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Alberta

Auto Insurance affordability: Province says long term solutions may include public insurance offering

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Good drivers to benefit from auto insurance changes

New reforms will address the pressing issue of automobile insurance rates in the province as the government explores longer-term solutions.

Alberta’s government is exploring every possible avenue to provide relief to Albertans. Albertans with good driving records would experience price protection, ensuring their insurance rates do not increase higher than inflation. The proposed reforms would start Jan. 1, 2024.

“We know that Albertans have been struggling with their auto insurance rates and that’s why we’ve been working hard to find solutions. I’m pleased that we can work to bring forward these new measures to help. With inflation and the affordability crisis making life more expensive for Albertans, we will continue working to ensure that the measures we take are not only affordable but also sustainable in the long run.”

Danielle Smith, Premier

Alberta’s government will be taking further action to amend regulations, ensuring that insurers must offer payment plan options so Albertans would not have to pay the full amount for their coverage upfront. These changes would ensure the auto insurance industry can continue to cover claims costs and protect Alberta drivers while providing more relief to Albertans.

Additionally, changes would grant Alberta’s Automobile Insurance Rate Board (AIRB) the authority to direct auto insurers to return premiums to Albertans in years when insurance industry profits are significantly higher. AIRB could also request a rate filing from an insurer at any time to review and possibly lower auto insurance rates if needed.

“We understand the struggles many Albertans are facing, and we are working to ensure Albertans can afford the coverage they need. Achieving affordable auto insurance is a major commitment for our government and this is only the first step in delivering on that promise. We value the sustainability of the insurance industry and call for increased collaboration from insurers as we continue the work to address these issues.”

Nate Horner, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance

“Affordability continues to be a major concern for Albertans when the cost on every day essentials rises and makes it tough to make ends meet. That’s why we continue to build on our existing affordability measures to help stabilize costs. This auto insurance reform will help do this in the short term.”

Nathan Neudorf, Minister of Affordability and Utilities

Alberta’s government is closely examining more long-term solutions to make Alberta’s auto insurance industry affordable and sustainable.

The current rate pause will remain in effect to ease the burden on Alberta drivers until the end of 2023. Proposed reforms for 2024 would not impose a dynamic price ceiling on the rate increases insurers can request but would help control how they are distributed among customers, particularly those with good driving records. Any rate increases in 2024 will be carefully monitored to ensure they are reasonable and justifiable. Albertans should continue to shop around to find the best insurance coverage for them.

“As the consumer representative on the Automobile Insurance Rate Board, I ensure that Alberta drivers are considered in all board decisions, including changes to insurer rating programs. I believe protecting good drivers from unexpected rate increases is a win for Alberta consumers. During a time of affordability challenges, this action will provide price stability and predictability for Alberta families.”

Stephane Lemieux, consumer representative, Alberta Automobile Insurance Rate Board

The government has commissioned an in-depth analysis by an external consultant concerning longer-term reforms. A draft report is expected by the end of 2023, with the final report slated for the first quarter of 2024. The results of this analysis will inform the government’s long-term reforms.

Quick facts

  • The description of a driver with a good record is adapted from the AIRBs guidance for the grid rating program. This includes anyone without the following:
  • one or more at-fault accidents in the last six years
  • any Criminal Code traffic convictions in the last four years
  • any major traffic convictions in the last three years
  • more than one minor traffic conviction in the last three years
  • In Alberta’s competitive marketplace, Albertans can sometimes get better rates by shopping around and exploring their options.
    • Albertans should continue to work with their insurance companies or brokers to get the best rates.
    • Alberta drivers can get discounts of up to 20 per cent for bundling their home and property insurance, in addition to discounts for good driving behavior.

Related information

At 17:00 of the video here, A reporter’s question about a potential public insurance offering in Alberta is confirmed.

Alberta

Province advancing plans to build stand-alone Stollery Children’s Hospital

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Investing in a new Stollery Children’s Hospital

If passed, Budget 2024 will allocate $20 million over three years to advance plans for a stand-alone Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.

With 236 beds, the Stollery Children’s Hospital is the second-largest children’s hospital in Canada and has among the highest inpatient volumes of any children’s hospital in Canada. As the province’s population continues to grow, it is crucial that children in Edmonton and northern Alberta have access to the specialized care they need.

Alberta’s government is steadfast in its commitment to build a stand-alone Stollery Children’s Hospital. A new facility would provide more beds, larger clinical spaces, more private rooms and dedicated areas for children and their families. It would also result in additional teaching spaces and state-of-the-art technologies to enhance health care delivery specifically for children.

“A new, stand-alone children’s hospital will build capacity and enable health care providers to continue delivering world-class care to children. This investment, as well as other capital investments outlined in Budget 2024, is an example of how we are creating a more unified and efficient health care system for Albertans. I look forward to sharing more details soon.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Health

“The new Stollery Children’s Hospital project is the latest addition to Edmonton’s health care infrastructure. Building upon the successes of recent projects like the new emergency department at the Misericordia Community Hospital and Norwood West at the Gene Zwozdesky Centre, the new Stollery will help increase health care capacity in the capital region.”

Pete Guthrie, Minister of Infrastructure

Alberta’s government initially invested in the project in 2021, providing $1 million that was matched by the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. The proposed investment in Budget 2024 will include $17 million in new funding, following the $3 million invested through last year’s budget, for a total investment of $21 million in government funding over four years.

The investment in a new stand-alone Stollery Children’s Hospital is not only important for families in the city of Edmonton and capital region, it is important for families living across northern Alberta. The Stollery Children’s Hospital serves families in a geographical area of more than 500,000 square kilometres, stretching from Red Deer to Alberta’s northernmost border with the Northwest Territories. Almost 40 per cent of inpatients at the Stollery come from outside the Edmonton area and the hospital is the closest and primary children’s hospital for residents of the Northwest Territories.

“The Stollery has an incredible reputation for the impact it makes in the community, and especially in northern Alberta. This stand-alone Stollery Children’s Hospital is a long-awaited, necessary project that will help provide additional health care services to children and their families when they need it the most.”

Martin Long, parliamentary secretary for rural health

“This remarkable investment will take us one step closer to our goal of building a reimagined Stollery Children’s Hospital for the future. A new Stollery is poised to provide the most innovative, modern and family-centred physical and mental health care to help bring hope and comfort to kids dealing with serious illness and injury. Thank you to the Government of Alberta for recognizing the very real need for this hospital.”

Karen Faulkner, interim chief executive officer, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation

“A new Stollery Children’s Hospital is urgently needed to provide dedicated care for our children. By separating kids from adults, a stand-alone Stollery ensures a nurturing environment and the most modern pediatric equipment and resources to offer families like ours a health care space designed exclusively for our children.”

Shelley Cormier, parent of Stollery patient

Plans for the new hospital include integrating mental health resources, virtual care, research and training facilities to better support patients and improve health outcomes. There will also be a focus on ensuring health care providers, parents and caregivers have the resources they need to support patients.

Alberta’s government remains dedicated to expanding and modernizing hospitals and facilities to provide Albertans with high-quality health care while increasing system capacity and supporting front-line health care workers.

“Alberta’s government is committed to building a stand-alone Stollery Children’s Hospital when planning is complete. A new facility would provide more beds, larger clinical spaces, more private rooms and dedicated areas for children and their families. There would also be more teaching spaces and state-of-the-art technologies to enhance health care delivery.”

Dr. Lyle Oberg, executive board chair, Alberta Health Services

Quick facts

  • Established in 2001, the Stollery Children’s Hospital is a full-service pediatric hospital and centre for complex pediatric care and research.
  • The Stollery Children’s Hospital sees about 300,000 children, 55,000 emergency room visits and 12,000 surgeries annually.

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Alberta

Male suspect involved in tragic incident between Beaumont and Edmonton sought by police; EPS release photos of suspect

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News release from the Edmonton Police Service (EPS)

The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) is assisting the RCMP with the investigation into a tragic incident that claimed the life of an innocent woman last night on 50 Street.

Yesterday, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, at approximately 9:40 p.m. various EPS resources were deployed to the area of 50 Street and 22 Avenue SW at the request of the RCMP. It was reported to police that RCMP attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a suspicious U-Haul in Beaumont, when the vehicle fled. The U-Haul subsequently travelled north on 50 Street into Edmonton, where it struck and killed a woman inspecting the exterior of her vehicle. Moments later the U-Haul came to rest just outside a gas station off of 22 Avenue and 50 Street.

After crashing the U-Haul, the male suspect then reportedly stole a Honda Civic that was parked outside the gas station with a child inside. Police did consider an Alert to the public at the time, though thankfully the child was located unharmed in the area of 66 Street and 25 Avenue minutes later. The suspect then fled the scene in the Honda Civic. The stolen vehicle has since been recovered outside of Edmonton.

The EPS and RCMP continue to actively seek the identity and whereabouts of the male suspect described as being approximately 5’11” who was last seen wearing a black hoodie with white text on the front, brown shorts and black shoes. CCTV photos of the suspect are included below.

“We are incredibly saddened to hear about the tragic death of the innocent woman who was killed on 50 Street,” says Det. Nigel Phillips with the EPS Investigative Response Team. “Our hearts are with her family and friends who will now have to carry on with this unfathomable loss.”

“We are doing everything we can to track down the suspect and we trust the public will help us identify and locate him as soon as possible.”

Assist to identify and locate: Male suspect running in area of 50 Street & 22 Avenue SW
While the RCMP is leading this investigation, the EPS is assisting and working collaboratively with its law enforcement partners.

Anyone with information about the suspect’s identity and/or their whereabouts is asked to contact the EPS immediately at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.p3tips.com/250.

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