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Alberta

Premier Notley announces Alberta’s most common baby names for 2018

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From the Province of Alberta

Olivia and Liam were Alberta’s most common baby monikers in 2018, while Harper, Elizabeth and James cracked the top 10 list for the first time in decades.

Alberta welcomed 50,104 babies into the world last year – 25,717 boys and 24,387 girls.  Olivia was the most popular name choice for baby girls for the fifth year in a row, with Emma and Charlotte close behind. Liam has reclaimed the top boy’s name in Alberta, taking the No. 1 spot back from Noah.  Noah dropped from first to third place in the boys’ names list, while Oliver jumped to the second most popular name spot.

“Congratulations to all the new parents, and welcome to all of our new Albertans. As these children grow up, they will shape our future. We are going to help make sure they get a great start, with thousands of affordable child care spaces across Alberta, stronger child and family benefits, and hundreds of new and modernized schools.”

Rachel Notley, Premier

Service Alberta recorded 13,363 different baby names in 2018.  From popular culture to nature, parents found name inspiration from a variety of sources.  Some of the more unique names appear to be inspired by Marvel comics (Loki, Thanos, Captain), Star Wars films (Kylo, Leia, Anakin), books from the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus), places (Ireland, Chicago, Venice), outer space (Galaxy, Jupiter, Moon) and gemstones (Amethyst, Sapphire, Onyx, Diamond).

Very interesting facts

  • Oliver climbed six spots to become the second most popular boys’ name.
  • James cracked the boys’ top 10 list for the first time since 1983.
  • Harper and Elizabeth appeared in the girls’ top 10 list for the first time since records began in 1980.
  • Tied names mean there are 12 names on the boys’ top 10 list, with Logan and Lucas both in the fifth spot, and Alexander and James tied for spot No. 10.
  • Parents have up to a year to register their children’s births. As a result, 2018 baby names lists and birth statistics may change slightly.
  • Albertans can look up more than 95,000 names dating back to 1980 through the Alberta Baby Names App, available for free download on iPhone, iPad and Android devices.
  • Baby names statistics are recorded by the Vital Statistics branch of Service Alberta, and are based on the registration and notice of birth information.
  • A complete list of names is available on the Open Government Portal.

Alberta’s top baby boy names

(In brackets is the number of children with each name)

Place
Boy Names (2018)
Boy Names (2017)
Boy Names (2016)
1Liam (225)Noah (250)Liam (277)
2Oliver (212)Liam (244)Benjamin (252)
3Noah (199)Benjamin (229)Lucas (247)
4Ethan (188)Logan (226)Oliver (230)
5Logan (182)

Lucas (182)

Lucas (216)Noah (228)
6Jacob (181)William (213)William (213)
7William (178)Ethan (192)Ethan (205)
8Benjamin (176)Oliver (190)Jack (197)
9Jack (167)Jack (189)Lincoln (192)
10Alexander (158)

James (158)

Jacob (178)Owen (189)

Alberta’s top baby girl names

(In brackets is the number of children with each name)

Place
Girl Names (2018)
Girl Names (2017)
Girl Names (2016)
1Olivia (235)Olivia (236)Olivia (292)
2Emma (230)Emma (215)Emma (249)
3Charlotte (175)Charlotte (187)Sophia (215)
4Emily (164)Ava (184)

Sophia (184)

Ava (207)
5Ava (161)Emily (159)Emily (187)
6Abigail (153)Abigail (154)Charlotte (180)
7Harper (150)Amelia (149)Amelia (172)
8Sophia (146)Isabella (141)Abigail (171)
9Amelia (145)Aria (129)

Chloe (129)

Chloe (166)
10Elizabeth (130)Lily (127)Aria (137)

Government announcement about Midwives in 2018

This year, more expectant parents than ever before chose a midwife to help support them before and after their baby was born. Of the more than 50,000 babies born in Alberta in 2018, nearly 3,600 parents received the support of a midwife, up from 2,400 three years ago.

“We know choosing the perfect name isn’t the only decision new parents face. We wanted all expectant parents to have more choices when it comes to their pre- and post-partum care, so we increased funding for midwifery and expanded their scope of practice. We recognize the compassion and expertise midwives provide to Alberta families at a key time in their lives. I’m pleased to see so many Albertans taking advantage of their support as they make their journey into parenthood.”

Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health

Midwives serve families with low-risk pregnancies. Care starts during pregnancy and continues after birth. As part of Budget 2016, an additional $11 million was allocated for midwifery services over three years, for a total of $49 million.

The Government of Alberta also expanded midwives’ scope of practice, so they can prescribe, dispense and administer a broader range of prescription drugs, use ultrasound to determine fetal position, administer vaccines and insert intrauterine contraceptive devices. This brings the scope of practice for Alberta midwives in line with many other provinces and territories.

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Alberta

Shares in nursing home companies plunge in the wake of Ontario care scandal

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CALGARY — Shares in a company at the centre of a nursing home scandal in Ontario are falling to new depths on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Shares in Sienna Senior Living Inc. plunged by as much as 8.3 per cent on Thursday to $9.68, a near 10-year low that’s almost 50 per cent less than their $19.64 close on Feb. 18.

The company is the operator of the Altamont Care Community in Scarborough, Ont., named in a Canadian Armed Forces report this week for inadequate care and feeding of residents due to insufficient staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus is blamed for 52 deaths there.

Sienna also operates the Camilla Care Centre in Mississauga, Ont., where at least 61 residents have died after contracting the coronavirus. The province said Wednesday it would take over operations of both Camilla and Altamont, along with three other nursing homes.

Shares in two other Canadian nursing home operators also fell Thursday, although neither has residences mentioned in the military report.

Extendicare Inc. slipped 3.3 per cent for a total drop of 35 per cent so far this year and Chartwell Retirement Residences fell 4.7 per cent for a year-to-date slide of 41.6 per cent.

In a report last week following Sienna’s first-quarter financial results, analyst Yashwant Sankpal of Laurentian Bank Securities said the pandemic’s impact on seniors’ care facilities has created plenty of investor anxiety over the sector’s future profitability.

But the crisis could also lead to more public investment in the sector to allow needed upgrades to the facilities that need it most, he pointed out.

“We believe that given the demographic trends, we as a society would have to come to terms with this situation and look for better solutions than just putting the whole blame on the operators,” the analyst said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:SIA, TSX:EXE, TSX:CSH.UN)

 

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

How to put ‘found money’ generated from pandemic savings to good use

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CALGARY — An elevator salesman in Calgary says two months of working from his house in the northwest part of the city have convinced him there’s no place like home to conduct business.

Tracey Webb says he plans to make his home base his work base permanently after seeing major savings on daily expenses without hurting his performance as a local sales representative for an international elevator company.

“There’s really no change in my productivity, it might even be better, and my pay’s the same,” he said in an interview, adding he’s sharing the two-storey house with his wife Corinne and daughter Sarah, both working full-time from home as school teachers.

“My wife has a station set up in the basement, my daughter is in her room (on the second floor) and I’m in an office on the main floor, so we’re all on different levels.”

The financial benefits of working from home are adding up for the family at a time when most of the city’s businesses are shut down.

In more normal times, Webb said he would be attending hockey and football games, going out for lunch with coworkers or clients, taking part in Friday pub nights and going to movies with his wife, all adding to his expenses even if some of those costs are covered by his employer.

The family is saving “dramatic money” on fuel for their cars, he said, but shopping bills are about the same — although delivered through Amazon more often now than before. Other than takeout food bills, entertainment expenses are almost nil.

Some of the savings are bittersweet, like the $5,000 he estimates it would have cost for a cancelled vacation to San Francisco and San Diego.

The same goes for the substantial savings realized when 24-year-old Sarah’s wedding celebration at a downtown restaurant this summer had to be scaled back to a small ceremony with a deferred reception.

Financial advisers say it’s important that people review and adjust their financial plans when faced with unexpected savings or costs.

“When we come into found money — and that’s what people have right now if they’re both still working and not paying as much expenses — it’s just super important we make that money work for us for the long-term,” said Mark Kalinowski, financial educator for the Credit Counselling Society.

About half of the people he deals with are still earning their usual income while working from home, he said, while the rest are less fortunate, struggling to make ends meet after being laid off or losing part of their income because of the economic downturn.

Less driving means savings on fuel and possibly auto insurance, said Kalinowski. Not commuting means no need for transit passes, with savings of $100 or more per month.

Hundreds of dollars are being saved by not going out for lunch or coffee or snacks and staying home instead of going to the theatre or other events. Parents are saving hundreds of dollars through refunds on school bus fees and not paying for summer camps or sports for the children.

The suddenness of the lockdowns to try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus serve as a reminder of the importance of having an emergency savings account, he said.

People should look to build such a fund, even if just $1,000 or $2,000, as a first priority for their savings.

The next priority should be making sure there’s money to pay any income taxes owing by the extended Canada Revenue Agency deadline of Sept. 1 to avoid penalties.

Next, pay down debt, starting with the highest interest rate account, usually the credit card. When it’s paid off, put it away for a while, he said.

If there’s still money, top up your tax-free savings account or registered retirement savings plan, he advises.

“During normal times, people are always so busy, right? It takes a lot of discipline to get on top of your finances and budget,” said Jeet Dhillon, vice-president and senior portfolio manager with TD Wealth.

“I always say, if you’re not going to look at it now when you have so much time, when will you?”

When calculating your work-from-home savings, it’s important to separate permanent savings, like foregone haircuts, and deferred savings, like putting off buying a new car, she said.

No one is going to spend money to catch up on their missed barber appointments, but they will probably eventually need to buy that car and should budget for it.

Tracey Webb’s satisfaction in his day-to-day savings over the past two months have been offset by his dismay over the performance of his retirement investment portfolio as the pandemic weighs heavily on markets around the globe.

His investment losses have helped him resist the urge to run out and spend the money he’s saved by working from home.

Still, he admits there’s one area where expenses have unexpectedly been on the rise.

“Because you’re home all the time, you’re looking at things. So I’ve been fixing things and that costs me a little bit of money,” he said.

“We just got new patio furniture.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2020.

Dan Healing, The Canadian Press

Violent protests rock Minneapolis for 2nd straight night


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