Alberta Minute: Invasive Mussels, AHS Transition, and a Potential Rail Strike

Alberta Minute: Invasive Mussels, AHS Transition, and a Potential Rail Strike

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


Alberta Legislature by IQRemix on Flickr


This Week In Alberta:

  • Today is a holiday, so the Legislature will not have sittings this afternoon. It will, however, sit for afternoon sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. The order paper includes Bill 18 (The Provincial Priorities Act) and Bill 21 (The Emergency Statutes Amendment Act). There will also be one Committee meeting this week - on Tuesday, at 8:00 am, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts will meet to discuss the Ministry of Public Safety and Emergency Services.

  • Evacuation orders for residents of several communities in Fort McMurray, including Abasand, Beacon Hill, Grayling Terrace, and Prairie Creek are no longer in place due to reduced wildfire threat after recent rain and containment efforts. Mayor Sandy Bowman welcomed residents back home, although caution is advised as the wildfire remains active and could take weeks or months to fully control. Authorities emphasize the ongoing fire ban, restrictions on outdoor fires, and safety measures as crews continue to work on containing the fire and ensuring community safety.

  • The Alberta government is taking action against invasive mussels by forming the Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force to prevent their entry into the province. These non-native mussels, such as zebra and quagga mussels, pose significant threats to ecosystems and infrastructure. The task force aims to enhance inspection, detection, and public awareness to mitigate the risk of invasive species. Grant Hunter, MLA for Taber-Warner is leading the task force.


Last Week In Alberta:

  • The Province released more information regarding the transition of Alberta Health Services into four separate organizations that address mental health and addictions, acute care, primary care, and continuing care. Bill 22, the Health Statutes Amendment Act, lays out the structure of the new organizations. Health Minister Adriana LaGrange will have oversight of all four organizations as well as the ability to designate Sector Ministers to run the four new organizations. While employees can be transferred to the new organizations, collective bargaining agreements will be maintained and there are no job losses expected. The mental health and addictions agency will begin operation this summer, with the other agencies expected to begin in the fall.

  • The Alberta government has announced an investment of $50.5 million over the next five years to support the construction of three new water intake facilities in Alberta's Industrial Heartland. These facilities, intended to pull water from the North Saskatchewan River, will be strategically located in the counties of Lamont, Strathcona, and Sturgeon, to support industrial expansion in this 582-square-kilometer zone that spans five municipalities. According to Rebecca Schulz, the Minister of Environment and Protected Areas, this infrastructure is essential to attract and sustain industrial projects in the area. While there are currently no projects that require new water intakes, the provision for such infrastructure aims to ensure reliable, cost-effective water access and encourage shared infrastructure use among new industrial entities.

  • Premier Danielle Smith urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to do everything possible to prevent potential strikes by railway and port workers, emphasizing the critical role of these industries in Canada's economy. She called for rapid resolution and readiness to enact back-to-work legislation if necessary. Over 95% of union members voted to authorize strike action, but the Canadian National Railway has presented a fresh contract proposal aiming to prevent job action.




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  • Alberta Institute
    published this page in News 2024-05-19 20:13:37 -0600