Table of contents

Status: The Financial Statutes Amendment Act, 2022 received Royal Assent on April 21, 2022
Ministry responsible: Treasury Board and Finance

Overview

The Financial Statutes Amendment Act, 2022 (formerly Bill 2) supports fiscal responsibility with a focus on efficient use of Albertans’ tax dollars.

The bill implements parts of Budget 2022 that will make better use of public funds, improve cost certainty and eliminate financial risks.

Budget 2022 presented a balanced budget for the first time in over a decade. Measures in the bill further integrates financial responsibility across government operations to put Alberta in a stronger financial position and protect our valuable public services.

Key changes

The Financial Statutes Amendment Act, 2022 amends the following acts.

  • Emissions Management and Climate Resilience Act

    The amendment:

    • removes the authority for the Minister to issue loan guarantees under TIER Loan Guarantee program as the program no longer exists so the function is obsolete
    • upholds overall government direction prohibiting the issuance of loan guarantees as they create an undesirable financial risk to government
  • Alberta Health Care Insurance Act

    The amendments strengthen the current legal framework and give government flexibility to make decisions in an ever-changing health environment, including:

    • establishing a new regulation-making authority for health benefits for services provided by allied health professionals
    • increasing financial accountability in physician claims audits and other compliance activities
    • clarifying wording for the creation of benefits review committees
  • Public Transit and Green Infrastructure Project Act and General Regulation

    The amendments change the end date for the Government of Alberta’s financial commitment to align with revised Business Case for Green Line LRT project in Calgary.

    • Amending the legislation extends the period of time for provincial funding by 2 years to 2029-30.
    • Amending the regulation is required to implement changes to cash flows that were requested by the City of Calgary.
    • There are no changes to the cash flows for the City of Edmonton.
  • Financial Administration Amendment Act

    The amendments authorize the President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance to mandate provincial corporations, regulated funds, and other consolidated entities to participate, and hold their surplus cash in the new cash pooling structure.

    • This enables government to implement a new flexible cash pooling structure that will:
      • use surplus cash held in pooled accounts to pay down provincial debt and lower debt servicing costs
      • reduce the amount of money the government has to borrow by at least $1 billion dollars and lower debt-servicing costs by a minimum of $25 million per year
      • replace an outdated and administratively complex cash pooling structure
    • This change also responds to the Auditor General’s recommendation to examine the government’s current cash pooling structure and make better use of surplus cash to reduce debt.
  • Tax statutes

    The amendment relate to Alberta’s tax statutes: Alberta Personal Income Tax Act, Alberta Corporate Tax Act, Fuel Tax Act, Tobacco Tax Act and Tourism Levy Act.

    • Amendments will implement the Budget 2022 decision to establish a new tax category for smokeless tobacco (for example, chewing tobacco), with the rate set at 27.5 cents per gram.
    • Most amendments are annual technical updates, intended to ensure Alberta’s tax statutes are clear, consistent with the federal tax system and, overall, effective in supporting administration of the provincial tax system.
    • Additional amendments include moving tobacco tax collection and remittance requirements from collector agreements into legislation and a requirement for online marketplaces such as Airbnb or Vrbo to collect and remit the provincial tourism levy to government on behalf of their Alberta short-term rental hosts.

Next steps

The amendments to the acts will come into force on various dates.

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