Session Schedule & Activities
- United Conservative Party (UCP) leadership vote on will be held on October 28.
- Fall legislative session is scheduled to begin October 30.
Government News and Announcements
Alberta Cabinet Shuffle
Premier Notley made minor changes to her cabinet this week by appointing Sandra Jansen, MLA for Calgary-North West as Minister of Infrastructure. Jansen was a former PC Minister who crossed the floor to the NDP in December 2016. Notley also appointed Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville MLA Jessica Little wood as Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business to the Minister of Economic Development and Trade and Sherwood Park MLA Annie McKitrick as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Education.
Minister Promoting European Trade Opportunities for Alberta
Hon. Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade travelled to Europe this week for a 12-day trade mission to London, Birmingham, Munich, Lyiv, Ivano-Frankivski and Lviv. During the mission the Minister will promote Alberta products, services and energy expertise and will also work to secure new customers and partners for Alberta businesses.
In addition, investalberta.ca was launched in conjunction with the mission, a concierge service tool to connect investors and partners with business to investment opportunities in Alberta.
Supervised Consumption Sites Approved in Alberta
Health Canada has approved five sites in Alberta to offer supervised consumption services to those at risk of overdosing. Four of these sites are in Edmonton and a fifth is in Lethbridge. In Edmonton, three will be at community facilities the Boyle McCauley Health Centre, Boyle Community Services and the George Spady Centre and the fourth will be at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. The Royal Alex location will be specifically for patients and is the first acute care hospital in North America to provide these services. In Lethbridge, the Community Organization ARCHES has been approved to provide services at their downtown Lethbridge location.
Additional sites have been applied for by AHS in Calgary and are awaiting approval. The sites are expected to open in late 2017 or early 2019 and follow consultation with the communities. The consumption sites are part of a suite of health services already in place to reduce harm and connect users with social support, health care, counseling and addiction treatment programs.
Premier Notley To Receive National Award
Premier Rachel Notley will receive the 2017 National EVE Award from Equal Voice this Friday in Calgary. The award is presented annually to a woman who has achieved significant success in her political career and advancing women in politics. Equal Voice is an organization that was founded in 2001 dedicated to electing more women to all levels of political office in Canada.
Past recipients of the award include former Prime Minister Kim Campbell, former Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne.
Final UCP Leadership Debate Held
The final UCP leadership debate was held in Lethbridge on Tuesday with the three remaining candidates Jason Kenney, Brian Jean and Doug Schweitzer.
Kenney stressed his experience and record as a federal minister make him the best qualified for the job. Jean said as the only elected member in the race, he’s the only contender who can battle Premier Notley in the Legislature this fall. Both Kenney and Schweitzer said win or lose the leadership they will seek a seat in the legislature.
Schweitzer used the results of the Calgary mayoral race and Naheed Nenishi’s reelection as evidence that young voters won’t necessary support conservative parities despite agreement with an economic message and “the only way to reach young voters is to change the tone of our politics”.
Edmonton City Council will have four new representatives, Jon Dziadyk in Ward 3, Aaron Paquette in Ward 4, Sarah Hamilton in Ward 5 and Tim Cartmell in Ward 9.
Jon Dziadyk ( pronounced “za-dyk”) defeated two term Ward 3 councilor Dave Loken. Dziadyk has worked for Edmonton Public Schools as an Urban Planner since 2011 and is also a reservist lieutenant with Royal Canadian Navy Intelligence. His campaign focused on better management of infrastructure projects and increased attention to the backlog of repairs to sidewalks, streets and city property. He also pledged to hold office hours in his far-north ward so constituents would not have to travel downtown. During debates Dziadyk and other candidates challenging Loken were critical of the amount of funds put into downtown projects and protected bike lanes at the expense of the north end.
Aaron Pauquette won the seat vacated by five-term councilor Ed Gibbons. Paquette is an indigenous artist, author and educator, four of four and is the first indigenous person elected to council since the 1960s. Paquette is Cree and Metis on his father’s side. In 2015 he ran in Edmonton-Manning for the Federal NDP. During the election Paquette focused on the issue of street checks.
Sarah Hamilton a rookie candidate and Communications and Public Relations consultant who primarily worked with nonprofit organizations. Hamilton also worked with the City of Edmonton and Government of Alberta. She received the endorsement of former Mayor Stephen Mandel and ran on accountability and fiscal responsibility. Ward 5 was an open seat, vacated by one term councilor Michael Oshery. Hamilton has said ensuring the west LRT extension is built with west end residents in mind is a priority and that includes going over major intersections. Hamilton is now one of two women on council, along with re-elected Ward 2 councillor Bev Esslinger.
Tim Cartmell is an Engineer and President of the Terwillegar Riverbend Advisory Council. He won the seat vacated by long time councillor Bryan Anderson by saying raising the profile of the proposed Terwillegar Drive expansion will be a priority. He also suggested the city developed a “multimodal” transportation network that included better proportions of roadways, bike lanes and multi-use trails and transit services.
Calgary City Council will also have four new councilors, Jyoti Gondek in Ward 3,
George Chahal in Ward 5, Jeff Davison in Ward 6 and Jeremy Farkas in Ward 11.
Gondek is a the Director of the Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary. She was Principal of Tick Consulting for 12 years. Her academic background is in urban sociology and corporate social responsibility. Insufficient infrastructure and transit were primary concerns in the ward.
Chahal ran for council a decade ago and lost. He graduated from the University of Calgary with the BA in Economics before working as a financial advisor with CIBC then entering the Real Estate Development Industry. He is currently the Vice President, Finance and Planning at Oxford Group and received his Masters degree in Environmental Design (Planning) in 2006. Chahal said he is a fiscal conservative and a social liberal.
Communications consultant Jeff Davison won the ward previously held by two term councilor Richard Pootman. The primary issues in his ward were rapid development and the lack of transportation infrastructure as well as increased decentrification.
30-year-old Farkas served as a Senior Fellow for Municipal Governance at the Manning Centre for the last three years. Prior to that time, he was Executive Administrator, Israel Studies Masters & PHD program at the University of Calgary. Farkas ran his campaign as a fiscal conservative and halting the Southwest Bus Rapid Transit program (BRT) project until after the completion of the Southwest Ring Road.
Federal Agency Reports on Alberta Finances
Late last week the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO), an independent office of Parliament, released a report following a review of each province’s books. The report warned that Alberta’s finances are unsustainable in the long term due to the fiscal gap between taxation and revenue. The report by the PBO estimates that should spending continue at its current rate within a decade public debit charges could rise from $1.3 billion to $10 billion.