Alberta Minute: Federal Budget, Doctors Leaving, and a New Teacher Discipline System
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
The Legislature will be on break this week with only one committee meeting scheduled. The Standing Committee on Private Bills and Private Members’ Public Bills will meet on Thursday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. No agenda was posted at the time of writing.
The federal budget will be delivered on April 7th. Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said that the budget will focus on “spurring economic growth”. This isn't our first rodeo and it sounds like a lot of debt-fueled corporate welfare to us. Government spending does "spur" the economy, it's true, but it spurs it by less than it's harmed by the extra tax and debt required to pay for the spurring - net result: a worse economy overall.
- Terri Pelton begins her new role as Alberta’s Child and Youth Advocate on Friday. As per the latest government report, 15 young Albertans died in a six-month period last year from a variety of causes which included suicides, drug poisonings, and homicides. These youth had all received care from the Alberta Government within the prior two years. Outgoing Advocate Del Graff said more needed to be done to protect children who have been involved in the provincial care system.
Last Week In Alberta:
The Province proposed powers that would stop the teachers’ union from disciplining its own members. The provincial government argues that it is a conflict of interest for the union to discipline teachers while also being the teachers' representative at disciplinary hearings. The proposed bill would put discipline in the hands of a single commissioner, appointed by the Province for a five-year term. The Alberta Teachers’ Association has vowed to fight the change tooth and nail.
- The number of doctors who left Alberta in 2021 was equal to the number that left in the previous two years combined. In 2021, 140 doctors left the province compared to 87 in 2020 and 54 in 2019. The President of the Alberta Medical Association (AMA) blamed the provincial government for creating a “confrontational” relationship with doctors. A new master agreement is in the works between the AMA and the Province.
- Prime Minister Trudeau proposed a new federal climate plan. One of the calls in the plan is for the oil and gas industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42% by 2030. The reaction in Alberta was swift and brutal from all sides, with the provincial UCP government calling it “insane” and the opposition NDP calling it a “fantasy”. This rare agreement between normally opposed parties means that, once again, a Trudeau has united Alberta - against himself. If you’re old enough, you may remember the first time a Trudeau did something like this.
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