(Red Deer, Alberta) – The City of Red Deer is offering youth unlimited rides on Red Deer Transit and unlimited access to all City recreation facilities all summer with the Rip ‘N Rec Summer Pass.
This is the second year the City has offered the promotion which brings together two of our most popular services, Recreation and Transit. For only $50 youth age six to 17 can purchase a Rip ‘N Rec Summer Pass that provides them unlimited access to drop-in activities from swimming, to fitness classes and gymnasium sports and the means to get there.
“The Rip ‘n Rec Summer Pass is intended to provide youth with some healthy ways to spend their time this summer and the ride to get there,” said Barb McKee, Recreation Superintendent. “It allows youth access to all four City recreation centres including the outdoor pool all summer long. This is just one more way we provide low and no cost options for everyone in Red Deer to get out, get active and have fun.”
“We are really happy to work with the Recreation section to make this pass a reality. We know that introducing youth to using public transit at an early age encourages lifelong ridership,” said Trever Sparrow, Red Deer Transit Superintendent of Conventional Services “With this pass teens are able to hop on transit to get to their favourite places, like the splash park, swimming pool or even the mall. The Rip ‘N Rec pass provides parents with an affordable way for teens to travel around town during the summer.”
The Rip ‘N Rec Pass can be purchased at any City recreation facility:
– Collicutt Centre (3031 – 30 Avenue)
– G.H. Dawe Community Centre (56 Holt Street)
– Michener Aquatic Centre (51A Street and 38 Avenue)
– Recreation Centre (4501 – 47A Avenue)
The Pass is valid until September 3, 2018.
To learn more visit www.reddeer.ca/summerpass
Province freezes funds for doctors and launches process to work out a new funding formula
New physician funding framework announce
Alberta will maintain physician funding at $5.4 billion, the highest level ever, and implement its final offer to the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) to avoid $2 billion in cost overruns.
Existing terms will remain in place until March 31, 2020. A new funding framework will then be introduced, in a multi-year process that will require consultation with the AMA at all stages. The new framework will make changes proposed during negotiations to prevent cost overruns, align benefit programs and administrative fees with those of comparable provinces, and improve services for patients.
The eleven consultation proposals will also be implemented on March 31. This includes phasing in changes to complex modifiers, reducing the rate physicians can charge for this billing code to $9 from $18, for a period of one year before the code is removed in 2021-22. In summer 2020, at the direction of the Minister of Health, the Government of Alberta will also introduce a new alternative relationship plan (ARP) with built-in transition benefits to encourage physicians to move from fee-for-service to a three-year contract.
“Our province is facing cost overruns of $2 billion in the next three years due solely to physician compensation. If left unaddressed, these costs would impede efforts to reduce surgical wait times, improve mental health and addiction services, and expand the number of continuing care beds. Despite repeated efforts, the AMA failed to put forward alternatives that would hold the line on physician compensation. The new framework announced today will prevent cost overruns, allow our province to improve services for patients, and still ensure that Alberta’s doctors are amongst the highest paid physicians in all of Canada.”
- The new funding framework will maintain government’s current level of spending on physicians at $5.4 billion.
- The new funding framework avoids anticipated cost overruns of $2 billion over the next three years.
- Alberta has been spending more on physician salaries than other provinces, yet most of its health outcomes are below national averages.
- A doctor in Alberta earns approximately $90,000 more than a doctor in Ontario and physicians’ fees have almost tripled since 2002.
Elements of the new funding framework
- Changes to Alberta’s complex modifier billing system. The rate physicians are able to charge for complex modifiers will be reduced to $9 from $18 for a period of one year before this billing code is removed in 2021-22. Once the new framework is fully phased in, physicians will be able to bill an additional fee after spending 25 minutes with a complex patient case. Alberta remains the only province in Canada that allows for a top-up payment for complex visits.
- Removal of the comprehensive annual care plan from the list of insured services. Currently, physicians can also bill for a similar consultation called a comprehensive annual visit. No other province in Canada compensates physicians twice for annual care consultation.
- Implementation of a new daily cap, modelled after a cap in place in British Columbia, of 65 patients per day. Large patient loads can contribute to physician burnout and may compromise patient safety and quality of care.
- Removing physician overhead subsidies from all hospital-based services. Physicians who work in AHS facilities should not be billing for overhead costs that their community physician colleagues face, such as leases, hiring staff and purchasing equipment.
- Ending of clinical payments, or stipends, by AHS to physicians. This change ends duplication of payments to contracted physicians.
- In September 2019, government provided notice to the AMA that it intended to begin negotiations on the AMA Agreement. The notification provided time for the AMA to prepare its proposals.
- In November 2019, negotiations began with the AMA to reach a new agreement; government began consultations on 11 proposed changes to the schedule of medical benefits (SOMB, or “insured services”).
- In January 2020, negotiations and consultations proceeded with no agreement reached. Mediation, on both the negotiation and consultation proposals, began January 31 and continued into February.
- The parties were not able to reach an agreement during mediation.
- Government will implement its final offer from the negotiating table, including the 11 consultation proposals, on March 31.
Letter from MLA Jason Stephan in response to United Nurses of Alberta protest
Submitted by Red Deer South MLA Jason Stephan
Today the United Nurses of Alberta (“Union”) held a protest at my MLA constituency office.
Protests should be honest; without disingenuous distortions of facts, or attacks on persons instead of policies where genuine differences of opinion may exist.
In the recent salary arbitration, the Union asked for a 3% increase. The independent arbitrator stated “no change in wage rates is justified … particularly given the prevailing general economic conditions in the Province.”
The arbitrator was right. Out of Government, Alberta businesses and families must limit spending to their incomes; in Government, public sector salaries should respect taxpayers and not impose structural billion-dollar debts and deficits upon our children. That is in the public interest.
In the recent ‘MacKinnon Report’ and supporting documents (collectively, “Report”), there is a comparison of registered nurse compensation to other provinces. Alberta nurse compensation is significantly higher than the Report’s comparator provinces: BC, Ontario and Quebec. The Report is available to all Albertans for viewing at:www.alberta.ca/mackinnon-report-on-finances.aspx
The Report also identifies that Alberta nurses receive taxpayer funded benefits more generous than comparator provinces, and certainly not available in the private sector.
As an example, I received a letter from a nurse describing how some Union members may be choosing to work part time hours in order to leverage automatic double time pay once their part time, not full time, hours were exceeded, or with work falling on “designated days of rest” or “X days”. The concerned taxpayer stated ours is “a system ripe for abuse”.
The Union appears to disagree with our Government taking steps to confront outlier benefits or restrain salaries which exceed provincial counterparts.
Our Government was elected to restore fiscal accountability and sustainability in the face of structural billion-dollar Government deficits. On the strength of the Report, our focus is on reducing the cost of services, as opposed the services themselves.
We would invite all nurses, including our nurses in Central Alberta, to ensure their Union avoids taking unreasonable positions which disrespect taxpayers or undermine a sustainable health care system. That is in the public interest.
sun12jan(jan 12)2:00 pmsun22mar(mar 22)5:00 pmAnne Frank: A History for Today opening at Red Deer MAG(january 12) 2:00 pm - (march 22) 5:00 pm mst Red Deer Museum & Art Gallery Address: 4525 - 47A Avenue, Red Deer
UPDATE: Mikisew Cree Nation announces their support for the Teck Frontier project
Red Deer loses a leading community builder and philanthropist
Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre thrilled with Provincial Funding announcement
Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools appoints Kathleen Finnigan Interim Superintendent
Central Alberta15 hours ago
Red Deer Woman to be honoured for helping other women through her photographraphy
Alberta14 hours ago
Here’s your chance to help improve Alberta’s auto insurance system
Top Story CP19 hours ago
Once convicted of manslaughter, ex-gang member now licensed as lawyer
Top Story CP2 days ago
Saskatoon protest springs up, even after Trudeau orders blockades torn down
Top Story CP1 day ago
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs meet with Mohawks in Kahnawake, Que.
Top Story CP18 hours ago
Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government
Top Story CP2 days ago
Ontario Tories hold annual policy convention amid union protests
Top Story CP1 day ago
Canadian L’Arche group shocked by report that founder sexually abused women