Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs (SACPA)

Sinopse

Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs (SACPA) was founded in 1968. It is an independent forum, moderated by volunteers, meeting Thursdays at noon some 40 weeks a year and at occasional special evening sessions, to debate local, provincial, national, and international issues of concern to the residents of Lethbridge and Southern Alberta.

Episódios

  • Should People Breaking COVID 19 Social Distancing Rules be Punished?

    Should People Breaking COVID 19 Social Distancing Rules be Punished?

    21/05/2020

    Public health officials have been clear about one thing for a couple months — we need to act collectively to minimize the spread of COVID-19. First, they asked that certain people self-isolate and that we all socially distance. But because some people didn’t listen, they had to institute mandatory edicts, punishable by fines. Most Albertans followed the "ask" instructions laid out by public health officials. So why do some folks need the penalty before they'll do the right thing? The speakers will argue that “willing participants” (in it for the greater good) and “rational egoists” (in it for themselves) make up about 65 and 20 percent of the population respectively. Then there are the “Altruists” (who always do the right thing) and “punishers” (who are willing to punish those people breaking rules, even if it has a personal cost) making up about 15 percent. The speakers will explain further and make the point that efforts to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic highlight how things that matter profoundly to u

  • Food Production is an Essential Service: Are Governments Providing Farmers with Adequate Aid during Covid-19?

    Food Production is an Essential Service: Are Governments Providing Farmers with Adequate Aid during Covid-19?

    19/05/2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic has negatively affected most Canadian business sectors, including farmers. Massive financial help from governments, both federal and provincial, have been rolled out for many individuals and businesses since early April. Specific help for the food and farming sector was announced only recently with a small aid package that arguably doesn’t prioritize the importance of help to the food supply chains. Because of worker safety issues and COVID-19 outbreaks among workers, shutdowns and slowdowns at several beef, hog and chicken processing plants have created huge backlogs. When animals are ready to be shipped, they need to go or else producer costs go up and quality of the products are negatively affected. Likewise, other farm products used widely in the now shut restaurant industry, are severely compromised. The speaker will argue that agricultural production, marketing and farm worker issues generally flies below the radar of governments, particularly federally. He will further contend

  • Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Created Additional Issues for Canada’s Temporary Foreign Workers?

    Has the COVID-19 Pandemic Created Additional Issues for Canada’s Temporary Foreign Workers?

    14/05/2020

    The COVID-19 pandemic has become a public health emergency. Uninsured individuals in Alberta and Canada are often denied access to health care and can face huge costs to get treatment. There are concerns that these barriers to health care already have had public health implications in the context of COVID-19. Uninsured persons can include newly-landed permanent residents, temporary foreign workers (TFW’s), international students and undocumented residents. COVID-19 assessment centers and related care should arguably be accessible to all people, regardless of immigration status during a pandemic such as COVID-19. Furthermore, TFW’s often work in essential services such as agriculture and health care related jobs. As witnessed at the Cargill Beef Packing plant near High River, safe working and housing conditions were not prioritized and early warning signs were ignored causing a massive COVID-19 outbreak and plant closure. The speaker will explain his advocacy role in bringing these and many other issues f

  • What is the Impact of COVID 19 on Marginalized Communities in Particular?

    What is the Impact of COVID 19 on Marginalized Communities in Particular?

    07/05/2020

    Municipalities’ emergency responses to the COVID 19 pandemic are raising concerns about the lack of equity and inclusion in the crisis. While many cities have taken various positive steps, such as including diverse voices in emergency response planning, arguably, women continue to fall through the cracks. The disproportionate impact of the pandemic on women, and particularly women experiencing socio- economic marginalization, is well-documented in research from Canada and around the world. In these unprecedented circumstances, cities should be urged to apply an intersectional gendered lens on equity and inclusion to all phases of planning and implementation of COVID 19 emergency responses. This can ensure that any emergency response takes into consideration the full diversity of women, men, and gender-diverse people. The speakers will describe what the City for All Women Initiative (CAWI) in Ottawa has been advocating for during COVID 19. They will also share some of the helpful measures taken by that city

  • What Kind of Leadership is Alberta Showing by Laying off Workers during the COVID 19 Pandemic?

    What Kind of Leadership is Alberta Showing by Laying off Workers during the COVID 19 Pandemic?

    30/04/2020

    The Alberta government has arguably missed an opportunity to show leadership during the COVID 19 crisis by directing provincial school boards to lay off tens of thousands of education workers. Teachers and educational assistants (EA’s) work closely together to facilitate student learning. EA’s were still being utilized to support students in need of accommodations along with those students with inadequate access to technology. The Alberta Teachers Association (ATA) estimates that around 6,000 substitute teachers and up to 20,000 support staff are affected by the funding cut. The ATA stands in solidarity with the support staff affected by this decision. Even though the COVID 19 pandemic is an extraordinary life event, laying off tens of thousands of workers at this time is at best, a questionable direction by the provincial government. While the federal government has stepped up to protect people and the economy through a compassionate stop-gap program, that still leaves many at risk kids without the suppo

  •  COVID 19: Is Domestic Violence Likely to Worsen during Social Isolation?

    COVID 19: Is Domestic Violence Likely to Worsen during Social Isolation?

    23/04/2020

    During the current COVID 19 pandemic, Lethbridge YWCA and Harbour House Women’s Emergency Shelter are anticipating the instances of severe domestic violence to increase and staff are incredibly fearful for the safety of women in the community who are in abusive relationships. In a crisis situation people’s fears and anxieties often increase. With a threat to jobs and income, there’s a fear about how their family will survive, and being isolated from their community and normal social interactions, makes it even worse. This leads to situations people aren’t familiar with and those who have been in a violent relationship before, may see the abuse escalate even further. Typically, from what’s know about past crises, people who have never experienced domestic violence before, may be subjected to such during COVID 19. The speaker will elaborate on the local situation and also discuss who are providing the essential funding to this, literally lifesaving, safety net service in Lethbridge Speaker: Shannon Hansen,

  • COVID 19 Mitigation Measures at the Lethbridge Soup Kitchen

    COVID 19 Mitigation Measures at the Lethbridge Soup Kitchen

    16/04/2020

    The speaker will provide a brief overview of the humble beginnings of Lethbridge Soup Kitchen on Oct 1, 1984 and some of the highlights of its 35 year history. He will also acknowledge the connections and personal relationships that have been built with its vulnerable guests over the years and the incredible number of volunteers now counting nearly 850 people. An amazing amount of generous donors, who supply about $60,000 worth of food each and every month, make it possible for Lethbridge Soup Kitchen to serve more than 6000 meals monthly including breakfast, lunch and supper. Numerous Individuals, churches, companies and service clubs have so far provided much of the financial resources necessary to meet expenses year by year. Arguably, the way in which local media outlets have provided great coverage of the daily hot meals program is very helpful to all involved and will continue to be a key part of this essential service. The speaker will explain adjustments that have been made to mitigate the spread of

  • Responding as a Community to COVID-19

    Responding as a Community to COVID-19

    09/04/2020

    The City of Lethbridge implemented a local state of emergency on March 18, 2020 and is working with community partners to identify areas of need for the community during the COVID 19 pandemic. 16 subcommittees have been formed to address and support the community while this crisis is unfolding. Action taken so far include working closely with Alberta Health Services and the agencies that serve our vulnerable populations to ensure these groups have the needed housing, health care and other supports they require. Other measures include free transit, 90 day utility payment deferrals and property tax options. All City facilities, including City Hall, Fire Stations, Lethbridge Transit, all recreation and culture facilities (pools, arenas, Lethbridge Public Library branches, Galt Museum and the Helen Schuler Nature Centre) are closed to the public until further notice. Lethbridge Police Service have closed public access to their building until further notice as have Lethbridge Animal Shelter. The speaker will u

  • COVID 19: Stress and Coping?

    COVID 19: Stress and Coping?

    02/04/2020

    The world-wide outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19 disease may be stressful for many people. Fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations. How you respond to this outbreak can depend on your background, the things that make you different from other people, and the community you live in. People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include older people and people with chronic diseases who are at higher risk for COVID-19, children and teens, people who are helping with the response to COVID-19, like doctors, nurses and other health care providers, or first responders. As well, people who have preexisting mental health conditions, the homeless, the vulnerable and people with substance abuse. The speaker will walk us through the many issues surrounding mental health with particular emphasis on the isolation and loneliness COVID 19 has caused, resulting in extra stress on many families

  • What is it Like Owning a Business in Downtown Lethbridge during the Drug Crisis? (Part 2 QA)

    What is it Like Owning a Business in Downtown Lethbridge during the Drug Crisis? (Part 2 Q&A)

    12/03/2020

    Several businesses in Lethbridge’s downtown and the surrounding area have closed their doors in the last several months. Other business owners say they are feeling the pinch as well, and attribute much of the struggles to what they say are pervasive negative perceptions of the downtown area. Concerns over everything from the opioid/drug crisis and taxation to parking, are the main issues. Those business owners and employees are feeling the pressure of that, but today’s speaker will explain how she, along with other business owners, are fighting back and meeting with with city officials to address the issues Speaker: Erica Pyska As a leader in the business landscape of Lethbridge for over 20 years, Erica Pyska is excited to share some of her experiences and thoughts on the ever-changing dynamic of downtown Lethbridge. Calling Plum Restaurant home for the last 6 years, Erica has insight on growing a business through economic and political shifts, ecological responsibility and hardships, and supporting peopl

  • What is it Like Owning a Business in Downtown Lethbridge during the Drug Crisis? (Part 1)

    What is it Like Owning a Business in Downtown Lethbridge during the Drug Crisis? (Part 1)

    12/03/2020

    Several businesses in Lethbridge’s downtown and the surrounding area have closed their doors in the last several months. Other business owners say they are feeling the pinch as well, and attribute much of the struggles to what they say are pervasive negative perceptions of the downtown area. Concerns over everything from the opioid/drug crisis and taxation to parking, are the main issues. Those business owners and employees are feeling the pressure of that, but today’s speaker will explain how she, along with other business owners, are fighting back and meeting with with city officials to address the issues Speaker: Erica Pyska As a leader in the business landscape of Lethbridge for over 20 years, Erica Pyska is excited to share some of her experiences and thoughts on the ever-changing dynamic of downtown Lethbridge. Calling Plum Restaurant home for the last 6 years, Erica has insight on growing a business through economic and political shifts, ecological responsibility and hardships, and supporting peopl

  • Is the Sun Setting on Alberta’s Conventional Oil and Gas Producers? (Part 2 QA)

    Is the Sun Setting on Alberta’s Conventional Oil and Gas Producers? (Part 2 Q&A)

    05/03/2020

    Alberta’s conventional oil and gas liabilities have been growing for decades with reported estimates ranging from $58 to $130 billion involving 450,000 oil and gas wells, 400,000 Km of pipelines, 1.4 trillion litres of fluid waste, Only $1.5 billion is held in securities to protect Albertan taxpayers from the risk of being left on the hook for costs. Oil sands liabilities are estimated at another (largely unsecured) $130 billion. If the issue of backlogged and unsecured oil and gas liabilities is allowed to stay quiet, the problem will simply continue to grow, with no true transparency around its scale and scope. Long-term solutions to this problem will need to be both collaborative and practical. However, in order to find such solutions, all stakeholders must have access to accurate information about the true costs to clean up all active and inactive oil and gas infrastructure in Alberta. It was recently revealed Alberta’s oil and gas companies now owe $178 million in unpaid rent and property taxes to far

  • Is the Sun Setting on Alberta’s Conventional Oil and Gas Producers? (Part 1)

    Is the Sun Setting on Alberta’s Conventional Oil and Gas Producers? (Part 1)

    05/03/2020

    Alberta’s conventional oil and gas liabilities have been growing for decades with reported estimates ranging from $58 to $130 billion involving 450,000 oil and gas wells, 400,000 Km of pipelines, 1.4 trillion litres of fluid waste, Only $1.5 billion is held in securities to protect Albertan taxpayers from the risk of being left on the hook for costs. Oil sands liabilities are estimated at another (largely unsecured) $130 billion. If the issue of backlogged and unsecured oil and gas liabilities is allowed to stay quiet, the problem will simply continue to grow, with no true transparency around its scale and scope. Long-term solutions to this problem will need to be both collaborative and practical. However, in order to find such solutions, all stakeholders must have access to accurate information about the true costs to clean up all active and inactive oil and gas infrastructure in Alberta. It was recently revealed Alberta’s oil and gas companies now owe $178 million in unpaid rent and property taxes to far

  • Is Community Support for Children Essential? (Part 2 QA)

    Is Community Support for Children Essential? (Part 2 Q&A)

    27/02/2020

    Arguably, governments have a mandate to keep our most vulnerable citizens safe, including young children. Recently, the Province of Alberta and the City of Lethbridge have initiated significant realignments of their prevention and early intervention services for families. The speaker will explore these changes from the perspective of an agency that provides preventive services on behalf of governments. The goal is to continue a wholesome and productive discussion about how we protect children in our community. Speaker: Peter Imhof Peter Imhof came to Lethbridge in 2001 from Germany. After almost ten years in technical research and development, he joined Family Centre of Lethbridge in 2012 where he became the Executive Director in 2014. Through Family Centre, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, Peter, his staff and volunteers grows the resilience of the children, youth, and families in our community. Moderator: Bev Muendel-Atherstone Date: Thursday, February 27, 2020 Time: Doors open 11:30 am

  • Is Community Support for Children Essential? (Part 1)

    Is Community Support for Children Essential? (Part 1)

    27/02/2020

    Arguably, governments have a mandate to keep our most vulnerable citizens safe, including young children. Recently, the Province of Alberta and the City of Lethbridge have initiated significant realignments of their prevention and early intervention services for families. The speaker will explore these changes from the perspective of an agency that provides preventive services on behalf of governments. The goal is to continue a wholesome and productive discussion about how we protect children in our community. Speaker: Peter Imhof Peter Imhof came to Lethbridge in 2001 from Germany. After almost ten years in technical research and development, he joined Family Centre of Lethbridge in 2012 where he became the Executive Director in 2014. Through Family Centre, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, Peter, his staff and volunteers grows the resilience of the children, youth, and families in our community. Moderator: Bev Muendel-Atherstone Date: Thursday, February 27, 2020 Time: Doors open 11:30 am

  • Opportunities and Challenges in Sustainability and Economic Development (Part 2 QA)

    Opportunities and Challenges in Sustainability and Economic Development (Part 2 Q&A)

    20/02/2020

    Alberta SouthWest Regional Economic Development (AlbertaSW) is a partnership of 16 towns, villages and rural municipal districts bordering on BC and MT. Key sectors of the economy in the region are agriculture, renewable energy and tourism. All these industries require consideration of the natural resources and landscapes, creating a natural focus on sustainability, In 2007, in collaboration with National Geographic, AlbertaSW was a founding partner of the transboundary Crown of the Continent Geotourism Council, which highlights sustainable tourism business development. In 2006, AlbertaSW, Economic Development Lethbridge and SouthGrow formed the Southern Alberta Alternative Energy Partnership (SAAEP). Representing 39 municipalities in south west and south-central Alberta, SAAEP supports member municipalities to explore opportunities in renewable energy (solar, wind, bio) and clean technology. The “Peaks to Prairies” Electric Vehicle Charging Station Network, a “current” project, so to speak, is a multi mu

  • Opportunities and Challenges in Sustainability and Economic Development (Part 1)

    Opportunities and Challenges in Sustainability and Economic Development (Part 1)

    20/02/2020

    Alberta SouthWest Regional Economic Development (AlbertaSW) is a partnership of 16 towns, villages and rural municipal districts bordering on BC and MT. Key sectors of the economy in the region are agriculture, renewable energy and tourism. All these industries require consideration of the natural resources and landscapes, creating a natural focus on sustainability, In 2007, in collaboration with National Geographic, AlbertaSW was a founding partner of the transboundary Crown of the Continent Geotourism Council, which highlights sustainable tourism business development. In 2006, AlbertaSW, Economic Development Lethbridge and SouthGrow formed the Southern Alberta Alternative Energy Partnership (SAAEP). Representing 39 municipalities in south west and south-central Alberta, SAAEP supports member municipalities to explore opportunities in renewable energy (solar, wind, bio) and clean technology. The “Peaks to Prairies” Electric Vehicle Charging Station Network, a “current” project, so to speak, is a multi mu

  • The Importance of Play: Are Children getting enough Playtime? (Part 2 QA)

    The Importance of Play: Are Children getting enough Playtime? (Part 2 Q&A)

    13/02/2020

    The early years of human development needs to be an essential priority for the whole community and by creating awareness of the importance of the early years in children’s development, communities can help create and implement an action plan specific to enhancing healthy childhood development. One essential element for children’s development is play. Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. It is through play that children at a very early age learn to engage and interact with the world around them. The importance of play in childhood development is what brought Lethbridge Early Years Coalition to spearhead the development of the Lethbridge Play Charter for all children ages 0 - 18. This Play Charter was adopted by the City of Lethbridge as a unifying document that influences planning, policy and decision making in our community. Organizations, agencies, and community members are committed to prioritizing and promoti

  • The Importance of Play: Are Children getting enough Playtime? (Part 1)

    The Importance of Play: Are Children getting enough Playtime? (Part 1)

    13/02/2020

    The early years of human development needs to be an essential priority for the whole community and by creating awareness of the importance of the early years in children’s development, communities can help create and implement an action plan specific to enhancing healthy childhood development. One essential element for children’s development is play. Play allows children to use their creativity while developing their imagination and physical, cognitive, and emotional strength. It is through play that children at a very early age learn to engage and interact with the world around them. The importance of play in childhood development is what brought Lethbridge Early Years Coalition to spearhead the development of the Lethbridge Play Charter for all children ages 0 - 18. This Play Charter was adopted by the City of Lethbridge as a unifying document that influences planning, policy and decision making in our community. Organizations, agencies, and community members are committed to prioritizing and promoti

  • Why is Liberal Education Important in the 21st Century? (Part 2 QA)

    Why is Liberal Education Important in the 21st Century? (Part 2 Q&A)

    06/02/2020

    Liberal Education is rooted in an approach to learning that empowers individuals and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity, and change. It provides students with broad knowledge of the wider world (e.g. science, culture, and society) as well as in-depth study in a specific area of interest. The philosophy of Liberal Education traces back to the Classical Era of the ancient Greeks and Romans, who developed a logical and systematic approach to looking at the world around us, and an education system to produce informed leaders who would engage in the running of their city-states. Thinkers like Thucydides and Plato discussed politics, forms of government, and civic engagement. These ideas came to life again with the flourishing of the scientific approach in the late 1600s, and on into The Enlightenment or Age of Reason, as thinkers explored politics, economics, government and social systems. Questions about the relationship of a liberal education to citizenship, are questions with a long history in

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