Dear friends and neighbours,
This year’s spring season has presented many unexpected challenges for our community. These have been difficult times, both financially and emotionally, for many of us. I want to assure all my constituents that our government is considering every possible step to support Albertans as we look towards economic recovery.
The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges and uncertainties. Mental health is an important part of our wellbeing. Our government is investing $53 million to boost mental health services in communities across the province, ensuring that all Albertans have access to the mental health supports they need. I encourage everyone to reach out to loved ones to help boost their spirits. Resources are also available to anyone who is struggling during COVID-19. The Mental Health Help Line provides 24/7 confidential support at 1-877-303-2642.
Throughout the pandemic, sharing accurate and up-to-date information to the public has been an important component of our province’s response. Information on public health guidelines, resources for coping, and supports for individuals and businesses in Alberta can all be found at alberta.ca/covid19.
Small Business Relief Measures
I am also happy to share that additional relief measures are available for Alberta’s small businesses. Many small businesses have been required to close or limit their operations to protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic and are facing extreme financial pressures. Our government is joining a Government of Canada program to support a loan program that will reduce the rent costs for small businesses by 75%. It offers forgivable loans, providing significant relief in tough times. This important program comes in addition to previous relief measures, including the deferral of utility payments, corporate tax filings, and WCB premium payments. Small businesses are the backbone of our community, and these relief measures will help support them through COVID-19.
Job Creation in Oil and Gas
I am pleased to share that our government has launched a new program to create well-paying jobs in these challenging times. The Site Rehabilitation Program is providing grants to oilfield service contractors to perform well, pipeline, and oil and gas site reclamation. The program, which is expected to create 5,300 direct jobs for Albertans, will lead the cleanup of thousands of sites here in our province. Applications for contracts by service companies opened in May and are helping get Albertans back to work during a period of unprecedented challenges for the oil and gas industry. This program comes in addition to our province’s job-creating investment in Keystone XL and the loan to the Orphan Well Association. Our government is looking ahead to economic recovery and getting Albertans back to work in these challenging times.
Finally, I would like to recognize all of the health care professionals, essential workers, and volunteers who are working tirelessly for our community through this public health crisis. Thank you for all of your hard work in these truly difficult times.
As always, it is my honour to serve as your MLA.
MLA – Calgary Elbow Doug Schweitzer proudly serves the following Communities: Altadore, Bel-Aire , Britannia, Elbow Park, Elboya, Erlton, Garrison Green, Garrison Woods, Glamorgan, Lincoln Park, Lower Mount Royal, Marda Loop, Mayfair, Meadowlark Park, Mount Royal, North Glenmore Park, Parkhill, Rideau Park, River Park, Roxboro, South Calgary, Upper Mount Royal, Windsor Park