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COVID-19

Westerner Days 2020 falls victim to COVID-19

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Red Deer Westerner Days Fair

From Westerner Park

Westerner Days Fair & Exposition COVID-19 Update

After weeks of being optimistic that Westerner Days Fair and Exposition would continue, Westerner Park made the extremely difficult announcement that the Fair will be postponed until July 2021. The decision came following the Government of Alberta’s direction that mass gathering restrictions, which includes events and festivals, are expected to continue through the summer.

“We know these are necessary measures to ensure the health and safety of our entire community,” says Mike Olesen, Chief Executive Officer, Westerner Park. “Although this is our top priority, it doesn’t make the announcement any easier. This will have far-reaching effects on our community, partners, vendors, and organization.”

“Our staff and volunteers are all heavy-hearted about the news, but we know that by taking these measures now we are not alone in the sacrifice that will help us all stay healthy and come together soon.”

Westerner Days has a major impact on the economy of Red Deer and the surrounding area. In a normal year, the overall effect is estimated in excess of $7 million dollars. Of that total, approximately $5 million is spent by visitors, exhibitors, and contractors in Red Deer and area.

“We are Central Alberta’s largest summer celebration and know the Fair means a lot to our community,” says Janice Wing, President &
Board Chair, Westerner Park, “As a non-profit agricultural society, Westerner Days is our largest annual event, made possible by our team of staff and volunteers and the support of our partners, sponsors and community. We know the impact of this will be felt by everyone.”

Individuals that purchased RAD passes will be contacted later today with information about their refunds.

Westerner Park is pivoting its focus to the fall. “The way we celebrate with everyone may look different this year, but our dedication to the community will not change.”

The organization remains committed to supporting all efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and Westerner Park looks forward to opening its doors to celebrate again with the community once it is safe to do so.

The countdown starts for 2021 Westerner Days, only 451 days!

#RedDeerStrong – The SnapHappy Photographer is taking free #PorchPortraits of your self-isolation crew!

Community

Staying active during COVID

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Staying active during COVID

During this unprecedented time, exercise becomes even more important to help with anxiety and stress. Let’s use exercise and physical activity to help manage any overwhelming negative emotions. We can continue to be active, despite of the pandemic with a few easy changes in our lives. Here’s Jonah, a family nurse and health basics coach from the Red Deer Primary Care Network.

Red Deer Primary Care Network (RDPCN) is a partnership between Family Doctors and Alberta Health Services. Health professionals such as psychologists, social workers, nurses and pharmacists work in clinics alongside family doctors.

In addition, programs and groups are offered at the RDPCN central location. This improves access to care, health promotion, chronic disease management and coordination of care.  RDPCN is proud of the patient care offered, the effective programs it has designed and the work it does with partners in health care and the community.

Read more stories from the Red Deer Primary Care Network.

Inspired to be healthy

 

 

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COVID-19

Opposition requests Auditor General look into 900 million dollar outsourcing to WE Charity

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Last week Prime Minister Trudeau announced WE Charity was going to be hired to pay post-secondary students between $1,000 and $5,000 for volunteer work. The outsourcing of a contract of nearly a billion dollars to deliver a government program is setting off alarm bells with the Conservative Opposition.  Pierre Poilievre has responded by writing the following letter to Canada’s Auditor General.


Dear Auditor General,
WE may have a problem.

Ms. Karen Hogan
Auditor General of Canada
240 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0G6

June 28, 2020

Dear Auditor General Hogan,

On Thursday, June 25th, the Liberal government announced they will be outsourcing the Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG), a $900 million-dollar program, to the internationally mandated WE Charity. The CSSG will pay post-secondary students and recent graduates between $1,000 and $5,000 dollars for volunteer work. Outsourcing a $900 million-dollar program designed to pay students and recent graduates for volunteer work to a third party raises justifiable concerns and a number of questions. In addition, the connections between WE Charity and the Prime Minister are well documented.

In a display of cross-partisan collaboration, the House of Commons mandated your office to conduct an audit of the government’s COVID-19 spending. Your office included the COVID-19 spending audit in its top three prioritized audits to be completed. On June 9th, the Standing Committee on Finance passed a unanimous motion (10 YEAS to 0 NAYS) calling on your office to audit all programs associated with COVID-19, and for the government to provide your office with sufficient funding to do so. During your appearance at Finance Committee on Monday, June 22nd, you stated:

“We viewed the committee’s motion as reinforcing the importance of our work and its value to parliament. We pride ourselves in supporting Parliament to the best of our abilities. Given our current resourcing and funding levels, we need to be selective when deciding on the audits that we conduct; we will not be able to audit each, and every federal program associated with Canada’s COVID-19 response.”

Auditor General, we are writing to ask your office and team of auditors to include the $900 million-dollar CSSG program and the government’s outsourcing of it to WE Charity in your final report to Parliament on the government’s pandemic spending. By outsourcing this program to a third party, the proper channels for Opposition scrutiny, the very bedrock of our parliamentary democracy, have been circumvented. Indeed, it is your office that will provide the most legitimate and transparent examination of this program.

The Trudeau government has brought forward unprecedented levels of spending and administration of programs due to COVID-19, but this does not mean that accountability, transparency and value for money should be ignored. Simply put, they can never be ignored.

Auditor General, we look forward to your response to our request to include the government’s $900 million-dollar Canada Student Service Grant, and the administration of this program to the internationally run WE Charity, in your final report to Parliament on the government’s COVID-19 spending.

Sincerely,

Hon. Pierre Poilievre, M.P.
Shadow Minister for Finance

Dan Albas, M.P.
Shadow Minister for Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

Raquel Dancho, M.P.
Shadow Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Youth

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july, 2020

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