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Alberta

UPDATE: RDC scrambling to help students after University of Calgary suspends admission to collaborative degrees

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Red Deer College

From Red Deer College Communications

UPDATE:   While new students are not being accepted by U of C to begin classes at RDC in fall 2020, more than 100 current students who are attending RDC will be able to complete their degree at the College.

University of Calgary suspends admission to its collaborative degrees at Red Deer College

Students in Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science affected

The University of Calgary (U of C) has informed its partners at Red Deer College (RDC) of a decision to cancel admission to its collaborative degree offerings. This decision affects U of C students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts (majoring in Sociology and Psychology) and Bachelor of Science (majoring in Psychology) who attend RDC.

“We are very disappointed with the University of Calgary’s decision,” says Dr. Peter Nunoda, Red Deer College President. “Under these difficult circumstances, we are committed to working with the U of C and with our current students in the affected programs to ensure all students can successfully complete their degrees.”

At this time, the University of Calgary has committed to offering courses at RDC until April 2021.   While new students are not being accepted by U of C to begin classes at RDC in fall 2020, more than 100 current students who are attending RDC will be able to complete their degree at the College.

Red Deer College will continue to accept applications from new students who are able to complete the first two years of a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees and then complete their degrees by transferring to another post-secondary institution.

For the last two decades, collaborative degrees have provided RDC students the opportunity to complete their studies in Red Deer, while receiving their degree from a partner institution, such as the University of Calgary. Students enrolled in other collaborative degrees at RDC are unaffected.

“We know there is a demand for degree programs to be offered in central Alberta. We look forward to creating more opportunities for students as we begin to offer our own degrees as Red Deer University,” says Dr. Nunoda.

Red Deer College is moving swiftly to complete proposals to offer its first bachelor degrees in Arts, Education, Science (majoring in Biological Sciences) and Business Administration. Pending government approvals, students could begin classes in these degrees at Red Deer University as early as September 2021.

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Alberta

‘Just went crazy:’ Group gets lots of interest in random camping on public land

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EDMONTON — Ryan Epp started a Facebook group in early April to find some new camping buddies and meet some new friends.

Two months later, his group named Crown Land Camping Alberta has more than 31,000 members.

“I was hoping for maybe 50, 60 people to join up,” Epp, who lives in Calgary, said in an interview this week. “I had over a thousand by the third day — and it just went crazy from that.

“It’s been growing for the last while between 500 and 1,000 new members a day.”

Group members share tips on where and how to camp on public land in Alberta — a longtime practice that’s commonly known as random camping.

Epp, 46, said he created the group after the COVID-19 pandemic led to closures at national and provincial campgrounds.

Parks Canada has said campgrounds in national parks will remain closed until at least June 21, while Alberta Parks reopened its campgrounds earlier this month, but at half capacity.

“It’s hard enough to find spots when all of the sites are available,” said Epp. “With Crown-land camping, there’s a million sites and you just pick one … and it’s free.”

Alberta Environment and Parks said its staff did see an increase in public-land use — including hikers, mountain bikers and families picnicking — in parts of southern and central Alberta on the May long weekend.

“It remains to be seen if campers that traditionally use our provincial parks will increasingly move onto public land for their fill of outdoor recreation,” spokeswoman Christine King said in an email. “Camping in provincial parks versus public land is a different experience in terms of amenities and services.”

Mounties, who patrol public land along with Alberta Fish and Wildlife officers, say they haven’t noticed a major difference in the already popular Ghost-Waiparous area near Cochrane, northwest of Calgary, but officers further to the north in Rocky Mountain House are preparing for a busier summer.

“We predict we will see an increase in the numbers of people involved in this activity this summer due to the restrictions in organized campgrounds and the out-of-province restrictions still in place,” said a statement from the detachment.

Several provinces, including British Columbia and Saskatchewan, have restricted campsite bookings to residents only.

Police remind people heading into Alberta’s random camping areas to be prepared because there are few services and not much cellphone coverage.

“People should also know how to describe where they are to emergency services if they are needed.”

Epp said random campers need more equipment than regular campers because there are no washroom facilities, no running water and no power.

“You have to be set up to be able to handle that.”

The province notes there’s also a 14-day limit on how long a camper can stay in the same spot.

The potential increase in random camping has raised some concern about the areas becoming too busy.

“We encourage people to be out and using our public land responsibly and enjoying nature,” said Katie Morrison of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. “But … it’s something that can have a heavier impact on land and water, even other users, if folks … aren’t as experienced.”

Some concerns include damage to the landscape if campers remove trees for fires or make ruts with vehicles. There’s also potential for conflicts with wildlife if campers don’t pack out their garbage or leave human waste, she said.

Morrison said many random camping areas are already busy, and she expects that will increase as the province fully or partially closes 20 provincial parks and hands off 164 others to third-party managers.

“It’s something that should be a sign to the government that removing more of these areas … is contrary to what Albertans want.”

Epp said he’s heard similar concerns from some members in his Facebook group, but he and the other moderators are doing their best to keep political debates off the page.

Instead, he said, they’re trying to teach new random campers how to be respectful on public land — even organizing some weekend trips with first-timers.

“We want to teach people the right way to do it.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 6, 2020

Colette Derworiz, The Canadian Press

Alberta’s COVID-19 breakthrough – Highest number of tests and lowest number of new cases in one day


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Alberta

Alberta’s COVID-19 breakthrough – Highest number of tests and lowest number of new cases in one day

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Dr. Deena Hinshaw

It certainly appears to be a sign that the first wave of COVID-19 is abating.  Friday, Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer reported 6,455 people were tested over the last 24 hours and there were only 7 new positive cases.   This resulted in a very interesting video update from Dr. Deena Hinshaw as the province announced several changes that will be resulting from the success of Alberta’s battle with COVID-19.

Albertans will soon be able to visit loved ones in hospital.  The province will continue to move toward protecting Albertans at the highest risk of severe outcomes.  That means more freedoms for the majority of Albertans as the province prepares to announce Stage 2 details early next week.

 

‘Just went crazy:’ Group gets lots of interest in random camping on public land

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june, 2020

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