Category Archives: Social Issues

Fixing Edmonton’s affordable housing problem The slow progress to creating better housing strategies

Through boom and bust, calls for action on affordable housing have prevailed for at least a generation. Despite countless announcements and interventions from various levels of governments over the past decade, the situation continues to get worse rather than better.

At the end of September, Mayor Don Iveson joined other big city mayors in Toronto to ask the federal government for a major infusion of money for affordable housing. Iveson has joined his counterparts across Canada in referring to the affordable housing situation as a “crisis”.

Continue reading Fixing Edmonton’s affordable housing problem The slow progress to creating better housing strategies

Finances a matter of family and community Money Mentors helps people get a handle on debt

People are often put off by the topic of money management. The Norwood Wesleyan Church helped parishioners get past their reluctance with a workshop.

Sound finances empowers people and communities, explained Phillip Telfer, Wesleyan pastor.

“Realizing money is a tool and using it well to help you and those around you. It means using your money to love people,” Telfer said.

Continue reading Finances a matter of family and community Money Mentors helps people get a handle on debt

Finding the way out of the debt cycle New payday loan regulations aim to protect customers

You can’t watch television anymore without seeing multiple commercials for payday loan companies. They are as bright and jingly as fast food commercials. To hear the commercial personality speak, a payday loan is just another tool in your financial toolkit.

Here on Alberta Avenue alone, there are more than a dozen of these companies, some strictly dealing with short-term credit, while others have a pawn shop as an added service. If coming into a store is not appealing or easy, a loan can be as far away as the click of a mouse. Continue reading Finding the way out of the debt cycle New payday loan regulations aim to protect customers

Helping pregnant women tackle addictions Study participants use breathalyzers to track sobriety

The Institute of Health Economics and the University of Alberta are running a study from the summer of 2016 to 2018 that aims to find new ways of preventing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

In Alberta, 46,000 people currently live with FASD and approximately 700 to 1,900 babies are born with the disorder each year.

Continue reading Helping pregnant women tackle addictions Study participants use breathalyzers to track sobriety

Helping people navigate the justice system Organization gives legal advice to those with low-income

Those living with low-income and in need of legal advice can seek help at Edmonton Community Legal Centre (ECLC).

“There are all kinds of factors that make it difficult to hire a lawyer or navigate the justice system,” said Debbie Klein, executive director of ECLC.

Continue reading Helping people navigate the justice system Organization gives legal advice to those with low-income

Modern meaning in Remembrance Day Why we should look beyond the traditional to remain relevant

Growing up as a post-war baby boomer, I’ve often thought the Second World War cast a shadow over my childhood and youth. My father lived through occupied France between the ages of eight and 13. My close friend’s father was a veteran who had marched north up the Italian peninsula with the Canadian Army. My grandmother would speak sadly of her older brother, who was lost when his plane went down while serving in the air force. War left a strong impression on these people which took a long time to process, not only touching them but also those close to them.

Continue reading Modern meaning in Remembrance Day Why we should look beyond the traditional to remain relevant

What it means to start over in a new country Learning a complicated language takes time and exposure

Imagine moving to a new country. The stress of finding a new home, a new job, a new school for your kids, and new friends. Now imagine not being able to speak your new country’s language.

Continue reading What it means to start over in a new country Learning a complicated language takes time and exposure

The unexpected price of higher education Canadian students have world’s fifth-highest tuition cost

I am a communications student specializing in journalism at MacEwan University. Money quickly became a large factor in my decisions, including my choice of school to attend. I decided to take the first two years of my degree at a college with tuition costs nearly half that of Edmonton rates, but needed to transfer to a university to complete my degree.

Even after making financially stringent decisions, my student debt will fall slightly below the national average of $27,000, as per the Canadian Federation of Students.

Continue reading The unexpected price of higher education Canadian students have world’s fifth-highest tuition cost

Making a difference to at-risk youth Two men bring different methods when working with youth

Meet Sean Dunster and Sebastian Barrera.

Both help at-risk youth. Dunster’s approach is through wrestling and motivational presentations, Barrera’s through community development and public art.

Dunster’s path into wrestling took many twists and turns. “I was always a misfit because of my size, so I called my pro wrestling character Massive Damage.” He trained for football, then bodybuilding, until a pro wrestler recognized that Dunster’s frame and athleticism was perfect for the ring.

Continue reading Making a difference to at-risk youth Two men bring different methods when working with youth