What to Expect
Saturday’s speech from the Premier marked the opening of the Special General Meeting that will ask UCP members whether they approve of the Premier’s leadership or not. Ballots are being mailed out, and must be returned by May 11, with results announces on May 18.
The Premier implored party members to recall what a divided conservative movement looked like in the past, but also highlighted the success the UCP has had delivering conservative policies. Perhaps the most telling moment was when he quoted Prime Minister Stephen Harper: “I ask that you not compare me to the Almighty, but to the alternative.”
Barring any other events, the outcome of the vote – and both the pro- and anti-Premier campaigns – will be the dominate topic in politics for the week.
The Week That Was
Alberta’s unemployment rate fell to 6.5 per cent, having added 15,700 jobs last month.
Fourth dose eligibility for vaccination against COVID-19 and Paxlovid treatment is being expanded to include Albertans aged 70 and older, First Nations, Métis and Inuit people in Alberta age 65 and older, and all seniors in congregate care, effective April 12.
Last week, before the United Conservative Party Leadership vote, 19 former Wildrose and Progressive Conservative MLAs signed a letter supporting Premier Jason Kenney’s position as leader of the United Conservative Party.
The fund for the Women’s Economic Recovery Challenge Grants has been increased from the original $1 million budget to now total $3.6 million which will be distributed to eligible applicants in a range of $25,000 to $250,000.
Alberta has made the decision to terminate relationships with the following Russian regions after the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine:
Tyumen Oblast (Since 1992);
Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug (Since 1995); and
Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug (Since 1997).
Two sub-regional caribou recovery plans for Bistcho Lake and Cold Lake were released. The plans outline which land use activities can occur and for how long, including road construction, oil and gas development, timber harvest, geophysical exploration, surface mineral extraction and recreation.