It has been great this past week to be back in the riding spending time in Calgary-Varsity. I hosted a townhall, had calls with constituents, wished a veteran a happy 100th birthday and took a moment to remember the sacrifices made by so many so we can enjoy our freedoms on November 11th. I hope you were able to take some time to reflect and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
COVID-19 continues to be on everyone’s mind as we have seen an increase in numbers of infection. With new measures in place and following the protocols, I know that we can get numbers down again. We need to all work together. I also want to take a moment to once again thank all of the front-line workers. As Calgary-Varsity is home to both the Foothills and Children’s Hospitals, it is important we thank those who work to help keep us all healthy and safe.
I was pleased a few weeks ago to introduce Bill 47, Ensuring Safety and Cutting Red Tape Act, 2020 whichwill make workplace safety laws easier to understand and create a more sustainable workers’ compensation system to support Albertans now and into the future. This bill also follows through on our commitment to create the Heroes Fund. Below you will also find out more information on Bill 46, the Health Statutes Amendment Act, 2020.
I will be returning to Edmonton next week to continue working on these important initiatives, including Alberta’s Recovery Plan to get Alberta’s economy moving forward.
I also continue to hear from constituent’s on Alberta’s parks. Please find below and invitation to join in on a townhall with the Honourable Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks, to answer your questions.
As always, if you have questions or would like to share your feedback please reach out to my office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases across Alberta, the Chief Medical Officer of Health has implemented further temporary measures to help reduce the transmission. Alberta’s government will always follow the evidence and the data and our priority is to ensure that Albertans remain safe and healthy.
Our current state is twice as bad as it was in the spring, both in new cases and hospital and ICU impacts, and numbers continue to grow. This new growth in cases is threatening health services that Albertans rely on. This two-week push is our last chance to avoid more restrictive measures. If we focus our efforts for the next two weeks, we can reduce the spread and protect our hospital system.
New measures (effective immediately):
#1 – Group Fitness, Team Sports and Group Performance Activities
A two-week stop for all indoor group fitness & sports, and group performance, including group singing, dancing and theatre cohort groups.
- This temporary stop applies to:
- Edmonton and surrounding areas;
- Calgary and surrounding areas;
- Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Fort McMurray and Red Deer.
- This does not include:
- Outdoor sports;
- Individual sports such as tennis;
- Individual exercises, training or equipment use;
- Junior, university or professional sports.
#2 – Restaurants, Bars, Lounges and Pubs
All restaurants, bars, lounges and pubs in areas that are under enhanced status with more than 50 active cases per 100,000 must stop liquor sales by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m.
- Similar restrictions are currently in place in B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.
#3 – Social Gatherings
We are strongly recommending that Albertans living in any areas with enhanced measures not have social gatherings in their homes.
- 40% of the spread can be traced to social gatherings.
- Albertans should not be going to gatherings in other communities that don’t have restrictions.
Starting November 13, we’re implementing several other measures for all regions under enhanced status, which includes Calgary.
- Mandatory 50-person limit on wedding or funeral ceremonies.
- Limit to one-third capacity for all faith-based organizations.
- Employers to reduce the number of staff in office buildings at any one time when possible.
- This may include implementing options such as rotating schedules or enabling staff to work remotely part of the time.
For more information please go to https://www.alberta.ca/enhanced-public-health-measures.aspx
Bill 47 – Ensuring Safety and Cutting Red Tape Act, 2020
I was pleased to introduce Bill 47, Ensuring Safety and Cutting Red Tape Act, 2020 into the legislature. This Bill, if passed, will restore balance to Alberta’s labour laws, improving safety for workers and removing unnecessary barriers to job creation. It will remove duplication and redundancy throughout the Occupational Health and Safety Act, ensure a balanced approach to enable job creators to find and develop a skilled workforce while improving the health, safety and rights of workers and remove prescriptive elements brought in by the previous government, improve flexibility for job creators and better align Alberta with other jurisdictions.
This bill will also create the Heroes’ Fund which will honour the sacrifices of first responders who die as a result of performing their duties. The Heroes’ Fund will provide a one-time tax-free payment of $100,000 to eligible families through the Workers’ Compensation Board.
Bill 46 – the Health Statutes Amendment Act, 2020
Proposed amendments through Bill 46 would continue government’s work to improve governance and accountability, and ensure the health system and health professionals are meeting Albertans’ needs.
- Strengthening protection of patients by regulating health-care aides.
- Separating regulatory colleges from professional associations and allowing for the amalgamation of some smaller colleges if they wish
- Establishing a centralized, public-facing online registry of health professionals to help Albertans find a health provider.
- Delivering better results for Albertans by allowing authorized health organizations and professionals to share health information in Alberta Netcare more efficiently and support better patient outcomes.
- Keeping legislation current and increasing penalties for unauthorized use of patient health information.
- Repealing the outdated Hospitals Act and moving all applicable parts into the Health Facilities Act.
- Changing the name of the ABC Benefits Corporation Act to the Alberta Blue Cross Act to reflect the familiar name of the organization.
- Updating some administrative items under the Health Professions Act to support best practices and improve responsiveness.
Improved safety at Foothills Medical Centre
It was great to see that the Foothills Medical Centre will have upgrades to improve the power and electrical systems which will protect patients and improve overall safety at the the hospital.
The new co-gen facility will be powered by Alberta’s clean-burning natural gas. Expanding the steam-generating capacity at the medical centre’s power plant is necessary to meet Alberta Building Code requirements.
This upgrade also means that the Calgary Cancer Centre will have access to the power it needs when it is scheduled to open in 2023.
In our Community
It was my pleasure on November 4th to meet with two constituents, Dianne Yee and her granddaugher, Graysi Brennand-Yee. Dianne and Graysi were introduced as my guests in the legislature, watched QP and then I was able to give them a tour and answer questions Graysi had about our provincial government.
Field of Crosses – Sunrise Ceremony
It was an honour this past week to take part in the sunrise ceremony at the Field of Crosses which pays tribute to the men and women who served our country. We shall never forget the sacrifices made for our freedoms.
Happy 100th Birthday Mavis
On November 9th I delivered birthday greetings to Mavis who turned 100. Mavis is a veteran who served in WWII. It was great to hear her stories and have her share her wisdom with me.
I want your feedback. Please take a moment to answer the following question.
I have heard from many constituents who feel that we need either stricter measures in place or that we have too many restrictions when it comes to COVID-19 and the spread. Do you feel the new COVID-19 measures announced above strike the right balance to flatten the curve?
To answer go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/S968MZ2
Thank you to those who took the time to answer the last survey question: Should the Alberta government be looking at reducing operating costs and changing how we collect revenue?
Yes – 87.5%
No – 0%
Not sure – 12.5%