Our hard working MLA Jason Copping sent out another community update, one on COVID-19 information, and a government update.
$2.1 million for innovative technology projects to help fight COVID-19
Our government is funding seven Alberta-based researchers with $2.1 million. Alberta has world-class colleges and technical schools with innovative thinkers, world-class researchers and exceptional problem solvers that are tackling the challenges of COVID-19. Alberta is a recognized leader in post-secondary research for a number of sectors – including health sciences – and is one of Canada’s three major artificial intelligence hubs.
The money will fund research on projects ranging from developing new antibody tests to using machine learning to predict and prevent the spread. Five of these projects are at the University of Alberta and two are at the University of Calgary.
Alberta hits milestone with over 1 million tests
More than one million people in Alberta have now been tested for COVID-19, this is more per capita than B.C., Ontario or Quebec.
Alberta was among the first provinces to open up testing to all travellers, and was the first to offer asymptomatic testing and the first to work with community pharmacies to expand capacity.
Our government thanks public health officials at AHS and Alberta Precision Labs for the hard work they have done and will continue to do.
The government will continue to work to strengthen the lab system, to reduce wait times and speed up test results.
Thanksgiving is approaching and it is a time when we get together with our family and friends and celebrate all that we are thankful for. This year I know for many the long weekend will look different. You may be having a smaller dinner, talking virtually to your family or hosting something outdoors.
As you plan for the holiday, be mindful of the advice of Dr. Hinshaw. Although this has been an especially tough year for Albertans, I am thankful for all of you who continue to be responsible to prevent the spread.
ALBERTA’S RECOVERY PLAN
Alberta’s mineral potential
As part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, our government has struck an expert panel to help the province diversify its economy and become a world leader in mineral resource production. The five-member Mineral Advisory Council will help government unlock Alberta’s vast, untapped geological potential for various minerals that are in increasing global demand. These minerals include lithium, vanadium, uranium, rare earth elements, diamonds, and potash – many of which are used to manufacture batteries, cell phones, energy storage cells, and other modern products.
This potential, along with the province’s reputation as a leader in responsible resource development, puts Alberta in a good position to become a preferred international producer and supplier of minerals and mineral products.
You can find further information on the panel here.
University of Calgary to establish the new University Innovation Quarter (UIQ)
Alberta’s government has completed work to enable the University of Calgary to enter a new era of innovation and growth.
Minister of Infrastructure Prasad Panda has approved a 130-year lease for the University Innovation Quarter lands at the University of Calgary, officially transferring all ownership of the lands to the University Innovation Quarter Trust (UIQT). The trust will develop the 77.4-acre lands, formerly known as the University Research Park.
Now, the University of Calgary will establish the new University Innovation Quarter (UIQ) – a research park dedicated to commercializing innovation and new technologies from university research and attracting new research-oriented industries to Alberta. The UIQ will support the creation of up to 6,300 direct new jobs over the next 20 years, including 4,500 jobs in the private sector. Many of the jobs created will be in emerging sectors of the economy, including biomed and life sciences, IT and energy tech.
Cutting methane and creating jobs
Alberta’s government recently announced $750 million for technology and emissions reduction programs through the TIER fund and other public funding. This will directly support 3,400 jobs and up to 8,700 jobs when investments from industry and other funding sources are included, with a total of $1.9 billion being injected into the economy.
This investment includes $52 million for methane programs that will create jobs in the oil and gas sector and cut about 1.5 megatonnes of emissions right away, while also setting the stage for future job growth and reduced emissions after projects are complete.
You can read more on TIER here.
Turning Alberta’s research and innovation into jobs and investment
The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), Red Deer College and Olds College are receiving almost $2.1 million in grants through the province’s 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.
These projects will showcase the innovative spirit that exists at Alberta’s post-secondary’s, and will help diversify the province’s economy by training Albertans with technical skills in new and emerging technologies.
Canadian Energy Centre
The Canadian Energy Centre was established to bring awareness about our energy industry. We are among the most responsibly produced energy sources on the planet, under the most stringent environmental regulations in the world. Focused on research and facts, I would like to share some of the work of the CEC.
The wealth of oil and gas workers – Energy industry paid more than $12 billion to employees from other provinces between 2002 and 2016.
Energy oil and gas firm comparisons by size and country – Canada’s energy sector has a higher proportion of small businesses than other major goods-producing sectors, with the exception of construction.
Resource sector provides jobs for 28,000 new Canadians – The number of landed immigrants employed in the resource sector grew from 22,000 in 2006 to a high 33,600 in 2014, and in 2019 stood at 28,800.
International comparisons on gas flaring – There has been a 38 per cent reduction in flaring from oil and gas emissions in Canada in 2018 relative to 2014, even though the production rose by 22 per cent.