Recognizing Albertans with disabilities

Events are being held across the province to create awareness and understanding of disability issues and to recognize the accomplishments and contributions people with disabilities make to Alberta.

“Albertans with disabilities are essential to our communities. Their accomplishments and contributions help build a stronger, more inclusive province for all. Our government is proud to be making life better for people with disabilities by ensuring they have stable, predictable supports, and live with dignity. This is the Alberta we want and are working toward.”

Irfan Sabir, Minister of Community and Social Services

As part of the celebrations, individuals, groups and organizations across Alberta are being presented with the Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities Awards. The awards recognize leadership and achievement in creating and promoting inclusive communities.

The 2018 award recipients are

  • Access for All Barrier-Free Playscape, Red Deer
  • Anne Pype, Barrhead
  • April Ruzycki, Medicine Hat
  • Associated Canadian Travellers, Grande Prairie
  • Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta
  • City of Edmonton Programs for Persons with Disabilities, Edmonton
  • Colin Cantlie, Calgary
  • Daralynn Swensrude, Edmonton
  • Romeo Crow Chief, Siksika
  • Sean McEwen, Calgary
  • Valley Bus Society, Drumheller

“We are honoured to present the Premier’s Council Awards to these deserving Albertans. Their leadership in building barrier-free and inclusive communities is creating a future where all persons, regardless of ability, can reach their full potential and lead meaningful lives.”

Sheila Serup, chair, Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities

The Government of Alberta is making life better for people with disabilities by

  • Appointing Alberta’s first Advocate for Persons with Disabilities.
  • Increasing the Persons with Developmental Disabilities budget by $150 million.
  • Creating jobs for persons with disabilities through the Internship for Persons with Disabilities.
  • Improving the application process for the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) program and increasing the AISH budget by $182 million.
  • Improving access to service dogs and approving five new qualified service dog organizations, bringing the provincial total to eight, that can train and test service dogs, including dogs that support people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
  • Launching a review of the Persons with Developmental Disabilities program.
  • Proclaiming Disability Employment Awareness Month.
  • Repealing the PDD Safety Standards and stopping the Supports Intensity Scale (SIS).
  • Recently passed legislation that will:
    • Increase benefit rates for Albertans who receive AISH and Income Supports, including living allowance and supplemental benefits.
    • Increase asset limits for the AISH child allowance and AISH personal benefits.
    • These benefits would increase annually to keep pace with inflation.

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Beef producers vote on service charge model

“The results of the Alberta Beef Producers plebiscite are in, and members have chosen to remain with a refundable service charge model.

“These results are preliminary. More than 1,800 ABP members cast votes with 51.3 per cent voting in favour of the refundable service charge model. Final results will be shared after Dec. 11, following a two-week period when members can contest the results.

“I would like to thank the Alberta Beef Producers and the Alberta Agricultural Products Marketing Council for their work in bringing this vote to producers. I would also like to note the spirit of cooperation and collaboration between ABP and the Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association throughout this process and their commitment to the industry.

“Our government felt it was important to empower producers to make this choice for themselves. That’s why, in September 2017, amendments to the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act provided producers of agricultural commissions the ability to choose their preferred service charge model.

“The Alberta Agricultural Marketing Council also recently held a service charge model plebiscite on behalf of the Potato Growers of Alberta, with 82 per cent of votes in favour of a non-refundable service charge model. 

“Government will continue to support producers and the agricultural commissions that represent them.”

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Metis Settlements celebrate 80th anniversary

Gerald Cunningham, president of the Metis Settlements General Council, and Indigenous Relations Minister Richard Feehan celebrate 80th anniversary.

To honour Alberta’s commitment to a renewed relationship with Indigenous communities and mark eight decades of history between the Government of Alberta and the Metis Settlements, Indigenous Relations Minister Richard Feehan and Gerald Cunningham, president of the Metis Settlements General Council, joined leaders of the eight Settlements to celebrate this milestone.

“On behalf of Albertans, congratulations to the Metis Settlements General Council and all eight Metis Settlements on celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Metis Population Betterment Act. This is a significant milestone and a testament to the important role Metis Settlements have in the success of our province. I look forward to our continued work together and am proud of all that has been accomplished over the last 80 years.”

Richard Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations

Since the creation of the Metis Population Betterment Act in 1938, which formally established Metis Settlements, Alberta has been a national leader in recognizing the unique status of Metis people. Alberta remains the only province in Canada with a dedicated Metis land base and unique governance structure entrenched in provincial legislation.

“We have realized, and continue to realize, the vision of iconic Metis leaders like Gabriel Dumont and Louis Riel, who fought to preserve and protect the rights of all Metis and fought for the establishment of a Metis homeland. They tirelessly pursued their vision of a Metis land, governed by Metis people, and respected as distinct and unique from other Indigenous communities.”

Gerald Cunningham, president, Metis Settlements General Council

The Metis Settlements General Council celebrates “The Big Five”: Joe Dion, Peter Tompkins, Malcolm Norris, Jim Brady and Felix Callihoo. The work of these men created the foundation for a Metis homeland in the Metis Population Betterment Act of 1938.

This vision was continued by the Alberta Federation of Metis Settlements, formed in 1975 by the “Fathers of Federation”: Adrian Hope, Maurice L’Hirondelle, Lawrence Desjarlais, Sam Johnston and Richard Poitras. The federation created a relationship between Alberta and the Metis Settlements that resulted in provincial legislation proclaiming the independence to self-govern and self-determine.

Climate leadership on Metis Settlements

The Government of Alberta continues to work closely with the Settlements and the General Council on Alberta’s seven Indigenous climate leadership programs, which help Settlements create jobs, lower energy costs and transition to a greener economy. The Settlements and the General Council have received more than $7 million from these and other economic development programs since 2015. This includes more than $1 million for new solar photovoltaic projects.

Quick facts

  • With over 114,000 Metis people living in the province, Alberta is home to the largest Metis population in Canada.
  • In 1990, provincial legislation established the constitutional protection of 1.25 million acres of Settlement lands, the development of local government structures and systems and provincial financial commitments. Alberta’s legislation consists of:
    • Metis Settlements Act
    • Metis Settlements Land Protection Act
    • Constitution of Alberta Amendment Act, 1990
    • Metis Settlements Accord Implementation Act
  • Eight Settlements are established by the Metis Settlements Act: Buffalo Lake, East Prairie, Elizabeth, Fishing Lake, Gift Lake, Kikino, Paddle Prairie and Peavine. Each is run by a five-person Council that is elected by the membership and headed by a chairperson selected by the Council members.
  • The General Council was established by the Metis Settlements Act. It is comprised of the elected councillors of all of the Metis Settlements and a four-person executive who are elected by the councillors.

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