Feature News Stories

Amidst falling prices and rising emissions, some Albertans see opportunity

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In the Appalachian region of the United States, where collapsing demand for coal has devastated local economies, a federal program is helping retrain workers and boost new business ventures.

Alberta’s new Climate Leadership Plan mentions similar transition support for coal workers, but as low oil prices drag on, some Albertans say extending this support to oilsands workers could benefit both the climate and the economy.

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Waste removal now costs Goodwill half-a-million dollars a year

thumbnailGoodwill Industries of Alberta CEO and president Dale Monaghan shows off the sorting centre at the Chinook location’s donation drive on Oct. 17. Goodwill spends $500,000 a year on garbage removal. Photo by Madison Farkas.

The sour stink of rotting food floats from a black garbage bag full of unwashed plastic containers outside the TransCanada location of Goodwill Industries of Alberta. Alongside a dingy old mattress and a ripped, stained couch, the bag is part of an eight-foot-tall pile of trash left at the store’s donation door on Sept. 28.

“It was mostly broken junk,” recalled Karen Taylor Macdonald, the manager at the TransCanada retail store. “The containers were absolutely filthy.”

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Prime minister’s first visit to Calgary since elected filled with pledges for Alberta’s energy sector

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Rachel Notley hosted a roundtable meeting with a group of industry leaders Thursday, and later spoke to reporters about the discussion at the downtown YWCA after touring the facilities.

“We’ve agreed that we’re going to work together in the coming years with industry to ensure that we are creating a pan-Canadian approach on building a strong economy and a protected environment without marginalizing or pointing fingers,” said Trudeau.

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Non-Christian inmates struggling to access appropriate spiritual support

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The defeat of the federal Conservative Party in the October election has raised hope among prisoner’s rights advocates that the handling of minority religious services in the country’s prisons will be amended by the newly elected government.

According to multiple CBC reports, chaplaincy services were affected by the conservative government’s austerity agenda in 2012. The Tories decided not to renew the contracts of about 50 part-time non-Christian chaplains, planning to introduce an interfaith system in the prisons employing primarily Christian chaplains and community volunteers. However, the plans for the new system were widely unpopular, particularly among prisoner advocate organizations. The government then decided to outsource chaplaincy services to a private contractor.

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