Alberta Minute: Sovereignty Act, Pension Events, and Municipal Government Surveys
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
The Province is seeking feedback regarding the Municipal Government Act and the Local Authorities Elections Act. There are some important topics in each survey, but we'd like to draw your attention to two items. The MGA survey asks about the process for recalling Mayors and Councillors, and we’ve long said that the process is arduous and unlikely to ever result in being able to actually succeed. We published some details regarding the issues with recall legislation as it is currently written, and would encourage you to fill out the Province’s survey and advocate for lowering the thresholds (ie. making it easier) to recall an elected official. The survey can be accessed here. The second survey asks about allowing political parties at the municipal level. We think it's a great idea, and would make it easier to identify which elected officials align with the principles of fiscal responsibility and personal freedom. If you agree, please let the Province know here. Both surveys close on December 6th.
There will be afternoon and evening sittings of the Legislature today through Wednesday, and an afternoon sitting on Thursday. Up for discussion are Bill 2 (the Alberta Pension Protection Act) and Bill 8 (the Justice Statutes Amendment Act), among other business. The Standing Committee on Families and Communities will meet today at 8:30 am and the Standing Committee on Public Accounts will meet on Tuesday at 9:30 am.
- Our friends at Project Confederation are hosting virtual town halls on Tuesday and Wednesday regarding the Alberta Pension Plan. Josh Andrus and Peter McCaffrey will be on hand to talk about the Alberta Pension Plan, debate the proposal, answer questions, address concerns, and gather feedback for potential improvements. The free events are being held online on Tuesday at 12:30 pm, Tuesday at 6:00 pm, and Wednesday at 7:00 pm.
Last Week In Alberta:
- Premier Danielle Smith and Deputy Premier Chrystia Freeland announced plans for Dow to invest $8.9 billion in constructing a carbon-neutral ethylene cracker facility - a plant that performs the first step in the process of transforming a component of natural gas into plastics - in Alberta. Dow's Path2Zero facility will be built in Fort Saskatchewan. Smith called it one of the largest private sector investments in Alberta’s history, and Dow says the facility will be the world's first net-zero complex. The Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program is providing approximately $1.8 billion dollars to the project while the federal government will provide $400 million from Canada's Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Investment tax credit as well as the Clean Hydrogen Investment tax credit.
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith invoked the Province's Sovereignty Act for the first time to challenge Ottawa's plan for a net-zero electricity grid by 2035. The resolution, introduced in the Legislature, directs provincial entities to ignore the regulations. The proposed Clean Electricity Regulations aim to achieve net-zero emissions in Canada's electricity grid by 2035, a deadline the Premier Danielle said is unattainable.
- The Province projected a $5.5-billion surplus by the end of the 2023-24 budget year, marking a $3.2-billion increase from the initial forecast in February. The surplus is attributed to higher oilsands royalties and more revenue from personal and corporate income taxes due to an increasing population, bringing the total government revenue to $74.3 billion against $68.8 billion in spending. However, over $1 billion of the surplus will be allocated to address the costs of wildfires, floods, and drought.
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