Session Schedule & Activities
- Legislative session is adjourned until 2018. Currently scheduled to resume Tuesday February 13, 2018.
- Alberta Party Leadership vote will be held on February 27, 2018.
Government News and Announcements
Alberta Health Announces It Will Not Proceed with Plans for A Rural Hospital Model
Hon. Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health announced earlier this week that Alberta Health would no longer proceed with plans announced in the 2016-17 capital budget to develop a standard model for rural hospitals. When it was announced, the intent was to develop plans for a standard rural health facility that could be used in any community approved for new hospital or urgent care centre. Having a scalable design readily available would allow facilities to be built faster and reduce construction costs.
Hoffman said developing a single design was proving difficult and Alberta Health will instead work to provide both design and planning tools to help individual communities with their needs.
Province and Nurses Union Reach Tentative Deal
The Province and the United Nurses of Alberta, a union which represents 30,000 nurses in Alberta, reached an agreement over the weekend. The tentative deal reached in mediation is three-year deal that includes job security and a two-year wage freeze. It is also retroactive to April 2017 and includes a provision for wage re-opening in the third year. The deal is set for a vote by member representatives on January 25, 2018.
Last year the province reached a deal with Alberta’s teachers that also did not include a salary increase. Major labor negotiations are also underway with the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (28,000 members), the Health Sciences Association (20,000 members)
Alberta Party Leadership Race Heats Up
The Alberta Party Leadership Race officially has four candidates with only a few days until entry closes on January 15, 2018. Former UCP MLA and new Alberta Party MLA Rick Fraser and Former Edmonton Mayor and PC Minister Stephen Mandel both announced this week they would seek leadership of the party.
Rick Fraser was elected as MLA for Calgary-South East in 2012 as a Progressive Conservative and following the merger joined the UCP caucus in August. He left the caucus in September to sit as an independent. Fraser is a former paramedic and union official and served as Associate Minister of Public Safety under Premier Redford. Fraser
said he is joining the Alberta Party after consultation with constituents and he believes Albertan’s deserve a better type of politics and common sense policies.
Stephen Mandel was Mayor of Edmonton from 2004-2013. He later entered provincial politics as Health Minister under then Premier Jim Prentice. In 2015, he lost his seat to Dr. Bob Turner of the NDP. Mandel said his campaign will be focused on hope for the future, diversity and equal representation.
Prior to Christmas Calgary lawyer Kara Levis was the first to enter the race. The forth candidate Jacob Huffman, a University of Calgary student, could be characterized as a less serious entry. Huffman tried to enter the Alberta Liberal leadership race last year but ultimately dropped out as he was unable to pay the entry fee.
UCP Draft Policy Framework
Last week UCP members received a draft policy framework to evaluate which had been created by a party committee. The 21-page framework is meant to lead discussion and start the policy process leading up to the founding convention in Red Deer in May.
The policies included in the framework were developed by the committee based on resolutions and constitutions from the legacy Progressive Conservative and Wildrose parties. Some of the policies put forward for consideration include:
- Restoration of the 10% flat tax on income;
- increasing privately funded and delivered health care services availability; and
- repealing the carbon levy.
Alberta Weekly Review – 01-11-18 Edition