Alberta Minute: Union Dues, Healthcare Battles, and Maintaining Tax Competitiveness
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
- The Legislature will resume its busy spring agenda with Bill 29 (Local Authorities Election Amendment Act), Bill 30 (Health Statutes Amendment Act), Bill 31 (Environmental Protection Statutes Amendment Act), Bill 32 (Restoring Balance in Alberta's Workplaces Act), Bill 33 (Alberta Investment Attraction Act), and Bill 34 (Miscellaneous Statutes Amendment Act) at Second Reading.
- Meanwhile, Bill 21, Bill 22, Bill 26, and Bill 27 are all Committee of the Whole while Bill 23 and Bill 25 are at Third Reading.
- The back-and-forth argument over doctors' pay looks set to continue, with doctors accusing the government of trying to hire "scab workers" from overseas. Nevermind that advertising doctors' jobs overseas is very normal for the Alberta government. Who had "the NDP complaining about the UCP hiring more doctors" on their 2020 bingo sheet?
Last Week In Alberta:
- The provincial government introduced the Restoring Balance in Alberta's Workplaces Act. The Act would allow employees to choose, for themselves, whether their union dues can be used for political campaigns by their union. The media managed to frame this as the government forcing employees to opt-in. How terrible, forcing people to have a choice of what happens with their money!
- The government also took steps to speed up approvals of private clinics in order to get more private surgeries done. There were predictable complaints from predictable corners, but we should remember that there are already 43 of these private clinics in Alberta. The law would also allow the government to pay salaries to some doctors, instead of the fee-for-service model which has become very controversial recently.
- Finally, as Franco Terrazzano wrote in the Calgary Herald "now that Alberta’s business tax is at eight per cent, the province has the lowest tax rate in Canada and lower than in 44 American states. But more than half of the provinces have lower bottom income tax rates." The Alberta government needs to focus on getting personal income taxes down to remain competitive with other provinces and the United States.
The Alberta Institute doesn't accept any government funding and never will. We think you should be free to choose, for yourself, which organizations to support. If you're in a position to contribute financially, you can make a donation here.
If you're not in a position to donate, we understand, but if you appreciate our work, you can help by spreading our message. Please forward this email to your friends, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and help make sure every Albertan knows what's going on in our province.