Jason Copping: November 19 MLA Update

Posted Under: Jason Copping

The past few weeks have been busy as we have seen some great economic activity come back to Alberta. Last week alone we saw $7 billion in new investments. These investments will create thousands of new, well paying jobs for Albertans.

The recent investments along with our government’s recovery plan is positioning our province for prosperity and providing hope for the future.  We have already seen growth over the last several months in our job numbers. 

I know for many that COVID has impacted so much of our lives, especially our economy and businesses. Our COVID numbers continue to decline as do our hospitalizations. Although we are not out of the woods, starting to see a flurry of economic activity return to Alberta should provide all of us with some optimism for our future.  

I know I say it often, but it can’t be said enough. Thank you to our front-line health care staff who continue to ensure Albertans are taken care of during this time. You have been in this since the beginning and we all owe you so much gratitude for your sacrifices. 

In this e-newsletter you will find out more about the Janssen vaccine which arrived last week, some of the great investments announced in Alberta and for those who missed my town hall there is a link below if you are interested in listening.If you have questions, concerns or would like to chat, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office to schedule a phone call at calgary.varsity@assembly.ab.ca

COVID-19 Update

Health Canada approves Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5-11

This morning Health Canada approved the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11. Appointments will be available as soon as Alberta receives the vaccine supply and it has been distributed across Alberta. Parents can now go online and register your child in advance of appointment availability.

To register on line go to https://bookvaccine.alberta.ca/vaccine/s/ For more information on the vaccine for children you can learn more at https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/page17746.aspx

Alberta receives 5,000 doses of Janssen vaccine

Last week Alberta received 5,000 doses of the Janssen vaccine. The Janssen vaccine is currently a sing-dose viral vector vaccine that works similarly to the AstraZeneca vaccine. Albertans 18 and older can now book appointments by calling 811. Due to limited supply, the Janssen vaccine will only be administered at Alberta Health Services clinics in select locations around the province. 

QR code now being used across Alberta

At the beginning of this week Albertans the Restriction Exemption Program (REP) now requires vaccine records to include a QR code in order to access participating businesses and venues. The enhanced Alberta vaccine record is available through www.Alberta.ca/CovidRecords.

  • Albertans can also get a printed vaccine record with QR code at no cost by visiting a registry agent office or by calling 811.
  • Records can be printed or displayed on a phone.
  • Alberta businesses have been able to scan for QR codes since Oct. 12.
  • Businesses must check for a valid ID that matches the name and date of birth on the vaccine record, for adults 18 and older with any type of proof of vaccination.

REP implementation grant

Businesses that have implemented the Restriction Exemption Program (REP) can now apply for $2,000 grants to to help offset some of the costs of implementation. Alberta is the first province to provide funding support to organizations participating in a proof of vaccination program.

To apply for the implementation grant, organizations must:

  • Be on the list of eligible in-scope operators of organizations;
  • Be implementing the REP consistently as part of daily operations;
  • Be verifying proof of vaccination, recent negative COVID-19 test, or proof of medical exemption for patrons 12 and over;
  • Be a permanent establishment in Alberta; and,
  • Be employing fewer than 500 employees.

You can learn more and apply here

Government update

Amazon Web Services announced multi-billion investment in Alberta

Global leader Amazon Web Services Inc. announced they will make a multibillion-dollar investment on a new cloud computing operation in Calgary. It is estimated that this investment will create close to 1,000 new jobs through a total investment of $4.3 billion, making it perhaps the largest single investment in the history of the province’s tech sector.

Alberta’s Recovery Plan includes actions to expand Alberta’s tech and innovation sector. Alberta’s government has lowered taxes on job creators and created an open for business regulatory environment. Budget 2021 invested an additional $175 million in the Alberta Enterprise Corporation to boost venture capital in Alberta’s tech sector and created the Innovation Employment Grant to support efforts to train workers for Alberta’s growing tech sector. Alberta’s tech sector is maturing rapidly and is a driver of employment and diversification. Technology and innovation are essential for growth and success in all industries and investments. Amazon Web Services can help kick-start growth in other sectors.

Key examples of recent tech investment in Alberta include:

  • RBC’s plans to open a Calgary Innovation hub, estimated to create more than 300 jobs over three years.
  • Calgary’s Benevity secured a $1.1-billion investment deal.
  • Mphasis is setting up its Canadian headquarters in Calgary, bringing at least 1,000 tech jobs to the city.
  • Infosys, a tech giant that specializes in digital services and consulting, is bringing 500 jobs to Calgary over the next three years.
  • Exro Technologies announced its relocation to Calgary, with plans to spend $15 million over three years and create 50 high-skill cleantech jobs.
  • mCloud Technologies Corp is relocating its corporate headquarters to Calgary.
  • Rogers has announced its intention to locate its National Centre of Excellence in Technology and Engineering in Calgary, bringing 500 high-paying jobs to the city.

Building a future for critical and rare earth minerals in Alberta

Alberta has the opportunity to be at the forefront of global mineral exploration and development because of a wealth of natural resources and its track record for being a global leader in responsible development. The strategy, Renewing Alberta’s Mineral Futurewill strengthen and diversify the province’s economy by capitalizing on our potential to become a preferred international producer and supplier of minerals and mineral products.

Alberta Hydrogen Roadmap

As the largest hydrogen producer in Canada, this roadmap charts Alberta’s path to becoming a leader in the global clean hydrogen economy while ensuring our province retains its place as an international supplier of responsible energy products. Increasing the province’s clean hydrogen production will also support efforts to lower emissions across Alberta’s economy. You can read more here

$50 million in TIER funding from Alberta Innovates creates 1,300 jobs

 A combined total of nearly $50 million is being provided to 23 Alberta projects to advance innovation that will help Alberta become an even stronger leader in clean energy technologies, reduce emissions over the near and long term, and create jobs.

Alberta Innovates expects these 23 projects will support a total of 1,307 project-related jobs for Albertans while contributing $169 million to the province’s GDP.

A list of projects can be found here: https://albertainnovates.ca/impact/newsroom/solving-industry-challenges-with-made-in-alberta-tech/.

Funding palliative and end-of-life care in Alberta

As the Minister of Health I was pleased to join my colleague, MLA Dan Williams to announce funding for palliative and end-of-life care for four priority recommendations in the Advancing Palliative and End-of-Life Care in Alberta Final report. Grants totalling $11 million will transform palliative and end-of-life care that eases suffering for Albertans with a life-limiting illness.

Palliative and end of life care must start as early as possible for individuals with a life-limiting illness., and it must support them in familiar settings for as long as possible. Funding projects that enable this will lead to better palliative care supports and services for Albertans.In September 2020, the province announced $20 million for palliative and end-of-life initiatives. Since then Alberta’s government has invested almost $9 million for new projects. More than $6.5 million to Covenant Health for public awareness initiatives, such as advance care planning and developing education for health-care providers. More than $1 million to the Alberta Hospice Palliative Care Association for in-person and online support groups for Albertans with a terminal illness, a telephone grief support service and expansion of workshops on palliative care for Albertans. $1 million for the government-sponsored Palliative Coverage Program to cover the costs associated with pre-filling syringes for palliative clients. $150,000 to Pilgrim’s Hospice Society to advance community hospice care.

New Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health in Calgary 

Calgary’s new Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health is being constructed thanks to the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and broad community support. Once built, the new facility will provide community-based mental health services to help children and youth improve their mental wellness while pursuing long-term recovery.

Alberta’s government is funding the operations of the centre in partnership with Alberta Health Services (AHS). Through the Build Them Up fundraising campaign, Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation raised more than $50 million to support the $39-million capital build in addition to ongoing program funding.

Construction of the centre is ongoing and is expected to be complete in late summer 2022. Once open, services will augment and integrate with existing services provided by AHS and community-based agencies.

Albertans can visit Together4Health, AHS’ online engagement platform, for progress updates and information on feedback opportunities. AHS is committed to gathering input from patients and families, staff and the community.

In the community

Helping grow socially purposed businesses

I had the honour to join my colleague, the Honourable Ron Orr, Minister of Culture, Ed McCauley, President of the University of Calgary, and Beth Gignac, chief impact and innovation officer of the United Way of Calgary and Area for the announcement of government investing $2 million over four years in the UCeed Social Impact Fund to help launch and grow up to 100 social enterprises.

The UCeed Social Impact Fund provides early-stage loan and equity funding to support the development of social enterprises focused on making positive changes in our communities and that use a business approach to address a social need. The UCeed Social Impact Fund is also made possible by a $2.5-million donation from the United Way of Calgary and Area.

Community holiday markets

It is that time of year to get out and support your local community associations and local entrepreneurs. There are holiday markets taking place over the next few weeks in our local community of Calgary-Varsity. 

Parkdale Holiday Market – November 20 & 21
The PCA along with partner the Parkdale Nifty 50s is hosting their first Holiday Market at the Parkdale Community Centre. You can stop by between 10 and 4 to visit local vendors. 

Silver Springs Crafters Market – November 20
Stop by between 10 and 3 to shop over 30 local vendors selling handcrafted unique items. 

Triwood Christmas Market – December 4 & 5
Come out to the Triwood Community centre from 10-4 on December 4 and 5th to find locally handmade crafts and items to complete your holiday shopping.

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