Alberta Minute – Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
- While the House is still on break for Summer, there is a Special Standing Committee on Members’ Services meeting scheduled for Tuesday.
- It’s been reported in the media that the Committee will be discussing a cut to MLA’s salaries. The UCP promised to immediately cut MLA pay in their election platform, but have been criticized recently for not implementing the pay cut during their first “100 days”. Based on the meeting agenda (above), it appears there will also be some long-needed reforms to MLA’s fuel and mileage expense rules.
- Public submissions are still open on the Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act (Alberta’s sunshine list). Details of how to submit are available here.
Last Week In Alberta:
- The Alberta government has extended the deadline requiring Alberta universities to create free speech policies from October 15th to December 15th. Some universities have seemed hesitant about complying with the new rules, and it’s not yet clear what the government will do if a university doesn’t meet the new deadline, though the idea of funding cuts has been floated.
- The government also filed Alberta’s legal argument against the federal carbon tax mandate. On the face of it, the argument that it is a clear intrusion into provincial jurisdiction seems strong. If the federal government can force provinces to introduce new taxes, then what *can’t* the Federal government do, and what is the point of even having provinces? The Supreme Court of Canada does have a habit of coming to conclusions that don’t make sense though, so we will wait and see.
- Finally, the debate over the government’s oil production supply limits continues with Rick Kruger, Imperial Oil’s Chief Executive, calling for the limits to be repealed. The heart of the issue is that the government’s intervention helped companies that weren’t prepared for a large oil price differential, but it did so at the expense of companies who predicted a large differential and took steps to prepare for it, including making significant financial investments. Punishing those who make good business decisions, and rewarding those who make bad businesses, will only lead to a weaker industry in the long-run.