What to Expect
Today is the byelection in Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche that will most likely be sending former Wildrose Party leader and UCP Leadership candidate Brian Jean back to the Legislature. Since he’s actively challenging the Premier’s leadership of the party, his addition will make caucus dynamics interesting.
The Rural Municipalities Association (RMA) meets in Edmonton this week and will give the UCP government a chance to speak to a natural ally – rural politicians. Minister of Municipal Affairs Ric McIver spoke Monday, and the Premier speaks tomorrow.
The Week That Was
The Alberta Government’s Bill 4: Municipal Government (Face Mask and Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination Bylaws) Amendment Act, 2022 passed its first reading in the legislature on March 9. If passed, the legislation would require any municipal government that wishes to mandate face masks or proof of vaccination to obtain approval from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs in advisement of the Alberta chief medical officer of health.
Alberta Health Services will no longer require its employees to provide proof of being vaccinated against COVID-19 nor will they have to undergo regular testing.
All youth aged 12 to 17 are eligible for approved mRNA COVID-19 booster vaccination so long as five months have passed since their second dose.
Part-time employment made up for a slight decrease in full-time jobs as Alberta’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.8 per cent,the lowest rate since September 2019.
AHS is proposing a significant pay cut for a number of employees, including social workers, occupational therapists, respiratory therapists, speech language pathologists and pharmacists. The proposal means 57 per cent of the union’s professions are facing wage reductions in negotiations that were to take place in March 2020, but were put on hold due to the pandemic.