Alberta Minute: Throne Speech, Balanced Budget, and an Emergencies Act Flip Flop
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
The Legislature is on break again until March 7th. When it convenes, it will discuss the Estimates for government ministries - essentially the budget. No bills aside from the symbolic Bill 1, the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Recognition Act, have yet been introduced. As always, we will provide a breakdown of estimates discussions for the next two weeks.
The Standing Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future will meet on Wednesday at 9:00 am to discuss changes to the Lobbyists Act. The Committee will hear presentations from Suncor, Independent Power Producers, and Alberta Chambers of Commerce.
- Following the invasion of Ukraine last week, Canada and many other countries around the world are pursuing a series of escalating sanctions against Russian oligarchs and banks, and on the export of goods to Russia. One thing Canada hasn't done, however, is block the importation of oil, gas, and other resources *from* Russia. Canada has imported billions of dollars of Russian oil in recent years, despite having our own massive reserves. We think Canada should stop buying Russian oil, and ship Alberta oil to eastern Canada instead. If you agree, sign our petition calling on the federal government to do exactly that!
Last Week In Alberta:
The Speech from the Throne was delivered, as was the 2022 Alberta budget. The budget projects a $500 million surplus - which is quite a bit better than the $5.8 billion deficit forecast as recently as November. This budget does include significant increases in spending above and beyond COVID-related expenses, however, so there's a risk that the Province could slip back into a deficit if things don't turn out quite as rosy as expected.
- Earlier in the week, MPs voted 185-151 to approve the federal government's invoking of the Emergencies Act after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the vote would be a measure of confidence in his government. Trudeau then revoked the Emergencies Act only two days later, saying it was not in fact an emergency anymore. Thank you to each and every one of you who signed our petition telling Trudeau to reverse course. Russia dropping bombs on your country is a national emergency - trucks using their air horns, while perhaps annoying, is not!
- When the federal government announced it would invoke the Emergencies Act, Premier Jason Kenney indicated that Alberta would challenge the federal government in court. The Province announced that they intend to continue with their case despite the federal government's backtrack, arguing that the Act intruded into provincial jurisdiction and violated civil liberties.
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