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Alberta

City of Calgary signs Modernized Housing Agreement with Government of Alberta

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Just two days before the 10thannual Coldest Night of the Year, a nation-wide campaign directed at combatting the effects of homelessness and housing insecurity across Canada, the City of Calgary has signed a new modernized housing agreement with the Government of Alberta. 

On February 18, 2021, the City of Calgary released a press release detailing their agreement with the Alberta Government, which lays out a 4-year, $34 million operating and capital funding agreement for the continued facilitation of affordable housing in Calgary. The agreement covers the continued maintenance of 1,048 existing affordable households throughout the city. Extending through 2024, this updated agreement will take the place of the original jointly funded housing agreements between The City and the provincial government.  

All homes are managed by Calgary Housing Company (CHC), a wholly owned subsidiary of The City, and the largest landlord in Calgary, currently managing more than 10,000 households with approximately 25,000 tenants. According to the release, 1 in 5 Calgary households currently struggle with housing costs and more than 100,000 Calgary households are forecast to be in housing need by 2025.

Comments from Calgary housing officials and Mayor Naheed Nenshi highlight the importance of affordable housing in ensuring the future success of all Calgarians and the continued prosperity of Alberta. According to Councillor Druh Farrell, the ability to contribute positively to society begins with access to safe, reliable and affordable shelter. “It’s important to remember that affordable housing is about people,” she says, “People in stable housing have greater chances to find and keep jobs, to learn and build skills and be active participants in their communities.” 

“Alberta’s government knows affordable housing is critical to create inclusive communities and to build economic prosperity for all Albertans,” continues Seniors and Housing Minister Josephine Pon. 

In addition to the extended provision of 1,048 affordable households, the agreement enables the transition of all City-owned social housing to a social-housing mixed rent model, which in turn, will facilitate positive housing outcomes for tenants. This includes a focus on moving residents out of poverty and reducing reliance on government subsidies moving into the future. 

This agreement represents another important step in prioritizing affordable housing, which remains a key factor in reducing the impacts of homelessness and housing insecurity in Calgary and across Canada. According to the City of Calgary press release, “It actually costs less in tax-payer dollars to provide citizens experiencing homelessness with affordable housing. They will rely less on other public supports, such as shelters, healthcare and emergency services.” 

For more information on Calgary’s recent modernized housing agreement and ongoing affordable housing strategy, visit https://www.calgary.ca/cs/olsh/affordable-housing/affordable-housing.html?redirect=/affordablehousing

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

Alberta

Wildfire forces evacuation of an area in Yellowhead County west of Edmonton

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EDMONTON — A wildfire has forced the evacuation of an area in Yellowhead County west of Edmonton.

An Alberta Emergency Alert message says the evacuation order affects people along Highway 16 between Evansburg and Wildwood.

It says the order also applies to people who are in the Lobstick resort area.

The order says all people in this zone must leave immediately.

The province says an evacuation centre is being set up at the Evansburg Arena in Evansburg.

The wildfire danger in the area is listed as very high and there are six airtankers, four helicopters, six pieces of heavy equipment and 30 firefighters working on containing the blaze.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 22, 2021

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Edmonton school to be named after legendary locker room attendant Joey Moss

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EDMONTON — A school in Edmonton that will open next year has been named after Joey Moss, a legendary locker-room attendant for the city’s national hockey and football teams.

Moss, who was born with Down syndrome, became the Edmonton Oilers’ locker-room attendant in 1984, when superstar Wayne Gretzky was dating his older sister.

In 1986, Moss joined Edmonton’s football team, now called the Elks, and held roles with both organizations for more than 30 years.

He captured the hearts of sports fans along the way, particularly with his enthusiastic participation in the national anthem before the start of every hockey game.

Edmonton Public Schools says Joey Moss School in the southwestern part of the city will be for students from kindergarten to Grade 9 and will open in the fall of 2022.

In a statement, board chairwoman Trisha Estabrooks says it was an honour to name a school after “an excellent role model” for students.

“Joey has left a profound legacy in the hearts and minds of many Edmontonians and through this school naming, that legacy will continue to live on for generations,” Estabrooks said. 

“Our students can learn a great deal from Joey and his spirit of acceptance, inclusion and most importantly his unwavering dedication to his community.”

At the time of Moss’s death in October, Gretzky said he “brought a ray of sunshine and a lot of fond memories to all of us.”

Gretzky said he and his teammates used to joke that Moss would be a staple with the Oilers long after their playing careers were finished.

“(The Oilers) traded me, (but) Joey was a lifer,” he said. 

“It was sure always a breath of fresh air when you’d walk into the locker room and he’d be sitting there.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 22, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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