Status: Bills 20 and 21 introduced October 28, 2019
Ministry responsible: Treasury Board and Finance

Overview

To implement parts of Budget 2019, two bills have been introduced:

These bills would help address the current overspending problem by paying specific attention to good fiscal management, adjusting tax credits and rethinking program delivery.

If passed, these changes would achieve real savings for Alberta taxpayers today and in the future.

Key changes

If passed, Bill 20 will:

  • pause indexation of the personal income tax system
  • remove a number of dedicated funds and tax credits
  • introduce the Alberta Child and Family Benefit to better support Alberta families most in need
  • establish new, long-term funding arrangements for local government

If passed, Bill 21 will:

  • address fiscal sustainability through the introduction of a transferable supply vote and changing the Fiscal, Planning and Transparency Act
  • establish authority regarding public-sector compensation, the largest expense in the Alberta budget
  • get physicians where they are needed most in the province by giving the Minister of Health authority to place conditions on obtaining a practitioner identification number and include provisions for changes to the doctors’ master agreement with the Alberta Medical Association
  • pause indexation of various programs such as AISH and the Alberta Seniors Benefit
  • lift the cap on post-secondary tuition increases for three academic years
  • eliminate the regulated rate option cap

Bill details

  • Bill 20: the Fiscal Measures and Taxation Act, 2019

    Advanced Education

    • dissolve the Access to the Future Fund (changes the Access to the Future Act)

    Economic Development, Trade and Tourism

    • create a tax credit program for film and television (creates the Film and Television Tax Credit Act)
    • remove the Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (changes the Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit Act)
    • remove the Capital Investment Tax Credit (changes the Investing in a Diversified Alberta Economy Act)
    • remove the Community and Economic Development Corporation Tax Credit (changes the Investing in a Diversified Alberta Economy Act)
    • remove the Alberta Investor Tax Credit (changes the Investing in a Diversified Alberta Economy Act)

    Environment and Parks

    • dissolve the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Fund (changes the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Fund Act)

    Health

    • repeal the Alberta Cancer Prevention Legacy Act and dissolve the Alberta Cancer Prevention Legacy Fund

    Municipal Affairs

    • repeal the City Charters Fiscal Framework Act
    • establish new, long-term funding arrangement for local governments (creates the Local Government Fiscal Framework Act)

    Treasury Board and Finance

    • remove the Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Credit (changes the Alberta Corporate Tax Act)
    • amend the Dividend Tax Credit to align with changes to the general corporate tax rate (changes the Alberta Personal Income Tax Act)
    • remove the Education and Tuition Tax Credits (changes the Alberta Personal Income Tax Act)
    • pause indexation of the personal income tax rate system (changes the Alberta Personal Income Tax Act)
    • consolidate the Alberta Child Benefit and the Alberta Family Employment Tax Credit Programs into a single program called the Alberta Child and Family Benefit (changes the Alberta Personal Income Tax Act)
    • dissolve the Lottery Fund to simplify reporting and accountability (changes the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act, program spending will continue as budgeted and charitable proceeds will come from the General Revenue Fund)
    • increase the tobacco tax rate for all tobacco products (changes the Tobacco Tax Act)

    Transportation

    • create regulation making authority relating to amendments to Calgary and Edmonton’s light rail transit funding agreements (creates the Public Transit and Green Infrastructure Act)
  • Bill 21: the Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability Act, 2019

    Advanced Education

    • lift the cap on tuition for three academic years, in order to set an alternative cap in regulation (changes the Post-Secondary Learning Act)
    • increase the interest rate on student loans by 1% (changes the Student Financial Assistance Act)

    Community and Social Services

    • pause indexation of the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped Benefit and move eligibility rules to regulation (changes the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped Act)
    • pause indexation of the Employment and Income Supports Benefit (changes the Income and Employment Supports Act)

    Energy

    • eliminate the regulated rate option cap (changes An Act to Cap Regulated Electricity Rates)

    Health

    • give the Minister of Health authority to place conditions on obtaining a practitioner identification number (changes the Alberta Health Care Insurance Act)
    • include provisions for changes to the doctors’ master agreement with the Alberta Medical Association (changes the Alberta Health Care Insurance Act)

    Justice and Solicitor General

    • create regulation making authority and outline the responsibility of specified municipalities to pay a cost for policing if required by regulations (changes the Police Act)
    • broaden the purposes for which the province can retain fine money it collects on behalf of municipalities (changes the Provincial Offences Procedures Act)

    Labour and Immigration

    • create regulation-making authority pertaining to the Employment Standards Regulation (changes the Employment Standards Code)
    • reverse the replacement worker ban in the public sector (changes the Labour Relations Code)
    • reinstate specific bargaining unit exclusions for budget officers, systems analysts, auditors, and employees performing substantially similar duties (changes the Public Service Employee Relations Act)

    Seniors and Housing

    • pause indexation of the Seniors Lodge Program (changes the Alberta Housing Act)
    • pause indexation of the Alberta Seniors Benefit (changes the Seniors Benefit Act)

    Treasury Board and Finance

    • update current fiscal rules and reporting, including:
      • replacing spending limits with a transferable supply vote (changes the Fiscal Planning and Transparency Act)
      • removing the Contingency Account (changes the Fiscal Planning and Transparency Act)
      • updating quarterly reporting requirements (changes the Fiscal Planning and Transparency Act)
    • create a supply vote for disasters and other unanticipated priorities clearly in the public interest, and allow Treasury Board to delegate policy-making functions to enhance government efficiency and flexibility (changes the Financial Administration Act)
    • prescribe limits on notice of termination and severance pay for non-bargaining unit employees (changes the Public Service Act)
    • provide government with greater oversight of collective bargaining for all public sector employees (changes the Public Sector Employers Act)

Next steps

If passed, Bills 20 and 21 would take effect upon receiving royal assent.

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