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    Dear readers, First of all the weather is now definitely spring. I can see some greens now in the rock garden and the backyard. Having a garden is quite a bit of work but if you have a green thumb you are definitely enjoying this part of the year. So enjoy Spring while it [...]

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Page added on October 21, 2009

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Report from the Legislature

Report from the Legislature thumbnail

Alberta to start regular flu vaccine program in October

On Oct. 13, the province will begin a two-part process to immunize Albertans against influenza through immunization clinics across the province.

The immunization program will begin with seasonal influenza immunization aimed at high-risk groups, and shift to universal Pandemic H1N1 influenza immunization as soon as that vaccine is available, likely in mid-November.

Alberta Health Services will be delivering the seasonal vaccine to seniors and others living in continuing care and designated assisted living settings. All other seniors can attend clinics across the province to receive their immunization. Pregnant women, children six months to 23 months old, and adults and older children at high risk of developing more severe illness can also receive the seasonal influenza vaccine through these clinics.

Seasonal influenza immunization will stop as soon as the Pandemic H1N1 vaccine becomes available in November. Clinics will then begin immunizing all Albertans over six months of age against H1N1. High-risk groups are encouraged to get their immunization early.

For more information on Alberta’s plans for pandemic H1N1 influenza, please visit, or

Team named to guide Alberta Hospital Edmonton implementation plan

Health and Wellness Minister Ron Liepert has named the team that will work with Alberta Health Services on plans to expand community care options for Alberta Hospital Edmonton (AHE) patients, in addition to acute care and ongoing forensic care at AHE.
The team, which involves major stakeholders with knowledge and understanding of mental health issues and has a direct interest in the transition, will make recommendations to AHS to help guide the implementation.

The team will be co-chaired by Don Sieben, board member with Alberta Health Services and Dennis Anderson, founder of the Alberta Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health. Other team members include Fred Horne, MLA for Edmonton-Rutherford; Sandra Harrison, Alberta’s Mental Health Patient Advocate; AUPE President Doug Knight; Sharon Sutherland, a long-time mental health advocate; Dr. Alberto Choy from Alberta Hospital Edmonton and June Clark, a registered nurse and Director of Adult and Seniors Services for Addictions and Mental Health, Alberta Health Services. An emergency room doctor will also be invited to join the team.

The team will begin work immediately.

Alberta’s education system reports high achievement and significant improvement

Alberta’s education system is performing well, according to a new provincial accountability report that shows significant improvement in satisfaction with the overall quality of education, improved student achievement and more students moving on to post-secondary education.

The provincial Accountability Pillar report contains performance results for key areas of success in the K-12 education system. The measures include surveys of parents, students and teachers on various aspects of quality; results of provincial assessments of student learning in Grades 3, 6, 9 and 12; and key student outcomes, such as dropout rates, high school completion and post-secondary transition.  The most recent results are compared with province-wide standards and with the previous three-year average to assess improvement.

The report shows the overall satisfaction of parents and school stakeholders on students having access to a broad program of study, safe and caring schools, and having adequate preparation for work and citizenship; as well as opportunities for parental involvement and school improvement. It also captures that overall results on Provincial Achievement Tests, which have improved significantly at both the acceptable standard and the standard of excellence, an especially important change given that results at the acceptable level had been declining in recent years.

Provincial trends are available online at by clicking on the Accountability Pillar.

The Minister’s Education Leadership Recognition Awards will be presented later this school year to recognize those school board leaders who have guided local improvements. These awards were created in collaboration with key education stakeholders.

Edmonton waste turned to heat for Strathcona County

Energy generated from Edmonton’s household waste will soon power homes and businesses in Strathcona County. This collaboration, believed to be the first of its kind in the world, is being funded by a $7.45 million grant by the Government of Alberta.

The funds come from Alberta’s share of the Canada EcoTrust for Clean Air and Climate Change.

The grant will fund the infrastructure needed to transfer the waste heat from a leading-edge City of Edmonton biofuels plant to an already-efficient community energy system in Strathcona County. This partnership will use waste heat for energy, instead of natural gas, to run the community energy system. This project will benefit 1,600 homes in the Emerald Hills area in Sherwood Park. It will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 7,000 tonnes per year when the area is fully developed.

The federal government established the EcoTrust in 2007 by distributing $1.5 billion among all the provinces and territories to assist with clean air and climate change initiatives. Alberta’s share of the EcoTrust is $155.9 million. The remaining funds will be distributed by the Government of Alberta to support projects with a strong potential to reduce Alberta’s greenhouse gas emissions or improve air quality.

For more information on Alberta’s Climate Change Strategy, visit

As the MLA for Edmonton Mill Woods, I am always available to assist constituents. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the H1N1 vaccine, the AHE implementation plan, the Alberta education system, Alberta’s climate change strategy, or any other matter, I can be reached in my constituency office at (#218, 4128 A-97 Street) at (780) 414-1000, or in my Legislative office at (780) 422-9299.  I can also be reached through e-mail at


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