Alberta Minute: Nuclear Power, Geothermal Drilling, and a Passenger Rail Plan

Alberta Minute: Nuclear Power, Geothermal Drilling, and a Passenger Rail Plan

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


Alberta Legislature by IQRemix on Flickr


This Week In Alberta:

  • The Legislature will resume sitting this week, with afternoon sessions from Monday to Thursday. Bill 18 (the Provincial Priorities Act) and Bill 19 (the Utilities Affordability Statutes Amendment Act) will receive Second Reading. There are also several Committee meetings - the Select Special Ethics Commissioner and Chief Electoral Officer Search Committee will meet this morning at 9:30 am (and again on Wednesday at 11:00 am), and on Tuesday, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts will meet at 8:00 am, followed by a meeting of the Standing Committee on Private Bills at 9:00 am.

  • The Province is launching phase three of the “Alberta is Calling” campaign in BC, Quebec, and Ontario in an effort to entice registered tradespeople to move to Alberta. Those who do so are eligible for a one-time, $5,000 refundable tax credit. A $10 million fund is intended to support 2,000 workers. The new campaign is much smaller than the previous versions, running from May 1st to July 2nd, 2024. The Province is expected to spend about $2.5 million advertising the campaign.

  • The Province will commit $20 million over two years for the Alberta Women's Health Foundation. This funding will support research on various health conditions affecting women, such as cervical cancer and heart disease, while also aiding in recruiting researchers and promoting advocacy and awareness. Additionally, the announcement includes $6 million to expand Alberta's Newborn Screening Program to cover four more conditions.


Last Week In Alberta:

  • The Province unveiled a 15-year Passenger Rail Master Plan aimed at enhancing passenger rail services across Alberta. The plan includes commuter rail connections to major airports, regional lines to national parks, and intercity links like Calgary-Edmonton. Premier Danielle Smith highlighted the urgency of this initiative amidst population growth and increasing traffic congestion. The plan's development involves careful prioritization, feasibility assessments, and potential collaborations with private entities to ensure effective implementation and timely project delivery.

  • Alberta and Saskatchewan have signed a memorandum of understanding to exchange information regarding nuclear power generation. In particular, the provinces have agreed to keep each other in the loop about supply chains, workforce development, fuel supply, and the regulatory environment. Saskatchewan is considering the construction of a small modular nuclear reactor in the next decade as part of its transition away from traditional coal-fired electricity. Alberta is also exploring nuclear energy as part of its strategy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

  • Speaking of energy, Alberta announced a feasibility study into the creation of Canada's inaugural geothermal test site. Despite Alberta's geothermal potential, the absence of a dedicated test facility has impeded progress in this sector, according to the Province. The proposed Alberta Drilling Accelerator aims to bridge this gap, and the Province has committed $750,000 for the initial study led by Calgary-based Eavor Technologies and other stakeholders. If the project goes forward, drilling operations could potentially begin by 2025.




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  • Alberta Institute
    published this page in News 2024-05-05 01:10:24 -0600