Alberta Minute: Tax Break, Traffic Court, and a Leadership Review Circus
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
The Legislature will sit from Monday through Thursday this week. Monday will begin with consideration of Bill 5, the Traffic Safety Amendment Act 2022. It should be noted that this Act is about protecting worker vehicles on the side of the road, not the traffic court changes detailed later in this newsletter.
Legislature Committees will meet this week as well, starting with a meeting of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts tentatively scheduled for 8:00 am to 10:00 am on Tuesday. No agenda has been posted as of the time of writing. On Wednesday, from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, the Standing Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future will meet to discuss the Lobbyists Act Review.
- The provincial fuel tax will cease to be collected as of this Friday, assuming oil stays above $90 a barrel. If (like us) you’re running on fumes, hold out a bit longer to make it to the tax break! West Texas Intermediate was sitting at $113 at the end of trading on Friday.
Last Week In Alberta:
In an astounding last-minute move, the board of the United Conservative Party moved Jason Kenney’s leadership review from a hotel in Red Deer to a mailbox near you. That's right, they've switched to mail-in ballots. Many of Kenney’s opponents cried foul including several backbenchers who broke ranks and called for the Premier to resign. Ballots will now only be sent out on April 9th (the original date for the vote), with results not known until late May!
- In a major win for us, and all Albertans, the provincial government announced that it is backtracking from legal changes that would have all but abolished due process for traffic violations. The proposed changes would have placed the onus on the accused to prove their innocence - and pay for the privilege. Transport Minister Rajan Sawhney said the government had received huge amounts of negative feedback and as a result would not be proceeding with the changes. Thank you to all who signed our petition against these changes!
- Edmonton-South MLA Thomas Dang claimed he hacked a government vaccine database using the Premier's credentials in order to highlight vulnerabilities in the system. Dang claimed he acted ethically and that as soon as he ran a script that was able to hack into the system, he alerted the provincial government and did not save any information. The RCMP investigation into the incident continues. Dang left the NDP caucus as a result of the incident.
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