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Alberta

Making money matter to Alberta students

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From the Government of Alberta.

Alberta’s government is getting students the training they need to better understand saving, budgeting, spending and investing.

To make sure junior and senior high students have the financial knowledge for today’s world, Alberta’s government is releasing a call for grant proposals totaling $1 million. The successful organization, or group of organizations, will work with schools to provide financial literacy programming to students starting in fall 2021.

Students will study financial concepts such as costs, interest, debt, investing, insurance and how the economy affects their lives. This call for grant proposals will expand learning opportunities to students in classrooms across the province.

“For the first time in a meaningful way, financial literacy is being addressed across multiple subjects and grades in an age-appropriate way in our province. Understanding how money works will help students gain confidence, solve practical problems and prepare them for the future.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education

“Strong financial management is the foundation of a successful economy. Likewise, it’s an essential life skill that can add immense value to one’s personal endeavours. This is why I’m proud of the $1 million investment in financial literacy education, which will support our youth transitioning into adulthood and better equip them for personal and professional success.”

Travis Toews, Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board

“Integrating financial literacy concepts across multiple grades will help to ensure we don’t just prepare students for a successful career, but for a successful life. Teaching financial literacy will empower countless Alberta students with the foundational tools needed not only to manage their finances, but to build their own business. These are essential skills for our changing economy.”

Janet M. Riopel, president & CEO, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

“It’s never too early to become financially literate. The ability to understand finances, in terms of budgets, income, expenses, saving, borrowing, credit – this is knowledge, skills and practices that will not only last one’s entire life, but enable young Albertans to set themselves up for success and to lead a prosperous life. Students are Alberta’s future entrepreneurs – future business owners, restauranteurs, innovators, creators – all roles that require sound knowledge and insight into finances and budgets. I applaud the Government of Alberta for investing in the financial literacy of Alberta’s next generation.”

Adam Legge, president, Business Council of Alberta

This call for grant proposals builds on successful current financial literacy programs, including those offered by Enriched Academy and Junior Achievement in the 2020/21 school year. These organizations have been working with 39,000 students in Grades 4 to 12 in the past year – in urban and rural communities.

“Normally, the seriousness involved in personal financial literacy can be overlooked when you’re 15 or 16. But through this training, my students and I have been able to have meaningful, quality conversations about investing, credit, debt and so much more.”

Owen Weimer, CALM/physical education/science teacher, Grande Cache High School, and participant in Enriched Academy 2020-21 program

“Before joining Junior Achievement, all I knew was that companies pay their employees, and people have to budget their own money. However, after joining, I learned that there are so many more steps and so much effort goes into this. I’ve also learned all about making decisions that financially benefit a business or individual – break-even points, budgeting, investing, financial management and so many more financial skills. This program has made a change in my life for the better.”

Ellen Fu, student participant, 2020-21Junior Achievement program

By focusing on financial literacy, Alberta’s government aligns with the Ministerial Order on Student Learning released last fall. Developed following consultations with parents, teachers and education experts, it calls for students to acquire competence in managing personal finances.

Financial literacy was also among recommendations from Alberta’s independent curriculum advisory panel. In their report, the panel noted students may leave Grade 12 without the basic skills necessary to transition successfully into life after high school. They recommended financial literacy, work readiness, wellness and goal-setting to enhance student learning.

As part of the work to refocus on essential knowledge in Alberta’s elementary schools, financial literacy is also a key component of Alberta’s draft kindergarten to grade 6 curriculum, under the theme of practical skills. In the draft, all students will study financial literacy in all subjects and grades – from counting coins to creating a budget.

Quick facts

Alberta

Post-secondary schools must report on free speech efforts on campus, minister says

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Edmonton – The Alberta government says it will require post-secondary institutions to report annually on their efforts to protect free speech on campus.

A news release from the Department of Advanced Education does not detail exactly what must be included in these reports, or say what the consequences would be if the requirements are not met.

Minister Demetrios Nicolaides signalled changes were coming earlier this week after the University of Lethbridge reversed its decision to host a speech by a former Mount Royal University professor whose comments on residential schools have drawn fierce criticism.

Frances Widdowson was fired from Mount Royal in late 2021 after she spoke of the educational benefits of residential schools while questioning whether abuses at the institutions amounted to cultural genocide.

Widdowson’s campus speech this week was to centre on concerns that a mob mentality and “woke policies” increasingly threaten academic freedom.

The Alberta government says the latest move builds on its earlier work in 2019, when it required all 26 publicly funded post-secondary institutions in Alberta to either endorse the Chicago Principles on free expression, or develop a policy consistent with them.

“It is abundantly clear that more needs to be done to ensure our institutions are adequately protecting free speech,” Nicolaides said in a written statement Friday.

Alberta’s post-secondary institutions should be bastions of free speech and academic freedom that promote critical thinking. I will continue to explore greater steps we can take to strengthen free speech on campus.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 3, 2023.

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Alberta

Overdose prevention services in Red Deer will soon transition to a mobile site operated by Alberta Health Services

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Next steps for Red Deer overdose prevention site

Alberta’s government continues to make overdose prevention services available across the province while also ensuring the safety of communities and neighbourhoods is a top priority. Alberta’s government will be working in partnership with Alberta Health Services (AHS) and Turning Point over the next three to six months to implement the transition to a mobile overdose prevention site operated by AHS.

This transition is necessary to respond to the changing needs in Red Deer while improving the standard of service delivery at the overdose prevention site. Alberta’s government will continue working closely with the City of Red Deer and the broader community to put the safety and security of the community first while continuing to provide overdose prevention services in a professional manner.

“Overdose prevention services are healthcare services that must meet quality standards to ensure the safety of the community and a high-standard of care. Alberta Health Services is an accountable and proven operator that has experience managing these services across Alberta. My ministry will be working closely with AHS and the current operator over the next few months to smoothly transition these operations, ensuring there are no gaps in service for clients of the services.”

Nicholas Milliken, Minister of Mental Health and Addiction

“We appreciate the leadership of the government of Alberta in this area. We thank Turning Point for their service and the lives saved over the past several years. Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of Red Deerians is a top priority, and we are confident this new AHS-operated mobile site will continue to meet the needs of our residents.”

Ken Johnston, Mayor of Red Deer

Once the transition occurs, the new AHS-operated mobile unit will initially operate at the same location as the current overdose prevention site. Alberta’s government will continue to work with the City of Red Deer, and may change the location of the service within Red Deer based on input from the municipality ­and the changing needs of the community.

As with all overdose prevention services in the province, this mobile unit will be regulated and be required to meet the quality standards outlined in the Recovery-oriented Supervised Consumption Standards in order to be licensed. Overdose prevention site service providers must also demonstrate clearly defined referral pathways to detox, treatment and recovery services, as well as primary health-care services.

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 adding more than 9,000 new publicly funded treatment spaces, eliminating fees for residential addiction treatment, launching the Digital Overdose Response System (DORS) app and expanding opioid agonist treatment.

Quick facts

  • To be licensed, supervised consumption site service providers need to follow requirements related to:
  • the safety and security of clients, employees and the surrounding community
  • standardized data collection
  • staff qualifications and training
  • clinical practice standards
  • good neighbour agreements
  • physical site requirements, such as having access to washrooms for clients
  • Health Canada is responsible for granting exemptions under Section 56.1 of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act to allow supervised consumption sites to operate. Overdose prevention sites require a similar exemption under Section 56(1) of the act or a letter of authorization from the Government of Alberta under the authority of the province’s class exemption.
  • 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.
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