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Alberta

The UnDad turns family life into art

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4 minute read

Trent Wilkie has been an actor, a writer, a producer, a journalist and a wilderness guide. But the hardest job he’s ever had is being a parent.

The UnDad Podcast gives the father of two a chance to explore the highs and lows of raising tiny humans, and the bigger topic of family and how it forms us.

Sometimes he interviews someone about being a parent or what it was like to be a kid; sometimes we get a piece of his endlessly creative mind with original stories and soundscapes; and sometimes we get a window into his home life through cameos by his wife Elizabeth and his children, ages two and four.

“My biggest influence is my wife,” he says. “She sets me straight and keeps me focused.”

The UnDad was named best podcast and best family blog in last year’s Best of Edmonton survey. Here’s a bit more about the father of the show:

Q. What will people get out of listening to your podcast?

A. It is not only a parenting podcast, it is an art piece. It is more about existing than selling a product. I create, and this is one of my favourite mediums.

Q. What podcasts do you listen to and why?

A. I listen to Revisionist History, Reply All, and The Last Podcast On The Left. They are entertaining. It isn’t so much the content, but the way it is served. That is the magic spot.

Q. What is the most interesting comment you’ve received from a listener?

A. “My husband was worried about being on your podcast, but I’d like to say thank you. He answered questions that were meaningful, that respected his position in life. You offered him an outlet, that is awesome.”

Q. Do you have any unusual hobbies or talents that would surprise your listeners?

A. I have been a canoe guide for 10 years. I’ve written for the CBC, Fangoria, and countless other high-profile publications. I’ve done a lot. It has made me who I am.

Q. If you could have any guest on your podcast, who would you choose?

A. I’d like to have Stephen King or Cormac McCarthy.

Q. Write your own epitaph — what would it say?

A. ‘Tis a fearful thing to love what death can touch.

Q. What has been your favourite episode so far?

A. I like two: the interview with Gaia Willis and one titled I Love The Rain. The interview with Gaia is my bread and butter. Pure journalistic anthropology. The other is an artistic soundscape that I conceptualized on my own and brought to life.

Be sure to connect with The UnDad on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Each week Todayville will introduce you to members of the Alberta Podcast Network so you can learn more about the many podcasters in Alberta. You can find The UnDad and dozens of other shows at albertapodcastnetwork.com.

About Alberta Podcast Network

The Alberta Podcast Network, powered by ATB, is on a mission to:

Help Alberta-based podcasters create podcasts of high quality and reach larger audiences;
Foster connections among Alberta-based podcasters;
Provide a powerful marketing opportunity for local businesses and organizations.

Alberta Podcast Network Ltd. is pursuing this mission with funding from ATB Financial and support from other sponsors.

Todayville is an independently-owned digital media company. We specialize in helping community groups, local businesses and organizations tell their story. Our team has years of media and video production experience. Talk to us about advertising, brand journalism stories, opinion pieces, event promotion, or other ideas you have to make our product better. We also own and operate Todayville Red Deer and Todayville Calgary.

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Alberta

Two deputy chief medical officers resign from their positions with Alberta Health

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Edmonton – Alberta’s two deputy chief medical officers of health are leaving their roles — less than a month after Dr. Deena Hinshaw was removed as the province’s top doctor.

Health Minister Jason Copping confirmed during question period Wednesday that both of the doctors have submitted letters of resignation.

“They are still continuing to work at this point in time,” he said in the legislature. “We are in the process of actually looking to fill those roles.”

A statement from Alberta Health said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra and Dr. Jing Hu, who are listed as public health physicians on the department’s website, have given notice.

When reached by her department email, Salvaterra responded: “Unfortunately, we are not able to comment.”

She later added that she respects and admires both Dr. Hinshaw and Dr. Hu.

“They are brilliant, hard-working, and compassionate public health physicians and I consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to work alongside them for these past 14 months.”

Salvaterra, who has extensive public health experience including as the medical officer of health for Peterborough, Ont., joined the office in October 2021.

Her career in public health includes work in “the COVID-19 response, mental health, the opioid response, women’s health, poverty reduction, health equity, community food security and building stronger relationships with First Nations.”

Hu’s out-of-office message said her “last day at work with Alberta Health was Nov. 18, 2022,” and noted she wouldn’t have access to the department email after that date.

She got extensive training in China and at the University of Calgary before joining the health department in January 2020.

Their resignations came within a month of Hinshaw, who became the face of Alberta’s public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, being removed from her position.

Hinshaw was replaced by Dr. Mark Joffe, a senior executive member of Alberta Health Services, on an interim basis.

“Dr. Joffe will be supported by medical officers of health within AHS, by other staff in the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, and by the Public Health Division,” said the statement from Alberta Health late Wednesday.

“We expect these changes to have no impact on the department’s and Dr. Joffe’s ability to meet the requirements of the Public Health Act.”

Hinshaw’s dismissal didn’t come as a surprise.

Premier Danielle Smith announced on her first day in office in October that she would be replaced.

Smith has made it clear that she blames both Hinshaw and Alberta Health Services for failing to deliver the best advice and care for Albertans as the hospital system came close to buckling in successive waves of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A lot of the bad decisions were made by Alberta Health Services on the basis of bad advice from the chief medical officer of health,” Smith told reporters on Oct. 22.

Smith has not placed the blame on front-line doctors and nurses but broadly on AHS senior management. Joffe, while serving as chief medical officer of health, retains his role in AHS senior management as a vice-president responsible for areas in cancer and clinical care.

Hinshaw, an Alberta-trained public health specialist, became a celebrity of sorts in the first wave of the pandemic in the spring of 2020, as she delivered regular, sometimes daily, updates to Albertans on the virus, its spread and methods to contain it.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 7, 2022.

— By Colette Derworiz in Calgary.

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Alberta

Alberta introduces bill for $2.8 billion in inflation-fighting payouts, rollbacks

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Edmonton – The Alberta government has introduced legislation to implement inflation-fighting rebates and payouts announced recently by Premier Danielle Smith.

Affordability Minister Matt Jones says the changes allow for help for families, seniors and the vulnerable soon.

Middle- to lower-income families, those with a household income of less than $180,000 a year, are to get $600 over six months for each child under 18 years of age.

The same income threshold and benefit applies to seniors, and the payout will also go to those on disability supports.

There will be electricity rebates and the 13 per cent provincial tax on gasoline is suspended from January to June.

The total cost of the package is pegged at $2.8 billion.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 7, 2022.

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