By Stan Ashbee
Westwind Weekly News
Alberta’s government has always prioritized treating those suffering from addiction and mental health concerns with care and compassion, it was stated in a recent media release.
“We understand partnering with local treatment providers is often the best way to deliver the support these Albertans need. As part of the Alberta government’s plan to support evidence-based programs, organizations have applied for grants to support their work aiding the mental health and addiction recovery of Albertans,” the media release stated.
In Cardston-Siksika, Epic Youth Services has been approved in Phase 2 of the Community Grant Funding Program for a grant in the amount of $98,450. “Epic Youth Services creates opportunities and activities that build positive personal and community relationships, while strengthening the confidence and self-esteem of the youth they serve. I’m proud to support this grant of almost $100,000 to help Epic provide counselling for First Nations youth and at-risk teens in Cardston,” stated Cardston-Siksika MLA Joseph Schow.
This program, it was pointed out, is a key part of the strategy to support the mental wellness and addiction recovery of Albertans during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alberta’s government is making a historic investment in health care to fight COVID-19, while charting a course towards post-pandemic recovery and honouring its commitment to fiscal responsibility, it was stated in a recent media release.
“This budget is great news for the constituents of Cardston-Siksika,” stated MLA Joseph Schow.
“With an historic investment in health care, Alberta’s government is responding to the most pressing issues our province faces — responding to COVID-19 and keeping Albertans safe. At the same time, Budget 2021 prepares Alberta for economic recovery by creating jobs right now, while also taking a careful approach to spending. This budget protects both lives and livelihoods and I’m proud to support it,” Schow noted.
Budget 2021 is built on three key priorities: 1. Investing in health care * $1.3 billion in new contingency funding specifically for COVID-19 * $97 million to clear surgical backlogs caused by the pandemic * $143 million over three years for new health care facilities * $200 million boost for continuing care * $23 billion health budget is highest in Alberta’s history 2. Preparing for recovery * $20.7 billion for infrastructure to create 90,000 new jobs * $1.5 billion for key economic sectors * $500 million in contingency for economic recovery 3. Maintaining responsible spending * Finding labour efficiencies in order to invest more in health and economic recovery.
* Keeping debt-to-GDP below 30 per cent and gradually bringing spending in-line with other provinces.
* After the pandemic, laying out a path back to budget balance.
Alberta Transportation’s budget is focusing on maintaining its existing highway network, while also allowing remaining available funds to expand the network. Budget 2021 invests $7 billion over three years in Transportation’s capital plan to fund capital investment for building roads and bridges, funding for highway and bridge rehabilitation and renewal, water management and flood protection and capital grants to municipalities — it was also stated in a recent media release.
“Alberta’s government understands the importance of water and flood mitigation infrastructure for rural communities in Cardston-Siksika. I’m confident the $308.6 million we are investing in Transportation’s capital plan to support water management and flood mitigation projects will create goodpaying construction jobs and support long-term economic growth and development,” added Schow, in the media release.