Alberta Minute: Credit Rating, Trade Mission, and Crime Crackdown Initiatives
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
Our Can't Stop Alberta Tour continues this week. This week, we’re headed to Edson, Grande Prairie, Barrhead, and Sherwood Park. We’ll be discussing K-12 education, Alberta’s relationship with Ottawa, energy policy, and more. Attendance is free, but if you’re so inclined, you can make a donation to help cover our venue hire costs and our travel expenses. We hope to see you at one or more of the events, and if you're not in the cities listed above, don't worry - just check the list online for an event near you.
Alberta's Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, RJ Sigurdson, is on a trade mission to South Korea and Japan. The mission aims to promote Alberta's agriculture industry and its agri-food products. During the visit, Minister Sigurdson will engage with agri-businesses, government officials, and media to explore investment and trade opportunities for the province's agricultural sector. Japan is Alberta's third-largest agri-food export market, with key products including wheat, canola seed, and beef, while South Korea ranks as the fifth-largest agri-food export market, with exports including beef, canola oil, pork, wheat, and hay.
- Premier Danielle Smith's approval rating is at its highest point since she took office. Smith stands out as the Canadian Premier with the highest number of respondents "strongly approving" of her leadership. Alberta’s credit rating is also on the upswing, having just received a bump to AA on account of real GDP growth and a stable debt-to-GDP ratio.
Last Week In Alberta:
- The Province announced new initiatives aimed at addressing crime. These initiatives include the creation of "targeted prosecution units" in urban centers that will work with police to get violent criminals off the streets. There will also be changes to the province’s bail protocol to curb repeat offenders, with guidance given to prosecutors that they seek to detain those who are a threat to public safety. Justice Minister Mickey Amery said that “the position of the Alberta government is absolutely clear: there is no safe haven in Alberta for criminals”. The federal government won’t act, so Alberta needs to!
Premier Danielle Smith announced a one-time compassionate payment of $2,000 per child for families impacted by the E. coli outbreak in Calgary. The outbreak, connected to multiple Calgary childcare facilities, has resulted in 337 lab-confirmed cases of E. coli as well as 12 patients hospitalized. While the exact source of the E. coli infection remains unknown, there were multiple food safety violations at a central kitchen that services the daycares. Smith said the Province will get to the bottom of this issue and take steps to ensure nothing like this ever happens again.
- The Province announced steps to address the housing crisis by allocating $16 million for the repair and maintenance of government-owned affordable housing facilities that are currently unused. This funding is in addition to the $94 million already allocated for maintenance. The investment will cover critical improvements such as window replacement, roof repairs, and interior upgrades.
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