Alberta Minute: Fair Deal, Paid Plasma, and Green Line, Equalization, and Sales Tax Referenda
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
- The Legislature is sitting again this week, with 5 bills at Second Reading, 4 bills in Committee of the Whole, and 2 bills at Third Reading.
- Tany Yao, MLA for Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo and Health Critic during the NDP government, will introduce a bill to restore compensation for plasma donations in Alberta. The previous government banned paid plasma in Alberta for ideological reasons, but all that happened was that Alberta now pays to import plasma from the USA, where donors are still paid. The NDP didn't stop paying people for plasma, they just paid Americans instead of Albertans!
- Debate will no doubt continue on the government's response to the Fair Deal Panel report (see below). Two distinct opinions on the best way forward for Alberta seem to be developing with Premier Kenney saying "independence doesn't make sense for Alberta" and "either you love Canada or you don't", while government MLA Drew Barnes says he's an "Alberta patriot" and "doesn't believe in unconditional support for federalism".
Last Week In Alberta:
- In a week of big news stories, there was one massive story - the Alberta Government released the eagerly-anticipated Fair Deal Panel report, along with their own response. We'll have more analysis of the report in the coming weeks, but the biggest news was an explicit confirmation from Premier Kenney that Albertans will get a vote in a referendum to abolish equalization. If you want to volunteer to help with that campaign, you can sign up here.
- Unsurprisingly, Calgary Council voted to proceed with the Green Line LRT despite the advice to the contrary of our President, Peter McCaffrey, on Danielle Smith's radio show. The province has, however, stepped in to say that they will review the viability of the project, and we continue to advocate for a referendum of all Calgarians on whether the project should go ahead. If you haven't already, you can sign a petition being run by our partner organization, Common Sense Calgary, calling for a referendum here.
- Another big story that you may have missed in the rush of news - Premier Kenney confirmed to the Canadian Taxpayers that his government will respect Alberta's Taxpayer Protection Act and will not introduce a sales tax in Alberta without first holding a referendum. We'd prefer he just rule out introducing a sale tax entirely, but one step at a time!
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