Alberta Minute: Legislative Calendar, Caucus Upheaval, and Pay Increases For Bureaucrats
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
- Several of the provincial health orders will be lifted this morning after fear about a post-Christmas spike never manifested. Outdoor social gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed as long as everyone is wearing masks and keeping at least two metres apart and personal wellness services will be allowed to reopen by appointment.
- The provincial government has released its 2021 Sessional Calendar indicating that the Legislature's Session will resume on February 25, 2021. This is, as always, subject to change, so we will keep you updated.
- On Wednesday, January 20th there will be a meeting of the Special Standing Committee on Members' Services. The Committee will be reviewing the 2021‐22 Legislative Assembly Office Budget Estimates, receiving an update on Strategic Business, and an update from the Subcommittee Reviewing Expenditure Guidelines and Members Services' Committee Orders.
Last Week In Alberta:
- Jason Kenney removed Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pat Rehn from the UCP Caucus. We've heard rumours about absences by Rehn for a while and Kenney confirmed that Rehn had ignored requests from his constituents, the caucus, and Kenney himself to be more present in the riding. Rehn will remain as an independent MLA as the Premier has no power to remove MLAs entirely, and the UCP election promise of Recall legislation has not yet been introduced.
- A number of businesses revolted against the mandatory COVID-19 closures last week, opening despite public health orders requiring them to be closed. Many business owners cited the MLA travel scandal, which saw numerous public officials skirt local gathering limits and business closures by travelling to tropical destinations with looser COVID restrictions.
- In stark contrast to everything going on in the private sector with the lockdown, it was unveiled that more than 7,300 Alberta bureaucrats received pay raises in 2020, costing Alberta taxpayers $18.7 million. Pay raises for provincial bureaucrats have now cost taxpayers more than $245 million since the beginning of Alberta's economic downturn in 2015.
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