The Alberta Emerald Foundation (AEF) announced the shortlist for the 32nd Annual Emerald Awards this week. Since 1992, the Emerald Awards have showcased over 350 recipients and 850 finalists who are raising the bar in addressing environmental and climate change issues. These environmental awards celebrate excellence across all sectors, making them unique not only in Alberta but also in Canada.
This year’s shortlist was chosen by a third-party panel of volunteer judges, each bringing expertise from numerous sectors across Alberta. Judges selected the shortlist, consisting of 39 organizations, projects, and individuals from across the province, from 51 nominations. During their deliberations, the judges also determined who from the shortlist will take home an Emerald Award in each of the 15 award categories.
“Those represented in this year’s shortlist demonstrate the incredible dedication that Albertans have toward protecting our environment and taking action against climate change” says The AEF’s Executive Director, Marisa Orfei, “The diversity in the shortlist is also astounding, there’s small grassroots organizations, large corporations, and everything in between. We’re also incredibly proud to have 17 communities across Alberta represented in this year’s shortlist, including Drayton Valley, Grande Cache, Canmore, and many more.”
Here are the organizations, projects, and individuals recognized in The 32nd Annual Emerald Award shortlist:
Air Category – Recognizing projects and initiatives that improve air quality.
- Blindman Brewing First-in-Canada CO2 Capture and Utilization (Lacombe, AB)
Business Category – Showcasing an organization engaged in commercial, industrial or professional activities that have demonstrated a meaningful commitment to an environmentally sustainable future.
- Reimagine Architects – 26 Years Building Sustainable Futures (Edmonton, AB)
- Eco-Flex Recycled Rubber Solutions (Legal, AB)
- Envirotech Geothermal – Alberta’s smartest way to Net Zero! (Sherwood Park, AB)
Community Group or Nonprofit Category – Recognizing associations dedicated to furthering a particular social cause or advocating for a shared point of view that has demonstrated a significant commitment to the environment through their actions.
- Alberta Bike Swap – supporting the circular economy before it was cool (Calgary, AB)
- Project Forest: Rewilding Canada, One Forest at a time (Edmonton, AB)
- Alberta businesses are building a better Business-as-usual with Green Economy Canada (Edmonton, AB & Calgary, AB)
Education Category – Acknowledging those that have raised the bar by showing leadership and creativity in educating students of all ages about environmental matters.
- Eagle Point-Blue Rapids Parks Council Environmental & Outdoor Education Program (Drayton Valley, AB)
- Future Energy Systems: Exploring Our Energy Future With The Community, Our Students, And More (Edmonton, AB)
- Evergreen Theatre: A 32-Year Legacy of Inspiring Environmental Awareness & Action Through the Arts (Calgary, AB)
Energy Category – Recognizing projects and initiatives that positively support the evolution of our province’s energy systems.
- Calgary’s Residential Solar Calculator (Calgary, AB)
- Bow Valley Green Energy Cooperative, empowering community to transform Alberta’s energy (Canmore, AB)
- Metis Nation of Alberta Climate Change Action Plan (Edmonton, AB)
Government Category – Recognizing all levels of government whose ongoing commitment sets the example of environmental leadership and advocates sustainability as a major consideration in governance.
- Environmental Achievements of the City of St. Albert (St. Albert, AB)
- Violet Grove’s Constructed Floating Wetlands System with Aeration (Drayton Valley, AB)
- Nose Creek Watershed Partnership – Celebrating 25-Years of Watershed Planning, Policy and Action (Mossleigh, AB)
Infrastructure Category – Recognizing environmental advancements in the ways we design, build, and travel.
- Solar Aquatic Systems Wastewater Treatment (Drayton Valley, AB)
- SSRIA: Transforming the AEC Industry Towards a Net Zero Built Environment (Edmonton, AB)
- Ecoplast Solutions: Building Houses from Recycled Plastic Bottles (Lloydminster, AB)
Land Category – Recognizing projects and initiatives that demonstrate excellence in sustainable land use.
- The City of Calgary’s Willow Plantation for Marginal Land Improvement and Carbon Capture (Calgary, AB)
- Ledcor Highway Maintenance Yard Upgrades (Edmonton, AB)
Lifetime Achievement Award – Celebrating environmental leaders who, throughout their lifetime, have made contributions of outstanding environmental significance.
- Dirk and Nanja of The Barrelman Inc.: 25 years of protecting land and water through local action that inspires (Calgary, AB)
Public Engagement & Outreach Category – Recognizing programs and initiatives that educate and empower the broader public by teaching the necessary skills to make informed environmental decisions and take responsible action.
- GreenLearning’s Eco 360 program: Transitioning to a circular economy for plastic waste! (Drayton Valley, AB)
- My Green Closet: Sustainable Lifestyle and Slow Fashion Platform (Edmonton, AB)
- Calgary Climate Symposium: How The City of Calgary Engages and Educates Albertans on Climate Change (Calgary, AB)
Shared Footprints Award – Recognizing those who have exemplified land and water stewardship, built shared knowledge, improved air quality, reduced land disturbances, and encouraged ecotourism.
- Edmonton River Valley Conservation Coalition: Working Together to Protect the North Saskatchewan River Valley (Edmonton, AB)
- Highfield Regenerative Farm (Calgary, AB) Waste Management Category – Recognizing projects and initiatives that innovate the repurposing, reduction, and disposal of waste in an environmentally-conscious way. Earth Warrior (Edmonton, AB)
- Revolutionizing Recycling with [Re] Waste: Transforming Waste Management for a Sustainable Future (Edmonton, AB)
- Microgreens Club – A Zero Waste Initiative (Calgary, AB)
Water Category – Recognizing projects and initiatives that demonstrate excellence through the monitoring, management and/or stewardship of water and watersheds.
- Forest industry collaboration cultivates sustainability around vital wetland ecosystems (Edmonton, AB)
- LakeKeepers: Community-Based Monitoring of Alberta’s Lakes (Edmonton, AB)
- Safe water and water sustainability in Alberta (Calgary, AB)
Wildlife & Biodiversity Category – Recognizing projects and initiatives that protect and conserve natural habitats and wild species.
- Aseniwuche Winewak Nation’s Caribou Patrol Program: 11 years of saving Alberta’s caribou (Grande Cache, AB)
- Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society – Sikome Beaver Coexistence Project. (Calgary, AB)
- The Edmonton Urban Coyote Project: Collaborative Research and Education for Coexistence with Wildlife (Edmonton, AB)
Youth Category – Recognizing people, 25 years of age and under, who have made meaningful contributions and have taken positive action to improve the environmental health of their community.
- Monica Figueroa: Edmonton youth climate activist (Edmonton, AB)
- Strathmore High School Community Greenhouse (Strathmore, AB)
- Energy & Environmental Sustainability Projects in Action at New Myrnam School (Myrnam, AB)
The recipients in each category will be named at the 32nd Annual Emerald Awards ceremony on June 7, 2023, at the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton, Alberta. Emerald Award Recipients receive:
- A $2,000 grant to support their work or to donate to an environmental charity of their choice
- A profile of their work through The AEF’s Sharing Stories program, which includes the Emerald Documentary Series, What On EARTH Can We Do? podcast, and Emerald Speakers Series
- A certificate and Emerald Awards recipient digital logo to commemorate their achievement
The Awards will also be live-streamed through the AEF”s YouTube Chanel to allow people from across the province to attend. Tickets for the 32nd Annual Emerald Awards ceremony can be purchased here.
The Alberta Emerald Foundation (AEF) is a registered Canadian charity with the unique mission to tell Alberta’s environmental good news stories to uplift, educate, and inspire our province toward meeting environmental and climate change goals.
Research suggests that when we learn about what real environmental and climate change solutions look like and how they’re being implemented in our communities, it increases our ability and desire to take action in our own lives. By providing real-life examples of these solutions through our various storytelling programs, the AEF helps Albertans take the next step toward environmental protection and climate action. With every person that we reach through our programming, we’re helping Alberta reach its broader environmental and climate change goals.
Click to learn more about the Alberta Emerald Foundation.
Suspect in stolen vehicle kills one and seriously injures another in wild chase
News release from Beaumont RCMP
Beaumont RCMP seeking public assistance in locating suspect in fatal collision
On Feb. 24, 2024, at approximately 9:00 p.m., Beaumont RCMP located a person suspected of theft, in a parked 15-foot cube moving truck, at a business on 50 Street in Beaumont. When members approached the truck and attempted an arrest, one male driver and one female passenger rammed into a police vehicle and fled the scene at a high rate of speed. Patrols were initiated to find the truck and, a short time later, it was observed on 50 Street and Highway 814 in Beaumont at a high rate of speed.
Meanwhile, Edmonton Police Service’s (EPS) Air One Helicopter was notified and provided its location to RCMP members. Multiple surrounding RCMP detachments, including Leduc and Strathcona, responded to assist. As the truck was driving into Edmonton, a tire deflation device was deployed by RCMP, disabling multiple civilian vehicles. Consequently, an adult female exited one of the civilian vehicles and was fatally struck by the suspect truck. The truck failed to stop and continued driving into Edmonton.
The suspect vehicle then collided with another civilian vehicle, leaving an adult male in serious non-life-threatening condition. The truck was located at 50 Street and 22 Avenue in Southwest Edmonton.
Further investigation revealed that the driver of the truck, an adult male, then proceeded to steal a parked 2020 Honda Civic at a nearby convenience store. This vehicle contained a child who was safely recovered and reunited with his family a short time later. The male suspect has yet to be located.
No other members of the public or officers were injured during this incident.
“On behalf of the RCMP, I would like to send our heartfelt condolences to the family members of the victim,” said Superintendent Leanne MacMillian, Assistant Central Alberta District Officer. “This is a devastating incident that will leave a mark on family and friends for years to come. Please understand that you will be in our thoughts as we progress through this investigation.”
In compliance with legislative requirements, the Director of Law Enforcement was immediately notified causing the deployment of ASIRT to conduct an independent investigation. The RCMP believes in accountability and transparency and in so doing will provide full support to the ASIRT investigators and also conduct its own internal review. Events like this are difficult for the communities in which they occur, as well as the general public and RCMP officers involved. RCMP officers recognize the trust placed in them to use force that is necessary, proportional and reasonable and in so doing remain fully accountable.
The RCMP are actively investigating this occurrence and are seeking the public’s assistance in locating a stolen, dark grey 4-door Honda Civic with Alberta license place E98-099. The vehicle was stolen by a male suspect described as being approximately 5’11’’ and was last seen wearing a black hoodie with white text on the front, brown shorts and black shoes.
If you have any information about this crime or those responsible, you are asked to contact the Beaumont RCMP at 780-929-7400. If you wish to remain anonymous you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1‐800‐222‐8477 (TIPS), by Internet at www.tipsubmit.com or by SMS (check your local Crime Stoppers www.crimestoppers.ab.ca for instructions).
Canadians owe a debt to Premier Danielle Smith
From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy
In recent days, Premier Smith has endured criticism from many people about her recent announcements relating to treatments for what is often described as gender transition.
Instead, she deserves praise for decisions that are as important for how they were made as for the gender transition issues that concern her and her colleagues. Her actions on this matter demonstrate how public policy should be developed and explained.
The most important quality of the recent policy announcements by the Alberta government is that they are evidence based.
There is an emerging consensus outside Canada that the evidence supporting pharmacological and surgical procedures to change genders in minors is either very weak or nonexistent.
Sweden, Finland, the UK and Norway have restricted or forbidden the use of these treatments on minors, as have twenty-three American states. Ms. Smith referred to these in her press conference announcing the changes her government is making.
Leaders in other countries have done this after conducting detailed studies including one by the UK High Court of Justice and another by Dr. Hilary Cass, a former President of the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health in the United Kingdom
Dr. Cass is an independent expert commissioned to provide advice to the National Health Service on gender treatments. She concluded that “evidence on the appropriate management of children with gender incongruence is inconclusive both nationally and internationally’’.
The second reason the decisions taken by Alberta are important is that they were taken despite ideology advocated by the Government of Canada and the unwillingness of federal officials including the Prime Minster to support their opposition to the Alberta policies with any evidence.
In his initial comments, the Prime Minister made no reference to any of the many studies that have been done describing the dangers of pharmacological and surgical procedures to change the gender of minor children.
He also displayed no understanding of the experiences of other countries on this matter. He did not refer to the Cass report and its seminal conclusions.
The comments by Federal Health Minister Mark Holland lacked any evidence the public could use. He also used offensive rhetoric.
Mr. Holland described the Alberta decisions as being behaviour that is “extremely dangerous to engage in …. which is, I think, playing politics about children’s lives.” He also referred to the “devastation that its going to bring”, referring to the Alberta changes.
Federal communications marked by a factual vacuum and excessive language are not going to help resolve serious differences of opinion on serious issues. They are also not condusive to good relations between the federal government and an important province.
The third and particularly significant reason the recent changes announced by the Alberta government are so important is that they will protect children.
Adolescence, a phase of child development that has been with us for thousands of years, is an important part of everyone’s life.
It is a vital part of what it means to be human. Delaying or blocking it is dangerous, something that many observers have noted but that the Prime Minister and the Minister of Health do not recognize.
Federal leaders need to inform themselves, particularly about the negative impact of puberty blockers on bone and brain development and the lifelong medical attention many transitioners will need because of the pharmacological and surgical procedures used on them to change genders.
The Prime Minister and the Minister of Health should also learn about the increasingly large number of transitioners who regret their transition and later seek to reverse it. Their situation is particularly tragic because many of the negative consequences of changing genders in children cannot be reversed.
Federal leaders also support hiding from parents the decisions children make in schools about the pronouns they use to describe their genders. This is another practice that many feel is harmful and divisive.
The federal perspective on this is unreasonable.
Our species survived over the centuries because the first priority for most parents is their children and most take good care of them.
There is no basis for a lack of trust in them and in the relatively few cases where parents do not provide appropriate care, the child protection laws come into play.
It is particularly important that federal leaders recognize the grave problems that puberty blockers and related surgeries often pose for children who are gays or lesbians.
These children sometimes display some of the attributes of the opposite sex as they grow, and these are often misinterpreted as gender dysphoria. They then get treated for a problem they don’t have, with serious lifelong consequences.
Unfortunately, this happens in many Canadian pediatric hospitals.
There is nothing wrong with these children. They should be allowed to develop and grow in their own way and be who they are. That means no puberty blockers or surgeries to change them.
The fourth reason to respect the new directions on gender issues Ms. Smith and her colleagues have decided upon is the moderation displayed by the Alberta government in putting them forward and communicating with the public about them.
The language used has been understated. The changes are lawful in every respect including in relation to the Charter of Rights and Freedom and other legislation.
The evidence has been clearly presented in a way most citizens can readily understand and great care has been taken to deal with those who may have concerns thoughtfully, including allowing time for debate and discussion before the changes are made.
This is a good example of how governments should behave. Federal leaders should show some respect for the approaches taken by Ms. Smith and her colleagues as they dealt with a very complex issue.
The final reason for the importance of the Alberta approach is that it has avoided many of the problems associated with medical practice standards and regulation that are so evident in Canada and which have been a major cause of the difficulties our country faces on gender issues.
Provincial Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons and many regulators elsewhere regulate doctors based largely on prevailing practices by physicians rather than clinical outcomes.
This means that there have been many cases over the years, in Canada and elsewhere, where evidence to support medical procedures has been lacking. Current practices toward gender dysphoria in Canada and some US states are examples.
In these cases, if something is done often enough by enough doctors, that procedure becomes the standard and not clinical outcomes. This often leads to perverse outcomes that everyone ultimately regrets.
In the years to come, unless we change course soon and unless others follow the Alberta path, people will be wondering how the problems summarized in this article developed and why we damaged so many children by an approach defined more by ideology than factual reality.
David MacKinnon is a Senior Fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy