Headlines: Nov. 23, 2022

  • The city announced that the Edmonton Transit Service is running its annual Stuff a Bus campaign from Nov. 23-27 to collect food for Edmonton's Food Bank. Edmontonians can drop off food to volunteers at 15 participating Save-On-Foods locations before ETS busses collect the donations on Nov. 26. A "specially decorated" LRT car will be collecting donations at Century Park Station on Nov. 26 and Clareview Station on Nov. 27. You can also donate online through the Food Bank's website by selecting "ETS Stuff a Bus" as the fund.
  • Alberta Premier Danielle Smith announced a $2.4-billion inflation relief package in her first televised provincial address on Nov. 22. "As a province we can't solve this inflation crisis on our own, but due to our strong fiscal position and balanced budget, we can offer substantial relief so Albertans and their families are better able to manage through this storm," said Smith, who blamed the cost of living challenges on federal government spending and "anti-energy policies" she said are driving up the cost of fuel, electricity, heating, and food. The package will include $600 over six months for each senior citizen and child under 18 for households with a total income below $180,000.
  • Health Minister Jason Copping announced the province will temporarily remove its cap on the number of patients a doctor can be paid to see each day, which the UCP government added to its contract with the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) after it unilaterally terminated the previous master agreement in February 2020. Under the contract, doctors were paid half for every visit after 50 visits and received no payment after 65 visits. "The intent was to promote quality care and safety for patients and physicians," said Copping. "But the impact of the cap was limited, and we think it's outweighed by the need to support access for patients." The minister said the cap will be lifted until March 2023 as the government evaluates the effects of the change.
  • Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis (AGLC) has denied an application by Capital City Casinos to relocate one of its casinos from Camrose to 420 Parsons Road in south Edmonton. AGLC said nearly 500 organizations and individuals provided input into the proposed relocation, of which 98% were opposed. One major concern was that Edmonton-area charities would be unable to generate revenue at the casino as it would retain a rural license, while residents also worried about the impact increased traffic would have in the area. Capital City Casinos was given 30 days to request an appeal hearing.
  • The Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (CCVO) is inviting Albertans to sign a letter of support as it calls on the province to provide $30 million in immediate emergency support to the nonprofit sector. The CCVO's report Alberta's Nonprofit Sector: Too Essential to Fail, which is also available as a web version, suggests that spending less than 1% of Alberta's $13-billion surplus can "prevent failure within the sector and save millions of dollars on downstream costs." The report, which received 331 survey responses from nonprofits across Alberta, says that "organizations face uncertainty and instability in the wake of the global pandemic. They are experiencing higher demand for their services and higher complexity of community needs - all while adapting to a new context with fewer resources."
  • Local musician Josh Sahunta was surprised to learn that two of his songs, which he wrote because a label asked for a collection of tunes to pitch to movie and TV producers, were featured in the Netflix show Love Is Blind. "It's super exciting. I wish I watched the show," said Sahunta, who added he cancelled his Netflix subscription "a while ago." He said he wrote the songs under the alias "J Swift" and then mostly forgot about them after.
  • St. Nicholas Catholic Junior High will be cancelling classes on Nov. 23 to cheer on former student Alphonso Davies in Team Canada's first match against Belgium for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. "The very first time I saw him playing, I was blown away by his athleticism and his skill with the ball," said Marco Bossio, who runs the school's soccer academy and coached Davies. "He was completely a remarkable kid because his infectious attitude on the pitch was how he was off the pitch as well."