Alberta Minute: Canada Day, COVID Ending, and a NAFTA Damage Claim
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
- The Legislature continues its summer break, however, the Select Special Committee on Real Property Rights will be meeting on Thursday from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. An agenda has not yet been posted for the meeting, but the committee is currently open for public submissions on Bill 206 (the Property Rights Statutes Amendment Act, 2020).
- After record high temperatures last week, most of the province is now set for rain and storms for most of this week. For those in the Calgary region, it does look like there might be a break in the weather for the start of the Calgary Stampede on the 9th, however!
- After the recent spate of church vandalization and burnings, the provincial government will be doubling the funding for the Alberta Security Infrastructure Program which provides community grants to places of worship for security costs. The program was originally launched last month and is designed to fund cameras, motion detectors, window film and anti-graffiti sealant at places like mosques, synagogues, friendship centres, gurdwaras, mandirs, churches and faith-based schools.
Last Week In Alberta:
- The huge news last week was Alberta's move to Stage 3 of the Province's re-opening plan on Canada Day, removing "almost all" restrictions. This means that most businesses can operate without restrictions, and others that have been closed the entire time like concert halls and nightclubs - can finally reopen. Canada Day itself was a scorcher with record temperatures to mark the country's 154th birthday.
We also received an update on the cost of COVID (and other government programs) to the Province with the release of the Province's accounts, and it is not pretty. Spending is up, even if you exclude all COVID-related costs, and the Province finished the 2020-2021 financial year with a $17 billion dollar deficit. Time to find some savings.
- Finally, TC Energy is seeking more than USD$15 billion in damages from the United States government over President Biden's cancellation of the Keystone XL project. The claim falls under the legacy NAFTA rules under the new United-States-Mexico-Canada trade agreement and on the face of it, the company would seem to have a strong case, but these sorts of international disputes often take years, or even decades, to resolve.
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