Fall Sitting to Wrap Up Mid-December
With federal modelling projecting COVID case counts could reach between 20,000 and 60,000 cases per day across the country, provincial governments have re-doubled public health efforts to tackle the second wave sweeping across Canada.
Last week, Premier Kenney, Chief Medical Officer of Health Deena Hinshaw, and Health Minister Tyler Shandro held a news conference announcing new measures in Alberta. The targeted public health measures came into effect a week ago and were described as being our last chance to avoid more restrictive measures.
The changes apply to all communities on the enhanced watch list and include:
- No social gatherings inside your home or outside of your community
- 15-person limit on family and social gatherings
- Employers in office settings encouraged to reduce the number of employees in the workplace at any one time
- Restaurants and pubs to stop liquor sales by 10 p.m. and close by 11 p.m. between November 13-27
- Ban on indoor group fitness classes and team sports between November 13-27
- Ban on group singing, dancing and performing activities between November 13-27
- 50-person limit on wedding and funeral services
- Faith-based gatherings limited to ⅓ capacity
Since last week’s announcement, Alberta has seen the highest recorded number of cases in one day (1,105) and the highest number of deaths in one day (20). As of November 19, Alberta has 10,382 active cases with 284 in hospital, 61 in intensive care and 451 deaths. There are also acute care outbreaks at 11 Alberta healthcare facilities.
The targeted measures were set to expire a week from today, however, we have been told to additional restrictions are under consideration and may be introduced next week. Expect to see the return of daily briefings with Dr. Hinshaw beginning on Monday.
Despite this, the Alberta Legislature continues to sit, with 14 government bills having been introduced so far. We understand a few pieces of legislation remain and will likely be introduced before the fall sitting wraps up in mid-December.
Below, you’ll find a summary of government legislation, announcements and Orders in Council since our last edition.
Government Legislation Recap
Government of Alberta Announcements
- Effective immediately, Alberta’s government is banning carding and establishing clear rules for common interactions between police and the public to ensure the rights of Albertans are protected.The new rules are effective immediately, and the government will formalize them by including them in amendments to the Police Service Regulation in 2021.
- Premier Jason Kenney issued a statement on the agreement signed between TC Energy and Natural Law Energy for a future indigenous equity investment of up to $1 billion in Keystone XL.
- The first annual report on red tape reduction was tabled this week and highlights key initiatives that have eased the regulatory burden in Alberta, saving Albertans more than $476 million.
- Minister of Energy Sonya Savage issued a statement on the decision by Michigan seeking the shutdown of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline in the Great Lakes.
- The redevelopment of the Misericordia hospital’s emergency department is underway to meet the needs of growing west Edmonton with construction expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
- Construction announced Friday at the Peter Lougheed Centre will create almost 770 construction jobs in Calgary.
- Members of the RCMP with a minimum of three years of active service are now eligible to receive veterans’ licence plates in Alberta.
- Transportation Minister Ric McIver was present at the opening of the new Peace River Bridge that was recently twinned.
- Alberta’s government is investing $1 million to help faith-based and cultural organizations recover costs of up to $5,000 per facility associated with COVID-19 so they can continue to play a social, cultural and spiritual role in our communities.
- An online survey and telephone town halls are now available to Albertans to share their thoughts regarding provincial firearms policy.
- The Premier issued a statement on the results of the United States election congratulating President-Elect Joe Biden and discussing the ongoing trade relationship and energy security.
- President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance issued a statementabout the negotiations between the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) and the Alberta Public Service (APS), asking for a three per cent reduction in year one followed by three years of 0 per cent increases.
- Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation Doug Schweitzer issued a statement about the October Labour Force Survey stating that there is more work to be done to restore jobs in the province.
- Alberta’s government will twin a four-kilometre section of Highway 60 between highways 16 and 16A in Acheson. Construction is expected to take up to three years to complete.
- Six First Nations representing all Treaty territories in Alberta are exploring how they can help reduce surgical wait times through $50,000 grants received from the GoA.
- A new interchange at the QEII and 65 avenue in Leduc was announced and will be a major corridor for industrial traffic at the Edmonton International Airport.
- Alberta’s government has eliminated user fees for all Albertans accessing publicly funded addiction treatment beds. Historically Albertans were charged $40/day to access the beds.
- Alberta has reached an agreement with the federal government that keeps the province in charge of regulating methane emissions. Alberta’s methane regulation is estimated to cut more emissions by 2030 than the federal system would if it applied in Alberta, and will do so at half the cost to industry.
- Alberta’s government has shortlisted three qualified groups to deliver five new high schools through a public-private partnership (P3).
- The Alberta government will take action on 15 recommendations found in an independent report contracted regarding the province’s response to the 2019 wildfire season.
- Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, and Dr. Keith Lehman, chief provincial veterinarian, issued a statement on Influenza A (H1N2)v or swine flu in Alberta.
- Power and electrical systems at Calgary’s Foothills Medical Centre will be upgraded to improve safety at the hospital.
- Alberta’s government is using up to $280 million from the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) system and Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund (LCELF) to fund three Emissions Reduction Alberta programs that will support around 5,000 jobs and cut an estimated 13 million tonnes of emissions by 2030.
- The province is partnering with Nordiq Alberta to groom winter trails in Kananaskis.
- The governments of Canada and Alberta are expanding and extending the Alberta Beekeeper Stock Replacement Program to provide additional support for the province’s beekeepers.
- In partnership with Mitacs, post-secondary institutions and employers, Alberta’s government is creating more than 3,800 internship opportunitiesto build hands-on learning opportunities for students, researchers and industry partners.
- The Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program (APIP), part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan has been launched to help attract billions to petrochemical programs in the province and aggressively compete against other jurisdictions. APIP offers a direct financial incentive on new petrochemical or fertilizer facilities, or on expansions to existing ones.