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Alberta’s Re-Launch Strategy, James Rajotte Appointment, and Fort McMurray Flooding

There is finally a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel with the Government of Alberta’s ‘Alberta Relaunch Strategy’ being announced by Premier Jason Kenney yesterday.

Broadly, the plan charts the path back to the full re-opening of the Alberta economy, the gradual lifting of public health orders and the government’s efforts to continuously track the spread of the virus.

The strategy is a three-staged approach, each dependent on the province’s ability to keep infection rates low, and well within the capacity of the healthcare system. Some early stage actions including resumption of non-urgent surgeries and resumption of some health services will begin this week while progress to Stage 1 will occur once health measures are achieved to the satisfaction of the government based on the advice of the chief medical officer of health, as early as May 14. The full release can be found here.

A COVID-19 modelling data update was also provided this week and shows that efforts from Albertans have indeed flattened the curve. Updated modelling scenarios continue to estimate that Alberta’s outbreak will reach its peak in late May.

Northern Albertans were dealt another blow on top of the collapse of the oil industry and COVID-19 this week with severe flooding in Fort McMurray and Mackenzie County. States of local emergency and mandatory evacuation orders remain in effect for some communities. As of April 29 about 13,000 people from Fort McMurray were evacuated to hotels, work camp facilities and private accommodations, about 455 people were evacuated from Fort Vermilion to hotels in High Level and private accommodations and 749 people from Little Red River Cree Nation have been evacuated. Residents of northern Alberta who have been evacuated due to spring floods will receive funding of $1,250 per adult and $500 per dependent child.

Below you’ll find a recap of other government announcements and Orders in Council.

Government of Alberta Announcements

Orders in Council

OC 132-133/2020: Allow for Viterra Inc. to expand and upgrade facilities in Crossfield and Grassy Lake and exclude their operations from the Foreign Ownership of Land Regulations.

OC 134-135/2020: Appoints Lana Yakimchuk as a member of the Land Compensation Board and Surface Rights Board for a term to expire on April 30, 2023; reappoints Jerry Zezulka and Shannon Boyer as members of the Land Compensation Board and Surface Rights Board, each for a term to expire on April 30, 2023.

OC 136/2020: Appoints Shelley Beck, Yusuf Mohammed and Kent Smith as members of The Board of Governors of Medicine Hat College, each for a term to expire on April 28, 2023.

OC 137/2020: Appoints Joette Decore as a member of The Board of Governors of NorQuest College for a term to expire on April 28, 2023.

OC 138/2020: Appoints Andrew Neigel as a member of the Board of Governors of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology for a term to expire on April 28, 2023.

OC 139/2020: Reappoints Leona Staples as a member and redesignates her as chair of The Board of Governors of Olds College for a term to expire on May 8, 2023; and reappoints Donna Maxwell as a member of The Board of Governors of Olds College for a term to expire on May 8, 2023.

OC 140/2020: Appoints David (Ted) Langford as a member of The Board of Governors of Portage College for a further term to expire on April 28, 2023; and appoints Christopher Best as a member of The Board of Governors of Portage College for a term to expire on April 28, 2023.

OC 141/2020: Continues the Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities Act for a further period ending on December 31, 2025.

OC 142/2020 and OC/144/2020: Proclaims various sections of the Lobbyists Amendment Act, 2018 in force on July 1, 2020 and makes the Lobbyists Act General Regulation to align with proclaimed legislation effective July 1, 2020.

OC 143/2020: Appoints Deborah Apps and Lori Louhela as members of the Alberta Review Board, each for a term to expire on April 28, 2023, reappoints Suzanne Polkosnik, Q.C., as a member of the Alberta Review Board for a term to expire on June 5, 2021, and, effective June 6, 2020, appoints Todd Marr as a member of the Alberta Review Board for a term to expire on June 5, 2023.

OC 145/2020: Amends the Minors’ Property Regulation by raising prescribed amounts from $10,000 to $25,000.

OC 146/2020: Amends the Public Trustee General Regulation by raising the transfer of property to minor’s guardian from $10,000 to $25,000.

OC 147/2020: Amends the Reform of Agencies, Boards and Commissions Compensation Regulation to change the salary of the CEO of the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation from level 3 to level 4.

Our New West Public Affairs team has worked hard to adjust to this ‘new normal’ as well as we can. We have implanted work from home procedures and are in constant contact with those making real time policy decisions in this unprecedented time.

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