Isolated but informed – Alberta COVID-19 News

It’s difficult to comprehend just how quickly the definition of normal has changed since our last edition of the Roundup one week ago. Alberta declared a public health emergency on March 17.

As of Friday morning, there are 146 confirmed cases and the first death due to COVID-19 in Alberta. Almost 17,000 tests have been conducted in the province, the highest rate per population in the country.

Many of you are likely reading this from home and adopting the previously foreign measure of social distancing. It would be near impossible to cover the breadth of updates and new measures implemented at the local, provincial, federal and international levels in response to COVID-19 in a week’s time, but we have a summary of key measures below.

It’s unclear how much longer the Alberta Legislature will sit for in these uncertain times. Late Tuesday evening the Alberta budget, with wildly outdated projections for oil prices amid a Saudi-Russian price war and an additional $500 million in health spending was passed. The Assembly may sit on Friday, March 20, Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22, 2020.

In Ottawa, the Prime Minister remains in self-isolation while the House of Commons could have a skeleton crew of MPs called back as early as this weekend to pass an emergency financial aid package.

Premier Kenney has dropped the political barbs and taken on the role of elder statesman, saying that “we must begin to prepare ourselves for a time of adversity unlike any we have seen since the 1930s in this province” and that “in facing this unprecedented challenge, we have each other, we have strong institutions and together we will get through this.”

Support has begun to roll out from the provincial and federal levels of government to support Albertans impacted by the pandemic. According to the Globe and Mail, multi-billion dollar measures are expected early next week to support Alberta’s fledgling oil and gas sector.

Orders in Council

OC 63/2020: Makes a series of appointments and reappointments to the Appeals Commission under the Worker’s Compensation Act.

OC 64/2020: Makes changes to the Employment Standards Regulation to create the protected leave for workers as outlined by the Premier in response to COVID-19.

OC 65-66/2020: Proclaims Section 2 of the Statutes Amendment Act, 2014 (No. 2) in force on March 31, 2020, repealing the title of Farm Implement Act and substituting the Farm Implement and Dealership Act. The Farm Implement Regulation is amended by the OC 66/2020.

OC 67/2020: Likely in response to COVID-19, this OC creates further acting ministers for each Alberta Cabinet Minister, from two acting ministers to five for each portfolio that could act as needed should the preceding minister become unavailable.

OC 68-69/2020: Extend the expiry of the Authorized Accredited Agencies Regulation and Elevating Devices, Passenger Ropeways and Amusement Rides Administration Regulation from April 30, 2020 to April 30, 2022.

OC 70/2020: Makes the Chief Mountain Regional Solid Waste Services Commission Regulation.

OC 71/2020: Makes the Canmore Undermining Review Regulation.

OC 72/2020: Extends the expiry of the Pressure Welders Regulation from May 31, 2020 to May 31, 2022.

OC 73/2020: Appoints former Lethbridge-West UCP candidate Karri Flatla as a member of The Board of Governors of Lethbridge College for a term to expire on March 16, 2023.

OC 74/2020: Reappoints L. Page Stuart as a member and redesignates her as a part-time member of the Natural Resources Conservation Board for a term to expire on April 10, 2023.

OC 75/2020: Reappoints Del Graff as the Child and Youth Advocate for a term to expire October 31, 2021.

OC 76/2020: Proclaiming section 13(13) of the Justice Statutes Amendment Act, 2014 in force on April 1, 2020.

OC 77/2020: On the recommendation of the Standing Committee on Legislative Offices reappoints Glen Larry Resler as Chief Electoral Officer.

OC 78/2020: Makes the Alberta Rules of Court Amendment Regulation.

OC 79/2020: Makes the Surrogate Rules Amendment Regulation.

OC 80/2020: Declares a state of public health emergency in Alberta due to pandemic COVID-19 and the significant likelihood of pandemic influenza, for the purposes of sections 52.1 and 52.8 of the Public Health Act.

OC 81/2020: Makes a change to the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Regulation to allow licensed premises to sell or provide liquor from the premises for consumption off of the licensed premises, creating a new avenue of revenue for licensed restaurants feeling the effects of the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.

OC 82/2020: Appoints Dale Beesley, employee nominee, nominated by employees, as a member of the Management Employees Pension Board for a term to expire on March 16, 2023, and appoints Jon Himmens, employer nominee, nominated by the President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance on behalf of the Government, as a member of the Management Employees Pension Board for a term to expire on March 16, 2023.

OC 83/2020: Reappoints Thomas Cotter as a member and redesignates him as a Vice-chair of the Alberta Securities Commission for a term to expire on March 12, 2026, reappoints Trudy Curran, Karen Kim and James Oosterbaan as members of the Alberta Securities Commission, each for a term to expire on March 31, 2023 and redesignates Kathryn Chisholm, Q.C., as the lead independent member of the Alberta Securities Commission for a term to expire on March 31, 2021.

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.

We have been providing comprehensive, daily updates on COVID-19’s impact here in Alberta and across the country, how orders of government are responding, and most importantly, how to effectively advocate in this environment.

If you are interested in receiving these daily COVID-19 updates, please contact us.

Right now, information is among the most valuable currencies available. We are committed to helping you and your organization navigate your way through these challenges.