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Voting has begun. Red Deer teacher representing Canada for Most Valuable Teacher title

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Local teacher in the running for $20,000 technology grant

Eastview’s Jeremy Spink the only Canadian vying for the prize

A Red Deer teacher is the only Canadian in the running for a huge prize of $20,000 and the title of 2020/21 NHL/NHLPA Most Valuable Teacher, presented by SAP (Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing) and he needs your votes to win!

Jeremy Spink, Teacher at Eastview Middle School, is one of three teachers across North America vying for the technology grant and bragging rights of being named Most Valuable Teacher. If he is successful, Red Deer Public Schools will use the money to support students with technology to help bring Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics concepts to life at Eastview Middle School.

The community can help Spink win by voting daily on the Future Goals™ Teacher of the Year website from May 3-7.

Spink won the title for the month of February after competing against dozens of other teachers across North America. Red Deer Public received a $10,000 grant in which Eastview purchased technology for classrooms.

“I didn’t really realize the magnitude of the whole program when I was nominated for February. The amount of support I received from our community was amazing – everyone really rallied around this cause. It was amazing on my part and I was touched by the support. It was such a great feeling,” said Spink. “To take this to the next level will really be putting Red Deer, Red Deer Public and Eastview Middle School on the map across Canada. To bring our community into the spotlight and show what great things we do in our schools and in our Division would be amazing.”

Spink, who has been a teacher at Eastview for more than 20 years, has incorporated the Future Goals™ – Hockey Scholar program into his classroom, which is designed to leverage STEM in hockey to create a fun and memorable learning experience.

“It is a great program and it all ties right into our curricular goals,” he said. “I am dedicated to teaching applications for STEM because I know that it not only impacts how healthy and productive students are during this time, but also their well-being and success far beyond the K-12 years.”

Eastview Middle School Principal Kevin Robertson said Spink has been a leader in the school’s hockey program and worked with other teachers in delivering programming to Grades 6-8.

“In his hockey class, and in all of his classes, he instills a love of learning and particularly a love for the game for all of his hockey class students, through positive interactions and his infectious enthusiasm,” said Robertson. “If he were to win the MVT for 2020/2021, we would look at how we could further support technology in our classrooms, whether through more devices, or through other specific technologies for our hockey program and other areas to supplement instruction.”

How can the Red Deer community help? By voting for Spink once a day from May 3-7. To vote, visit the Future Goals™ Teacher of the Year website.

“I encourage people to vote because it will help put our community on the map. The other two teachers are from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, so to have our community of 100,000 people go up against these two huge communities and show our Alberta and Canada pride would be so great!” said Spink.

Alberta

Three Canadian teams to play in women's hockey Dream Gap Tour in Calgary

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CALGARY — Canada’s top players in women’s hockey will finally get to play real games later this month in Calgary.

The Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association (PWHPA) is holding Canada’s first Dream Gap Tour event in over a year May 24-30 at a Calgary venue yet to be announced.

Sixty players from the PWHPA’s three Canadian hubs in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary will play to determine the Canadian Secret Cup champion.

Secret, which announced a $1-million sponsorship of the PWHPA earlier this year, and the NHL’s Calgary Flames are the financial partners in the event.

Similar COVID-19 quarantine and testing protocols established by Hockey Canada for the world junior men’s hockey championship and national women’s and para hockey camps in Alberta will be incorporated.

Alberta tightened restrictions this week in the face of rising COVID cases, but Alberta Health has approved plans for the women’s tournament, PWHPA operations consultant Jayna Hefford said. 

“They believe the protocols, the quote-unquote bubble that’s been put in place, will secure the safety of our group and Albertans,” the Hockey Hall of Famer told The Canadian Press. “There will be no interaction with the public.”

While the PWHPA’s Calgary plans were in the works before Nova Scotia’s premier pulled the plug on this month’s women’s world championship, the Dream Gap Tour now offers an oasis in what’s been a pandemic hockey desert for the majority of players in the national women’s team pool.

The last real games many of them played came in a PWHPA tournament March 6-8, 2020 in Arizona. The last PWHPA event in Canada was Jan. 11-12, 2020 in Toronto.

The PWHPA’s American chapter has played a handful of games in the United States in recent weeks, although a two-day tournament in St. Louis was postponed from early April to May 16-17.

Canada’s mandatory 14-day quarantine upon return from outside the country kept Canadian players from participating in the U.S. games.

Stricter health regulations across Canada also made skating together in groups impossible at times and planning actual games in the country a non-starter.

“It’s been so challenging,” Hefford said. “We had to try to encourage our players to be patient early on in the season, and even in early 2021 we continued to reiterate we would only host events if we could feel really comfortable about the safety of everyone involved.”

The PWHPA, which includes Canadian and U.S. national team players, rose from the ashes of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League that folded in 2019. 

The goal of the roughly 150 players is a sustainable league that offers the competitive supports and training environments the male pros get, and wages that allow them to be professional athletes.

They’ve so far refused to join the six-team National Women’s Hockey League, which recently announced a doubling of each team’s salary cap to US$300,000 for next season. The Toronto Six is the lone Canadian club in that league.

The PWHPA held a series of Dream Gap Tour tournaments and events across North America in 2019-20 before the global pandemic brought the sporting world to its knees.

The pandemic continued to impede women’s hockey internationally and domestically.

The women’s world championship in Nova Scotia was cancelled a second straight year, although Hockey Canada is committed to hosting the tournament in August in a location yet to be named.

January’s world under-18 women’s championship in Sweden was called off, while a men’s under-20 champion was crowned in Edmonton that month.

The men’s world under-18 championship in Texas concludes Thursday. The men’s world championship is scheduled to open in just over two weeks on May 21 in Riga, Latvia.

The NHL, men’s minor pro leagues and major junior’s Western Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League all operated in some form this winter.

Calgary’s Scotiabank, Toronto’s Sonnet and Montreal’s Bauer squaring off for a trophy and prize money can help revive the visibility of women’s hockey in Canada, Hefford said.

“We represent the players and we want to see them out there,” she stated.

“We have partners that have been so loyal and committed, so helpful in this process to move this forward, get the women back on the ice. 

“It seems like men’s hockey has gone on and we continue to hit these hurdles. 

“I hope this is a great opportunity for the women to play, but also for people to see the best of women’s hockey on the ice again.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2021.

Donna Spencer, The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Canadian Natural reports $1.38B Q1 profit, record quarterly production

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CALGARY — Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. reported a first-quarter profit of nearly $1.38 billion compared with a loss a year ago.

The oilsands producer says the profit amounted to $1.16 per diluted share for the quarter ended March 31.

The result compared with a loss of $1.28 billion or $1.08 per diluted share a year ago.

Revenue totalled $6.6 billion, up from $4.5 billion in the first three months of 2020, helped by higher oil and natural gas prices.

Production in the quarter was a record 1,245,703 barrels of oil equivalent per day, up from 1,178,752 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the first quarter of 2020.

On an adjusted basis, Canadian Natural says it earned $1.03 per diluted share compared with an adjusted loss of 25 cents per share last year.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:CNQ)

The Canadian Press

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