Alberta Minute: Leadership Panel, Restrictions Ended, and Emergency Wait Times
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
The Legislature continues its summer recess until October 31st, however there is one committee meeting scheduled for this week. The Standing Committee on Legislative Offices will meet on Wednesday from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, but no agenda is available yet.
The recent rainy weather is providing some hope to farmers in southern Alberta. Before the rainfall, four districts had declared an agricultural disaster. The rain may have come too late though, as sub-soil moisture levels are not where they should be. Still, some farmers are saying there is renewed optimism for a good harvest.
- The Free Alberta Strategy team will be hosting a virtual UCP Leadership Panel on Thursday, June 23rd from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The online discussion will centre around the Free Alberta Strategy, equalization, transfer payments, and other aspects of Alberta/Federal relations. The event is free and everyone is welcome, but registration is required.
Last Week In Alberta:
The United Conservative Party announced the rules of its leadership contest. Candidates must put up a $150,000 entry fee and a refundable $25,000 deposit, plus collect 1,000 signatures from various areas of the province. The deadline to purchase a party membership to be eligible to vote is August 12th. The vote will take place on October 6th and will be a ranked ballot format with both mail-in and in-person voting available across the province.
- The Province lifted almost all remaining pandemic restrictions. Among the measures no longer in effect are masking on public transit and mandatory isolation for those with COVID-19 symptoms. Some doctors maintain that removing the last of the health restrictions will lead to a spike in cases in the province.
- Doctors said that emergency room wait times are out of control in Alberta. Dr. Paul Parks of the Alberta Medical Association said that staff shortages combined with increasing patient loads are contributing to overcrowding. Wait times that exceeded three hours were being reported at emergency rooms across the Edmonton area. The Province said it is spending more on healthcare than the previous government, but COVID-19 led to more staff being absent as well as higher patient volumes.
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