Alberta Minute: Fair Deal, Budget Cuts, and Tax Hikes
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
- This week may be the Legislature last before winter break. These things are always fluid, especially with claims of pending public sector layoffs and controversial bills before the house, but right now the Sessional Calander makes it clear that the House plans to rise for winter break on Thursday.
- Bill 26 (Farm Freedom and Safety Act) is at the third reading and currently scheduled to pass on Thursday.
- Bill 29 (Municipal Government (Machinery and Equipment Tax Incentives) Amendment Act), Bill 20 (Fiscal Measures and Taxation Act), and Bill 21 (Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability Act) are all at Committee of the Whole.
Last Week In Alberta:
- The United Conservative Party's AGM was held this weekend and one of the main topics of discussion was Alberta's place in confederation. Premier Kenney set the tone in his keynote speech, saying “Come hell or high water, Alberta will get a fair deal!”. The province's Fair Deal Panel's meetings kick off next week in Edmonton, so there will be plenty more news on this topic in the coming weeks.
In spite of increased spending in the Health and Education budget, unions are warning of mass layoffs in response to Ministers notifying their Departments of plans for restructuring and reform. Contrary to what you might have heard on Twitter, there have been no budget cuts, though the government does plan to redirect more healthcare dollars to the front line rather than administration.
- Calgary residents and business owners are facing a massive tax hike due to City Councils' inability to find reductions in their plans to increase spending. Municipal Affairs Minister Kaycee Madu joined in the debate saying “I think there’s enough room there and in so many other places. I expect them to tackle the root cause of their spending problem.” He would struggle to be more correct. If you're interested in municipal issues, make sure to follow our municipal project, Common Sense Calgary.