Alberta Minute: Upcoming Byelection, Public Inquiry, and Tech Worker Titles
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
The Legislature remains adjourned for now. However, on October 20th at 1:00 pm, there will be a Select Special Ombudsman and Public Interest Commissioner Search Committee meeting. No agenda has been posted yet.
There will be a byelection in the Brooks-Medicine Hat riding. MLA Michaela Frey stepped aside so that newly elected Premier Danielle Smith could have an opportunity to join her caucus in the Legislature. The NDP has announced Gwendoline Dirk as a candidate, and former Mayor of Brooks and Alberta Party Leader Barry Morishita will run in the riding as well. The by-election will take place on November 8th.
- Alberta is one of two provinces with full standing to participate in an ongoing public inquiry into the federal government's use of Canada's Emergencies Act. The Province will argue it had the legislative tools necessary to deal with the blockades that took place at the Coutts border crossing during the protests. Hearings are taking place each weekday starting at 9:30 am EST and can be viewed online.
Last Week In Alberta:
Danielle Smith was sworn in as the 19th Premier of Alberta. She pledged to govern with the values of “freedom, family, faith, community, and free enterprise” and said she would continue to work hard to earn the trust of Albertans. During her first press conference as Premier, Smith indicated her intention to overhaul AHS and continue fighting the federal carbon tax.
- The Canada Border Services Agency said Alberta has given notice to end an agreement that sees Alberta help the federal government incarcerate migrants and asylum seekers in provincial jails. Human Rights Watch is celebrating the decision, owing to the fact that migrants are often imprisoned for administrative reasons, without being accused of a crime. We suspect this will be the first of many federal/provincial agreements that get cancelled, as Alberta pushes to assert its own jurisdiction.
- Executives from 30 Canadian tech companies, including Helcim and Neo Financial, have signed a letter to Premier Danielle Smith, calling on the Province to remove red tape regarding the use of the title “software engineer.” The signatories say the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA) has taken legal action against tech companies that call their employees engineers. Not being able to use the title hampers their ability to attract top talent from around the world, say the tech companies.
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