For many of us we would be in our boots and hats, enjoying a Stampede breakfast and shouting out some Yahoo’s. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 virus has halted the many events including the iconic Stampede this summer. However this does not mean we can’t carry on the Stampede spirit. There are still events taking place, pancakes to be had and fireworks to see. Carrying on our tradition of community spirit is what makes us so resilient.
Our government continues to be there for Albertans, whether it be suppling masks, introducing legislation to attract investment or continuing to ensure we have appropriate guidelines in place to keep you safe and healthy.
Alberta’s free mask distribution a huge success
In June, 20 million masks were distributed through restaurant partners, municipalities, long-term care facilities, First Nations and Metis Settlements, and other organizations. Alberta is the only province in Canada to take this important step to help limit the spread of COVID-19 throughout the province.
Free non-medical masks will soon be back at A&W, McDonald’s Canada, and Tim Hortons locations across Alberta. Distribution of masks through these restaurant partners will resume on July 13. As we look to the future, I know that many in our community have been deeply affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. For the latest information on protecting your loved ones from illness or resources for coping, please visit http://alberta.ca/covid19.
Alberta’s Recovery Plan
Creating Jobs, Building, Diversifying
The first step our government took was to reopen our economy and now we are needing to get Albertan’s back to work. To help jump-start the economy this year, our government will make the largest investment in infrastructure projects in Alberta’s history, which will invest over $10-billion in projects and help create over 50,000 jobs.
The Economic Recovery Planalso includes:
- Launch of the Innovation Employment Grant to support the technology and innovation sector.
- Investing an additional $175 million into the Alberta Enterprise Corporation expanding access to venture capital.
- Cultural Event Relaunch Program.
- A new 10-year grant program attracting a wave of investment to the province’s petrochemical sector.
These initiatives are just the start as we announce more sectoral diversification in the coming weeks. This plan will help Albertan businesses and organizations launch and grow so that they can help get Albertans back to work in the long run.
To find out more on the plan please visit https://www.alberta.ca/assets/documents/alberta-recovery-plan.pdf
Bill 30, the Health Status Amendment Act, 2020
To be clear this bill is not creating two tier health care, but rather using the current public health care system we have in place and strengthening it so Albertans can continue to have access to high-quality, person-centered health services in in a more sustainable and efficient manner. This Bill also clarifies the role of Alberta Health Services as the province’s single health authority, with Covenant Health as a strategic partner.
This legislation aims to streamline the approval process for chartered surgical facilities to operate so they can provide more high-quality, publicly funded surgeries to help reduce surgical wait times without compromising patient safety or quality of care. These facilities are an essential part of our health system and help Alberta improve access to surgeries that are fully insured – no Albertan has to pay for these surgeries, whether or not they happen in hospitals or chartered surgical facilities.
This Bill also increases the number of public members on Health Professional Regulatory College councils to ensure Albertans have a stronger voice and greater role in professional oversight. Representation of public members will increase from 25% to 50%.
Further details on Bill 30 can be found at https://www.alberta.ca/improving-public-health-care.aspx
Bill 32, Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act
I was proud this week as the Minster of Immigration and Labour to introduce Bill 32 which provides employees and job creators with clearer and more transparent rules promoting fairness and productivity — including more clarity about rest periods and vacation time while on job-protected leave. Changes through this bill will strengthen employees’ rights aligning Alberta with other jurisdictions.
Working with stakeholders and taking taking feedback into account this legislation will restore balance and economic stability, including updates to rules for collective bargaining and first contract arbitration that will reduce red tape and encourage employers and employees to work together to reach agreements. These changes are needed to support economic recovery by saving job creators money, getting Albertans back to work and protecting workers.
Further details on Bill 32 can be found at https://www.alberta.ca/restoring-balance-in-albertas-workplaces.aspx
Bill 33, Alberta Investment Attraction Act, 2020
This bill will create the Invest Alberta agency, a government agency that will put our investment attraction efforts on steroids as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The creation of the Invest Alberta agency will be a key element of our economic recovery and the growth and diversification of Alberta’s economy.
The agency will aim to bring our goods to key markets and expand trade, but also to focus on incoming investment to Alberta. It will also focus on attracting investment in the pillars of Alberta’s economy such as energy, agriculture and tourism, as well key growth sectors such as technology, data and telecom, aerospace, and financial services.
Further details on Bill 33 can be found at https://www.alberta.ca/attracting-job-creating-investment.aspx
In our community
Canadian Association of Children’s Education in Pakistan Bottle Drive
I just dropped of my bottles! Thank you to Parisa of Brentwood who is raising funds to support female students going to school this year in Pakistan. Donations will help pay for school supplies and fees. You still have time and can donate your bottles until Sunday, July 12th. For more information go to http://www.educateachildinpakistan.org/
The COVID-19 virus has been tough on so many, especially our youth population. I want to thank the organizers who came together to bring us COVID-9TEEN. This is an organization created by teens as a way to support each other during this pandemic. I had the honour of joining their virtual Canada Day celebration and their virtual Talent Shows. What a great opportunity for our youth to work together and beat this virus. For more information please visit https://www.covid9-teen.com/.