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Alberta proposes formal standards for addictions, youth counsellors

Sarah Hoffman, Alberta Minister of Health, responds to a reporter's questions at a press conference during the Conferences of Provincial-Territorial Ministers of Health in Winnipeg on June 28, 2018. Alberta's health minister says it's unacceptable that a terminally ill patient at a Catholic care centre was wheeled off the property near a busy street to have an assessment for a doctor-assisted death. Sarah Hoffman says everyone deserves dignified and compassionate care, no matter the facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Alberta is proposing to adopt formal rules and standards for a range of counsellors, including addiction therapists and those helping children and youth.

The proposed changes were introduced in the legislature by Health Minister Sarah Hoffman.

The government estimates there are about 5,000 such counsellors in Alberta, and says right now they don’t need any formal training to set up a business.

Hoffman says people looking for help need to know they are getting safe, competent care.

The proposed legislation would also increase requirements for residential addiction treatment facilities.

If the bill passes, the province would have the power to enforce minimum standards and address complaints at such centres.