Alberta Minute: Bargaining Agreements, Registry Delays, and an Overdose Prevention App
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
The Legislature continues its summer break until October 31st, though his is subject to change depending on the priorities of the new United Conservative Party leader. There are no committee meetings scheduled for this week either.
Major delays continue at Alberta Land Titles offices. As of last week, the offices had only processed transactions up to February 24th. This could lead to property tax implications for owners who have sold their properties recently, as taxes are due in June. Someone who recently bought a home may not get a property tax notice, as it will be sent to the old property owner. Adding to the mess is the lack of a coordinated way for municipalities to deal with the backlog. Each municipality is dealing with the issue separately.
- Alberta beekeepers are considering their options after facing substantial bee colony losses over the winter due to frigid temperatures and a parasite called a Varroa Destructor. Alberta is the largest honey producer in Canada, responsible for 36% of the country's production. Beekeepers are considering importing hives from northern California to increase their colony numbers but at the moment, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency doesn’t allow such imports, citing parasite risk.
Last Week In Alberta:
Handguns flew off the shelves across Alberta as the federal government mulled a handgun ban. Bill C-21 could put a national freeze on importing, buying, selling, or otherwise transferring ownership of handguns. Alberta’s Chief Firearms Officer said that the ban on selling handguns won’t much reduce crime, as most handguns used in criminal activities are illegally smuggled across the border. The handgun freeze is not only an infringement on private property ownership, it's a reactionary law that does nothing.
- Alberta teachers narrowly accepted a new bargaining agreement, with 51% of teachers voting for the deal. The Alberta Teachers’ Association said that this close vote was a reflection of dissatisfaction with classroom conditions. The agreement will now go to the Teachers’ Employer Bargaining Association which will have to approve the deal before it can be incorporated into more than 60 collective bargaining agreements.
- Alberta launched an overdose response app which will monitor people who choose to use drugs alone. The app works by requiring users to interact with their phones at certain timed points. If the user fails to do so, EMS is dispatched to their location. The Province is hopeful that this will improve response times to overdoses.
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