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Alberta

Holiday Mental Health – It’s Okay if it’s not the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

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The stores are stocking up on red and green everything, the shelves are lined with ornaments and dancing reindeer and you can’t ignore it even if you want to – the holiday season is nearly here. 

For many, Christmas means celebrations, decorations, rum and eggnog and time with family. From sledding and snow days to hanging the lights and putting up the tree, there are lots of things to love about the holiday season.
However, for others, there are lots of reasons why it might not be the most wonderful time of the year, and that’s okay too. 

While the claim that suicide rates spike during the holiday season has been repeatedly misused and ultimately disproven as the “holiday suicide myth” (1), the holiday blues are a very real phenomenon. In the midst of the celebratory season, feelings of anxiety, isolation, depression and grief can be overwhelming, particularly when combined with additional stressors such as strained personal relationships and financial uncertainty. Not everyone is looking forward to Christmas, and in the midst of the 2020 global COVID-19 pandemic, which has left many people without employment and unable to travel, the emotional toll of this holiday season promises to be increasingly complex. 

The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Alberta Division released a statement regarding coping with the holidays during these unusual and uncertain times. 

“The pandemic has disrupted many yearly holiday traditions and has increased collective anxieties and social isolation. As we look for alternative ways to spread joy and take part in new ways of celebrating the holidays, Albertans must focus on their mental health during an already busy and often overwhelming season.”

According to the CMHA, these are some simple but useful ways to maintain your mental health during the holidays. 

Focus on what you can control. Like the food you eat, the time you have a shower or the media you consume.  

Anxiety is normal. During times of crisis it is normal to feel increased anxiety. Acknowledge those feelings are valid. 

Limit your consumption of media. Allow yourself time to focus on activities you enjoy instead. Reading, listening to music or meditating are all great ways to de-stress when you are unable to attend regular holiday festivities. 

Remain connected to your body. Exercising regularly, getting outside, eating well and resting will support positive mental health. 

Be open with your support system. Identify supportive people you can connect with if you begin to feel overwhelmed or lonely. 

Reach out for help. If you or a loved one needs help, call 211 (Alberta only) or the Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642. 

As the holidays arrive amid the fog of the ongoing global pandemic, remember – it’s okay to feel confused, frightened, and uncertain of the future. You are not alone, and there are always resources available to help you and your loved ones through these complicated times. Be gentle with yourself and others, ask for help if you need it, and above all, be kind. 

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

Alberta

Trevali plans to reopen New Brunswick’s Caribou zinc mine but with 150 fewer staff

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CALGARY — Trevali Mining Corp. says it plans to reopen its Caribou Mine near Bathurst, N.B., after idling it 10 months ago amid poor zinc prices, but will operate it with a workforce of about 250, down from about 400 employees and contractors before it was closed.

The Vancouver-based miner says it expects to return to mining in early February, with first payable zinc production expected by the end of March.

Chief financial officer Brendan Creaney says zinc prices have rebounded from about 82 cents US per pound when mine production stopped to the current level between US$1.20 and US$1.30 and Trevali has contracted about 80 per cent of Caribou’s volumes for two years to remove price risk.

The company says it has brought in Redpath Mining Inc. as an underground mining contractor and its expertise and supply of larger equipment is expected to allow production to resume at cash flow positive costs of between 84 and 90 cents cents per pound of zinc by 2022.

It hopes to produce up to 65 million pounds of payable zinc, 23 million pounds of lead and 650,000 ounces of silver in 2021. Zinc output is expected to rise to as much as 77 million pounds in 2022.

It plans capital spending at the mine of $9 million this year and $2 million next year.

“Our initial two-year plan includes several enhancements which are designed to improve the mine’s economics, including the involvement of a contracted mining operator and the entry into fixed-pricing arrangements for a significant portion of the mine’s forecasted production,” said Trevali CEO Ricus Grimbeek.

“Looking ahead, we will continue to study the potential to extend our initial mine plan, as well as explore further potential in the Bathurst mining camp.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:TV)

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

MLA booted from Alberta UCP caucus shows no signs he’ll give up seat

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EDMONTON — An Alberta legislature member booted from the United Conservative caucus is signalling he has no plans to give up his seat. 

Pat Rehn, who represents the constituency of Lesser Slave Lake, says on Facebook that he’s disappointed over his ouster, but there are some advantages to not being tied to a political party. 

An earlier version of the statement posted late Thursday said he was also relieved. 

Rehn says as an Independent he can express his opposition to some provincial pandemic measures such as closing gyms and businesses. 

Premier Jason Kenney announced Rehn’s removal on Thursday after local municipal leaders complained he was rarely in the constituency, missed meetings or wasn’t prepared for them. 

Rehn was one of a half dozen UCP MLAs, including one cabinet minister, who vacationed in sunny locales over the holidays, contrary to public health guidance to stay home to help stem the spread of COVID-19. 

The mayor of the town of Slave Lake and Opposition NDP Leader Rachel Notley are among those calling for Rehn to give up his seat so a byelection can be called. 

Rehn is still entitled to his more than $120,000 a year MLA salary. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published January 15, 2021.  

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