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University status “one of, if not the most singular, strategic economic development” initiative – Council on RDC Polytechnic announcement

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Mayor Veer statement on Red Deer College announcement on behalf of Council

Today, Advanced Education Minister Demertios Nicolaides announced Red Deer College will become a polytechnic institution, as a result of a recent post-secondary review process. The people of Central Alberta have waited 25 years for an answer regarding the future of Red Deer College, with the goal of ensuring the people of Red Deer and Central Alberta have equitable access to options in advanced education.

Red Deer College was expected to receive final approval for university status last spring, but the Provincial Government held back on the final decision until the Province’s system review of post-secondary institutions was complete. According to the Government of Alberta, the study was intended to assess how the post-secondary system was meeting current and future needs, review the governance structure, provide comparisons to other post-secondary systems and develop a vision for the future.

While there are some expressed concerns within our community about the change in direction from RDC becoming a university to RDC as a polytechnic institution, including Council’s own questions on behalf of Red Deerians expressed to the Government, ultimately I support a path forward that will protect RDC’s ability to stay true to its roots in trades, technology and the arts, with the ability to confer degrees for other academic pursuits and fields of study. RDC assures City Council that the polytechnic accomplishes these objectives.

Degree conferring status for RDC is one of, if not the most singular, strategic economic development and community building initiatives we can undertake. For our city and region to fulfill our potential, we need to not only retain our existing population, we need to become a competitive contender in keeping and attracting new population to our city. One of the most promising means of doing so is through the development of a skilled labour force, offering a broader spectrum of career options locally, and attracting population who will stay and strengthen our local economy through their future contributions in various sectors.

Most importantly, building advanced education capacity at RDC ensures students in Red Deer and the region have more equitable access to advanced education services closer to home instead of being forced to relocate to other communities at great financial expense, or even more concerning, not pursue post-secondary education at all as a result of financial or geographic barriers.

I’d like to thank the generations of RDC leadership, faculty, staff, students, Students’ Association representatives and our community for your steadfast resolve and your insistence that the people of Red Deer and Central Alberta have equitable access to options in advanced education.

On behalf of Council and community, congratulations to this year’s graduates – we are proud of your accomplishments and look forward to supporting you in your future endeavors. Today, we welcome the fact that Red Deer College can finally take a significant step towards its future, and we remain committed to supporting the College, and the interests of the students who will always be RDC’s most compelling imperative, during this transition and in the years to come.”

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Business

The masks are coming off in Red Deer!

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Reverend Leonard Gaetz Bronze

Municipal mask bylaws to expire July 1, some provincial mask restrictions to remain in place

All three of Red Deer’s face covering bylaws will expire on July 1, in line with the lifting of the provincial mask mandate.

On June 18, the Government of Alberta announced that the general indoor provincial mask mandate would be lifted on July 1, with masking still required in some specific circumstances, including public transit.

At their meeting on May 25, Red Deer City Council made the decision to expire the local face covering bylaws when the provincial mandate was lifted. As such, the following bylaws will expire on July 1:

  • Face Coverings in Indoor Public Places and Public Vehicles Bylaw 3656/B-2021 (enacted on November 23, 2020)
  • Face Coverings in City Civic Facilities 3657/B-2021 (enacted on November 23, 2020)
  • Transit Face Covering Bylaw 3654/B-2021(enacted on August 17, 2020)

While the municipal face covering bylaws will expire, there will still be masking requirements as per provincial restrictions. Masks will still be Provincially mandated under in the following situations:

  • On public transit
  • In public ride shares and taxis
  • In specific continuing care and acute healthcare care settings

Additionally, there may be occupational and business masking requirements, so Red Deerians may still see people wearing masks outside of the Provincially mandated mask requirements.

For full details on the provincial mask mandates still in place after July 1, visit www.alberta.ca.

As restrictions are set to be lifted, citizens are reminded to get vaccinated and continue following public health restrictions in place, including the use of masks, physical distancing and staying home when sick.

For more information, please visit reddeer.ca/covid

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Alberta

$1,200 Covid payment for 76,500 more Albertans including truck drivers, janitors, taxi drivers, security guards, farm workers, etc

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More Albertans to receive $1,200 Critical Worker Benefit

76,500 more workers to receive a one-time payment to recognize the risks they have taken to support Albertans and the economy.

The Critical Worker Benefit is a joint federal-provincial program with $465 million available to recognize the hard work of critical workers during the pandemic.

During the first round of the Critical Worker Benefit Alberta’s government provided $1,200 payments to over 277,800 workers in the healthcare, social services, education and private sectors who deliver critical services to Albertans or support food and medical supply chains.

Workers in new job categories will be eligible for the same $1,200 payment. This includes workers in social services and the private sector who provided critical services to Albertans, were essential to the supply and movement of goods, and faced greater potential risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their work environments.

To be eligible for the benefit, employees must have worked a minimum of 300 hours during the period of Oct. 12, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2021. Support staff working in licensed child care must have worked a minimum of 243 hours during this period.

Eligible social services sector employers do not need to apply. Employers of support staff working in licensed child care programs, disability support workers providing independent living supports, respite, community access, and employment supports, and front-line workers in seniors-serving organizations and non-profit affordable housing providers will be contacted by the Government of Alberta to confirm details.

Eligible private sector workers making $25 per hour or less will also qualify for the benefit. These workers include: truck drivers, farmworkers, security guards, cleaners, funeral workers, employees at quick service and dine in restaurants and taxi drivers who can demonstrate they worked at least 300 hours during the eligibility period. The complete list of eligible workers for this phase of the program are available in the Application Guidelines for the private sector at alberta.ca/criticalworkerbenefit.

Private sector employers can apply on behalf of employees at alberta.ca/criticalworkerbenefit as of June 22. Employers have until July 23 to apply.

Employers will be responsible for distributing the $1,200 Critical Worker Benefit to their eligible employees.

Alberta’s government is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by protecting lives and livelihoods with precise measures to bend the curve, sustain small businesses, and protect Alberta’s health care system.

Quick facts

  • Alberta’s government contributed $118 million to the $465 million program.
  • A total of about $367 million has been spent on about 289,800 workers.
  • $355 million has been spent on about 277,800 workers in the phase one of the Critical Worker Benefit. This includes social services workers, health care workers, education workers and critical private sector workers, such as grocery cashiers, pharmacy assistants, and gas station attendants.
  • Announced in April 2020, Alberta also used $12 million of the one-time federal funding along with a provincial investment totalling $30 million to date to provide a $2 an hour wage top-up for about 12,000 health care aides working in long-term care and designated supportive living facilities.
  • About $99 million is available for about 76,500 workers in the social services and private sectors.
  • The break down of benefit recipient is:
    • Up to $18.5 million in the social services sector supporting 14,300 workers
    • Up to $80.3 million in the private sector supporting 62,200 workers

 

Workers in the following private sector occupations are eligible to receive the Critical Worker Benefit:

  • truck transportation, primarily engaged in the transportation of goods, in the following occupations:
    • ­transport truck drivers
    • ­light duty cleaners
    • ­janitors, caretakers and building superintendents
    • ­security guards and related security services
    • ­material handlers
    • ­dlivery and courier services drivers
    • ­other trades helpers and labourers
  • crop production, animal production or aquaculture directly involved in the production of food for human consumption
  • funeral homes, cemeteries and crematoria
    • not eligible: municipally-run funeral homes, cemeteries and crematoria
  • security guards
    • not eligible: private investigators, armoured car guard, house detective, personal bodyguards and security
  • light duty cleaners, janitors and specialized cleaners working in commercial, institution and industrial locations
    • not eligible: private residence cleaners
  • taxi drivers
    • not eligible: chauffers and drivers of ride-share companies such as Uber and Lyft
  • workers in full-service restaurants and limited services eating places – workers must be primarily involved in the preparation, cooking or service delivery in an eligible establishment
    • not eligible: drinking places that do not serve food onsite

Read the application guidelines for the private sector for more information.

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june, 2021

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