What to Expect
Having staked much of her political brand on standing up to Ottawa, Premier Smith’s first meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau at the first ministers’ meeting on February 7 will be a topic of much discussion. So too, will be the approach she chooses to take. Premier Smith could stay united with the other premiers in asking for more healthcare funding or chart her own path and ask for tax points instead of a higher Canada Health Transfer, which she has mentioned before.
Also, look for more announcements hinting at what is coming in the budget on February 28.
The Week That Was
The provincial government is investing in both the Calgary and Edmonton downtown areas and is committing $4 million to Edmonton and $5 million to Calgary.
In an attempt to mitigate the effects of increased auto insurance rates, the provincial government is placing a pause on private passenger vehicle insurance rate increases until the end of 2023.
Last week, Premier Danielle Smith issued a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in response to the federal government’s “Just Transition” legislation. Premier Smith implored him to reconsider the timeframe of required changes and work in collaboration to develop “Sustainable Jobs” legislation instead. Premier Smith stated:
“The federal Just Transition initiative alone will risk a full 25 percent of Alberta’s economy and 187,000 jobs in Alberta, while also causing major disruptions and displacement to 13.5 percent of Canada’s workforce.”
Alberta is investing $1 million to increase medical education in areas outside Edmonton and Calgary and will be directed to the University of Alberta, University of Calgary, University of Lethbridge, and Northwestern Polytechnic to support collaborative planning.