Alberta College of Social Workers’ Response to 2015 – 2016 Provincial Budget

ACSW logoThe Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW) is encouraged by the budget announcement. At a time when economic circumstances are challenging for many Albertans, the government has chosen to strengthen the common good by investing in our future. No doubt, there will be those who call for reductions in spending and borrowing, however considering the decades long accumulation of cuts, we applaud the commitment to invest in healthcare, education and human services. We welcome the commitment to sustainable, predicable funding for public services. We are heartened to learn about the increased focus on prevention through the Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) program, new annual funding for women’s shelters, the funding increase in Aboriginal education and future supports to health and long-term care. We see the availability of the job creation incentive to the non-profit sectors as a positive direction and the increased funding in community economic development initiatives.

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Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations’ Response to the Alberta’s Provincial Budget

CCVO Today’s provincial budget reflects priorities outlined in the NDP election platform and demonstrates the government’s commitment to preserving public programs and services. CCVO President and CEO Katherine van Kooy notes that “the priorities laid out in this budget reflect an understanding of the importance of maintaining community services during times of economic hardship and strengthening programs for Alberta’s most vulnerable.” Today’s budget includes $49.9 billion in expenses and forecasts an operational deficit of $6.1 billion. The realities of continued low oil prices and a commitment to a balanced budget by 2019-20 mean that tough choices may be reflected in future budgets. The budget identifies expected cost savings to the tune of $550 million in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 budgets from, as yet to be determined, “lower priority” Government of Alberta programs.

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Alberta Government Disengagement in Alberta’s Oil Sands Risks 3 Billion Capital Investment, 20-30% of Provincial Revenues and 7% of National GDP

InvestmentThree Fort McMurray organizations – the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce, Fort McMurray Real Estate Board and UDI-Wood Buffalo – today released a report that examines the persistent socio-economic impacts of rapid oil sands development that constrain provincial revenues, thwart the ability of Fort McMurray to continue to host the oil sands, and undermine responsible oil sands development. “Albertans know how important the oil sands are to our economy,” said Nick Sanders, President of the Fort McMurray Chamber of Commerce. “Even during these uncertain times, oil sands royalties alone account for 20 to 30 percent of government revenues. But oil sands development is not an abstract economic pursuit that occurs only in Alberta’s hinterlands. There are 80,000 residents of Fort McMurray for whom that development is on their doorstep and on whom orderly, responsible development relies.

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New Tool to Help Alberta Municipalities Adapt to Climate Change Now Available

ABMIFor municipalities facing risks, like flooding and wildfire, due to ongoing climate change, natural ecosystems may play a key role in reducing these risks while providing other benefits too. Adapt-action, a new online tool developed by the Miistakis Institute in collaboration with the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute, was created specifically for Alberta municipalities to help them identify and understand the potential implications of climate change for their communities and respond proactively. Funding for the work was provided by the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC). Adapt-action focuses on building climate change resiliency through the use of ecosystem-based adaptation strategies—the protection or restoration of healthy ecosystems that support community well-being. In addition to helping municipalities respond positively to climate change, Adapt-action will help them to capitalize on emerging opportunities.

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The 27th Annual Vitalize Conference for NonProfits Runs from June 18 to 20 at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton

Vitalize ConferenceThis conference promises to deliver valuable knowledge that can be applied to day-to-day work at nonprofits organizations in Alberta. Registration begins Thursday, June 18 at 3:00 p.m., followed by opening ceremonies, greetings from the Government of Alberta and a keynote presentation from Spencer West. Spencer’s incredible story is sure to inspire. Having lost both his legs at the age of five, Spencer defied the odds by taking on grueling physical challenges to raise awareness on social issues. From climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, to trekking between Edmonton and Calgary on his hands, Spencer embraces life’s obstacles for positive change. On Friday and Saturday delegates will enjoy a variety of educational workshops on seven themes: Communications, Creating Community, Human Resources, Leadership Institute, Organizational Development, Recharge Your Power and Youth.

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