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Making money matter to Alberta students

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Alberta’s government is getting students the training they need to better understand saving, budgeting, spending and investing.

To make sure junior and senior high students have the financial knowledge for today’s world, Alberta’s government is releasing a call for grant proposals totaling $1 million. The successful organization, or group of organizations, will work with schools to provide financial literacy programming to students starting in fall 2021.

Students will study financial concepts such as costs, interest, debt, investing, insurance and how the economy affects their lives. This call for grant proposals will expand learning opportunities to students in classrooms across the province.

“For the first time in a meaningful way, financial literacy is being addressed across multiple subjects and grades in an age-appropriate way in our province. Understanding how money works will help students gain confidence, solve practical problems and prepare them for the future.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education

“Strong financial management is the foundation of a successful economy. Likewise, it’s an essential life skill that can add immense value to one’s personal endeavours. This is why I’m proud of the $1 million investment in financial literacy education, which will support our youth transitioning into adulthood and better equip them for personal and professional success.”

Travis Toews, Minister of Finance and President of Treasury Board

“Integrating financial literacy concepts across multiple grades will help to ensure we don’t just prepare students for a successful career, but for a successful life. Teaching financial literacy will empower countless Alberta students with the foundational tools needed not only to manage their finances, but to build their own business. These are essential skills for our changing economy.”

Janet M. Riopel, president & CEO, Edmonton Chamber of Commerce

“It’s never too early to become financially literate. The ability to understand finances, in terms of budgets, income, expenses, saving, borrowing, credit – this is knowledge, skills and practices that will not only last one’s entire life, but enable young Albertans to set themselves up for success and to lead a prosperous life. Students are Alberta’s future entrepreneurs – future business owners, restauranteurs, innovators, creators – all roles that require sound knowledge and insight into finances and budgets. I applaud the Government of Alberta for investing in the financial literacy of Alberta’s next generation.”

Adam Legge, president, Business Council of Alberta

This call for grant proposals builds on successful current financial literacy programs, including those offered by Enriched Academy and Junior Achievement in the 2020/21 school year. These organizations have been working with 39,000 students in Grades 4 to 12 in the past year – in urban and rural communities.

“Normally, the seriousness involved in personal financial literacy can be overlooked when you’re 15 or 16. But through this training, my students and I have been able to have meaningful, quality conversations about investing, credit, debt and so much more.”

Owen Weimer, CALM/physical education/science teacher, Grande Cache High School, and participant in Enriched Academy 2020-21 program

“Before joining Junior Achievement, all I knew was that companies pay their employees, and people have to budget their own money. However, after joining, I learned that there are so many more steps and so much effort goes into this. I’ve also learned all about making decisions that financially benefit a business or individual – break-even points, budgeting, investing, financial management and so many more financial skills. This program has made a change in my life for the better.”

Ellen Fu, student participant, 2020-21Junior Achievement program

By focusing on financial literacy, Alberta’s government aligns with the Ministerial Order on Student Learning released last fall. Developed following consultations with parents, teachers and education experts, it calls for students to acquire competence in managing personal finances.

Financial literacy was also among recommendations from Alberta’s independent curriculum advisory panel. In their report, the panel noted students may leave Grade 12 without the basic skills necessary to transition successfully into life after high school. They recommended financial literacy, work readiness, wellness and goal-setting to enhance student learning.

As part of the work to refocus on essential knowledge in Alberta’s elementary schools, financial literacy is also a key component of Alberta’s draft kindergarten to grade 6 curriculum, under the theme of practical skills. In the draft, all students will study financial literacy in all subjects and grades – from counting coins to creating a budget.

Quick facts

This is a news release from the Government of Alberta.

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Alberta

Three Canadian teams to play in women's hockey Dream Gap Tour in Calgary

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CALGARY — Canada’s top players in women’s hockey will finally get to play real games later this month in Calgary.

The Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association (PWHPA) is holding Canada’s first Dream Gap Tour event in over a year May 24-30 at a Calgary venue yet to be announced.

Sixty players from the PWHPA’s three Canadian hubs in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary will play to determine the Canadian Secret Cup champion.

Secret, which announced a $1-million sponsorship of the PWHPA earlier this year, and the NHL’s Calgary Flames are the financial partners in the event.

Similar COVID-19 quarantine and testing protocols established by Hockey Canada for the world junior men’s hockey championship and national women’s and para hockey camps in Alberta will be incorporated.

Alberta tightened restrictions this week in the face of rising COVID cases, but Alberta Health has approved plans for the women’s tournament, PWHPA operations consultant Jayna Hefford said. 

“They believe the protocols, the quote-unquote bubble that’s been put in place, will secure the safety of our group and Albertans,” the Hockey Hall of Famer told The Canadian Press. “There will be no interaction with the public.”

While the PWHPA’s Calgary plans were in the works before Nova Scotia’s premier pulled the plug on this month’s women’s world championship, the Dream Gap Tour now offers an oasis in what’s been a pandemic hockey desert for the majority of players in the national women’s team pool.

The last real games many of them played came in a PWHPA tournament March 6-8, 2020 in Arizona. The last PWHPA event in Canada was Jan. 11-12, 2020 in Toronto.

The PWHPA’s American chapter has played a handful of games in the United States in recent weeks, although a two-day tournament in St. Louis was postponed from early April to May 16-17.

Canada’s mandatory 14-day quarantine upon return from outside the country kept Canadian players from participating in the U.S. games.

Stricter health regulations across Canada also made skating together in groups impossible at times and planning actual games in the country a non-starter.

“It’s been so challenging,” Hefford said. “We had to try to encourage our players to be patient early on in the season, and even in early 2021 we continued to reiterate we would only host events if we could feel really comfortable about the safety of everyone involved.”

The PWHPA, which includes Canadian and U.S. national team players, rose from the ashes of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League that folded in 2019. 

The goal of the roughly 150 players is a sustainable league that offers the competitive supports and training environments the male pros get, and wages that allow them to be professional athletes.

They’ve so far refused to join the six-team National Women’s Hockey League, which recently announced a doubling of each team’s salary cap to US$300,000 for next season. The Toronto Six is the lone Canadian club in that league.

The PWHPA held a series of Dream Gap Tour tournaments and events across North America in 2019-20 before the global pandemic brought the sporting world to its knees.

The pandemic continued to impede women’s hockey internationally and domestically.

The women’s world championship in Nova Scotia was cancelled a second straight year, although Hockey Canada is committed to hosting the tournament in August in a location yet to be named.

January’s world under-18 women’s championship in Sweden was called off, while a men’s under-20 champion was crowned in Edmonton that month.

The men’s world under-18 championship in Texas concludes Thursday. The men’s world championship is scheduled to open in just over two weeks on May 21 in Riga, Latvia.

The NHL, men’s minor pro leagues and major junior’s Western Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League all operated in some form this winter.

Calgary’s Scotiabank, Toronto’s Sonnet and Montreal’s Bauer squaring off for a trophy and prize money can help revive the visibility of women’s hockey in Canada, Hefford said.

“We represent the players and we want to see them out there,” she stated.

“We have partners that have been so loyal and committed, so helpful in this process to move this forward, get the women back on the ice. 

“It seems like men’s hockey has gone on and we continue to hit these hurdles. 

“I hope this is a great opportunity for the women to play, but also for people to see the best of women’s hockey on the ice again.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2021.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

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Canadian Natural reports $1.38B Q1 profit, record quarterly production

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CALGARY — Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. reported a first-quarter profit of nearly $1.38 billion compared with a loss a year ago.

The oilsands producer says the profit amounted to $1.16 per diluted share for the quarter ended March 31.

The result compared with a loss of $1.28 billion or $1.08 per diluted share a year ago.

Revenue totalled $6.6 billion, up from $4.5 billion in the first three months of 2020, helped by higher oil and natural gas prices.

Production in the quarter was a record 1,245,703 barrels of oil equivalent per day, up from 1,178,752 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the first quarter of 2020.

On an adjusted basis, Canadian Natural says it earned $1.03 per diluted share compared with an adjusted loss of 25 cents per share last year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:CNQ)

The Canadian Press

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