I am so grateful for the people in Alberta. I have spent the better part of September travelling this magnificent province as part of Alberta Culture Days, and I am in awe of its people, its culture, its varied traditions, its natural beauty, and the giving spirit of all those we encountered.
Alberta’s Recovery Plan
During this time of economic adversity, Alberta’s government has made several commitments to create jobs and protect livelihoods. These include critical investments in core infrastructure and social services that get people back to work and renew confidence in our world-renowned entrepreneurial spirit. However, Alberta’s Recovery Plan is more than a blueprint for jobs – it’s an investment towards our communities, families and working parents that put our province on a path for prosperity.
More support to help relaunch childcare sector
As part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan and the federal Safe Restart agreement, licensed childcare programs will receive $87 million in new funding. These grants will help operators purchase additional cleaning supplies, safety equipment, and any other upgrades necessary to comply with health guidelines without increasing parent fees. We are pleased to see Albertans’ contributions coming back to our province through this agreement with the federal government. This funding will ensure safe, reliable childcare continues to be available as it is a crucial part of Alberta’s economic recovery.
Jobs for Alberta, innovative tech for the world
I am happy to share with you that Alberta’s government is utilizing the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund to support a series of programs that will get Albertans back to work and reduce emissions. This TIER investment will support 3,400 jobs on its own and up to 8,700 jobs when investments from industry and other funding sources are included. We’ll stand by our industries and workers and we won’t leave our resources in the ground, as some have suggested we do. This investment is in direct response to the unprecedented economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and low oil prices, supporting a suite of programs that will create thousands of jobs and help industry reduce emissions.
Expanding opportunities for women in STEM
While women make up half of Alberta’s population, they only represent a third of enrolments and graduates in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) programs, and only about a quarter of employees in STEM fields. I am proud to share that Alberta’s government is introducing the Women in STEM Award Program to help young women in STEM programs reach their career goals. Cultivating strong skills for jobs is a central part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan. These 50 awards, each worth $2,500, will be made available to women pursuing studies in STEM while working to advance equity in their field.
Promoting innovation at Alberta colleges, tech schools
I am also excited to share with you that Alberta’s government is supporting new research projects that will attract job-creating investment and promote innovation in energy and agriculture. The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Red Deer College, and Olds College are receiving almost $2.1 million in grants through the Research Capacity Program (RCP). The money will help these post-secondary institutions perform cutting-edge research in areas like 3D printing, clean energy technology and smart agriculture, helping companies in these fields use this research to grow and expand. By focusing on innovation and research, this announcement will help our post-secondary institutions ensure our students have the skills they need in a future economy.
For the latest information on COVID-19 and public health measures in Alberta, please visit alberta.ca/covid19
As always, we love to hear from you! –Leela