Alberta Minute: COVID Restrictions, Alberta Police, and Standing Up For Keystone XL
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
- The Legislature is still on break until February 25th, but Committees continue. On Tuesday, at 8:00 am the Standing Committee on Public Accounts will be meeting. On Wednesday, at 1:30 pm the Standing Committee on the Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund will be meeting.
- Despite hair salons, barbershops and other personal-services businesses being allowed to open now, all other Public Health restrictions remain in place despite being well past their already once-delayed end date of January 21st. Premier Kenney has pledged to give businesses at least one week's notice in advance of when they'll be able to reopen which means that, if he sticks to that plan, the earliest restaurants, gyms, and such could open is now February 1st.
- The National Police Federation, the union for RCMP officers, is launching a campaign against the idea of an Alberta Provincial Police Force as recommended last June by the Fair Deal Panel. According to the Panel, Albertans raised concerns over bureaucracy, lack of continuity and response times, and a referendum to give Albertans a say is likely to be held in October.
Last Week In Alberta:
- Joe Biden celebrated his inauguration as the 46th President and, unfortunately for Alberta, one of his first acts was the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline. While Prime Minister Trudeau merely expressed "disappointment" in the decision, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney was livid. Our friends at Project Confederation launched a campaign to Stand Up For Keystone XL, which already has more than 10,000 supporters - get involved!
Much of Alberta, and in particular Edmonton, Leduc and Whitecourt, were hit by an intense storm, with wind gusts of up to 128 km/h recorded. The Insurance Bureau of Canada said they expect damage claims to be "significant", though cost estimates won't be available for at least a month.
- A new report from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business shows that one in five, or approximately 34,500 Alberta small businesses, are at risk of permanent closure due to COVID shutdowns. The data shows that just 60% of Alberta businesses are currently open, down from 63% in December, and just 20% of all businesses are experiencing normal levels of sales.
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