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Alberta

Alberta announces shut down of indoor sporting events, 11 pm closure of bars and restaurants, no social gatherings for 2 weeks

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From the Province of Alberta

New measures to curb the rapid growth of COVID-19

Targeted health measures will take effect on Nov. 13 to curb the rapid growth of COVID-19 in Alberta and protect the health system.

Alberta’s government is implementing additional health measures to help protect hospitals, keep schools and businesses open, and protect vulnerable Albertans.

There are 8,305 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions are at their highest point since the pandemic began.

New public health measures

Starting Nov. 13, all restaurants, bars, lounges and pubs in regions under enhanced status must cease liquor sales by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m. The restriction will remain in place until Nov. 27.

There will also be a two-week ban on indoor group fitness classes, team sport activities and group performance activities in Edmonton and surrounding areas, Calgary and surrounding areas, Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, Red Deer and Lethbridge.

Additional public health measures will also be implemented in all regions under an enhanced status. These measures will be in place until further notice:

  • Maximum attendance of 50 at wedding or funeral ceremonies.
  • It is recommended all faith-based activities limit attendance to one-third capacity per service.
  • Residents should not hold social gatherings within their homes and should not plan social gatherings outside their community.
  • It is recommended employers in office settings implement measures to reduce the number of employees in the workplace at one time.

All existing guidance and legal orders remain in place in all areas.

Alberta Health, AHS and local municipalities will continue to closely monitor the spread across the province.

The Government of Alberta is asking all Albertans to do their part. If these measures are not successful, it will be necessary to implement more restrictive measures.

“We must take action at this critical point to contain the rapid growth of COVID-19 in our province. Through our actions, we can support the health-care system, keep schools open, protect vulnerable Albertans and keep the economy operating throughout the province. This is our chance. If Albertans respond to these and other public health guidelines now, we won’t need more restrictive measures in the future.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

“We must reduce the spread of COVID-19. In addition to these measures, I am asking all Albertans to look at our lives and reduce our social and close contact interactions wherever we can. If we can connect virtually or through other means, we need to make that change. By working together, we can protect each other, reduce the spread and protect our health system.”

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health

Quick facts

  • There are 8,305 active cases and 27,707 recovered cases in Alberta.
  • There are 225 people in hospital due to COVID-19, including 51 in intensive care.
  • The total number of COVID-19 deaths is 393.

Alberta

Alberta parents want balance—not bias—in the classroom

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From the Fraser Institute

By Tegan Hill and Paige MacPherson

74 per cent of parents in Alberta believe teachers should present both sides of controversial issues (e.g. sexuality/gender, climate change) or avoid them entirely.

With the Alberta government set to test its new draft social studies curriculum in September, a new poll reveals a clear consensus: Alberta parents of K-12 children want schools to provide balance—not bias—in the classroom. And when it comes to controversial material in schools, they want to make their own choices for their children.

Specifically, the poll (conducted by Leger and commissioned by the Fraser Institute) found that 88 per cent of Alberta parents (with kids in public and independent schools) believe teachers and the provincial curriculum should focus on facts—not teacher interpretations of those facts, which may include opinions. Only 10 per cent of Alberta parents disagreed.

Moreover, despite ongoing debates in the media and among activists about K-12 school policies, curriculum development, controversial issues in the classroom and parental involvement, according to the poll, the vast majority of parents agree on how schools should handle these issues.

For example, 74 per cent of parents in Alberta believe teachers should present both sides of controversial issues (e.g. sexuality/gender, climate change) or avoid them entirely.

An overwhelming majority of Alberta parents (86 per cent) believe schools should provide advance notice when controversial topics will be discussed in class or during formal school activities. This isn’t surprising—many parents may want to discuss these issues with their children in advance.

In fact, when controversial topics arise, about three quarters (73 per cent) of Alberta parents believe parents should have the right to remove their children from those lessons without consequence to their children’s grades. Of the minority who do not believe parents should have this right, most said “children need to learn about all topics/viewpoints, regardless of their parents’ bias.”

And almost nine in 10 Alberta parents (89 per cent) believe classroom materials and conversations about potentially controversial topics should always be age appropriate.

These polling results should help inform provincial and school-level policies around parental information, consent, school curricula and teacher curriculum guides. For instance, given that parents overwhelmingly favour facts in classrooms, curriculum guides should require the teaching of specific details (e.g. the key players, dates and context of specific historical events). Currently, teachers are allowed to interpret events based on their opinions, which means students may hear completely different interpretations depending on the particular teacher.

While the preferences of parents with kids in K-12 schools are often presented as contentious in media and politics, polling data shows a clear consensus. Parents overwhelmingly value balance, not bias. They want their kids taught age-appropriate facts rather than opinions. And they expect prior notice before anything controversial happens in their kids’ schools. According to most parents in Alberta, none of these opinions are controversial.

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Alberta

Alberta gets credit boost because of budget discipline

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News release from the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Author: Kris Sim

“bringing net adjusted debt to an estimated CAD 57.5 billion in fiscal 2024 (ended on March 31) from CAD 74.6 billion in fiscal 2022”

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is applauding the Alberta government for its fiscal discipline which earned the province a boost in its credit rating.

“Alberta is one of the only provinces in Canada with a balanced budget, and it shows with this credit upgrade,” said Kris Sims, CTF Alberta Director. “Paying down the debt, restraining spending and saving for the future were very good moves by this government.”

In its most recent budget, Alberta reported a $367-million surplus. That stands in contrast to neighbouring Saskatchewan’s $273-million deficit and British Columbia’s record-breaking $7.9-billion deficit.

The rating agency, Fitch, upgraded Alberta’s credit from AA- to AA this week, highlighting its debt repayment as a key reason for the improvement.

“Alberta used its recent economic rebound to accelerate fiscal improvements and lower its debt, bringing net adjusted debt to an estimated CAD 57.5 billion in fiscal 2024 (ended on March 31) from CAD 74.6 billion in fiscal 2022,” the Fitch report reads.

The agency also cited Alberta’s spending restraint as a reason for the positive outlook.

“The rapid decline in debt and adherence to spending restraint in recent budgets have been complement with last year’s introduction of a fiscal framework requiring balanced budgets, annual contingencies and using surpluses for debt repayment, savings or one-time investment, is likely to bolster future resilience,” the Fitch report reads.

Interest charges on the province’s debt are estimated to cost taxpayers $3.3 billion this year.

“Credit ratings matter because Albertans pay billions of dollars on interest payments on the debt every year, better credit ratings make it less expensive to pay for that debt, and the less money we waste to pay debt interest charges the better,” said Sims.

 

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