Alberta Minute: More Campsites, Child Care, and a Human Trafficking Office
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
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The Province is committing $4 million over two years to create the Alberta Office to Combat Trafficking in Persons. The office will connect survivors and victims of human trafficking to supports and services. Three partner organizations are also involved - #NotInMyCity, Native Counselling Services of Alberta, and REACH Edmonton Council for Safer Communities. There were more than 3,500 incidents of human trafficking reported nationwide between 2011 and 2021. One quarter of victims are under the age of 18, and the vast majority are female.
- A new financial outlook report suggests that Alberta’s economy will stay strong, even if there is a national recession. Alberta’s strong energy sector, population boom, and (comparatively!) low housing costs should keep the picture pretty rosy. The Calgary Chamber of Commerce suggests that 69% of Calgary businesses are optimistic about what’s ahead. Nice!
Last Week In Alberta:
- Premier Danielle Smith has tasked her Minister of Forestry and Parks, Todd Loewen, with trail upgrades in Kananaskis Country, as well as implementing over 900 additional campsites throughout the province over the next ten years. Improving services and infrastructure in high-traffic recreational areas, like Kananaskis Country Canmore, and the Crowsnest Pass, as well as developing a recreation and conservation strategy for Crown Lands were also directives in Loewen’s mandate letter. On the forestry side, his Ministry will look at creating an incentive program for the industry. We'll be looking into this more, as it would be much better to focus on cutting taxes for all businesses, rather than complicating the tax code with more and more boutique tax credits.
The Province has recommitted to $10-a-day child care. The Children and Family Services Minister, Searle Turton, has been tasked with working with the federal government to make the promise a reality by 2026. His mandate letter notes that the program should promote and incentivize new childcare spaces for both private and non-profit operators. After receiving his mandate letter, Turton toured daycare facilities and sought input from providers and parents. We're still very concerned about this program as it effectively hands over control of childcare - a provincial jurisdiction - to the federal government.
- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shuffled his Cabinet, and there may be a few impacts for Alberta. First, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson is now the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources - the first time in 25 years that Canada has had a specific energy portfolio in the federal Cabinet. This comes as Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault, one of only a handful of Ministers to keep their jobs in the shuffle, announced an end to fossil fuel subsidies. It sure sounds like Ottawa is gearing up to make continued moves to oppose Alberta’s natural resource sector. Our friends at Project Confederation will be watching this closely - they have a campaign to Stand Up for Alberta Energy. Click here to join in!
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