ALIGN Executive Director Update Re: Alberta Budget 2017

March 19, 2017

Dear members:

Last week the government announced Budget 2017.  We have been capturing the relevant information for you and placing it on our website.  There will be more analysis this week but we thought we would share what we have learned to date.

This budget for Children’s Services and Community and Support Services basically is a maintain status quo budget for both ministries. Any increases that are mentioned are to meet current needs.  No increases or forecasted increases.

In Children’s Services most increases went to growth caseload areas; financial and support agreements and advancing futures bursary funds.  The 60 FTE’s announced are to be put into the system in these growth areas.  Exactly where is still to be determined.

Senior staff are optimistic that funds will come with future recommendations made by the Child Intervention Review Panel.

We have had conversations about procurement, contracts, and moving forward with the Minister and senior executives.  With the splitting of the ministries it has been a bit confusing about who will address the procurement table recommendations.  We have made it very clear that this activity needs to receive focus and cant wait for panels.  We are assured that discussions are underway to figure out a way forward for services in child intervention.

We also  feel it is very important that the Panel get an accurate picture of the entire system and recommendations for improvement. Please review the minutes and live casts. The meetings are open to the public.  I would encourage you to attend or at least listen to it.  If you feel an area needs to be highlighted please send in a submission.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email or call 780 485-3580

Rhonda Barraclough ALIGN Executive Director March 19, 2017

CCVO Budget 2017 Holds the Line on Spending March 17, 2017

CCVO Budget 2017 Holds the Line on Spending March 17, 2017

Budget 2017-18 holds the line on spending as Alberta enters the third year of economic downturn. The budget maintains spending on front-line public services, which is consistent with what the government had signaled leading up to yesterday’s release. A projected $10.3 billion deficit should remain a concern to the sector, as potential future cuts to balance the budget could significantly impact nonprofit organizations.

“While the budget provides much needed financial stability for organizations struggling to meet increased community needs and coping with reductions in other funding sources, the longer-term consequences of relying so heavily on debt to finance government operations is concerning,” says Katherine van Kooy, President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (CCVO)…

Budget Updates Danielle Larivee Minister Children’s Services March 16, 2017

Children’s Services Non-Voting Operational Expense Budget 2017

All children and families in Alberta deserve opportunities to thrive within strong, supportive communities. Our government created a new, standalone Children’s Services ministry so that we can focus on improving the supports we provide for young people and their families. Today I am thrilled to share details on commitments that our government is able to make to Children’s Services in Budget 2017.

All children and families in Alberta deserve opportunities to thrive within strong, supportive communities. Our government created a new, standalone Children’s Services ministry so that we can focus on improving the supports we provide for young people and their families. Today I am thrilled to share details on commitments that our government is able to make to Children’s Services in Budget 2017.

Budget 2017 is focused on strengthening the things that matter most to Albertans, such as creating and supporting jobs, making life more affordable for families and protecting public services.

As Alberta’s population continues to grow, the economic downturn puts additional pressure on the social services sector. Despite this, Budget 2017 makes an additional investment of $86 million in Children’s Services to:

  • provide stable funding to maintain the programs and services that support at‑risk children and youth;
  • focus on protecting children;
  • and support working in partnership with communities and Indigenous partners to build relationships and improve outcomes for all children.

This year, our ministry will invest almost $1.4 billion to keep children healthy and safe, support parents with child care and build stronger families and communities by maintaining the quality of programs and services.Children’s Services Non-Voting Operational Expense Budget 2017

Budget 2017 protects previous investments and accommodates caseload growth including an additional:

  • $32.5 million for child intervention for total funding of $763 million. This includes $5 million for about 60 new positions (FTEs);
  • $14.3 million for child care for total funding of $321 million. This includes supports for a growing number of child care programs to become accredited and to recruit and maintain qualified staff.
  • $10.6 million for early intervention services for children and youth for total funding of $103 million so that we can continue to invest in enhanced early childhood development and parenting resources in communities to help families support their child’s optimal health and development.
  • And an additional $27 million for total funding of $174 million for the Alberta Child Benefit, which provides direct financial assistance to all lower income families with income below $41,220 per year

While we have taken action and made significant investments in the future of our province, there is always more that can be done. I remain committed to working with all of you to address the root causes of many of the issues affecting the safety and well‑being of children, including poverty, addiction, mental health concerns, and family violence.

Some of you may be interested in progress towards implementation of the Early Learning and Child Care Centres that Premier announced in November. We are making progress towards identifying the successful applicants and I hope to be able to announce the Centres soon.

Others may be interested in progress on the work to support the Ministerial Panel on Child Intervention. Our government formed the Panel to support families and children by improving the child death review process and strengthening Alberta’s child intervention system as a whole. Once the Panel’s work wraps up, the Panel’s recommendations will guide our ongoing work on this critical priority.

I look forward to sharing more on these initiatives soon.

Budget 2017 is about making lives better for Albertans. It’s about protecting the services that matter and focusing on the areas where we can make a difference today. With a steady approach we will make progress to support families and communities.

More details on Budget 2017 are available online and I look forward to continued discussions about this and other issues that you champion as I meet more of you in the future. In the meantime, if you would like to stay informed about the work in Children’s Services, I invite you to follow the department’s new twitter presence at @AB_Children or reach out to me directly via my office.

Sincerely, Danielle Larivee Minister Children’s Services

Alberta Government Throne Speech

Today’s speech from the throne takes significant new steps to make life better for Alberta families. Reducing school fees, building new schools, standing up in court for the Trans Mountain Pipeline, working with the federal government to create good oilfield service jobs, implementing a consumer bill of rights and expanding protections for victims of sexual and domestic assault are among key initiatives that will define Alberta’s next legislative session.

“Creating jobs, diversifying our economy, building pipelines and making life more affordable for families – that’s your government’s focus.”

Premier Rachel Notley
View Alberta Government News Release

Imagine Canada Making Sure your Charity Reports Political Activity Correctly

The latest Sector Monitor survey (Dec 2016) found that far more charities are engaging in political activities than has commonly been believed. Fully 31% of charities responding to the survey indicated they had engaged in at least one political activity over the previous year. However, only about one in ten of them reported this political activity to Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) on their T3010 Information Return. To help charities avoid this pitfall, we look at reasons for this under-reporting and offer some practical tips to aid reporting.

Albertans Asked for Input into Budget 2017

Albertans are invited to share their ideas and priorities as government kicks off its 2017 budget consultations.
Over the next few weeks, Albertans are encouraged to provide their comments and suggestions as government prepares for Budget 2017.

Minister of Finance Joe Ceci will host meetings with community leaders and the public while visiting towns and cities around the province.

Dates and locations
•Jan. 9 – Edmonton
•Jan. 10 – Stony Plain
•Jan. 11 – Vegreville
•Jan. 16 – Grande Prairie and Fairview
•Jan. 17 – Red Deer
•Jan. 18 – Redwater
•Jan. 20 – Calgary
•Jan. 23 – Medicine Hat

Other ways to provide feedback
•Submit your suggestions online
•Participate in a telephone town hall ◦Northern Alberta – Jan. 30
◦Southern Alberta – Jan. 31

An online submission page will collect feedback until Feb. 3.

Albertans will also have an opportunity to speak with Premier Rachel Notley and Minister Ceci in the two telephone town halls. Individuals with home lines will be dialled directly while those with cellular phones can sign up for a call. Details will be released closer to the event dates.

CCVO Government Relations Tool Kit 2016

A useful Tool Kit with resources to support you if you are planning to speak with a MLA, organizing an awareness campaign or crafting your approach to public policy and advocacy.

AASCF Meets With Minister Klimchuk Re: Budget 2015

AASCF was invited to meet with the Minister after the budget announcements for a more detailed discussion about Ministry of Human Service (MHS). AASCF on Budget 2015

For the Ministry of Human Services the budget in total is $100 million. It is broken down this way:

This is an overall increase of 1.8% in the budget for MHS. The increase is mostly focused on maintaining front line serves; keeping Michener Centre open and increases to PDD and AISH to cover current deficits and projected caseload increases.

$1.1Billion was added to PDD/AISH/FSCD services – $66 million for PDD and FSCD and 31.5 Million for AISH and a significant increase for FSCD.
The Minister is focused on regional delivery alignment and ensuring that Albertans can get what they need when they need it. She is also putting the Family and Community Engagement Councils on hold.

ALIGN Political Initiatives – Budget 2015

ALIGN Association of Community Services met with the Honorable Minister Irfan Sabir regarding Budget 2015 and were  invited to meet following the budget announcements for a more detailed discussion about Ministry of Human Service (MHS).

ALIGN Political KEY MESSAGES – Every Child Deserves To Be Safe And Well Improved Outcomes Adequate Funding Stable And Skilled Workforce (2015)

ALIGN Briefing Note for Honorable Minister Irfan Sabir, Minister of Human Services (2015)

ALIGN Budget Submission Budget (2015)