Alberta Minute: Committees Return, Restrictions Extended, and Recall Watered Down
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
- The Legislature is still on break, but Committees are back this week with the Standing Committee on Legislative Offices meeting on Tuesday, the Standing Committee on Resource Stewardship meeting on Wednesday, and the Standing Committee on Families and Communities meeting on Friday.
- When Alberta's COVID restrictions were extended to at least the 21st of January last week, Premier Kenney pledged to give businesses at least one week's notice in advance of when they'll be able to reopen. That means businesses can expect to know by at least Thursday this week whether they will be able to reopen on the 21st. Kenney's phrasing at the announcement seemed to imply that some, but not all, of the extra December restrictions will be removed, so it may be that only some of the currently closed businesses will be allowed to reopen.
- Speaking of which, a number of businesses across the Province say they are planning to reopen from today onwards, despite the extended restrictions. If it's a choice between opening and receiving a fine, and staying shut and going out of business entirely, you have to feel for these business owners. What do you think? Should businesses reopen?
Last Week In Alberta:
- As we predicted, headlines last week were dominated by ongoing news and rumours about travelling MLAs and staff. After initially refusing to administer any punishments, Premier Kenney eventually realized the reality of the situation and kicked Minister Allard out of Cabinet, fired his Chief of Staff, and demoted several other MLAs.
- Despite the public backlash, the provincial government announced that (for the rest of us at least) the current COVID restrictions will continue for another two weeks. "I know this is particularly frustrating to hear all of this right now when you’ve seen news stories about politicians and political staff travelling abroad," said Premier Kenney. Frustrating indeed.
- The government has now confirmed that Recall legislation is coming soon but, as we had heard rumoured, the number of signatures required to trigger a Recall vote will likely be set so high that it's unlikely that the law will ever actually be used. We advocated for a much lower threshold when we presented to the Committee, so this is very disappointing to see.
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