Amendments to legislation

Proposed amendments will ensure powers given to cabinet to make amendments are limited to regulations, and do not include the power to amend legislation.

Rather, if a motion under Section 3 recommends changes to legislation, these will be brought forward as a bill, to be considered by the legislative assembly through the normal processes of first reading, second reading, committee of the whole, third reading, and royal assent.

The specific changes proposed to provide this clarity and certainty are:

  • In Section 4(1)(a)(i) and (ii) reference to “enactment” is changed to “regulation”.
  • A definition of “regulation” is added as Section 1(f). That duplicates the definition of “regulation” found in the Interpretation Act, and does not include an act of the legislative assembly.
  • For greater certainty, a new Section 4(4) states that “regulation” does not include an act of the legislative assembly.

In light of these amendments, it is very clear that any amendments to legislation are not addressed by the powers under the bill and would instead be made through the usual legislative processes.

Defining “harm”

A resolution under the bill would still include an opinion that a federal initiative is either unconstitutional or causes or is anticipated to cause harm to Albertans.

Proposed amendments to Section 3(b)(ii) will significantly narrow the potential scope of that harm.

Specifically, harm will be limited to either:

  • an affect on or interference with an area of provincial legislative jurisdiction, or
  • an interference with the charter rights of Albertans.