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Calgary

Sara Baillie and Taliyah Marsman. When the nation held its breath…

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This story is still fresh for many Albertans.  Just three years ago, police found the body of Sara Baillie in her Calgary home.

Her five year old daughter, Taliyah Marsman was missing.

For the next few days, people across Canada hoped and prayed that little Taliyah would somehow be found, safe.

Here’s Global News Crime Reporter Nancy Hixt with Part 1 of a 2 part podcast.. The Story of Sara and Taliyah.

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Alberta

Fighting Food Waste in 2021 – The Leftovers Foundation

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It’s 2021, and world hunger persists.  

Statistics show the global agricultural industry produces enough food to successfully feed the population of the entire planet. Yet, hundreds of millions of people in both developing and developed nations experience food insecurity and poverty every single day. Food waste represents a massive modern crisis. 

Food waste, not to be confused with food loss, refers specifically to edible items that are discarded, despite being completely fit for human consumption, following initial production stages such as harvest and transportation.
Between restaurant, retailer and household waste, massive amounts of edible food are wasted every single day, all around the globe. Despite much of this waste being avoidable, the fact remains that thousands of pounds of viable food travel from farms to landfills each year. From both a human interest and environmental perspective, food waste represents a crisis with significant consequences.  

According to a 2018 report on Global Food Waste and its Environmental Impact, “An estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted globally each year, one third of all food produced for human consumption.”

A 2019 Technical Report on The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste by Second Harvest highlights that in Canada alone, the annual avoidable food loss and waste totals 11.2 million metric tonnes, reaching a total value of $49.5 billion. According to the report, this amount “equates to 3% of Canada’s 2016 GDP and would feed every person living in Canada for almost 5 months” (6). 

In addition to harming the community, food waste negatively impacts the environment by creating a massive drain on existing resources without reason. “When edible items are discarded, it’s not just food that is wasted. Consider all the resources required to bring food from the farm to your table: water for irrigation, land for planting, fuel for powering harvest and transport vehicles … when restaurant owners fill their rubbish bins with uneaten meals, all those resources are essentially wasted” (1).

Reallocating surplus goods, as opposed to throwing them away, is a critical step in reducing food waste, minimizing the carbon footprint of the agricultural sector, and aiding individuals in gaining access to basic needs. According to Second Harvest, “Four million Canadians have insufficient access to food. Nevertheless, of the avoidable and edible food loss and waste (FLW) that occurs along the value chain, an estimated 86 percent is currently not rescued and redistributed” (6).

In Calgary, a number of citywide and business specific “food rescue” programs are in place with the goal of addressing and reducing those staggering statistics. Organizations such as the Leftovers Foundation reduce food waste by collecting and redirecting leftover products to places in need, such as shelters or charities, as opposed to letting them be thrown away at the end of each day.  

With three locations across Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg, the Leftovers Foundation works with local restaurants, bakeries, grocers and distributors to redirect excess edible food where it is needed most. In Calgary, city coordinators work closely with food donors and service agencies to establish weekly and bi-weekly routes for pick up and drop off by volunteers. The Leftovers Foundation fulfills service agency food needs on both a scheduled and as-needed basis. “We are the connection point between people who have good, edible, nutritious food to donate,” says Audra Stevenson, Interim CEO for the Leftovers Foundation, “and those who are unable to put food on their plates.” 

In 2019, the Leftovers Foundation launched their Food Rescue app in partnership with Technovation, to streamline connections between volunteers and food redirection routes. Stevenson describes the app as a “game-changer” for the organization, and as a result, the Leftovers Foundation has been able to standardize and scale their operations much more effectively.

In this line of work, where the ultimate goal is to reduce food waste, food poverty, and the associated environmental impacts, collaboration is key. The Leftovers Foundation works collaboratively with other food rescue services around the city to avoid duplication and ensure all the food that can be saved, gets saved. “We’re supportive of every possible food rescue initiative,” says Stevenson, “It’s about every pound of food that makes it way onto someone’s plate instead of into the landfill.” 

Other food rescue resources: 

Calgary Food Bank Food Rescue and Share Program
https://www.calgaryfoodbank.com/foodmovement/

Kerby Centre Food Rescue
https://www.kerbycentre.com/support-services/foodrescue/

Zero Waste YYC
https://www.facebook.com/yyc.zerowaste/

In the war on food waste, every effort counts. “Food insecurity is becoming a bigger and bigger problem with COVID,” says Stevenson, “It’s not going to just go away. Any way you can get involved with our systems, whether it’s volunteering, donating, just paying attention to gaps in the community – now is the time to get involved and help reduce food waste.” 

For more information on the Leftovers Foundation and how to get involved in Calgary’s efforts to reduce food waste, visit https://rescuefood.ca

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

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Calgary

New eastbound bridge for southeast Stoney Trail awarded to PCL Construction

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From the Province of Alberta

PCL Construction has won the contract to replace the eastbound bridge over the Bow River on southeast Stoney Trail in Calgary.

The contract was awarded for about $48 million and offers significant savings for taxpayers. The total project cost, which includes engineering and utility relocations, is estimated at $60 million – significantly less than the anticipated cost of $70 million.

“With the next step in this strategic project complete, we are creating hundreds of jobs to drive Alberta’s recovery and saving taxpayer dollars at a time of fiscal restraint. Calgarians can look forward to safer and faster rides on an even more complete Calgary Ring Road.”

Ric McIver, Minister of Transportation

“New and widened bridges are great news for south Calgary residents who have been waiting for safer ways to get to work and play. Alberta’s government is focused on strategic projects that deliver value and jobs when they’re needed most.”

Richard Gotfried, MLA for Calgary-Fish Creek

“PCL is excited to work with Alberta Transportation on this component of the Stoney Trail Calgary Ring Road, a key project to connect Calgarians. Once complete, this segment will be safer for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.”

Ankur Talwar, manager, Civil Operations, PCL Calgary

The South Bow River Bridge project also includes widening the westbound bridge and building a new, stand-alone pedestrian bridge.

Construction on the new bridge is anticipated to get underway in spring 2021 and be completed in late 2023.

Alberta’s Recovery Plan is a bold, ambitious long-term strategy to build, diversify, and create tens of thousands of jobs now. By building schools, roads and other core infrastructure we are benefiting our communities. By diversifying our economy and attracting investment with Canada’s most competitive tax environment, we are putting Alberta on a path for a generation of growth. Alberta came together to save lives by flattening the curve and now we must do the same to save livelihoods, grow and thrive.

Quick facts

  • More than 53,000 vehicles travel over the bridge daily.
  • This number is expected to increase when the Calgary Ring Road is completed.
  • The South Bow Bridge project will support about 244 jobs.
  • The project includes:
    • Widening the existing westbound bridge to add a fourth lane.
    • Replacing the existing eastbound Stoney Trail bridge with a new, wider bridge over the Bow River.
    • A new pedestrian bridge south of the existing bridge that will connect to the existing pathway networks.
    • Improvements to interchanges between Sun Valley Boulevard/Chaparral Boulevard and Cranston Boulevard /Mckenzie Lake Boulevard.
  • This project is part of the more than $10 billion infrastructure spending announced as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan. This spending includes:
    • $6.9 billion Budget 2020 capital spending
    • $900 million accelerated for Capital Maintenance and Renewal
    • $200 million for Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program and water infrastructure projects
    • $700 million in strategic infrastructure projects, $500 million in municipal infrastructure,
    • $1.5 billion for Keystone XL
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january, 2021

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