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Alberta Views Magazine

October 2019

Alberta Views is the must-read magazine for those shaping the new Alberta. Well-educated, savvy citizens turn to the magazine when they want great writing and analysis.

Alberta Views Limited Partnership
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“bums and creeps”

In my 1980s-era junior high, “Your dad’s on welfare” was about the worst thing you could say to another kid. Classmates would parrot Eddie Murphy’s comedy sketch “Delirious”: You don’t have no ice cream! You didn’t get none! ’Cos you’re on the welfare; you can’t afford it! And while suburban youth of the Reagan–Thatcher era could be cruel, the adults in charge in Alberta were worse. They hated the poor and had power to punish them. In 1982 then-Calgary mayor Ralph Klein said in his famous “bums and creeps” speech that welfare users—many of them men who had moved to the city for work—were criminals and Alberta was “just going to have to make life miserable” for them. In 1992 he became premier and promptly kicked 30,000 people off Alberta’s welfare…

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Ronald Kneebone (“Where Social Assistance Falls Short,” p 30) is scientific director of the social policy and health research division at the U of C’s School of Public Policy. His recent research has focused on social assistance, poverty reduction, income inequality and the economics of homelessness. Amy Brons (charts and layout for “Where Social Assistance Falls Short,” p 30, plus contributions throughout this issue) is the design intern for Alberta Views. She is a recent graduate from Alberta University of the Arts’ visual communication design program, where she majored in advertising. Jerry Cordeiro (“Humans of Edmonton,” p 34) is a self-taught photo journalist, artist and poet who documents the lives of people he meets. Though he works in many photographic genres, his passion is street photography. See more of his work at…

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THE COVER OF YOUR SEPTEMBER 2019 issue is repulsive. DON MORBERG, Calgary I SAW THE COVER OF YOUR MAGAZINE on Facebook. Just wanted to let you know that many Albertans would rather not be associated in any way with this US president. We’re Canadians. I’m sure with a little imagination someone could have come up with a better slogan. CINDY [LAST NAME WITHHELD], Edmonton EDITOR’S NOTE Our September cover was intended as irony, which a read of that issue’s content—Tadzio Richards’s critical reflection on the election; Eye on Alberta; an editorial that counted ongoing damage to streams and creeks by ATV riders as a mark of Alberta’s greatness—might have confirmed. We regret nothing, other than the state of our society. RE “MISPLACED ANGER,” SEPTEMBER 2019, by Trevor Tombe: Thank you, professor! Finally, an article on…

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the scene

MUSIC&OPERA EDMONTON collectif9 Presented by Edmonton Chamber Music Society, U of A Convocation Hall, Oct 17 Rigoletto By Verdi, Edmonton Opera, Jubilee, Oct 19, 22, 25 Total Baroque Neda Yamach, violin, Alberta Baroque Ensemble, Robertson-Wesley United Church, Oct 20 EDMONTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Venue: Winspear Centre Fantastique & Fantasia Jean-Marie Zeitouni, conductor, Oct 4 Symphonie Fantastique Jean-Marie Zeitouni, conductor, Laura Veeze, violin, Oct 5 Nights in the Gardens of Spain William Eddins, conductor, Angela Cheng, piano, Eric Buchmann, violin, Oct 10 Mozart, Mendelssohn & Massey William Eddins, conductor, D. Dörken, piano, J. Scott, clarinet, R. Spady, clarinet, Oct 27 CALGARY Discord: Harmony, History and Humanity Rolston String Quartet, Calgary Pro Musica, Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall, Oct 20 Nymphs of the West Luminous Voices, Bella Concert Hall, Oct 20 CALGARY PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA Venue: Jack Singer Modern Masters Rune Bergmann, conductor, Arabella Steinbacher, violin, Oct 4, 5 Disney in Concert Ted Sperling, conductor,…

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welfare’s knife edge

As the women stated, their benefits were insufficient and they needed to come up with strategies to survive the month. Their food allowance usually got siphoned away to cover the shortfall on allowances for bills and rent. Providing food for their children was the number one priority. To achieve this the women had devised a number of strategies. Sometimes as soon as I’d go through the food I had I didn’t eat very much as well. I got into the habit of not eating very much. Half of the time I don’t eat. Yeah. Don’t eat because, well, if I eat then, you know, there’s not enough food for the next day. I’ve lost a lot of weight since I’ve been on social services because, I mean, like I said, I haven’t had…

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falling behind since 1986

Total welfare incomes in Alberta [annual incomes for 2017] ranged from $8,027 for a single employable adult to $28,989 for a couple with two children. A person with a disability in Alberta on Income Support received $10,225 in 2017, but those who qualified for Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) benefits received a much higher amount of $19,705…. The welfare incomes of households with children remained mostly unchanged between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s. But since 2015 they have risen for three consecutive years, largely as a result of changes to federal child benefits and the introduction of the Alberta Child Benefit in July 2016. In 2017 a single parent with one child received a welfare income of $19,743…. While the welfare incomes of households with children in 2017 were worth more…