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Province steps in to break the cycle of child abuse in Central Alberta

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Supporting vulnerable children in central Alberta

Alberta taxpayers are spending $3.4 million to help build a new Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre (CACAC) in Red Deer to provide services to vulnerable children and youth.

CACAC will advocate for and provide services to children facing child abuse and mental health issues. Alberta’s government has approved a land lease between Red Deer Polytechnic and CACAC for about one acre, where a new facility will be located.

Quick facts

  • The total project cost for the new Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre is $22.4 million. This includes $19 million in donor funding and equity and $3.4 million from the Alberta government, which will be used to connect utility lines to service the land.
  • Alberta’s government approved the lease of land from the Red Deer Polytechnic under a 50-year lease agreement at $1 per year.
  • The Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre will construct and operate the new centre.

“Child abuse has no place in our province and Alberta’s government is committed to keeping vulnerable children safe.  Through this unique project, we will provide a mix of social and justice services to ensure we support victims, prosecute offenders and deliver critical mental health supports.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

This is the first successful project approved through the government’s unsolicited proposals framework. The framework provides a pathway for private sector organizations like CACAC to bring government investment ideas and/or innovative technologies. The goal is to provide public infrastructure, including social service facilities, highways, public transportation, health clinics, schools, housing, agriculture and irrigation systems.

“We are keen on supporting any viable project put forward by the private sector to help ensure Albertans get the infrastructure they need. The new Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre is a tremendous example of what can be achieved when we collaborate. Together, we can build communities, boost economies, support jobs and provide critical services to vulnerable Albertans.”

Prasad Panda, Minister of Infrastructure

“The new Child Advocacy Centre will provide a host of opportunities for post-secondary students in both child care and children services. Through work-integrated learning opportunities, we are providing employers with access to new talent while preparing for Alberta’s economic recovery and aligning educational outcomes with labour market needs.”

Demetrios Nicolaides, Minister of Advanced Education

“Together with Alberta’s government, we’re bringing to life a one-of-a-kind model in Canada. This funding announcement affirms that our government leaders are declaring that children who risk coming forward need all the help we can muster. They are acting so that victims of child abuse and those facing mental health issues find the very best supports at what could be their most vulnerable time.”

Mark Jones, chief executive officer, Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre

 

This is a news release from the Government of Alberta.

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Alberta

U.S. senators call for trade crackdown on Canada over dairy quotas, digital policies

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WASHINGTON — A pair of senior U.S. senators is urging the Biden administration to get tough with Canada for “flouting” obligations to its North American trade partners. 

Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon and Republican Sen. Mike Crapo lay out their concerns in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai. 

The letter says American dairy producers still aren’t getting the access to the Canadian market they’re entitled to under the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. 

It also describes Canada’s planned digital services tax as discriminatory and raises similar concerns about new legislation to regulate online streaming and news. 

All three, the senators say, would give preferential treatment to Canadian content and deny U.S. tech companies fair access to the market north of the border. 

The letter comes after meetings this week in San Diego between U.S., Canadian and Mexican trade emissaries, as well as the North American Leaders’ Summit in Mexico City earlier this month. 

The USMCA, referred to in Canada as CUSMA, has been at the centre of a number of bilateral and trilateral disputes since it went into effect in the summer of 2020. 

“Three years later, it is disappointing that Canada and Mexico have failed to come into full compliance with the agreement — and, in some cases, have flouted their obligations,” the senators write. 

“USTR must take decisive action to ensure full compliance with the agreement and with dispute settlement panel findings. It is critical to ensure that every chapter of USMCA is fully and timely enforced.”

Canada and Mexico have their own issues with how the U.S. is interpreting the deal, which was signed in 2018 after protracted trilateral efforts to replace NAFTA. 

As the Mexico City summit wrapped up, a dispute panel ruled against the U.S. over how it interprets the rules that determine the origin of core automotive components. 

It remains unclear whether the U.S. plans to comply with that decision.   

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2023. 

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

TotalEnergies EP Canada ups stake in Fort Hills oilsands project

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Calgary – TotalEnergies EP Canada Ltd. says it is increasing its ownership in the Fort Hills oilsands project by acquiring part of Teck Resources Ltd.’s stake in the mine.

Teck announced last year that it would sell its 21.3 per cent stake in Fort Hills to Suncor Energy Inc., the third partner in the project, for about $1 billion.

However, TotalEnergies EP Canada says it has exercised its pre-emption right to acquire an additional 6.65 per cent in the project from Teck for $312 million.

The deal brings the company’s stake in Fort Hills to 31.23 per cent. Suncor will own the rest.

French company TotalEnergies announced in September 2022 its plan to exit the Canadian oilsands by spinning off TotalEnergies EP Canada in 2023.

It says the acquisition of an additional interest in Fort Hills helps build TotalEnergies EP Canada for the future.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 27, 2023.

Companies in this story: (TSX:TECK.B, TSX:SU)

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