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Noah tops boys names in Alberta, Olivia for girls

With the globe battling pandemics and weather phenomena, it leaves you wondering if the new parents had some inside information.

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It’s like they new 2020 was coming – the most popular boys name’s in Alberta last year was “Noah.”

With the globe battling pandemics and weather phenomena, it leaves you wondering if the new parents had some inside information.

Olivia continued to claim the top spot for baby girls, the government of Alberta reports.

Rounding out the top five for boys were Liam, Oliver, Ethan and Jack, while Charlotte, Sophia, Emma and Ava were in the top five names for girls.

“One of the most memorable moments for me as a new father was when my wife and I chose the name for our son last fall. Choosing a name for your child is fun and exciting. I want to congratulate all new parents in Alberta and reassure them, as well as Albertans expecting a child in the near future, that we are working every day to make sure your children have a great future in a strong Alberta,” said Nate Glubish, Minister of Service Alberta, in a release.

Of the 13,718 different names recorded in 2019, some Alberta parents seem to have been inspired by popular culture, such as Game of Thrones (Khaleesi, Sansa, Brienne), Lord of the Rings (Arwen, Eowyn, Theoden), and Marvel comics (Loki, Rogue, Xavier-Charles), the release said.

Some Alberta parents also selected names referencing Greek (Artemis, Apollo, Persephone, Zeus) and Roman (Juno, Mars, Venus, Neptune) mythology, while others chose names referring to geographic locations (Arizona, Memphis, Salem, Jerusalem).

Quick facts

  • Notable changes to the 2019 lists: Hannah reappeared on the Top 10 girls’ names list for the first time since 2014.
  • Logan dropped to 12th place on the boys’ names list after appearing in the top five in 2017 and 2018.
  • Harper dropped to 16th place on the girls’ names list after placing seventh in 2018.
  • The highest annual birth count in Alberta remains 56,744, which was recorded in 2015.
  • Parents have up to one year to register their child’s birth. As a result, the 2019 list of baby names and birth statistics may change slightly.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

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Alberta crude reaches NB refinery after 12,000 km journey

Cenovus announced Canada Day is first shipment had been loaded onto tanker Cabo de Hornos in the Trans Mountain loading area in Burnaby, and was on its way to the Irving refinery.

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Alberta’s first shipment of crude has reached the refinery in New Brunswick, after a circuitous journey of nearly 12,000 km.

Cenovus announced Canada Day is first shipment had been loaded onto tanker Cabo de Hornos in the Trans Mountain loading area in Burnaby, and was on its way to the Irving refinery.

But instead of flowing along an Energy East pipeline which was kiboshed, the oil was sailed down the Western seaboard, through the Panama Canal, and up the Eastern Seaboard to New Brunswick, a distance of 11,900 km.

“We were pleased with the economics of this transaction and excited to work with another strong Canadian company like Irving Oil,” said Keith Chiasson, Cenovus Energy Executive Vice-President, Downstream, in a statement when the ship left Burnaby.

“This is a one-off shipment for now, but we think there’s tremendous potential for more oil from Western Canada to make its way east, expanding our customer base here at home. It’s truly a Canadian success story.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Alberta’s gambling profit should be used to create new welfare payment, says think tank

“Those at the margins of society are paying disproportionately into the coffers,” the report concludes.

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Alberta’s more than $1.4 billion in gambling profits should be used to give the province’s poor a monthly payment, similar to welfare, says a national think tank.

Think tank Cardus, in a report released Wednesday, said the lowest-income households in Alberta pay the provincial government an estimated 7% of their annual incomes through gambling – triple the proportion that the wealthiest Albertans pay.

“Those at the margins of society are paying disproportionately into the coffers,”  the report concludes.

The report, called Royally Flushed, outlined ways to turn Alberta Gaming and Lottery Corporation (AGLC) revenue toward reducing poverty instead of mixing it in with the province’s general tax revenue.

It recommends creating a gaming equality benefit, which “would re-direct AGLC’s $1.4 billion annual contribution away from general government revenues toward low-income families through monthly support payments similar to the province’s social assistance system.”

It also says AGLC profits be used to incentivize savings – “one of the best ways to ensure families don’t turn to usurious payday loans. This can boost the savings accounts of low-income families, following a model similar to government top-ups of RESPs contributions or through prize-linked savings accounts.”

“I hope Alberta’s government takes this research seriously and seizes the opportunity to turn bad habits into good,” says Johanna Wolfert, a Cardus researcher and report co-author.

The report also found: 

  • AGLC generated more than three quarters of its 2019 profit from slot machines and video lottery terminals, which are designed to override players’ conscious, rational control.
  • Albertans are likely spend almost six times more on gambling than they report.
  • AGLC revenue is treated exactly the same way as general tax revenue; it is not designated specifically for community improvements.

“Alberta made a mistake in 2019 when it started shovelling AGLC’s casino, lottery, and slot machine proceeds into general government revenues,” says Brian Dijkema, Cardus Vice-President of External Affairs and co-author of Royally Flushed.

“That simply solidified the status of Alberta’s gambling system as a regressive form of taxation, disproportionately taking money from those who can least afford it.”

Royally Flushed: How gambling can work for, not against, Alberta is available online.

Cardus is a “non-partisan, faith-based think tank and registered charity dedicated to promoting a flourishing society through independent research, robust public dialogue, and thought-provoking commentary.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Alberta union leader under fire for comparing the UCP to Nazis

“And, yes, I’m accusing the UCP of adopting tactics pioneered by the Nazis,” said AFL leader Gil McGowan

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One of Alberta’s top union leaders – affiliated with the NDP – is being blasted from all sides for comparing the UCP government to Nazis.

“Hitler’s propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, famously said “always accuse your enemies of what you are doing yourself.” That’s exactly what’s going on with Jason Kenney’s union-busting Bill 32. It’s the UCP & its corporate friends who are gaming the system,” Alberta Federation of Labour head Gil McGowan tweeted.

“And, yes, I’m accusing the UCP of adopting tactics pioneered by the Nazis and being implemented right-wing authoritarians today. Hungary, Turkey, Brazil, India, Trump’s America. These are all countries led by authoritarians who Kenney calls friends. This is what we’re up against.”

The tweet on Monday drew immediate condemnation.

“Comparing peaceful enactment of legislation…to strategies of the tyrannical Nazi regime diminishes Nazi crimes & is an insult to Cdn democracy. McGowan owes the Jewish community & all Cdns an apology!” said the Michael Mostyn, head of the Jewish organization B’nai Brith of Canada.

The Calgary Jewish Federation also tweeted its disgust.

We are aware of recent comments on social media from Gil McGowan comparing the UCP to Nazis,” the tweet read.

“We have reached out directly to Gil McGowan’s office to discuss our concerns.”

McGowan’s AFL has designated seats on the Alberta NDP’s Provincial Council.

Premier Jason Kenney’s issue’s manager Matt Wolf Monday on Twitter called McGowan “a fool.”

Kenney’s spokesman, Christine Myatt, in a statement to Global, called on McGown to apologize.

“It is disappointing but not surprising to see NDP-affiliated union bosses like Gil McGowan stoop so low as to compare government policy (giving union members choice on whether their wages are used for political purposes) to the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis,” said Myatt.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

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