Alberta Minute: COVID Mandates, Fiscal Update, and Quebec Wins Again
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
The Alberta Legislature's break continues until October 25th, but the Select Special Committee on Real Property Rights will meet on Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm to receive and discuss the submissions they received to their recent consultation.
The third and fourth federal election debates will be held this week. On Wednesday, the third French debate will be held, while on Thursday will be the first and only English debate. Why three French debates and only one English debate, you ask? Project Confederation's Josh Andrus has the answer in his excellent breakdown.
- AHS is implementing mandatory vaccination for all staff, stating that all employees must be fully vaccinated by Oct 31st. If a worker does not want to get vaccinated, Dr. Yiu, the head of AHS, said "it may result in an unpaid leave of absence to allow for compliance and for them to consider vaccinations".
Last Week In Alberta:
In spring, the Province said Alberta was "Open for Summer". When some nitpickers asked if that mean *only* summer, we were assured "We won’t just open for summer. We will open for good." Well, here we are, summer hasn't even ended yet, and masks and early restaurant closing hours are back. Apparently it's now government policy that if you have a beer at 10:01 pm you're at risk of getting sick, but not at 9:59 pm, unless the government deems the event economically important enough, then 10:01pm is safe too. Insanity.
- Thanks to higher oil and gas prices, and therefore stronger royalty revenues, the provincial budget deficit is now forecast to be only $7.8 billion. Of course, that's still a whopping amount of money, but compared to the previous projection of $18.3 billion? Well, not great, not terrible. Alberta will still pay about $2.6 billion to service its debt this year - more than $500 per Alberta, just on interest!
- Finally, two municipalities, Turner Valley and Black Diamond, announced they will be moving forward with a plan for amalgamation. Both councils indicated cost savings as a primary benefit, though the move is not universally popular, with the public having rejected plebiscites on the issue in the past.
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