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

  • Is Lethbridge likely to experience response time delays if Emergency Dispatch is centralized in Calgary?

    Is Lethbridge likely to experience response time delays if Emergency Dispatch is centralized in Calgary?

    03/09/2020

    Recently, Alberta Health Services announced ambulance dispatch services will be consolidated across the province, pulling Calgary, Lethbridge, Red Deer and Wood Buffalo into existing EMS dispatch centres. Lethbridge Fire Department (LFD) has been providing Ambulance/EMS services to citizens since 1912, and have always been the dispatch service as well. They are currently under contract to AHS EMS to provide the EMS service as well as the Dispatch service. The Dispatch service provides coverage not only to the City of Lethbridge, but many other EMS services in the area. LFD has several concerns with Alberta Health Service Emergency Medical Services decision to remove local EMS dispatch from Lethbridge and move it to Calgary. They feel this will create delays in dispatching of Fire units that also provide Advanced Life Support to our citizens. They also have concerns that AHS EMS provided dispatch will eliminate the City EMS units, leaving the service short of units. As well, a lack of familiarity with this

  • Why should people give Money to UN’s World Food Program (WFP) or other Aid Agencies when there is so much need in the Developed World Countries?

    Why should people give Money to UN’s World Food Program (WFP) or other Aid Agencies when there is so much need in the Developed World Countries?

    19/06/2020

    The COVID19 crisis and its aftermath has shown that infectious diseases respect borders no more than climate change – both of which impact billions of lives, migration trends and economic prosperity worldwide. In the modern world where national boundaries matter very little, we are inseparably connected to one another. The Syria Crisis and the subsequent refugee numbers to Canada is a case in point. So is the Ebola outbreak in 2014 which led Canada to adopt preventative measures in its public spaces. We know that foreign aid works. It saves and improves the lives of billions of people around the world, safeguarding their human dignity by lifting them out of poverty and giving them a chance to reach their potential. But the moral imperative for maintaining our levels of foreign aid is only half the story. Development assistance is also a way to invest in Canada’s prosperity by supporting the local markets and economies of developing countries in need, which in the long run are able to transition from their cr

  • Has the Role of Pharmacies Changed Due to the COVID-19 Virus?

    Has the Role of Pharmacies Changed Due to the COVID-19 Virus?

    18/06/2020

    The COVID-19 virus has prompted many people to seek preventive medications with vitamins, minerals and probiotics flying off pharmacy shelves like hot cakes. Unproven and sometimes even dangerous medications have been touted as cures for this virus, some by well-known people. Such claims put pharmacists in the position of protecting us from ourselves. Some people were even hoarding medications; now all are restricted to only a 30 day supply. The speaker, pharmacist and owner of Thriftway Pharmacy, is living this journey since pharmacies have been designated as an essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic, and he will share his pre COVID-19 experiences while also elaborating on his perceptions of the role pharmacies will play in a post pandemic future. Speaker: Ron Hendry Ron Hendry graduated with a B. Sc. Pharmacy from the University of Alberta in 1979. He moved to Lethbridge after graduation, where he bought a home in west Lethbridge and worked for his Father in law, Doug Steed, at Thriftway Pharma

  • Cuts to Funding for Post-Secondary Education: What is U of L’s New Reality?

    Cuts to Funding for Post-Secondary Education: What is U of L’s New Reality?

    15/06/2020

    Post-secondary institutions in Alberta have experienced substantial reductions to their Campus Alberta Grants from the Government of Alberta. In the case of the University of Lethbridge, these reductions represent slightly more than 20% of the university’s government operating grant. The reductions have resulted in difficult budget decisions including layoffs, deletion of athletic programs and structural changes. The emergence of COVID 19 has added to the challenges for the U of L. On March 13, 2020 the university moved to virtual academic program delivery and ultimately the university closed down all on-campus services including residences and food services, and moved all student services online. These rapid changes have been unprecedented, but the university has met the challenge. There have also been significant costs associated with COVID 19, which in addition to government grant reductions present serious challenges. The speaker will explain the impact of the budget reductions and COVID 19, mitigatio

  • Tackling Systemic Racism and Police Brutality: What can You Do?

    Tackling Systemic Racism and Police Brutality: What can You Do?

    12/06/2020

    Not only Americans, but Canadians need to have an "uncomfortable conversation" about racism and police violence against black people, particularly around who benefits from it. The difficult conversation is, that racism may not be about some bad feelings inside somebody's heart, but arguably, it's about power that benefits white people and their property. The benefits of white supremacy are not built on the oppression of black communities alone, white people have made careers managing the files of Indigenous children who are being taken from their families. All the money that gets used in these ventures could be used to actually support families and keep them together in Indigenous communities. Likewise, why not redirect some of the money spent on law enforcement to help marginalized people and communities? The speaker will argue that we're sending people armed with guns to somebody who is in crisis, when the answer for the police overwhelmingly should be, to stop heavy policing and to start supporting all

  • Resilience During a Pandemic: From Zoom Calls to Dealing with the Economic Crisis, Strategies for Surviving  Thriving

    Resilience During a Pandemic: From Zoom Calls to Dealing with the Economic Crisis, Strategies for Surviving & Thriving

    11/06/2020

    As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc on our lives, the good news is that resilience is possible, but it requires more than just a positive mindset. Building on his research from around the world and clinical work with populations that have experienced the stress of social isolation, poverty, stigma and violence, the speaker will share stories and strategies we can use to not only survive but thrive during this pandemic. From overcoming the hassle of working from home and providing childcare, to preventing anxiety, the speaker will discuss ways we can make ourselves more psychologically rugged and build our social supports. This presentation will explore how this crisis can be an opportunity for us to have a forthright conversation about how we can make our families, schools, communities, and workplaces better despite the financial stress and grief that has become our new normal. Speaker: Dr. Michael Ungar, Director Resilience Research Centre, Dalhousie University Dr. Ungar is a Family Therapist and Pr

  • Will Long Term Care Facilities Finally Receive Appropriate Attention?

    Will Long Term Care Facilities Finally Receive Appropriate Attention?

    10/06/2020

    In what Prime Minister Trudeau called “extremely troubling,” military reports accused several Quebec and Ontario long-term care (LTC) facilities of negligence and appalling conditions for people living there. The reports detailed first-hand accounts of cockroach infestations, patients crying for help, residents being force fed and not receiving a bath for weeks, while COVID-19 patients were allowed to wander freely. But even before the pandemic, it was evident that LTC homes were a setting stretched far too thin and in need of much better resources. Staffing ratios and tight schedules often prevent staff from providing the quality of care they would like, as they are often overwhelmed by the volume of tasks facing them. Arguably what’s needed, is a system that values the lives of the people living in LTC homes, while also valuing the lives of the people who are providing the care. The speaker will argue that if the COVID-19 pandemic is to bring about improvements to quality of care in LTC homes, it can onl

  • After the Pandemic: Some Social, Political, and Economic Impacts

    After the Pandemic: Some Social, Political, and Economic Impacts

    04/06/2020

    As the Covid-19 pandemic continues its relentless path across the world, politicians, policy-makers, and pundits have begun thinking of the world that comes after. What are likely to be the short, medium, and long-term impacts on society resulting from Covid-19? How will it change the economy, politics, society at large? Which of these will be temporary and which more permanent? This talk will explore some of these possible changes and the policy changes that should be considered as a result. Speaker: Dr. Trevor Harrison Dr. Trevor Harrison is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Lethbridge and Director of Parkland Institute. He was born and raised in Edmonton. He holds a B.A. from the University of Winnipeg, an M.A. from the University of Calgary, and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Alberta. His broad areas of specialty include political sociology, political economy, and public policy. In addition to numerous journal articles and book chapters, Dr. Harrison is the author, co-autho

  • Medical cannabis against COVID-19 - from research to clinical use

    Medical cannabis against COVID-19 - from research to clinical use

    28/05/2020

    Studies finds that enzymes in cannabis may be able to treat COVID-19. Researchers at the University of Lethbridge recently released results from a study that shows the benefits of CBD as an aid in blocking the cells that enter the body from the novel coronavirus. The study is a partnership among the university, Pathway, which works to develop cannabis therapies to treat specific diseases, and cannabinoid-based oral health company Swysh Inc. The researchers at U of L conducted a study using artificial 3D models of oral, airway and intestinal tissues coupled with a limited sample of high CBD Cannabis sativa extracts, modulate ACE2 gene expression and ACE2 protein levels. The results indicated hemp extracts high in CBD may help block proteins that provide a “gateway” for COVID-19 to enter host cells. The speaker will elaborate. Speaker: Dr. Olga Kovalchuk Dr. Kovalchuk received her B. Med. (Honors, 1992) and M.D. (Stomatology, 1994) degrees at the Ivano-Frankivsk National Medical University in Ukraine. In

  • 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

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