Accessible Widget

January 30, 2023

How is the Alberta Government Doing investing a 13.2 Billion Surplus? Let us know! (Updated Feb 2nd, 2023)

Plain text table below the infographic

How is Alberta government doing on the surplus? by Disability Action Hall


Surplus Stew

(9 steps on how Alberta may invest a 13.2 Billion surplus) Oct 17, 2022

Affordability Action Plan

(What the Alberta government

did with surplus)

Additional comments & Community Advocacy/Policy/Observations

Legislate free Internet Alberta-wide

Invested $ 36 Million into Alberta Broadband Strategy grants application from Dec 20 to Mar 2023

Grants are for service and parameters if the service is speed and connection, not necessarily free. Connectivity Summit and Calls to Action 5 calls to action in December 2022 for Truth and Reconciliation.

Index Social Assistance

·       AISH, Income Support, seniors, and Alberta child benefit payments will go up 6% in 2023 and will be indexed to keep up with inflation. Cost is calculated under the affordable action plan.

·       Unknown how AISH indexing will be calculated and indexed to what amount vs. current base of ex $ 1787 for AISH vs true costs of living.

·       AACT’s research  discussed how the $100 increase leaves people slightly behind due to cost of living increases and income clawbacks, January 26, ‘23

·       MP Carla Qualtrough virtually met with MLA Nixon  Canada Disability Benefit on Jan 23rd, 2023

Invest in Public Healthcare

Alberta Health Action Plan which includes:

Improve EMS response times 

Decrease ER wait times

Reduce surgery wait times

Develop long-term reforms


·       Added 20 ambulances (10 Edmonton/10 Calgary)

·       Added 6000 more surgeries in Edmonton and Calgary next 2 years,

·       Contracted out non-ambulance patient transfers to other drivers if medical stable freeing up 70 ambulances

·       A review completed with 45 recommendations to improve the emergency response report

·       $1.8 million over 3 years to 240 more pretreatment addiction beds at Calgary’s Oxford’s House (January 27th, 2023)

·       Waved co-payment fees, anonymous

·       Digital Overdose Response System (DORS) app

·       Expanded ”Opioid Agonist Treatment 

·       Edmonton and Calgary Community AddictionsTask Force

·       Launched  Recovery Access Alberta  virtual tool

·       Track overdose data.


·       Wait times for procedures Wait times for emergencies

·       Waitlist for the family doctor (250 accepting patients across Alberta Jan 2023) and addictions treatment (Not public -Informally up to 2 years, last AHS report released 2017/2018 showing 13-19 days wait time)

·       Mobile Health App Directory (in development) with 211 Alberta list of helplines

·       Waitlist for In-Person Counselling unknown, Rapid Response Counselling virtual or phone 72 hours through Community Connect YYC

·       Need to increase capacity to fast-track foreign medical workers to work with a doctor already in Alberta

·       Sexual Violence counseling (14-month wait list)

·       Gender Based + Analysis Course (Federal Government 2-hour certification program)

·       “Alberta Health redirects thousands of orthopedic surgeries to independent clinics to tackle backlog” Jan 23, 23 CBC Article

Address expensive clothing, bank fees, and other expenses

$2.8 billion in new relief measures that will cut costs for all Albertans and businesses Fuel tax rebates 13 cents/L, energy rebates, and electricity & natural gas rebates.

·       Food Bank Funding ($10 million over 2 years)

·       Personal Income tax brackets  indexed to inflation Annual basic personal amounts are expected to go up: 2.3% in 2022, an increase from $19,369 to $19,814, and 6% in 2023, an increase from $19,814 to $21,003

·       A 0% insurance rate pause on private automobile insurance from Jan 25, ‘23 until December ’23.

Community Food Centres of Canada makes the following 4 federal budget 2023 recommendations

·       Adopt a Canada Working-Age Supplement;

·       Commit to funding a Canada Disability Benefit in 2023;

·       Invest in an improved and expanded Employment Insurance program; and

·       Ensure equitable access to federal benefits.


The latest Market Basket Measures (MBM) report state Calgary is the 2nd most expensive city in Canada  link to an infographic by @TrevorToombe




We need people to help navigate systems to education and employment.

  • Expansion of post-secondary programs for 5500 more Albertans with Disabilities Jan 23 News release February 2022 Alberta’s government invested $6.5 million into additional province-wide employment grants to help Albertans with barriers to employment, including people with disabilities, find and maintain work.
  • $3 million more invested in grant for 7500 students with disabilities announced February 1st, 2023

· Eligibility (not sure if everyone can apply and hard to apply (not in plain language) and triple the amount of paperwork than AISH; have to apply for federal grants first. Link to Alberta student aid application grant. “The way to apply for all the federal and provincial grants is exactly the same, through Student Aid Alberta's website. It's not disability friendly at all.” 

·       Members of the Hall stated some people are getting more hours because of the grant made possible in February 2022.


25% Essential Disability Worker pay increase

Minister Nixon announces $24 million to attract and retain the disability workforce on December 21 ’22 News release and $2 million for indirect costs.

Reaction to the December 21st announcement from Alberta Disability Worker Association (ADWA) $24 million to workers step in the right direction; yet many workers not making a living wage; long term plan needed.”

Alberta Council of Disability Services ACDS stated “While encouraged by the news… there is much yet to ensure that the indirect costs gap and the wage gap are fully addressed.”

More affordable, accessible housing

·       Affordable Housing Framework report released.

·       56 beds added to YW women's shelter (Jan 23 joint intergovernmental funding)

·       Government of Canada Rental Housing, announced July 2021  Minister Nixon advocated for AISH to include Dec 22 in conversation with MP Carla Qualtrough to ensure persons on AISH are eligible.

·       Investing $55 Million in affordable housing partnerships (Dec 22)

Social Policy Collaborative recommendations for October 2022 include targets of

·       $ 90 million a year to cover 25% of the current cost for new builds

·       Operational funding review to ensure housing operators can maintain properties,

·       Immediate 10% increase to assist housing operators to maintain housing.

·       Calgary is in a tight rental housing market and resulted in over 1000 calls last year to the Distress Centre for mental health and housing

·       A statement on the Calgary Foundation site from Accessible Housing from 2019 stated:

Only 3.6% of Calgary’s total housing supply is affordable housing, yet the national average is 6%. There are fewer than 433 units of housing in Calgary that are both affordable and accessible. By 2019, an estimated 200,000 Calgarians over the age of 15 will be living with a disability. Individuals with disabilities are four times more likely to use subsidized housing and twice as likely to use homeless shelters to those without disabilities.”

Invest in Affordable, Accessible Pubilc Transportation

·       Expansion of the low-income transit pass province-wide 

  •  Alberta’s government is investing up to $15 million (an additional $ 8 million to support low-income pubic transit programs throughout the province.)

·       Unclear of Calgary Transit Access funding requests to address the demand for paratransit if Calgary votes on a primary transit network of high frequency vs route coverage (Route Ahead Strategy) Livewire article December 2022

·       Unclear if pilots address public transit in the election district of Highwood.

Ensure everyone has free, clean water across Alberta

Water for Life Program closed applications in November 2022 and covers communities typically under Alberta governance, unknown if more First Nations have been added  since December 2018 to 14 First Nations

February 2021 Article “Running out of water a constant fear for some on Tsuut’ina Nation”