Alberta Minute: COVID Damage, Cancer Diagnoses, and a Miniscule Equalization Refund
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
The Legislature is now adjourned for the Christmas break. It is expected to return in February though we won't have an exact date until closer to the time.
- Committee meetings have also now concluded for the year, with the next meeting planned to be a meeting of the Standing Committee on Resource Stewardship on January 13th.
- The province's vaccine roll-out is underway, with about 4,000 doses having been administered already, and another 25,000 expected to be given this week. The province's distribution plan is currently focused on health-care workers and those who work in long-term-care facilities.
Last Week In Alberta:
- The number of daily new COVID-19 cases continue to drop across the province, although you wouldn't know it from the constant negative media coverage. In fact, new cases have been trending down since *before* the December lockdown, which was implemented just two weeks after the November restrictions - too soon to know if the previous restrictions had worked. If the trend continues, then the November restrictions were clearly sufficient to get cases under control, meaning the December lockdown was unnecessary and approximately 100,000 jobs have been lost and 30,000 businesses destroyed needlessly.
- Meanwhile, cancer diagnoses in Alberta are down 20% this year. Of course, unfortunately, that isn't because fewer people have developed cancer this year, rather the pandemic has meant fewer people are getting tested and fewer cases are being caught early. AHS estimate that this figure represents nearly 1,900 undiagnosed cancer cases.
- Finally, despite COVID and an oil price crash that has seen Alberta's resource revenues drop from $10 billion a year to just $1 billion this year, Alberta's typical $20 billion net contribution to confederation will reduce by only $3 billion to $17 billion. In response, Jason Kenney had asked for $7 billion and Ottawa has agreed to send Alberta an extra $0.2 billion, so for those keeping track, that's about 3%.
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