Alberta Minute: COVID Restrictions, Open Defiance, and a Wage Rollback That Isn't
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
- The Legislature continues this week, sitting Monday afternoon and evening, Tuesday afternoon and evening, Wednesday afternoon and evening, and Thursday afternoon.
- The government now has 10 bills at Second Reading, including some recently introduced bills such as Bill 62 (the Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act), Bill 63 (the Street Checks and Carding Amendment Act), and Bill 65 (the Health Statutes Amendment Act).
- In Committee news, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts will meet again this Tuesday from 8:00 am to 10:00 am to hear from the Ministry of Advanced Education. Later on Tuesday, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, the Standing Committee on Private Bills and Private Members' Public Bills will meet to discuss Bill Pr2 (the United Church of Canada Act, 2021) and Bill 214 (the Eastern Slopes Protection Act).
Last Week In Alberta:
- The provincial government moved Alberta back to a modified Step 1 of COVID restrictions, forcing gyms to operate with strict restrictions, closing indoor dining at restaurants, reducing capacity limits for retail, and more. A large portion of the government's own caucus spoke out against the restrictions, with 16 backbench MLAs signing a letter of protest, noting that they had brought up their concerns at the highest level of government, only to have them dismissed. Premier Kenney is alleged to have threatened an early election in order to try to quell the dissent.
- Opposition continued to grow outside the Legislature as well, with many small and rural businesses announcing that they would not be complying with the new health restrictions. Many stated that they will remain open because their only alternative is to go out of business entirely. Meanwhile, AHS and the RCMP fenced off GraceLife Church in the Parkland County area, which attracted multiple protests against the lockout, including a large one yesterday. Between a caucus rebellion and open defiance by the public, the provincial government seems to be running out of room to maneuver.
- Finally, the government just keeps getting more expensive, this time because an independent arbitrator rejected a proposed 2% wage rollback for employees of The Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission (AGLC) and Alberta Pension Services Corporation (APS), and instead awarded them a 1% retroactive wage increase.
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