The Premier has announced several new initiatives that build on a letter he sent to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday, October 22nd, the day after the Federal Liberal party won a minority government in the October 21st election. These new initiatives include the following:
Establishing new Alberta Government offices in Ottawa, Quebec and British Columbia to promote Alberta’s message and defend the province’s interests;
Introducing a Citizen’s Initiative Act to allow for referendum’s on matters of “widespread public concern (Kenney went on to explain that the new Act will be based on the 1991 British Columbia Recall and Initiative Act;
Continuing to act on commitments that were included in the UCP platform from the recent Alberta election in April “that strengthen Alberta’s position within Canada”
Fair Deal Panel Mandate
Beyond the initiatives announced yesterday, Premier Kenney announced the creation of a Fair Deal Panel that will have a mandate to “consult Albertans on how best to define and to secure a fair deal for Alberta.” The panel will consult with Albertan’s through public consultation meetings between November 16 and January 30, 2020 and will complete and submit a report to the Alberta government by March 31, 2020. More specifically, Premier Kenney indicated the panel will examine specific initiatives and assess whether these initiatives “would advance the province’s interests”;
Establishing a provincial revenue agency and join Quebec in seeking an agreement to collect federal taxes within the province;
Withdraw from the Canada Pension Plan and create an Alberta Pension Plan;
Establish a provincial policy force and withdraw from the Alberta Police Service Agreement;
Seek Alberta representation in treaty negotiations that effect Alberta’s interests (similar to Quebec);
Require Alberta’s public bodies (such as Municipalities and school boards) to obtain the approval of the provincial government before entering into agreements with the federal government (similar to Quebec);
Establish a Chief Firearms Office for Alberta;
Opt out of federal cost share programs with full compensation (such as the federal government’s proposed pharmacare program);
Seek an exchange of tax points for federal cash transfers under the Canada Health and Social Transfers;
Establish a formalized provincial constitution;
Fair Deal Panel Members
Premier Kenney announced the following appointments to the new panel;
Honourable Preston Manning – founder & leader of the Reform Party of Canada and a Member of Parliament;
Stephen Lougheed – Former CEO of Alberta Innovates and Executive Director of the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute;
Oryssia Lennie – former Deputy Minister of the Western Economic Diversification Ministry & board chair of the Canada West Foundation;
Jason Goodstriker – former Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations;
Donna Kennedy-Glans – Former Progressive Conservative Cabinet Minister;
Moin Yahya – University of Alberta Professor of Law;
Drew Barnes MLA;
Miranda Rosin MLA;
Tany Yao MLA.
The Premier also reiterated some key components of his October 22nd letter to Prime Minister Trudeau, and added some new priorities that his government will focus on to assist the Alberta economy including gaining commitments from the Federal government to complete the Transmountain Pipeline, repeal of Bill C-48 (West Coast Tanker Ban) and the repeal or significant changes to the new Bill C-69 (the Impact Assessment Act) and the establishment of equivalency agreements for Alberta’s new “Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction” (TIER) program in order to avoid the imposition of the federal “Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act” backstop.
Prairie Sky Strategy will continue to monitor this situation, and any other impacts or potential impacts it will have on provincial government policy – both domestically and in relation to the federal government and other provinces.
If you have any questions, please contact us.
You can access the full announcement here – Fair Deal Panel Members, Mandate and Background.