Alberta Minute: Fiscal Restraint, Legislature Opening, and Two Upcoming Events

Alberta Minute: Fiscal Restraint, Legislature Opening, and Two Upcoming Events

Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.


Alberta Legislature by IQRemix on Flickr


This Week In Alberta:

  • The Standing Committee on Families and Communities will meet today at 9:00 am to discuss the Public Sector Compensation Transparency Act. Then, on Wednesday, the Legislature will reconvene, and there will be afternoon sittings on Wednesday and Thursday. Also on Wednesday, the Standing Committee on Alberta's Economic Future will meet at 8:30 am. Lastly, on Friday, at 9:00 am, the Select Special Conflicts of Interest Act Review Committee will meet.

  • Alberta’s population is the youngest in the country. According to Statistics Canada, the average age in Alberta is 39.1, with the Prairie region, including Manitoba (39.3) and Saskatchewan (39.7), following as the second and third youngest populations. Alberta stands out with the lowest proportion of individuals aged 65 and above, accounting for just 15.1%. Interestingly, Millennials have held the title of the largest generation in Alberta since 2014, preceding the national shift that occurred in 2023.

  • There are two events happening in Edmonton this week. First, our friends at Project Confederation are hosting an Alberta Pension Plan town hall on Tuesday night at 6:00 pm at the Transit Smokehouse. Josh Andrus, Executive Director of Project Confederation, will be providing information, answering questions, addressing concerns, and gathering feedback for potential improvements. The event is free, but registration is required. Click here to RSVP. Later in the week, our friends at Common Sense Edmonton are hosting Pints & Politics - a casual get-together on Thursday night at 6:00 pm at The Canadian Brewhouse in Ellerslie. This event is also free, but registration is required. You can RSVP by clicking here. Hope to see you at one - or both! - of the events.


Last Week In Alberta:

  • Premier Danielle Smith, in a pre-budget speech, acknowledged the need for financial restraint due to lower resource revenues and oil and gas price volatility. She emphasized the necessity of a long-term strategic financial plan to achieve a stable, balanced budget, shifting away from reliance on oil and gas revenues. Smith ruled out sales tax increases, pledging instead to reinvest $3 billion of surplus and investment income into Alberta's Heritage Savings Trust Fund, aiming to increase its value to $25 billion. Unfortunately, the plan also includes a delay to planned tax cuts, which we already think weren't significant enough.

  • Advanced Education Minister Rajan Sawhney announced funding to address skilled labour shortages. The Province will allocate $24 million annually for three years to create 3,200 new apprenticeship seats. This funding, subject to the Province's 2024 budget approval, supplements existing grants, bringing the total yearly investment to $78 million. There is concern about the diminishing supply of skilled workers in Alberta and across Canada, with estimates indicating a gap of over 60,000 registered apprentices nationally by 2025.

  • Alberta Health Services (AHS) has implemented new cost management strategies, including a hiring freeze for nearly all management and non-clinical support positions, to address an operating deficit for the 2023/24 fiscal year. Health Minister Adriana LaGrange assured Albertans that the hiring freeze would not impact frontline, clinical healthcare workers. Meanwhile, AHS announced that it is increasing parking fees across the province as of April 1st. On average, daily rates will rise by 75 cents in large markets and 50 cents in smaller ones. The rates haven’t changed in eight years and AHS says it needs the increase to maintain existing parking structures and build new ones.




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  • Alberta Institute
    published this page in News 2024-02-25 23:51:22 -0700