Saturday, October 8, 2016

Community recognition awards The city presented two St. Albert Community Recognition Awards. One was presented to an activist still working hard in this community, a second award was presented to a historic business. Velvet Martin has been key in getting Samantha’s Law, an amendment to the Alberta Family Support for Children with Disabilities Act, which allows families of children with severe disabilities to receive supports in-home rather than being forced to give up their children to the foster system. “I thank everyone who speaks on behalf of children, and I know it’s a very difficult subject. So thank you for recognizing the importance of all children,” she said after Crouse presented her with a plaque.-----Change won't come from the very system that allows the abuse and deaths of our children and adults in care. Change will come from activists informing naive citizens and showing us the way out of incompetence, failures and situations of gross mismanagement, no oversight and liability for the government of Alberta. Change will come as each family moves out of fear and silence into the open and speaks about the endemic lack of action by government to respond to the poor care of our citizens. Good job Velvet Martin!--------

Even though the provincial government will not recognize the work of one of our most selfless advocates for children, at least the city of St. Albert is willing to recognize her. I had thought with the PCs evicted from the house of corruption at the Alberta Legislature we would get recognition for Samantha's Law. But apparently you can change the horses pulling the wagons forward in terms of the political parties but you can't change the entrenched mindsets of the folks in government.
Why won't the government folks recognize Samantha's Law? The government folks never recognize the work of activists who publicly indicate the lack of supports and services or even oversight for our most vulnerable complex cases in care -whether it be in the child welfare system as Velvet Martin has done or in the continuing care system as Ruth Adria has done.
Only the folks who cooperate with government folks to yap about collaboration, working together as partners and such like get the recognition by government because such citizens are seen as team players. But I have to ask what sort of team players do you have to be in order to be recognized by government? I guess you have to be the sort that agrees with the government spin and failures to act on behalf of the most vulnerable citizens in Alberta.
Government acts only to protect it's tarnished image; meanwhile children like Samantha Martin who are failed repeatedly by the system and die prematurely are left to manage by themselves with predictable poor outcomes.  The government of Alberta under the PCs was a mass of cover up legislation and there is no change under the NDP. Nope change won't come from government which is only concerned about the partnerships with foster care providers or continuing care organizations. Change won't come from the very system that allows the abuse and deaths of our children and adults in care. Change will come from activists informing naive citizens and showing us the way out of incompetence, failures and situations of gross mismanagement, no oversight and liability for the government of Alberta. Change will come as each family moves out of fear and silence into the open and speaks about the endemic lack of action by government to respond to the poor care of our citizens.

Good job Velvet Martin!

And thank you to the folks at the city of St. Albert who see a heroine and aren't afraid to recognize her work unlike the NDP folks we hired who can't even make Samantha's Law official. Y'all keep on burying your heads in the sand MLAs; we'll make sure that Samantha's Law is recognized by all Albertans.
http://www.stalbertgazette.com/article/At-City-Hall-20161008
At City Hall
Saturday, Oct 08, 2016 06:00 am
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    • COMMUNITY RECOGNITION AWARD – St. Albert city council presented resident Velvet Martin, centre, with a community recognition award for her advocacy on behalf of children with disabilities.
      COMMUNITY RECOGNITION AWARD – St. Albert city council presented resident Velvet Martin, centre, with a community recognition award for her advocacy on behalf of children with disabilities.
      City of St. Albert

    Utility relief grant

    St. Albert city council has passed a motion to extend the utility relief grant and to boost the amount of the grant.
    Finance director Diane McMordie explained that administration wants to increase the grant amounts from $150 to $200 for detached houses and from $50 to $75 for multi-housing units, in a bid to encourage more people to apply for the grant. The program started as a pilot project last year.
    She said the program, administered through the Community Village, is also credited with helping connect St. Albertans with the services they need.
    Mayor Nolan Crouse, who voted against extending the project, argued the program is another example of the city doing what other levels of government should be doing.
    “We are continually accepting responsibility of other orders of government, the downloading, and we also create programs that exacerbate that,” he said.
    Coun. Sheena Hughes noted the income thresholds to qualify are $35,000 for an individual, $40,500 for a couple and $64,500 for a couple with two dependents.

    Fire service year in review

    St. Albert fire chief Ray Richards presented council with a report on the department’s successes and challenges at the Oct. 3 meeting.
    Among the highlights of what the department has achieved include earning international accreditation, supporting mutual aid partners in responding to big calls including the wildfires in Fort McMurray, reducing call-processing and turnout times, working on regional recruiting and saving money by collaborating on regional training.
    But there’s still work to do. Richards said with accreditation comes the “continuous improvement” model in which the department will continually seek to get response times down to just under seven minutes.
    “It’s always going to be a stretch,” he said. “It’s a way to reach a higher level, that continuous improvement model.”

    Community recognition awards

    The city presented two St. Albert Community Recognition Awards. One was presented to an activist still working hard in this community, a second award was presented to a historic business.
    Velvet Martin has been key in getting Samantha’s Law, an amendment to the Alberta Family Support for Children with Disabilities Act, which allows families of children with severe disabilities to receive supports in-home rather than being forced to give up their children to the foster system.
    “I thank everyone who speaks on behalf of children, and I know it’s a very difficult subject. So thank you for recognizing the importance of all children,” she said after Crouse presented her with a plaque.
    The historic Club Nautique du St. Albert, originally the St. Albert Canoe Club, received the second award. The club was active in the early part of last century with a clubhouse west of the trestle bridge on the Sturgeon River housing as many as 125 boats, a clubroom, and a dance floor.

    Transportation plan update

    Following a public hearing and a brief update from administration, council approved a motion to update the transportation system bylaw.
    Elements of the city’s Transportation Master Plan, updated in 2015, will be added into the bylaw, including completed roadway construction and development in new areas.
    “This is really an administrative update to clean up the transportation system bylaw,” Coun. Tim Osborne said.
    Council gave the bylaw all three readings unanimously.

    One per cent for art

    Hughes brought forward a motion to remove the one per cent surcharges for public art and branding on underground infrastructure, which was then defeated.
    She argued the city had no business charging public-art surcharges on underground infrastructure, since there’s no way to include public art as part of those projects.
    Removing the surcharge could potentially lower utility bills by about 20 cents per month, and would remove roughly $1 million from the public art budget over 10 years.
    “Will it reduce it massively? No. But should it be there? No. That’s the point,” she said.
    Osborne pointed out the funds aren’t always associated with the project for which they’re collected, but defended the use of those dollars to support public art.
    “Nobody is suggesting we bury public art underground,” he said.

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