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A legislative session marked by divisions with Ottawa end in Alberta

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The fall legislative session concluded in the early hours of Thursday morning.

  • Emmanuel Prince-Thauvette (View profile)Emmanuel Prince-Thauvette

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The first session of the 31st Alberta Legislature ended Thursday, after six weeks of parliamentary work. In addition to the adoption of around ten bills, the session was marked by friction between Edmonton and Ottawa.

The legislative session concluded early Thursday morning with the adoption of three government bills. Among them, the proposed Alberta Pension Plan Act, which states that such a plan cannot be established without the approval of the Albertan population by referendum.

The opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) asked the government to extend debates on this law, which was refused. During the session, the [United Conservative Party] spent less than eight hours debating its bill aimed at squandering Albertans' pensions, laments Christina Grey, the House leader of the official opposition.

During the session, the Smith government also passed the Alberta Taxpayer Protection Act, which ties the hands of future governments by preventing them from imposing personal or corporate tax increases without going through a referendum. .

The NDP failed to pass any of its bills, but NDP MP Jodi Calahoo Stonehouse symbolically passed a motion unanimously to establish indigenous territorial recognition at the start of each week of work. Alberta thus became the second province, after Manitoba, to adopt such a practice.

The government House leader, Joseph Schow, called the session productive, but acknowledged that on both sides there is work to be done on decorum.

In recent days, the question periods have in fact been marked by several points of order from the President of the Assembly, Nathan Cooper. Members therefore did not always respect the internal regulations of the Legislative Assembly or used unparliamentary terms.

LoadingThe bill 15 on health reform adopted this morning in Quebec

ELSE ON INFO: The project of law 15 on health reform adopted this morning in Quebec

Beyond the legislative agenda, the political fall was marked by renewed opposition from the provincial government to the federal government. The Smith government invoked the Alberta Sovereignty within a United Canada Act for the first time in connection with the federal clean electricity regulations.

Recent federal announcements to reduce methane emissions and targets for capping greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sector also provoked the ire of Prime Minister Danielle Smith.

The Smith government also began its fundamental reform of the health system in Alberta, by announcing the splitting of the Alberta Health Services (AHS) agency into four organizations distinct.

MPs will return to the House in 2024, but it is still unclear when exactly, since the precise schedule will be decided in mid-January. Joseph Schow, who is responsible for the government's legislative agenda, did not specify which bills would be debated during the winter session.

Alberta Finance Minister Nate Horner is expected to table the provincial budget by the end of February.

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