COVID-19 Updates: State of public health emergency declared.
The spring session started on Feb. 25 with Budget 2021: Protecting Lives and Livelihoods. That theme dominated a session that protected Albertans’ lives and livelihoods during the pandemic, and in their communities from hate crimes, sexual and domestic violence, and more.
“This was an extraordinary session during an extraordinary time. Never has Alberta faced so many challenges at once: the pandemic, a devastated economy, the energy price collapse, and the biggest vaccination program in our history. Alberta’s government has kept a relentless focus on protecting lives and livelihoods while also continuing to deliver on the marching orders that Albertans gave us in the last election.”
“The 23 bills passed during the spring session boost economic growth and strengthen democracy. Albertans can look forward to electing senators again, a referendum on equalization and recalling elected officials if they so choose. These bills also protect survivors of human trafficking, cut red tape and protect Alberta’s natural resources.”
Spring session highlights
During the spring sitting, the legislature passed 23 bills to protect live and livelihoods while ensuring Alberta’s economic recovery and strengthening democracy. Budget 2021 provides the road map to confront economic challenges and boost economic growth and provides the largest single year health-care budget in the province’s history in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with $3.4 billion for health-related capital projects and programs.
The Alberta government is working tirelessly to create the conditions for economic recovery in the province. Many economic forecasters have predicted that Alberta will lead all provinces in growth this year, including the Conference Board of Canada, Desjardins and the National Bank of Canada.
Alberta’s government is investing in Albertans to get them back to work. A bold investment of up to $370 million will support hiring unemployed Albertans into thousands of jobs and protect lives and livelihoods in response to the pandemic.
The Alberta Jobs Now program will help reduce the costs of hiring and training unemployed Albertans for jobs, encouraging employers to create jobs for Albertans as the economy recovers. It is estimated that over two years, more than 21,000 new jobs will be created.
Spring legislation highlights
- The Citizen Initiative Act enables eligible voters to propose legislative, policy or constitutional actions.
- The Recall Act creates a process that could lead to the recall of elected provincial, municipal and school officials.
- The Red Tape Reduction Implementation Act, 2021, supports Alberta’s economic recovery. Alberta’s government will continue to cut red tape and get out of the way of our job creators and innovators.
- The Police (Street Checks and Carding) Amendment Act, 2021, improves interactions between racialized communities and law enforcement.
- The Public Land Amendment Act creates a Public Land Camping Pass and Kananaskis Conservation Pass that go directly towards conserving and maintaining wild and beautiful destinations in Alberta.
- The Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act permanently empowers the Government of Alberta to restrict primary production into neighbouring jurisdictions.
- The Municipal Government (Firearms) Amendment Act, 2020, provides law-abiding gun owners clear and concise rules for sport shooting and hunting.
Motions passed in the chamber
- Government Motion 83 authorized a provincial referendum to ask Albertans whether equalization payments should be removed from Canada’s Constitution.
- Government Motion 69 established a Select Special Committee on Real Property Rights.
- Government Motion 85 urged the Prime Minister to refrain from filling Alberta’s two vacant Senate seats until Albertans can elect nominees to the Senate in October 2021.