Province announces a new High School for Blackfalds and plans for a new Middle School in Red Deer
From the Province of Alberta
Building schools for the future
Following through on its commitment to continue building new schools, the province has announced 25 new school projects.
The Budget 2019 capital plan supports 15 new schools, including brand new high schools in Calgary, Edmonton, Leduc, Blackfalds and Langdon. Six schools are slated for replacement and four will receive modernization or additions. Together, the 25 projects will receive $397 million.
“We made a promise to Albertans that our government will continue to build new schools, and we are doing exactly that. Through our significant investment in new schools, replacements, modernizations and infrastructure upkeep, our children will continue to learn in up-to-date and safe spaces. This will result in better success in our classrooms. The future is bright for Alberta students.”
“These 25 projects confirm our government’s commitment to continue to build schools across the province. Alberta Infrastructure will continue to deliver key infrastructure projects to build prosperity for Albertans.”
Budget 2019 also includes $1.4 billion over four years to continue work on previously announced school projects across Alberta, which includes $123 million for about 250 new modular classrooms to address the most urgent needs for additional space across the province. There are more than 60 projects underway in the province. Twenty-seven are expected to be open for the 2020-21 school year, and the remaining projects are in various stages of planning and construction.
The province will also provide $527 million to school divisions for plant operations and maintenance to support the day-to-day upkeep of school facilities. Additionally, $194 million will support the capital maintenance and renewal of existing school buildings through the Infrastructure Maintenance and Renewal Program.
“I am pleased that the government chose to make this announcement here in Calgary-North East. Students and families in my community will be relieved to hear that they will be getting the new high school we have needed for a long time. I’m proud that this critical funding was included in Budget 2019, as this was one of my first and most important motivations for why I wanted to represent Calgary-North East at the legislature.”
“On behalf of our students and the Calgary Board of Education, we would like to thank Minister LaGrange and Minister Panda for this important investment in school capital. We are pleased they chose to come to Calgary to make this provincial announcement and look forward to new CBE schools that will benefit students in north Calgary and in the growing community of Auburn Bay.”
The 25 capital projects are:
|Community||School Authority||Project Type/Name|
|*Beaumont||Conseil scolaire Centre Nord (Greater North Central Francophone Education Region)||new school (K-12)|
|*Blackfalds||Wolf Creek Public Schools||new high school (9-12)|
|Buffalo Head Prairie||Fort Vermilion School Division||Blue Hills Community School addition & modernization|
|Calgary – Auburn Bay||Calgary Board of Education||new elementary school (K-4)|
|Calgary – Auburn Bay||Calgary Board of Education||new middle school (5-9)|
|Calgary – north||Calgary Board of Education||new high school (10-12)|
|Carstairs||Chinook’s Edge School Division||Carstairs Elementary School addition|
|Cochrane||Calgary Catholic School District||new elementary/junior high school (K-9)|
|Condor & Leslieville||Wild Rose School Division||David Thompson solution modernization/replacement|
|*Edmonton – south east||Edmonton Public Schools||new high school (10-12)|
|Edmonton – Windermere-Keswick||Edmonton Public Schools||new elementary/junior high (K-9)|
|*Edmonton – Heritage Valley Town Centre||Edmonton Catholic Schools||new high school (10-12)|
|Edmonton – Windermere/Keswick||Edmonton Catholic Schools||new elementary/junior high (K-9)|
|*Fort Chipewyan||Northland School Division||Athabasca Delta School modernization/replacement|
|*Grande Prairie||Peace Wapiti School Division||Harry Balfour School replacement|
|*Langdon||Rocky View Schools||new junior/senior high school (7-12)|
|*Leduc||Black Gold School Division||new high school (10-12)|
|Legal||Conseil scolaire Centre Nord(Greater North Central Francophone Education Region)||new elementary/junior high school (K-9)|
|Morinville||Greater St. Albert Catholic Schools||Morinville Community High School CTS modernization|
|Morrin||Prairie Land School Division||Morrin School replacement|
|Peace River||Conseil Scolaire du Nord-Ouest(Northwest Francophone Education Region)||École des Quatre-Vents replacement|
|*Red Deer||Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools||new middle school (6-9)|
|Smoky Lake||Aspen View Public Schools||H.A. Kostash replacement|
|*St. Albert||St. Albert Public Schools||Bellerose Composite High School addition & modernization|
|Whitecourt||Living Waters Catholic Schools||new elementary school (K-3)|
‘Flared back up’: Alberta town of 8,400 evacuated for second time due to fire
Airtankers work on a wildfire near Edson, Alta., in a Friday, June 9, 2023, handout photo. The town was evacuated Friday night due to an out-of-control wildfire. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Government of Alberta Fire Service
A town in western Alberta was under an evacuation order late Friday due to an out-of-control wildfire — its second such order this spring.
Local officials issued the evacuation for Edson and parts of Yellowhead County.
“We’re still evacuating the community and evacuating the hospital,” said Edson mayor Kevin Zahara.
“All things considered, so far so good — but the next 72 hours are going to be critical for us. We have a lot of warm temperatures in the forecast and it’s windy here right now.
“It’s going to be dependent on those winds and the weather on how this fire behaves.”
Alberta government officials said the fire burning near the community of about 8,400 jumped fire guards and moved closer to populated areas, including the town. They warned that there could be impacts to roads and highways if the fire crossed the guards and blocks evacuation routes.
“Because that fire is so out of control, some of the forestry crews have had to back off,” said Luc Mercier, chief administrative officer for Yellowhead County, in a video statement on one of the town’s Facebook pages. “They can’t fight that fire.”
Mercier said the fire could threaten Highway 16, the main east-west route in the area.
“We have significant concerns with egress along Highway 16 in the coming days,” he said. “The next 36 hours will be paramount with the winds coming forward.”
An update issued at 11 p.m. said live embers and flames were seen in Willmore Park, meaning the fire had crossed the river. The notice said if people had not left the area yet, “now is the time.” Officials said emergency crews were busy with fire operations and would not be able to respond if people needed help.
The Edson area, about 190 kilometres west of Edmonton, saw four new fire starts on Friday, said Mercier.
An unprecedented start to the wildfire season led Alberta to bring in a provincewide state of emergency on May 6. At one point, about 29,000 people were out of their homes in various communities.
The state of emergency was lifted last week.
On Friday afternoon, before the evacuation order was issued for Edson and the surrounding area, about 3,500 Albertans remained out of their homes.
Evacuation buses were leaving from three points in Yellowhead County and five in Edson. An evacuation centre was being set up in Edmonton’s Expo Centre.
Zahara said there had been little threat in the area as recently as four days ago. Hot weather and high winds put a stop to that.
“This fire has flared back up,” Zahara said.
“It’s really important people adhere to the evacuation order.”
He said no services, including fire and medical, would be available in Edson until further notice.
Edson was evacuated for three days in early May by another wildfire.
Zahara said at the time that he thought there was a good chance the town would be lost to the flames.
That evacuation took a heavy financial toll on townspeople through loss of income and unexpected expenses such as hotel rooms, he said.
— By Bob Weber in Edmonton
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 9, 2023.
A look at Alberta Premier Danielle Smith’s new cabinet
Premier Danielle Smith introduced her cabinet Friday, the second one since taking over as United Conservative Party leader in October. Here are the changes at a glance:
Second in command: Mike Ellis retains his Public Safety and Emergency Services portfolio but is also now deputy premier.
Big promotions: Mickey Amery moves from Children’s Services to Justice; Nate Horner moves from Agriculture and Irrigation to Finance; Adriana LaGrange already had a heavyweight title in Education but now takes on enormous responsibilities in Health.
New faces: RJ Sigurdson joins cabinet for the first time in Agriculture and Irrigation; Searle Turton is new in Children and Family Services; Dan Williams gets his first cabinet seat in Mental Health and Addiction.
Returning vets: Jason Nixon, the environment minister and government house leader under former premier Jason Kenney, is back in cabinet handling the Seniors, Community and Social Services post. Ric McIver, dropped from Smith’s first cabinet, returns in his old job of Municipal Affairs. Muhammad Yaseen, a former associate minister of immigration, now has full cabinet rank as minister of Immigration and Multiculturalism; Tanya Fir, former economic development minster under Kenney, is back in Arts, Culture and Status of Women portfolio.
Same faces, new jobs: Rebecca Schulz (Environment and Protected Areas), Brian Jean (Energy and Minerals), Nathan Neudorf (Affordability and Utilities), Joseph Schow (Tourism and Sport), Demetrios Nicolaides (Education), Rajan Sawhney (Advanced Education), Matt Jones (Jobs, Economy and Trade), Peter Guthrie (Infrastructure).
Same faces, same jobs: Nate Glubish (Technology and Innovation), Dale Nally (Service Alberta and Red Tape Reduction), Devin Dreeshen (Transportation and Economic Corridors), Todd Loewen (Forestry and Parks).
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 9, 2023.
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