Alberta briefs – June 13

A group representing Alberta women’s shelters say there is a lack of proper facilities to help women most at risk of being seriously injured or even killed in abusive relationships.

Shelter space lacking: report

A group representing Alberta women’s shelters say there is a lack of proper facilities to help women most at risk of being seriously injured or even killed in abusive relationships.

A two-year study by the Alberta Council of Women’s Shelters suggests the province needs more second-stage shelters for victims of domestic violence.

Unlike emergency shelters, in which women and their children can seek refuge for up to 21 days, second-stage shelters give women up to six months to find a new home, get counselling, develop safety plans, and keep themselves and their children safe from their abusive partners.

There are 124 second-stage apartments in Edmonton, Calgary, Lloydminster, Medicine Hat, Sucker Creek and Wabasca.

But the report says judging by the number of women they turn away from shelters each day, the province needs up to 797 second-stage apartments.

Council spokesman Catherine Kuehne says these women are at higher risk because they made the decision to leave.

“Because partners often try to control the women, they could see more violence.”

The study has also identified risk factors based on region, demographics, and type of abuse through a series of questionnaires, and records in which women documented instances of abuse on a calendar.

The report will be released on June 18.

Lobby group plans summer campaign

Friends of Medicare is promising a long, hot summer for the Alberta government as the lobby group uses billboards, print ads and the Internet to stoke what it sees as growing discontent over the province’s health care.

Spokesman David Eggen says polling, letters and petitions are showing that many Albertans are fed up with long waiting lists, cancelled surgeries and group insurance benefits that recently doubled or even tripled in cost for seniors.

Eggen suggests a public outcry forced Premier Ed Stelmach’s government to retreat from its original drug coverage changes for seniors, so he hopes the campaign will again force the Tories to choose “a better way.”

DTHR awards early bird prize

A Sherwood Park couple has won the David Thompson Health Region Foundation’s early bird lottery draw.

Michel and Trevor Piper found out Friday they were the new owners of a Denali fifth wheel trailer and a Dodge Truck 4X4 worth $100,000, as part of the Hospital’s Home Lottery early bird draw.

There are still plenty of prizes up for grabs, including a three-bedroom custom home built by True-Line Contracting Ltd. and furnished by Hudson Madison, a 2009 Dodge Challenger, a 2009 Mustang Coupe, a 2009 Chevrolet Silverado and a 2009 Harley Davidson Cross Bones motorcycle, as well as TVs, cash, electronics and gift cards.

Tickets are still being sold until June 14 at 11 p.m. at a cost of $25 each, five for $100 or 15 for $250. To pick up a ticket call 1-877-808-9005 or online at Tickets are also available at the house at 16 Welsh Close.

Proceeds from the lottery will boost the gastroenterology and urology programs in Central Alberta.

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