Asking for public dollars Shareholders profit while Albertans foot the bill

The only thing climbing higher than Alberta’s unemployment rate is the audacity of the corporations responsible for the layoffs.

A group of those corporations gathered last month and commanded a full mainstream media news cycle, demanding that Premier Rachel Notley shift course and adopt the failed policies of the previous Progressive Conservative (PC) government. It is true that 80,000 Albertans have lost work since the New Democratic Party (NDP) was elected last May. However, the party has nothing to do with the inability or refusal of the oil industry or the previous PC provincial government to prepare for the inevitable downturn in oil prices.
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No diversity in women’s day article Letter to the editor

I love reading the Rat Creek Press. In general, I find the paper to be inclusive and community-minded.

I want to bring to your attention an omission in the March 2016 edition. The article “Celebrating Women” includes a timeline on women’s right to vote. I was dismayed to see that this timeline does not inform readers that Aboriginal women did not have the right to vote until 1960.

I also noticed that the overwhelming majority of the trailblazers are white women.

I was disappointed by the racial bias in this piece. International Women’s Day is for all women and this article did not communicate that.

Kimberly Mccall

The importance of keeping your culture Local drum and dance troupe talk about their experience and vision

If you have spent any time at Alberta Avenue festivals, you have probably been mesmerized by Sangea, a high energy, colourful, and talented African drum and dance troupe.

I bumped into them at the Carrot during Black History Month. Their commitment to their craft, vision and values triggered my interest in culturally diverse communities. I jumped at the opportunity to interview founders Reckie Llyod and Erini Perez Amezcua about immigration, music, and artist lifestyle.
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Youth are vulnerable to sexual exploitation Prevention and intervention are key in stopping a life in the sex trade

The teenage years are difficult for both parents and teens. Teens are searching for a self-identity and more independence. Discovering who you are and what you like requires exploration. Conflict often occurs. Adolescence is also a vulnerable and risky time because a teenager’s brain isn’t fully developed.

In a healthy family, parents provide guidance and boundaries through this volatile period. Unfortunately, many families are dysfunctional. Sometimes parents are simply unaware of the issues and emotions their teens are facing. Or worse, teens may have already been subjected to abuse, addiction, trauma, and poverty.
Continue reading Youth are vulnerable to sexual exploitation Prevention and intervention are key in stopping a life in the sex trade

The realities of being a volunteer co-ordinator Reflecting on the joys and challenges of working with volunteers

Shortly after returning to school to study communications, I found myself co-ordinating volunteers for Arts on the Ave (AOTA), which runs Kaleido and Deep Freeze Festivals as well as the Carrot Community Arts Coffeehouse.

Volunteers are seriously the best, and some of the most generous people I’ve ever worked with. However, working with people who donate their time presents some unique challenges; recruitment, training and retention are ongoing challenges for many organizations.
Continue reading The realities of being a volunteer co-ordinator Reflecting on the joys and challenges of working with volunteers

Volunteering as an important part of life Meaningful volunteering starts with finding organizations that click with you

When I first began volunteering, I was just beginning grade 12 and looking for ways to gain new experiences outside of what high school could offer. I found my first long-term volunteer experience with Catholic Social Services as a Homework Club tutor. I stayed with them for over a year.

The program was a drop-in academic help session for immigrant youth held every Saturday. It was an interesting experience because while my best subjects were Spanish and English, I began to lose my confidence in tutoring these subjects every time a question came up that I could not answer. I began to wonder about limitations in my own offered abilities and I started seeking different opportunities. Not every volunteer opportunity works out.
Continue reading Volunteering as an important part of life Meaningful volunteering starts with finding organizations that click with you

Telling the tale of the city’s collective story Edmonton Heritage Council initiative helps Edmontonians find hope and belonging

On March 15, a diverse group of community members gathered in a sharing circle to tell their story of how they came to Edmonton.

Organized by the Edmonton Heritage Council (EHC), Weaving City Narratives was held at Ben Calf Robe – St. Clare School. The event was created to help people to find a sense of hope and belonging in Edmonton.
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Preparing and planting a spring garden Great tips for getting the most out of your garden this year

With spring starting to peek through the winter cold, it will soon be time to plant a spring garden. Before sowing those tiny seeds, tackle a few garden chores to ensure your garden gets off on the right foot and grows the best plants possible.

If your garden has raised beds, now is the time to check for any damage. The soggy soil from rain and snow can strain wooden frames. Repairing bowed or split wood now will save you time and keep plants contained all summer.
Continue reading Preparing and planting a spring garden Great tips for getting the most out of your garden this year

Musicians, rejoice! Making music in the hall Jam sessions strike a chord with community musicians and music lovers

Last fall, my friend Gerard Forget and I attended a Leaders in the Community meeting hosted by the Avenue Initiative Revitalization. The purpose was for people to share ideas and brainstorm implementation of new projects that would benefit the community.

Gerard and I saw this as a great opportunity to share our idea of organizing jam sessions for community musicians and performers who were looking for a place to play together in an informal environment.
Continue reading Musicians, rejoice! Making music in the hall Jam sessions strike a chord with community musicians and music lovers

Tackling crime is a team effort Empowering residents to take an active role in crime prevention

The City of Edmonton and Edmonton Police Service hosted a “Connecting Community for Safety” event at Alberta Avenue in March. This event helped connect residents as well as encourage and empower them to take an active role in crime prevention.

Residents had an opportunity to share their stories, thoughts and ideas around crime and safety in small groups. Afterwards, Community Liaison Constable Jeff Thomsen and Community Safety Liaison Gurjeet Sangha encouraged a four-pronged approach to crime prevention: empower, connect, prevent, report.
Continue reading Tackling crime is a team effort Empowering residents to take an active role in crime prevention