Alberta Minute: Red Tape, Reconciliation Funding, and Referenda And Recall Bills
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
- The big news this week - barring some unforeseen catastrophe, of course - is that on Thursday, July 1, the provincial government will be getting rid of most of their COVID rules, including most masking, distancing, and capacity restrictions! As we mentioned in our email last week, however, some municipalities such as Calgary and Lethbridge are - at least as of now - planning to keep some of their rules in place for a bit longer. while the Province will be retaining some rules in certain areas like preschools, transit and taxies, etc.
- In Edmonton, the Legislature is on (a really hot!) summer break, meaning the Assembly is not sitting and there are no committee meetings either. As of right now, the Legislature is slated to resume on October 25th, 2021.
- Finally, in Fort McMurray, the Willow Square Continuing Care Centre is now up and running, with residents having moved in. We normally wouldn't note the opening of a seniors' residence, however, it has taken the provincial and local governments in the area nearly 20 years to complete this facility. Finally, after several false starts, a multi-year delay, a location change, fires, floods, a pandemic and everything else, it's done!
Last Week In Alberta:
- A review panel for the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) denied the provincial application for the Grassy Mountain coal project, ruling the project is "not in the public interest" as it would have adverse environmental effects. The Grassy Mountain project was the furthest along of several proposed coal projects in the area and had the support of the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass thanks to the jobs it would bring to the area.
- The provincial government committed $8 million dollars in grants for First Nations and Métis communities to research unmarked burial sites and undocumented deaths at former residential schools, on the heels of the discovery of the remains of 215 children in unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
- Finally, we here at the Alberta Institute released an analysis on two laws the provincial government recently passed: Bill 51 (the Citizen Initiative Act) and Bill 52 (the Recall Act). We had long advocated for these laws and are pleased that they passed, but we've also noted some problems with the laws as they stand and suggested some ways they could be improved in the future.
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