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Alberta’s government is doubling 211 funding 

Alberta 211 provides a single point of contact for information and seamless connections to health services and organizations that support a range of addiction and mental health challenges with funding doubling to more than $15 million over three years to help people of all ages access critical addiction and mental health support services in their communities. 

Albertans experiencing addiction or mental health challenges can contact 211, 24/7 by phone, text or chat for information on services in their community. The service is free, confidential and available in more than 170 languages over the phone. 

In 2021, 211 answered more than 100,000 requests from Albertans by phone, text and chat. More than 200,000 Albertans accessed the 211 service listings through the website. 

Labour Shortage Solutions: Information on the Temporary Worker Program in Canada 

Canada expands employer compliance requirements to increase protection for foreign workers while workers from 16 new occupations are now eligible for permanent residence. The Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program allows employers in Canada to hire a foreign worker when no Canadians or permanent residents are available, allowing employers to continue to grow and succeed. Learn more about the Temporary Foreign Worker Program and compliance regime at our information session with Service Canada on December 5, 2022, at 2:00 PM. Register for the event 

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Photo by Tom Rumble

Survey launched to strengthen homebuyer protections 

Albertans are invited to provide feedback on the province’s protections for buyers of new homes through an online survey. According to the Government of Alberta, the public survey asks homebuyers about new home warranty and builder licensing. The information gathered will help the government better understand how well the protection policies and programs are serving homebuyers and helping to improve the experience of buying a new home. The survey will be available until Dec. 22.

The bricks and mortar evolution 

Whilst the pandemic opened the digital commerce floodgates, there has been a return to physical store shopping as the pandemic eases. An Ipsos article posted on November 17, 2022, highlighted that Ipsos data is indicating that the supposed death of the bricks and mortar store has been greatly exaggerated. Shoppers are spending a significant portion of their shopping time – between 39% and 73% (depending on the category) shopping in the physical store. Between 29% and 77% of purchases are subsequently made in-store. In the article, they highlighted 5 key takeaways 

Death of the physical store has been greatly exaggerated
Physical stores are expanding with roles going beyond simply transactional – changes from functional, logistical to experiential. 

The experiential imperative is at the centre of the physical store
Digital experience is limited; there’s an opportunity for stores to leverage in person experiences through all the senses. 

Convergent commerce is fluid with collaborative channels
Commerce channels are no longer competing but merging and stores need to readjust to meet new consumer needs. 

Changing roles means changing metrics
No longer about sales per square foot, so how does the physical store pay for itself when they become more experiential? There are tools that can demonstrate the financial impact of physical stores. 

As the commerce model changes, new challenges will arise
With any shift in industry there will be hurdles to overcome. How will physical stores pay for themselves? What form will stores take as needs change? How has the pandemic changed people’s behaviour? How does a business build a consistent and emotionally engaging end-to-end experience for consumers? 

Click here to read more and download the report 

The Morphing Store
Alberta Parliament

Alberta legislature reconvenes this week

Legislation will be introduced to regarding Alberta’s constitutional jurisdiction; financial supports for Alberta’s families, seniors and people with disabilities; and governance of policing in the province; along with legislation around the justice system. View this announcement online. Check out the Alberta Assembly Calendar and view the status of Bills in the Alberta Assembly

It was also announced that Social benefit programs will also be indexed effective Jan. 1, 2023. Albertans receiving AISH and Income Support benefits will see this increase on their January payments, which will be distributed on Dec. 22. Recipients of the Alberta Seniors Benefit will see this increase on their January cheques and recipients of the Alberta Child and Family Benefit will see the increase in their first quarterly payment in February 2023.

Advocacy in Action

Communication Connections with Cypress County Ag Services Board to strengthen our Voice for Agriculture in the Region

On November 23, 2022, a delegation of Chamber Staff presented to the Cypress County Agricultural Services Board. Staff shared our Chamber's current policy priorities related to agriculture, as well as looked to gain further insights into other challenges the industry faces. We are looking forward to opportunities to work together on advancing some of these initiatives, and finding additional ways to collaborate in the future. 

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Twinning Highway 3 

The Government of Alberta is committed to exploring options for twinning the remaining 215 kilometres of Highway 3 in Budget 2023. Now, the province is proceeding with a request for proposals for the first of eight sections of this stretch. The remaining seven sections are at various stages of project readiness. 

Projects like this have several stages of development, including consultation, planning and design, land acquisition, environmental assessment, engineering, contract tendering and construction through challenging terrain. The Highway 3 twinning project is being done in a phased approach to maintain cost effectiveness and limit disruption to the people who live and work along the corridor. 

The eight phases of this project include: 

Phase 1: 46 kilometres – A request for proposals has been issued to the shortlisted design build proponents to twin Highway 3 between Taber and Burdett. Construction is expected to start in 2023. 

Phase 2: 10 kilometres – Highway 3X/Coleman Bypass. Functional planning studies have been completed and detailed engineering design will begin in spring 2023. 

Phase 3: 15 kilometres – East of Seven Persons to Medicine Hat. Functional planning studies have been completed and detailed engineering design will begin in spring 2023. 

Phase 4: 47 kilometres – Blairmore to east of Highway 6 at Pincher Creek. Functional planning studies have been completed and detailed engineering design will begin in 2023. 

Phase 5: 28 kilometres – East of Bow Island to east of Seven Persons. Functional planning studies have been completed and detailed engineering design will begin in summer 2023. 

Phase 6: 23 kilometres – East of Burdett to east of Bow Island. A functional planning study has been completed and the province will continue to consult with the Town of Bow Island and other stakeholders in order to finalize the alignment. 

Phase 7: 38 kilometres – Pincher Creek to west of Fort Macleod. A functional planning study through Piikani Nation is underway and will continue for some time. 

Phase 8: Eight kilometres – Alberta-B.C. border to Highway 3X. Continued engagement with B.C. is necessary to consider alignment with improvements being planned through the B.C. portion. 

We are pleased to see this commitment as a local Chamber, as our organization has supported the efforts of the Highway 3 Twinning Association through our policy recommendations, communications and advocacy to the province on this very important corridor. 

Next Level Events

Leap: Leading in Learning Forum is a series of half-day sessions starting on November 29 and running until December 2. The speakers are content experts from around the world. And they'll be talking about the four pillars of scale-up and growth: mindset, teamset, toolset and impactset. Register to attend

Only 0.1% of small tech firms become mid-sized, and only 2% of mid-sized tech firms become large, which means that globally, technology companies face a scale-up and growth challenge.

Alberta Innovates utilizes a systems approach to accelerating growth in the entrepreneurial ecosystem to address this challenge. Leading in Learning is ideal for entrepreneurs, service providers, policymakers and investors. Alberta Innovates has set its sights on some ambitious goals for the tech industry. Benefit from the work they've already done and LEAP ahead by learning from the people at the forefront of their innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem-building projects.

APEX Alberta is funded by Alberta Innovates and is the Innovation Network for Southeast Alberta.

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2023 State of the City

2023 State of the City

The annual State of the City event is where you can learn about the City's progress over the past year and get informed about what's in store for the community in 2023. Join us as we reflect on the accomplishments of our community during a tumultuous 2022, and be the first to hear what the City of Medicine Hat has in store for the coming year including exciting new projects, opportunities for development, and vision for the future. This event will be held at the Medicine Hat Lodge Janurary 24th 2023. Doors will open at 11:00am followed by lunch and the event from 12:00-1:30 pm. Tickets for this event are $64 + gst which includes your meal and registration. If you are a Chamber Member please remember to log in during registration to take advantage of your discount! Register Here

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Our Home & Leisure Tradeshow is back! March 3rd, 4th, & 5th of 2023

Booth registration is officially open for our 2023 Home & Leisure Show! We will be running a FULL SHOW meaning we will be utilizing all 3 areas of the Cypress Centre as well as returning to our original date of the first weekend of March. Our tradeshow booths are always a high demand so please consider registering sooner rather than later to get the best spaces available as they fill quickly!

Chamber members receive -10% off their booth registration! Register Here. This year we have included amazing package add-ons for your booths like on site PSA Announcements, Social Media Packages, and even custom Drone videos of your booth to be used as promo for the weekend!

Looking to get involved in a different way? Perhaps sponsorship is the way to go!

In addition to exhibitors, we are looking for several sponsors. We have a lot of amazing sponsorship opportunities as it takes a big team to put on such a large-scale and well attended event. We would like to extend these offers out to our membership first, then to the public. By sponsoring you can receive amazing benefits such as, logo recognition on event marketing, at the event, ads in our show guides, complimentary show tickets, and the opportunity to hang your own banners in the show, and in our exclusive Exhibitor Lounge. View Sponsorship Opportunities!

Enriching Your Business

Voyage Assistance
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Contact JoAnne Letkeman, Exclusive Chamber Group Advisor, 403-504-2166 ext 1.

See all our Value Added Benefits!

Fuelling the Business Community

Town of Redcliff Christmas Tree Lighting and Winter Celebration

Last Friday the Town of Redcliff, the Redcliff Youth Centre and Redcliff Family Dental, invited friends and family to celebrate and light up Redcliff's Christmas Tree! Redcliff plans to grow their tree and create a tradition as the tree grows over the years. The tree lighting took place at 7:00 pm and a visit with Santa was offered throughout the night! Moonlight Madness was also highlighted this year so people could take advantage of local Black Friday sales!

Spread Kindness YXH

The Community Foundation of Southeastern Alberta (CFSEA) in partnership with the City of Medicine Hat and FCSS, The Medicine Hat and District Chamber of Commerce, and the What Matters to Hatters Coalition will be launching a 13 - week Spread Kindness campaign in Medicine Hat.

From World Kindness Day on November 13th, 2022, until National Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th, 2023, these community partners will be engaging with Medicine Hat residents to help spread kindness.

During this 13 - week period, weekly social media themes challenging and encouraging kindness will prompt residents to engage and reconnect to their community by posting with the hashtags #MHRAK and #SpreadKindnessYXH.

Spread Kindness YXH is seeking additional participants such as businesses, non-profits, schools, groups, and clubs to initiate random acts of kindness activities from November 13 – February 17.

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Mobile Screening. Impact Statement. Call to Action

Save more lives

The Alberta Cancer Foundation is the official fundraising partner for the 17 Alberta Health Services cancer centres across the province. The Alberta Cancer Foundation Community Philanthropy team works specifically to bring support to health care in rural communities and cancer centres outside of Calgary & Edmonton, including the Medicine Hat Community Cancer Centre. We believe all Albertans deserve an equal chance to receive excellence in care no matter where they live, by keeping the majority of treatments within 100 km of their home, and allowing patients and their families to stay closer together when support is needed most.

By making a gift to the Alberta Cancer Foundation in support of your local cancer centre, you are supporting improvements within the centres and enhancing the level of care provided through new medical equipment, advanced oncology training for healthcare professionals, as well as initiatives focused on enriching the overall experience for patients and their families, locally. Last year, 63,334 patients — who visited the cancer centres 785,901 times — benefited from these improvements.

One of the many important projects the Community Philanthropy team is working on which specifically supports close-to-home cancer care in the rural communities of Alberta is the Mobile Breast Screening Unit Enhancement Project. The Alberta Health Services Screen Test program began in 1991 and has been extremely successful to date, allowing more than 500,000 Albertans to undergo breast cancer screening in over 126 rural & indigenous communities. Although breast cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death among women, the chances of survival continue to improve due in part to breast cancer screening programs. The successful mobile breast cancer screening program in Alberta, Screen Test, is bringing life-saving screening services to those in rural and remote communities. Easy access means more Albertans are getting screened and more cancer is being discovered early.

However, with the growing demand and aging equipment, we cannot let any breakdowns create delays in service. We need to do more to keep Screen Test on the road and prevent more Albertans from receiving a devastating late-stage cancer diagnosis. As such, the Alberta Cancer Foundation has committed to raising $3 million to replace old equipment, which will allow Screen Test to continue to bring life-saving cancer screening to more Albertans, close to home. But, we can’t do it alone. We need your help.

Fill Up On Funding

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Supporting agricultural labour demands 

Record-setting economic growth in Alberta’s agriculture and agri-food sector has ignited demand for workers across the province.  

To support producers and processors, Alberta, in partnership with the federal government, is providing $2.5 million to Ag for Life to help companies recruit, hire and retain workers in the agriculture and agri-food industry. The funding will provide eligible organizations with grants of up to $40,000 to increase public awareness of agricultural career opportunities through online advertising campaigns and offer grants of up to $25,000 to provide organizations with human resources training to support worker retention. Eligible companies can apply for the grant through Ag for Life until March 2024. 

$400 MILLION CLEANTECH-FOCUSED FUND 

Climate Tech Fund II focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Citing the importance of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is launching its second fund devoted to cleantech, with a $400 million CAD commitment. 

Climate Tech Fund II, as it is called, will invest in Canadian climate tech firms that are at the scale-up or commercialization stages. The goal is to scale and deploy low-carbon technologies to help Canada meet its GHG emissions reduction targets. 

For more information

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