CSG Weekly Review- November 22, 2017

Posted by | January 16, 2018 | News

Session Schedule & Activities

  • Constituency week is scheduled November 20-24, 2017
  • Fall legislative session is scheduled to run until Thursday, December 7, 2017
  • Calgary-Lougheed by-election will be held on Thursday, December 14, 2017.

Government News and Announcements

Alberta Cannabis Framework Announced
Late last week the province released Bill 26, An Act to Control and Regulate Cannabis, the proposed legislation which includes amendments to the Gaming and Liquor Act that also includes renaming it the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act. Of note the act allows for two kinds of cannabis retail sales, privately owned physical locations and government-operated online sales. Medical marijuana will continue as a separate federal system. Cannabis and cannabis related goods are restricted to sale in licensed cannabis stores or online and a separate cannabis business license will be created. Nocolocation with alcohol, pharmaceuticals or tobacco sales will be permitted. Additionally, many intricacies including rules on store locations, distance required between retail locations and schools and licensing will be managed through regulations early next year and are not yet released. The sale of cannabis will be legal in Canada as of July 1, 2018.

Local Economic Development Supported Through CARES Program
Hon. Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade announced 50 initiatives that have been approved through the Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) program, today at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association Convention (AAMDC) in Calgary today. The newly approved projects are receiving more than $4 million in funding, and are in addition to the 61 projects already receiving support through the first intake of the program. The third intake is open and runs until November 30. Programs receiving funding include an indigenous pipeline-monitoring program in Edmonton and a training program for small Alberta businesses entering the organic growing sector. The funding is aimed to help locally established economic development initiatives create jobs and diversify the economy.

New Dental Fee Guide Announced
Yesterday Hon. Sarah Hoffman, Minister of Health and Deputy Premier along with the Alberta Dental Association and College announced a revised dental fee guide which calls for an 8.5 percent reduction in prices for 60 common dental services in Alberta including cleanings and fillings. The guide is a recommendation as dentists are still free to set their own prices, however the Minister felt the guide, which can be accessed online, could be used as a tool for patients to compare prices between dentists. This fee guide is the first in Alberta in 20 years, and is significantly lower than 3 percent reduction originally recommended by the college in mid-August before the province stepped into the process.

Political News

Candidates Announced in Calgary-Lougheed By-Election
There will be three candidates joining UCP Leader Jason Kenney in the CalgaryLougheed by-election that was announced last week. Alberta Liberal Party’s leader David Khan, a Calgary-based lawyer, announced his intention to run on Friday and on Monday the new leader of the Alberta Green Party Romy Tittle announced she would also enter the race. The NDP’s candidate Dr. Phillip van der Merwe was nominated on Saturday. The Board of Directors of the Alberta Party announced on Tuesday they had decided to not run a candidate in the race and focus on their upcoming leadership race. The vote is set for Thursday, December 14, with advanced polls open from December 6-9.

Alberta Party AGM Held in Red Deer
Over the weekend the Alberta Party held their Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Red Deer with 400 attendees. The party had caped registration at 400 a week prior to the convention, at the conference members elected their board of directors. Among the attendees were numerous former Progressive Conservatives including Katherine O’Neill, Alberta Together PAC Executive Director and former PCAA President; Former cabinet ministers and leadership candidates Stephen Khan and Dough Griffiths; and well as former PC MLAs Kerry Towle (also a former Wildrose MLA) and Dave Quest; as well as former PCAA board members and operatives. Also of note Chima Mkemdirim, Chief of Staff to Calgary Mayor Neheed Nenshi was in attendance and has been mentioned as another potential leadership candidate.

Alberta Party Announces Leadership Race Date and New Executive Director
The Alberta Party announced the date for their upcoming leadership vote will be Wednesday, February 7, 2018 and the Leadership Election Committee will be cochaired by Pat Cochrane, Alberta Party board member and past President and former PC strategist Susan Elliot. The decision to have the leadership vote on Wednesday is interesting as most leadership votes have typically been held on the weekend.

Additionally, a new executive director, Mark Taylor, was selected this week. Taylor is a professional engineer who was a candidate for the Alberta Party in 2015 and served two terms on the Alberta Party Board of Directors. Prior to joining the Alberta party Taylor was member of the Wildrose Party where he assisted in Danielle Smith’s leadership campaign and before that he was elected to the Green Party of Canada’s Federal Council as the Alberta Representative in 2016 and Saskatchewan Representative in 2010.

Alberta Weekly Review – 11-22-17 Edition