Alberta Minute: Financial Update, Joint Communique, and an Upcoming Calgary Event
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
Changes to Alberta’s driver’s licence program are now in effect. Eligible drivers - those with clean records and who have had their licences for at least 24 months - will automatically exit the graduated licensing program, and will no longer have to pay for a driving test to do so. Letters will be mailed to those who qualify.
The federal government’s new Clean Fuel Regulations (effectively a second carbon tax) are now in effect, but Premier Danielle Smith says she’s ready to push back. Ottawa’s Parliamentary Budget Officer admitted these new regulations will cost Albertans more than $1,160 per year, in addition to annual increases to the federal carbon tax.
- We’re hosting a BBQ in Calgary this week, along with our friends at Common Sense Calgary, Project Confederation, and the Alberta Parents’ Union. We'll meet at Edworthy Park on Wednesday, July 5th, from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Specifically, we will be at Picnic Site 7 & 8, which has plenty of room, BBQs, a fire pit, and is suitable for families, but also allows for the consumption of adult beverages! To keep the event free and as accessible as possible, it will be BYOHBB (Bring Your Own Hot-Dogs, Burgers, and Beer). We will be providing water, snacks, and some marshmallows for roasting, so if you have the capacity to chip in, $10 is a suggested donation. Please RSVP here. Hope to see you there!
Last Week In Alberta:
- Finance Minister Nate Horner delivered a financial update, and Alberta ended the 2022 fiscal year with a $11.6 billion surplus. The Province took in a record $8.2 billion in corporate income taxes - double the amount estimated in the budget. Horner addressed concerns about the falling price of oil, saying that the government is in a good position to manage any bumps in the road. The Province has been able to put $13.2 billion towards its debt.
Premier Danielle Smith attended the Western Premiers’ Conference in Whistler, B.C.. The premiers were united in their disappointment that the federal government has not yet passed bail reform legislation despite promising to do so. Smith said that the premiers were also united in calling for federal infrastructure funding to be allocated on a per-capita basis, with no strings attached. The premiers issued a joint communique noting their commitment to working together to enhance trade corridors, among other issues.
- As the opioid crisis continues, Premier Danielle Smith said the Province will continue to focus on a recovery-oriented model of care. Smith reiterated that safe supply programs are ineffective at reducing overdose deaths, and said that when it comes to fentanyl (the drug related to 93% percent of those deaths), there is no such thing as a safe supply.
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