Imamat Day: Statement from Premier Notley

“On this day in 1957, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV became the 49th hereditary Imam and spiritual leader of the world’s Shia Ismaili Muslims.

“As Founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network, His Highness has dedicated his life to global humanitarian causes, reducing poverty, advancing early childhood development, cultivating pluralism in our diverse world and improving quality of life for all members of society. He was made an honorary Canadian citizen in 2009.

“Albertans share the Aga Khan’s belief in making the world a better place. In 2011, the province signed an Agreement of Cooperation with the Ismaili Imamat to expand collaboration in health sciences, education, culture, environmental protection and economic development.

“Just last month, a beautiful and lasting symbol of Alberta’s great friendship with His Highness opened to the public: the Aga Khan Garden at the University of Alberta Botanic Garden, near Devon. A gift from His Highness to the university, this magnificent garden was inspired by Moghul traditions and built to be a place where people of all backgrounds can come together in the spirit of peace and hope.

“On behalf of all Albertans, I wish to join with Alberta’s proud Ismaili community in celebrating 61 years of leadership by His Highness the Aga Khan.

“Kushali Mubarak!”


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Better-trained drivers keep roads safe

Minister Mason launches commercial trucking consultations at Alberta Motor Transport Association in Rocky View.

The Government of Alberta is launching consultations with Albertans and key stakeholder groups on three proposed initiatives:

  • Mandatory entry-level training for commercial drivers.
  • Pre-entry requirements for new commercial carriers.
  • Modifying the road test model for all driver’s licence classes.

“Safety on Alberta roads is a top priority and a commitment of our government. We have laid the groundwork for changes that will enhance safety and improve services for Albertans. Now we need to hear from Albertans and stakeholders about the best approach.”

Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation

“We need to ensure that Alberta’s driver examination model is safe, transparent and secure. And registry agents play a vital role in this system. They provide frontline services and jobs throughout the province. That’s why we need to consult and work with them on these proposed changes to ensure that Albertans can continue to access these services.”

Brian Malkinson, Minister of Service Alberta

“The Alberta Motor Transport Association puts safety above all when it comes to the transportation industry. We believe minimum standard training is required for both new and existing commercial drivers and carriers to operate on Alberta’s roadways. We look forward to working with government to develop standard training in the transportation industry.”

Chris Nash, president, Alberta Motor Transport Association

“The Association of Alberta Registry Agents supports the Government of Alberta in making improvements to the current model through improved training and testing, combined with enhanced monitoring, evaluation and enforcement, so drivers are well-qualified and all Albertans are safe on our roads.”

Craig Couillard, president, Association of Alberta Registry Agents

“The Alberta Motor Association is proud to support the consultation on these important traffic safety issues. Our association is focused on building lifelong safe drivers and, whether you’re taking your first road test or seeking a career in transport, today’s announcement will help ensure improved safety on Alberta roads.”

Jeff Kasbrick, vice-president, Government and Stakeholder Relations, Alberta Motor Association

Specifics of the initiatives being considered:

Mandatory entry-level training for commercial drivers

Alberta plans to introduce mandatory training and enhanced road and knowledge tests for drivers seeking to obtain:

  • a Class 1 driver’s licence (tractor trailer)
  • a Class 2 driver’s licence (bus)
  • an “S” endorsement (school bus)

Pre-entry requirements for new commercial carriers

Alberta will also consider introducing requirements for new commercial carriers starting business in Alberta to prove their compliance with national standards before receiving safety certification. Right now, the province gives new companies a 60-day period to prove their compliance with federal transportation safety regulations. The province intends to eliminate the 60-day period.

Modifications to the Driver Examiner Road Test Model

Alberta is planning modifications to the road test model for all classes of drivers, including the possibility of restoring driver examiners as government employees. These changes come in the wake of a 2016 independent report which identified issues in the industry, such as inconsistent road test fees, poor service and improprieties, including criminal activity in some cases.

Alberta road test fees are the highest in Canada and government will be seeking feedback on this as well.

The province will conduct consultations throughout July 2018 to consider these three initiatives.

Quick facts

  • Alberta driver’s licences are classed 1 through 7:
    • Classes 1 to 4 are professional licences for commercial vehicles, including tractor-trailers, buses, taxis and ambulances.
    • Class 5 – Graduated Driver’s Licence (GDL) and Advanced – is the licence most Albertans hold to drive passenger vehicles.
    • Class 6 – Motorcycle
    • Class 7 – Learner’s license
  • A commercial carrier is the owner of one or more commercial vehicles used for the purpose of transporting goods or passengers, and holds the appropriate safety and operating authority certificates to do so.
  • In 1993, the Government of Alberta privatized driver’s licence services and the road test model. Prior to that, road test services were provided by government; driver examiners were government employees.


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Town & Country – July 10, 2018 – UCP release rural crime report

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“[Colin Piquette] Our priority is to employ the tools that are actually within our power and within our jurisdiction, that’s something that I think is going to pay greater dividends on a provincial side.”

As part of the 2018 budget, the NDP increased funding for the justice ministry by $10 million to hire 59 extra RCMP officers and 20 Crown prosecutors, 10 of which are specifically dedicated to rural cases.

The government also plans for four additional judges to oversee cases, 55 more court clerks to work through the backlog, 40 new civilians to help police officers with their paperwork and 13 bail clerks to get bail hearings through the system faster. The funding also included $7.9 million to expand Legal Aid services.

“The resource allocations were developed in close consultation with the RCMP and I think we’re getting a big bang for our buck in results.” said Piquette. “Instead of using rural crime as a political talking point and a recruitment method, we’d rather actually take concrete steps improve the situation. Anyone who thinks it’s just a matter of throwing money at a problems has not really taken a look at what we’re doing.”

 

 

Athabasca Advocate – July 10, 2018 Fifteen Boyle School students take a bow as they finish their high school education

Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater MLA Colin Piquettte was one of the proud parents. He said he was very happy for his son, Luke. 

“I was really fortunate to see him share his moment with his classmates,” Piquette said. “Being a kid with special needs, it was not an easy thing for him to do.  He usually has some difficulties with crowds, but he managed to do a great job, and I was really impressed that he won an award too. I am very proud of him.”

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Tax credit supports jobs and investment in Alberta

L-R: Naushad Jamani, senior vice-president, NOVA Chemicals; Premier Notley; Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade

The first two rounds of the government of Alberta’s Capital Investment Tax Credit (CITC) saw per capita private-sector investment in the province rise to more than twice the national average.

The third intake of the CITC supports 21 projects, including a new gas remediation facility, wood fibre pellet plant, chemical cleaner facility and a noodle facility. Other projects include upgrades at a robotic storage system manufacturer, pulp mill, frozen food facility, medical research facility, metal manufacturer and a fishing resort.

“Alberta is open for business. Our Capital Investment Tax Credit is about creating thousands of good jobs and keeping our economy growing. Together with business leaders, we are building on our strengths in energy, petrochemicals, agri-business, forestry, life sciences and tourism, creating a stronger, more diversified Alberta.”

Rachel Notley, Premier

“We’re proud of the momentum we’ve created with three rounds of tax credits for businesses across the province, supporting more than 3,000 jobs and more than $2 billion in investment. Programs like the Capital Investment Tax Credit are helping to spur growth across the province, with per capita private-sector investment in Alberta rising to more than twice the national average last year.”

Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade

NOVA Chemicals’ $270-million ethylene furnace refurbishment project in Joffre is one of the CITC’s third-round recipients. The project will support more than 200 construction jobs at its peak and improve the facility’s production, while reducing emissions.

“With support from the CITC, we are upgrading our facility with new technology that makes everyday life healthier, easier and safer. This means we can continue providing good jobs for more than a thousand people in central Alberta, with hundreds of millions of dollars contributed to the local economy, while enhancing environmental performance.”

Naushad Jamani, senior vice-president, NOVA Chemicals

The CITC helps Alberta companies take on new construction projects by returning up to 10 per cent of the costs of new machinery, equipment or buildings to a maximum of $5 million. Businesses can claim the credit once the assets they purchased are in use.

Budget 2018 expanded the CITC to 2021-22 with an annual budget of $30 million.

Quick facts

  • Credits from the first three rounds of the CITC are expected to support more than 3,000 jobs, with companies investing more than $2 billion to build or upgrade their facilities.
  • The total value of the first three rounds of credits is about $99 million.
  • The third CITC intake window closed on March 16, 2018, and the fourth intake will open in January 2019.
  • To learn more about eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit: alberta.ca/capital-investment-tax-credit.aspx.


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Supporting Alberta’s military families

Alberta government honours military families at Heroes Day.

The Military Families and Veterans Pilot Project will improve  access to important services such as doctors, schools and spousal employment.

“This pilot is an exciting project that will help military families settle in as smoothly as possible, so their lives can get back to normal more quickly. It’s another way to help them feel welcome and appreciated.”

Nicole Goehring, MLA and Government of Alberta Liaison to the Canadian Armed Forces

“Being a soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces is tough work, but loving one can be tougher. Our families often sacrifice so much to enable uniformed service, and posting requires loved ones to find new schools, jobs and support services. We are grateful to the Government of Alberta for its efforts to make these transitions easier on our incredible military families.”

Brig.-Gen. Trevor Cadieu, Third Canadian Division

“Having to move to other provinces can be a stressful process. Knowing what services are available and where to find them will help make it easier to start life in Alberta.”

Michelle Jzkwarek, military spouse

The government-wide pilot project will help:

  • Pre-plan school attendance for students coming from other provinces.
  • Work with doctors accepting new patients to reserve openings for transferring families.
  • Provide easier access to online information on provincial services through a dedicated web page.

Alberta and New Brunswick are both developing pilot projects as part of a federal initiative called Seamless Canada to help military families relocate.

Alberta will share its best practices to help other provinces set up similar initiatives.

Quick facts

  • The pilot is set to launch this fall.
  • Alberta agreed to pilot the project in October 2017.
  • About 1,200 military families are posted to Alberta each year.


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New music series launching at McDougall Centre

Celebrate Alberta music at the McDougall Summer Concert Series.

The seven-part series will be free to the public and will run every Thursday during the noon hour until Aug. 30, weather permitting. Each event will feature multiple musicians and artist from across the province, including Calgary’s Tom Phillips and Kate Stevens, Bow Valley bluegrass trio Elk Run & Riot, Edmonton songwriter Scott Cook, and Lethbridge’s Ryland Moranz.

“We have so many talented musicians in Alberta and our government is proud to showcase and promote Alberta’s dynamic music scene as we diversify the economy and make life better for Albertans. I invite all Albertans and visitors to Calgary’s downtown to visit McDougall Centre each Thursday to discover these amazing artists.”

Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism

The Music at McDougall: Summer Concert Series is supported by a grant from the Government of Alberta. The goal of the series is to promote local talent, highlight musical festivals taking place in southern Alberta over the summer, and encourage Calgarians and visitors to the city to enjoy McDougall Centre’s outdoor spaces and Calgary’s downtown core.

“The summer music series provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase the depth and breadth of Alberta’s talented music industry. We are proud to be a partner in events like this that connect Albertans to the amazing music, arts and culture our great province has to offer.”

Marc Carnes, CEO, CKUA Radio

The Music at McDougall: Summer Concert Series begins at 11:45 a.m. every Thursday, July 19 – Aug. 30. McDougall Centre is at 455 6 Street SW, Calgary. 

Quick facts

  • McDougall Centre is a heritage building completed in 1907. The three-storey sandstone building was also one of the first major public buildings constructed in the province. Today, it serves as Alberta government office space and a centre for government meetings and events in southern Alberta.
  • CKUA offers listeners the chance to hear Albertan musicians, writers and performers.
  • CKUA has shared many firsts with the province of Alberta. For example, the station:
    • Was Canada’s first public broadcaster in 1927.
    • Aired the first Western Canada football play-by-play in 1928.
    • Was the first Edmonton outlet for a national network broadcast in 1930.
    • Was the first station in Alberta with FM technology.
    • Was the first Canadian station to stream online.


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Airport Trail expansion moving ahead

Expanding Airport Trail will provide easier access to the Calgary International Airport.

The governments of Canada, Alberta and Calgary, along with the Calgary Airport Authority, have committed to fund the completion of Calgary’s Airport Trail between 36 Street NE and 60 Street NE. Once complete, Airport Trail will create a second, critically needed east-west transportation corridor in north Calgary, improving passenger and cargo access to the airport, and better routes across Calgary’s growing northeast industrial-commercial area.

The Government of Alberta’s nearly $28-million grant to the City of Calgary is part of ongoing investments in projects across the province to help strengthen Alberta’s economy and create good-paying jobs.

“An expanded Airport Trail will connect major railways, interprovincial and highways into the United States, and the airport. That means Alberta’s products will have even greater access to more markets, people who work in this area will get home faster to their families, and air travellers will have quicker and easier access to their flights.”

Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation

Provincial support for this project follows just one day after Premier Notley announced the Government of Alberta is moving forward with construction of the final west segment of the Calgary Ring Road.

“The completion of Airport Trail is a critical piece of Calgary’s transportation network and fully realizes the value of the Airport Trail Tunnel – a new east-west connection between Stoney Trail and Deerfoot Trail in a city that needs more east-west connections. With this one project, we are making it easier for people and goods to get to Calgary International Airport and strengthening the transportation and logistics sector of our economy. It’s a project I’ve been passionate about since before I was elected in 2010, and it’s incredibly special to be joining with the other orders of government today to see it happen.”

Naheed Nenshi, mayor, City of Calgary

“Enhancing access to the airport is great news for Calgarians and guests to our city, but also for the businesses and partners that are strategically located on airport property and contribute to the economic development of Calgary. The approval of the Airport Trail interchanges will allow for the better movement of people and goods to and from YYC, furthering the development of airport lands and benefiting our greater community.”

Bob Sartor, president and CEO, Calgary Airport Authority

Quick facts

  • The expansion of Airport Trail involves construction of:
    • A new segment of Airport Trail between 36 Street NE and 60 Street NE, with an intersection at Métis Trail.
    • The first stage of interchanges along Airport Trail at 19 Street NE and Barlow Trail. 
    • A new southbound-to-westbound ramp at the interchange of Stoney Trail and Airport Trail.
  • The road will enhance transportation between the Calgary International Airport, the Alberta provincial highway system, northeast Calgary, and the CN intermodal yard and industrial park east of the Calgary International Airport in Rocky View County.
  • When complete, Airport Trail will provide direct access between Stoney Trail (the Calgary Ring Road) and Deerfoot Trail (Highway 2), two of the most important transportation corridors in the Calgary region.
  • Expansion of Airport Trail will be covered in part by a $27.7 million Government of Alberta grant and additional support of $50 million from the federal National Trade Corridor Fund.
  • Construction, which will support about 400 jobs, is expected to begin in 2018 and be complete in spring 2022.
  • Phase 1 of Airport Trail opened May 2014, and includes a six-lane, 620-metre tunnel and the widening of Airport Trail from four to six lanes between Barlow Trail and Deerfoot Trail.
  • The Calgary International Airport and area is the second largest employment centre in Calgary, outside the downtown core, with 24,000 jobs on airport land and nearly 50,000 full-time jobs directly related in the region.


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Nominate Albertans who help prevent family violence

Nominations are open for the seventh annual Inspiration Awards. These awards honour Albertans whose work helps to advance healthy relationships and end family violence, sexual violence, child abuse and bullying.

“Albertans across the province are making their communities stronger through prevention and awareness. These awards help us say thank you to those who are helping families, individuals and children feel safe and protected. I encourage Albertans to nominate the inspirational members of their community.”

Irfan Sabir, Minister of Community and Social Services

Nominations are being accepted in the following prevention categories for individuals, community groups and businesses:

  • family violence
  • sexual violence
  • child abuse
  • bullying

Individual awards will also be given out for lifetime achievement and for emerging excellence for young people aged 24 and under. The innovation award, which honours transformative work on these social issues by an individual, community group or business, is a new category of the Inspiration Awards.

Quick facts

  • Nomination forms, with eligibility criteria, are available online or by calling 780-422-5916 (toll-free in Alberta by first dialing 310-0000).
  • The deadline for nominations is Friday, Aug. 31 at 4 p.m.
  • Recipients will be announced during Family Violence Prevention Month in November.


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