What to Expect
MLAs are back in Edmonton this week after constituency break week allowed them to go back to their constituencies to boost Budget 2022. Question Period may look different without the opposition leader for the first few days as Rachel Notley is isolating after a positive COVID-19 test.
Next Tuesday, the Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche byelection will be held. Byelections rarely matter, but this time, with a direct opponent of the Premier from within his own party likely to win, the implications could be significant.
Federal conservative politics often affect Alberta’s own. Last week, the Conservative Party of Canada announced that the leadership race will be held September 10, which is widely seen as being advantageous to candidates like Patrick Brown or Jean Charest, who would need the time to sell memberships to be competitive with current perceived frontrunner Pierre Poilievre. Candidates have until April 14 to register and can sell memberships until June 3.
Today Edmonton City Council will be debating the need for a municipal masking mandate.
The Week That Was
In an effort to reduce the burden of rising gas prices, the Alberta government is putting a hold on the provincial $0.13/litre gas tax. Rebates of $150 will also be issued to help Albertans cope with high electricity prices.
Carbon capture, utilization, and storage projects can expect significant funding through the new international partnership with Accelerating CCS Technologies.
The provincial government has made the decision to restrict coal mining operations on the Eastern Slopes and maintain the reinstatement of the 1976 Coal Policy.
Alberta has made residency for Ukrainian nationals easier by accelerating their applications for permanent residency in addition to connecting temporary residents with employers. The Government of Alberta will also donate $10 million to various organizations to aid with humanitarian efforts, the resettlement of refugees, and the purchase of defensive equipment for the Ukrainian military. AIMCo will also be divesting $159 million in direct and indirect Russian securities held by the fund.
Unvaccinated Alberta public service employees were allowed back to work on March 1, after the Government of Alberta dropped vaccine mandates for those workers.