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Alberta

RCMP Investigating Armed Robbery in Wabamun

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Stony Plain/Spruce Grove/Enoch RCMP are investigating an armed robbery at the Lakeside Liquor store in Wabamun, Alberta.

On April 17 just after noon, a man entered the store and demanded money from the till. The man was carrying a knife and had his face covered with a mask. He obtained an undisclosed amount of money and left on foot.  No one was injured.

The suspect is described as:

  • Caucasian
  • Approximately 6’4”
  • Thicker body size but not fat
  • Wearing a red and black plaid jacket over a black shirt with yellow and red on it
  • light coloured ball cap with a dark brim
  • black pants with a stripe down the side
  • white shoes
  • Approximately 30 yrs. old
  • Has a deep voice

If you have any information about this investigation, please call the Stony Plain RCMP at 780-968-7267, or call your local police detachment.  If you want to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), by internet at www.tipsubmit.com, or by SMS.  

Alberta

UPDATE: Mikisew Cree Nation announces their support for the Teck Frontier project

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Teck logo

Update – Premier Kenney on the announcement

Premier Kenney had this to say about the announcement: The Government of Alberta made a promise to ensure our First Nations partners are true partners in prosperity. The Mikisew Cree, and every other First Nation looking to create new opportunities for their people are a part of this effort, and that is why we must highlight their voices. Our Indigenous partners understand that while we utilize the resources we inherit, we also must protect the land, which they have depended on for time immemorial.” – Premier Jason Kenney

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Background:

 from The Mikisew Cree First Nation

February 21, 2020

Wood Buffalo, AB – ​The Mikisew Cree First Nation have announced their support for the approval of the Teck Frontier Project. This decision was made using a community-based decision making framework aimed at ensuring a healthy future for our people and the Peace Athabasca Delta.

The First Nation reached this decision by evaluating the proponent’s environmental and social commitments and the mitigation and accommodation measures being brought to federal and provincial decision-makers against Mikisew’s Nikechinahonan Framework. That framework is aimed at ensuring the project is consistent with the health of Wood Buffalo National Park, the health of traditional resources, and the cultural, physical and social health of the Mikisew community.

Chief Archie Waquan noted that this moment came after a rigorous review of environmental and cultural studies in a 10-year consultation process led by elders and staff. “We applaud Teck, Canada and Alberta for working with us to identify ground-breaking measures to safeguard Wood Buffalo National Park, wood bison and our community. With the long term commitments from Teck, Alberta and Canada, we see a strong path for protecting Wood Buffalo National Park, the Ronald Lake Bison Herd and our culture and community if the project proceeds. That is how we got to today’s decision to confirm our support.”

In making its decision today, Mikisew leadership noted its appreciation for the hard work done by federal officials and the Government of Alberta to take Mikisew’s concerns seriously and contribute meaningful solutions to resolving them. Among other things, this includes actions relating to bison, community well-being, water quality and quantity and the creation of a new protected area. Mikisew urges both governments to commit to uphold and fully endorse the important commitments that have been developed to preserve the environment and culture if the project is approved.

Mikisew also urges both governments to use this process as a blueprint for future resource development decisions. The federal government, through a cabinet decision, stands to make a decision on the project next week.

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Read more on Todayville Edmonton.

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Alberta

Province freezes funds for doctors and launches process to work out a new funding formula

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New physician funding framework announce

Alberta will maintain physician funding at $5.4 billion, the highest level ever, and implement its final offer to the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) to avoid $2 billion in cost overruns.

Existing terms will remain in place until March 31, 2020. A new funding framework will then be introduced, in a multi-year process that will require consultation with the AMA at all stages. The new framework will make changes proposed during negotiations to prevent cost overruns, align benefit programs and administrative fees with those of comparable provinces, and improve services for patients.

The eleven consultation proposals will also be implemented on March 31. This includes phasing in changes to complex modifiers, reducing the rate physicians can charge for this billing code to $9 from $18, for a period of one year before the code is removed in 2021-22. In summer 2020, at the direction of the Minister of Health, the Government of Alberta will also introduce a new alternative relationship plan (ARP) with built-in transition benefits to encourage physicians to move from fee-for-service to a three-year contract.

“Our province is facing cost overruns of $2 billion in the next three years due solely to physician compensation. If left unaddressed, these costs would impede efforts to reduce surgical wait times, improve mental health and addiction services, and expand the number of continuing care beds. Despite repeated efforts, the AMA failed to put forward alternatives that would hold the line on physician compensation. The new framework announced today will prevent cost overruns, allow our province to improve services for patients, and still ensure that Alberta’s doctors are amongst the highest paid physicians in all of Canada.”

Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health

Background

  • The new funding framework will maintain government’s current level of spending on physicians at $5.4 billion.
  • The new funding framework avoids anticipated cost overruns of $2 billion over the next three years.
  • Alberta has been spending more on physician salaries than other provinces, yet most of its health outcomes are below national averages.
  • A doctor in Alberta earns approximately $90,000 more than a doctor in Ontario and physicians’ fees have almost tripled since 2002.

Elements of the new funding framework

  • Changes to Alberta’s complex modifier billing system. The rate physicians are able to charge for complex modifiers will be reduced to $9 from $18 for a period of one year before this billing code is removed in 2021-22. Once the new framework is fully phased in, physicians will be able to bill an additional fee after spending 25 minutes with a complex patient case. Alberta remains the only province in Canada that allows for a top-up payment for complex visits.
  • Removal of the comprehensive annual care plan from the list of insured services. Currently, physicians can also bill for a similar consultation called a comprehensive annual visit. No other province in Canada compensates physicians twice for annual care consultation.
  • Implementation of a new daily cap, modelled after a cap in place in British Columbia, of 65 patients per day. Large patient loads can contribute to physician burnout and may compromise patient safety and quality of care.
  • Removing physician overhead subsidies from all hospital-based services. Physicians who work in AHS facilities should not be billing for overhead costs that their community physician colleagues face, such as leases, hiring staff and purchasing equipment.
  • Ending of clinical payments, or stipends, by AHS to physicians. This change ends duplication of payments to contracted physicians.

Timeline

  • In September 2019, government provided notice to the AMA that it intended to begin negotiations on the AMA Agreement. The notification provided time for the AMA to prepare its proposals.
  • In November 2019, negotiations began with the AMA to reach a new agreement; government began consultations on 11 proposed changes to the schedule of medical benefits (SOMB, or “insured services”).
  • In January 2020, negotiations and consultations proceeded with no agreement reached. Mediation, on both the negotiation and consultation proposals, began January 31 and continued into February.
  • The parties were not able to reach an agreement during mediation.
  • Government will implement its final offer from the negotiating table, including the 11 consultation proposals, on March 31.
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