100-unit Lethbridge continuing care facility

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Minister Hoffman and residents of Martha’s House celebrate funding for a new continuing care centre in Lethbridge.

The 100-unit facility is being built by Covenant Health and will include a mix of designated supportive living spaces, including units with supports for people with dementia. Clients will live in home-like suites and have access to supports and services that meet their changing health needs as they age.

“I’m so pleased that Lethbridge will be able to access more continuing care spaces in their city so people can age with dignity while receiving the health services that best meet their needs. We all benefit when our seniors are able to remain in their communities, close to friends and family, even as their care needs change.”

Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health

“We are excited to build on our 155-year legacy of Catholic health care in Alberta, providing services where they are needed most. This new facility will assist in taking pressure off acute care services in Lethbridge by ensuring seniors can move out of hospital and into a supportive living residence where they will receive the appropriate level of care in a warm, nurturing environment.”

Patrick Dumelie, president and CEO, Covenant Care and Covenant Health

Lethbridge has been identified as a priority area in need of more continuing care spaces for its growing seniors population and people with complex health needs. The facility will be built in a new development on Lethbridge’s growing west side. Covenant Care has started design and development work on the new facility and will continue to engage with the community as the project progresses.

The new continuing care facility is expected to be ready for occupancy in fall 2022.

Government’s new continuing care capital grant funding program, Building Communities of Care, focuses on developing continuing care spaces where they are needed most. In Budget 2018, the province allocated $221 million over five years to increase capacity for continuing care in Lethbridge and across the province.

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Getting people moving in Fort Saskatchewan

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Construction of the new Fort Saskatchewan bridge and twinning of Highway 15 will begin this construction season, creating more than 500 jobs and making it quicker and safer to move people and goods throughout the Industrial Heartland region.

“Families want to spend less time on the road and more time at home, and businesses want to ensure they can move their goods safely and efficiently. That’s why we’re building a transportation network that Albertans can rely on, while supporting jobs and economic growth across the province.”

Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation

Twinning of Highway 15 will be finished by the end of this year. The new bridge will be open to traffic in 2021.

“The City of Fort Saskatchewan is pleased to see the tender finalized for the twinning of Highway 15. While not within our borders, many of our residents will be thrilled to see this work go ahead. We also look forward to the contract for bridge twinning being awarded as that will improve the safety of motorists entering our community.”

Gale Katchur, mayor, City of Fort Saskatchewan

Together, the projects are expected to cost $120 million to $150 million.

Quick Facts

Highway 15 twinning

  • Twinning the remaining three kilometres of the two-lane section of Highway 15 toward Edmonton, between east of the intersection at Highway 15 and Highway 28A and west of the intersection at Highway 15 and Highway 37.
  • Tendering has been completed.

Fort Saskatchewan bridge

  • Building a second bridge over the North Saskatchewan River between east of the intersection at Highway 15 and Highway 37, crossing the North Saskatchewan River, and east of the 99 Avenue overpass in Fort Saskatchewan.
  • Twinning the remaining three kilometres of Highway 15 leading to the new bridge.
  • Tendering has been advertised.
  • The River Valley Alliance is contributing funds for a pedestrian crossing on the bridge.

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Made-in-Alberta plan attracts new jobs, investment

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Premier Notley announces private investment in a new petrochemical upgrading facility alongside David Chappell (r), Patrick Bergen and Pyramid Prefab Piping staff.

If the plan is finalized, Inter Pipeline Ltd. would invest about $600 million in a new petrochemical upgrading facility that would produce more valuable consumer products derived from propane, including acrylic acid that is used in many everyday consumer products. This major private investment is unlocked by support from Premier Rachel Notley’s Made-in-Alberta energy diversification strategy.

The project would build on the company’s supply and knowledge of propylene, a product it already produces at the company’s other petrochemical facilities east of Edmonton. Construction would create about 600 jobs with another 50 long-term positions supporting the local economy once the facility is fully up and running.

“For decades, Albertans settled for less while new jobs and investment went south of the border. So we’re grabbing the bull by the horns, fighting for a Made-in-Alberta plan that represents the single largest energy diversification effort since the days of Peter Lougheed. We’re proud to support upgrading projects like Inter Pipeline’s because they mean more good jobs and top dollar for the energy resources that belong to all Albertans.”

Rachel Notley, Premier

Inter Pipeline’s supply of propylene, a gas that results from adding value to raw propane, creates the opportunity to further leverage Alberta’s natural resource strengths and extend the value chain. By producing acrylic acid used in things like adhesives, floor polishes and paints, this project increases the likelihood of attracting investments in more manufacturing facilities in the future.

“Alberta’s abundance of natural resources has positioned Inter Pipeline to invest in opportunities like this that build on our strengths to extend the value chain and make products that are in demand around the world. We want to commend this government for fostering the environment for companies like ours to grow and create jobs, while competitively positioning our business in the world market.”

David Chappell, senior vice-president, Petrochemical Development, Inter Pipeline Ltd.

The announcement was made at Pyramid Prefab Piping, one of the hundreds of companies across the province benefiting from the Made-in-Alberta strategy. As a manufacturer that employs about 45 people in Calgary, Pyramid was contracted to build key components for Inter Pipeline’s project already under construction.

“We’re pleased to see the government’s vision for the future is focused on jobs and diversification, which will lead to more work for companies like ours to build the components needed for energy upgrading projects. This growth means we can put even more skilled tradespeople to work in the Calgary region and contribute even more to the oil and gas sector.”

Patrick Bergen, president, Pyramid Prefab Piping

If finalized by Inter Pipeline, the private investment would be unlocked by provincial support of up to $70 million in future royalty credits under the Petrochemicals Diversification Program, which was first developed in early 2016.

Quick facts

  • Inter Pipeline’s acrylic acid and propylene derivatives facility would be in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, northeast of Edmonton. Construction is expected to begin in 2021.
  • The facility would convert 60,000 tonnes per year of propylene and produce 80,000 tonnes per year of propylene derivatives, including acrylic acid, when operational.
  • Acrylic acid is a value-added product used to make coatings, adhesives, diapers, floor polishes and paints.
  • Roughly 50 skilled, local permanent jobs and 600 skilled trade construction jobs would be created.
  • Inter Pipeline has already been approved to receive up to $200 million in future royalty credits from the first round of the Petrochemicals Diversification Program for the construction its $3.5-billion Heartland Petrochemical Complex.


Made-in-Alberta energy strategy

  • Premier Notley’s government is investing $3 billion to support energy diversification that creates jobs and adds value to our resources here at home.
  • The focus is on two key areas: partial upgrading of our bitumen and petrochemical processing that adds value to natural gas and natural gas liquids.
  • Overall, this commitment is expected to attract more than $25 billion in private-sector investment to Alberta and create more than 20,000 jobs.

Petrochemical upgrading

  • Support for the Inter Pipeline facility is provided under the petrochemical portion of the Made-in-Alberta strategy.
  • Two projects – owned by the Canada-Kuwait Petrochemical Corporation and Inter Pipeline Ltd. – were selected under the first round of this program, which was announced in 2016. The projects combined for $8 billion in private investment, creating more than 5,000 jobs.
  • The government announced a second round of support for petrochemical upgrading in 2018.
    • Nauticol’s methanol facility was previously selected under the second round of this program. The entire project is a $2-billion private investment in a plant near Grande Prairie, creating roughly 3,000 direct and indirect jobs.
  • Albertans and Canadians use dozens of products every day that are based in part on petrochemicals like those from Alberta’s growing value-added industry including:
    • polyester fabric couches, HD televisions, phones coffeemakers and computers
    • car tires, engine hoses, gas, oil, radio components and seats
    • desks, chairs, computers, carpets, cellphones and other office supplies

Partial upgrading of bitumen

  • $1 billion in grants and loan guarantees to encourage companies to invest in new or expanded bitumen-upgrading facilities.
  • Partial upgrading reduces the thickness of oil sands bitumen so it can flow through pipelines more easily, without having to be blended with diluent or as much diluent, a thinning agent. Benefits include:
    • increased prices for our resources before shipping
    • up to 30 per cent more capacity on existing pipelines
    • more world refineries capable of processing our product
    • cost savings on diluent for industry
    • fewer emissions by removing high carbon content

Energy diversification timeline

  • January 2016 – Royalty Review Advisory Panel recommended more value-add within the province, including partial upgrading
  • February 2016 – Petrochemicals Diversification Program (PDP) introduced
  • October 2016 – Energy Diversification Advisory Committee (EDAC) formed
  • December 2016 – First PDP projects awarded
  • December 2017 – Inter Pipeline finalized investment in petrochemical project
  • February 2018 – EDAC reported back, including recommendation of partial upgrading, more PDP and additional support for petrochemical feedstock infrastructure
  • March 2018 – Government launched programs through the Energy Diversification Act
  • Fall 2018 – oil price differential hit crisis point. In response, government took several actions:
    • Temporary limit on oil production
    • Doubled support for PDP
    • Began crude-by-rail negotiations
    • Appointed LNG Investment Team
    • Request for industry interest in building refining capacity
  • January 2019 – Government announced letter of intent for first partial upgrading project awarded (Value Creation Inc.)
  • February 2019 – Canada-Kuwait Petrochemical Corporation  finalized investment in petrochemical project
  • February 2019 – Premier announced crude-by-rail agreements
  • February 2019 – Nauticol awarded first project under second round of PDP

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International Women’s Day: Minister Larivee

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“Today, we celebrate the contributions of outstanding women from across Alberta and around the world who are fighting to advance gender equality.

“This year’s International Women’s Day theme of #BalanceForBetter reminds us that a gender-balanced world is a better world. Gender balance leads to better decisions and helps our province thrive.

“Alberta’s first ever Status of Women ministry was created on this day three years ago to put women’s interests at the centre of government decision-making.

“Our government has taken concrete steps to make life better, fairer and safer for women across Alberta. We’ve done this through work such as raising the minimum wage, banning mandatory high heels in workplaces, increasing funding for women’s shelters and boosting supports for survivors of sexual violence. We’ve also created more than 7,000 affordable $25-a-day child care spaces to help more women participate in the workforce. And, we’ve successfully encouraged more women to run for office or serve on agencies, boards and commissions.

“I am proud that today our province is at the forefront of women’s entrepreneurship and that more Alberta women than ever before serve on Alberta’s public agencies. While we reflect on the immense progress we have made, we know work remains to break down the many barriers women and girls continue to face.

“This International Women’s Day, I invite all Albertans to learn how they can help build a gender-balanced province where more women take on leadership roles and are treated as equals in their homes, their workplaces and their communities. Advancing women’s equality makes life better for all Albertans.”

Note: The Alberta legislature and the McDougall Centre in Calgary will be lit in purple to commemorate International Women’s Day. 

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