Alberta Minute: NDP Resignation, Auto Insurance, and the Lodge Assistance Program

Alberta Minute: NDP Resignation, Auto Insurance, and the Lodge Assistance Program

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


Alberta Legislature by IQRemix on Flickr


This Week In Alberta:

  • Shannon Phillips, the NDP MLA for Lethbridge-West will be stepping down on July 1st, opening a potential seat for Naheed Nenshi who is expected by to win the NDP leadership race on June 22nd. Phillips was first elected in 2015, and served as Minister of the Environment in the NDP government. More recently, she was the victim of a pretty shocking case of abuse of power by two Lethbridge police officers who conducted surveillance on her for political reasons. Phillips says her resignation is not related to Nenshi’s likely win, but should he prevail he’ll likely face significant pressure to run in the open seat, rather than force another MLA to step down - especially given his campaign claim to be able to expand the NDP’s support outside of Calgary and Edmonton.

  • Premier Danielle Smith is ruling out government-run public auto insurance for Alberta, despite a report indicating it could save drivers around $730 annually. The report, commissioned by the Alberta Treasury and Finance Board, suggests adopting a no-fault insurance system similar to Manitoba or Saskatchewan. However, critics have pointed out a government-run system would also offer drivers less protection and worse outcomes. Smith also cited high costs to the taxpayer, with startup costs estimated at between $100 million and $500 million, and significant capital reserves to the tune of $2.3 billion needed to cover claims.

  • The Alberta government is entering into a new 10-year performance-based agreement with STARS air ambulance, ensuring the continuation of their life-saving services. For nearly four decades, STARS has transported critically ill and injured patients to hospitals across Alberta. Premier Danielle Smith emphasized that this partnership enhances access to essential healthcare in rural and remote areas, improving patient outcomes.


Last Week In Alberta:

  • The Province announced increased funding to support foster families. Caregiver rates will see a 4.2% rise. This adjustment will aid nearly 7,000 caregivers and the 10,000 children and youth they support across the province. The funding builds on the $23.6 million announced in Fall 2023, which included new supports such as counseling sessions and a Refer-a-Foster Caregiver program.

  • The Alberta government increased funding for the Lodge Assistance Program (LAP) to $60 million, aiming to help Seniors Lodges across the province provide essential services such as rooms, meals, and recreational activities for low-income seniors. The daily claim amount per eligible resident will rise to $20.50 from $13.23. Minister of Seniors, Community and Social Services Jason Nixon emphasized the moral duty to ensure seniors have access to safe and affordable housing. The LAP supports approximately 11,000 seniors lodge units, including about 4,850 in rural areas. The province also proclaimed last week as Seniors’ Week, to celebrate the invaluable contributions seniors have made to Alberta.

  • Colleen Klein, wife of former Alberta premier Ralph Klein, passed away at the age of 83. Colleen was known for her compassionate spirit and charitable work, and received an honourary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Calgary in 2002. Premier Danielle Smith and former government official Gary Mar praised her dedication to her family, community, and the positive impact she made on Alberta. Our thoughts are with the Klein family.




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  • Alberta Institute
    published this page in News 2024-06-09 09:20:41 -0600