Alberta Minute: Calgary Event, Ottawa Office, and Town Halls Announced
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
Alberta is preparing for a busy wildfire season by increasing the number of firefighters and volunteers, and deploying advanced equipment, including helicopters with night vision capabilities. With 54 "carry-over" fires still burning, Forestry Minister Todd Loewen emphasized proactive measures and a tougher stance on human-caused fires, particularly campfires.
The Province is opposing a federal emissions cap on greenhouse gases. "This cap is not realistic or effective, will not achieve its grandiose emissions targets and will not be tolerated in Alberta”, says the Province’s formal response to Ottawa's proposal. Alberta argues that the technology to reduce emissions enough to meet federal targets does not yet exist and that the emissions cap violates the Constitution.
- Éric Duhaime, the leader of the Conservative Party of Quebec, will be speaking in Calgary on Thursday, at 6:30 pm, about the ways that Alberta and Quebec could potentially work together in pursuit of greater provincial sovereignty, respect for constitutional principles, and desire to be free from undue federal intervention. Our friends at Project Confederation are hosting the event at the Royal Canadian Legion (Branch #1) in downtown Calgary. It should be an interesting event. Tickets are free, but you’ll need to RSVP online.
Last Week In Alberta:
- Speaking of Project Confederation, they have announced upcoming in-person Alberta Pension Plan town halls - and our team will be attending and speaking. The events will provide a forum to hear more about the Alberta Pension Plan, debate the proposal, get your questions answered, and gather feedback for potential improvements. There will be an event in Strathmore on Tuesday, February 20th and in Lethbridge on Thursday, February 22nd, with more to be announced in the coming days. You can see the details and RSVP for Strathmore here and Lethbridge here.
The Alberta government has officially released the first portion of their promised $57 million in funding to help family doctors. The initial allocation of $12 million for 2023-24 has been given to the Alberta Medical Association, who will administer the program. Clinics could receive up to $10,000 annually in administrative assistance, and payments will be based on the size of a physician's patient panel. This funding is distinct from the federal government's promised $200 million over two years, which is expected to begin on April 1st.
- Premier Danielle Smith had a busy week. First, she was in Ottawa for the opening of a new provincial office, aiming to raise Alberta’s profile in national discussions. Located in Constitution Square in downtown Ottawa, Smith said the “centre for advocacy and information” will ensure that “Alberta’s strengths and concerns are able to be more clearly and quickly communicated”. Alberta previously had an Ottawa office, but it was closed in 2015. Smith then travelled to the United States to promote Alberta energy. She said she views the U.S. decision to pause approval of new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export licenses as an opportunity for Canada to step in as a supplier of this essential energy source. Canada's first LNG export plant is set to start operation by 2025.
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