Has Alberta become a welfare state? Have Albertans become the largest welfare recipients on a per capita basis?
Being old, I remember the terms; welfare and pogey. Welfare was the provinces’ responsibility for people who could not work and did not qualify for unemployment cheques or pogey. Welfare and Pogey were things to be avoided, if at all possible.
I remember make work projects for welfare recipients where they were hired, for jobs, just long enough to qualify for pogey, (or unemployment cheques or employment insurance cheques).
There were times when I felt piqued when a welfare recipient called their cheques paycheques. I was young, healthy, could find a job, make good money and I thought everyone but a few could do the same.
When you are dealing with frostbite, a short-handed crew, swinging a sledgehammer against an unyielding flange at -45, you don’t have a lot of kind words for those “getting money for nothing watching their MTV”.
Corporate welfare was another sore point, none of that money trickled down to the camps or the leases. Suits drove nicer, newer cars and wore fancier suits while I still had to work in bad weather to pay for my pick up truck needed to get to work.
Times have changed, cheques have become direct deposit, welfare, corporate welfare, and pogey have new names but they are still wefare. One term bandied about is “CERB”.
There are news stories and graphs that show that Alberta, Albertans, Alberta businesses, Alberta groups are the highest recipients of this welfare called CERB.
Former Prime Minister Harper collected CERB for his consulting firm, Premier Kenney’s UCP the governing party of Alberta collected CERB while the official opposition’s party, the NDP, did not.
Alberta has collected the most welfare money from Trudeau’s government than any other province on a per capita basis and yet has allocated the least to Covid related programs. Leaving it to help lower the deficit in April, would be my guess.
Interesting enough a lot of Albertans fattened up their savings and did not spend their welfare funds on necessities to survive. Crews are working short handed, some claim that CERB disenfranchises people from working.
What happened over the last 5 decades? Are Albertans now, only in it for the easy money? I would like to think that Albertans, as a whole, are hard working, industrious folks that may have fallen into the mob mentality of easy money, ripe for the taking.
Will we return to the time when Albertans are proud of their accomplishments, their hard work, the hardships they endured, or will they talk about their “Money for nothing, watching their MTV.”
Edmonton triples venture capital investment in 2023
Alberta’s tech sector continues its strong momentum, with Edmonton seeing its strongest growth ever, proof Alberta remains a hot tech market.
As global and national investment have declined, Alberta has remained a strong tech market and is showing continued leadership, as shown by Pitchbook ranking Calgary as the 12th fastest-growing tech ecosystem in the world and LinkedIn ranking Calgary as one of the best places to hire and recruit tech workers.
At the end of 2023, Alberta’s five-year growth rate for venture capital dollars invested reached an impressive 48.5 per cent, more than triple Canada’s compounded average growth rate of 13 per cent, according to the 2023 Canadian Venture Capital Private Equity Association fourth-quarter report.
The province’s growth rate means Alberta finished 2023 with $707 million invested over 86 deals, in line with Alberta’s 2022 record-breaking year. In contrast, Canada ended the year with a 31 per cent decline in investments. Over the past five years, Alberta technology companies have secured more than $2.7 billion in venture capital funding across 350 deals, creating thousands of jobs for Albertans.
“While Canada as a whole saw massive declines, Alberta has held steady. We are a major venture capital player in Canada, as technology drives growth across all sectors.”
Alberta’s two largest cities continued to attract investment dollars in 2023, with Calgary and Edmonton coming in fourth and fifth respectively for number of deals, with $501 million invested in 64 deals in Calgary and $188 million invested in 21 deals in Edmonton. Edmonton saw a 324 per cent increase from $58 million in 2022 to $188 million in 2023. In total, Alberta captured 10.3 per cent of dollars invested in 2023 and 13 per cent of venture capital deals in Canada.
“Edmonton’s tripling of venture capital investment in 2023 underscores our city’s position as a dynamic tech capital within Alberta’s thriving innovation ecosystem, reaffirming our role as a powerhouse driving technological advancement and economic prosperity across diverse sectors. It is the local innovators’ relentless pursuit of solutions to real-world problems, with the continuing support of the Government of Alberta, which not only attracts significant investment but also propels our city to the forefront of Alberta’s tech revolution and fosters job creation for our community.”
“At Platform Calgary we are working with our partners to continue this momentum by linking up high potential tech startups with the investors that can help them take their businesses to the next level. The evidence is clear, Alberta is emerging as one of the most exciting and resilient tech ecosystems in the world. Together with our growing tech community, we can secure Alberta’s position as the best place in the world for anyone to launch and grow a tech business.”
Alberta remains a growing market for the technology and innovation sector, and Alberta’s government celebrates its steady contribution to the Alberta economy, including in the fourth quarter of 2023. The end of last year saw venture capital investments in the province increase by 35 per cent for dollars invested and 19 per cent for deals closed compared with the third quarter. There were 25 deals closed valued at a combined $173 million in the fourth quarter of 2023.
Shining a spotlight on Alberta athletes, sport leaders
Alberta’s government is continuing to support the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, so it can showcase the province’s sport legacy for years to come.
The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame celebrates the accomplishments of more than 1,600 Albertans, from Olympic gold medallists to community sport leaders. To continue supporting this long-standing legacy, the government is providing $302,500 to the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Museum. This funding will support the operations of the facility and the organization’s management and delivery of the annual Alberta Sport Recognition Awards.
“Alberta’s future is stronger when we understand and preserve our history and celebrate our successes. Places like the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame help us do just that. I’m proud our government is supporting it, as it spotlights Albertans with incredible athletic achievements and community contributions.”
“The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame has long been a cherished attraction in our community, offering Albertans inspiration and a window into the remarkable legacy of our athletes and community sport leaders. With our government’s investment in this institution, Red Deer’s tourism will undoubtedly grow, bringing significant benefits to our community and surrounding areas.”
“I am pleased to see the government’s support for the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame continue. This organization enriches the sport community in central Alberta, inspires the next generation of athletes and preserves our province’s history in sport excellence.”
The Hall of Fame provides a space where the accomplishments of the sport community in Alberta are preserved and inspires the province’s future athletes and community leaders. Albertans recognized in the Hall of Fame include Melody Davidson, who was inducted in 2008 for her excellence in hockey, serving as a two-time Olympic gold medal-winning head coach for Team Canada women’s hockey, and Lanny McDonald, who was inducted in 1993 following a long and successful career in professional hockey. Last year, 12 inductees were nominated, including Patrick Jarvis and Theresa Maxwell for their success in Paralympics and volleyball.
This funding will ensure that Albertans can continue to celebrate the province’s turning-point moments and growing legacy in sport.
“We are grateful for the support we have received from the Alberta government. Their funding has played a pivotal role in sustaining the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, allowing us to preserve and celebrate the rich sporting history of our province. This support not only enhances our ability to showcase the achievements of the athletes, teams and sport champions but also reinforces the significant role sport plays in our community.”
“Red Deer proudly stands as a hub for sports excellence, and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame plays a pivotal role in preserving and promoting our province’s rich athletic legacy. The City of Red Deer is grateful for the Alberta government’s continued support, ensuring that this institution continues to inspire future generations by showcasing the remarkable achievements of our athletes and community leaders.”
The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame helps grow tourism in Red Deer and the surrounding area by attracting visitors to the facility to enjoy interactive sport-oriented games and activities and sport memorabilia. In the past two years, an estimated 20,000 people have visited the Hall of Fame annually. Exhibits on different sports and sport organizations, including the Hall of Fame Gallery that showcases the athletes and sport builders who have been inducted annually since 1957, are also available to view.
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