What to Expect
Premier Smith’s signature bill, the Alberta Sovereignty Within a United Canada Act, will see amendments this week to counter concerns about Cabinet being handed too much power. Over the weekend, the Premier said in numerous forums that she was open to changes to clarify the power of Cabinet. Last weekend, the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary had to move hospice care from the dedicated facility to the general hospital facility, temporarily stopping respite care services. Why the Sovereignty Act is being pursued while this is occurring will be vociferously questioned this week in the Legislature. However, the Premier and her Cabinet have already made sweeping changes – and plan more – to the healthcare system to deal with these dire shortages.
Other bills likely to be introduced this week are:
- Bill 2, Inflation Statutes Amendment Act.
- Bill 5, Justice Statutes Amendment Act.
- Bill 203, Traffic Safety (Excessive Speeding Penalties) Amendment Act.
This week also sees Parliamentary Secretary for Economic Corridors Shane Getson fly to Honolulu to participate in the Council of State Governments (CSG) National Conference to strengthen trade ties with U.S. state lawmakers.
The Week That Was
Bill 4, the Alberta Health Care Insurance Amendment Act, was introduced by Health Minister Copping. The Act repeals previous legislation that allowed the government to terminate its agreement with the Alberta Medical Association (AMA). In response, the AMA has agreed to stop its lawsuit against the government without seeking costs once the legislation receives royal assent. The legislation also provides for a new agreement between the province and AMA to be actioned.
Justice Minister Shandro also introduced the Property Rights Statutes Amendment Act, 2022, which would abolish the ability of squatters to make a claim and give private landowners the same protections once only reserved for the government. The proposed bill amends the Law of Property Act, the Land Titles Act, and the Limitations Act.
The Alberta government has announced that the project to develop a new interchange at Queen Elizabeth II Highway and 65th Avenue will soon begin. The expected cost is $112 million, which will be paid for by the City of Leduc and the Alberta government.
The Feeder Association Loan Guarantee Program will have its overall loan guarantee increased by $50 million from the Government of Alberta, bringing the total to $150 million.
Yesterday, the provincial government announced that it, along with the Municipal District of Acadia, the Special Areas Board, and the Canadian Infrastructure Bank, would be investing a joint $7 million into an irrigation expansion project in east-central Alberta with the hopes of stimulating the agriculture sector and economic growth.