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Calgary

“These are tough times for everyone” – City of Calgary Launches #SupportLocalYYC Campaign

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The City of Calgary recently launched it’s #SupportLocalYYC campaign for the second year in a row. 

Just in time for the holidays, the campaign encourages Calgarians to keep their money in the city when doing their shopping this season, while extending a number of services and resources to local business owners. These include printable Come in, We’re Local posters and an online marketing tool kit to aid local businesses with promotion and visibility during the holiday season. 

Published on November 18, a press release from the City of Calgary states, “Last year, the campaign helped to unite our community to support local – this year, it’s even more important for us to band together.”

According to Sonya Sharp, Business and Local Economy Leader for the City of Calgary, the 2019 campaign was an overwhelmingly positive experience, with more than 10,000 uses of the #SupportLocalYYC tag throughout the holiday season. “When you support local, you are supporting your friends and neighbors,” she says, “this year we want to focus on showing our support for the local business community while ensuring we work together to keep one another safe.”  

Despite a number of government funded support programs and subsidies being made available, the impact of the pandemic has been catastrophic for small business owners in Calgary. The devastating decline in patronage in combination with growing restrictions and additional costs has made the continued operation of a successful business impossible for many.

Photo Credit – Calgary Herald

The city has been gripped by permanent closures as owners struggle to remain viable amidst the changing regulations by launching online alternatives, offering contactless pick-up, and asking for local support. For many, however, the pressures of the pandemic and the economic squeeze have proved to be too much. Calgary’s once hustling 17th Avenue now features a number of staple businesses with locked doors and final goodbyes written where the daily specials or popular sporting events once were. 

“Calgary businesses need our support now more than ever,” says Mayor Naheed Nenshi in the #SupportLocalYYC press release, “the pandemic has hit businesses hard in a time when many were already challenged from a tough economy.” 

Mega-corp online shopping alternatives such as Amazon have already skyrocketed as a result of the pandemic, and are projected to see unprecedented numbers this holiday season. Despite the convenience Amazon provides, the #SupportLocalYYC campaign encourages Calgarians to take the extra time to explore similar contactless, online alternatives many local businesses have struggled to launch in recent months. Keeping cash in Calgary this holiday season is an important step towards slowing business closures and rebooting the local economy.

In addition to purchasing local goods, there are a number of ways to support businesses in the community that cost nothing at all. “Things are a bit different this year, of course,” says Sharp, “these are tough times for everyone. We want people to know that even though you may not be able to spend money, there are other ways to support local.” Leaving a positive review, following their social media accounts, engaging with and sharing their content are all simple, but helpful ways to support and promote local businesses this holiday season.  

Christmas is just 5 weeks away! Make your contributions count this year by supporting your friends, family and neighbors, and keeping it local. #SupportLocalYYC

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

Alberta

‘Boiling point’: Alberta doctors warn of health system collapse as COVID cases climb

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CALGARY — Alberta’s health-care system is on the verge of collapse, warns a group of physicians who are pleading with the government to strengthen public health measures to fend off a relentless fourth wave of COVID-19.

Dr. Shazma Mithani, an emergency room physician in Edmonton, said a staffing crisis, overwhelmed intensive care units and mixed messaging from the province has created a “dire” situation.

Her biggest fear, she said, is that doctors will need to triage patients should hospitalizations continue to mount.

“We don’t want to have to make these decisions where we’re choosing who gets to have (intensive) care or not. And we’re getting closer and closer to that every day,” Mithani said in an interview.

Alberta Health Services, the province’s health-care provider, said in a statement Wednesday there were 258 intensive care beds in the province, which includes 85 added spaces. It said intensive care unit capacity sat at 87 per cent — just slightly below a seven-day average of 91 per cent.

Mithani said the government needs to listen to frontline health-care workers and implement stronger public health restrictions to prevent the health system from crumbling.

“This is much, much worse than I think people understand,” she said. “We, as health-care workers, are telling you that things are very dire, that ICU beds are running out, that we are stretched very thin in terms of our hospital capacity.”

On Friday, the Government of Alberta reinstated an indoor mask mandate for public spaces and an alcohol sales curfew at 10 p.m. It also announced a $100 incentive for unvaccinated Albertans who get their shots in response to an intensifying crisis.

Dr. Ilan Schwartz, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Alberta, said those efforts are “all but meaningless.”

“They are worse than doing nothing at all because now it is going to delay the government from taking more definitive action,” Schwartz said during a panel discussion Wednesday with advocacy group Protect Our Province.

Dr. Darren Markland, an intensive care physician in Edmonton who was also on the panel, said the government should consider vaccine passports and a circuit-breaker lockdown, which is a tight set of restrictions for a limited amount of time to curb ongoing transmission of COVID-19.

Relying solely on vaccinations won’t reign in a growing fourth wave driven by the highly contagious Delta variant, added Mithani.

It takes at least six weeks for people to build full immunity against COVID-19 because vaccine shots need to be separated by a month and then allow another two weeks to develop protection.

In the meantime, there are no signs COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are slowing. There were 647 Albertans in hospital Wednesday due to COVID-19, with 147 of those patients in intensive care. Hospitalizations jumped by 7.5 per cent from Tuesday. Another 18 people died in a 24-hour period.

The doctors with Protect Our Province said there are risks related to government inaction. Those risks, they said, include reduced health-care access for Albertans and increased burnout among health-care professionals.

Alberta Health Services announced late Wednesday that all scheduled, elective surgeries and outpatient procedures in the Calgary Zone have been postponed for the rest of the week. It said on social media the move was necessary to deploy qualified staff to intensive and critical care units.

“The situation really has come to a boiling point,” said Schwartz.

“It’s going to be a while before the premier and the chief medical officer of health will be willing to step back and accept that these actions have failed to immediately curb transmission and by that point, we’re going to be in dire, dire trouble.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2021.

Alanna Smith, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Enbridge advances Gulf Coast strategy with US$3B Moda Midstream purchase

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CALGARY — Enbridge Inc. has signed a US$3-billion deal to purchase a U.S.-based terminal and logistics company.

The Canadian pipeline giant says it will buy Moda Midstream Operating LLC from private-equity firm EnCap Flatrock Midstream.

As part of the deal, Enbridge will acquire the Ingleside Energy Center located near Corpus Christi, Texas.

Ingleside is North America’s largest crude export terminal. It loaded 25 per cent of all U.S. Gulf Coast crude exports in 2020.

The deal also gives Enbridge access to other crude export assets in the Gulf Coast region, including the Cactus II Pipeline, the Viola Pipeline and the Taft terminal.

Enbridge says the purchase will advance its U.S. Gulf Coast export strategy. It says the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter and will immediately add to the company’s earnings.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 7, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:ENB)

The Canadian Press

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