Local Food Council to support growth in sector

Minister Carlier (centre) meets with Local Food Council co-chairs Susan Schafers (left) and Jeff Senger (right).

The province’s first ever Local Food Council meets this week. The council will provide recommendations on provincial policies, programs, pilot projects or initiatives to support the continued growth and sustainability of Alberta’s local food sector.

Appointing a Local Food Council is a key part of implementing the Supporting Alberta’s Local Food Sector Act that was passed on May 30.

“Our new Local Food Council is a tremendous group of engaged, energetic and community-minded people who are invested in the local food process. I very much look forward to the thoughtful advice and recommendations that the council will provide to support the continued growth and sustainability of Alberta’s $1 billion local food sector.”

Oneil Carlier, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry

The council has broad representation from Alberta’s local food sector across the province, including small producers and processors and those with specialized and academic knowledge.

“Growing up on an egg farm provided me the roots for my love of agriculture. I am an Albertan through and through, and working with other producers helps me to learn more about our collective industry. To be successful, we must take a forward-looking and proactive approach and work collaboratively as a local food sector. Consumers are increasingly interested in how we farm, and I’m excited to share our local food industry with Albertans.”

Susan Schafers, Egg Farmers of Alberta, and co-chair, Alberta Local Food Council

“In our local food business, I shake the farmer’s hand when he drops off his live cow, and I shake his hand when he comes to pick up his steak. There is a trust and responsibility at our small local level that works for us and our customers. I want to help other local food entrepreneurs establish these types of connections with the land, their product and their customers across Alberta.”

Jeff Senger, Sangudo Custom Meats, and co-chair, Alberta Local Food Council

Council members were selected from a public recruitment process, and will report to the minister within one year, at which point the council will dissolve.

The legislation requires the council to examine:

  • Potential barriers and challenges for local food producers and local food processors, including specific challenges faced by small producers and processors.
  • Local food aggregation and distribution.
  • Risk-management tools for local food producers and processors.
  • Increasing access to local food.
  • Consumer awareness of local food.
  • Certification opportunities for local food producers and local food processors.

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Province looking to recognize Great Kids

Nominations have opened for the 19th Great Kids Award, an annual celebration of remarkable young Albertans who have overcome challenges and made their local communities better.

Albertans are encouraged to nominate inspiring young leaders aged five to 18 for their achievements or perseverance, such as volunteering, fundraising, standing up against bullying or overcoming an illness or a difficult living situation.

“Every day, kids in Alberta take on challenges and accomplish incredible things in some of the most challenging circumstances. The Great Kids Award is an opportunity to showcase these accomplishments. Their hope is contagious, their passion infectious, and these awards give these kids the recognition they clearly deserve.”

Danielle Larivee, Minister of Children’s Services

Last year’s winners challenged stigma around mental illness, raised thousands of dollars for charity, and even saved lives of family members during an accident.

For more information on the nomination process, visit greatkids.alberta.ca, call 780-644-2600 (toll-free by first dialing 310-0000) or email CS.greatkids@gov.ab.ca.

Award recipients will be recognized at an award ceremony sponsored by Fantasyland Hotel in the spring of 2019. Award winners and their families or caregivers will enjoy a night’s stay and receive a West Edmonton Mall attractions pass.

Over the past 19 years, 290 young leaders have received the Great Kids Award. Nominations close at 4 p.m. on Nov. 30, 2018.

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Improving support for victims of crime

Minister Ganley announces additional funding to support victims of crime with Supt. Darren Leggatt, Calgary Police Service, Brian Turpin and Alf Rudd, Alberta Police Based Victim Services Association.

An additional $4.5 million in available money from the Victims of Crime Fund will improve the scope and quality of programs for victims of crime in five key areas. The increase in available funding will go towards police-based victim services units, support for domestic violence survivors, help for victims in court, restorative justice initiatives and expanding outreach services for Indigenous victims.

“Albertans affected by crime deserve to feel supported and respected during an incredibly difficult time. These funds will ensure programs and services can continue to support victims of crime when and where they need it. I commend the staff and volunteers who do this important work day in and day out.”

Kathleen Ganley, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General

Victim service units work across Alberta supporting victims of crime during police investigations and throughout the criminal justice process. Available funding will nearly double for police-based victim services units in seven municipalities – Edmonton, Calgary, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Red Deer, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat.

“This new funding announcement will have a huge, positive impact on the lives of victims of crime in Alberta. The additional funding for victim service units across the province will afford them the ability to hire additional staff as well as enhance the already indispensable services they currently offer toward supporting victims, survivors and their families. We look forward to continuing to work with our government to grow, maintain and enrich the services delivered to victims of crime in Alberta.”

Brian Turpin, past president, Alberta Police Based Victim Services Association

“People often have no idea where to go for support or what rights they have when they become victims of crime or tragedy. Victim assistance teams are a vital link that helps people navigate the criminal justice process and connect with the supports they need while they deal with very complex and emotional situations. The funding announced today will help ensure that police agencies across the province can offer this critical service to Albertans when they need it.”

Roger Chaffin, Chief Constable, Calgary Police Service

“Victim service units do invaluable work across Alberta. I learned this first-hand when my husband was murdered in 2009 in the Crowsnest Pass. After his death, volunteers were there for me. They listened to me through my grief, they picked up their phones day and night to answer my questions about court processes, and they sat beside me during the trial. I don’t know where I would be today, if it wasn’t for their help and guidance.”

Cindy English, wife of George Steve English

Highlights of the plan to strengthen support for crime victims

Funding boost for police-based victim services units 

Additional money will ensure high demand programs in Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo can continue helping Albertans, and enable these assistance teams to provide support to surrounding areas.

Support for survivors of domestic violence

Preventing and addressing family violence is a high priority, and additional funds will be used to enhance province-wide services that address the complex needs of survivors of domestic violence. More information about these initiatives will be available in the coming months.  

Aiding victims in court

Dedicated staff and the purchase and upgrade of testimonial aids, such as screens and closed-circuit television upgrades, in courtrooms across the province will help ensure vulnerable victims and witnesses are able to participate in court processes, provide testimony and navigate the justice system with more confidence.

Helping Indigenous communities

Expanding the existing Indigenous Victims Outreach Services program into more communities will increase access to support for Indigenous victims of crime in both urban and rural settings.

Creating opportunities for restorative justice

An increase in grant funding available will help support restorative justice initiatives in communities across the province.


  • Funding for police-based victim services units in Edmonton and Calgary will increase from $300,000 to $500,000 each in 2018-19 and to $600,000 for the next three fiscal years.
  • Funding for police-based victim services units in Red Deer, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat will double from $150,000 to $300,000 each in 2018-19 and the next three fiscal years.
  • Grant funding for the police-based victim services unit in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo was quickly increased to help victims after the Wood Buffalo Region wildfire in 2016. Available funding for the area will increase from $265,000 to $300,000 in 2018-19 and the next three fiscal years.

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New chair appointed to Workers’ Compensation Board

Thostenson has been a member of the WCB board since 2012. As a graduate of the Labour College of Canada, she also holds certificates in human resource management and job evaluation, as well as designations as a Chartered Professional in Human Resources and a compensation management specialist.

“As a current member of the board, Grace’s experience and familiarity with Alberta’s system will ensure the Workers’ Compensation Board continues to operate at a high level for the benefit of all Albertans. Thank you to outgoing chair E. James Kindrake for his service, leadership and dedication to the WCB.”

Christina Gray, Minister of Labour

The Workers’ Compensation board of directors is comprised of the chair and nine members:

  • three representative of the interests of the general public
  • three representative of the interests of employers
  • three representative of the interests of workers

The new chair was selected through the province’s open, transparent appointment process, and by a balanced committee including employer and worker representatives.

Thostenson is the vice-president of the Alberta Federation of Labour and has been a business manager of the United Utility Workers’ Association for the past 17 years.

Reporting to the Minister of Labour, the chair is accountable for the effective governance, efficient management and enhanced performance of the Workers’ Compensation board of directors.

Changes to the Workers’ Compensation Board

As a result of the workers’ compensation system review, government passed An Act to Protect the Health and Well-Being of Working Albertans in November 2017.

The legislation made a number of changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act to ensure it is fair and provides greater benefits to injured workers.

For more information, visit Workers’ Compensation Board Changes

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Orders in council



ALBERTA RESEARCH AND INNOVATION ACT (section 7); ALBERTA RESEARCH AND INNOVATION REGULATION (section 3) – Appoints Patrick Lor to the board of directors of Alberta Innovates for a term to expire on October 16, 2021.



FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATION ACT (section 21) – Orders the remission of certain repayments of the Alberta Climate Leadership Adjustment Rebate.


GAMING, LIQUOR AND CANNABIS ACT (section 129) – Makes the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Amendment Regulation.



MISSING PERSONS ACT (section 14) – Makes the Missing Persons Amendment Regulation.


PROVINCIAL COURT ACT (section 9.1) – Designates Judge David Ross Shynkar as Assistant Chief Judge of the Northern Region of The Provincial Court of Alberta for a term to expire on October 16, 2023.



WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ACT (section 5) – Effective October 24, 2018, appoints Grace Thostenson as a member and the chair of the board of directors of The Workers’ Compensation Board for a term to expire on October 23, 2021.



PROCLAMATION – Proclaiming section 8, to the extent that it enacts sections 18.4 to 18.6 of the Public Health Act, and section 23(a)(ii) and (b) of the Public Health Amendment Act, 2016 in force on December 17, 2018; proclaiming section 8, to the extent that it enacts section 18.3 of the Public Health Act, of the Public Health Amendment Act, 2016 in force on January 1, 2021.


M.S.I. FOUNDATION ACT (section 4) – Effective January 1, 2019, appoints Leslie Elaine Ayre-Jaschke, Lisa Petermann and Dr. Kue Young as members of the board of trustees of the M.S.I. Foundation, each for a term to expire on December 31, 2021, and designates Lisa Petermann as chair of the board of trustees of the M.S.I. Foundation for a term to expire on December 31, 2021.


PUBLIC HEALTH ACT (section 66) – Makes the Immunization Regulation.



PROCLAMATION – Proclaiming An Act to Empower Utility Consumers in force on December 1, 2018.


GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION ACT (Schedule 13.1, section 3) – Makes the Utilities Consumer Advocate Regulation.



TRAVEL ALBERTA ACT (section 16) – Makes the Travel Alberta General Amendment Regulation.



ALBERTA ORDER OF EXCELLENCE ACT (section 4) – Reappoints Andrew Sims, Q.C., as a member of the Council of the Alberta Order of Excellence for a term to expire on December 31, 2021, and designates Andrew Sims, Q.C., as chair of the Council of the Alberta Order of Excellence for a term to expire on December 31, 2021.



PROCLAMATION – Proclaiming the month of October of each year as Disability Employment Awareness Month in Alberta.



POST-SECONDARY LEARNING ACT (section 33); ATHABASCA UNIVERSITY REGULATION (sections 3 and 4) – Appoints Shawn Cornett and Shannon Neighbour as members of The Governors of Athabasca University, each for a term to expire on October 16, 2021.


POST-SECONDARY LEARNING ACT (sections 44 and 56) – Appoints Karin Melnyk as a member of The Board of Governors of Red Deer College for a term to expire on October 16, 2021.

Orders in Council can now be viewed on the Queen’s Printer website at: http://www.qp.alberta.ca/507.cfm

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Preventing violence, creating healthy communities

Minister Sabir with current FCSP grant recipients from Punjabi Community Health Services and HIV Community Link in Calgary.

Organizations can now apply for Family and Community Safety Program grants that support their work to prevent family and sexual violence, promote healthy relationships and create inclusive communities.

Successful projects work to connect community members and expand supports for diverse populations, including the disability community, and Indigenous and LGBTQ groups.

“Safe and healthy communities are important to all Albertans. These projects will help organizations identify local needs and create responses that work best for their communities. I have seen the success of these projects across Alberta and I am proud to be part of a government that will continue to support these important initiatives.”

Irfan Sabir, Minister of Community and Social Services

The government has dedicated $5.5 million to fund the projects. Community-based and non-profit service providers are eligible for grants of up to $250,000. Since 2015, the government has invested $33.7 million in 121 community projects across the province. Almost half of the projects were delivered by agencies in smaller centres or rural and remote communities.

In the Calgary region, Punjabi Community Health Services received a grant to offer individual and family counselling for hundreds of people in Calgary’s South Asian community. The funding was also used to offer support groups for men and training for first responders.

“With support from the Family and Community Safety Program, we are strengthening resiliency by reducing barriers and stigma with respect to family violence, addiction and mental health issues. ‘Sahara’ means support in many South Asian languages, and we collaborate with other agencies to support people so that they do not suffer in silence.”

Meenu Ahluwalia, board chair, Punjabi Community Health Services Calgary

Other organizations that have received support include HIV Community Link and the Further Education Society of Alberta. Both used the funding to create new violence prevention programs such as outreach supports for underserved populations and literacy programs for vulnerable populations.

Quick facts

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Government’s actions on math working

Provincial assessment results at the Grade 6 level showed strong performance across all subjects tested last June, including five-year highs in English language arts, science, social studies and Français.

In mathematics, the percentage of students reaching both the acceptable standard and standard of excellence increased over the previous year. This was the second year in which a separate, no-calculator portion of the Grade 6 mathematics PAT was incorporated into the test.

“This improvement in Grade 6 math scores is a positive sign that our actions on math are working to help students with their math skills and achievement. We have taken a number of steps to improve math education, including providing more professional development for elementary teachers and introducing a bursary program to improve math teaching skills. I’m so pleased to see students across the province increasing their results in mathematics.”

David Eggen, Minister of Education

Alberta students continue to perform exceptionally well in the sciences at the high school level, with positive results in physics, chemistry, and biology.

The Mathematics 30-1 and Mathematics 30-2 diploma exams will introduce written response questions in the 2018-19 school year, allowing students to show their work and their understanding of mathematical problems.

Provincial assessment results are released as part of Alberta Education’s Accountability Pillar, which tracks metrics assessing the health and success of Alberta’s education system.

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Investing in our own backyard

The Community Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) tax credit program will offer a 30 per cent tax credit to Albertans who invest in registered CEDCs. In turn, the corporations will provide capital to Alberta small businesses and co-operatives that focus on social improvement or rural economic development.

“Entrepreneurs put a lot on the line when they start a small business and we want to make it easier for Albertans to support them. Much like the Alberta Investor Tax Credit, this credit helps us invest in our own backyard, benefiting businesses that tackle important challenges in our hometowns and neighbourhoods.”

Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade

Examples of the types of activities the tax credit will support include:

  • A value-added agriculture business or tourism operator developing new products in a rural community.
  • A business owner offering mentorship and training to employees to help them overcome employment barriers.
  • A new owner carrying on the legacy of a community-based business when its original owners retire.
  • A business offering affordable food products to lower-income families. 

Similar credits have been available in Manitoba and the Maritime provinces for several years.

“This tax credit program makes it easier for everyday Albertans to invest locally where they can experience first-hand the community-building impact money can have.” 

Barb Davies, co-founder and director, Local Investing YYC

“Community investment funds like the CEDC provide access to capital for entrepreneurs committed to operating their businesses in a way that creates a social benefit, such as employing people who often struggle to get jobs.”

Jeff Loomis, executive director, Momentum

The program budget is $9 million over three years. Application intake for the program is now open. Additional program details, including eligibility criteria and information on when, where and how to apply, are available at alberta.ca/community-economic-development-corporation-tax-credit.aspx.

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Persons Day: Statement from Premier Notley

“It’s been less than a century since the Persons Case. Just one lifetime ago, Canadian women were denied many of the basic rights and privileges we take for granted today.

“That changed because five women from Alberta dared to challenge injustice. We all live in the society they helped create.

“However, what they achieved was far from perfect. Those new freedoms were still denied to certain groups, including Indigenous women.

“Determined people eventually changed that, too. Now, it’s up to all of us to keep progress moving forward.

“The Government of Alberta is doing its part. We created the province’s first stand-alone Ministry of Status of Women to support gender equality. We’ve raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour, helping women who make up the majority of low-income earners.

“We’re expanding affordable child care, which is the single most effective way to close the gender wage gap. We increased resources for survivors of sexual and domestic violence, so women can live free from fear.

“And in just three years, we’ve transformed Alberta’s public boardrooms. For the first time, more than half of public agency board positions are held by women.

“Injustice hasn’t been conquered. Women in many groups still face steep disadvantages, so the struggle continues. Equality demands nothing less. On Persons Day, I hope that all Albertans can take a moment to remember how far we’ve come and to reflect on the work that still needs to be done.”

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Ti’nu affordable housing officially open

L to R- Sharon Oakley, Town of Banff, Elena Salikhov, CMHC, Banff mayor Karen Sorensen, MLA Cam Westhead and Greg Danchuk of Parks Canada cut the ribbon on the new Ti’nu affordable housing project in Banff.

One hundred and thirty-one new units, including eight barrier-free units, will provide modern, affordable and much-needed housing in a community with a zero per cent vacancy rate.

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), along with Cam Westhead, MLA for Banff-Camrose, on behalf Lori Sigurdson, Minister of Seniors and Housing, and Greg Danchuk, Visitor Experience Manager of Banff National Park for Parks Canada, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, joined the Town of Banff at the celebration today.

“Everyone should have access to a safe and affordable home. I know there is a critical need for affordable housing in Banff and am proud of our government’s investment in this innovative project. I know it will benefit the community for years to come.” 

Honourable Lori Sigurdson, Minister of Seniors and Housing

“Our government invests in affordable housing projects like Ti’nu to help create jobs and improve the quality of life for families who need it most. This beautiful new, affordable apartment complex will help many hard-working families and individuals in Banff access safe and affordable housing that meets their needs. This is truly a fantastic community achievement for everyone involved.”

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

“This is a life-changing project for many and was made possible because the town, the province and the federal government partnered to deliver much-needed affordable housing. It is incredibly rewarding to know the many people, from various stages in life, who now live in Ti’nu, can comfortably stay in Banff and contribute to our community while settled in the place they call home.”

Karen Sorensen, mayor, Town of Banff

Quick facts

  • The Government of Alberta, with support from CMHC, provided an $11.9-million investment for this project, under the Investment in Affordable Housing 2014-2019 Agreement.
  • The Town of Banff also contributed $11.9 million toward this project.
  • Parks Canada provided the land to the Town of Banff at a considerable discount.
  • Banff has had a zero per cent vacancy rate for more than three years.
  • The 2013 Banff Housing Needs Study reported that 61 per cent of households were paying 30 per cent or more of their gross income on housing, while 28 per cent were paying 40 per cent or more.
  • The Banff Housing Corporation, a non-profit organization wholly owned subsidiary of the Town of Banff, will manage the Ti’nu affordable apartment complex.
  • The Government of Canada is currently rolling out its National Housing Strategy (NHS) – a 10-year, $40-billion plan that will create 100,000 new housing units and lift 530,000 families out of housing need, as well as repair and renew more than 300,000 housing units and reduce chronic homelessness by 50 per cent.
  • The NHS is built on strong partnerships between federal, provincial and territorial governments, and on continuous engagement with others, including municipalities, Indigenous governments and organizations, and the social and private sectors to make a meaningful difference in the lives of Canadians.

Associated links

The Alberta Ministry of Seniors and Housing fosters the development of affordable housing and supports access to housing options for Albertans most in need. The Alberta government is investing $1.2 billion for affordable housing capital needs. To achieve these outcomes, the ministry works with seniors, Albertans who require housing supports, their families and caregivers, communities and other government partners. A more detailed description of the ministry and its programs and initiatives is found at www.seniors-housing.gov.ab.ca.

As Canada’s authority on housing, CMHC contributes to the stability of the housing market and financial system, provides support for Canadians in housing need, and offers unbiased housing research and advice to all levels of Canadian government, consumers and the housing industry. For more information, please visit cmhc.ca or follow them on Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Facebook.

To find out more about the National Housing Strategy, visit www.placetocallhome.ca.

Editor’s Note: This news release was also issued by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation on Oct. 17, 2018.

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