Father’s Day: Statement from Premier Notley

“As children, we look up to our dads – literally, and with our greatest esteem. They are the men who seem to know everything, the ones who challenge us to aim highest in our dreams and who defend and comfort us in our lowest moments.

“Our fathers show us that gentleness can be the greatest expression of strength, that humility is a towering virtue, that love finds its most powerful expression when it is quiet and constant and endlessly understanding.

“Every day in Alberta, fathers care for their children in and out of the home, and work to provide the best for them. Our government is proud to help them, and all parents, with programs like the Alberta Child Benefit, affordable child care pilots and new family-friendly workplace rules that protect jobs for those who need to care for a sick kid.

“Fathers recognize the good in us and help us find it in ourselves. They are our biggest fans, and it is a privilege to make them proud. I invite Albertans to show their gratitude and appreciation today to the men who helped raise them.

“Happy Father’s Day!”

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Province protects historic Ukrainian hall

Minister Miranda and members of the Highland Community Hall of Barich Society and Smoky Lake County officials celebrate designation of the Ukrainian Farmers’ National Home of Taras Shevchenko (Highland Hall) as a Provincial Historic Resource.

The hall was named for Shevchenko, a renowned Ukrainian poet, writer, artist and political figure whose works and life have been honoured by Ukrainians around the world.

“Our government is proud to designate the Ukrainian Farmers’ National Home of Taras Shevchenko as a Provincial Historic Resource, ensuring the stories of Ukrainian settlement in central Alberta continue to be shared today and for generations to come. Preservation of Alberta’s historic places helps strengthen pride in our past while creating new economic opportunities for the future through heritage tourism.”

Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism

The Ukrainian Farmer’s National Home of Taras Shevchenko is also known locally as the Highland Hall for its hilltop location. Designation follows the meticulous restoration of the hall, near Smoky Lake, an initiative spearheaded by the Highland Community Hall of Barich Society with support from the County of Smoky Lake and area residents.

“Designation of the Highland Hall as a Provincial Historic Resource is the culmination of a lot of heartfelt hard work by members of this community. We look forward to sharing this cherished landmark and the memories that have been made here with newcomers and visitors to our community long into the future.”

Noreen Easterbrook, Highland Community Hall of Barich Society

The architecturally significant hall was constructed in 1933 by early Ukrainian homesteaders at the rural crossroads community of Barich. Notably, it is a rare example of a masonry building featuring pink, grey and white fieldstone walls. The fieldstone construction reflects the skilled craftsmanship of local masons. The hall was an important community hub for social, cultural and political events, and also served as a library.

Properties designated as a Provincial Historic Resource are protected against demolition or inappropriate changes to the historic character of the property. Owners of designated historic resources are also eligible for conservation funding through the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation. 

Quick facts

  • Designation of the Ukrainian Farmers’ National Home of Taras Shevchenko brings the number of Provincial Historic Resources in Alberta to 378.
  • Halls were often the last community structures built in Ukrainian-Albertan crossroads settlements after the post office, church and school, and reflect the growth and stability of Ukrainian settlements in Alberta after the First World War.
  • Owners may wish to apply to have their property assessed for designation as Provincial Historic Resources. To qualify, historic places must normally be associated with a significant aspect of Alberta’s past and retain the physical site features necessary to convey this significance.
  • The Alberta Historical Resources Foundation assists Alberta Culture and Tourism in promoting public awareness and enjoyment of Alberta’s heritage and is the Government of Alberta’s primary window for heritage preservation funding.

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Free legal advice for survivors of sexual violence

Minister McLean announces free legal advice for survivors.

Status of Women is providing a $700,000 grant to the Elizabeth Fry Society of Edmonton to design, deliver and evaluate a three-year pilot program that will give sexual violence survivors free, confidential legal advice.

Launching in November 2018, the program will be open to adult survivors of all genders who have experienced sexual violence in Alberta, regardless of how much time has passed since the incident.

“We want survivors of sexual violence to know they have power and rights, and that we stand with them. We are funding this free service to remove barriers for survivors who are considering coming forward. And we want to help them make informed decisions as they heal and pursue justice.”

Stephanie McLean, Minister of Status of Women

Research shows that many survivors do not report sexual violence incidents because they fear they’ll be dismissed or re-traumatized, or they don’t know how to navigate the process.

The program will give survivors a better understanding of their legal options, such as accessing the criminal justice system, submitting a human rights complaint or pursuing a civil claim.

“Six years after I was sexually assaulted, I still have many unanswered questions about the justice system. Free, confidential legal advice all those years ago would have ensured that I made an informed decision about what kind of legal action I could take, and how to go about it.”

Elizabeth Halprin

“Everyone has the right to understand the justice system, regardless of their economic or social status. This program will help to promote safety, human rights and empowerment to all sexual violence survivors.”

Toni Sinclair, executive director, Elizabeth Fry Society of Edmonton

The pilot program will offer free legal advice in communities served by the Elizabeth Fry Society, including: Edmonton, Stony Plain, Morinville, St. Albert, Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Ponoka, Camrose, Wetaskiwin, Red Deer and some Indigenous communities.

In May, Premier Rachel Notley launched the government’s commitment to end sexual violence, and proclaimed May as Sexual Violence Awareness Month in Alberta. This pilot program is part of the government’s commitment to challenge attitudes, improve supports for survivors and make workplaces and communities safer and more responsive to addressing sexual violence.

To support the government’s commitment, the province has:

  • Increased access to the legal system for survivors of sexual violence by removing the time limit to bring forward civil claims.
  • Released a new best practice guide for police investigating sexual violence cases, so survivors can feel confident they will be treated with dignity and respect if they come forward.
  • Announced new occupational health and safety rules to help prevent workplace bullying, sexual harassment and assault, while providing better support for victims.

Quick facts

  • Sexual violence is the most under-reported crime in Canada: 95 per cent of survivors do not report their assaults to police.
  • Sexual violence most often affects women and girls: 87 per cent of survivors are women and 94 per cent of perpetrators are men.
  • In 2014, 83,000 Albertans reported sexual assaults.
  • Sexual violence is a sexual act committed against someone without that person’s freely given consent. It can be physical and/or non-contact, and affects all ages and genders. It is against the law.

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Eid al-Fitr: Statement from Premier Notley

“With the sighting of the new crescent moon, Muslims in Alberta and around the world are marking Eid al-Fitr, the conclusion of the holy month of Ramadan.

“Eid-al-Fitr is an opportunity to reflect on the month spent honouring the shared values of family, community and compassion through the acts of fasting, prayer and charitable giving.

“Alberta Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr in diverse and rich ways, according to their unique traditions. In neighbourhoods across our province, Alberta Muslims will wake early in the morning to dress in their finest clothes, attend an Eid prayer and spend time with family and friends.

“On behalf of all Albertans, I’d like to extend my warmest wishes to Alberta’s Muslim communities as they observe Eid-al-Fitr.

“Eid Mubarak to all!”

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Meet the 2018-19 Minister’s Youth Council

“I am pleased to announce that selection for the 2018-19 Minister’s Youth Council is now complete – and the list of all 33 council members is posted on the Alberta Education website.

“Students in grades 7 through 12 from across Alberta make up the 2018-19 Minister’s Youth Council, including four members from last year’s council. This incredible group of students has a wide range of interests, including entrepreneurship, environmental issues, inclusion and mental health awareness. They participate in many activities, including sports teams, volunteer work, leadership conferences, and more. They also have experiences in different types of education – from public school to home-schooling in both rural and urban areas.  

“Student voice is so important to the success or our education system. When diverse student perspectives are incorporated, everyone benefits. I am already looking forward to our first meeting in the fall where we will discuss issues that are important to council members. I was so impressed with the work of the 2017-18 Minister’s Youth Council, I can hardly wait to see what this new group of students has to offer to improve our education system.”

Quick facts

  • Recruitment for the Minister’s Youth Council took place between February and June 2018. Junior and senior high students aged 13 to 19 from across Alberta were eligible to apply.
  • More than 300 students applied to be on the 2018-19 council.
  • Council members will attend three meetings in Edmonton in October, February and May.

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New housing for low-income seniors in Calgary

Minister Ricardo Miranda, representatives from Trinity Place Foundation and residents of the Temple community in Calgary celebrated the government’s $20-million contribution towards a new 120-unit affordable housing project.

The Government of Alberta is investing $20 million to provide 70 supportive housing units for people aged 55 and older who have trouble finding traditional housing and 50 apartments for seniors with low income.

“As the MLA for the growing and diverse community of Temple, I know affordable housing is a concern for my constituents. All seniors in Alberta should have a safe, affordable home and we know there is a critical need for this in Calgary. This project is an innovative solution that not only responds to the community’s needs, but is making life better for those who need it the most.”

Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism, MLA for Calgary-Cross

This project was a community effort. It will be built on the former St. George’s Anglican Church site. The new housing facility will be operated by Trinity Place Foundation of Alberta, and will specifically serve low-income seniors and those who have found it hard to find housing.

“We are thrilled with the investment the Government of Alberta is making in Trinity Place Foundation of Alberta’s Templemont project. This investment will provide low-income seniors the safe, comfortable and affordable housing they need and deserve.”

Lawrence Braul, CEO, Trinity Place Foundation of Alberta

“There is a need for more affordable housing options for Calgary’s seniors. I am so pleased to see this project coming to the community of Temple.”

Ray Jones, City of Calgary councillor for Ward 10

Quick facts

  • The total budget for this project is $35 million.
  • The Alberta government’s $20-million contribution is part of the $1.2-billion commitment in the Provincial Affordable Housing Strategy to develop a sustainable affordable housing system.
  • The RESOLVE campaign will contribute $4.7 million to the Templemont project.
  • Trinity Place Foundation is contributing $2 million in equity.

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Historic year for Alberta’s Francophonie / Une année historique pour la francophonie albertaine

Celebrating Alberta’s historic French Policy on June 14, 2017 at Government House / Célébration de l’adoption historique de la Politique en matière de francophonie de l’Alberta, le 14 juin 2017 à la Government House.

“The past year has truly been a historic year for Alberta’s francophone communities on many fronts. Since adopting the French Policy on June 14, 2017, our government has made significant strides to recognize and support Alberta’s Francophonie.

“This includes officially and permanently proclaiming March as Alberta Francophonie Month and raising the Franco-Albertan flag as a Symbol of Distinction under the Emblems of Alberta Act.

“Across government, implementation of the French Policy is well underway. As we move forward with long-term incremental change, we will continue to work with Alberta’s francophone communities to strengthen our relationship and common understanding of needs and priorities.

”To assist us we have created and recruited members to the new Alberta Advisory Council on the Francophonie. There were more than 100 applicants from diverse geographical, cultural and demographic backgrounds, and we are delighted that so many Albertans want to contribute to the ongoing development and vitality of the province’s Francophonie by supporting our work in implementing this policy.

“Alberta has one of the largest, fastest-growing and most culturally diverse French-speaking populations in Canada today and the province attracts French-speaking people from around the world. Our government values our francophone communities and their contributions to the province, and we are committed to enhancing services and supports for this vibrant population.

”We’ve made great progress in a short amount of time and I look forward to continued results.”

Pour célébrer le premier anniversaire de la Politique en matière de francophonie de l’Alberta, M. Ricardo Miranda, ministre de la Culture et du Tourisme, responsable du Secrétariat francophone, a émis la déclaration suivante:  

« La dernière année a marqué un véritable jalon historique à plusieurs égards pour les communautés francophones de l’Alberta. Depuis l’adoption de la Politique en matière de francophonie le 14 juin 2017, notre gouvernement a fait des progrès importants pour reconnaitre et appuyer la francophonie albertaine.

« Parmi ces réussites, nous avons proclamé en permanence le mois de mars Mois de la francophonie albertaine et nous avons hissé le drapeau franco-albertain à titre de « symbole de distinction » en vertu de l’Emblems of Alberta Act.

« Au sein du gouvernement, la mise en œuvre de la Politique en matière de francophonie est bien entamée. À mesure d’un changement progressif à long terme, nous continuerons de travailler avec les communautés francophones de l’Alberta pour renforcer nos rapports et notre vision commune des besoins et des priorités.  

« Pour nous aider à mettre en œuvre la politique, nous avons créé le Conseil consultatif de l’Alberta en matière de francophonie et nous avons procédé au recrutement de ses membres. Nous avons reçu plus d’une centaine de candidatures provenant de divers milieux géographiques, culturels et démographiques, et nous sommes ravis qu’un si grand nombre d’Albertains et d’Albertaines soient désireux de contribuer au développement et à la vitalité de la francophonie de la province en nous aidant à mettre en œuvre cette politique.

« En plus de connaitre la plus forte croissance au Canada, la population d’expression française de l’Alberta est l’une des plus nombreuses et des plus diversifiées. Notre province attire en effet des personnes d’expression française de partout au monde. Notre gouvernement apprécie les communautés francophones de la province et leurs contributions. Nous sommes déterminés à améliorer les services et les appuis que nous fournissons à cette population dynamique.

« Nous avons réalisé des progrès considérables en peu de temps, et je me réjouis à l’idée de poursuivre dans cette voie. »

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Indigenous programming at affordable child centres

Minister Larivee participates in a drumming circle with Elders, staff and children at Little Sundance Child Care Centre.

Little Sundance Daycare in Calgary is one of six Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) centres across Alberta implementing Indigenous-focused programming, including traditional drumming, storytelling and lessons in Michif, Blackfoot and Cree.  

“Reconciliation does not happen without understanding. These child care centres foster positive experiences of Indigenous culture and language. For Métis and First Nations children, they create a sense of belonging and identity. For other children, they offer a formative experience that will open the door to lifelong conversations.”

Danielle Larivee, Minister of Children’s Services

Operated by Métis Calgary Family Services, the 56-space centre incorporates Indigenous artifacts and storytelling, with Elders teaching students in Indigenous languages. Roughly half of the students at Little Sundance belong to a growing Indigenous population in Calgary, which increased by nearly 60 per cent in the past decade.

“Childhood experiences enriched with traditional culture unlock potential for children, families and society as a whole. Indigenous culture manifests a wonder to explore, and inspires the innate curiosity within each child. Nurturing that spirit is a key factor on the path to reconciliation within all of our communities.”

Lori Anne Houle, CEO, Metis Calgary Family Services Little Sundance ELCC Centre

In addition to Little Sundance, four other new ELCC Centres have committed to Indigenous programming:

These new centres join the Opokaa’sin Child Care Centre in Lethbridge (53 child care spaces), announced in 2017, which partners with the Piikani and Kainai First Nations and local agencies.

While ELCC centres are best known for offering $25-a-day child care, many participating centres include additional supports for vulnerable families, cultural and language programming to serve their respective communities and improvements for curriculum and staff training.

The province’s recent 6,000-space expansion of the pilot program is the result of a bilateral agreement with the Government of Canada that will see an investment of $136 million over three years. In addition to the annual $10 million announced in the first phase of the program, the province will invest an additional $4.5 million per year.

“I am thrilled to see that funding from the Canada–Alberta early learning and child care bilateral agreement will be used to expand Alberta’s ELCC Centres that provide culturally appropriate supports as it relates to Indigenous children and communities. It’s a priority for the Government of Canada that children have the best possible start in life to set them up for success. For Indigenous children in particular, this means access to high quality and culturally based early learning and child care services.”

Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Government of Canada

The expansion is expected to create 400 child care jobs and help 1,400 parents re-enter the workforce. Province wide, parents are expected to save an average of $425 every month.

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