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Last updateThu, 25 Nov 2021 8am

Government retools job program

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Minister of Labour and Immigration Tyler Shandro hosted a Round Table with members of the Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association to tout the second intake of the Alberta Jobs Now program.
The Alberta Jobs Now program is investing up to $370 million over two years to help private sector businesses and non-profit organizations hire and train unemployed Albertans, and the funding is split between the federal government and the provincial government. Since its first announcement, it has been retooled to meet the needs of employees and potential hires.
Some of the changes include offering it to businesses that have been operating for less than a year and allowing the hiring of part-time workers. While the program remains focused on supporting the hiring of unemployed Albertans, this will no longer be a requirement for new hires.
“A lot of employers are just going to be hiring the right person for the right job,” said Shandro. “A lot of those employers in the first tranche ended up not getting the grant.”
“This is quite frankly the largest jobs program in the history of the province and we need to work quickly to get the money into the hands of these job creators and get more people hired.”
It appears the province is making progress and Minister of Jobs, Economy, and Innovation Doug Schweitzer announced the October 2021 Labour Force Survey showed an increase of 9,000 new full-time jobs. The unemployment rate has fallen lower than any point during the pandemic to date.
Minister Shandro says work is still needed.
“Don’t think our employment levels are higher than they have been historically, even if we go back to the increase we saw in 2014, so we still want to see a decrease, more back to historical levels, we have had in Alberta,” said Shandro.
“When do we foresee it continuing until? I think there is going to be a third tranche that might be included in Budget 2022. Of course, we have to wait and see what is released. In Budget 2021, we are contemplating this being a program going into the next fiscal year… We have to continue to see how issues are going with employers in different sectors. We do have a structural labour shortage and mismatching of skills in the province. Even though we have higher than historical levels of unemployment, we also have quite a few employers who are in quite a need to be hiring.”


Titans wrap up season in provincial semifinal

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The season has ended for the Drumheller Senior Titans and they left it all on the field as they battled Taber in the Provincial Quarterfinals.
The Titans hosted the W.R. Myers Rebels on Saturday, November 20. The teams were well matched and could have gone either way, but Saturday wasn’t the Titans’ day as they fell 14-17.
“Coming off the year of COVID, It was so hard for some of the guys not to have a season last year, and then to go to this,” said head coach Ken Fournier. “For a young team, they put in a heck of a year.”
Taber came out with a good game plan and had the Titans fighting for field position.
“A couple of things that have been haunting us all year came back. They got us. We didn’t have a developed field goal kicker, and that hurt us. The one guy that was working on it went off the field due to injuries,” said Fournier. “We were close enough to score a few times, but it felt like in that game we were battling our mistakes.”
“It felt like a lot of the game we were either playing catch up or doing damage control keeping it out of our zone. We didn’t let them have huge drives, but they were able to kick it deep enough on us and hold us back, and we were fighting out of our own field.”
He is proud how the team performed on the field in the semifinal, and throughout the season.
They managed to put together eight wins, they battled adversity all year, it wasn’t an easy season by any stretch,” said Fournier. “Just to get the team back to a competitive environment with so many young guys after a COVID year. They should all be walking proud. Not only did we have rookie players, but we also had rookie coaches. Everybody stepped up, and they bought into it and got us into a position where we completed in the South final. Taber played really well. They showed determination.”
Overall he said it was an excellent year for Drumheller Community Football.
“We are so fortunate to have hosted a provincial final with our Bantams, the Peewees had a great year, and the Senior got the opportunity to host a South Final,” said Fournier. “Football in the valley is alive and well and looks forward to a good future.”

Violent incidents at Drumheller Institution result in arrest warrant

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On July 20, at 9:44 p.m. a large-scale altercation broke out in the courtyard of the Medium Security Unit at the Drumheller Institution between members of rival gangs. This incident resulted in four inmates with stabbing injuries being transported to outside medical facilities. No staff were injured in resolving the incident.
Drumheller RCMP General Investigation Section (GIS), with the assistance of the Drumheller Institution (Correctional Service of Canada), has investigated the circumstances of the incident. The investigation has been completed and 10 accused have been identified.
Danil Loscombe, 37, has been charged with assault and participating in a riot.
Omar Haji-Hussein, 36; Gatluak James, 24; Ryan Foster, 40; Manjot Hans, 23; Deibi Monterroso-Salazar, 33; and Robert Laing, 32 have each been charged with assault with a weapon and participating in a riot.
Shortly after the courtyard incident, another stabbing took place inside a nearby building. As a result, Melvin Skeete, 27, and Christian Lyamuremyre, 32, have each been charged with assault with a weapon, and Mohamed Ibrahim, 22, has been charged with assault.
A warrant for arrest has been issued for Daniel Loscombe as he is currently on release, and the remaining accused have been issued court dates for November 19, November 26, and December 17 in provincial court in Drumheller.
No further details surrounding the incident will be provided as these matters are now before the courts.


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