RISING CRIME A CONCERN FOR CITIZENS ON PATROL

“It’s good that the crime rate has dropped in Calling Lake,” Piquette said. “But there is definitely work to do on this issue within the rest of the county.”

He said the one positive part is that there are lots of people coming together in order to tackle this issue.

“They are looking for a constructive approach to the problem, and I am happy to work with them to see if I can help,” he said.

 

RISING CRIME A CONCERN FOR CITIZENS ON PATROL. 

Thirty-one concerned citizens attended meeting at Athabasca Lions Den Jan. 8

https://www.athabascaadvocate.com/article/rising-crime-remains-a-concern-with-citizens-on-patrol-20190110

The rising crime rate was the topic of town Jan. 8, with Town of Athabasca councillors discussing the issue at their council meeting and 31 people packing the Athabasca Seniors’ Centre Lions Den for an Athabasca Citizens On Patrol (COP) meeting later that evening.

Members of COPs made a presentation to town council to talk about their concerns about rising crime rates.

At that meeting, COPs vice-president Gordon MacComb told councillors that the rate of crime, thefts, graffiti and drugs has reached epic proportions.

“People cannot leave their house or property without locking up everything of value because of the thefts of anything that can be sold for quick money to buy whatever,” MacComb said. “There are drug deals going on day and night.”

He added customers are getting uneasy shopping downtown due to methamphetamine users wandering around high.

“Many businesses are locking their doors in the afternoon due to shady looking people walking around town,” MacComb said.

He said COPs is looking to have cameras installed within the community.

“If allowed, they would only be accessed by the RCMP,” he continued. “It would be an extra set of eyes for them for surveillance only. The RCMP are spread out too thin to be everywhere and spend more time swamped in paperwork.”

MacComb also said he wondered if the Town of Athabasca peace officer is able to do more patrolling downtown, as well as at the Grand Union Hotel, Riverfront Park and at the alleged drug houses.

Safer construction zones for motorists, workers

Some parts of this page will not display.
JavaScript is not available in this browser or may be turned off.

Transportation Minister Brian Mason announces improvements to construction speed zones on provincial roads.

Contractors are now required to cover speed reduction signage in a construction zone when no workers are present and if there are no safety concerns.

The government is also limiting the distance of highway lane closures, making sure signs leading to construction zones are consistent and creating longer transition zones for slowing down.

“One of the major complaints we hear every year is that reduced speed limits are enforced when it’s obvious no work is occurring at the construction site. These changes will make sure our construction workers are safe as they build our roadways, while also helping commuters spend less time in traffic and more time doing the things they love.”

Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation

Safety remains the highest priority for road construction projects. Speed reductions will continue to be enforced when and where necessary to protect highway workers and the travelling public. Speed fines will continue to be doubled when highway workers are present.

Quick facts

Construction zone requirements include:

  • More consistent use of road construction signage.
  • Limiting the distance of lane closures in construction zones, in most cases to a maximum of three kilometres.
  • Speed zone reductions reflect potential safety hazards and range from 50 km/hr to 100km/hr, even when workers are not present.
  • More gradual speed reductions through construction zones.
  • Longer distances for speed transition zones in advance of construction zones.
  • More frequent use of electronic speed displays and rumble strips to slow traffic at the actual construction site.


Link to source

 

Alberta’s top baby names for 2018

Some parts of this page will not display.
JavaScript is not available in this browser or may be turned off.

Premier Notley announced Alberta’s top baby names for 2018 and addressed recent changes to the midwifery profession at Mount Royal University.

Alberta welcomed 50,104 babies into the world last year – 25,717 boys and 24,387 girls. Olivia was the most popular name choice for baby girls for the fifth year in a row, with Emma and Charlotte close behind. Liam has reclaimed the top boy’s name in Alberta, taking the No. 1 spot back from Noah. Noah dropped from first to third place in the boys’ names list, while Oliver jumped to the second most popular name spot.  

“Congratulations to all the new parents, and welcome to all of our new Albertans. As these children grow up, they will shape our future. We are going to help make sure they get a great start, with thousands of affordable child care spaces across Alberta, stronger child and family benefits, and hundreds of new and modernized schools.”

Rachel Notley, Premier

Service Alberta recorded 13,363 different baby names in 2018. From popular culture to nature, parents found name inspiration from a variety of sources. Some of the more unique names appear to be inspired by Marvel comics (Loki, Thanos, Captain), Star Wars films (Kylo, Leia, Anakin), books from the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus), places (Ireland, Chicago, Venice), outer space (Galaxy, Jupiter, Moon) and gemstones (Amethyst, Sapphire, Onyx, Diamond).

This year, more expectant parents than ever before chose a midwife to help support them before and after their baby was born. Of the more than 50,000 babies born in Alberta in 2018, nearly 3,600 parents received the support of a midwife, up from 2,400 three years ago.

“We know choosing the perfect name isn’t the only decision new parents face. We wanted all expectant parents to have more choices when it comes to their pre- and post-partum care, so we increased funding for midwifery and expanded their scope of practice. We recognize the compassion and expertise midwives provide to Alberta families at a key time in their lives. I’m pleased to see so many Albertans taking advantage of their support as they make their journey into parenthood.”

Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health

Midwives serve families with low-risk pregnancies. Care starts during pregnancy and continues after birth. As part of Budget 2016, an additional $11 million was allocated for midwifery services over three years, for a total of $49 million.

The Government of Alberta also expanded midwives’ scope of practice, so they can prescribe, dispense and administer a broader range of prescription drugs, use ultrasound to determine fetal position, administer vaccines and insert intrauterine contraceptive devices. This brings the scope of practice for Alberta midwives in line with many other provinces and territories.

Quick facts

  • Oliver climbed six spots to become the second most popular boys’ name.
  • James cracked the boys’ top 10 list for the first time since 1983.
  • Harper and Elizabeth appeared in the girls’ top 10 list for the first time since records began in 1980.
  • Tied names mean there are 12 names on the boys’ top 10 list, with Logan and Lucas both in the fifth spot, and Alexander and James tied for spot No. 10. 
  • Parents have up to a year to register their children’s births. As a result, 2018 baby names lists and birth statistics may change slightly.
  • Albertans can look up more than 95,000 names dating back to 1980 through the Alberta Baby Names App, available for free download on iPhone, iPad and Android devices.
  • Baby names statistics are recorded by the Vital Statistics branch of Service Alberta, and are based on the registration and notice of birth information.
  • A complete list of names is available on the Open Government Portal.

Alberta’s top baby boy names

(In brackets is the number of children with each name)

Place
Boy Names (2018)
Boy Names (2017)
Boy Names (2016)

1

Liam (225)

Noah (250)

Liam (277)

2

Oliver (212)

Liam (244)

Benjamin (252)

3

Noah (199)

Benjamin (229)

Lucas (247)

4

Ethan (188)

Logan (226)

Oliver (230)

5

Logan (182)

Lucas (182)

Lucas (216)

Noah (228)

6

Jacob (181)

William (213)

William (213)

7

William (178)

Ethan (192)

Ethan (205)

8

Benjamin (176)

Oliver (190)

Jack (197)

9

Jack (167)

Jack (189)

Lincoln (192)

10

Alexander (158)

James (158)

Jacob (178)

Owen (189)

Alberta’s top baby boy names

(In brackets is the number of children with each name)

Place
Girl Names (2018)
Girl Names (2017)
Girl Names (2016)

1

Olivia (235)

Olivia (236)

Olivia (292)

2

Emma (230)

Emma (215)

Emma (249)

3

Charlotte (175)

Charlotte (187)

Sophia (215)

4

Emily (164)

Ava (184)

Sophia (184)

Ava (207)

5

Ava (161)

Emily (159)

Emily (187)

6

Abigail (153)

Abigail (154)

Charlotte (180)

7

Harper (150)

Amelia (149)

Amelia (172)

8

Sophia (146)

Isabella (141)

Abigail (171)

9

Amelia (145)

Aria (129)

Chloe (129)

Chloe (166)

10

Elizabeth (130)

Lily (127)

Aria (137)


Link to source

 

Piquette to seek NDP nod in Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock

 

Current MLA for Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater looking to run for new division

BY

https://www.athabascaadvocate.com/article/piquette-to-seek-ndp-nod-in-athabasca-barrhead-westlock-20190108

Current MLA Colin Piquette will seek the NDP nomination for the new Athabasca-Barrhead-Westlock constituency, hoping to keep his Legislature seat after the provincial election expected in 2019.

Speaking to the Advocate Dec. 29, the current Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater MLA said it has been a huge honour to represent his constituents in the legislature since 2015.

“I am grateful for having had the opportunity to represent the interests of my constituents during the current term,” he said. “Assuming I get the nomination, I hope the people of the new constituency will put their confidence in me for the next four years.”

The 49 year old was first elected to the legislature for the Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater constituency in 2015. Piquette defeated then-Tory cabinet minister Jeff Johnston by almost 1,800 votes as part of an NDP wave that ended almost 44 years of Progressive Conservative rule.

Piquette said he plans to register as a candidate for the nomination with Elections Alberta at the earliest possible opportunity.

He also said with the boundary changes, he knows that there will be a tough battle ahead of him during the upcoming election.

“I think we have a chance, but it will take lots of hard work,” Piquette said. “But Westlock was represented by a Liberal about 25-30 years ago, and Athabasca was considered a strong Tory bastion before I was elected. But being a small-c conservative seat does not automatically mean it will go UCP. I find the majority of constituents will vote for change when it benefits the community, not just for the sake of change.”

He added the campaign will offer a stark choice between two completely different visions from the NDP and the UCP.

“Do we want to move forward with the expansion and diversification of our resources with more value added to them, or do we continue to rely on a couple of commodities to keep our economies afloat,” Piquette said. “The NDP continues to diversify the economy to make it more resilient, while the UCP wants to turn back the clock. Our party hopes to ensure children have access to education and an opportunity to move on to post-secondary learning, as well as improve public health care and continue with innovative ideas like the $25-a-day daycare program.”

He added the vision of the Rachel Notley NDP contrasts considerably with those of UCP leader Jason Kenney.

“He keeps talking about the ‘summer of repeals,’” he said. “He’s already shown what he’s all about in how he approaches issues, and frankly, he’s been all over the map. He talks about rolling back safety regulations and consumer protections and massive cuts while under the same breath, he claims he agrees with some of what our party is already doing, and will only look at certain aspects of change. Mr. Kenney continues to contradict himself, and never provides numbers for his promises. Other opposition parties have presented alternative budgets, but the UCP has never done that once.”

Glenn van Dijken, the current MLA for Barrhead-Westlock-Morinville, was nominated to run for the United Conservative Party (UCP) in the new constituency July 14. But so far, Piquette said he has not heard of any other party putting forward a candidate as of yet.

“I would assume the Alberta Party will put somebody forward, as they did say they intend to run a full slate of 87 candidates,” he said. “Other than that, I would say this will likely be a battle between the NDP and the UCP. But if 2015 showed us anything, it’s that lots can happen in an election campaign, and it’s one reason why nobody should take any outcome for granted.”

Piquette said he hopes when the majority of the constituency, as well as the province, sees what the parties have to offer, they choose the vision offered by the NDP.

“In the end, it’s all about getting out and talking to the people,” he said. “That is especially important now that the boundaries have been redrawn, and why we can never assume anything. But one thing is for sure, no party owns any constituency anymore.”

Concrete progress on Calgary Cancer Centre

Some parts of this page will not display.
JavaScript is not available in this browser or may be turned off.

Premier Notley provides an update on construction at the Calgary Cancer Centre.

Construction of the $1.4-billion cancer research and treatment centre – the largest government infrastructure project in the province – remains on time and on budget.

Thirty per cent of the project’s total concrete, or 37,000 cubic metres – has been poured as work progresses on the 12-room radiation therapy department.

 With a total concrete volume of 125,000 cubic metres, it will be the largest stand-alone cancer centre in Canada when it begins offering improved care for patients in 2023.

The Tom Baker Centre reached full capacity in 2003. Since then, cancer rates have continued to rise at a rate of thee to five per cent a year. Every day, 54 Albertans learn they have cancer, a number that is expected to grow to more than 70 by 2030 due to aging and population growth.

All Albertans deserve top-quality, innovative cancer care. I’m so excited to see continued progress on the Calgary Cancer Centre that gives hope and increased access to care to patients and families in southern Alberta. We continue to fulfil our promise to provide life-saving health services in communities across the province.

Rachel Notley, Premier

The project is expected to add 1,500 jobs for Calgarians over the next six years. Four cranes and about 300 workers are currently on site with construction well underway on the lower levels, all five parkade levels and the first clinical areas of the centre.

I am so proud of our government’s investment in this project. Our commitment to building vital health care infrastructure means cancer care in Alberta is now among the best in the world.

Sandra Jansen, Minister of Infrastructure

Development of the radiation therapy department will continue later this year with the pouring of more than 10,000 cubic metres of concrete and the construction of 12 steel and concrete vaults. Each vault will have 1.8-metre-thick walls to protect patients and families from radiation exposure. This will nearly double the current Tom Baker Cancer Centre’s capacity to treat patients with radiation therapy – currently more than 3,300 a year – to meet an anticipated 60 per cent increase in demand by 2030.

Staff, patient advisers and partners have been instrumental in the continued planning and execution of making the Calgary Cancer Centre a world-class facility for Albertans. We are very proud of all of the work accomplished to date and we are excited about what is to come.

Dr. Matthew Parliament, senior medical director, CancerControl Alberta, AHS

The Calgary Cancer Centre will be integrated with the Foothills Medical Centre and will replace the aging Tom Baker Cancer Centre. Albertans will have an opportunity to tour life-sized replicas of patient treatment rooms this February.

Services at the centre will include:

  • outpatient cancer clinics
  • more than 100 patient exam rooms
  • 160 inpatient unit beds
  • more than 100 chemotherapy chairs
  • clinical and operational support services
  • double the space for clinical trials
  • research laboratories
  • 12 radiation vaults, with three more shelled in for future growth
  • double the capacity to treat patients with the best technology
  • New on-site underground parking with 1,650 stalls

PCL Construction has removed about 450,000 square metres of material since the project’s groundbreaking in 2017 and will continue with below-grade activities through 2019. Construction will continue until 2022.


Link to source

 

Telephone town halls for Bighorn Country

Some parts of this page will not display.
JavaScript is not available in this browser or may be turned off.

The Government of Alberta has proposed a mix of parks and public lands in the Bighorn region that would preserve natural landscapes while creating new opportunities for economic development, tourism and recreation in the region.

In order to gather feedback from the public on the proposal, telephone town halls will be held:

Tuesday, Jan. 15
Drayton Valley, Sundre and surrounding area
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 16
Red Deer and surrounding area
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

To participate, dial 1-877-229-8493 and enter code 115500#. Participants can also listen and ask questions online at vekeo.com/youralberta.

Government engagement has already reached more than 30,000 people, as well as municipalities, recreation groups, small businesses and industrial operators.

People can continue to review the proposal and provide feedback online by visiting talkaep.alberta.ca. The deadline for submitting feedback is Feb. 15.

Quick facts

  • Bighorn Country includes public lands from the boundary of Banff National Park eastward towards Drayton Valley. It includes Clearwater County, most of Brazeau County and the current Bighorn Backcountry management area.
  • The Bighorn region is recognized for its scenic beauty and natural diversity. It includes scenic mountains and foothills, rare plants and key habitat for numerous species at risk such as grizzly bear, wolverine, harlequin duck, Athabasca rainbow trout and bull trout.
  • The headwaters of the North Saskatchewan River and Red Deer River are located within Bighorn Country, providing clean drinking water to more than one million Albertans.
  • Sharing this busy landscape is a wide variety of recreation and tourism activities. Hunting and fishing are popular, as well as camping, hiking, off-highway vehicle use, horseback riding, ice climbing and cross-country skiing.
  • The Bighorn Country proposal includes new, expanded or amended parks, protected areas and public land use zones. This system of public lands is intended to provide a range of opportunities that suits the settings and demands of the region.
  • The proposal means no significant change to recreation activities, but offers $40 million in new investment to improve services and infrastructure such as campsites, parking lots, trails and staging areas.
  • The proposal supports continued practice of traditional uses and the exercise of treaty rights by Indigenous Peoples.


Link to source

 

Winter Harvest Festivals: Statement from Premier Notley

Some parts of this page will not display.
JavaScript is not available in this browser or may be turned off.

“Today Albertans of South Asian heritage mark an assortment of Winter Harvest Festivals that date back centuries. Known as Lohri, Makar Sankranti or Pongal, the harvest and winter solstice festivals are celebrated in different ways throughout the Indian subcontinent.

“No matter how it is marked, it is a time to celebrate the blessings of the harvest and beginning of longer and sunnier days. Across the world, families and friends come together to share the warmth of a fire, sing songs, roast peanuts and enjoy festive dishes like jaggery, a sugar cane dish, and gajak, a traditional dessert.

“As the days grow longer, it is wonderful to see Albertans of diverse communities coming together to share in this multi-faith celebration. Diversity is one of our province’s greatest strengths, and festivities like this one make our society more diverse, open and inclusive. 

“I wish everyone a happy Lohri, Makar Sankranti or Pongal and a prosperous year ahead.”


Link to source

 

Guru Gobind Singh Ji: Statement from Premier Notley

Some parts of this page will not display.
JavaScript is not available in this browser or may be turned off.

“Today Sikhs here in Alberta, across Canada and around the world mark the birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.

“As the last human Guru of Sikh faith, Guru Gobind Singh Ji established and initiated the Sikh order, known as the Khalsa. This new order provided the followers of the Sikh faith a political and religious vision for the future.

“Guru Gobind Singh Ji was a spiritual master, warrior, gifted poet and philosopher. He advocated and fought for equality, social justice and harmony for all people.

“His teachings remain alive and well today among members of Alberta’s large Sikh community, and his values are shared by all of us in this province.

“I would like to wish Albertans of the Sikh faith a very joyous day of celebration on the anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s birth.”


Link to source

 

More Good than Bad in 2018!

“Alberta has still managed to lead the rest of the country in economic growth. Our diversification efforts continue to show progress. We had a banner year for agricultural exports and for manufacturing jobs”. 

Telephone town halls announced for Bighorn

The Government of Alberta has proposed a mix of parks and public lands in the Bighorn region that would preserve natural landscapes while creating new opportunities for economic development, tourism and recreation in the region.

“Albertans are deeply passionate about the Bighorn, one of the most stunning landscapes on Earth. It is beloved by many for everything it provides, including clean water, abundant natural resources and many opportunities for adventures and relaxation. We continue to listen to Albertans’ feedback and hope you will bring your passion and knowledge to the table as we work together to build a plan that will ensure the region is enjoyed for generations to come.”

Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks

Government engagement has already reached more than 30,000 people, as well as municipalities, recreation groups, small businesses and industrial operators. In order to gather more feedback, the Bighorn Country consultation period has been extended to Feb. 15 and three telephone town halls have been scheduled.

Telephone town halls will be held:

Tuesday, Jan. 15
Drayton Valley, Sundre and surrounding area
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 16
Red Deer and surrounding area
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 24
Edmonton
6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Dial-in information will be made available shortly.

The government is re-evaluating engagement plans and exploring rescheduling public information drop-in sessions.

In the meantime, people can continue to review the proposal and provide feedback online by visiting talkaep.alberta.ca. The deadline for submitting feedback is Feb. 15.

Quick facts

  • Bighorn Country includes public lands from the boundary of Banff National Park eastward towards Drayton Valley. It includes Clearwater County, most of Brazeau County and the current Bighorn Backcountry management area.
  • The Bighorn region is recognized for its scenic beauty and natural diversity. It includes scenic mountains and foothills, rare plants and key habitat for numerous species at risk such as grizzly bear, wolverine, harlequin duck, Athabasca rainbow trout and bull trout.
  • The headwaters of the North Saskatchewan River and Red Deer River are located within Bighorn Country, providing clean drinking water to more than one million Albertans.
  • Sharing this busy landscape is a wide variety of recreation and tourism activities. Hunting and fishing are popular, as well as camping, hiking, off-highway vehicle use, horseback riding, ice climbing and cross-country skiing.
  • The Bighorn Country proposal includes new, expanded or amended parks, protected areas and public land use zones. This system of public lands is intended to provide a range of opportunities that suits the settings and demands of the region.
  • The proposal means no significant change to recreation activities, but offers $40 million in new investment to improve services and infrastructure such as campsites, parking lots, trails and staging areas.
  • The proposal supports continued practice of traditional uses and the exercise of treaty rights by Indigenous Peoples.


Link to source