With all of the festivals, fairs and summer fun going on around the province, I’m feeling invigorated by the conversations I have been able to have with the constituents in our region. The warm, sunny days of August are the perfect time to continue discussions on your priorities and how we can support you as your elected government. As your MLA, I want to hear what you have to say as we continue to build Alberta – a province we can all be proud of. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Alberta aims innovation at economic development: New Innovation Council will focus Alberta’s world-class research and innovation abilities to enhance economic growth. With approximately $800 million annually invested in research and innovation by the Alberta government, the Alberta Innovation Council will provide leadership and evolve innovation in the province. The council will act as a “system architect”, providing vital oversight and advice to align priorities, advance strategic initiatives and clarify roles and responsibilities while providing advice to government on ways it can enhance research and innovation in the province. “We’ve brought together some of the world’s best talent in research, innovation and entrepreneurship from right here in Alberta. The members have impressive knowledge and experience that will help our innovators turn ideas into solutions and our provine into a launching pad for opportunity.” - Dave Hancock, Premier of Alberta
The initial Alberta Innovation Council will be chaired by the Premier and will be made up of 13 members representing a broad range of experience in research, innovation and technology commercialization. Members come from industry, Campus Alberta and the innovation system.
The Alberta Innovation Council will work with with the Alberta Research and Innovation Authority (ARIA) and the Alberta Economic Development Authority (AEDA), which will each designate an advisor to the council. The council will leverage ARIA’s international perspective on innovation, use AEDA’s focus on the broader economic development process and seek the input of other innovation stakeholders to provide government with recommendations to enhance economic development and prosperity through innovation.
In addition to AEDA and ARIA, the council will also work with the Alberta government ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Energy, Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, Health, International and Intergovernmental Relations, Innovation and Advanced Education, and Treasury Board and Finance. Links will be built among these organizations’ areas of critical knowledge, such as workforce development, economic indicators and innovation trends, and government’s strategic priorities to grow innovation.
Social innovation will also be part of the council’s work. Government is developing plans to support the rollout of the Social Innovation Endowment, which will have a critical role in supporting the healthy, skilled, educated and entrepreneurial Albertans needed to grow innovation in the province. Specific details and initiatives will be announced in the coming weeks.
“Council members are thrilled to play this role in making innovation an integral part of of our economy and society. By bringing together entrepreneurs, industry, academia and government, we look forward to helping evolve a strong and effective innovation ecosystem that makes a more competitive and productive Alberta in the global marketplace.”
- Dr. Roger Palmer, Vice Chair, Alberta Innovation Council _____________________________________________________________________________________________ Alberta launches mentorship campaign to support children and youth in care:
More kids will benefit from caring adults with the launch of a recruitment campaign to help find a mentor for every child and youth in care in Alberta.
The #8000mentors campaign will attract more mentors, particularly from Aboriginal and ethno-cultural communities, who can share important cultural experiences and community connections with young people of similar backgrounds.
#8000mentors will include print, radio and social media messages to create awareness of the need for mentors.
“Many children come in to our care without role models in their lives. Having just one positive, constant influence can mean the difference between a pathway of hope over a path of despair. By spending even an hour a week, you can be a hero to a child in need and change their life.”
- Manmeet S. Bhullar, Minister of Human Services
In addition, $365,000 is provided to three community agencies in Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer to help attract, train and match mentors with children and youth in care.
“We are so grateful for the investment our government is making in mentoring for youth in care. We know that kids do better with caring adults in their lives. This funding will help us facilitate the recruitment, screening, training and support of adults who will provide friendship and guidance to kids who may not otherwise have this kind of relationship.”
- Liz O’Neill, Executive Director of Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton and Area; Co-chair of the Alberta Mentoring Partnership; member of Premier’s Council on Alberta’s Promise
The Government of Alberta encourages business and community leaders to promote mentorship and access to the resources available through the Alberta Mentoring Partnership to further give back to young Albertans.
“When Minister Bhullar put out the call for industry to stand behind the Government of Alberta in its goal of encouraging Albertans to become more engaged as mentors in their communities, TransCanada was the first company to answer. We are pleased to support #8000mentors by providing $45,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton and Area’s new Mentoring Moments Campaign that will promote mentorship in their community.”
- Tony Palmer, Senior Vice President of Stakeholder Relations at TransCanada
At any given point in time, there are about 8,000 children and youth in care in Alberta, many of whom come from unhealthy, unsafe homes. #8000mentors supports the Minister’s five-point plan, announced in January, to address the root causes that bring children into care, take action to support vulnerable Albertans, and keep children healthy and safe.