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Alberta

Province commits $4 million for overdose response teams and 35 detox and pre-treatment beds in Calgary

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Expanding access to detox and recovery in Calgary

Alberta’s government is investing in detox, recovery and dynamic overdose response services at the Drop-In Centre in Calgary.

Every Albertan struggling with addiction deserves the opportunity to pursue recovery. As part of building a recovery-oriented system of care, Alberta’s government is providing more than $4 million to the Calgary Drop-In Centre to create dynamic overdose response teams and establish 35 medical detox and pre-treatment beds, capable of supporting up to 1,000 Calgarians every year.

This partnership stems from the efforts led by the Calgary Public Safety and Community Response Task Force to improve public safety while treating addiction and mental health as healthcare issues.

“We’re continuing to treat mental health and addiction as health-care issues by building recovery-oriented systems of care to ensure every Albertan has the opportunity to pursue recovery. Whether it’s rapidly responding to an overdose, accessing medical detox or pre-treatment, the impact of this funding will be life-saving and life-changing for so many Albertans.”

Nicholas Milliken, Minister of Mental Health and Addiction

“Our government’s focus on addiction recovery and supports for those facing homelessness is bringing positive change for Calgary. The Calgary Drop-In Centre does incredible work to provide services for many individuals facing homelessness. With more access to addiction recovery treatment, more Albertans will be able to get the help they need to overcome their challenges.”

Jeremy Nixon, Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services, and chair, Calgary Public Safety and Community Response Task Force

With this funding, the Calgary Drop-In Centre will significantly increase its treatment capacity. This includes:

  • 15 medical detox beds and 20 pre-treatment beds: Albertans struggling with addiction will be supported to safely withdraw from drugs or alcohol under medical supervision. They will also be provided with pre-treatment support to prevent relapse and better understand treatment options as they continue their pursuit of recovery.
  • Dynamic overdose response teams: To keep communities safe while treating addiction as a health-care issue, the Calgary Drop-In Centre will work in conjunction with local paramedics, first responders and community organizations to respond to overdoses both at the Drop-In Centre as well as in the community.

“People struggling with mental health and addiction deserve compassion and support, and at the Drop-In Centre they receive both. We’re pleased to work with Alberta’s government to deliver critical services to those in need and help more vulnerable people in our communities pursue recovery from addiction.”

Sandra Clarkson, executive director, Calgary Drop-In Centre

These additional medical detox and pre-treatment beds, capable of supporting up to 1,000 Calgarians every year, will be life-saving and life-changing for countless people in the years to come. All publicly funded detox, treatment and recovery spaces are free for Albertans, with no user fees.

Alberta’s government is continuing to build a recovery-oriented system of care, where everyone struggling with addiction and mental health challenges is supported in their pursuit of recovery. This includes initiatives like eliminating fees for residential addiction treatment, launching the Digital Overdose Response System (DORS) app and expanding access to opioid agonist treatment.

In December 2022, Alberta’s government established two new cabinet task forces to bring community partners together to address the issues of addiction, homelessness and public safety in Calgary and Edmonton. The two Public Safety and Community Response Task Forces are responsible for implementing $187 million in provincial funding to further build out a recovery-oriented system of addiction and mental health care. The initiatives being implemented are part of a fair, firm and compassionate approach to keeping communities safe while treating addiction and mental health as health-care issues.

Quick facts

  • Alberta’s government is providing $3.8 million per year, with $1.6 million for dynamic overdose response services and nearly $2.2 million to offer 15 detox and 20 pre-treatment beds, capable of supporting up to 1,000 Calgarians annually. There was also a one-time investment of about $450,000 for capital improvements.
  • Clients with opioid addiction will also be able to immediately start on evidence-based opioid treatment medications like suboxone and sublocade through Alberta’s Virtual Opioid Dependency Program.
  • Alberta spends more than $1 billion annually on addiction and mental health care and supports, including prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery.
  • Any Albertan struggling with addiction can contact 211 Alberta to connect with local services and virtual supports. 211 is free, confidential and available 24-7.
  • The Virtual Opioid Dependency Program provides same-day access to addiction medicine physicians and life-saving medications to Albertans across the province. Albertans can call 1-844-383-7688 seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

This is a news release from the Government of Alberta.

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Alberta

Premier Smith announces plan to boost Alberta’s Heritage Fund to at least 250 Billion by 2050

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From CPAC on YouTube

Alberta Premier Danielle Smith delivers state-of-the-province address

In a televised address from Edmonton, Danielle Smith, the premier of Alberta, delivers an update on her government’s vision and legislative priorities.

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Alberta

Alberta looking to ban electronic vote tabulators ahead of next provincial election

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From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

electronic voting tabulators, which were supposed to speed up vote counting, instead saw election results delayed due with workers having to manually enter the results that each tabulator printed out.

The conservative Premier of Alberta, Danielle Smith, has confirmed she is looking to ban the use of electronic vote tabulators in future provincial elections after issues with them in the 2023 election saw massive delays in the tallying of votes.  

Smith, according to a report from True North, while speaking to a United Conservative Party (UCP) fundraiser on January 26 in the community of Bonnyville was asked if she would “end the use of voting tabulators across the province?” 

Smith replied with a firm “yes.” 

The 2023 Alberta provincial elections held in May saw Smith and her UCP win a majority, although a slim one, over the left-wing Alberta New Democratic Party (NDP).

Elections Alberta used what is called a Vote Anywhere Service, which allowed anyone to vote at any voting place regardless of which riding (jurisdiction) they were actually voting in. While paper ballots were used for the election, electronic tabulators were used to count the votes from all hand ballots. A form was then printed out with the result of each riding from the tabulators count of the hand ballots.  

However, the electronic voting tabulators, which were supposed to speed up vote counting, instead saw election results delayed due with workers having to manually enter the results that each tabulator printed out.  

Elections Alberta noted in June 2023, per True North, that “[w]e did not use any electronic data transfer from the tabulators, as the tabulators used for advance voting were never connected to a network at any time.” 

“As a result, it was a manual process to verify and enter these results.”  

As for Smith, before the 2023 election, she noted that she was confident in Elections Alberta’s plan to use electronic tabulators, as “we have the ability to do a hand count as a follow up in the event there are close results, I believe that’s going to be sufficient.” 

“That’s, I think, something that people expect in democracy – that you should be able to verify a vote if results end up very close,” she added.  

Elections Alberta, however, has pushed back on returning to hand counting ballots, saying it would increase the manual workload of employees.

There were many close results on election night, with the NDP losing a few seats by only a handful of votes in some Calgary ridings.  

Smith gave no timeline as to how or when she would make the change.

Many large municipalities in Alberta, including the province’s two biggest cities, Calgary and Edmonton, use electronic tabulators for ballot counting.

Issues surrounding electronic voting machines as well as tabulators came to a head in the aftermath of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, which saw Joe Biden declared the winner over Donald Trump. 

A report published by LifeSiteNews last year documented how a computer programmer, Clinton Eugene Curtis, who had previously testified to Congress on the integrity of voting machines, warned lawmakers in Arizona to never trust them.  

“Don’t use machines, because you can never, ever trust them to give you a fair election,” said Curtis. 

“There are too many ways to hack them. You can hack them at the level that I did when you first build them, you can hack them from the outside, you can hack them with programs that load themselves on the side. It’s impossible to secure them. You will never beat the programmer. The programmer always owns the universe.”  

Of note is that Curtis is a Democrat who had worked as a programmer for NASA, as well as the Department of Defense and other government agencies.

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