Alberta Minute: Tornado Rating, Wildfire Relief, and Mandate Letter Released
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
- We're almost halfway to our Summer fundraising goal. A generous supporter has offered to match each donation made, but only until the end of the day. Summer is a challenging time for non-profits, so if you're able to help out, you can double your impact today by clicking this link.
Matt Jones, Alberta’s Minister of Jobs, Economy and Trade, will look at developing new investment tax credits according to his mandate letter from the Premier. Jones will also be tasked with implementing the campaign promise to provide a bonus for workers in high-demand jobs like health care, child care, and the certified trades, who come to Alberta.
- Alberta’s Transport Minister, Devin Dreeshen, continues to call on the federal government to recall parliament and use back-to-work legislation to end the strike at the Port of Vancouver. Alberta has asked federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan for daily updates on negotiations between the Port workers union and their employer. More than 7,000 workers at 30 ports across British Columbia are on strike, stalling shipments out of Alberta and costing exporters millions of dollars per day. Ottawa used back-to-work legislation to end a strike at the Port of Montreal after just one day in 2021.
Last Week In Alberta:
- The Province announced $175 million in relief funding to help municipalities and Métis settlements deal with wildfire recovery costs. Normally, if a fire starts outside the Alberta forest protection area, municipalities would shoulder the firefighting costs. However, local authorities can now apply for the Province to pay up to 90% of those costs. The funds can be used to pay for volunteer firefighter wages, staff overtime, evacuation centres, and damaged infrastructure, among other things.
CBC has said it regrets its controversial story about Premier Danielle Smith having direct contact with Crown prosecutors about criminal cases relating to the 2022 Coutts border protest. An editor's note said that, following a review of its journalism, sources could not confirm the existence of the alleged emails between her office and prosecutors. Smith said she feels “vindicated”.
- After a preliminary damage analysis for the Canada Day tornado between Didsbury and Carstairs, the weather event was rated as an EF-4, on the enhanced Fujita scale, which tops out at EF-5. It was one of the strongest tornadoes in Canada’s history - only 21 tornadoes in the country have been rated this severely since the 1900s. Winds were powerful enough that a 10,000-kilogram farm combine was lifted and tossed roughly 50 metres. In true Alberta spirit, hundreds of volunteers came out last week to help clear wreckage.
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