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Albertans vote to keep clock change by razor-thin margin

A total of 50.1% of people voted to keep things the way they are while 49.9% voted to get rid of Daylight Savings Time.

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Albertans have voted to keep changing their clocks twice a year — by the closest of margins.

A total of 50.1% of people voted to keep things the way they are while 49.9% voted to get rid of Daylight Savings Time.

The referendum question was: “Do you want Alberta to adopt year-round Daylight Saving Time, which is summer hours, eliminating the need to change our clocks twice a year?”

A total of 1,092,960 people voted. There were 24,304 rejected ballots and 22,907 blank ballots.

To see how your specific local vote, click here.

…more to come

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Dennis

    October 27, 2021 at 10:31 am

    This is the most important thing on the Alberta Government Agenda? We have an economy in the toilet due to the total incompetence of this government, AHS going full out communist to ruin an already sick healthcare system, business shutting down because of draconian so called health measures, and on an on. And Daylight Savings is at the top of the agenda? Come on folks lets give our collective heads a shake.

  2. Baron Not Baron

    October 26, 2021 at 9:45 pm

    Bullshit “voting” are we having..

    @John Lankers.. would you give a damn if Ontario has how many hours ahead? Does it matter? Can you be in 2 different places at the same time? No. Would the hour change affect the schedule of a parent, trying to not fuckup the feeding schedule of a small child? Yes, in a negative way. In between this and the 2 hours difference from BC, it is obvious which one is the right choice. There should have been no referendum on this but just gone ahead and done.

  3. John Lankers

    October 26, 2021 at 6:17 pm

    @WESTCANGUY
    Exactly!
    This clearly demonstrates how incompetent Kenney and his cronies are, and if I remember correctly, Notley tried to pull the same stunt but without a referendum.

  4. Westcanguy

    October 26, 2021 at 3:47 pm

    The results would have been different if the vote was to adopt standard time. Another screw up by Kenney.

  5. John Lankers

    October 26, 2021 at 3:27 pm

    Good!!!
    Why would we want a 2 hour difference between AB and BC at one time of the year and a 1 hour or no difference at all to ON at another, makes no sense.

  6. Eldon

    October 26, 2021 at 12:24 pm

    Those numbers look alittle fishy to me. Hard to trust anything related to voting these days.

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AHS researched COVID manipulation tactics

Other studies linked being female and those with higher incomes with being more compliant while political conservatism was linked to those less compliant.

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An Alberta Health Services (AHS) document featuring the results of a number of studies focused on attitudes and adherence to COVID-19 guidelines has been obtained by the Western Standard.

The 63-page report dated September 2020 focused on factors that “impact attitudes towards or adherence to COVID-19 public health guidelines” and on “what interventions can create more positive attitudes towards following public health guidelines.”

It included data collected from 30 studies compiled from North America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand — jurisdictions considered to be somewhat similar to Alberta.

A list of key messages from the evidence summary include:

• Studies consistently show higher adherence to COVID-19 guidelines among people who (i) trust government or authorities; (ii) perceive the threat of the virus to be greater; (iii) have a greater knowledge of the pandemic, (iv) who are older; and (v) who identify as a woman.

• Accessing information through traditional news media (print; television; radio) is associated with greater guideline adherence, while use of social media is associated with a higher likelihood of endorsing conspiracy beliefs, factual misperceptions and lesser degrees of guideline adherence.

• Limited evidence suggests that distinct population groups may require distinct messaging to promote guideline adherence.

• No strategies for promoting adherence to public health COVID-19 guidelines have been robustly proven in the published scientific literature. The most promising strategies appear to be communications to increase knowledge about the pandemic and perceived threat of the virus. Moralistic messaging (e.g.linking physical distancing to being a good person/citizen) could produce problematic consequences such as ostracization of individuals who do not adhere to public health guidelines.

• As evidence on changing attitudes and behaviours related to COVID-19 is still emerging, medical and public health leaders may benefit from reviewing literature on attitude and behaviour change in other, more widely studied health and societal contexts (e.g., climate change, waste reduction, vaccination or smoking cessation) where theories and frameworks have been established.

Recommendations stemming from the study included targeting those with limited knowledge of the pandemic or those that weren’t convinced of the efficacy of public health guidelines as they are “more likely to exhibit consistently poor adherence.”

The groups identified in the study with the “higher risk of non-adherence” to the guidelines include “men, younger people, those who identify as politically conservative, and those who are prone to lower levels of trust in government or science.”

The study also recommended public health content be distributed on social media because “multiple studies found that social media users were less likely to be adherent to public health guidelines.”

The recommendations also suggested officials work with “behavioural scientists and experts in communication sciences” to craft public health messaging designed to influence behaviour change.

Other findings in the report said adherence to guidelines was related to individual characteristics such as narcissism, impulsiveness and agreeableness or societal characteristics such as individualism or collectivism.

A number of factors were listed categorizing their impact on attitude toward adherence to public health guidelines.

For instance, a greater trust in government or authority predicted greater compliance. Other studies linked being female and those with higher incomes with being more compliant while political conservatism was linked to those less compliant.

Also included in the report is a breakdown of how political affiliation affected people’s attitudes towards the virus and public health measures.

“They report that supporters of the Liberal Party are more likely to be very concerned about the virus (46%) than those who support the Conservative Party (39%), Bloc Quebecois (33%), and People’s Party of Canada (PPC) (29%),” said the report.

“Supporters of the Liberal, Green, and New Democratic Parties were slightly more likely to report making behaviour changes (making 63% of recommended changes, on average) than supporters of the Conservative Party (59% of changes), PPC (51%), and Bloc Quebecois (60%).”

A section on research gaps points to a number of important areas that have been “underexplored” including the impact of tailoring specific messaging to particular subgroups such as the Hutterite populations, First Nations Peoples and those experiencing homelessness.

Melanie Risdon is a reporter with the Western Standard
mrisdon@westernstandardonline.com

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New collective agreement secures Alberta nurses as highest paid in Canada

UNA has filed more than 150 grievances on behalf of its members related to AHS’ Immunization or Testing of Workers for COVID-19 policy.

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Alberta Finance Travis Toews has announced Alberta Health Services (AHS) and the United Nurses of Alberta (UNA) have ratified a new collective agreement that will see a 4.25% pay raise for Alberta nurses.

UNA said the new collective agreement involves more than 30,000 registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses, represented by 130 UNA locals. The pay raise — spread out over the four-year deal — will keep Alberta nurses among the highest paid in Canada.

“I am pleased to hear that registered nurses have voted to accept the mediator’s recommendation. This four-year labour agreement comes after many months of dedicated negotiations,” said Toews.

“Alberta’s nurses have played a critical role throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re deeply appreciative of the role they have played in caring for our friends, families and neighbours over the past two difficult years.”

As part of the new collective agreement, UNA said nurses will receive a one-time lump payment of 1% in recognition of their pandemic efforts, as well as enhanced psychological and mental health supports. UNA also said semi-annual lump-sum payments will be convereted to the wage grid.

“I also applaud the parties in arriving at an agreement that recognizes and works to address the unique labour market realities facing Alberta and North America in the recruitment and retention of registered nurses,” said Toews.

The new agreement will allot $5 million annually to recruiting and retaining staff in rural and remote Alberta. It also comes with the creation of a union-employer provincial workload advisory committee with $2.5 million allocated to relocation assistance.

AHS President and CEO, Dr. Verna Yiu brought in a mandatory COVID-19 immunization plan or AHS staff late last year. Approximately 1,650 full-and part-time AHS staff were subsequently put on involuntary leave without pay for noncompliance.

AHS was forced to walk back the mandate by providing testing options for some staff after critical staffing shortages, particularly in rural Alberta. The agency’s website details province-wide notices of physician and volunteer shortages. Red alerts due to EMS staffing shortages are also on the rise.

UNA is has filed more than 150 grievances on behalf of its members related to AHS’ Immunization or Testing of Workers for COVID-19 policy.

UNA deemed the policy “unfair, unreasonable, and discriminatory, and inconsistent with the UNA-Multi-Employer Collective Agreement.”

Amber Gosselin is a reporter with the Western Standard.
agosselin@westernstandardonline.com


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Sask WCB ordered to consider if police officer’s suicide was workplace fatality

“He developed a subspecialty, that of dealing with families of those who had perished. The better he got at dealing with them the more he was assigned to do so until his nickname in the Moose Jaw Police Service was ‘Captain Death.’”

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The suicide of a Saskatchewan police officer, who became known as “Captain Death” because he had been to so many grisly scenes, might be considered a workplace fatality, a Saskatchewan judge has ruled.

The judge has ordered the Workers’ Compensation board to look at the case with that in mind, says Blacklock’s Reporter.

“He saw death in its many forms: natural deaths, accidents, suicides, homicides, even unexplained deaths,” wrote Justice Richard Danyliuk of Saskatchewan Court of Queen’s Bench.

“He developed a subspecialty, that of dealing with families of those who had perished. The better he got at dealing with them the more he was assigned to do so until his nickname in the Moose Jaw Police Service was ‘Captain Death.’”

Const. Jason Mercer, a policeman for eighteen years, committed suicide in 2016 while under a psychiatrist’s care. The Compensation Board denied his widow’s claim for work-related benefits since “prior to Mr. Mercer’s passing he had not approached the Workers’ Compensation Board with any psychological injury claim,” it said.

But Danyliuk quashed the Board’s decision and ordered the case reviewed.

“He was depressed,” wrote the court.

“He was anxious. He suffered from panic attacks.”

Mercer’s widow testified he “had nightmares and flashbacks” from attending stabbings, drug overdoses, highway wrecks and suicides.

“Not only was Moose Jaw Police Service not opposing Mrs. Mercer’s application for benefits, it appears there was active support for that application,” wrote Danyliuk.

“While this is not determinative it is a significant factor to be considered.”

Canadian courts have issued varied rulings on suicides as workplace deaths. The Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench in 2015 rejected a claim by the widow of a railway signalmen driven to hang himself after suffering from tinnitus following an injury. Canadian National Railways’ pension plan rejected the $581-a month death benefit since the suicide occurred more than a year after the original injury.

The Department of Public Safety did list suicide as a work-related death in its 2018 introduction of a Memorial Grant Program For First Responders. It pays $300,000 tax-free to victims’ families. The department counted an average 72 deaths of police, firefighters and paramedics annually with almost half, 34, by suicide.

Federal research also found PTSD was commonplace among emergency workers, especially paramedics. Twenty percent of paramedics suffer post-traumatic stress, according to a 2018 study by Defence Research and Development Canada.

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