Alberta Minute: Canada Day, Legislature Updates, and Court Cases

Alberta Minute – Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.

Alberta Legislature by IQRemix on Flickr

This Week In Alberta:

  • The Legislature will reconvene on Tuesday instead of Monday due to Canada Day. In celebration of our new found liquor freedom, here is a list of Alberta day-use areas where you can now open a cold one in public.
  • It’s unclear whether Monday’s time for Private Member’s Bills and Motions will be moved to Tuesday, but if so, Marie Renaud’s Private Members’ Motion 506, will certainly stir things up in the legislature. The Motion urges the Government to conduct a thorough review of access to abortion services and reproductive health services in Alberta, take action to remove barriers to these services, and ensure access to safe, timely, and equitable services in all communities across the province.
  • Also in the Legislature, Bill 13 (Alberta Senate Election Act) is at second reading, while Bill 2 (An Act to Make Alberta Open for Business), Bill 8 (Education Amendment Act), and Bill 12 (Royalty Guarantee Act) are all at Committee of the Whole, which means it’s possible we see them pass this week before a constituency break week next week.


Last Week In Alberta:

  • In good news, the Alberta government will offload their massive oil-by-rail program by fall, but in more disappointing news, they may extend their oil supply management program into 2020. The government shouldn’t be in the business of business and should get out of both programs as soon as possible.
  • The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled that the federal carbon tax is constitutional in a 4-1 split decision. The ruling was based on the catch-all “Peace, Order, and Good Government” clause that really could be used to justify the federal government doing pretty much anything at this point. The Alberta court challenge is expected to be heard fairly soon, to ensure a result is obtained before either the Saskatchewan or Ontario court case makes it to the Supreme Court of Canada.
  • The Alberta government introduced a bill to bring back Senate elections to Alberta. Interestingly, or perhaps predictably given Premier Kenney’s background, the bill requires candidates to run for Senate spots under the banner of a federal political party, rather than a provincial political party as was done in previous Alberta Senate elections.