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Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs (SACPA)

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Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs (SACPA) was founded in 1968. It is an independent forum, moderated by volunteers, meeting Thursdays at noon some 40 weeks a year and at occasional special evening sessions, to debate local, provincial, national, and international issues of concern to the residents of Lethbridge and Southern Alberta. Continue Reading >>
Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs (SACPA) was founded in 1968. It is an independent forum, moderated by volunteers, meeting Thursdays at noon some 40 weeks a year and at occasional special evening sessions, to debate local, provincial, national, and international issues of concern to the residents of Lethbridge and Southern Alberta. << Show Less
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Not Alone – Men’s experiences of domestic abuse with Stefan de Villiers Since 2006, the Calgary Counselling Centre has overseen a unique program, the Male Domestic Abuse Outreach Program (MDAOP), delivering services to men who have been impacted by family violence. The MDAOP is one of only a handful of programs in the country to offer support to male victims of family violence. The program delivers outreach support, connecting clients with community resources (e.g., peer support, food bank, legal advice, credit counseling, shelter), one-on-one counselling (in-person or remote), and a 14-week therapy group for men who have experienced intimate partner abuse.
Collaboration between service providers, researchers and community members is key to ending family violence, including violence against men. While much research has focused on addressing violence against women, less is known about men who have experienced family violence. This presentation seeks to stimulate conversation about this lesser-known topic and shares lessons learned from our agency’s almost two decades of programming for men who have experienced abuse. It also draws on agency outcome data, clinical experience, and includes the voices of men who have accessed the MDAOP since the program’s inception.
Speaker: Stefan de Villiers
Stefan de Villiers is the coordinator of the male domestic abuse outreach program (MDAOP) at the Calgary Counselling Centre. Stefan’s social work career spans outreach and clinical work with individuals, couples and families impacted by domestic violence. He holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Calgary (clinical specialization), as well as a post-graduate certificate in traumatic stress studies.
 
Stefan participates on numerous domestic violence-related working groups, including as a Gender and Sexual Diversity advisory board member to the Calgary Police Service, and as a member of the Calgary Domestic Violence Collective Ethno-Culturally Diverse Communities working group. He is an educator and has presented on men's experiences of abuse at numerous conferences, including the Canadian Domestic Violence Conference, and the International Federation of Social Workers conference (IFSW2020).
Newest Audio
Not Alone – Men’s experiences of domestic abuse with Stefan de Villiers Since 2006, the Calgary Counselling Centre has overseen a unique program, the Male Domestic Abuse Outreach Program (MDAOP), delivering services to men who have been impacted by family violence. The MDAOP is one of only a handful of programs in the country to offer support to male victims of family violence. The program delivers outreach support, connecting clients with community resources (e.g., peer support, food bank, legal advice, credit counseling, shelter), one-on-one counselling (in-person or remote), and a 14-week therapy group for men who have experienced intimate partner abuse.
Collaboration between service providers, researchers and community members is key to ending family violence, including violence against men. While much research has focused on addressing violence against women, less is known about men who have experienced family violence. This presentation seeks to stimulate conversation about this lesser-known topic and shares lessons learned from our agency’s almost two decades of programming for men who have experienced abuse. It also draws on agency outcome data, clinical experience, and includes the voices of men who have accessed the MDAOP since the program’s inception.
Speaker: Stefan de Villiers
Stefan de Villiers is the coordinator of the male domestic abuse outreach program (MDAOP) at the Calgary Counselling Centre. Stefan’s social work career spans outreach and clinical work with individuals, couples and families impacted by domestic violence. He holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Calgary (clinical specialization), as well as a post-graduate certificate in traumatic stress studies.
 
Stefan participates on numerous domestic violence-related working groups, including as a Gender and Sexual Diversity advisory board member to the Calgary Police Service, and as a member of the Calgary Domestic Violence Collective Ethno-Culturally Diverse Communities working group. He is an educator and has presented on men's experiences of abuse at numerous conferences, including the Canadian Domestic Violence Conference, and the International Federation of Social Workers conference (IFSW2020).
Domestic Abuse – A shift in perspective with Nara Fedozzi According to Stats Canada - Family Violence in Canada - a statistical profile in 2019, there were 107,810 victims of police-reported intimate partner violence in 2019, up from 99,000 in 2018.  Alberta has the 4th highest rate of police-reported intimate partner violence amongst the provinces. The overall rate of police-reported family violence increased for the third consecutive year, rising 13% over this period.
 
Those alarming numbers do not take into account unreported cases, which often happens for various reasons.  Reasons may include, but are certainly not limited to: fear, shame and embarrassment of being judged, blamed or not believed. In many of those cases, individuals may also not be accessing any sort of supports.
 
While shelters are, and will always be, a critical service, most times when a person gets to a shelter, the abuse has increased significantly not just in number of incidents, but also in severity/risk.  In order to turn this around, we need to shift our thinking and perspectives to expand opportunities around prevention and early intervention, through a holistic approach.
 
“Safe at Home” is designed to be an alternative approach to serving families experiencing domestic abuse and violence, with a focus on healing the whole family.  The abusive partner is the one to move to an off-site facility or independent living; while their partner and children stay in their home and work with our outreach team to ensure their safety and help them begin to heal as well.
 
In this program, individuals are able to access psychoeducation (including the range of coercive or abusive behaviors, common abusive tactics and the effects that abuse has on partners and families) and ongoing supports to address the unhealthy patterns and behaviors of abuse. This men’s only facility is a place to live and to obtain supports in the hopes of making meaningful change to eliminate violence and abuse in relationships, families and communities.
 
The vision of “Safe at Home” is that this innovative approach will help us break the cycle of domestic abuse in our communities.
 
Speaker: Nara Fedozzi
 
Nara is a registered Social Worker an extensive background in community services and program development. She is very passionate about social justice, advocacy, and challenging stereotypes. 
 
Nara is originally from Brazil, where she started her career. She has over 15 years of progressive experience in various areas such as government, heal and non-profit settings, with the last several years focusing on housing and social services supports. In Canada, Nara was able to expand her experience in the Domestic Violence sector, having worked for many years, with individuals experiencing domestic abuse and violence. 
 
Nara was thrilled to assume the role of Program Director with the Safe at Home Program in June 2021. Nara believes that this innovative program will advance the work around supporting individuals, families and communities in making positive changes that will help break the cycle of Domestic Abuse and Violence.
Water Competition and Conflict with Dr Dena McMartin Many regions in the Canadian Prairies and American Midwest are managing declining water resources, lower snowfall volumes and less predictable precipitation events. With the impacts of changing climate beginning to become more evident and impactful on our behaviours, livelihoods, and economic development and sustainability, what are some of the innovations and research activities at the University of Lethbridge that are helping to improve resource awareness, management, and conservation? Through this presentation, we seek a discussion about the challenges, constraints, and competing interests that are making water management increasingly difficult and important for southern Alberta.
 
Speaker: Dr Dena McMartin
 
Dr Dena McMartin is an environmental and agricultural engineer (PEng, PAg), faculty member, and Vice-President (Research) at the University of Lethbridge. She is a leading researcher focused on rural, agricultural, and industrial water resources management and treatment, as well as impacts of freshwater climate extremes on communities and economies. Dena joined the U of L in summer 2021, having previously served in academic leadership and faculty roles at both University of Saskatchewan and University of Regina. She is an enthusiastic advocate for research, innovation, scholarship and creative activities and also deeply involved with diversity and inclusion work in academia and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
Farming Humans with Larry Elford Farming Humans
 
The speaker will account for his experiences during and after a two-decade financial career, and what he learned during the research and writing of his second book “Farming Humans”. In hindsight the book could have been titled, “Humans, Farming Humans”, as it includes tricks and tactics used by those who profit from harming others. It can be argued that some of the unique features of white-collar crime are worth looking at, as they shed light into some key problems, we face in today’s world. 
 
Problems not being adequately addressed such as inequality in systems of finance, justice, politics, and resulting side effects, which cannot only be seen globally, but also right here – a vast increase in drug dependency, homelessness and people dying on our streets.  The speaker will shine light into causes and effects, which largely, have been left out of the public discourse.
 
Speaker: Larry Elford
 
Larry Elford is a former financial industry insider with two decades of experience in some of the larger firms in the industry. What he learned allowed him to become an expert witness in the area of systemic malpractice in the retail investment advisory trade.  He has since testified in three parliamentary committees in Ottawa, and once in the legislature in Queens Park, Toronto.
One of Larry’s priorities has long been to inform and educate people about hidden, systemic risks in the retail investment industry. Larry produced a documentary film in 2009 titled, “Breach of Trust, The Unique Violence of White-Collar Crime”, which leads one to ask the question, “What is so unique about white collar crime?”  It is this question which has occupied Larry’s thoughts ever since, and this presentation will cover that question as well.
What did we Learn in Afghanistan? With speaker Preston Crow Chief This past year, Canada, along with other allies, left Afghanistan after the Taliban overran Kabul and other major centers of that country. With Canada’s painful exit from Afghanistan, our years in that country are now open to reflection and assessment.
The speaker served in Afghanistan with Canada’s military from October 2009 to June 2010. He will offer observations about the Afghanistan nature and land, the experience of the military and what we can learn from our time there. He also knows what it is like to be a First Nations person in our military and will share how he experienced that role, as well as giving his views of what life is like in Afghanistan.
Speaker: Preston Crow Chief
Preston Crow Chief was born in 1988. His parents are Calvin Crow Chief (Kainai) and Geraldine Sleigh (Siksika).  He is from the Blood Tribe Nation. He joined the Canadian Military July 9, 2005. The program he joined through was Bold Eagle which is a Basic Military Qualification course designed for First Nation entry. 
After he completed his training, Preston was transferred to the 20th Independent Field Battery, Royal Canadian Artillery, serving on deployment to Afghanistan 2009/2010 – with the current rank of Sergeant.   He graduated from the University of Lethbridge, with a General Management Degree and now works with the Blood Tribe Housing as Accounts Payable Clerk. Preston currently lives on the Blood reserve with his son
Covid, Chaos and Christmas! with Linda Hancock The season that suggests we should have joy, peace and love can often instead be filled with busyness, financial demands and feelings of being overwhelmed. Getting just the right gift and saying just the right thing is difficult enough without having to navigate all the fears and restrictions introduced by a pandemic. The speaker has worked with more than 8000 clients who asked her to help them problem solve. She is an expert at focusing on the things that keep everyone healthy and sane – especially in a world that now seems to be filled with insanity.
 
Speaker: Linda Hancock
Linda Hancock was born and raised in the prairie town of Indian Head, Saskatchewan, Canada. Linda earned degrees in Arts, Social Work, Education and Psychology to the Doctoral level. (As she says, she had to spend her time and money on something, because she doesn’t golf!)
As a Registered Psychologist and Registered Social Worker, Dr. Hancock helps individuals, groups, organizations and communities to problem-solve and reach their potential. She is a trained mediator who has worked as a Child Welfare Case Manager and Investigator, Mental Health Consultant, and educator teaching in college and university settings. Her professional career has spanned the fields of justice, health and education.
Kindness to Others – A Perspective on the Addiction Crisis in Lethbridge with Alvin Mills There are many opinions on what is best practice when it comes to dealing with the serious addiction crises that is prevalent in today’s society and certainly Lethbridge is no exception. However, most people agree that the “Four Pillars” approach, harm reduction, prevention, treatment and enforcement, generally gives best outcomes.
Many reasons can be attributed to addiction, but homelessness and personal trauma are very often the main causes. The speaker will describe his Residential School trauma, his addiction struggle and eventual recovery. He will also talk about the benefits of helping others who struggle with addiction and his establishment of the organization, Kii Mah Pii Pii Tsin (Kindness to Others) Renewal and Healing Centre.
The mandate of Kii Mah Pii Pii Tsin is to support and advocate for the at-risk and vulnerable members of our community. The goal is to create specialized healing in trauma, grief, suicide intervention and also have a cultural component to the program, possibly at a facility located on Blackfoot Confederacy territory.  
Speaker: Alvin Mills
In his youth, Blood Tribe member Alvin Mills was a gifted athlete as a boxer and playing multiple sports at a high enough level to earn a basketball scholarship. But it wasn’t his athleticism that would come to define the course of his life as may have been expected, it was his troublesome relationship with alcohol and drugs that took him to where he is today. Alvin is a survivor of Residential School and has struggled most of his adult years with addiction.   
Alvin was incarcerated for periods of his life as he was unable to deal with the issues and trauma from Residential School that he had buried inside for so long. Finally, after someone stabbed him in the throat, Alvin entered treatment and began to work on the decades long internal trauma and grief to finally come to terms with it. He admits he still struggles, but has now found new purpose in life by helping others.
Feeling the squeeze: Provincial cuts, Municipal impacts with Jacqueline Peterson Municipal services are critical for our quality of life. However, the decisions facing local governments are heavily shaped by provincial policy. The province doesn’t just distribute grants to municipalities to help fund vital infrastructure, but they also set the rules and terms by which municipalities themselves can generate revenue.
Over the past few years, many traditional sources of municipal revenue have been “squeezed” by the province - with big impacts on local services, jobs, and infrastructure. When we think about provincial policy, municipal policy rarely comes top-of-mind. The speaker will argue why it should be, and discuss what part you can play in advocating for your municipality. This presentation will draw on material published in the Parkland Institute’s recent report, An Unfair Deal? The Impact of Provincial Cuts on Alberta Municipalities.
Speaker: Jacqueline Peterson
Jacqueline Peterson received her PhD from the University of Toronto (Political Science) in 2020. An expert in municipal finance, her research focuses on multilevel governance, local finance, and urban governance in Canada and the US. Jacqueline frequently teaches urban politics and policy at the University of Calgary as a Sessional Instructor. Her forthcoming book, Multilevel Fiscal Institutions and the Politics of Funding Sustainable Urban Infrastructure, will be published in 2022 by McGill-Queens University Press. Prior to entering academia, Jacqueline worked for elected representatives in both Calgary’s City Council and the Alberta Legislature.
Are you a senior who is feeling lonely? Would you like someone to keep in touch? With Connie-Marie Riedlhuber For many elderly folks, a call from a friend or an acquaintance once or twice a week can make a big difference in how they feel. Knowing that someone cares and is there to share stories and laugh with is comforting and meaningful in so many ways. The Volunteer Lethbridge Keep in Touch program connects people in our community with each other through a weekly telephone support system linking seniors to a friendly person with whom to chat and access resource information they may need.
 
Arguable, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a major increase in loneliness and mental health issues, especially among seniors, and therefore more demand for programs such as Keep in Touch. The speaker will describe how the Keep in Touch program was developed by Volunteer Lethbridge. After successfully piloting the program in Lethbridge with funding from the COVID-19 Mental Health and Addiction Community Fund, the program is now gaining partners in other Alberta cities and rural communities.
 
Speaker: Connie-Marie Riedlhuber
 
Connie Marie is the Keep in Touch Senior’s Coordinator with Volunteer Lethbridge. The majority of her career and personal journey has centered around supporting and caring for aging seniors, building healthy families, workplaces, and communities. Connie-Marie is a Transition Specialist, Life Designer, Author and Presenter, and has training in Sacred Psychology, along with Marketing and Communications.
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