Edmontonians.”

Chief Darlene Misik of Papaschase First Nation sent out a statement Thursday, saying her community supported the Prairie Sky Gondola Land Agreement.

“Without this opportunity to access and develop our significant presence beyond the appearance of what is quite frankly an unkept cemetery, the city will wait yet another 15 years or until something else triggers a discussion before considering that perhaps something should be done at the Rossdale Flats,” Misik wrote.

Nisha Patel, former Edmonton poet laureate and disability justice activist, wrote an essay against the gondola.

“I feel immensely grateful to the amount of people who fought and reasoned for this outcome,” Patel said.

Patel’s essay focused on the Indigenous burial site, the city’s transit needs and the financial implications of the project.

“As someone who has lived in areas with low to no transit options and now lives in a high transit corridor, I’m very sympathetic to the many folks who rely on transit alone.”

While the city has halted the project, Prairie Sky Gondola could still revise its plan and propose the project again.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 16, 2022

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

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