Olivia and Noah most popular baby names in 2020
Olivia continued a record streak as the most popular baby girl’s name in Alberta in 2020 while Noah remained in the top spot for baby boys.
Alberta families welcomed 49,030 babies in 2020 – 25,160 boys and 23,870 girls. Olivia was the most popular girl’s name for the eighth year in a row, giving it the longest popularity streak for any girl’s name in Alberta since 1980. Noah placed first on the boys’ names list for the second consecutive year.
Other popular names for girls were Emma, Charlotte, Ava and Sophia. Oliver, Liam, Benjamin and William rounded out the top five names for boys.
Alberta remains a province of many cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and many of our youngest members have names reflecting that diversity. Alberta is home to baby girls named Amara, Amaya, Zahra, Zoya, Baani, Danika, Raya, Thalia, Yuna and Chimamanda. Some of Alberta’s youngest boys are named Mateo, Ahmed, Bodhi, Yusuf, Zorawar, Arjun, Gurbaaz, Miguel, Abdul and Idris.
“Last year was difficult for everyone, but every new baby that an Alberta family welcomed brings joy and also hope for the future. Whether parents welcomed their firstborn or a sibling to other children, they can count on the same thing: Alberta is a great place to raise a family and we have a strong future ahead of us.”
In a year unlike any other, positivity seemed to be a popular theme for some new parents, with names like Hope, Peace, Faith, Charity, Joy, Happy and Brave appearing on the list of registered names.
Some parents also seemed to be inspired by athletes (Kobe, Muhammad-Ali, Beckham), mythology (Artemis, Persephone, Aries, Zeus), music (Dre, Zeppelin, Bowie), video games (Zelda, Link, Eevee), literature (Guinevere, Atticus) and places (Cairo, Nile, Phoenix).
- Notable changes to the 2020 lists:
- Isla appeared in the top 10 list for girls for the first time. The name was 12th most popular among girls in 2019.
- Theodore and Levi appeared in the top 10 list for boys for the first time. The names were 19th and 27th most popular among baby boys in 2019, respectively.
- Lily increased in popularity among girls’ names, from 24th most popular in 2019 to ninth in 2020.
- Ethan dropped to 12th place among the most popular boys’ names, after appearing in the top 10 list every year since 2000.
- Historically, girls’ names that held the No. 1 spot for the longest consecutive time period include:
- Jessica: six years (1990-1995)
- Emily: five years (1998-2002)
- Olivia: eight years (2013-2020)
- Historically, boys’ names that held the No. 1 spot for the longest consecutive time period include:
- Matthew: five years (1995-1999)
- Ethan: nine years (2001-2009)
- Liam: seven years (2010-2016)
- The highest birth count recorded in recent history for Alberta was 56,744, recorded in 2015.
- Parents have up to one year to register their child’s birth. As a result, the list of 2020 baby names and birth statistics may change slightly.
Girls’ names and frequency (top 10)
(In brackets is the number of children with each name)
|Place||Girl names (2020)||Girl names (2019)||Girl names (2018)||Girl names (2017)||Girl names (2016)|
|1||Olivia (236)||Olivia (229)||Olivia (235)||Olivia (236)||Olivia (292)|
|2||Emma (184)||Charlotte (188)||Emma (230)||Emma (215)||Emma (249)|
|3||Charlotte (161)||Sophia (181)||Charlotte (175)||Charlotte (187)||Sophia (215)|
|4||Ava (159)||Emma (178)||Emily (164)||Ava (184)
|5||Sophia (151)||Ava (161)||Ava (161)||Emily (159)||Emily (187)|
|6||Amelia (145)||Amelia (159)||Abigail (153)||Abigail (154)||Charlotte (180)|
|7||Isla (133)||Emily (150)||Harper (150)||Amelia (149)||Amelia (172)|
|8||Emily (127)||Abigail (141)||Sophia (146)||Isabella (141)||Abigail (171)|
|9||Lily (123)||Hannah (137)||Amelia (145)||Aria (129)
|10||Abigail (114)||Elizabeth (124)||Elizabeth (130)||Lily (127)||Aria (137)|
Boys’ names and frequency (top 10)
(In brackets is the number of children with each name)
|Place||Boy names (2020)||Boy names (2019)||Boy names (2018)||Boy names (2017)||Boy names (2016)|
|1||Noah (239)||Noah (275)||Liam (225)||Noah (250)||Liam (277)|
|2||Oliver (229)||Liam (234)||Oliver (212)||Liam (244)||Benjamin (252)|
|3||Liam (206)||Oliver (225)||Noah (199)||Benjamin (229)||Lucas (247)|
|4||Benjamin (182)||Ethan (213)||Ethan (188)||Logan (226)||Oliver (230)|
|5||William (178)||Jack (198)||Logan (182)
|Lucas (216)||Noah (228)|
|6||Jack (169)||William (185)||Jacob (181)||William (213)||William (213)|
|7||Lucas (163)||Lucas (174)||William (178)||Ethan (192)||Ethan (205)|
|8||Theodore (159)||Owen (167)||Benjamin (176)||Oliver (190)||Jack (197)|
|9||Levi (153)||Benjamin (163)||Jack (167)||Jack (189)||Lincoln (192)|
|10||Owen (152)||Jacob (162)||Alexander (158)
|Jacob (178)||Owen (189)|
McDavid enters history books, Skinner shines as Oilers top Kings 2-0
Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 300th career goal, against the Los Angeles Kings during third period NHL action in Edmonton on Thursday March 30, 2023.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
By Shane Jones in Edmonton
Connor McDavid scored his 300th career goal, Stuart Skinner made 43 saves for Edmonton’s first shutout of the season and the Oilers defeated the Los Angeles Kings 2-0 on Thursday.
McDavid became the first player in NHL history to have five different 10-game point streaks in a single season, breaking Wayne Gretzky’s record of four in the 1986-87 season.
McDavid also became the fifth player in league history to reach 300 goals and 500 assists before playing 600 career games. Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Peter Statsny and Bryan Trottier are the others.
Evander Kane scored the other for Edmonton (44-23-9), which has won three in a row and gone 12-2-1 in March.
The Oilers also moved ahead of the Kings for second place in the Pacific Division by one point.
Joonas Korpisalo made 35 saves for Los Angeles (43-22-10), which has lost two in a row on the heels on a franchise-high 12-game points streak.
Kane opened the scoring with just 52 seconds left in the first period. Leon Draisaitl made a beautiful behind-the-back spin pass to Kane, who was able to send a one-timer past Korpisalo for his 15th of the season.
Draisaitl picked up his 70th assist and extended his point scoring streak to 11 games on the play.
Skinner was later able to keep the Kings off the board midway through the second period, making a big glove save on Adrian Kempe’s breakaway backhand shot.
Edmonton outshot Los Angeles 27-24 through 40 minutes after a scoreless second period.
McDavid made it 2-0 3:53 into the third period when he picked off a pass and sped away on a short-handed breakaway to score his 61st goal of the season. It was also his fourth short-handed goal of the campaign.
Skinner made huge saves on Vladislav Gavrikov and Viktor Arvidsson in the dying minutes and collected his 10th win in the month of March to set a franchise record for wins in a single month.
The Kings entered the game with a 9-1-2 record in March and the league’s best point percentage for the month, while Edmonton was second. Edmonton leads the NHL with 4.71 goals per game in March, while the Kings are fourth at 4.00. A major difference is that the Kings also had the lowest goals against per game at 2.08 during that span … Edmonton had also scored four or more goals in 11 of its 14 games this month and its power play has operated at 42.3 per cent during their 7-0-1 run coming into the contest. … Edmonton became the first team to have two players record 70 assists in the same season since the 2008-2009 Pittsburgh Penguins and just the 21st team in NHL history to do so … The Kings were without Gabriel Vilardi (upper body), while the Oilers were missing Ryan Murray (back), and Ryan McLeod (upper body).
The Oilers play host to the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday.
The Kings play the third game of a four-game road trip in Seattle against the Kraken on Saturday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 30, 2023.
Appropriate for Alberta premier to discuss COVID case with accused, deputy says
Kaycee Madu shakes hand with Alberta Premier Danielle Smith after he was sworn into cabinet in Edmonton, Monday, Oct. 24, 2022. Madu says it was appropriate for his boss to phone up a pastor charged over pandemic-rule protests and discuss the accused’s upcoming criminal trial. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
By Dean Bennett in Edmonton
Alberta’s deputy premier says it was appropriate for Premier Danielle Smith to phone up a pastor and discuss his upcoming criminal trial on charges stemming from protests over pandemic restrictions.
Kaycee Madu, who is also the province’s former justice minister, said Thursday that Smith is working to make Alberta better, adding that she is free to contact whomever she wants in pursuing that mission.
Opposition NDP Leader Rachel Notley labelled Madu’s comments a dangerous “la la land” rationale and the start of a slippery slope toward a “tinpot dictatorship.”
Smith faces renewed criticism over a leaked phone conservation she had with Calgary pastor Artur Pawlowski in January about his looming criminal trial for his role at a protest over COVID-19 health measures that blocked the United States-Canada border-crossing at Coutts, Alta., in January 2022.
Audio of the call was obtained by the Opposition NDP and played for reporters Wednesday.
In it, Smith is heard commiserating with Pawlowski over her government’s trial tactics, offering to make inquiries on his behalf and saying the Crown is pursuing politically motivated charges against him.
Legal and political observers say the call is a profound breach of the firewall separating politicians from those who decide who gets prosecuted.
Smith has long been critical of COVID-19 masking, gathering and vaccine mandate rules, questioning if they were needed to fight the pandemic. She has called them intolerable violations of personal freedoms.
Madu, when asked by reporters whether it was proper for Smith to have called Pawlowski, said: “COVID policies were divisive for the people of Alberta. I am looking to see us pass that particular era and focus on the people’s priorities.”
He said Smith’s focus as premier has been on things that matter to Albertans, such as affordability, economic growth and taking care of the vulnerable.
“In the course of that particular work, the premier is free to speak with anyone that she wishes to speak with.”
Notley said those remarks, coupled with Smith’s words on the phone call, put Alberta on a slippery path to the politicization of its justice system. She called for an expedited independent inquiry into the matter before the writ is dropped next month for a scheduled provincial election.
“We’re on the verge of a tinpot dictatorship,” Notley said.
“You start ripping apart the fundamental tenets of democracy, you move into dictatorship. It’s that simple.”
Madu moved out of the justice portfolio under former premier Jason Kenney after a third-party report found he tried to interfere in the administration of justice by calling up Edmonton’s police chief to complain about a traffic ticket.
Madu was given a new portfolio under Kenney, then promoted to deputy premier when Smith won the party leadership and became premier in October.
Smith has not spoken to reporters since the audio was released, but in a statement Wednesday reiterated she has acted strictly within the parameters of advice from justice officials and has not spoken directly to Crown prosecutors.
“There is no need for further investigation of this matter,” Smith said in a statement Thursday.
Notley said the call is dramatic and disturbing proof of Smith breaching the judicial firewall.
“You cannot have unfettered power in the office of the premier. There are limits,” Notley said. “Our Constitution for as long as we’ve been a country has said that those limits are defined by an independent judicial system.”
Calgary-based pollster Janet Brown said the controversy will reanimate voter concerns with Smith.
“Why was she even taking a call from someone facing a criminal offence and talking about their criminal charges?” said Brown in an interview.
“This will give undecided voters pause. They will be wondering about her judgment, and her judgment is her Achilles heel.”
Political scientist Duane Bratt said Smith is exerting pressure on the justice system by constantly questioning justice officials about why they are pursuing COVID-19 cases.
“Even if this isn’t about talking to Crown prosecutors, this is clear pressure on (Justice Minister Tyler) Shandro,” said Bratt, with Mount Royal University in Calgary.
Constitutional law professor Eric Adams, with the University of Alberta, said the call threatens public trust in the courts.
“You expose the administration of justice to the reasonable concern of the public that some people have access to the premier and preferential treatment and some people don’t,” said Adams.
“Our system can’t function on that basis.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 30, 2023.
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