Hello Chestermere! As the marathon legislative session ended last week I thought I would give you some highlights (lowlights?) of the government’s bills. Bills with an $ are so called “money” bills. Your money. Always remember that.
Bill 1: Promoting Job Creation and Diversification Act (Bilous)
Essentially the Minister’s job description and completely unnecessary. Their signature job “creation” plan was cancelled after being roundly criticized as useless and wasteful. By the way, we now have the highest unemployment rate west of the Maritimes. No further comment.
Bill 2 $: Appropriations and Bill 3 $: Supplementary Appropriations (Ceci)
If you can’t manage to produce a budget you have to give yourself authority to borrow money until you get around to it. No attention paid to living within our means.
Bill 4: Implementing Supreme Court Ruling On Essential Services (Gray)
Paramedics aren’t essential according to this bill. “Essentially” lifts the ban on public sector strikes.
Bill 5: Seniors Home Adaptation and Repair Act (Sigurdson)
The government enters the banking business. They’ll lend seniors (borrowed) money secured by their homes to fix them up. Could put the government at the table in estate disputes.
Bill 7: Electoral Boundaries Commission Amendment Act (Ganley)
Pushes the timeline forward to create new electoral boundaries. It would have been nice to see the commission get the power to redraw the boundaries fairly for all Albertans.
Bill 10 $: Fiscal Statutes Amendment Act (Ceci)
Removed the 15% of GDP limit on borrowing, a solemn promise in their budget of 4 months previous. We call it the “Debt To Infinity And Beyond Act.”
Bill 17 $: Appropriations Act (Ceci)
“The Budget”. Mortgaging your children’s future. Alberta’s debt is projected to hit 58 BILLION dollars in 2019. Policy will be dictated by bankers, not your needs.
Bill 18: An Act To Ensure Independent Environmental Monitoring (Phillips)
Shuts down the independent environmental monitor. This Orwellian bill removes transparent reporting on the state of our air, water, and land.
Bill 20 $: Climate Leadership Implementation Act (Phillips)
The Carbon Tax, aka “ND-PST”. This bill is supposed to “bend your behaviour”. Please let us know how that’s working out for you in 2017. This bill is badly written, badly timed, and does nothing to help the environment. We proposed many amendments to make it better and tried to delay it for 6 months, to no avail. It is a tax and spend bill pure and simple, and ignores the recommendations of the government’s own blue-ribbon Leach Panel. According to the Premier, Albertans wanted this bill. She’s so sure that she refused to put it to a referendum vote, as she would have had to if she had called it a Provincial Sales Tax.
Bill 21: Modernised Municipal Government Act (Larivee)
This bill overhauls the second largest piece of legislation in the province. It only passed first reading during the session and now we will see province wide “consultation” tours. From what was said in the Chestermere session, a lot of the changes will be implemented in the regulations which will not be subject to open debate in the Legislature, similar to the previous session’s infamous Bill 6 that still has our farming friends angry.
That’s some of the government’s bills. There was one private members bill that shows how this government really feels about being accountable to Albertans. I am referring to the Election Recall Act, Bill 201, introduced by my Wildrose colleague Mark Smith after my own Recall Act was allowed to die on the order paper in the previous session. This bill was defeated in the house by the NDP majority and the Progressive Conservatives. Birds of a feather when it comes to allowing the people who elected them to rule on their performance between elections.
Congratulations to Holly Wood and all the volunteers who made Seniors Week a great success, and to all the young entrepreneurs who participated in Lemonade Stand Day, including Chester’s Lemonade Stand outside my office. Kids and parents, check out the Chestermere Langdon Oilmen’s Bicycle Ride Against Bullying on June 18.
As always, we love to hear from you.