Alberta Minute: Online Schooling, Curriculum Controversy, and COVID Closures Continue
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
- The Legislature continues this week, sitting Monday afternoon and evening, Tuesday afternoon and evening, Wednesday afternoon and evening, and Thursday afternoon. Amongst other things, Bill 51 (the Citizen Initiative Act) and Bill 52 (the Recall Act) will receive their second reading.
- In Committee news, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts will be meeting Tuesday from 8:00 am to 10:00 am, focusing this week on the Ministry of Jobs, Economy and Innovation. to consider the 2019-2020 annual report as well as outstanding auditor general recommendations. Somewhat concurrently on Tuesday from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, the Standing Committee on Private Bills and Private Members' Public Bills will meet to consider Bill 215 (the Seniors Advocate Act proposed by Ms. Sigurdson) as well as Bill 216 (the Fire Prevention and Fire Services Recognition Act) proposed by Ms. Lovely.
- The Calgary Public and Calgary Catholic school boards will be returning to online learning for Grades 7-12 due to a rise in COVID cases. Edmonton students, meanwhile, will continue in-person learning.
Last Week In Alberta:
- The provincial government introduced a new post-secondary reform bill that will allow apprenticeship-style learning to be taught in other areas which are not accredited trades. The government is hoping that students can learn some skills on the job, without all the accreditation requirements that come with an actual Red Seal ticket.
- In COVID news, several businesses around Alberta such as the Crown and Anchor Pub in Edmonton closed after briefly defying COVID restrictions, citing threats online and on the phone. Other businesses, such as The Whistle Stop Cafe, which had also opened in defiance of restrictions were issued "closure orders" by AHS. Large protests were also held in both Edmonton and Calgary.
- Finally, many school boards in Alberta such as the public boards of Calgary, Edmonton, and others have refused to pilot the new Alberta K-6 curriculum, in one case saying "it's not fit for students". Critics say that the new curriculum glosses over indigenous and francophone history while the provincial government says that the entire point of the pilot project is to allow schools to provide suggestions for changes before the documents are finalized and implemented.
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