An Oximoron of Governmental Proportions

 

The community of Wetaskiwin was invited by the Wetaskiwin Addictions Office, Alberta Health Services, to participate in the Addictions Awareness Walk on Nov 21, 2012. As explained by Erin K. Bowers, BA Psych, Addictions Counselor III and organizer of the event, “The purpose of the walk was to raise awareness in the community about issues related to substance abuse and problem gambling and lower the stigma related to addictions.”
NAAW occurs during the third week of November every year, and is celebrated throughout the country.  A bright yellow banner displaying NATIONAL ADDICTIONS AWARENESS WEEK was unveiled on the steps of City Hall and was marched down 50th Avenue to the AHS Addictions office in the Provincial Building (2nd floor). Participants included staff from the addictions office, RCMP, Mayor Bill Elliot and members of Horizons Center.
Erin describes other addictions awareness strategies. “Additionally, display boards have been set up at some schools in the city to help educate youth around substances and their effects. Display boards have also been set up at Wetaskiwin Hospital and Primary Care Network offices.”
The group participating in the walk may have been small in number but the importance of what they were doing was huge. It’s extremely important that the community acknowledges the problems individuals and families face because of addictions. It is even more important to know help is available and resources and services are easy to access within this community. 
 
The oxymoron – alcohol and gambling addiction vs. alcohol and gambling revenue
On one hand, one provincial government department (Alberta Health Services) is stressing the importance of individuals and families knowing that help is available to achieve a lifestyle that is free of addiction to gambling and addictive substances such as alcohol. 
On the other hand,  Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, (AGLC) a Government of Alberta agency has recently released some startling numbers about revenue from sales of liquor and gambling in their 2011/12 Annual Report. (April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012)   The Annual Report also states AGLC has a vision statement of:  Ensuring gaming and liquor sustainability for Alberta. “Our business focuses on:  (1) ensuring the gaming and liquor activities in Alberta are conducted honestly, openly and with integrity, and (2) maximizing the economic benefits of gaming and liquor activities in the province to benefit all Albertans. 
http://aglc.ca/pdf/annual_reports/2012_aglc_annual_report.pdf  
It’s all about the money 
To analyze the numbers per Albertan, Alberta’s population according to http://www.statcan.gc.ca/ig-gi/pop-ab-eng.htm is 3,862,360.  
 
$687 million in liquor revenue & $1.5 billion in gaming revenue, both up from previous year
“In 2011-12, the AGLC collected $687 million in liquor revenue which was provided to the Government of Alberta”, which they suggest, “to benefit the people of Alberta. In 2011-12, the AGLC also reported nearly $1.5 billion in gaming revenue. The province’s share of the net proceeds is placed in the Alberta Lottery Fund to support thousands of volunteer, public and community-based initiatives.”
“Gross profit from liquor sales in 2011-12 was $708.8 million, compared to $689.1 million the previous year. Our liquor sales totaled $2.1 billion and $1.4 billion was paid to suppliers and the federal government in the form of taxes and duties. The AGLC also collected and remitted container recycling fees. Our liquor-related operating and regulatory costs were $20.7 million, leaving $688.1 million which, along with $13.2 million collected for licenses, fines and other charges and after adjusting for a loss on unfunded pension liability of $14.2 million, provided $687.1 million to the provincial General Revenue Fund.”
“Provincial Gaming Summary - Gross profit from ticket lotteries, slot machines, Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) and electronic bingo was $2.19 billion in 2011-12, compared to $2.14 billion the previous year. Of this amount, costs of commissions for operators and charities and federal payments were $526 million. The AGLC’s gaming-related operating costs were $194 million. The net amount, almost $1.5 billion, was transferred to the Alberta Lottery Fund. “
“Charitable Gaming Summary - Licensed charitable and religious groups earned almost $314 million in 2011-12, compared to almost $300 million the previous year, from charitable gaming events.”
In all its activities, the AGLC suggests it, “weighs social responsibility with Albertans’ right to personal choice and the economic benefits generated by liquor and gaming. Finding a balance and acting with integrity is how we achieve our goals and shape the gaming and liquor businesses of the future.”
Alberta Health Services Addiction in Wetaskiwin offers a range of services to the general public. Treatment, information and education services are offered to all ages and include referrals to community organizations. AHS provides  services to all citizens of Wetaskiwin and the surrounding area.
All services are free of charge, completely confidential and bound by the Health Information Act. You may also contact Alberta Health Services Mental Health at 780-361-1245.  If you are experiencing an emergency, or have an after hours issue please contact any of the following numbers:
• Addiction Help Line 1-866-332-2322 
• Mental Health Help Line 1-877-303-2642 
• Health Link Alberta 1-866-408-5465 
• Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868
More Stories:
  • Homeless Count In Leduc It’s hard for a parent to wonder if their child is developing properly if they don’t know where they will be sleeping at night. To help combat the issue of homelessness, Leduc County FCSS will use a federal government grant ...
  • Herb Reynar’s Contribution To Leduc Herb Reynar’s Dad Charles Herbert (C.H.) Reynar was born in 1882 from Irish stock that had migrated to Quebec during the potato famine of the mid 1800’s. He met his wife, Violet Evelyn Dacres, in Quebec City and they married ...
  • Santa’s Anonymous Time Again Submitted by Jan Barker, Santa’s Anonymous Once again, with the leaves falling, the Christmas season is fast approaching and the Alder Flats, Buck Lake and Winfield Santa’s Anonymous committee is gearing up to help needy ...
  • Millet Haunted House Delivers The Chills Connor McCauley, a creepy clown and Liam Norton are all smiles before they enter the horror of the haunted house. Photo by Christina Komives
  • Leduc Resident Wins Prestigious Award Farm women lead busy lives: raising kids, supporting their husband’s endeavors, cooking, gardening vegetables and flowers…But for some, life would not be as rich as it can be if they didn’t “give back” to the community they ...
  • 2nd Annual RCMP Regimental Ball Benefits Leduc & District Victim Services Out of a dark circumstance, hope and new friendships can arise. At the October 25th second Annual RCMP Regimental Ball to benefit Leduc & District Victim Services, a spellbound crowd of three hundred guests heard the story ...
  • First Taste Of Christmas Shauna Helm with her Arbonne skin care and Sarah Jones with her steeped teas (in photo) were proud to be two of the ten exhibitors at the Christmas Vendor Blender, organized by Andrea Dean, that was held last Saturday, next ...
  • WCHS Performing Arts Night Friday night, October 24, saw a host of in-vested and appreciative family and friends descend on the West gym of WCHS to be treated to the second Performing Arts Night, showcasing talent from the music, drama and art departments ...
  • New Jaws Of Life For South Pigeon Lake Submitted by Grant Churchill (Assistant Fire Chief, South Pigeon Lake Fire Department) and Darrel Bohlender Community, businesses and local clubs help join in to raise money for a new Jaws of Life for the South Pigeon Lake ...
  • Rundle’s Mission Lakeshore Lookout Dedicated MP Blaine Calkins joined with Rundle’s Mission Board, staff, and supporters to dedicate the Rundle’s Mission Lakeshore Lookout. A gazebo built beside the road at the top of the steep drop to Pigeon Lake so that all visitors, ...
  • The WildSide - Reality TV In Our Backyard Millet’s ‘WildSide’ is coming to WILD TV, Canada’s biggest outdoor network in 2015. The WildSide is a new reality show featuring Millet’s Jeff Stevenson and Tanner Bennett. The show will showcase the outdoor exploits of the ...
  • The Wild Side - A New Local TV Series Coming Soon Coming your way is a new television series, detailing the life of the average outdoorsman here in Alberta, the team they share the field with, and the families involved in accommodating their passion, named, ‘The WildSide’. ...
  • Fall Crocuses Dare Alberta Winters Canadian gardeners are known for their adventurous spirit. Not to climb mountains or hike in a foreign wilderness, but to sometimes introduce new plants in their gardens, year after year. Through the import of seeds and bulbs ...
  • Rising Starz Fundraiser For Make-A-Wish Set aside this Saturday, October 25th, for the First Annual Rising Starz Event, showcasing the talents of local performers with the intent to raise enough money to grant a wish to a wish child. The ‘magic’ of a wish can reinvigorate ...
  • Rosebrier 4H Beef Club It’s that time of the year, 4H has begun. We are all so excited to begin a new year with new calves. We have 19 members in our club this year. During our October meeting we held elections. Our Executive are as follows: Emilee ...
  • Leduc City’s Emergency Response Proves Effective In Dealing With Spill Leduc Fire Services responded to a chemical spill at the Leduc Recreation Centre (LRC) on Oct. 16, 2014. Fourteen firefighters, two pump trucks, one rescue truck and a command vehicle were dispatched to the LRC shortly after ...
  • The 2014 Calmar Firemen’s Ball Goes Country! This year, the 8th annual Calmar Firemen’s Ball did a 360 and went from the usual formal affair to a down home country casual theme, much to everyone’s liking! The evening began with an excellent meal with plenty of country ...
  • Medieval Fundraiser Immanuel Anglican Church in Wetaskiwin had a wonderful time with its second annual evening of Medieval Feasting and Entertainment. The evening was intended as a fundraiser for the church, and included a silent auction. The ...
  • Thorsby Ballerina Headed For the Big Stage Six years of dance classes might enrich the life of a youth, but for a young Thorsby ballerina, hard work and focused passion will lead to an opportunity of a lifetime. Kiera Souza, who turned nine years old on October 17th, ...
  • Bob Robinson: Rodeo Hall Of Fame Inductee 2014 Millet’s own Bob Robinson had the honor of being inducted into the Rodeo Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, during the Rodeo Historical Society’s Rodeo Weekend, September 26-27. Born September 13, 1931 in Calgary to Frederick ...




 
  • Leduc Radio Ad
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia
  • Industrial Netmedia