Alberta Minute: Broadband Strategy, Main Estimates, and a Safe Supply Meeting

Alberta Minute: Broadband Strategy, Main Estimates, and a Safe Supply Meeting

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


Alberta Legislature by IQRemix on Flickr


This Week In Alberta:

  • There will be afternoon sittings of the Legislature from Monday to Thursday. The Order Paper includes Committee of the Whole consideration for Bill 203, (the Foreign Credential Advisory Committee Act), which would establish a Committee to review how Alberta recognizes credentials of foreign workers. The 2024-25 Main Estimates Considerations will also begin this week. These are a series of Committee meetings scrutinizing the individual budgets for each Ministry. Rather than list the details of every meeting here, we’ve written an explainer that includes a handy spreadsheet that lists which department is attending which Committee meeting and when. Estimates Considerations will continue for about two weeks.

  • The government will be taking what Premier Danielle Smith called a “full court press” approach to addressing the labour shortage in the trades. The provincial government says that, despite facing a population boom, there is still a shortage of workers in the skilled trades, and job postings in this area have significantly outpaced population growth. The provincial government is attempting to address the issue through a renewed Alberta Is Calling campaign, which offers a $5,000 attraction bonus to 2,000 skilled workers through a refundable tax credit.

  • Camping reservations are in full swing. Alberta Parks says their new online camping reservation platform processed over 11,500 reservations for approximately 36,000 camping nights within the first 10 days of its opening. The platform allows for booking individual and backcountry sites 90 days in advance, and 180 days ahead for group and comfort camping. The "Camping this Weekend" feature caters to spontaneous trips. There are over 9,000 reservable individual sites, 205 backcountry permits, 71 comfort units, and 157 group camping sites.


Last Week In Alberta:

  • Alberta Municipalities, the organization representing many cities, towns, and villages in the province, said that their preliminary analysis of the government’s 2024 budget shows that it lacks adequate infrastructure funding to meet the demands of a growing population. Despite the government's commitment of $724 million through the Local Government Fiscal Framework (LGFF) and a total of $2.4 billion over three years allotted to local infrastructure, they argue that this falls short of the $1.75 billion they claim to need for 2024. The organization says that the budget will either increase the property tax burden in municipalities, or lead to lower quality roads, sidewalks, recreation centres, and other necessities. If only municipalities were spending on just those necessities…

  • The federal and provincial governments are jointly investing $112 million in 14 new broadband projects as part of Alberta's strategy to achieve universal connectivity by 2027. These projects are expected to connect over 22,500 homes to broadband internet, addressing the digital divide in rural and remote communities. Alberta plans to invest a total of $390 million in a dollar-for-dollar matching agreement with the federal government to connect the remaining homes lacking adequate internet access. Siksika Nation, among the recipients, says this investment is crucial for overcoming connectivity challenges, particularly highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Premier Danielle Smith has requested an emergency meeting with British Columbia counterparts after RCMP officers in Prince George, BC claimed that a recent drug bust included diverted safer supply drugs. Mounties seized over 10,000 pills, which they asserted are safe supply prescription drugs. The RCMP expressed concern over prescription drugs being used as currency to buy more potent illicit street drugs, with organized crime groups redistributing safe supply and prescription drugs, some ending up outside British Columbia. Premier Smith has directed two Ministers to address the emergency situation, emphasizing Alberta's past warnings about opioid diversion causing harm across Canada.




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  • Alberta Institute
    published this page in News 2024-03-10 19:19:39 -0600