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Alberta

National recognition for RDC’s Alternative Energy Initiative

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RDC’s Alternative Energy Initiative recognized nationally as a leader in sustainability

Red Deer College’s commitment to environmental stewardship has been recognized on the national stage with two honours.

The College is proud to be recognized by Clean50 for its use of sustainable technologies to provide learning and research opportunities for students, faculty and industry partners, as well as to reduce its energy consumption. In addition, RDC’s Alternative Energy Lab has received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification from Canada Green Building Council.

Clean50 Top Project for 2021

RDC’s Alternative Energy Initiative has been named one of Canada’s Clean50 Top Project Award (https://clean50.com) winners and this project has been declared a Clean50 Top Project for 2021.

Clean50 celebrates innovation among organizations who contribute to a sustainable low-carbon Canadian economy to expedite collaboration and constructive change.

“RDC takes great pride in receiving this national recognition as a leader in sustainable technology, through the reduction of the College’s overall carbon footprint,” says Dr. Peter Nunoda, RDC President. “The Alternative Energy Lab, which is part of the College’s larger Alternative Energy Initiative, is a hub for alternate energy education and research, in addition to providing RDC’s faculty and students with opportunities to collaborate with, and support, central Alberta businesses.”

RDC’s Alternative Energy Initiative provides a framework to guide the College’s development as an alternative energy technology leader, reducing operational utility demands and costs.

The project submitted by RDC to Clean50 highlighted initiatives such as the College’s installation of more than 4,200 solar panels, which is the largest array among Canadian post-secondary schools, as well as a combined heat and power unit, replacement of exterior lighting with new energy efficient LEDs, and the Alternative Energy Lab, which is a vital teaching and learning space.

“RDC’s alternative energy projects play a significant role in reducing the institution’s carbon footprint which positively impact RDC’s operations and the environment. Electricity production at the College from alternative energy sources equates to powering 1,300 homes or removing 1,100 cars off the road each year,” says Jason Mudry, RDC’s Director of Campus Management.

“These projects also help RDC drastically reduce its utility costs by up to $750 thousand annually. These savings provide funds for use in other educational and operational initiatives.”

RDC’s Alternative Energy Initiative has vastly trimmed RDC’s use of external sources of electricity. At times, the College is able to sell power to surrounding communities in central Alberta as the largest independent electrical producer in Red Deer.

LEED Silver Certification for RDC’s Alternative Energy Lab

The College’s Alternative Energy Lab is among the newest learning spaces on RDC’s main campus, opening in 2019. This nationally-recognized LEED Silver certification highlights the College’s efforts to ensure the Lab embodies sustainability in its design, construction and ongoing operation.

“RDC’s Alternative Energy Lab offers tremendous value to a variety of stakeholders, including to more than one thousand students annually in a wide range of programs,” says Kylie Thomas, RDC Vice President Academic & Research. “The Lab enhances the entire immersive alternative energy educational experience for our students by offering an engaging platform to learn about these systems and apply their knowledge and skills to real-world situations. These incredible opportunities help prepare our learners for a variety of promising careers in the growing sector of alternative energy.”

Canada Green Building Council recognized RDC’s Alternative Energy Lab with LEED Silver certification for reasons including:

  •   the facility was built with a high-performance building envelope that has about fifty per cent more insulation value than a typical building
  •   an extensive photovoltaic array attached to the building that produces a significant amount of electricity for use in the Lab and other locations of main campus
  •   the Lab uses high-efficiency building mechanical systems to reduce energy consumption

    RDC is also LEED certified with its Four Centres and Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. RDC’s new Residence was also designed with sustainability in mind, as it is constructed with renewable structural materials and a high-performance building envelope.

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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