What to Expect
The field for the UCP leadership race, although underway for weeks, is now becoming more defined. While there could be a late entry or a candidate withdrawing prior to the nomination deadline, the key candidates are in place. Their focus turns now to getting their nomination papers and the initial entry fee in place.
For MLAs, Canada Day week is one of the busiest for constituency work (particularly in rural Alberta) and is the kickoff for BBQ season. Through parades, community events, and BBQs, MLAs will engage with more constituents than they have for months. There are opportunities for leadership candidates to meet thousands of Albertans and for MLAs to hear first-hand about local expectations for the campaign and government in general.
The Week That Was
On June 23, UCP leadership candidates (MLA Travis Toews, MLA Rebecca Schulz, MLA Rajan Sawhney, MLA Leela Aheer, MLA Todd Loewen, MLA Brian Jean, and Danielle Smith) discussed the Free Alberta Strategy, equalization, transfer payments, and other aspects of provincial-federal relations during a virtual panel. Premier Jason Kenney and Minister Sonya Savage were in Washington, D.C. during this time to participate in sessions on energy security.
Thanks to a $300 million-rebate program, Alberta homes, farms, and businesses will begin to see $50 rebates on their monthly electricity bills from July-September.
The province’s fuel tax relief program, which saves 13 cents/litre of gasoline and began in April, is being extended for an additional three months and the program will be re-evaluated in September this year.
The government has announced the New Beginnings Bursary which will provide $15 million of support over the next three years (effective this upcoming academic year) to post-secondary students in the following fields:
- agriculture and forestry;
- aerospace and aviation; and
- finance and financial technology.