News Releases from the Province of Alberta and the City of Red Deer
Red Deer recovery community moving ahead
A 10-acre parcel of land in north Red Deer will be the new home of the 75-bed recovery community.
Alberta’s government and the City of Red Deer worked together to pick the location within the Chiles Industrial Park, directly adjacent to Highway 2A. Construction of the recovery community is anticipated to start this fall.
“Supporting people to find their path to long-term recovery remains a commitment of our government – but we can’t reach this goal alone. Thank you to the City of Red Deer for their dedication to working together to find a site that considers the needs of those seeking support, businesses, local residents and the community as a whole.”
“Thanks to the work of officials at Alberta Infrastructure, in partnership with the City of Red Deer, we are another step closer to having a new home to better support Albertans suffering from addictions on their path to recovery.”
Recovery communities, also known as therapeutic communities, are a form of long-term residential treatment for addiction and used in more than 65 countries around the world.
“The identification of the location of the future therapeutic community marks an important next step towards a solution to many of the health and social challenges our community has contended with for years due to lack of comprehensive health and social infrastructure and programming in our city and region. This project will help respond to the long-standing need for local residential addictions treatment to help address community impacts of the national drug crisis.”
“This announcement means we are one step closer to adding this life-saving support to our community. While new to Alberta, recovery communities have proven to be effective in helping individuals reach long-term addiction recovery. I look forward to the positive difference this new support will have.”
“Addictions have the capacity to disconnect our wills and rob us of the power to decide, inflicting suffering on ourselves, our families and communities. I’m proud to be part of a government focused on supporting Albertans seeking to become free from addictions. Recovery communities are special places, where individuals love and serve each other in their individual journeys to recovery. These are places of miracles, blessing and healing our neighbours, families and communities. This is very exciting news!”
Alberta’s government is committed to a recovery-oriented system of care that provides easy access to a full continuum of services. A $140-million investment over four years is supporting the addition of new publicly funded treatment spaces; the elimination of daily user fees for publicly funded residential addiction treatment; and services to reduce harm, such as the Digital Overdose Prevention System app, the introduction of nasal naloxone kits and the expansion of opioid agonist therapy.
This $140-million commitment is in addition to the more than $800 million Alberta Health Services spends annually to provide mental health and addiction services in communities across the province.
- Alberta’s government is investing in mental health and addictions:
- $140 million over four years to enhance the mental health and addiction care system and create more publicly funded treatment spaces. This funding includes $40 million specifically to support the opioid response.
- More than $53 million to implement more online, phone and in-person mental health and addiction recovery supports to make it easier for Albertans to access services from anywhere in Alberta during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
- For anyone using opioids, naloxone kits are available free of charge at pharmacies across the province. Call 911 in an emergency.
- The Addiction Helpline, a 24-7 confidential toll-free service, at 1-866-332-2322, can provide support, information and referral to services. Treatment can also start right away by calling the Virtual Opioid Dependency Program (VODP) seven days per week at 1-844-383-7688.
From the City of Red Deer
Province finalizes site for future therapeutic community
The future location for a therapeutic community in Red Deer was announced today, with the Provincial Government identifying 10 acres of land within the Chiles Industrial Park as the future site in Red Deer. The facility, announced on June 18, 2020, will be home to 75 treatment beds and will provide long-term residential treatment to individuals struggling with addiction.
- Where will the future therapeutic community be located?The 10 acres of land identified for development of the Provincial residential treatment community is located approximately one kilometre north of Highway 11A and Gaetz Avenue, in the Chiles Industrial Park, directly adjacent to Highway 2A in north Red Deer.
- How was the location chosen?The Province of Alberta and City of Red Deer worked collaboratively to select a location that responds to the long-standing need for residential treatment in Red Deer. The site was selected as there is enough available land for the self-contained facility, it is away from the urban core but still accessible to community services such as health care, and is vacant and able to be temporarily developed within the timeframe needed.
Ten acres of land located in the Chiles Industrial Park in north Red Deer was identified as the future site for the facility. This site respects the needs of future clients, businesses, residents and the entire community in mind.
- Who owns the land, which is designated for the future therapeutic community?Formerly owned by The City of Red Deer, the Province of Alberta signed an agreement to purchase the land from The City of Red Deer with the intent to build a therapeutic community. The agreement is in place for five to ten years, and if the Government of Alberta chooses to move the facility to another site, the land will return to The City of Red Deer.
- When will the land be developed?The transfer of the land will occur on or before fall of 2021, with the Province currently indicating it plans to start accepting clients by the end of the year. Development is expected to begin this summer.
- What zoning and approval processes are needed before development can proceed?The Province of Alberta has indicated they intend to get the facility up and running as quickly as possible, and will be responsible for zoning and policy considerations. Citizens with questions or concerns about approvals and development processes can reach out to the Ministry of Infrastructure, or to our local MLAs (Mr. Jason Stephan, MLA for Red Deer South or the Honourable Adriana LaGrange, MLA for Red Deer North: www.assembly.ab.ca/members/members-of-the-legislative-assembly).
- Who will operate the future therapeutic community?The site will be owned by the Province, and operated by an accredited agency. The Provincial Government will be launching a formal request for proposal (RFP) process to select an agency to operate the facility.
- How much will the future therapeutic community cost?The estimated cost for the future facility is still to be determined, with all funding coming from The Province of Alberta as part of its economic recovery plan. There is no City of Red Deer operating investment into this facility. The City, however is contributing in-kind capital contributions through a utility connection to bring water and sewer servicing to the development as well as providing some additional landscaping for the area.
From The Mayor of Red Deer
Mayor Veer responds to Provincial therapeutic community announcement on behalf of City Council
The identification of this land marks the next step towards a solution to many of the health and social challenges our community has contended with for years due to lack of comprehensive health and social infrastructure and programming in our city and region. This project will help respond to the long-standing need for local residential addictions treatment to help address community impacts of the national drug crisis.
Located approximately one kilometer north of Highway 11A and Gaetz Avenue in the Chiles Industrial Park, directly adjacent to Highway 2A and outside the urban core, this site respects the anticipated needs of future clients who are being treated for their addictions, while considering the needs of businesses and the entire community in mind. This location also repurposes underutilized public lands.
Development is expected to occur this summer, with all further development processes and approvals now under the jurisdiction of the Province of Alberta.
On behalf of my fellow members of Council, I would like to extend our thanks to the Government of Alberta for hearing us and fulfilling this long-standing imperative for our community, and for supporting us in our call for securing a residential treatment site in Red Deer.
Citizens with questions or concerns about approvals and development processes can reach out to the Ministry of Infrastructure, or to our local MLAs (Mr. Jason Stephan, MLA for Red Deer South or the Honourable Adriana LaGrange, MLA for Red Deer North: www.assembly.ab.ca/members/members-of-the-legislative-assembly).”
Provincial funds help build biofuel plant at Lethbridge reducing emissions equivalent to 41,000 homes
Diversifying the economy with cutting-edge tech
The Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund is supporting a new facility in southern Alberta that will create jobs and cut emissions by transforming agricultural waste.
Alberta’s government is using $4.7 million from the TIER fund through Emissions Reduction Alberta to create a $28.6-million facility in Lethbridge that will produce an estimated 70 million litres of high-value renewable fuel. This facility will be the first of its kind in Canada, turning local agricultural waste, inedible animal fats and used cooking oil into biodiesel fuel and glycerin.
The facility will buy more than $375 million of local feedstock from farmers over the next five years, generating about $500 million in revenue and supporting up to 130 local jobs in fields like engineering, construction and transportation. It will also cut about 224,000 tonnes of emissions each year – the same as reducing emissions from the electricity used by 41,000 homes.
“Alberta is home to world-renowned expertise on cutting agricultural emissions, and the Canary Biofuels facility is another world-class project Alberta’s government is supporting to diversify the economy and create jobs. I’m pleased to see the expansion of another groundbreaking Alberta-based technology that is cutting emissions and getting Albertans back to work.”
The facility’s biodiesel will have up to one-third the carbon intensity of petroleum diesel. The renewable fuel produced at the facility has also been pre-sold to a leading Canadian supplier of biodiesel whose customers include fuel retailers, wholesalers, distributors and fleet managers across Canada and the United States. This builds on Alberta’s strong record of environmental, social and governance actions.
“As world leaders in agricultural emission reductions, Alberta farmers will be key beneficiaries of the renewable diesel produced at this facility. Projects like this showcase the steps Alberta is taking to diversify the economy with cutting-edge technology and to create local jobs and opportunities.”
“Emissions Reduction Alberta continues to identify and invest in opportunities that accelerate the innovation required to strengthen Alberta’s economy and reduce greenhouse gases. Canary’s project will create new revenues for western Canadian agricultural producers and help meet the growing North American demand for biodiesel. This project is another example of what can happen when government, industry and entrepreneurs come together to deliver better economic and environmental outcomes.”
This funding is part of the province’s commitment of up to $750 million for emissions reduction and economic diversification programs and projects through the TIER fund and other funding that will directly support about 9,000 jobs and inject $1.9 billion into Alberta’s economy.
“Canary Biofuels is Alberta’s first Generation 2 biodiesel producer with its flagship facility in Lethbridge. Canary is excited to lead the path in Alberta in abating emissions through sustainable waste-based biodiesel production that supports the energy and agriculture industries in Alberta and the Prairies. Canary would like to thank all its investors and partners, including the Government of Alberta, for their tremendous support. Canary is proud to support Alberta in creating new jobs and helping Alberta industry on its journey to net zero.”
“Canadian canola is used in biofuel production around the world because it’s a low-carbon, sustainable and renewable resource. We are excited to see more investment in Lethbridge that will directly benefit canola farmers and Alberta’s agriculture value chain.”
“Canary Biofuels will provide long-term diversified business opportunity for R.K. Heggie Grain and Transmark. Local canola producers will have direct market access to the growing biofuel industry, and the livestock industry will get a much-needed supply of canola meal. Canary Biofuels is natural fit with R.K. Heggie Grain and Transmark to provide the company with feedstock for the plant and rail infrastructure to the get finished product to international markets.”
The TIER system is funded by large industry that pay into the fund when they do not meet emissions targets. Alberta is using the TIER fund for a range of programs that are reducing emissions, boosting the economy and getting Albertans back to work.
- The new Canary Biofuels facility is expected to be operational by fall 2021.
- TIER helps industrial facilities, which account for more than 60 per cent of Alberta’s total emissions, find innovative ways to reduce emissions and invest in clean technology to save money and stay competitive.
- Emissions Reduction Alberta invests revenues from TIER to accelerate the development and deployment of innovative clean technology solutions.
- Since 2009, Emissions Reduction Alberta has committed $649 million toward 204 projects worth $4.5 billion that are reducing emissions, creating competitive industries and leading to new business opportunities in Alberta. These projects are estimated to deliver cumulative reductions of almost 35 million tonnes of emissions by 2030.
Sentencing delay for men found guilty of flouting Alberta COVID-19 rules
CALGARY — Sentencing arguments for an Alberta pastor and his brother found guilty of contempt after deliberately violating COVID-19 health orders have been put over until September.
Artur Pawlowski and his brother Dawid Pawlowski were arrested in May and accused of organizing an illegal gathering as well as promoting and attending an illegal gathering.
The arrests came after court orders were granted allowing Alberta Health Services and police to arrest and charge anyone who advertised gatherings that would breach health restrictions.
Last month, Justice Adam Germain ruled that Alberta Health Services had proven “nearly to absolute certainty” that the two Calgary men were “guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of contempt.”
Discussions on possible sanctions were set for Tuesday, but the lawyer for the Pawlowskis asked for a delay since Alberta Health Services was preparing further affidavits against her clients.
The health provider has indicated it will be seeking 21 days of jail time for the two men.
Germain granted the delay to make sure that defence lawyer Sarah Miller had time to prepare her arguments.
“Frankly, on a matter of this nature, where you have what some legal authorities might describe as an almost public contempt, bordering on criminal contempt … I’m going to give her every opportunity to vigorously defend her clients,” said Germain.
Alberta Health Services has indicated it is seeking 21 days of jail time for the two men.
The judge said the delay might give the court a better understanding of COVID-19 in remand centres and provincial correction institutions.
“There are people who doubt the COVID-19. I can look at the death or morbidity statistics as much as any other judge and it’s a real issue,” Germain said.
“If COVID is running wild in the institutions, we don’t want the 21-day jail sentences that you’ve asked for.”
Germain said he might consider the “unique risks” of someone going to jail. He said the Pawlowskis’ lawyer could have a number of arguments for why they’re not vaccinated, including illnesses that prevent vaccinations.
“Maybe there’s an outbreak in the prison system. All of those things may influence the decision.”
The case is to return to court Sept. 13.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 27, 2021.
Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press
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