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THE HALFTIME REPORT News from the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame

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Message from the Hall

We’re so excited, Alberta. Every day that goes by brings us one step closer to reopening. But be assured that safety will be priority number one when we can finally reopen. Keep checking our social media feeds and website for updates on our reopening plans. We can’t wait to share all of the changes with you.

This newsletter is sponsored by Premier Building Solutions

Future Events

Currently On Hold

As per the current Covid -19 Guidelines, all in-person events are on hold – be sure to check back here once restrictions are lifted for a list of exciting events happening at the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.

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New WHL Award named in recognition of Honoured Member Bob Ridley

Medicine Hat, Alta. – The Western Hockey League announced March 1st the Bob Ridley Award for Media Excellence, a new WHL Award which will be presented annually to a distinguished member of the radio, television, and print journalism industry in recognition of their outstanding contributions to sports journalism and the WHL.
Original WHL Article:
http://https://whl.ca/article/western-hockey-league-unveils-bob-ridley-award-for-media-excellence

Provincial Sport Organization of the Month: Baseball Alberta

Baseball Alberta had its birth in the early 1900s, known at that time as the Alberta Amateur Baseball Association. For much of the early 1900s, the Alberta Amateur Baseball Association focused solely on Junior and Senior levels as they oversaw the leagues and Provincial Playoffs.

By 1964, the Alberta Amateur Baseball Association began organizing baseball in the province at all levels from Pee-Wee to Senior. The Provincial Government saw the need to provide travel funds for teams travelling to Westerns and Nationals in 1970. Very quickly baseball began taking off, as in 1971 there were already 104 communities involved with 539 teams registered.

In 1986 the Alberta Baseball Association adopted the name Baseball Alberta as its working name of choice. Today, Baseball Alberta is a leader in developing and promoting baseball on the Local, Provincial and National scene.

Baseball Alberta has been a National leader in developing items such as the Canadian Rule Book, the first National Baseball Week, Baseball Canada Pitch Counts, Girls/Women’s Baseball, the NUCP and NCCP, the Respect in Sport initiative, the Rally Cap and Grand Slam Programs.

There are now close to 100 associations registered with Baseball Alberta from all parts of the province and has over 15,000 players registered and playing baseball.  Baseball Alberta prides itself on providing the opportunity for people of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to participate in the game of baseball.

This Month in Alberta Sports History

On March 3, 2019, the 27th Canada Winter Games wrapped up following an incredible two-week run in Red Deer. Approximately 2,400 athletes representing all ten of Canada’s provinces and all three territories took part in the event, which began on February 15. Team Quebec finished on top of the podium with 146 total medals, with Team Alberta in second with 100 total medals, and Team British Columbia in third with 87 total medals. Away from the sporting venues, the Games also featured a rich arts and cultural festival.

Artifact of the Month

Artefact: Silver Chalice Trophy
Accession #: 2001.15.08
Year: 1940s-1950s
Description:
The Alexandra Hotel Trophy was awarded to athletes competing in the Calgary Ladies Fastball annual championship between 1945 and 1956. Across the wooden base, there are seven small plaques with the names of the winning teams and the year of the championship. This trophy is made from silver and is shaped in the traditional ‘chalice’ style. Cup-style trophies began to appear at sporting events as early as the late 1600s. Since then, trophy style has changed considerably; with various shapes and designs found in modern trophies. The classic chalice-style, however, has remained one of the more popular choices in marking victory.

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The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame provides a family-friendly, interactive experience. You will be surprised by what you discover inside! Have fun, laugh, play and discover Alberta sports heroes together. The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame is an interactive, hands-on celebration of Alberta's sporting history. Our over 7,000 square feet of exhibit space includes a multisport area with virtual baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer; an adaptive sports area, including a 200 meter wheelchair challenge; a Treadwall climbing wall; the Orest Korbutt Theatre; the Hall of Fame Gallery; an art gallery displaying works by provincial artists, and much more. Our venue boasts a collection of over 17,000 artefacts of Alberta sports history and showcases many of these items in a number of displays. The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame also offers an education program, group activities, and a unique environment to rent for your birthday party, special event, corporate reception or meetings.

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Alberta

Alberta commits $20.8 million over the next four years to fight human trafficking

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By Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton

The Alberta government is providing $20.8 million over the next four years to implement recommendations from a star-led task force on human trafficking.

Country singer Paul Brandt, chair of the Alberta Human Trafficking Task Force, personally thanked Premier Jason Kenney during the funding announcement Sunday at Edmonton International Airport for his willingness to prioritize the issue, and for putting faith in Brandt to lead the group.

“Premier Kenney’s longtime personal dedication and commitment to the issue of human trafficking is authentic and is admirable,” Brandt said.

“He’s the only political leader I’ve met in my 17 years of advocating for trafficking victims and survivors who took the time and initiative to personally write a plan to address this horrific crime.”

The money will establish an office to combat trafficking as well as a centre of excellence for research and data collection — recommendations the government accepted when the task force presented its report in March.

Justice Minister Tyler Shandro said the goal is to launch the office by next summer.

Other task force recommendations that will be supported include a new grant for community projects and Indigenous-led and culturally appropriate services. Civilian positions that will focus on supporting victims and survivors throughout human trafficking investigations will also be funded.

“Human trafficking is far more prevalent — way more common — than the stats would suggest because it’s a hidden crime,” Kenney said at the announcement.

“It festers in the dark. There are victims who face fear, shame and self-doubt and some who will never report what they’ve gone through.”

The task force was appointed in May 2020 and engaged with nearly 100 experts and survivors of trafficking to provide guidance on how to best implement the government’s action plan to fight human trafficking.

The government has said human trafficking includes sexual exploitation, forced labour trafficking and trafficking in human organs or tissues.

Kenney, who will be replaced as premier when his United Conservative Party selects a new leader on Thursday, noted he started fighting human trafficking over 20 years ago when he was an MP and joined a group of international parliamentarians on a coalition to fight the practice.

Later as Canada’s immigration minister, he said he took steps to make it easier for human trafficking victims who had migrated to Canada to obtain safety and protection.

In winter 2019, he said he committed the UCP to a nine-point action plan to combat human trafficking, which led to the Protecting Survivors of Human Trafficking Act, which took effect in May 2020.

Brandt said it was exciting to be part of the funding commitment at the airport, where he said he stood in 2019 for a partnership with the facility and other groups in the Edmonton region to fight trafficking, which he called “modern day slavery.”

“It has been our dream that special focus and permanent funding would one day become a reality. Today is that day,” Brandt said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 2, 2022.

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Alberta announces combined $187 million in addictions and homelessness funding

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By Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton

The Alberta government has announced more than $124 million over two years for addiction and mental health services in Edmonton and Calgary, with another $63 million aimed at reducing homelessness in the province over the same period.

The funding for Edmonton and Calgary will go toward increasing treatment spaces while expanding addiction services, with $70 million earmarked for capital spending and $54 million to assist operations.

A 75-bed, co-ed long-term treatment facility is planned to be operational in Edmonton by the end of 2023, while a similar facility is to be built in Calgary by early 2024.

The $63 million is to support steps outlined in the government’s action plan on homelessness.

Premier Jason Kenney stressed his government’s recovery-based approach to the addictions issue when he announced the funding Saturday, calling British Columbia’s recent move to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of hard drugs in January “reckless.”

“In the area of addressing addictions, there are many that believe recovery is a false hope. It’s not possible, and instead what we should do is actually to facilitate dangerous addictions rather than to offer an off-ramp to freedom from addiction,” Kenney said during the announcement at Edmonton’s Herb Jamieson Centre.

“The whole point is to give people a fighting chance to escape from the grips of addiction so they have the opportunity to build a new, safe fulfilling life.

“Recovery works. It’s not a new concept or an untested Utopian theory,” he said.

Under the Alberta plan, the number of winter shelter spaces will be expanded in communities like Edmonton, Wetaskiwin and Lethbridge, and in rural communities where there is an urgent and unmet need.

All provincially funded shelters will also provide round-the-clock access seven days a week, while funding will be equalized between community-based organizations in Edmonton and Calgary.

The funding will include $5 million to create up to 450 additional shelter spots in Edmonton, bringing the number of emergency spaces in the city to over 1,000.

The plan also includes $2.5 million in 2022-2023 to test the so-called service hub model in two pilot programs in Calgary and Edmonton. These six-month long programs will connect people directly with support and services such as addictions recovery, housing and emergency financial support, beginning this fall.

Meanwhile, the addictions funding will be used to increase the ability of direct outreach teams through Edmonton police and Alberta Health Services to provide support and overdose prevention services. The same expansion of services will also be carried out in Calgary.

Edmonton police chief Dale McFee lauded the fact that housing options include support for mental health and addictions as he personally thanked Kenney for the new funding.

“This is the biggest single investment that I’ve ever seen over the course of my career in actually addressing the system versus putting more money into silos that are actually generating a lot of the problem,” McFee said at the announcement.

Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said the funding would tackle the root causes of homelessness, and also praised the fact the province was delivering on a request to provide enhanced plans when prisoners are discharged from corrections facilities.

In July, the city requested a hub where social workers, firefighters and peace officers could work together to reduce crime and address a spike in violence downtown, in nearby Chinatown and and on the transit system.

“These investments show our collaborative approach is working, and together we are making life better for struggling Edmontonians,” Sohi said at the announcement.

But NDP Critic for Seniors and Housing Lori Sigurdson said in a news release that Kenney’s government has cut funding for housing, noting buildings that could have opened months ago are sitting empty because the government hasn’t provided operational funding.

“The money announced today does not even begin to address the deeper need for permanent supportive housing, social housing and affordable housing in this province,” she said.

According to the province, over 6,400 Albertans were experiencing homelessness— including nearly 4,000 using emergency shelters or on the streets — as of Jan. 31.

Alberta saw more than 1,600 opioid-related deaths in 2021.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 1, 2022.

SLUGLINEAlta-Addictions-Homeless-Funding
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