Alberta Minute: Federal Budget, Provincial Response, and More Schools Move Online
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
- The Legislature is on a constituency break, so there will be no sittings of the Assembly this week. The Legislature is expected to return on May 3rd for 3 weeks more sitting weeks before breaking for the summer recess, though the schedule is, of course, always subject to change.
- There is, however, set to be a meeting of the Standing Committee on Resource Stewardship this week, despite the constituency break. The Committee is set to meet from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm on Thursday, but a full agenda for the meeting hasn't yet been released.
- Despite the National Advisory Committee on Immunization's update to their AstraZeneca advice last week, dropping their recommended minimum age to 30, the Alberta government have announced that they have no immediate plans to open bookings to 30-39-year-old Albertans as the recent uptake in vaccine appointments means that Alberta will likely run out of AstraZeneca vaccine again this week.
Last Week In Alberta:
- The federal government released its first budget in two years and it contained some pretty scary numbers. This year's projected deficit is $354.2 billion (nearly $10,000 for every single Canadian), while total debt is now $1.1 trillion ($30,000 per Canadian). You can read more about the federal budget and how it will affect Alberta in our analysis here. We also noticed that the budget mentions pipelines five times. A vaccine pipeline. A talent pipeline. An innovation pipeline. A personal protective equipment pipeline A genomics talent pipeline. What was missing? A pipeline pipeline!
- Speaking of which, the Alberta government said that they "respect" the B.C. government's decision to limit the constitutional rights of Albertans to move in and out of B.C. Is there much the Alberta government could do about this, even if they wanted to? Maybe not. But, we do wonder how they plan to argue against B.C. breaching the constitution by blocking pipelines, if Alberta is fine with B.C. breaching the constitution by blocking *Albertans*?
- Despite initially saying that they would persist with in-school learning, Edmonton Public and Catholic School Boards changed their mind and joined their Calgary counterparts in returning to online classes for older grades (7-12). Fort McMurray Public and Catholic Boards have also done the same. Various other school districts around the Province have particular schools doing at-home learning but haven't done so district-wide, at least yet.
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