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Alberta

Olivia and Noah most popular baby names in 2020

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Olivia continued a record streak as the most popular baby girl’s name in Alberta in 2020 while Noah remained in the top spot for baby boys.

Alberta families welcomed 49,030 babies in 2020 – 25,160 boys and 23,870 girls. Olivia was the most popular girl’s name for the eighth year in a row, giving it the longest popularity streak for any girl’s name in Alberta since 1980. Noah placed first on the boys’ names list for the second consecutive year.

Other popular names for girls were Emma, Charlotte, Ava and Sophia. Oliver, Liam, Benjamin and William rounded out the top five names for boys.

Alberta remains a province of many cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and many of our youngest members have names reflecting that diversity. Alberta is home to baby girls named Amara, Amaya, Zahra, Zoya, Baani, Danika, Raya, Thalia, Yuna and Chimamanda. Some of Alberta’s youngest boys are named Mateo, Ahmed, Bodhi, Yusuf, Zorawar, Arjun, Gurbaaz, Miguel, Abdul and Idris.

“Last year was difficult for everyone, but every new baby that an Alberta family welcomed brings joy and also hope for the future. Whether parents welcomed their firstborn or a sibling to other children, they can count on the same thing: Alberta is a great place to raise a family and we have a strong future ahead of us.”

Nate Glubish, Minister of Service Alberta

In a year unlike any other, positivity seemed to be a popular theme for some new parents, with names like Hope, Peace, Faith, Charity, Joy, Happy and Brave appearing on the list of registered names.

Some parents also seemed to be inspired by athletes (Kobe, Muhammad-Ali, Beckham), mythology (Artemis, Persephone, Aries, Zeus), music (Dre, Zeppelin, Bowie), video games (Zelda, Link, Eevee), literature (Guinevere, Atticus) and places (Cairo, Nile, Phoenix).

Quick facts

  • Notable changes to the 2020 lists:
    • Isla appeared in the top 10 list for girls for the first time. The name was 12th most popular among girls in 2019.
    • Theodore and Levi appeared in the top 10 list for boys for the first time. The names were 19th and 27th most popular among baby boys in 2019, respectively.
    • Lily increased in popularity among girls’ names, from 24th most popular in 2019 to ninth in 2020.
    • Ethan dropped to 12th place among the most popular boys’ names, after appearing in the top 10 list every year since 2000.
  • Historically, girls’ names that held the No. 1 spot for the longest consecutive time period include:
    • Jessica: six years (1990-1995)
    • Emily: five years (1998-2002)
    • Olivia: eight years (2013-2020)
  • Historically, boys’ names that held the No. 1 spot for the longest consecutive time period include:
    • Matthew: five years (1995-1999)
    • Ethan: nine years (2001-2009)
    • Liam: seven years (2010-2016)
  • The highest birth count recorded in recent history for Alberta was 56,744, recorded in 2015.
  • Parents have up to one year to register their child’s birth. As a result, the list of 2020 baby names and birth statistics may change slightly.

Girls’ names and frequency (top 10)

(In brackets is the number of children with each name)

Place Girl names (2020) Girl names (2019) Girl names (2018) Girl names (2017) Girl names (2016)
1 Olivia (236) Olivia (229) Olivia (235) Olivia (236) Olivia (292)
2 Emma (184) Charlotte (188) Emma (230) Emma (215) Emma (249)
3 Charlotte (161) Sophia (181) Charlotte (175) Charlotte (187) Sophia (215)
4 Ava (159) Emma (178) Emily (164) Ava (184)

Sophia (184)

Ava (207)
5 Sophia (151) Ava (161) Ava (161) Emily (159) Emily (187)
6 Amelia (145) Amelia (159) Abigail (153) Abigail (154) Charlotte (180)
7 Isla (133) Emily (150) Harper (150) Amelia (149) Amelia (172)
8 Emily (127) Abigail (141) Sophia (146) Isabella (141) Abigail (171)
9 Lily (123) Hannah (137) Amelia (145) Aria (129)

Chloe (129)

Chloe (166)
10 Abigail (114) Elizabeth (124) Elizabeth (130) Lily (127) Aria (137)

Boys’ names and frequency (top 10)

(In brackets is the number of children with each name)

Place Boy names (2020) Boy names (2019) Boy names (2018) Boy names (2017) Boy names (2016)
1 Noah (239) Noah (275) Liam (225) Noah (250) Liam (277)
2 Oliver (229) Liam (234) Oliver (212) Liam (244) Benjamin (252)
3 Liam (206) Oliver (225) Noah (199) Benjamin (229) Lucas (247)
4 Benjamin (182) Ethan (213) Ethan (188) Logan (226) Oliver (230)
5 William (178) Jack (198) Logan (182)

Lucas (182)

Lucas (216) Noah (228)
6 Jack (169) William (185) Jacob (181) William (213) William (213)
7 Lucas (163) Lucas (174) William (178) Ethan (192) Ethan (205)
8 Theodore (159) Owen (167) Benjamin (176) Oliver (190) Jack (197)
9 Levi (153) Benjamin (163) Jack (167) Jack (189) Lincoln (192)
10 Owen (152) Jacob (162) Alexander (158)

James (158)

Jacob (178) Owen (189)

Alberta

‘Not true’: Justice minister denies crying or yelling during doctor confrontation

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By Bill Graveland in Calgary

Alberta’s justice minister said he felt sad and disappointed when he discovered someone he considered to be a friend was behind a social media post targeting him and his wife.

The Law Society of Alberta is in the final day of a hearing into allegations Tyler Shandro violated the profession’s code of conduct. The three complaints date back to his time as the provincial health minister early in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Mukarram Zaidi, who had posted a photo on social media of Shandro with a caption related to privatizing health care, told the hearing the minister and his wife visited his home in March 2020. He said it occurred during fractious negotiations between the government and the Alberta Medical Association over fees.

The photo of Shandro, with a thought bubble caption, said: “So every Albertan that I can kick off health care is another client we can sign up for Vital Partners. We’re going to be RICH.” Shandro’s wife, Andrea, is the co-founder of Vital Partners, a health insurance agency.

Shandro said Thursday his spouse alerted him to the post earlier in the day, when there had been up to a thousand threats made against the couple.

“I recognized the account being someone I considered a friend and who lived around the corner,” Shandro said under questioning by his lawyer.

“The irony is that this is a fellow who had often engaged with me to discuss the importance of being careful with words, with online posts and what that could result in.”

The doctor testified earlier this week that he went outside of his home to meet Shandro and described the minister as being highly upset as he demanded the doctor remove the post immediately because his family was being subjected to death threats.

“I see Shandro and his wife standing at the sidewalk. He was crying, he was emotionally charged. His wife was holding him,” Zaidi said.

“He said: ‘You can’t do this to us. We’re getting death threats.’ I think I asked him: ‘What do you want me to do?’ And he said: ‘Delete your post.”’

Shandro said he walked over to Zaidi’s home by himself and asked the doctors’ children to send out their father. He said the conversation was over in a matter of minutes.

“I said: ‘Mukarram, why wouldn’t you have just asked me if you had questions? We know each other. You know me. You know Andrea. You know this isn’t true.’ And then I asked him: ‘Do you know this conspiracy theory is resulting in Andrea getting death threats?'” Shandro said.

“He said softly: ‘What do I do? Do I delete the post?’ I specifically did not take him up on that offer. I said: ‘Look, you have to decide that for yourself.'”

Shandro’s lawyer, Grant Stapon, asked his client what he had to say to Zaidi’s description of him crying and yelling while being held by his wife during the discussion.

“It’s not true. It isn’t true at all. Andrea was not there and if she really was there, it doesn’t benefit me to say she wasn’t there. If anything, it would be helpful to have her be there to corroborate,” Shandro replied.

“I definitely did not yell at him.”

Shandro said his wife did show up at the end of the conversation.

“She was emotional. She did have red eyes. She was crying earlier. She said: ‘Don’t talk to him. He’s not interested in us. He’s only interested in money.'”

Shandro said at that point they returned home.

Andrea Shandro is expected to testify later Thursday afternoon.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2023.

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Alberta

Alberta considers training doctors for rural practice in smaller centres

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Calgary – Alberta is looking for ways to train doctors in smaller cities in hopes they will be more likely to help relieve a shortage of physicians in rural areas.

Health Minister Jason Copping and Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides say the government is providing $1 million to four Alberta post-secondary institutions to look for ways to train doctors in Grande Prairie and Lethbridge.

Alberta has medical schools at universities in Edmonton and Calgary, but Copping says training doctors outside the big cities increases the odds of graduates practising in the province’s smaller municipalities.

Todd Anderson of the University of Calgary’s medical school says there are a wide variety of options being considered, including stand-alone schools.

The University of Lethbridge and Northwestern Polytechnic in Grande Prairie are also involved in the program.

Anderson says research suggests three-quarters of doctors who train in rural areas end up practising in one as well.

Copping says the project will take six to eight years to show results.

“It’s going to take time to set the program up,” he said Thursday. “That’s a long-term strategy. But if you don’t start, you’ll never get there.”

Meanwhile, rural health care continues to experience staff shortages. On Thursday, the Milk River Health Centre Emergency Department announced it would close until Monday due to a doctor shortage.

Nurses were to remain on-site to provide care for long-term care residents.

Copping said Thursday’s announcement was just one part of the government’s health-care strategy.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 26, 2023.

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