Alberta Minute: Estimates Continue, Fuel Taxes, and a Fort McMurray Byelection
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
The Legislature continues to meet this week and will convene every afternoon and evening today through Thursday. So far, the government has introduced four bills, the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Recognition Act, the Special Days Act, the Financial Statutes Amendment Act, and the Municipal Government (Face Mask and Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination Bylaws) Amendment Act, 2022.
Committees will be meeting this week to discuss the main estimates, which are essentially the provincial budget broken down by department. Rather than list the details of every meeting here, we’ve made a handy explainer and spreadsheet which will tell you which department is meeting and when. There will also be a meeting of the Standing Committee on Private Bills and Private Members' Public Bills on Tuesday from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm.
- Residents of northeastern Alberta will head to the polls to vote in the byelection in Fort McMurray-Lac La Biche on Tuesday. Brian Jean is the UCP candidate and Ariana Mancini is the NDP candidate, while former MLA Paul Hinman, running for Wildrose Independence is the most prominent of the other candidates.
Last Week In Alberta:
In response to skyrocketing fuel prices, the provincial government announced that relief, in the form of suspending the 13 cent provincial fuel tax, will begin on April 1st, so long as the cost of West Texas Intermediate is above $90 a barrel. Currently, we are well above the threshold. If WTI dips below $80 a barrel, the tax will be reinstated. The provincial government is generating large revenues from high crude oil prices which finished the week around $110 per barrel, down from mid-week.
- The provincial government announced it would adopt its new curriculum in a phased approach starting this September, rolling out new English and math curricula first for kindergarten to grade 3. There will also be a new K-6 physical education curriculum, while changes to the math and English curricula for grades 4-6 will be postponed until 2023.
- Finally, the provincial government brought forth legislation that forces municipal governments to seek the Province’s permission to impose bylaws that run contrary to provincial public health orders. Edmonton, which had been the only municipality to retain their mask bylaw, repealed it before the law could be passed, but we believe that the Province should pass this legislation anyway to prevent issues in the future.
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