Dear friends and neighbours,
This year’s spring season has presented many unexpected challenges for our community. Undoubtedly these have been difficult times, both financially and emotionally, for many of us. I want to assure all of my constituents that our government is considering every possible step to support Albertans as we look towards economic recovery.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges and uncertainties. Mental health is an important part of our well-being. Our government is investing $53 million to boost mental health services in communities across the province, ensuring that all Albertans have access to the mental health supports that they need. I encourage everyone to reach out to loved ones to help boost their spirits. Resources are also available to anyone who is struggling during COVID-19. The Mental Health Help Line provides 24/7 confidential support at 1-877-303-2642.
Throughout the pandemic, sharing accurate and up-to-date information to the public has been an important component of our province’s response. Information on public health guidelines, resources for coping, and supports for individuals and businesses in Alberta can all be found at alberta.ca/covid19.
On the site you can also find the most up to date statistics, interactive maps, modelling data, and information on how to keep you and loved ones safe and healthy throughout this crisis.
The people of this province are doing an incredible job at fighting through and mitigating the effects of Covid-19, our numbers are well below the predictions of the Alberta Health Service.
I would also like to recognize all of the health care professionals, essential workers, and volunteers who are working tirelessly for our community through this public health crisis. Thank you for all of your hard work in these truly difficult times. At the moment Covid-19 is our primary concern but it is not the only hurdle our province is facing.
The following months will not be an easy time, oil prices have hit rock bottom, thousands of businesses have shut their doors for good and unemployment is rampant.
Our Government will continue to fight by your side every step of the way to ensure you and your family can make ends meet and put food on the table.
I am pleased to share that we have just launched a new program to create well-paying jobs in these challenging times. The Site Rehabilitation Program is providing grants to oilfield service contractors to perform well, pipeline, and oil and gas site reclamation. The program, which is expected to create 5,300 direct jobs for Albertans, will lead the cleanup of thousands of sites here in our province. Applications for contracts by service companies opened in May, and are helping get Albertans back to work during a period of unprecedented challenges for the oil and gas industry. This program comes in addition to our government’s job-creating investment in Keystone XL and our loan to the Orphan Well Association. These actions demonstrate that our government is committed to getting Albertans back to work, and is looking ahead to a strong comeback in the post COVID-19 economy.
I am also happy to share that additional relief measures are available for Alberta’s small businesses. Many small businesses have been required to close or limit their operations to protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and are facing extreme financial pressures. Alberta is joining the federal government’s Canada Emergency Rent Assistance program that will reduce rent for small businesses by 75 per cent. This program offers forgivable loans, providing significant relief in tough times. This important program comes in addition to previous relief measures, including the deferral of utility payments, corporate tax filings, and WCB premium payments. Small businesses are the backbone of our community, and these relief measures will help support them through COVID-19.
If you have any questions concerns please contact my office at 403-248-4487
As always, it is my honour to serve as your MLA.
Sincerely, Mickey Amery