Alberta Minute: New Year, Bird Count, and a Year End Interview

Alberta Minute: New Year, Bird Count, and a Year End Interview

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


Alberta Legislature by IQRemix on Flickr


This Week In Alberta:

  • It’s 2024. Happy New Year! Thank you for all the support you showed us in 2023. This year, we’re committed to working towards a prosperous and free Alberta, where individual liberties are cherished, and the principles of liberty and limited government prevail. Wishing you a year filled with freedom, prosperity, and happiness!

  • Albertans are being asked to exercise caution on the ice. Unseasonably warm weather and unpredictable ice conditions led to tragic incidents on Alberta waterways during the Christmas weekend, resulting in four fatalities. Outdoor enthusiasts should wait for colder weather before venturing onto the ice.

  • Speaking of warm temperatures, there is still a wildfire risk in the province. Warm and dry weather has increased the danger of wildfires heading into spring. Officials are forecasting warmer-than-normal conditions for January and February too, and are emphasizing the importance of snowfall in the latter half of winter to prevent a repeat of the severe wildfires experienced last year. Currently, 64 active wildfires are burning in Alberta, prompting fire restrictions and advisories in various regions. While unusual for December, wildfires in winter have occurred in the past.


Last Week In Alberta:

  • Premier Danielle Smith gave a year-end interview, reflecting on the notable events and challenges faced by Alberta in 2023. Discussing key issues, Premier Smith expressed opposition to the federal government's aggressive emissions reduction plans, calling them "dangerous and unconstitutional." She emphasized the need for a realistic approach, citing the challenges posed by technology and time. The Premier also addressed Alberta's relationship with Ottawa and her government’s invoking of the Sovereignty Act in order to protect Alberta from Ottawa’s electricity regulations. She touched on health care reorganization too, with reforms coming in 2024. Her priorities for reform include empowering nurse practitioners to establish independent practices, providing appropriate treatment facilities for individuals grappling with mental health and addiction challenges, optimizing patient flow within hospitals by facilitating the transition of patients into continuing care, expediting ambulance services, and ensuring access to timely surgeries.

  • Data showed that, in the period from January to November 2023, the Alberta RCMP responded to 1,026 suspected drug overdoses, an increase from the 511 recorded in 2022. Among these overdoses, 347 proved fatal, representing a 33.8% rise in fatalities over the previous year. Alberta's substance-use surveillance system recorded 1,411 opioid-related deaths between January and September 2023, a rise from the 1,124 deaths during the same period in the previous year. The province's drug poisoning death rate per 100,000 people is now three times higher than in 2016.

  • This year's Christmas Bird Count in central Alberta revealed an abundance of Canada geese, with 1,557 counted - shy of the 2017 record of 1,971, but far more than the 0 seen last year! The milder winter conditions contributed to the geese not migrating south. The absence of giant flocks of red polls, bohemian waxwings, and snow buntings was observed, with smaller flocks of 25 to 35 birds spotted during the count. Additionally, the early return of some horned larks, typically expected in January, was noted.




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  • Alberta Institute
    published this page in News 2024-01-01 00:28:22 -0700