Alberta Minute: Gun Buyback, UCP Debate, and High Electricity Costs
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
The Legislature remains on break until October 31st. There are also no Committee meetings scheduled for all of August, although the Select Special Ombudsman and Public Interest Commissioner Search Committee (2022) will be meeting on September 7th.
From now until August 28th, Ottawa is looking for input from gun owners, businesses, and the firearms industry on the proposed compensation amounts for its mandatory gun buyback program. The federal government is offering $1,337 in compensation for turning in an AR-15 rifle. How about, instead of wasting taxpayer money on this, the government leaves responsible gun owners alone and focuses on criminal activity?
- High natural gas prices continue to hammer Albertans, especially through increased costs of generating electricity. The regulated rate for electricity has risen over 150% in the last 18 months to more than 17 cents per Kilowatt hour for many major power producers. The mandatory phase-out of coal, which used to generate a significant amount of Alberta's electricity, is definitely having an impact on prices.
Last Week In Alberta:
The first UCP leadership race debate took place on Wednesday and saw perceived front-runner Danielle Smith defending parts of the Alberta Sovereignty Act against attacks from many of the other candidates, although most of them also expressed support for other elements of the plan. Education policy was one topic not covered in the debate, but Parents for Choice in Education are hosting a virtual forum on Thursday at 6:00 pm, which you can register for here.
- The Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) ratified a new four-year collective agreement. The deal is retroactive to April 1st, 2020 and will result in a 4.125% pay increase over four years. HSAA members include respiratory therapists, lab workers, paramedics, mental health professionals, and others.
- The provincial government announced an $87 million investment into mental health supports for children and youth. Around $42 million over three years will be used to increase access to in-school resources, and another $45 million will improve pediatric rehabilitation services.
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