Alberta Minute: Tour Dates, Bail Concerns, and Expanded Surgical Funding
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
The Legislature remains adjourned until after the May election. There are no committee meetings either.
Treaty 8 Grand Chief Arthur Noskey is calling on Ottawa to declare policing an "essential service" to expand and improve their tribal-run police service. He says the service is too constrained by current agreements to properly serve the five communities it operates in, and Treaty 8 Chiefs want to expand the service to other First Nations and bolster its capabilities so that it isn't reliant on the RCMP. Treaty 8 Chiefs voted unanimously on March 27 to declare policing an "essential service" to make such an expansion possible, and they need Ottawa's support to do it.
- The Alberta Institute is joining Alberta Proud to hold a “Can’t Stop Alberta” tour. The second two events will be taking place this week in Edmonton on Wednesday and St. Albert on Thursday. On Wednesday, two expert panels will discuss the economy, affordability, inflation, jobs, and our energy industry, as well as crime, public safety, and the future of our cities. On Thursday evening, the economy and affordability will be discussed, in addition to education, school choice, curriculum, and the future of learning. There will also be events in Red Deer and Lethbridge in the coming weeks. Tickets are $10 for each event and can be purchased online at the links above.
Last Week In Alberta:
- The Alberta government announced a plan to spend more than $312 million to expand surgical capacity within a year. The Province said the money would allow for about 20,000 more surgeries in 2023-24 and put Alberta Health Services on pace to complete 310,000 surgeries in the next twelve months. Additional funding will go towards helping rural facilities, including those in Crowsnest Pass, Brooks, Pincher Creek, Olds, Stettler, and Taber, upgrade equipment and surgical devices. Dollars will also be injected into the Surgical Initiative Capital to fund expansion projects such as enlarging post-anesthesia care units and recovery spaces, as well as day surgery space and sterile storage.
The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police requested an urgent meeting with Canada's Premiers. The Association is concerned about Ottawa’s bail reforms, noting the rise in violent crime by those released on bail over the last four years. The number of police officers killed in the line of duty is an area that the Association wishes to discuss. At a recent announcement addressing rising violence in Calgary, Premier Danielle Smith also expressed concern with the federal government’s bail system after it was confirmed that the suspect in the latest transit stabbing in the city was out on bail.
- The Province announced that it will be restricting municipalities from entering into agreements with Ottawa for funding to enforce the federal firearms confiscation program. Municipalities and police must receive written approval from Justice Minister Tyler Shandro before entering into any such agreement. The requirement is part of the newly introduced Alberta Firearms Act.
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