Category "Alberta Government"

2Jun

Calgary, Alberta welcome Mphasis and quantum computing

by BBG Hub

Calgary will be getting hundreds more tech jobs with the arrival of tech company Mphasis.

The cloud and cognitive services provider based in Bangalore, India announced Wednesday that it would be building its Canadian headquarters in Calgary, bringing 500 to 1,000 jobs in the next two years.

The southern Alberta city will also become home to a quantum computing learning space as Mphasis partners with the University of Calgary to create the Quantum City centre of excellence.

Read more:
Calgary city council approves downtown revitalization plan, $200M initial investment

And Wednesday saw the announcement of Sparkle Calgary, a training facility focusing on AI and automation technology using the company’s proprietary platform.

Premier Jason Kenney said Wednesday’s announcements will help further the province’s goal of economic diversification.

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“The goal is to make Alberta a force to be reckoned with in quantum computing, machine learning and AI, economically but also intellectually,” he said.

Read more:
‘Emerge cautiously yet confidently’: Calgary Economic Development looks past COVID-19

“As the labour market shifts, workers will have the resources they need to adapt,” the premier said. “And as quantum computing, automation, and artificial intelligence mature, Alberta will become a destination of choice for investment capital and talent in those growing sectors.”

Mphasis CEO Nitin Rakesh called it “a great showcase of private-public partnership, a catalyst for tech transformation.”

Rakesh said the tech company is using similar models they’ve used in other countries, in both expansion and talent centres.

“Talent is a magnet for companies building talent at University of Calgary and here in Alberta. (It) strengthens both Mphasis and Alberta as a global technology hub, and a leader in IT, quantum computing, blockchain, FinTech, data, AI (and) in many other fields,” the MPhasis CEO said.

Rakesh said he looked forward to having the university as “an anchor for research” and development of Quantum City.


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“The aim is to double the fundamental research in quantum science and engineering and production of highly qualified graduates while simultaneously providing the industry facing opportunities for collaboration, company creation and technology development.”

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University of Calgary president Ed McCauley said the establishment of Quantum City shows the strength of the university as a “great research university,” akin to some leading universities in other cities.

“Today, Pittsburgh is a leading robotics hub, is a technology leader and medical cluster,” McCauley said. “That can happen here too, because as the technology and people cultivated by the quantum hub seep into Calgary, they will spin off even newer technology in new companies, until Calgary and Alberta aren’t only the energy capital.”

Rakesh added that Sparkle Calgary will try to pivot the core skills that exist in the market, pointing out the existing data expertise in the oil and gas sector.

“Can we take that ability to apply data knowledge, data scientists and reskill them — upskill them — towards computing platforms that are being used for consumer data? That’s the vision that we want to use with the Sparkle Calgary platform.”

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said Mphasis’ announcement reinforces the decision of the company to emphasize tech as a growth industry.

“It builds the platform here, and it builds the ecosystem here as Calgary continues to attract tech companies and others to this place, cementing our spot as a centre for innovation and digital technology in the world, as per our economic development strategy Calgary In The New Economy,” Nenshi said.

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The mayor added that the latest tech company announcing it plans to have its headquarters in Calgary is another signal for a demographically young city.

“It really is a signal, to young people in particular, that Calgary remains a place of great innovation, great entrepreneurship, a place where you want to make a living and a place where you want to make your life.”




© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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28Apr

Photo radar being scrapped in city of Leduc

by BBG Hub

Leduc will be calling it quits on automated traffic enforcement at the end of April.

City council made the decision, in part, because Leduc’s Municipal Traffic Unit (MTU) added more personnel.

The expiration of Leduc’s contract with the automated traffic enforcement ticket processing provider at the end of April also influenced the decision, the city said.

Read more:
Alberta government puts freeze on new photo radar equipment, locations

“We’ve heard the voice of this community with respect to photo radar and we’re adapting our safety efforts resulting in a greater presence of manned enforcement,” Leduc Mayor Bob Young said.

“Vulnerable areas of our city will still receive the same level of attention, such as school and playground zones, however that’ll be done through an increased presence of marked enforcement vehicles.”

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Read more:
Alberta photo radar overhaul coming after review finds it’s a cash cow

In the past, Leduc traffic enforcement has been done through a combination of automated and staffed enforcement by Leduc RCMP and MTU.

Now, more focus will be on Leduc RCMP, more staff with the Municipal Traffic Unit and the city’s community peace officers, the city said in an April 23 news release. 




© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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23Oct

New seclusion room guidelines to take effect in Alberta Nov. 1

by BBG Hub


Alberta’s United Conservative government has scrapped a ban on isolation rooms for disruptive children in schools that was set to take effect next week.

Education Minister Adriana LaGrange says she is listening to school boards, teachers and parents who say a ban on seclusion rooms limits a school’s ability to protect everyone’s safety.

“This is about preventing misuse and ensuring the well-being, safety and dignity of all students and staff,” she said.

READ MORE: Alberta lifts ban on seclusion rooms in schools, will establish new rules for use

The former NDP government had moved to ban seclusion rooms starting this school year, but the UCP reversed the decision shortly before the new year began.

Seclusion rooms are used when students with developmental disabilities act out and are potentially dangerous to their caregivers and teachers.

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A report released earlier this month showed the controversial practice was used 716 times in Edmonton public schools during September.

The report said that in 468 cases where the rooms were used, 65 per cent of the time the student chose to go in as a way of self-managing.

The other 248 uses involved a group of the same 88 students who were placed there as a result of unsafe behaviour.

READ MORE: Edmonton Public seclusion rooms used over 700 times in first month of the school year

The new standards include design requirements for the room and that it must abide by all building, safety and fire codes. School divisions will be required to report on their use of seclusion and physical restraint on a regular basis.

LeGrange emphasized that seclusion and physical restraint are “tools of last resort.”

“In exceptional circumstances these procedures may need to be used from time to time, with the use of seclusion rooms as a last resort. I repeat that — seclusion rooms as a last resort,” she said Wednesday.

“I applaud school authorities that are looking for ways to limit their use and even working towards their total elimination.”

At the end of August, the board chairs and superintendents of the Calgary Board of Education, the Calgary Catholic School DistrictEdmonton Catholic Schools and Edmonton Public Schools urged the education minister to reconsider the ban on seclusion rooms in schools across the province.

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When the UCP repealed the seclusion room ban a week later, it put into place an interim standard for the rooms.

READ MORE: Alberta school boards call on government to reconsider seclusion room ban

The new standards for use of isolation rooms take effect on Nov. 1.

— Files from Global News online journalist Allison Bench and The Canadian Press.


© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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