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Will we ever again know what is really happening here at home?

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How do we get “Real” local news? Who asks the tough questions?
Who holds anyone to account?
Someone asked me about the rash of incidents in Red Deer involving holes being drilled into cars’ gas tanks. I knew nothing but this person living in Southern Alberta heard about it. Is it “Fake” news? Is it real?
Two days later over lunch, I was asked about finding local news as the questioner thought the local websites and papers dealt very little with local news and either dealt with entertainment or world news easily obtained elsewhere.
Then to end the week, another friend asked me about local accountability and how do we find the other side or the background of a story in Red Deer.
The week began with questions from a group of the Millennial generation, with divided opinions of the trustworthiness of Facebook, the popularity of Twitter, and a myriad of other sites and Apps.
Then the concerned parties were from older segments of society. Believe it but some were even older than me.
Have we seen the end of reliable journalism? Will we think that every article could be fake news planted by a foreign power hoping to influence our thoughts?
How many websites do we have to visit to find out what is happening across the street, down the road, or around the corner?
It is easy to wish for a single source but is it possible?
Reporting the news is expensive and time consuming, and news reporters need to be profitable. Advertisers need a larger market than a local media outlet specializing in local news can offer. So what do we do?
Surprising enough there is some desire for a step back to old time newspapers. Have breakfast at an A&W sometime and watch the newspapers flow around the room.
But there is a need for journalism, questions, investigative reporting, and stories that tell both sides of an issue?
How do we achieve it if it is possible?
Years ago I subscribed to the National Post, the Edmonton Journal and the Red Deer Advocate, and the standing joke was you would read a story first in the National Post, the second day it would be in the Edmonton Journal then the third day it would appear in the Red Deer Advocate.
I supported the local media, but it started to feel redundant if I was getting news late and not getting the local stories that I was hoping for. Like many I now get my news from various sources, including websites and apps but it reminds me a lot of the old rumor mill and you wonder what you can believe?
Will we ever have a trustworthy reporter who we can count on to ask the tough questions, know the facts and keep us informed about what is happening “Here”? I think those days are gone, do you?

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Alberta

Alberta paving the way for newcomers to get to work

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From the Government of Alberta: Ensuring fairness for newcomers

Bill 11, the Fair Registration Practices Act, will help newcomers get their credentials recognized, so they can quickly get to work in their fields to help grow the economy and create jobs.

The act is a key part of the government’s Fairness for Newcomers Action Plan.

Highly trained immigrant professionals can sometimes spend years jumping through regulatory hoops while their skills atrophy.

This can result in a significant loss of economic productivity for the Alberta economy. If passed, the Fair Registration Practices Act would cut red tape, remove barriers, speed up the process where possible, hold professional bodies accountable, and increase fairness and transparency.

Our goal is to get all Albertans back to work. Too often, we hear stories of ‘doctors driving cabs’ syndrome – and we are taking action to make sure newcomers’ credentials are evaluated and assessed objectively and in a timely manner.” Jason Kenney, Premier

“It’s important for Alberta’s professional bodies to maintain high professional standards while allowing qualified newcomers to fully contribute to our economy. And not only that, giving newcomers the chance to pursue the careers they’ve trained for is, simply put, the right thing to do.” Jason Copping, Minister of Labour and Immigration

“The settlement sector in Alberta has been advocating for fair recognition of newcomer qualifications for decades. The proven detrimental impact of underemployment of newcomer professionals is felt not only within their own families, but throughout society as well. We are certain that fair recognition of credentials will improve the quality of life of all Albertans, and are grateful this legislation is being introduced so quickly by the new government.” Anila Lee Yuen, president & CEO, Centre for Newcomers

The proposed bill would:

  • Provide the authority to create a Fair Registration Practices Office.
  • Reduce the red tape associated with the assessment of foreign credentials.
  • Work with regulators to ensure registration practices are transparent, objective, impartial and fair.
  • Maintain Alberta’s high professional standards.

Bill 11 would require regulatory bodies to:

  • Assess applications and communicate assessment decisions within specific time frames for interim registration decisions and within reasonable time frames for final registration decisions.
  • Submit reports regarding fair registration practices to the minister responsible for the act.

“ASET is the regulator of engineering and geoscience technology practice in Alberta, and is committed to fully objective criteria for certification, and a level playing field for all applicants. Having long since adopted high standards of fairness in our admissions practices, ASET applauds the initiative for fair assessment of all applicants.” Barry Cavanaugh, CEO, Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta

If passed, the legislation would come into force on proclamation.

Quick facts

  • According to the Conference Board of Canada, Canadians would earn up to $17 billion more annually if their learning credentials were fully recognized.
    • Immigrants are the largest group, with an estimated 524,000 international credential holders affected by a lack of learning recognition.
  • Provinces such as Ontario, Manitoba and Nova Scotia already have fairness legislation to ensure that professional regulatory organizations have fair registration practices.
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City of Red Deer

City wants your thoughts on homelessness

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From City of Red Deer Communications

Help shape Red Deer’s housing and homelessness plan

As part of the Community Housing & Homelessness Integrated Plan, residents are invited to complete a survey to provide their feedback about housing and homelessness in Red Deer.

Driven by a Council Ad Hoc Committee, the overall goal of the Community Housing & Homelessness Integrated Plan (CHHIP) is to develop a strategic and innovative housing plan that will help achieve the community’s housing goals.

“Everyone needs a place to live, and the work we’re doing today with the CHHIP will guide housing andhomelessness planning now and in the future,” said Tricia Hercina, Manager of Social Planning with the City of Red Deer. “This is a community plan, and will focus on the full non-market housing spectrum.”

To ensure the plan is reflective of community needs, all citizens are invited to provide their feedback. A survey is currently available at reddeer.ca/surveys. The survey will be open to the public until July 5, 2019, and should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. In addition to the survey, a series of community conversations will occur. These opportunities will be advertised as they become available.

“We are asking for the community’s help with identifying current housing and homelessness needs within Red Deer, and ideas to address those needs in our communities by completing our survey,” saidHercina. “This valuable input will help us ensure this community plan is truly reflective of the community’s needs.”

Click here to go to the survey!

For more information about the CHHIP, please visit: http://www.reddeer.ca/city-government/mayor-and- city-councillors/council-committees/our-committees/community-housing–homelessness-integrated- plan/

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june, 2019

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