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Sweetgrass and CFWE news - May 12, 2016

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Compiled by Shari Narine







Homeless who lost lives in Edmonton to be remembered Friday

May 12, 2016. The Edmonton Coalition for Housing and Homeless will host a memorial on Friday commemorating the 51 homeless people who lost their lives in the city this past year. The ceremony will be held at Boyle Street Community Services drop-in. A piper-led procession will then make its way to the Homeless Memorial across from City Hall where flowers will be laid.

Naloxone now easier to access

May 12, 2016. Beginning Friday, take-home naloxone kits will be available at pharmacies free-of-charge without a prescription to any Albertan who is at risk of overdosing on fentanyl or other opioids. The province is also providing $3 million to Alberta Health Services to support the Opioid Dependency Treatment Plan Strategy, a three-year project that will expand counselling services and access to suboxone and methadone treatment in several communities where the need is greatest. By the end of the first year, an additional 240 Albertans, representing a 20 per cent increase, are expected to be receiving opioid replacement treatment at existing AHS clinics. “Our hope is that removing the prescription requirement will encourage more people to access these potentially life-saving kits. It is also our intention that by providing greater access to treatment and counselling, this further supports people struggling with opioid addiction and their families,” said Associate Health Minister Brandy Payne in a statement. Expanding access to naloxone is part of Alberta’s overall approach to curbing the harms caused by illicit fentanyl and other opioids. The province will also continue to focus on raising public awareness about the dangers of fentanyl; improving access to treatment; and reducing the supply and trafficking of fentanyl. Alberta Health and AHS continue to work in cooperation with Health Canada and First Nations communities to ensure naloxone is available to First Nations people on and off reserve.

Education options for evacuated students

May 12, 2016. Students impacted by the Wood Buffalo wild fires have seen their school year change dramatically. Grades 6 and 9 students enrolled in Fort McMurray public or Roman Catholic school districts, those at Northland School Division schools in Anzac and Fort McKay, and those at Ecole Boreal within Greater North Central Francophone Education Region will not be writing Provincial Achievement Tests. As well, Grade 12 students in Fort McMurray public or Roman Catholic school districts, Bill Woodward School in Anzac, and Ecole Boreal will receive an automatic exemption from the diploma exams. Students have the option of enrolling in a school in the area they have been evacuated to or registering with Alberta Distance Learning Centre. ADLC course materials and teacher instruction will be provided free of charge. ADLC is also ready to help community schools that are taking in new students, with free access to support courses and assessments.

Human rights symposium takes place in Edmonton

May 12, 2016. Edmonton will host a human rights symposium on Friday and Saturday. “Building Empathy, Conquering Apathy” features some of the world’s most well-known human rights champions. Presented by Canadians for a Civil Society in partnership with NAIT and MacEwan University, the event will facilitate dialogue focused on awareness of local human rights issues and the identification of solutions. Discussion will be led by Leslee Udwin, founder of the Equality Studies Global Initiative, who works with the UN Office of the High Commission for Human Rights on a new global initiative designed to promote the adoption of a world-wide human rights-based curriculum. Also featured in the event are Dr. Allen Benson, Alberta Native Counselling Services; Canada Infrastructure and Communities Minister Amarjeet Sohi; Mary Gordon, founder of Roots of Empathy, a Canadian-based education program that helps reduce aggression levels in classrooms; and Commissioner Marie Wilson, of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Fishing season starts four days early on Lac La Biche

May 11, 2016. Fishing begins immediately on Lac La Biche. “This is one way we can provide Fort McMurray residents staying in the Lac La Biche area with a well-deserved family recreational opportunity,” said Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips. No other lakes in the area will be opening early for fishing. The early start of the fishing season will not affect the fishery or the fish populations as with the warm spring the fish have spawned early.All regulations will remain in effect and will be enforced including catch limits.

Ontario contributes $500,000 to Red Cross Alberta wildfire relief

May 11, 2016.Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced Wednesday that her province will contribute $500,000 to the Canadian Red Cross to help in its relief efforts for people displaced by the wildfires in Alberta. Ontario has also provided emergency management personnel to support local firefighting efforts. As of Wednesday, over 60 firefighters, three strike team leaders and 16 incident management and supervisory staff from Ontario are on the ground in Alberta.