Alberta Minute: Irrigation Project, Affordability Payments, and an Unjust Transition Plan
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
The Legislature remains adjourned this week, but Committee meetings begin again today. The Standing Committee on Public Accounts will meet this afternoon at 1:00 pm to discuss the spring 2023 meeting schedule and to invite Ministries to respond to the November 22 report from the Office of the Auditor General. The Standing Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future will meet on Tuesday at 9:00 am to review the 2019-2021 Property Rights Advocate Annual Report and the Personal Information Protection Act.
The final shipping arrangements for children’s acetaminophen are being made for hospitals across the province. Health Canada recently authorized the purchase of the drug, manufactured in Turkey. After months of shortages, Alberta partnered directly with a Turkish manufacturer to procure 5 million doses of children's pain and fever medication.
- Today, the Province is expected to announce the details of how to apply for the recently promised affordability plan payments. Six $100 affordability payments will be given to each senior and child under the age of 18 in households whose annual income is less than $180,000. Those on AISH or other income supports should receive the money automatically, while others will need to apply.
Last Week In Alberta:
- The Premier took aim at Ottawa’s planned “Just Transition” legislation. Danielle Smith called it ill-conceived and short-sighted - she’s right. The legislation is meant to move workers from the oil and gas industry into more “sustainable” jobs. Our friends at Project Confederation have started a petition opposing this plan. We encourage you to sign!
Canada’s largest oilsands producers have signed an agreement with the Alberta government to assess the geology of an underground carbon storage site. The proposal is a carbon capture and storage hub that will gather and store emissions from 14 oilsands projects in northern Alberta by 2030. This plan would cost roughly $16.5 billion, but producers are hoping provincial and federal governments chip in for some of the cost.
- The Province, local governments, and the Canadian Infrastructure Bank are spending $7 million to continue planning a $1.3 billion project to irrigate roughly 108,000 acres in the Special Areas and Municipal District of Acadia. Farmers in east-central Alberta have reacted positively to the news. If it goes ahead, it would be the most costly irrigation project in the province's history. Provincial grants, a loan from the Canadian Infrastructure Bank, and private equity would fund the project, as well as an upfront “capital asset charge” paid for by the farmers.
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