Alberta Minute – Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
- The Legislature finally returns this week – on Tuesday to be precise. The government says they plan to introduce 14 to 17 new bills, while the budget will be introduced on October 24th.
- One of the first bills that will be introduced will create a new crown corporation, the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation. The move is a little confusing, as the UCP promised to sell crown corporations, not create new ones, during the campaign, but we believe that this entity will be used to fund the development of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
- The government will also introduce its “Technology, Innovation and Emissions Reduction” program, aka their carbon tax. Unlike the NDP’s carbon tax which was paid by everyone, the UCP’s carbon tax is modelled after the old PC carbon tax, and is only levied on heavy emitters. Of course, heavy emitters will likely just pass the costs on to everyday Albertans.
Last Week In Alberta:
- Alberta’s Auditor General and Public Interest Commissioner found that the former CEO of the Alberta Energy Regulator “grossly mismanaged” public funds, public assets, and public services. The CEO resigned from his position last year when the investigations were announced.
- Economist Trevor Tombe released a report that detailed the impact that Alberta’s recession had on the broader Canadian economy. Tombe calculated that had the recession not happened the Canadian economy would be $130 billion per year better off, and the unemployment rate would have dropped to the lowest ever level in Canadian history. Of course, the recession did happen, but this is a worthwhile excess that demonstrates how much Alberta contributes to Confederation.
- The University of Alberta’s Vice-President of University Relations, Jacqui Tam, resigned after taking responsibility for a billboard that said “Beefier Barley – Climate change will boost Alberta’s barley yield with less water, feeding more cattle.” Tam said she believed in climate change, and that the billboard was “out of context”. But, even if it wasn’t, aren’t university staff supposed to be able to say what they think without losing their job?