Alberta This Week

What to Expect

The United Conservative Party (UCP) has a new leader and Alberta has a new Premier. Last Thursday, Danielle Smith was elected leader of the UCP on the sixth ballot with 53.77 per cent of the vote. The vote may be over, but the excitement is just beginning.

She has announced her transition team:

  • Rob Anderson – Transition Team Chair and Executive Director of Premier’s Office
  • Marshall Smith – Chief of Staff
  • Peter Guthrie – Caucus Liason
  • Erika Barootes – Principal Secretary
  • Chief Billy Morin – Special Advisor on Indigenous Issues
  • Jamie Mozeson – Executive Director of Government Strategy
  • Jonah Mozeson – Executive Director of Communications
  • Matt Solberg – Executive Director of Caucus

This week we’ll see a few more key moves from Premier-designate Smith. First, she’ll lose the designate title today as she’s sworn in by the Lieutenant-General. We’re also expecting that today or tomorrow we’ll learn the date that the byelection in Brooks-Medicine Hat will be held. MLA Michaela Frey announced her resignation on Friday. The date of that race will determine when the Legislature returns.

An announcement on cabinet will happen before the upcoming UCP AGM. Smith reached out to caucus, Cabinet, and other leadership hopefuls, and said that she was “wiping the slate clean” – this may be an indication of more continuity in Cabinet than would otherwise be expected following a leadership race, and some of those leadership candidates finding their way into Cabinet positions.

In the meantime, the Party will be preparing for the AGM, to be held on October 21-23, now that there is a leader in place and more certainty of the political and policy direction the Party is taking.

The Week That Was

The provincial government, via the Investment and Growth Fund, will be directing financial investment toward rural Alberta with an investment of $2.06 million to Southland Trailer Corp., enabling the doubling of production and the ability to create an additional 250 jobs.

The following individuals have been appointed to the Premier’s Council on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls:

  • Rachelle Venne, CEO, Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women
  • April Eve Wiberg, founding member, Stolen Sisters & Brothers Awareness Movement
  • Josie Nepinak, executive director, Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society
  • Ashleigh Cardinal, president, Edmonton 2 Spirit Society
  • Cheryl Uchytil, family member and advocate on MMIWG issues
  • Kimmy Houle, director, Environment and Economic Development, Blackfoot Confederacy Tribal Council
  • Meeka Otway, advocate on Inuit issues and member of the First Nations Women’s Council on Economic Security

Alberta is taking steps toward increasing accessibility of the job market for Albertans with disabilities through an investment of $12 million.

Last week, the Alberta government was able to announce the signing of a memorandum of understanding with WestJest Airlines, upholding the government’s commitment to grow and sustain the airline, aviation, and tourism industries within the province.

Following recent events regarding a strike by Legal Aid Alberta’s defence lawyers, the Alberta government has made the decision to raise the legal aid tariff rate by 8.225 per cent for the fiscal year until a permanent decision is able to be made.

Minister of Health Jason Copping has received the EMS Committee Report and it is currently in the review process by the Minister before it is to be released to the public.

The Alberta government will be working with the Conklin Resource Development Advisory Committee and Swan River First Nation to build 32 affordable housing units with funding from the Indigenous Housing Capital Program.

Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides announced $15 million over the next three years to fund 12 new and existing partnerships to promote skilled trade professions and apprenticeship education programs.

Alberta has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Philippines to provide assistance bringing in more skilled workers to address nursing labour shortages.

Orders in Council

OIC 353/2022 – Makes the following changes to The Governors of Athabasca University:

  • Rescinds the appointments of Sharon Anderson, John Daniel, Andrew Ko, and McDonald Madamombe;
  • Reappoints Ilario (Larry) Spagnolo for a term to expire on October 4, 2025; and
  • Appoints Leo de Bever, Don Gnatiuk, Dan Leckelt, Terry Lovelace, Mike Lovsin, to succeed Bryan Berg, Lori Van Rooijen, and Wilfred Willier each for a term to expire on October 4, 2025.

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