Alberta Minute: Psychedelic Drugs, Funding Frenzy, and Danielle Smith Elected
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
Happy Thanksgiving! Our team at the Alberta Institute hopes you have a wonderful day filled with friends, family, and food. After the holiday, politicians will return to Edmonton for the swearing-in of Premier Smith (more on that later).
The Legislature, meanwhile, remains adjourned, and there are no Committee meetings this week either. The Legislature isn't scheduled to return until October 31st, but we suspect this will be delayed by at least a couple of weeks.
- Legal Aid lawyers will decide whether a boost in pay will be enough for them to end their job action. An hourly increase from $92 to $100 for lawyers with 10 years or more of experience is on the table “until permanent changes can be determined.” A comprehensive review of the Legal Aid system in Alberta is expected to be delivered later this month.
Last Week In Alberta:
Danielle Smith was elected to lead the United Conservative Party. She has already held a caucus meeting and has promised that unity is the goal. Premier Designate Smith does not have a seat in the Legislature, but Michaela Frey, MLA for Brooks-Medicine Hat, has stepped aside and Smith has announced she will be running there.
- Alberta became the first province to put regulatory standards and guidelines in place for psychedelic-assisted therapy, a method of treatment that has been shown to help people with certain psychiatric disorders. The Province has put standards in place for the use of MDMA, psilocybin, LSD, mescaline (peyote), DMT, ketamine, and other psychedelic drugs, which come into effect in January 2023. Amongst other regulations, only a psychiatrist, or an appropriately trained physician in consultation with a psychiatrist, can prescribe these drugs.
- Jason Kenney and his government made a flurry of funding announcements in his last week as Premier of Alberta. Commitments included $20.8 million to fight human trafficking, $73 million toward the aviation and aerospace industry, $6 million for work-integrated learning, $1 million to support victims of sexual assault in rural Alberta, and $187 million for addictions and homelessness support in Calgary and Edmonton.
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