Alberta Minute: Wine War, Water Negotiations, and Red Tape Reduction

Alberta Minute: Wine War, Water Negotiations, and Red Tape Reduction

Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.


Alberta Legislature by IQRemix on Flickr


This Week In Alberta:

  • The Legislature remains adjourned. But, the Special Standing Committee on Members’ Services meets today at 9:00 am. On the agenda is a discussion about the 2024-2025 Legislative Assembly Budget Estimates.

  • Alberta is initiating negotiations with major water licence holders for the Red Deer River, Bow River, and Old Man River basins to address concerns over water shortages. The province faces reduced mountain snowpack and below-average precipitation, leading to record-low river levels and threatening southern Alberta's agricultural sector. The government has authorized its Drought Command Team to negotiate with major water licence holders, aiming for significant reductions in water use. Irrigation, a major water user in the province, will be a key focus in the negotiations, with Alberta having the largest irrigated area in Canada. The water-sharing agreements aim to ensure access to water for human health, livestock, and crops amid the challenging conditions.

  • The Alberta government is seeking input from condominium owners, boards, managers, and industry partners to address various issues, including the design of a Condominium Dispute Resolution Tribunal, terminations, interim board accountability, and developer turnover meeting timelines, along with technical analysis requirements for new builds. Interested participants can express their interest before February 9th by following the instructions on the government’s website.


Last Week In Alberta:

  • Premier Danielle Smith announced new policies and guidelines related to gender and sexuality, including restrictions on gender reassignment surgeries for minors aged 17 and under. The Province will not allow puberty blockers and hormone therapy for gender reassignment in children aged 15 and under, except for those already undergoing such treatments. Classroom instruction on gender and sexuality now requires parental notification and opt-in, and third-party resource materials must be pre-approved for age-appropriateness. Parental consent is needed for name and pronoun changes at school for children under 15, with notification sufficient for 16- and 17-year-olds. The government also plans to attract specialists in transgender surgery to assist adults who are transitioning, and work with sporting groups to address competition issues related to transgender athletes.

  • The Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) sent a letter to British Columbia wineries, warning them to cease direct-to-consumer shipments to Alberta residents. The AGLC claims the move is to maintain the integrity of Alberta's liquor model and protect the interests of local retailers and liquor agents, and said that Failure to comply will result in the AGLC refusing shipments for these wineries to be stocked in Alberta's restaurants and liquor stores. Our view is that it’s well past time for Canada’s interprovincial trade barriers to end, and the requirement for businesses to sell to AGLC rather than directly to consumers and businesses should be scrapped entirely.

  • The Province achieved its target to reduce red tape by one-third, cutting 200,000 regulations and claiming to have saved over $2.75 billion since 2018. According to Minister Dale Nally, for every new regulation introduced in the last four years, four have been eliminated. Premier Danielle Smith said that cutting red tape provides a more business-friendly environment where innovation can thrive.




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  • Alberta Institute
    published this page in News 2024-02-04 20:44:07 -0700