MLA Update – Oct. 16, 2020

Posted Under: Jason Copping

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend and you were able to enjoy the weather and spend some time with family.  The colder weather has approached as has the influenza season.  I encourage you to please get your flu shot and remember to follow the recommendations of Dr. Hinshaw.  Together we can avoid a second wave.

These past few weeks have been busy as our government has continued to move Alberta’s Recovery Plan forward with setting the stage for clean geothermal development and building a diverse natural gas industry.  I also know there have been many questions about a policy idea coming forward at the UCP AGM on health care.  This policy has not been endorsed by myself or government.  We are committed to maintaining a publicly funded and universally accessible health care system for now and future generations.

Finally, our government is seeking input from Albertans on both Budget 2021 and the Alberta 2030 Building Skills for Jobs initiative.  I encourage you to have your say and provide input into both of these surveys.  

As always, if you have questions or would like to share your feedback please reach out to my office at 


COVID-19 Update

Flu immunization
This year we will need to be extra vigilant as we continue to deal with the spread of the COVID-19 virus.  To ensure you are protected from the flu I encourage you to get immunized, especially our seniors and at-risk Albertans. 

The flu vaccinations will begin starting on October 19th by appointment at doctors’ offices and participating pharmacies for Albertans age five and up.  Public health clinics will immunize children under five and their household members; people with no provincial health number; and where they are the only provider. 

For the first time, seniors in provincially funded long-term care can receive a high-dose vaccine.

MyHealth Records quick access
Parents and guardians can now access the COVID-19 test results for children under the age of 18 through MyHealth Records (MHR) as soon as they are ready.

  • To access children’s test results, parents need to provide their personal health number and the date of their child’s COVID-19 test.
  • Albertans age 14 and older could already access their COVID-19 test results immediately after signing up without waiting for mail-out verification.
  • Sign-up is free, the only requirement is an Alberta driver’s licence or identification card.

Made-in-Calgary masks to help protect Albertans
It is great to see that a Calgary-based company will create up to 100 jobs and provide more than 40 million locally made medical masks to Alberta Health Services (AHS).

The $60-million two-year agreement between AHS and Orpyx Medical Technologies comes after Orpyx responded to Alberta’s Bits and Pieces program, which sought local organizations and companies to develop and provide goods and services to support the province’s response to the pandemic.

Government Update


Clean Geothermal Development

Our government is paving the way forward for the development of clean geothermal energy.  Geothermal energy is the natural heat that originates from the Earth.  It can be used for heating and cooling or to generate electricity.  Using our decades of drilling experience in oil and gas, Alberta is set to unlock the potential of harnessing earth’s natural heat energy and diversify the energy sector. Developing our geothermal resources will attract new investment, create new jobs, while also getting our drilling sector back to work.

Geothermal energy can especially provide economic opportunity to Indigenous and rural remote communities and provide a new source of energy, all while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Geothermal is a perfect example of bridging our specialized oil and gas work force, and technical drilling experience, in a new diversified energy sector.

Alberta has a number of advantages to develop geothermal energy. We have a natural geological advantage, the opportunity to repurpose inactive oil and gas wells and have extensive oil and gas expertise. 

Currently, Alberta assesses geothermal project applications on a case-by case basis.  Given the increased interest in geothermal development, establishing a dedicated geothermal framework will enhance efficiency and clarity.  

Building a bold and diverse natural gas industry
As part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, The Government of Alberta, has developed a Strategy for Natural Gas. This strategy outlines actions that will attract investment and create jobs in the entire natural gas value chain including petrochemicals, LNG, hydrogen and plastics recycling.Canada is among the top natural gas producers in the world, and about two-thirds of Canada’s natural gas production comes from Alberta with about a 300-year supply of natural gas.

Alberta’s Natural Gas Vision and Strategy will build and diversify our natural gas industry, positioning the province as a post-pandemic powerhouse for responsible energy development.  Implementing the strategy will revitalize Alberta’s natural gas sector, help to diversify and grow the economy, attract investment and create jobs. 

A recent report by the Conference Board of Canada, estimates that west coast LNG projects would create over 96,000 annual jobs for Canadians, and boost total wages by over $6 billion each year.  By supporting the LNG Canada project, we can displace between 20-40 coal-fired power plants in Asia reducing global GHG’s by a level that is equivalent to 10 percent of Canadian emissions. 

The Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program is part of our plan to encourage investment in large-scale petrochemical projects and create jobs in Alberta. There is an opportunity to grow Alberta’s petrochemical sector by more than $30 billion by 2030, resulting in more than 90,000 direct and indirect jobs over the construction and operation periods of new facilities. 

Grassroots policy and health care
I have been receiving emails this week about a policy that is being put forward at the UCP AGM regarding greater choice and access to private health care.  

UCP members regularly submit policy ideas to be debated. This is part of regular party business at AGMs. We don’t pre-judge its outcome and allow grassroots members to debate resolutions in the open. The UCP is ultimately a party where individual members get to have their say. 

This policy was brought forward by a member of the Calgary-Varsity UCP Constituency Association and is not sponsored by me or the government.  I respect the grassroots policy process where members are able to propose and debate a wide range of policies.

It’s important to note that our government was elected on a clear, extensive platform in the 2019 that included maintaining a publicly funded and universally accessible healthcare system while maintaining or increasing healthcare funding. This government is keeping those promises and taking action to deliver better and more efficient healthcare for Albertans. 

Have your say

Alberta 2030:  Building skills for jobs – Stakeholder engagement
As part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, the Alberta 2030:  Building Skills for Jobs initiative is encouraging stakeholder participation and asking for you to get involved in the development of a long-term, evidence-informed strategy to provide high-quality education, skills and training.

With the University of Calgary located in Calgary-Varsity, I am encouraging you to participate in one of the three surveys:  Student, public and employer.  Check out the “Get Involved” section of Alberta 2030.

Budget 2021 input
Albertans can share their views and priorities for the province by taking part in an online survey and joining telephone town halls with Finance Minister Travis Toews.

Alberta’s government is interested in Albertans’ spending priorities, as well as their ideas about where to look for savings and how to strengthen the economy. The online survey is now live until Dec. 4, and the telephone town halls will take place on Nov. 30, Dec. 2, and Dec. 3. More information is available at

In Our Community

Brentwood Cares
Brentwood Cares continues to help out the Calgary Food Bank with food deliveries in the NW on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Brentwood Cares also continues to fill the little food library.  Thank you to the community and neighbours who have made this a success.  You can continue to drop off items in the box.  For more information please contact  

University Heights Board Meeting
Thank you to the board of University Heights for having me attend this month’s meeting.  It was great to connect with you and to update you on what our government is doing to support Albertans and communities, especially as we have continued to deal with COVID-19.  I look forward to continuing to connect with all the communities in Calgary-Varsity.

I want your feedback.  Please take a moment to answer the following question.

Do you support the diversification of our natural gas industry to attract investment and create jobs?
Not sure

To answer go to

Thank you to those who took the time to answer the last survey question:  I will be hosting another townhall this fall.  Do you believe Alberta’s Recovery Plan (pages 20-29) will diversify Alberta’s economy?
Yes  11%
No  67%
Not sure  22%

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