AFNQL adds voice of opposition to Energy East pipeline
June 16, 2016. The National Energy Board will update its progress on TransCanada's Energy East pipeline in a meeting in Calgary on Thursday, but it follows more opposition from First Nations. On Wednesday, the First Nation Chiefs of Quebec-Labrador passed a resolution at its assembly officially opposing Energy East, saying the pipeline is a serious threat to the lands, waters and futures of their peoples. The resolution declares that, irrespective of federal and provincial jurisdiction over the Energy East pipeline, First Nations, including those in Quebec-Labrador, may exert their own inherent jurisdiction over the project to govern and protect their territories and their peoples. Energy East is a 4,500-kilometre pipeline that will transport approximately 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta and Saskatchewan to the refineries of Eastern Canada and a marine terminal in New Brunswick. The final decision on Energy East is not expected for another two years.
Independent contractor to review province’s response to Fort McMurray wildfire
June 15, 2016. The province is looking for an independent party to review Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s wildfire preparation and readiness up to May 31 and the steps taken to respond to fight the Horse River wildfire, which burned through parts of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo and Fort McMurray. “This fire has altered the lives of thousands of people who are now faced with the difficult task of rebuilding their lives. Reviews like this are a normal part of our business when faced with extreme wildfire conditions or an extreme wildfire event. We are constantly reviewing how we fight wildfire in an effort to become safer and more efficient,” said Agriculture and Forestry Minister Oneil Carlier. A final report will be delivered to government by the end of the year. The cause or origin of the wildfire will not be part of the assessment. A review following the Slave Lake area wildfires of 2011 resulted in 21 recommendations, which have been implemented or are continuing to be implemented.
Funding for more elder abuse prevention programs
June 15, 2016. Tribal Chiefs Ventures Inc., East Prairie Metis Settlement (High Prairie), and Nunee Health Board Society (Fort Chipewyan and region) are among the 18 new organizations to receive funding by the province to address and prevent elder abuse. As well, Elizabeth Metis Settlement (Cold Lake) and Enoch Cree Nation were among seven groups to receive funding for a second year for their projects. The grants, announced Wednesday on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, are to be allocated for year two of the three-year, $3-million Taking Action Against Elder Abuse Co-ordinated Community Response program.
Former PC MLA, now Wildrose member calls for right to unite under Ambrose
June 15, 2016. Former provincial PC Cabinet Minister Marvin Moore is pushing for the right to unite in Alberta. In an open letter from Moore, now a Wildrose member, he calls for Wildrose leader Brian Jean to meet with PC interim leader Ric McIver to initiate a meeting between the two parties. The Wildrose has 22 MLAs while the PC party, which formed the government prior to the last election, was knocked down to nine MLAs. Moore is also proclaiming Conservative MP Rona Ambrose as “the only person in Alberta that can pull all the Conservative and Wildrose voters together and win the next election over Notley and the NDP.” Moore says the new right wing party should begin its leadership race in May 2017.
Inclusion of Indigenous history part of change to Alberta school curriculum
June 15, 2016. The province has announced a $64 million, six-year overhaul of the Alberta school curriculum, which will see the inclusion of Education for Reconciliation reflected in future kindergarten to Grade 12 curriculum. There will also be further supports for First Nations, Métis and Inuit student learning. Consultation with Indigenous partners will be supported with $4 million. New curriculum will be developed for Kindergarten to Grade 4 by late 2018, followed by Grades 5 to 8 in late 2019. After that, the high school curriculum will be developed in phases from 2020 to 2022. “This new process will allow us to fulfil our commitments to educate our students about the history, perspectives and contributions of our Francophone, First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples and communities,” said Education Minister David Eggen. For the first time ever, Alberta teachers, consultants and ministry staff will review and update K-12 arts, language arts, social studies, science, math, and health curricula in both English and French simultaneously. Once approved by the minister and phased in, revised lessons could hit K-4 classrooms as early as 2020, with the older grades coming in the following years. Public input will be invited this fall. The Wildrose says the government’s overhaul of the education system is “short on details about getting back to basics in literacy and numeracy.” Wildrose shadow education minister Mark Smith said declining test scores in Alberta shows the need to focus on the reading, writing and math.
Pop-Up Indigenous film festival in Edmonton
June 16, 2016. The Amiskwaciy History Series will be celebrating National Aboriginal Day with a Pop-Up Indigenous Film Festival starting this Saturday and running through to June 21. Based on Amiskwaciy History Series mandate of creating awareness and space for Indigenous history in the City of Edmonton, films from some of the first Indigenous filmmakers in Canada will be screened as well as the first documentary short created by an all Indigenous film crew. Each day will focus on a theme and place in history, from pre-contact life to the present day reconciliation movement. Events and screenings will take place at the Stanley A. Milner library and the Art Gallery of Alberta downtown.