Dialysis and deliveries coming to High Prairie

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Minister Hoffman tours the new obstetrics program at the High Prairie Health Complex with MLA Danielle Larivee, Sarah Browdridge and her four-month-old daughter, Kadence.

A new obstetrics program at the High Prairie Health Complex is giving families the option to have babies in their community for the first time since 2007. The province is also investing $5.2 million to build a new, permanent dialysis clinic in the hospital.

“Having grown up in this region, I know how challenging it can be to have to travel to access health care. That’s why I’m so pleased families will be able to have their babies closer to home, and that we are expanding access to life-saving dialysis treatment to High Prairie.”

Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health

“As a former nurse and as a mom, I know how critical it is that the life-changing and life-saving services we need are available close to home, when we need them. I’m proud that our government has made High Prairie a priority and that we’ve invested in protecting and strengthening health care in rural and northern communities instead of cutting it.”

Danielle Larivee, MLA, Lesser Slave Lake

The new obstetrical program began in January 2019 and will expand over the next several months, providing families with high-quality care in their local hospital before, during and after birth.

A core group of staff and physicians have completed education and advanced training in obstetrical services, including anesthesia for safe C-section operations, as well as prenatal, labour and delivery care.

Prior to opening the obstetrics program, staff in High Prairie could only offer emergency births and C-sections in the northern hospital, but most families had to drive to Peace River, Grande Prairie, Slave Lake or Edmonton to deliver their babies.

The High Prairie hospital expects to support about 100 mothers and families each year. When construction of the dialysis unit is complete in 2020, the clinic will be able to provide dialysis services to up to 12 patients weekly.

Kidney patients in the High Prairie area currently travel outside their community for treatment, including to Slave Lake and Peace River, both more than 100 kilometres away, and Edmonton, almost 400 kilometres away.

Thanks to investments from the provincial government, new dialysis clinics have opened in Whitecourt, Hinton, Lac La Biche and Edson since the beginning of 2018. These clinics, plus the new one for High Prairie, can treat up to 42 patients in northern Alberta, closer to home.


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Innovation fund cuts emissions, boosts investment

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View from the LaFarge Exshaw Cement Plant, one of 11 industrial efficiency projects receiving funding through Emissions Reduction Alberta’s Industrial Efficiency Challenge

Using low-carbon fuels to make cement and recovering heat from a refinery to generate electricity are just two new technologies receiving funding through the $70-million Industrial Efficiency Challenge. The challenge helps large industrial emitters invest in technology that reduces emissions and costs.

The $70 million from Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan is leveraging more than $200 million in private investment in 11 Alberta projects worth a combined value of $276 million.

“Albertans know that our economy and our environment go hand-in-hand. These innovative technologies will help our major industries reduce emissions while creating jobs, cutting costs and making them more competitive in global markets. Our investments in innovation continue to position Alberta as a forward-thinking investment jurisdiction and industrial leader.”

Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks and Minister responsible for the Climate Change Office

Projects were selected and funded through Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA), an organization that accelerates the development and demonstration of emissions-reducing technologies. Launched in March 2018, the challenge was designed to implement leading technologies in oil and gas, chemicals and fertilizers, cement and concrete, forestry and agriculture, electricity and manufacturing.

“The clean technologies required to improve both the environmental and economic performance of Alberta’s large industrial facilities require significant capital investment. The funding announced today helps accelerate the development and commercialization of some of the most promising industrial efficiency opportunities in Alberta.”

Steve MacDonald, CEO, Emissions Reduction Alberta

The 11 projects are anticipated to eliminate more than 5.3 million tonnes of CO2e by 2030 – the equivalent of bringing more than 1,300 wind turbines online. Significant reductions in operating costs are also expected. If successful, many of these new technologies can be adopted across industrial sectors, leading to further emission reductions and further economic benefits for Albertans.

“This multi-partner, multi-site research project will help Lafarge better understand the environmental benefits of introducing lower-carbon fuels at the Exshaw Cement Plant – the largest cement plant in Canada. The Exshaw low-carbon fuels project will go a long way in helping us reach our ambitious corporate goal to produce 40 per cent less net CO2 per tonne of cement by 2030. This support from ERA helps us move this project forward. We hope that any positive results or lessons learned will encourage others in our industry to do the same, giving this investment a greater, far-reaching impact.”

Kate Strachan, plant manager, Lafarge Exshaw Cement Plant

“The ERA’s Industrial Efficiency Challenge funding will have a positive impact on supporting continued innovations within the pulp and paper industry. This funding not only supports the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, but is helping Alberta Pacific Forest Industries Inc. pursue a project that will increase our efficiency, and will help to maintain and enhance our competitiveness and sustainability.”

Daryl Nichol, Pulp Mill manager, Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc.

These projects were selected for funding:

  • Imperial Oil Limited: Kearl ConDex Flue Gas Heat and Water Recovery Project
  • Lafarge Canada: Lower Carbon Fuels Project
  • Suncor Energy Inc. Oil Sands: Digital Optimization using Advanced Process Control in an In-Situ Facility
  • TransCanada Energy: Supercritical CO2 Waste Heat Recovery and Utilization Technology
  • TAQA North Ltd.: Crossfield Gas Plant Energy Efficiency and GHG Reduction Project
  • ConocoPhillips Canada: Field Pilot of Multilateral Well Technology to Reduce GHG Intensity of steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD)
  • Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc.: Kraft Pulp Mill Flue Gas Energy Recovery Project
  • Repsol Oil and Gas Canada: Demonstration of the Transition from Hydrocarbons to Inert Gas Technology for Gas Blanketing and Purge in the Gas Processing Industry
  • Athabasca Oil Corporation: Energy Intensity Reduction through Flow Control Devices and Non-Combustible Gas
  • Energreen Solutions: Strathcona Works – Waste Heat to Power Project
  • ENMAX Generation Portfolio Inc.: Crossfield Energy Centre Hybrid Fuel Project

Funding will be distributed on a milestone-by-milestone basis, and the progress of each project is reported on until completion. More information, including detailed project descriptions and the results of past challenges, can be found online at https://www.eralberta.ca.


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