Two new endowments announced in the Throne Speech will be created under Bill 1, to position Alberta for long-term economic growth by supporting the agriculture sector and social innovation. Through this bill, the Alberta Heritage Scholarship Fund will also be expanded, offering additional supports for apprenticeships, as well as trades and technology training.
“Our Building Alberta Plan is working. The difficult decisions we made last year have helped us turn the corner toward a balanced budget, while Alberta’s economy will lead Canada again this year. With today’s Throne Speech, we launched the next phase of the Building Alberta Plan that puts our savings to work in support of Alberta’s future success. Albertans will see we’re keeping our promises with a clear plan to build an even better quality of life for our families, friends and neighbours – for today and for twenty years to come.”
Other highlights from the throne speech, read today by Lieutenant Governor Donald S. Ethell, include:
- plans to build Canada’s first and only dedicated pipeline training facility;
- the creation of the Alberta Institute for Research and Commercialization;
- the development of a new, student-centered curriculum that will ensure a strong understanding of basic literacy and numeracy;
- long-term support for our cities and towns to meet Alberta’s growth challenges head-on; and
- a call for the development of a Canada Free Trade Zone.
Under the Building Alberta Plan, our government is investing in families and communities, living within our means, and opening new markets for Alberta's resources to ensure we're able to fund the services Albertans told us matter most to them. We will continue to deliver the responsible change Albertans voted for.
Highlights of initiatives outlined in the 2014 Speech from the Throne
Investing in Families and Communities
- Complete the review of the Municipal Government Act.
- Finalize Calgary and Edmonton city charters.
- Renew the long-term funding commitment to the Municipal Sustainability Initiative and Green Trip in Budget 2014.
- Build community flood mitigation projects and undertake new flood hazard mapping.
- Invest in better seniors’ care.
- Consider options, including using provincial land, to meet the commitment to build new continuing care beds.
- Implement Alberta’s Wellness Strategy.
- Invest in additional newborn screening, support for parents and child mental health.
- Develop a new, student-centered curriculum that will ensure a strong understanding of basic literacy and numeracy.
- Replace Provincial Achievement Tests with new Student Learner Assessments.
- Build a culture of transparency, quality care and continuous improvement in Alberta’s child intervention system.
- Extend support for young adults in care by two years, to age 24.
- Challenge Albertans, including businesses, non-profit organizations and employers, to provide mentorship opportunities for young people.
- Reaffirm commitment to projects that support Albertans facing domestic violence.
- Find innovative new ways to ensure Albertans have the opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge they need.
- Ensure that distance education is an important part of Campus Alberta.
- Build Canada’s first and only dedicated pipeline training facility.
- Introduce an alternative and renewable energy framework.
Living Within Our Means
- Reaffirm the government’s commitment to live within its means and balance the budget.
- Complete third phase of Results-Based Budgeting this year.
- Expand the Results-Based Budgeting process and hold spending below population and inflation growth until 2016.
- Create the Agriculture and Food Innovation Endowment.
- Create the Social Innovation Endowment.
- Expand the Alberta Heritage Scholarship Fund.
- Fund the creation of the Lougheed Leadership Institute.
- Create the Alberta Institute for Research and Commercialization.
Opening New Markets
- Continue to advocate against unfair country of origin labeling rules in the U.S.
- Urge the federal government to impose penalties on shippers who fail to meet their grain delivery obligations to producers.
- Continue to build new markets for all our products.
- Advocate for the creation of a Canada Free Trade Zone.
- Support Open Skies to increase trade, business and tourism.
- Support innovation in the forestry sector and seek to open new markets for forest products.
- Work with the federal government on areas of shared interest.
- Continue to advocate for projects like Keystone XL, while meeting misunderstanding with fact in promoting our record as a responsible energy producer.