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Alberta

Update 19: Northwest Alberta wildfires (June 12 at 5 p.m.)

Published

June 12, 2019

Evacuation orders have been lifted for Bigstone Cree Nation and the Hamlets of Wabasca-Desmarais, Sandy Lake and Chipewyan Lake. More than 3,700 people are now able to return home.

To date, more than 9,800 evacuees from the following communities have been approved to return home:

  • High Level
  • Mackenzie County
  • Dene Tha’ First Nation
  • County of Northern Lights, south of Twin Lakes Campground including Notikewin
  • Marten Beach (MD of Lesser Slave Lake)
  • Keg River/Carcajou
  • Peerless and Trout Lake communities
  • Bigstone Cree Nation 166 A, B, C and D
  • Municipal District of Opportunity 17
    • Hamlet of Wabasca-Desmarais
    • Hamlet of Sandy Lake
    • Hamlet of Chipewyan Lake

Evacuees returning received re-entry packages with advice on what to do when they arrived home.

Evacuees can find tips on re-entry by visiting https://www.alberta.ca/emergency.aspx. Information includes making sure all your utilities are working, cleaning up and how to deal with door-to-door salespeople offering services and insurance.

Approximately 700 evacuees are displaced due to a mandatory evacuation order for Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement.

The following communities remain on evacuation alert:

  • Bigstone Cree Nation 166 A, B, C and D
  • Hamlet of Wabasca-Desmarais
  • Hamlet of Sandy Lake
  • Hamlet of Chipewyan Lake
  • County of Northern Lights
    • North of Township Road 910 to the north county border, including the Twin Lakes Campground, Keg River, Carcajou and the Town of Manning

Current situation:

  • Chuckegg Creek wildfire, southwest of High Level, is about 269,648 hectares.
  • Jackpot Creek wildfire, approximately 11 kilometres north of Lutose, is about 28,167 hectares.
  • McMillan Wildfire Complex, southwest of Bigstone Cree Nation, is more than 263,969 hectares.
  • Battle Wildfire Complex in Peace River is about 55,179 hectares.
  • There are more than 2,000 wildland and structural firefighters and staff, approximately 159 helicopters and 22 air tankers and 233 pieces of heavy equipment on these fires.
  • Check Alberta Emergency Alerts for more detailed and frequently updated information.
  • People driving in fire-affected areas should carry enough fuel, as it may not be readily available.
  • Be cautious of organizations not registered to solicit donations. For information on how you can help, visit https://www.alberta.ca/emergency.aspx.

Visit alberta.ca/emergency for detailed and frequently updated information.

Air quality

Financial supports

  • Evacuees should check alberta.ca/emergency for updates on evacuation payment eligibility.
  • Evacuees in need of financial assistance for immediate needs can apply for an Income Support program emergency needs allowance. This benefit may cover your accommodation, clothing and other urgent needs. Please call 1-877-644-9992 for more information.
  • You may qualify for the evacuation payment if you:
    • were living, working or vacationing in the affected area
    • were forced to leave due to an evacuation order
    • paid for most of your costs to evacuate
    • were forced to leave your residence (primary, working or vacationing) due to a mandatory evacuation order – current communities include:
      • High Level
      • Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement
      • Bushe River
      • Chateh
      • Meander River
      • Wabasca-Desmarais
      • Bigstone Cree Nation 166 A, B, C and D
      • Sandy Lake
      • Chipewyan Lake Village
      • Keg River
      • Carcajou
      • Northern border of the County of Northern Lights to Township Road 922 (Notikewin Road)
      • Steen River
      • Trout Lake
  • Albertans who qualify will receive $1,250 and $500 for each dependent child under 18 living in the same home when the evacuation order was given.
  • Application methods:
  • Apply online through the MyAlberta Evacuation Payment application using a smartphone, device or desktop. Interac e-transfers may take 24 hours to process.
  • All payment distribution centres are now closed.
  • If you need help applying, contact Alberta Supports to find the nearest centre: Toll free: 1-877-644-9992 (Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.) In-person: Find an Alberta Supports Centre.
  • More than 11,400 individuals have received evacuee support totaling close to $11.6 million.

Reception and call centres

  • All evacuees should register with an evacuation reception centre, even if you’ve found alternate accommodations.
  • Reception centres are assisting evacuees either in person and/or by phone:
    • Grande Prairie – 780-567-5587
    • Peace River Town Hall (9911 100 Street) – 780-624-2574
    • Wabasca-Desmarais Lakeview Sports Centre (102 Opportunity Drive) – 780-891-2659
    • Dene Wellness Centre – 1-867-874-2652
  • Evacuation reception centre hours can be found at alberta.ca/emergency.
  • The Government of Alberta contact centre is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday. Call 310-4455.

Highway updates

  • To stay informed on all road closures due to the wildfires, visit 511.Alberta.ca or download the mobile app.

Insurance information

  • Most home and tenant insurance policies provide coverage for living expenses during an evacuation.
  • Evacuees should retain all of their receipts for food, accommodation and other related expenses to provide to their insurer.
  • Albertans can contact the Insurance Bureau of Canada at 1-844-227-5422 or by email at askibcwest@ibc.ca. Information about insurance coverage is available online at ibc.ca/ab/disaster/alberta-wildfire.

Justice and legal matters

  • Community Corrections and Release operations have resumed in High Level.
  • High Level Court is open.
  • Chateh Court matters will be heard in High Level Court until further notice. Call 780-926-3715 for inquiries.
  • Fort Vermilion Court matters have resumed. Call 780-926-3715 for inquiries.
  • Wabasca-Desmarais matters will continue to be held in High Prairie until further notice. Call the High Prairie Court at 780-523-6600 regarding any matters scheduled.

Education

  • The schools of Fort Vermilion School Division will remain closed for the remainder of the school year. Students wishing to write a diploma exam, Grade 6 or Grade 9 provincial achievement tests should make arrangements with the Fort Vermilion School Division. For further information visit: fvsd.ab.ca.
  • School officials in fire-impacted areas will address the impacts of disruption on the academic program and school year. Students or their guardians should watch for online or direct communications from local school authorities about specific changes.

Provincial park closures

  • All provincial parks that were temporarily closed due to the threat of fire have reopened.
  • Calling Lake Provincial Park campground is currently supporting evacuees. The boat launch in Calling Lake remains open.
  • Current information about fire bans, restrictions and closures in provincial parks and campgrounds is available at http://www.albertaparks.ca/

Boil water advisory

  • A boil water advisory is in place for Meander River (Dene Tha’ First Nation).

Health

  • Wabasca-Desmarais Healthcare Centre is now open.
  • Mental health support is available by calling Alberta’s 24-hour help line at 1-877-303-2642, the Addiction Helpline at 1-866-332-2322, or Health Link at 811.
  • The Northwest Health Centre in High Level is open.
  • Alberta Health Services is providing enhanced addiction and mental health services to help residents in High Level following the evacuation.
  • New, temporary walk-in services for individuals experiencing addiction and mental health concerns are available seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Mental Health Clinic at Northwest Health Centre in High Level. For more information, please call the clinic directly at 780-841-3229.
  • Alberta Health Services has relocated acute patients and continuing care residents from La Crete and Fort Vermilion to health facilities in Edmonton and surrounding communities.
  • The emergency department at St. Theresa General Hospital in Fort Vermilion remains open. 

Pets and livestock

  • High Level animal control has collected household pets that have been left behind. For questions regarding your pets, please call 780-926-2201.
  • For evacuees in the Wabasca area, please fill out an online form on the Alberta Animal Disaster Response Facebook group, or text 403-869-4964 and provide your name, contact number, number of animals missing, where they were last seen, and a brief description of your pet.
  • The County of Northern Lights will allow residents to enter property to look after livestock between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. Residents must first go to the county office to register for the temporary access pass.

Electricity and natural gas billing

  • High Level and area residential, farm, irrigation and small commercial electricity and natural gas customers will not be billed for the period covered by the evacuation order.

Donations and volunteers

  • High Level is not accepting donations or volunteers at this time.
  • The Town of Slave Lake has set up an online form for offers.
  • Check the Mackenzie County Facebook page for an up-to-date list of donations needed and drop-off locations.
  • There have been reports that local residents in High Level are being solicited by email or phone for donations in support of firefighters or affected residents. Do not share your personal information with them or donate money.
  • When asked for donations (either over the phone, through an e-mail, or in person), ask the canvasser for identification or printed information about the charity.
  • If you have concerns about the activities of a charitable organization including its fundraising practices, call Service Alberta: 1-877-427-4088.

Canada Post

  • Mail and parcel delivery in certain communities has been affected by the wildfires.
  • Canada Post has contingency measures in place to serve residents of these communities.
  • Check the Canada Post website for updates.

Other income and social supports

  • Evacuees who receive Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped or Income Support benefits by cheque should contact their worker to make arrangements to receive it.
  • Call Alberta Supports at 1-877-644-9992 between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday to Friday if you:
    • need information on other social supports
    • are a contracted service provider, family member or individual needing assistance through the Persons with Developmental Disabilities program
  • For information on child intervention and child care, call 1-800-638-0715
  • Employment insurance: evacuees can visit Service Canada online to apply at www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei.html. Use code 4812014812201900.

Health card, driver’s licences, ID cards, birth certificate

  • To get a replacement Health Care Insurance Card call 780-427-1432 or toll free at 310-0000 and then 780-427-1432 when prompted. Your Alberta Personal Health Card can be mailed to a temporary address.  
  • If driver’s licences, identification cards, and/or birth certificates were left behind during the evacuation, replacement cards and certificates can be ordered free of charge at a registry agent.

Public information

  • You can call 310-4455 for more information – Monday to Friday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Related information

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#visionCanada2119

Building the Canada we want. An alternate approach to “wexit” sentiments

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Submitted by Scott Cameron

Canada Chats: Building the Canada we want – An alternate approach to the “wexit” sentiments #visioncanada2119

Back in the eighties, I had a maple leaf proudly stitched onto the back of my new SunIce jacket and headed over to Europe. I wanted my Canadian identity to be prominent and unmistakable.  I still feel that way, and amid the hurt, anger, fear and frustration being felt across the country I’m not ready to throw in the towel.

For some, the pioneer spirit is taking hold and guiding people to consider forging a new path – to boldly break ties with our Canadian family and embark on a new journey – alone. I’ve lived in Alberta all my life, and I’ve heard separatist sentiments in the past, but this feels different.

I tried running away from my family once. I think I was six. Frustrated and angry about a decision, I threw a few things into a bag and marched out the door.  Not sure I was more than 150 feet from the  house before a new perspective began to emerge. The difference here is that comments are beginning to emerge that go beyond emotion – some people are actually trying to figure out what that might look like.

I don’t think we’ve really exhausted our efforts to pull Canada together. I don’t like the Alberta chatter about leaving confederation in the same way that I didn’t (and still don’t) want Quebec to leave.

I don’t like the idea of leaving my friends in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan stranded between two former reflections of themselves to represent Canada – and all that we share as a nation. I want to believe that the majority of Canadians from coast to coast to coast want to keep Canada whole.

Under all our raw emotions, I think Canadians have more in common than we have differences. We might disagree about ‘how’ we’re going to protect the planet while exporting raw goods, ‘how’ we best take care of people in need while encouraging a strong economy and keeping people employed, or even ‘how’ we finally accept that both Ontario and BC make amazing wines – we don’t have to determine that one is better that the other – they’re both Canadian.

I want to encourage you to reach out beyond your comfort level and engage in a discussion about the future of this great nation. Call your friend in New Brunswick, Ontario or Alberta and ask them if they’d like to keep Canada whole. Bravely engage in a conversation with your aunt in the Lower Mainland about her environmental views. Be curious. Be courteous. Be patient. Have the conversation with your neighbour in #timhortons – it could become the new centre for Canadian democracy – #cafeofcommons.

Take the time to listen for understanding. Suspend your urge to prepare a defence while they’re speaking. Be prepared to leave the conversation without expressing your views unless asked. I met with a young communications student from the University of

Calgary this week. We had a coffee conversation about what these conversations could do for the country. We talked about social media, appreciative inquiry, the fact that everything seems to be positioned to create controversy because of its polarity, and he suggested that we might start by envisioning a unified Canada 100 years from now – 2119.

You know, I’m of the age that grandchildren would we a welcome addition to the family. I want them to grow up in a prosperous, clean, considerate and unified Canada – the best place on the planet to raise a family. I’m extending an invitation to you – my fellow Canadians – to engage in a conversation that’s aspirational and unifying – one that makes it possible for our future generations to be proud to wear the maple leaf.

Admit it, feels pretty darned amazing to watch our young athletes stand atop the world stage every four years as we hear our national anthem play. I don’t want our negative emotions to get in the way of that – I want my grandkids to experience that for themselves. Let’s exercise respect, integrity and curiosity to make Canada truly amazing.  I’m inviting you to join the conversation at #visioncanada2119.

Scott Cameron is the President/CEO of bassa Social Innovations – a consulting firm dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals, families and communities. As a community development professional, Scott understands and appreciates the value of dialogue and community engagement. He often finds himself in the midst of complexity yet remains optimistic about the future because he believes in the inherent ‘good’ among people – the desire to be good neighbours and to find collaborative solutions for some of our most challenging issues.

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Alberta

Official Installation Ceremony for RDC President Dr. Peter Nunoda

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Dr. Peter Nunoda, Red Deer College’s new President

From Red Deer College Communications

Red Deer College celebrates new President during Installation Ceremony

Festivities included new traditions and a look towards institution’s future as a university

It was a special day for Dr. Peter Nunoda, Red Deer College’s new President.  While he began his tenure in September, Dr. Nunoda was officially installed as RDC’s 11th President during a ceremony Tuesday, November 12.

“I am humbled to receive the warm welcome from the College community and our external partners that I have enjoyed today, as well as during other occasions in the brief time I’ve lived in central Alberta,” says Dr. Nunoda.

Red Deer College was a buzz with special moments during the Installation Ceremony as the College community, government representatives, dignitaries and community members from across central Alberta welcomed formally Dr. Nunoda.

Indigenous drumming and singing provided entertainment for the audience, as well as signifying RDC’s continued commitment to collaborating with Indigenous communities in the spirit of reconciliation. In recognition of Dr. Nunoda’s proud Japanese Canadian heritage, members of the Students’ Association honoured him with a loaned piece from the College’s permanent art collection. The students presented a colour woodblock on silk by famed Japanese artist Kunisada that dates from 1848-58. This art will be displayed by Dr. Nunoda in his office during his term.

A new tradition for Red Deer College was introduced as Dr. Nunoda took an Oath of Office led by Her Honour, the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell, CM, AOE, LLD, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta. Dr. Nunoda also received a new Presidential stole that he will wear as part of his academic regalia at future Convocation Ceremonies and other important events.

“On behalf of my colleagues on the Board of Governors, I was honoured to host today’s Installation Ceremony as we welcome Dr. Nunoda into our College community at this momentous point in our institution’s history,” says Guy Pelletier, Chair of RDC’s Board of Governors. “Dr. Nunoda has already identified a strong path for where he will lead this institution into the future as a university, and we are very excited to collaborate with him and our community to realize this bold transformation that has been decades in the making.”

Dr. Nunoda provided the audience with a glimpse of his leadership and the future he envisions for Red Deer University during today’s ceremony. This vision includes continuing to serve learners as a polytechnic university offering more diverse programs. As a university, this includes degrees, apprenticeships and the full breadth of other credentials that RDC currently offers. Additionally, existing and future facilities on RDC’s vibrant campuses will provide opportunities for community collaboration and a culture of engagement. Recognizing Alberta’s current economic conditions, Dr. Nunoda identified the need for a strong business model that contributes to the institution’s economic and environmental sustainability.

While honouring RDC’s past successes and strong reputation, Dr. Nunoda also noted it will be important to highlight the value of practical education and signature learning experiences that students will receive from Red Deer University, so that employers realize the benefit of the skills and knowledge that work-ready graduates will provide to the local and global economy.

“We have an exciting future ahead as Red Deer University, continuing to grow practical learning opportunities for our students, and creating stronger connections with individuals and organizations in our region,” says Dr. Nunoda. “Through innovative solutions, creative problem solving and an energetic touch of imagination, we will reach our goals and position Red Deer University as the first choice for post-secondary education.”

Dr. Nunoda identified a strong desire to work with government partners to allow the institution to begin calling itself Red Deer University starting in September 2020, citing the institution’s readiness and work that is currently underway. This work includes program development for three new degrees: Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Business Administration, with students anticipated to begin classes as early as September 2021, pending government approval.

Learn more about RDC’s 11th President, Dr. Peter Nunoda, by visiting rdc.ab.ca/president

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november, 2019

tue19nov1:00 pm3:00 pmDiabetes Discussion Drop In1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

thu21novAll Daysun24Festival of Trees(All Day)

thu21nov6:00 pm11:00 pmFestival of Trees - Preview Dinner6:00 pm - 11:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

fri22nov8:00 pm11:00 pmFestival of Wines8:00 pm - 11:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

sat23nov9:00 am12:00 pmFestival Family Bingo - 1st time ever!9:00 am - 12:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

sat23nov6:00 pm11:00 pmMistletoe Magic !6:00 pm - 11:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

sat23nov8:00 pmRed Deer Nov 23 - Calgary's THIRD CHAMBER - EP release show "Harvesting Our Decay"8:00 pm

sun24nov9:00 am12:00 pmBreakfast with Santa9:00 am - 12:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

mon25nov1:30 am2:30 pmPlanning A Calmer Christmas1:30 am - 2:30 pm

mon25nov6:30 pm8:30 pmRustic Succulent Box WorkshopUnique Workshop to create Succulent Box6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

tue26nov1:00 pm3:00 pmDiabetes Discussion Drop InDiabetes Discussion Drop In1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

thu28nov7:30 pm11:00 pmA special Christmas Musical Event at The KrossingBig Hank's Tribute to the Blues Songs of Christmas7:30 pm - 11:00 pm MST The Krossing, 5114 48 Avenue

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