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Alberta

Province setting up Alberta Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons

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Fighting human trafficking with community partners

Alberta’s government is partnering with three community organizations and investing $4 million to create the Alberta Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons.

Human trafficking is a serious crime that violates the freedoms and rights of individuals, including children, and attempts to destroy all personal identity and relationships. The three main categories of human trafficking are sex trafficking, labour trafficking and the trafficking of organs. Between 2011 and 2021, more than 3,500 incidents of human trafficking were reported across Canada. Many incidents go unreported, often due to fear among victims and survivors.

To fight against human trafficking, Alberta’s government developed the Alberta Human Trafficking Task Force, which submitted its final report in August of 2021. The report has five primary recommendations for government to assist in combatting human trafficking. The first of these is to create an Alberta Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons, which will facilitate the implementation of the remaining recommendations. Alberta’s government has committed $4 million over two years to make this office a reality.

“We can’t afford to close our eyes to the problem of human trafficking. And we can’t afford to ignore those who are at risk of being trafficked or those who have been trafficked. I’m proud that our government is creating this Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons to keep fighting this scourge on society.”

Danielle Smith, Premier

Operation of the Alberta Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons will be led in partnership by #NotInMyCity, Native Counselling Services of Alberta (NCSA) and REACH Edmonton Council for Safer Communities. Under their leadership, the office is another step closer to connecting survivors and victims of human trafficking to important supports and services.

In addition to the work with victims and survivors, the Alberta Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons will enhance public awareness and establish a more effective data collection process. This data will monitor the effectiveness of service delivery and help close gaps in tracking cross-jurisdictional trafficking incidents.

“The first step to fighting human trafficking is to raise awareness of the issue and its presence right here in Alberta. We are grateful to have strong partnerships with organizations that have proven to be effective in this, along with directly supporting survivors and victims. Every investment made into the combating of human trafficking is helping restore the humanity and freedom that every individual deserves.”

Mike Ellis, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services

#NotInMyCity is a non-profit organization working to prevent, disrupt and end human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Since 2016, the organization has been building community alliances to spur collective action, always learning from and elevating the voices of victims and survivors. The organization is an important education and awareness resource for affected sectors and all Albertans.

“This milestone wouldn’t be possible without the countless organizations and individuals who shared their experiences and expertise in our journey with Alberta’s Human Trafficking Task Force. Combating human trafficking requires collective action, and we applaud the province for taking a collaborative approach with the community.”

Paul Brandt, president and founder, #NotInMyCity and former chair, Alberta Human Trafficking Task Force

Native Counselling Services of Alberta (NCSA) has operated in the province for more than five decades with a focus on fair and equitable treatment for Indigenous people across Alberta. From supports for family and youth to restorative justice to the active pursuit of reconciliation, the NCSA has had an important and positive impact on supports and assistance for Indigenous people in the province.

“We are advocating for Indigenous people in Alberta and committed to educating others on the important issues of exploitation and human trafficking. Understanding the Indigenous worldview and the resilience of Indigenous individuals, families and communities is a gift of learning. We are here to help and hear the people.”

Marlene Orr, CEO, Native Counselling Services of Alberta

REACH Edmonton Council for Safer Communities has brought together community members and organizations for more than a decade to address social challenges, advance community safety and build relationships between cultural minority communities and police services. Their experience in engaging and convening diverse community partners to find and fill service gaps will benefit the new office.

“Human trafficking is a complex problem that requires a systems approach to tackle, with multiple partners working in unison and leveraging our collective strengths and expertise. REACH is looking forward to helping build up and operate the new office to help make Alberta a safer place for everyone.”

Jan Fox, executive director, REACH Edmonton Council for Safer Communities

With community partners now selected, work is underway to set up, organize and staff the office. The office will share updates on the progress of this work in the coming months.

Quick facts

  • The task force was part of the Alberta government’s platform commitment to implement a nine-point Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking.
  • All nine points of Alberta’s Human Trafficking Action Plan have been implemented, or implementation is ongoing.
  • Police services in Canada reported more than 3,500 incidents of human trafficking between 2011 and 2021, with the vast majority of victims (96 per cent) being women and girls, and one-quarter of victims under the age of 18.
  • The most overrepresented victim group was Indigenous women and girls.
  • Those interested in learning more about human trafficking, how to recognize it and how to help can take #NotInMyCity’s 30-minute online e-learning course Mobilizing Communities to Disrupt Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking in Canada.

Related information

This is a news release from the Government of Alberta.

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Alberta

Taxpayers Federation hoping for personal tax relief in Alberta budget

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From the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

Albertans need income tax relief now

Author: Kris Sims 

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation is calling on the Alberta government to stick to its promise of cutting its income tax in tomorrow’s provincial budget.

“Cutting the provincial income tax was a huge campaign promise from the UCP and it needs to happen right away,” said Kris Sims, CTF Alberta Director. “Finance Minister Nate Horner should announce this income tax cut in the budget tomorrow.”

The provincial budget will be presented Feb. 29.

During the 2023, election the UCP promised to create a lower income tax bracket for the first $59,000 of earnings, charging eight per cent instead of the current 10 per cent.

The UCP said that move would save Albertans earning $60,000 or more about $760 per year.

The Alberta government currently charges workers who make under $142,292 per year a 10 per cent income tax rate.

By comparison, British Columbia charges an income tax of five per cent on the first $45,654 of earnings and seven per cent up to $91,310.

In B.C., a worker earning $100,000 pays about $5,857 in provincial income tax.

In Alberta that same worker pays about $7,424 in provincial income tax.

“Taxpayers need to see a balanced budget, spending restraint and our promised lower income taxes in this budget,” said Sims.

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Alberta

Province advancing plans to build stand-alone Stollery Children’s Hospital

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Investing in a new Stollery Children’s Hospital

If passed, Budget 2024 will allocate $20 million over three years to advance plans for a stand-alone Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.

With 236 beds, the Stollery Children’s Hospital is the second-largest children’s hospital in Canada and has among the highest inpatient volumes of any children’s hospital in Canada. As the province’s population continues to grow, it is crucial that children in Edmonton and northern Alberta have access to the specialized care they need.

Alberta’s government is steadfast in its commitment to build a stand-alone Stollery Children’s Hospital. A new facility would provide more beds, larger clinical spaces, more private rooms and dedicated areas for children and their families. It would also result in additional teaching spaces and state-of-the-art technologies to enhance health care delivery specifically for children.

“A new, stand-alone children’s hospital will build capacity and enable health care providers to continue delivering world-class care to children. This investment, as well as other capital investments outlined in Budget 2024, is an example of how we are creating a more unified and efficient health care system for Albertans. I look forward to sharing more details soon.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Health

“The new Stollery Children’s Hospital project is the latest addition to Edmonton’s health care infrastructure. Building upon the successes of recent projects like the new emergency department at the Misericordia Community Hospital and Norwood West at the Gene Zwozdesky Centre, the new Stollery will help increase health care capacity in the capital region.”

Pete Guthrie, Minister of Infrastructure

Alberta’s government initially invested in the project in 2021, providing $1 million that was matched by the Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation. The proposed investment in Budget 2024 will include $17 million in new funding, following the $3 million invested through last year’s budget, for a total investment of $21 million in government funding over four years.

The investment in a new stand-alone Stollery Children’s Hospital is not only important for families in the city of Edmonton and capital region, it is important for families living across northern Alberta. The Stollery Children’s Hospital serves families in a geographical area of more than 500,000 square kilometres, stretching from Red Deer to Alberta’s northernmost border with the Northwest Territories. Almost 40 per cent of inpatients at the Stollery come from outside the Edmonton area and the hospital is the closest and primary children’s hospital for residents of the Northwest Territories.

“The Stollery has an incredible reputation for the impact it makes in the community, and especially in northern Alberta. This stand-alone Stollery Children’s Hospital is a long-awaited, necessary project that will help provide additional health care services to children and their families when they need it the most.”

Martin Long, parliamentary secretary for rural health

“This remarkable investment will take us one step closer to our goal of building a reimagined Stollery Children’s Hospital for the future. A new Stollery is poised to provide the most innovative, modern and family-centred physical and mental health care to help bring hope and comfort to kids dealing with serious illness and injury. Thank you to the Government of Alberta for recognizing the very real need for this hospital.”

Karen Faulkner, interim chief executive officer, Stollery Children’s Hospital Foundation

“A new Stollery Children’s Hospital is urgently needed to provide dedicated care for our children. By separating kids from adults, a stand-alone Stollery ensures a nurturing environment and the most modern pediatric equipment and resources to offer families like ours a health care space designed exclusively for our children.”

Shelley Cormier, parent of Stollery patient

Plans for the new hospital include integrating mental health resources, virtual care, research and training facilities to better support patients and improve health outcomes. There will also be a focus on ensuring health care providers, parents and caregivers have the resources they need to support patients.

Alberta’s government remains dedicated to expanding and modernizing hospitals and facilities to provide Albertans with high-quality health care while increasing system capacity and supporting front-line health care workers.

“Alberta’s government is committed to building a stand-alone Stollery Children’s Hospital when planning is complete. A new facility would provide more beds, larger clinical spaces, more private rooms and dedicated areas for children and their families. There would also be more teaching spaces and state-of-the-art technologies to enhance health care delivery.”

Dr. Lyle Oberg, executive board chair, Alberta Health Services

Quick facts

  • Established in 2001, the Stollery Children’s Hospital is a full-service pediatric hospital and centre for complex pediatric care and research.
  • The Stollery Children’s Hospital sees about 300,000 children, 55,000 emergency room visits and 12,000 surgeries annually.

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