Session Schedule & Activities
- Fall session is scheduled to begin October 30.
- United Conservative Party (UCP) leadership vote on October 28.
Government News and Announcements
Consumer Protection Meetings & Roundtables Underway
Service Alberta Minister, Hon. Stephanie McLean participated in roundtable discussions with both the Edmonton and Calgary Chambers of Commerce this week to discuss consumer protection practices. This is in addition to a series of 6 six open houses to be conducted across the province. The meetings and open houses are intended to serve as a compliment to the online survey the government released earlier this month. To date, nearly 2500 Albertans have participated with the deadline to submit being September 15. The aim of the consultations is to improve Alberta’s consumer protection laws. For more information on the open houses click here.
Energy Minister Travels to Asia
Hon. Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, Minister of Energy is travelling to Japan, South Korea and China from September 5-16 to engage in talks relating to new investment and energy diversification opportunities in Alberta.
Government Rural Outreach
Over the summer the NDP government prioritized rural outreach, as many recent polls have shown them trailing in rural communities outside of Alberta’s major urban centres. Municipal Affairs Minister, Hon. Shaye Anderson visited nearly 30 communities from La Crete to Medicine Hat while Economic Development and Trade Minister, Hon. Deron Bilous focused on the areas hardest hit by the coal phase out plan, including Hanna, Forestburg, Parkland County and Leduc County.
UCP Leadership Rules Established
The UCP Leadership Election Committee (LEC) released the rules for the upcoming leadership race. The rules detailed the candidate entry fee of $75,000 in addition to a $20,000 good conduct bond that will be refunded to campaigns if all rules are followed. The LEC set the price to ensure that costs to run leadership election were neutral. In addition to the entry fee the rules also indicated that campaigns are not subject to a spending limit and that all voters must purchase their memberships no later than September 29th to be eligible to vote. The actual vote will be conducted online or by telephone over a 3-day period from October 26-28.
UCP Staff Laid Off
Four UCP caucus staff members were laid off to deal with the caucus’s pending $337,000 deficit. Brian Jean said the layoffs were unavoidable due to the merger of the PC and Wildrose caucus offices which resulted in the duplication of many positions. In reaction to the layoffs Jean indicated that he has reached out to those who lost their jobs to offer support and thanks. In contrast, Jason Kenney called the layoffs regrettable and had concerns that the overspending was not a decision made by caucus or the interim leader.
Alberta Popularity Polling
A recent poll commissioned by Postmedia measured the favorability of 18 individuals in Calgary, Edmonton and the province overall. The poll included well-known Canadians, politicians and sports figures.
Municipally Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson received 61 percent favorability and 30 percent unfavorability from Edmontonians. Calgary Mayor Neheed Nenshi received only 35 percent favorability in Calgary with 50 percent unfavorability.
Provincially Premier Rachel Notley ranked last with 60 percent of Albertans disapproving of her, but her popularity in Edmonton held at 45 percent. UCP Leadership candidate Brian Jean came in third overall with 48 percent favorability across the province, while Jason Kenney came in 6th with 39 percent.
The top two slots were held by hockey players Connor McDavid and Johnny Gaudreau. To view the full list visit here.
Scheer Announces Shadow Cabinet
Andrew Scheer, Leader of the Official Opposition announced his shadow cabinet. It included three Alberta MPs; Shannon Stubs, MP for Lakeland has become the Natural Resource Critic; Matt Jeneroux will service as Critic for Science; Ziad Aboultaif, MP Edmonton Manning will serve as International Development Critic; Additionally, Chris Warkentin, MP for Grande Prairie- MacKenzie, will remain Deputy House Leader.
For the full listing of critic assignments click here.
Federal Carbon Tax
The Conference Board of Canada released a report this week that said the federal carbon tax, expected to be introduced this fall, could “shrink” Canada’s GDP by as much as $3 billion in 2018 and depreciate the Canadian dollar. The tax will start at $10 per tonne in 2018 and will rise $10 every year for the next four years. Ottawa will also set annual mandatory minimums for the carbon price and place levies on provinces that do not meet the identified targets.
According to the conference report manufacturing, paper, chemical and petroleum
product makers will be hit hardest by rising costs.
City Council Debates Transferring Land to New Non-Profit Developer
Edmonton City Council debated a proposal from the recently created non-profit Community Development Corp. to transfer several parking lots around the Coliseum, a construction lay-down area in McCauley and several other key infill sites to a non-profit developer. If the Corporation received the estimated $10 million land transfer it would work with neighborhoods to determine what should be built on the land, with a focus to affordable home ownership, social enterprise business and other employment opportunities. The Corporation will also receive $10 million in startup cash from the Edmonton Community Foundation which would match the city’s land donation.
Council has asked the developer to come back to council before a final decision is made as some councilors were concerned that the non-profit developer might sit on the land or sell it to a private developer that would result in the land sitting undeveloped for longer.