Provincial homeless strategy sought

A provincial government strategy on eliminating poverty would be welcomed by a Central Alberta organization that sees how much work is devoted to helping low-income residents in the region.

A provincial government strategy on eliminating poverty would be welcomed by a Central Alberta organization that sees how much work is devoted to helping low-income residents in the region.

Heather Gardiner, executive director of the United Way of Central Alberta, said her organization supports a number of groups which work on homelessness, mental health and other poverty-related issues.

“We’re going to see some power behind this when we have a provincial strategy led by our government,” Gardiner said. “It needs co-ordinated visionary leadership to pull everything together . . . .”

Earlier this week, Public Interest Alberta and the Edmonton Social Planning Council released a report, We Must Do Better: It’s Time to Make Alberta Poverty Free.

It comes out of seven public forums held around Alberta in 2009, including one in Red Deer. About 400 people attended the sessions.

On the whole, they were troubled that despite living in one of the wealthiest places in the world, there are many people who live in poverty.

They expressed commitment to work with government to set up a comprehensive plan to reduce, prevent and ultimately eliminate poverty in Alberta.

Other countries and six Canadian provinces have set up poverty-reduction strategies.

The Ontario provincial government is one province that has a program that appears to be working well, Gardiner said.

It has set a goal of 25 per cent reduction in child poverty within five years.

“They have changed the child tax benefit so it’s $1,100 per child from $600 — that’s a significant boost in the pockets of people,” Gardiner said.

Gardiner believes Alberta’s strategy should fall under most ministries of government.

“Never before have we faced this kind of economic turmoil . . . we have to figure out a way to develop plans so when the economy recovers, we’re able to implement some good strategies early,” she said.

Just Posted

One strong wind leaves years of replanting work for Red Deer parks staff

High visibility boulevards already replanted, neighbourhood work starts next year

Red Deer-area indigenous filmmakers invited to apply for $20,000 grant

Storyhive launches Indigenous Storyteller Edition

Restaurant closed after compliance team patrol

Public Safety Compliance Team checked eight bars and restaurants on Oct. 19

Red Deerians await local cannabis stores

So far 31 stores in Alberta awarded licence to operate

Rimbey RCMP seek missing man with health concerns

Has anyone seen Bill Harris of Ponka County?

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Local Sports: Rudy Soffo valuable to Kings on the court

When Rudy Soffo first saw the RDC basketball Kings roster he was… Continue reading

Except for 1 kick, Saints, Ravens are evenly matched

BALTIMORE — In a matchup between the league’s highest-scoring offence and top-ranked… Continue reading

Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a top award for comedy

WASHINGTON — After a 35-year acting career and with two iconic television… Continue reading

Ricky Skaggs, Dottie West enter Country Music Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE — Bluegrass and country star Ricky Skaggs, singer Dottie West and… Continue reading

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

LONDON — Stephen Hawking was a cosmic visionary, a figure of inspiration… Continue reading

Canada deemed U.S. a safe country for asylum seekers after internal review

OTTAWA — Canadian immigration officials have determined that the United States remains… Continue reading

Bombardier sues Mitsubishi over alleged theft of aircraft trade secrets

MONTREAL — Bombardier is suing Mitsubishi Aircraft in the United States over… Continue reading

Three strong earthquakes reported in Pacific Ocean off Vancouver Island

Three relatively strong earthquakes were recorded Sunday night in the Pacific Ocean… Continue reading

Most Read