MLA Mark Smith (file photo)

MLA Mark Smith (file photo)

MLA Mark Smith: Inflation impacting Albertans

It is clear to all Albertans that inflation is beginning to impact our quality of life.

As a part of Alberta’s recovery plan, we are providing $10.4 million to continuing care operators, on behalf of residents, to offset one-quarter of this year’s increase in accommodation charges for Albertans in long-term care and designated supportive living. Operators are permitted by legislation to raise accommodation rates each July 1 by the rate of inflation over the previous year. This year’s increase will be 5.5 per cent. The government will pay operators directly for the increase for July 1 to September 30.

Furthermore, as part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, a record number of students will receive the Women in STEM Scholarship this year.

This scholarship supports women studying in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, areas in which women are often under-represented. This year, $732,500 is being distributed to 293 students. This one-time top-up funding will mean 243 more students are receiving funding than last year. Each will receive $2,500 to pay for their studies. When women are supported in pursuing careers in which they are often under-represented, they have new opportunities to reach their full potential, support their families and contribute to Alberta’s growing knowledge-based economy.

Lastly, new funding for the Civil Society Fund will support 37 projects, helping vulnerable Albertans and contributing to the province’s social and economic recovery.

As part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, these projects will help organizations supporting Albertans address a range of social issues such as mental health, homelessness, and domestic violence. A total of $7 million is being invested into this program, with funding per project ranging from $35,900 to $550,000. Organizations will have up to two years to complete their projects. Budget 2022 includes an additional $6 million for the Civil Society Fund – completing our United Conservative, three-year $20-million platform commitment to increase the capacity of civil society to address social issues.

As we move forward in 2022 the Alberta Government will continue to grow the economy through the Alberta Recovery Plan. We will address inflationary pressures on Albertans, provide help to those looking to grow the Alberta economy through a knowledge based economy and fund projects though civil society groups that will help vulnerable Albertans.

— Mark Smith, MLA for Drayton Valley – Devon