Alberta Minute: Continued Treachery, Collision Reporting, and a Municipal Funding Formula
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
The Legislature is on break, but we'll bring you all the details as soon as they resume. To that end, we've made some updates to our email system. So, if you signed up for newsletters a while ago, but haven't received any until now, we apologize for the inconvenience - you should get them all going forward. Any other issues, let us know.
Starting January 1st, 2024, the Province will increase benefits for recipients of AISH, income support, and seniors benefits by 4.25%. Over 300,000 Albertans will benefit from this raise to help cover rising costs of essentials like food and housing. The move follows the government's decision to re-index benefits to inflation.
- Also starting January 1st, 2024, the Alberta government is increasing the damage threshold for mandatory police reporting of collisions from $2,000 to $5,000. Transportation Minister Devin Dreeshen says the change aims to relieve police resources and aligns with the rising costs of auto repairs. The new threshold accommodates the escalating expenses of minor fender benders and collisions that surpass the previous limit.
Last Week In Alberta:
- Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault celebrated Canada’s leading role in a decision made by 200 countries at the UN climate summit to transition away from fossil fuels, but Premier Danielle Smith called the Minister’s efforts a "national embarrassment". Smith said that she was gravely disappointed to see “radical activists continue to push an approach that would consign the world to energy poverty and economic stagnation”. She noted that Albertans would not forget this “continued treachery against our province and millions of other Canadians.” Our friends at Project Confederation have a campaign running to Stop The Cap On Oil And Gas - if you haven’t signed the petition yet, you can do so by clicking here.
A survey conducted by Alberta Education, with nearly 13,000 responses, revealed that Albertans are keen on a stronger emphasis on history and global events in the new social studies curriculum. Respondents expressed a desire for students to develop critical thinking skills and understand local, Canadian, and global events, as well as learn about global and national history. Minister of Education Demetrios Nicolaides emphasized that the survey results would guide the development of the new curriculum, with an aim to teach students about significant past events while fostering critical thinking skills. History emerged as the most frequently mentioned topic in the survey, with respondents advocating for the teaching of both Canadian and general history. Over 5,000 Albertans provided additional input, emphasizing the need for effective teaching methods, fact-based and non-partisan content, and developmentally and age-appropriate curriculum. Our friends at the Alberta Parents’ Union held consultations to encourage Albertans to fill out the survey, and are looking forward to the draft curriculum to ensure their members’ priorities are reflected.
- The Province has finalized the new allocation formula that determines how much money each local government gets every year. This new method is called the Local Government Fiscal Framework (LGFF), and it's replacing the old formula, known as the Municipal Sustainability Initiative, as the primary source of provincial capital funding for local governments. This change is meant to provide a clearer system for distributing funds to support local projects and infrastructure. For the 2024-25 fiscal year, the LGFF will allocate $722 million in capital funding to Alberta municipalities and Metis Settlements, increasing by 14% to $820 million for 2025-26.
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