Alberta Update: November 3, 2023

This Week

Speech from the Throne: On Monday, the Legislature kicked off the fall session with the Speech from the Throne. Read the highlights from the Speech from the Throne here
Legislation: 6 pieces of government legislation were introduced. These proposed bills include: 

  • Bill 1 – the Alberta Taxpayer Protection Amendment Act, 2023
  • Bill 2 – the Alberta Pension Protection Act
  • Bill 3 – the Opioid Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Amendment Act, 2023
  • Bill 4 – the Tax Statutes Amendment Act, 2023 ($)
  • Bill 5 – the Public Sector Employers Amendment Act, 2023
  • Bill 6 – the Public Health Amendment Act, 2023

 Protection from future tax hikes: Bill 1, the Alberta Taxpayer Protection Amendment Act, 2023, delivers on the government’s campaign promise that Albertans would have a say in future tax increases. If passed, future tax increases, both personal and corporate, would need approval from Albertans through a referendum. The act also prevents the government from reducing personal income tax bracket thresholds and making changes to basic personal, spousal, and equivalent-to-spouse credit amounts. 
Detailed response to CER: The federal government’s Clean Electricity Regulations have been a major focus for the Government of Alberta. Today, Alberta’s government submitted a detailed response outlining the technical problems with these regulations. At the core, the submission argues that these regulations are unrealistic, ineffective, and would compromise grid reliability. The entire technical submission can be found here
Increasing the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (AIOC): Premier Smith announced an increase in the AIOC’s loan guarantee capacity from $1 billion to $2 billion. The loan guarantee will increase to $3 billion in 2024-25. Since its creation in 2019, the AIOC has provided investment support with reduced costs, significantly boosting Indigenous prosperity and economic inclusion. More than 30 Indigenous communities in Alberta have benefitted from more than $500 million in investments. 
Aviation Skills Grant: The Aviation Skills Grant program opened for a second intake. Grant recipients can receive up to $30,000 to offset training costs for new or vacant positions. Eligible grant recipients include small, medium- and large-sized employers that represent air transportation, flight schools, and aircraft maintenance businesses across Alberta. The program is part of Alberta at Work, a multi-year program assisting Albertans to develop new skills. Applications are open until December 13. 
Supporting non-profits: The government announced a one-stop online tool to make life easier for non-profits and charitable organizations. The online tool amalgamates multiple platforms to streamline access to supports like funding, sector-specific information, guidance on non-profit management, and governance training for board members. The move was prompted by recommendations from the Red Tape Reduction Non-profit Industry Panel in 2021. 
Increasing continuing care beds in Edmonton: Health Minister Adriana LaGrange announced the completion of the Norwood West building at the Gene Zwozdesky Centre in Edmonton. The new facility offers 29 additional continuing care beds. Budget 2023 invests almost $90.6 million over three years in the Gene Zwozdesky Centre. Once complete, the centre will offer 350 continuing care beds, and 116 hospice and complex continuing care beds. More details can be found here.  
Increasing lab appointment capacity in Calgary: Earlier this year, the government announced a new community lab in Calgary’s southeast with the capacity to serve 2,000 patients. In 2024, two additional labs in Calgary and Airdrie are expected to serve another 800 patients. Since April 2023, wait times for lab appointments have decreased from approximately six weeks to 12 to 14 days. 


What’s Next

UCP AGM: The United Conservative Party will be holding its AGM in Calgary this weekend. 
Legislature: Government legislation expected next week includes: 

  • Bill 7 – Engineering and Geoscience Professions Amendment Act, 2023 – Hon. Mrs. Sawhney



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