Alberta Minute: Budget Deficits, Special Committees, and Education Controversies
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
- The Legislature will sit for one day on Thursday to debate the long-delayed first-quarter fiscal update which is expected to show a budget deficit of more than $20 billion.
- On Wednesday there will be a Select Special Democratic Accountability Committee meeting and on Thursday there will be a Select Special Public Health Act Review Committee meeting.
- Otherwise, the Legislature's summer break continues with the fall session not due to start until October 26th.
Last Week In Alberta:
- Protests against school funding "cuts" were held around the province. School funding formulas are complicated so some confusion is understandable but, to be clear, every school board is getting more money in 2020/21 than in 2019/20. Yes, funding isn't increasing as quickly as enrolment, so per-student funding is falling slightly, but given potential economies of scale, this really isn't a fair metric. Besides, anyone in the private sector right now would be ecstatic with a "slightly smaller than usual increase" in revenue.
- The province also turned down a request from the Alberta Teachers Association to delay the re-start of the school year by a week. The government isn't preventing individual school boards from making that choice should they wish to, however, so it's possible some schools may still open later.
- The towns of Turner Valley and Black Diamond might soon amalgamate into a new community if a proposal from both town councils is approved by the provincial government. The new community would be slightly larger than 5,000 making it eligible for municipal policing grants, as well as enabling tax savings from only having one Council, one CEO, etc. The name of the new community is still up for debate.
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