Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville MLA Provides Update
MLA Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville
Dear friends and neighbours,
This week marks Mental Health Week, and I am pleased to join organizations around Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville to promote healthy attitudes and actions that foster emotional well-being. The last few months have been extremely difficult, between the COVID-19 pandemic, economic uncertainty, and floods in northern Alberta, and many people are having a very hard time. If you are struggling, help is available 24/7 by calling Alberta’s Mental Health Helpline at 1-877-303-2642. Even in a time of social distance, no one in our community needs to feel alone.
If health measures are to be achieved to the satisfaction of Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw, some business and facilities will be allowed to resume full operations as early as May 14 with enhanced infection prevention and controls in place. As always, up-to-date information on COVID-19 and detailed information on our province’s pandemic response, including our relaunch strategy, is available at alberta.ca/covid19.
I am happy to share that our government has introduced new supports for farmers and ranchers in response to COVID-19. A new fed cattle set-aside program will allow beef producers to hold on to slaughter-ready cattle on maintenance feed ration for several weeks, allowing the supply of animals to more evenly match demand and reduced processing capacity. Cattle producers will be compensated for the extraordinary costs until the backed-up inventory is cleared. For pork producers, our government is immediately increasing the interim payment under AgriStability from 50 to 75 percent, putting up to $25 million in the hands of producers. Our government is also immediately increasing the advance payment under AgriStability for the potato industry from 50 to 75 percent, getting much-needed cash into the hands of potato producers right away. Alberta’s ranchers and producers have a long history of overcoming challenges. These support programs will ensure that our world-class agricultural producers will be able to weather the COVID-19 pandemic and keep providing the high-quality beef, pork, and potatoes that make Alberta famous.
We have confirmed that teacher-directed at-home learning will continue for the rest of the 2019-20 school year. The Minister of Education is consulting with school authorities, parents, and students to develop a comprehensive strategy for future school re-entry. Families that have questions about at-home learning and the resources available can call the provincial education helpline at 780-422-6548 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
As always, updated information on COVID-19 and detailed information on our province’s pandemic response, including our relaunch strategy, is available at alberta.ca/covid19. Additionally, you can contact my office at email@example.com or 780-208-0677.
I would like to thank everyone in our community for your resilience and generosity throughout this extremely challenging time. The community spirit that you have demonstrated over these past months has been remarkable, and I am confident that we will get through this difficult period together.