Alberta Minute: Pharmacy Clinics, Plastics Bylaws, and an Unconstitutional Emergency Declaration

Alberta Minute: Pharmacy Clinics, Plastics Bylaws, and an Unconstitutional Emergency Declaration

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


Alberta Legislature by IQRemix on Flickr


This Week In Alberta:

  • The Legislature remains adjourned until February 28th, but there are more Committee meetings this week. The Standing Committee on Public Accounts meets tomorrow at 10:00 am to discuss the Auditor General’s outstanding recommendations to the Ministry of Health. Later in the day, at 1:00 pm, the Standing Committee On The Alberta Heritage Savings Trust Fund will meet to discuss their annual report.

  • The Alberta government is adjusting the payment schedule for recipients of Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) and other income supports in response to feedback from a recent survey. Starting March 2024, beneficiaries will receive their payments four business days prior to the first of the month, allowing more time to manage bills and avoid late charges.

  • Hundreds of unvaccinated health-care workers in Alberta are set to receive financial compensation, with 696 employees from Alberta Health Services (AHS) and Alberta Precision Laboratories being paid out for pandemic-related labour interruptions. This follows a settlement between the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSAA) and AHS, mediated to address grievances from over 1,000 union members. The arbitrator's binding recommendations include a $5,000 payment to those on workplace leaves, full compensation for COVID-19 test expenses for those working on-site, and compensation for those forced to work from home. Similar settlements are anticipated for other unions, such as the United Nurses of Alberta and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees.


Last Week In Alberta:

  • Premier Danielle Smith and Justice Minister Mickey Amery have responded to a federal court ruling stating that the use of the Emergencies Act during the Freedom Convoy blockades violated people’s constitutional rights. The court decision emphasized that the regulations under the Act infringed on Charter rights, particularly freedom of expression, and encroached on the rights of Albertans and all other Canadians to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. Premier Smith and Minister Amery expressed disappointment in the federal government's decision to appeal, stating it sets a dangerous precedent and reflects a lack of understanding or respect for the Constitution. They affirmed Alberta's commitment to championing Charter rights.

  • Premier Danielle Smith has requested the Minister of Municipal Affairs to examine whether bylaws in Edmonton and Calgary, mandating fees for items like take-out and reusable bags, fall within municipal jurisdiction. Recently, Calgary City Council passed a single-use item bylaw, requiring businesses to provide cutlery and shopping bags only upon request and charging a minimum fee for paper and reusable bags. Edmonton has had a similar bylaw in place since last year, with recent moves by City Councillors to increase fees for paper and reusable bags. The objective of these bylaws is to reduce waste, but Premier Smith believes there is an ideological approach overshadowing common sense. Our friends at Common Sense Calgary and Common Sense Edmonton are both running petitions to repeal their respective City bylaws, so go help them out by signing them!

  • Shoppers Drug Mart has made a four-year, $77-million investment into the expansion of its pharmacy clinics in Alberta. The investment aims to increase the number of pharmacy care clinics to 103 across the province by the end of the year, providing additional options for Albertans seeking primary care. Premier Danielle Smith praised the move as a step forward for accessible primary health care, alleviating pressure on other healthcare facilities. The expansion was funded by Shoppers Drug Mart without any provincial subsidy.




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  • Alberta Institute
    published this page in News 2024-01-28 23:03:15 -0700