Alberta Minute: Physician Agreement, Election Day, and Drivers License Changes
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
The legislature remains on break, and there are no Committee meetings this week. However, Alberta will have a new Premier on Thursday so it remains to be seen if the schedule will change.
The United Conservative Party membership will elect a new leader - and a new Premier of Alberta - on Thursday. Todd Loewen, Brian Jean, Danielle Smith, Leela Aheer, Rajan Sawhney, Travis Toews, and Rebecca Schulz are running to replace Jason Kenney.
- The ArriveCAN app is now optional. Thank you to the more than 50,000 Canadians who signed our petition calling on the government to scrap the app. Still, making the app voluntary doesn’t go far enough and we’ll continue pushing to get rid of it entirely.
Last Week In Alberta:
Justice Minister Tyler Shandro announced that the Provincial government will not agree to having RCMP officers confiscate firearms as part of the federal gun grab. Much has been made of the Alberta Sovereignty Act being “nuts” and having the potential to cause “chaos”. But, Minister Shandro's announcement is pretty much the cornerstone of the Sovereignty Act - rejecting federal directives that infringe on Alberta's provincial jurisdiction. A similar media firestorm did not follow after his announcement and the sky didn't fall. We commend the Minister on coming to his senses and enforcing Alberta’s provincial jurisdiction.
- After years of negotiations, the Province reached an agreement with doctors. Physicians will see an average pay increase of 4% over a three-year contract term with some specialties seeing even larger increases. In addition to higher rates of pay, the Province agreed to invest $252 million in targeted areas that include recruitment, retention, information technology, and rural initiatives. In exchange for the Alberta Medical Association dropping its lawsuit against the government, the Province also agreed to repeal the legislation which allows it to unilaterally rip up its contract with doctors.
- The Province announced a new red tape reduction initiative. New drivers in the Class 5 and 6 (passenger vehicle and motorcycle) categories will no longer be required to take their advanced road test, saving them $150. The Minister of Transportation said that almost 700,000 Albertans are driving with graduated licenses and that, in the last five years, more than half of those license holders didn’t bother to take the secondary test. Many of those drivers will now be eligible for their full licenses.
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