Session Schedule & Activities
- Fall legislative session is scheduled to run until Thursday, December 7, 2017
- Constituency week is scheduled November 13-17, 2017.
Government News and Announcements
Premier Notley Cross Country Speaking Tour
Premier Rachel Notley will go on a cross country speaking tour later this month in support of pipeline expansion. Notley will speak at the Empire Club in Toronto on November 20, the Economic Club of Canada on November 21st in Ottawa, the Calgary Chamber of Commerce on November 24th, the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade on November 30 and the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce on December 7.
The focus of her speeches will be the national need for the Trans Mountain Pipeline project, provide updates on Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan, and job creation in Alberta. The Trans Mountain expansion project recently faced resistance in Burnaby BC when the municipal government failed to issue permits to allow for the pipeline expansion. Notley has said Alberta will support Kinder Morgan before the National Energy Board hearings on December 4.
Legislature Committee Reviewing Political Action Committees (PACs)
Calgary-Currie MLA Brian Malkinson called a last-minute meeting of the Standing Committee on Legislative Offices on Tuesday evening to discuss the impact of political action committees (PACs) and push-polling in Alberta. Malkinson is Deputy Chair of the Committee, which also includes UCP Leader in the House Jason Nixon. At the meeting, Alberta’s Chief Electoral Officer Glen Resler reviewed his recommendations from a report released in October to tighten rules and government PAC activities and political party ties. The committee voted unanimously to support his requests. Liberal MLA David Swann has said he plans to introduce a private members bill on the regulation of PACs, and Premier Notley has also said in the house that legislation on the issue is coming.
Bill Introduces Amendments to the Conflicts of Interest Act
Bill 27, the Conflicts of Interest Amendment Act, 2017 was introduced this week, and the bill would extend rules on accepted practices that MLAs and senior public servants have to board members and employees of 136 of the provinces agencies, board and commissions. The amendments would require board
members and employees disclose real and apparent conflicts of interest as well as place restrictions and limitations on acceptance of gifts, concurrent employment, acting in self-interest. Additionally, CEO of “significant agencies” will be required to disclose financial information to the Ethics Commissioner, face restrictions on holding stocks and face a 12-month cooling off period. The specific agencies subject to these requirements will be identified in 2018 through Order-In-Council.
UCP and NDP Face Off on Bill 24
The Government’s Bill 24, An Act to Support Gay-Straight Alliances has become a source of predictable disagreement between the Official Opposition and the Government. UCP Leader Jason Kenney has indicated his party will oppose the bill as it will make it illegal for teachers to tell parents their child has joined a GSA without the child’s consent. Kenney said while the UCP does support GSAs, and does not support mandatory notification of parents they also believe teachers should be able to make the decision on notification based on each situation. Premier Notley has said Kenney’s opposition is disappointing and a step backwards. Bill 24 passed second reading yesterday afternoon and is scheduled for debate in Committee of the Whole today.
City of Edmonton Releases 2018 Operating Budget
The projected tax increases for the City of Edmonton for 2018 were released today in the 2016-18 Operating Budget, with officials are proposing a 3.6 % increase for 2018. Following the 2017 tax increase of 2.8 %, 2018 had been projected to 5% but adjustments have amended that number to 3.6%. Of the increase 1.1 % is required to deliver ongoing programs and services, 1.4 % to fund the neighborhood renewal program and 1% to fund Edmonton Police Services inflation and growth. Other budget highlights include continued staff reductions and a freeze on management wages for the second year in a row. Council will begin budget deliberations on December 6 but will also review the proposal this coming Tuesday. The tax increase will be finalized in the spring after city tax assessors assign value to