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Alberta

Province announces a new High School for Blackfalds and plans for a new Middle School in Red Deer

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Minister LaGrange, Minister Panda and Minister Sawhney announce provincial school capital funding at Nose Creek School in Calgary.

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.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education

“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.”

Prasad Panda, Minister of Infrastructure

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.”

Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Community and Social Services and MLA for Calgary-North East

“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.”

Marilyn Dennis, chair, Calgary Board of Education

The 25 capital projects are:

CommunitySchool AuthorityProject Type/Name
*BeaumontConseil scolaire Centre Nord (Greater North Central Francophone Education Region)new school (K-12)
*BlackfaldsWolf Creek Public Schoolsnew high school (9-12)
Buffalo Head PrairieFort Vermilion School DivisionBlue Hills Community School addition & modernization
Calgary – Auburn BayCalgary Board of Educationnew elementary school (K-4)
Calgary – Auburn BayCalgary Board of Educationnew middle school (5-9)
Calgary – northCalgary Board of Educationnew high school (10-12)
CarstairsChinook’s Edge School DivisionCarstairs Elementary School addition
CochraneCalgary Catholic School Districtnew elementary/junior high school (K-9)
Condor & LeslievilleWild Rose School DivisionDavid Thompson solution modernization/replacement
*Edmonton – south eastEdmonton Public Schoolsnew high school (10-12)
Edmonton – Windermere-KeswickEdmonton Public Schoolsnew elementary/junior high (K-9)
*Edmonton – Heritage Valley Town CentreEdmonton Catholic Schoolsnew high school (10-12)
Edmonton – Windermere/KeswickEdmonton Catholic Schoolsnew elementary/junior high (K-9)
*Fort ChipewyanNorthland School DivisionAthabasca Delta School modernization/replacement
*Grande PrairiePeace Wapiti School DivisionHarry Balfour School replacement
*LangdonRocky View Schoolsnew junior/senior high school (7-12)
*LeducBlack Gold School Divisionnew high school (10-12)
LegalConseil scolaire Centre Nord(Greater North Central Francophone Education Region)new elementary/junior high school (K-9)
MorinvilleGreater St. Albert Catholic SchoolsMorinville Community High School CTS modernization
MorrinPrairie Land School DivisionMorrin School replacement
Peace RiverConseil Scolaire du Nord-Ouest(Northwest Francophone Education Region)École des Quatre-Vents replacement
*Red DeerRed Deer Catholic Regional Schoolsnew middle school (6-9)
Smoky LakeAspen View Public SchoolsH.A. Kostash replacement
*St. AlbertSt. Albert Public SchoolsBellerose Composite High School addition & modernization
WhitecourtLiving Waters Catholic Schoolsnew elementary school (K-3)

*Design funding

Alberta

Alberta politicians swap charges of bullying, misogyny after member ejected

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EDMONTON — Alberta’s Opposition NDP tried and failed Thursday to censure the deputy speaker for evicting one of their members from the house in a day that saw both sides accuse each other of belittling and marginalizing women in politics.

The governing United Conservatives voted down an NDP motion to discuss whether deputy Speaker Nicholas Milliken should still have his job after he ordered NDP member Marie Renaud out of the chamber during debate the evening prior.

Milliken ejected Renaud after she accused UCP members of trying to intimidate her through gestures while she was standing to speak to a bill.

Milliken said Renaud’s comments imputed unfair motives and were disrupting the house, and ordered her to withdraw the comments and apologize.

Renaud withdrew the remarks but would not apologize and was evicted for the balance of the night.

On Thursday, Renaud told reporters she faced mocking gestures, stares and facial expressions to try to throw her off balance during her speech.

“It happens frequently to a lot of women in our caucus. And last night was just bad and I called it out,” said Renaud.

Milliken is a United Conservative backbencher but is expected to be impartial when directing debate from the Speaker’s chair.

NDP house leader Heather Sweet said the NDP made the motion because Milliken failed to not only address Renaud’s concerns but focused the blame on her, calling into question his impartiality.

“It affects every single member from having the ability to stand in this house and to be able to feel freely without harassment to debate with the intent of having the Speaker be a neutral, non-partisan body,” Sweet told Speaker Nathan Cooper in making the motion.

UCP backbencher Laila Goodridge challenged Renaud, telling the house that bullying and intimidation can’t be countenanced but heckling is a part of politics, and having someone focus their attention on you in the house is respectful and appropriate.

“We need to be careful not to label everything and everyone we don’t like as bullying. Not liking something does not make it bullying,” said Goodridge. 

“I would suggest that if someone doesn’t want people looking at them when they speak, perhaps they’re not in the right field.”

The debate was the capstone to a Wednesday that saw typical attacks, insults and angry hyperbole between the NDP and UCP boil over. It even dragged in the memory of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

During debate of a bill that would allow non-constitutional referendums, NDP member Marlin Schmidt pointed out that even conservative icon Thatcher had concerns that referendums can be twisted to curtail minority rights.

“Just let me say that I am no fan of Margaret Thatcher,” Schmidt added.

“If nothing else goes right for me in a day, I can at least count on enjoying the fact that Margaret Thatcher is still dead. And the only thing I regret about Margaret Thatcher’s death is that it happened probably 30 years too late.”

At the direction of the Speaker, Schmidt apologized and withdrew the remarks.

On Thursday, UCP backbencher Miranda Rosin told the house that Schmidt’s remarks make it difficult for women to enter politics.

“The disgusting comments we heard, which celebrated the death of the greatest female leader in the 20th century … will not be encouraging to any woman who wishes to seek elected office,” said Rosin.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 9, 2020

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Three more patients die from COVID-19 outbreak at Edmonton hospital

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EDMONTON — Three more patients linked to a COVID-19 outbreak at an Edmonton hospital have died.

Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro reported the deaths at the Misericordia Community Hospital in a statement on Twitter.

The announcement comes one day after health officials said three patients had died from the illness, and 20 other patients and 15 staff had tested positive.

Alberta Health declared a full outbreak at the facility and said it would not be admitting new patients.

Shandro says his thoughts are with the families of the six patients who have died.

He says his department is monitoring the situation at the hospital and he has full confidence that measures are in place to prevent further spread of infections.

“Our hospitals remain safe, and this outbreak is being managed as safely and effectively as possible,” he said in the statement Thursday.

“I know the physicians, staff and volunteers at the Misericordia are working extremely hard in challenging circumstances, and I thank them for the care they’re providing.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 9, 2020

The Canadian Press

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july, 2020

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