Alberta Minute: Bill One, CPP Meeting, and Auto Insurance Reforms
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
There are afternoon sittings of the Legislature today through Thursday. The Official Opposition will have a chance to make an address in reply to the Speech from the Throne on Tuesday, while Bill 3 (Opioid Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Amendment Act) and Bill 4 (Tax Statutes Amendment Act) will be given Second Reading. Bill 1 (Alberta Taxpayer Protection Amendment Act) will move to the Committee of the Whole (see below for more details on this Bill).
The Standing Committee on The Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund will meet today at 9:00 am. The Committee will discuss the draft of the Fund’s 2022-23 Annual Report, as well as the location, date, format, and communications plan for the Annual Public Meeting.
- The Standing Committee on Legislative Offices meets on Tuesday at 8:30 am. No agenda is available for this meeting yet. The Special Standing Committee on Members’ Services will meet on Thursday at 9:00 am. No agenda is available for this meeting yet, either.
Last Week In Alberta:
- The Legislature resumed and the government introduced Bill 1 - the Alberta Taxpayer Protection Amendment Act. The Bill expands on the Alberta Taxpayer Protection Act, which prevents the creation of a provincial sales tax without a referendum, by also preventing increases to personal and business taxes without a vote. The government would not be able to change tax rates, reduce personal income tax bracket thresholds, or lower basic personal and spousal credit amounts without a majority opinion, but in theory, they could still de-index personal tax rates from inflation or add targeted taxes to certain items.
Provincial and territorial Finance Ministers met with Deputy Prime Minister and federal Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland regarding an Alberta Pension Plan. After the meeting, Freeland said that Ottawa will provide its own estimate of Alberta’s share of the Canada Pension Plan assets, should Alberta proceed with creating its own plan. Freeland admitted that Alberta’s right to leave the CPP was not in dispute, and said she has asked the Office of the Chief Actuary to provide the estimate based on a “reasonable” interpretation of the CPP legislation. Alberta’s pension plan report estimates the province is entitled to 53% of the total CPP assets. Meanwhile, the Alberta government introduced the Alberta Pension Plan Protection Act - legislation promising a non-binding referendum on leaving the Canada Pension Plan. We’ll be sending out an explainer on the Alberta Pension Plan shortly - keep an eye on your inbox!
- The Province announced auto insurance reforms to help good drivers keep affordable insurance. As of January 1st, drivers with good records cannot have their premiums increased by more than the most recent inflation rate (3.7%). Good drivers are defined as those who have not had one or more at-fault accidents in the last six years or have not been convicted of a traffic infraction under the Criminal Code in the last four years. They must also not have had any major traffic convictions or more than one minor traffic conviction in the last three years.
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