Alberta Minute: Budget Tabled, Pharmacare Plans, and a Sovereignty Act Motion

Alberta Minute: Budget Tabled, Pharmacare Plans, and a Sovereignty Act Motion

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


Alberta Legislature by IQRemix on Flickr


This Week In Alberta:

  • The Legislature has resumed, but will not sit this week, nor are there any Committee meetings.

  • The Province is putting new regulations in place for solar and wind projects. Changes will include a ban on new wind projects within 35-kilometre "buffer zones" around protected areas and other designated "pristine viewscapes." Developers must cover reclamation costs, and the Alberta Utilities Commission will prioritize an "agriculture first" approach for renewables on farmlands.

  • Alberta is working with the College of Alberta Psychologists (CAP) to regulate and license counsellors. The new regulations will enforce professional standards encompassing education, safety, and a code of ethics, with CAP overseeing and regulating counsellors. Legislative changes are proposed to amend the Mental Health Services Protection Act and the Health Professions Act in support of these initiatives, with anticipated implementation in 2025.


Last Week In Alberta:

  • Alberta Finance Minister Nate Horner unveiled the Province's 2024-25 budget. The budget, while tight, includes major spending on healthcare and education. With a healthcare budget exceeding $26 billion, the government aims to enhance primary care, rural physician programs, and achieve universal access to doctors. The budget allocates $1.9 billion to support special education and vulnerable students, and $1.3 billion is earmarked for water management and drought preparedness efforts over the next three years. We’ll have more to say on the specifics in the coming weeks!

  • Alberta Health Minister Adriana LaGrange said the Province intends to opt out of a newly tabled national pharmacare plan. The federal NDP recently reached a deal with the Liberal government for pharmacare, offering free diabetes medication and birth control for all Canadians. LaGrange highlighted the Province's existing comprehensive programs for seniors and low-income individuals with disabilities, and said Alberta would seek its per-capita share from the federal government to boost its own coverage. Our friends at the Free Alberta Strategy published a great article about this - you can read it here.  

  • The Alberta Government passed its first motion under the Sovereignty Act to not comply with the Clean Electricity Regulations. The move comes in response to Ottawa's aim to establish a national standard of net-zero electricity grids by 2035, a timeline deemed unrealistic by Premier Smith. The vote in the Legislature was 46-28, breaking along party lines, with NDP MLAs opposing the motion.




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  • Jane Hladky
    commented 2024-03-04 08:13:55 -0700
    PLEASE educate Albertans – we all have access to the Non-group benefit program not just seniors and low income. Do some research please everyone needs to understand why Alberta opted out!!! People do not have to go broke paying do-pays for insulin- they can have a private plan and a gov’t plan! Seniors and low income people only pay $25/prescription likely the co-pay for a Federa program will be much higher. Dig into this PLEASE and educate everyone
  • Alberta Institute
    published this page in News 2024-03-03 22:04:22 -0700