Premier Smith’s update from the Ottawa
Premier Danielle Smith participated in the First Ministers’ Meeting on health care in Ottawa and provided the following update.
Alberta is leading the country with major reform to health care. After 2.5 years of requests from Canada’s premiers, today, the federal government presented their plan. While this is a start, overall, this is significantly lower than the premiers anticipated. Premier Smith will take this information back to her team in Alberta in advance of meeting with Canada’s premiers again in the coming days.
Premier Smith also met with premiers François Legault of Quebec and Scott Moe of Saskatchewan in Ottawa in advance of today’s first ministers’ meeting.
Premier Smith and Premier Legault committed to a desired outcome for a health-care deal that recognizes and respects provincial jurisdiction over health delivery and leads to better outcomes for Albertans and Quebecers. Premier Smith stressed the importance of Alberta’s energy sector, advocating for the importance of natural gas exploration and development both for the growth of the Canadian economy and to provide energy security for Canada’s allies. Premier Legault reiterated his desire to invest in clean energy like hydroelectricity to fight climate change. Both premiers expressed concern about federal overreach and the need for the federal government to respect provincial autonomy in areas of provincial jurisdiction to better meet the needs of their citizens.
Premier Smith and Premier Moe expressed a need for flexibility in the delivery of health-care services, especially those that Alberta’s Healthcare Action Plan commits to, such as reducing surgical wait times, improving ambulance services and reducing emergency room wait times. Premier Smith emphasized Alberta’s progress on recovery-oriented care to support those struggling with mental health and addictions challenges and invited Premier Moe to Alberta to visit the province’s recovery-oriented treatment centres. The premiers also discussed the mutual importance of the energy sector to their provinces for job growth and export to Canada’s allies and a desire to work together on establishing economic corridors for trade and energy export.
Province orders dismissal of Chestermere Mayor, three councillors, and all three CAO’s
City of Chestermere/Facebook)
City of Chestermere councillors and senior staff dismissed
Minister of Municipal Affairs Ric McIver has issued a ministerial order dismissing four of the City of Chestermere’s municipal councillors and all three chief administrative officers (CAOs).
After the city failed to comply with the supervision of the official administrator and some of the minister’s directives that have been in place since March 15, 2023, Minister McIver has dismissed Mayor Jeff Colvin, Coun. Mel Foat, Coun. Blaine Funk and Coun. Stephen Hanley, as well as the three CAOs.
The directives, intended to restore good governance to the City of Chestermere, were issued following a municipal inspection. Since then, the city has continued to be managed in an irregular, improper and improvident manner.
“The directives issued by my predecessor are not onerous and represent the bare minimum that citizens ought to expect from their municipal government. However, after undertaking all reasonable efforts to have the city comply with its obligations, it has failed to do so. I am profoundly disappointed that it has come to this, but the people of Chestermere deserve better. This community should be able to have trust in its local elected government.”
While the minister determined that the city has failed to comply with its obligations, he has also determined that dismissal of Coun. Shannon Dean, Coun. Sandy Johal-Watt and Coun. Ritesh Narayan was not justified given their efforts to hold council to account and attempt to move council in a more positive direction toward proper governance practices and compliance with legislation.
Councillors Dean, Johal-Watt and Narayan remain as elected councillors but will have no role in the governance of the city until a byelection is held and council quorum is restored.
The ministerial order dismissing Chestermere council members and senior administration is effective Dec. 4. An official administrator and interim CAO are in place to oversee the City of Chestermere’s governance and operations until a byelection is held to elect new councillors for the vacant positions at a date to be determined in 2024.
- A municipal inspection was ordered by the minister of Municipal Affairs under the Municipal Government Act (Section 571) in May 2022.
- The independent inspection, which concluded in September 2022, found the City of Chestermere to be managed in an irregular, improper and improvident manner.
- An official administrator was appointed in September 2022 to supervise the municipality and its council.
- On March 15, 2023, the minister of Municipal Affairs issued 12 binding directives through a ministerial order requiring the City of Chestermere to take action to address key areas of concern.
- On Oct. 18, the minister of Municipal Affairs issued to the City of Chestermere a notice of intent to issue a ministerial order which would dismiss all seven council members from office, as well as all three CAOs.
Premier Smith reacts to Liberal Government’s announcement on new methane reduction targets at COP 28
Federal methane emissions targets: Joint statement
“Once again, the federal government is setting unrealistic targets and timelines. Infrastructure can only be updated as quickly as technology allows. For example, Alberta will not accept nor impose a total ban on flaring at this time, as it is a critical health and safety practice during production. Any regulation that completely prohibits this is putting lives at risk”
Premier Danielle Smith and Minister of Environment and Protected Areas Rebecca Schulz issued the following statement on the federal government’s proposed methane emissions regulations:
“The federal government has unilaterally established new methane emissions rules and targets to help win international headlines. Instead of building on Alberta’s award-winning approach, Ottawa wants to replace it with costly, dangerous and unconstitutional new federal regulations that won’t benefit anyone beyond Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault’s post-office career.
“Managing emissions from Alberta’s oil and gas industry is our constitutional right and responsibility, not Ottawa’s, and we are getting the job done. Using a province-led approach, Alberta has already reduced methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 45 per cent – hitting our target three years early – and we’re just getting started.
“Meanwhile, not only is it illegal for Ottawa to attempt to regulate our industries in this manner, Ottawa also hasn’t even hit one of its past arbitrary and unscientific emissions targets largely because it has little to no credible expertise regulating the natural resource, agricultural and other industry sectors in this space.
“Ottawa could have helped us keep reducing emissions with joint incentive programs in line with Alberta’s Emissions Reduction and Energy Development Plan. It could have listened to the Supreme Court’s declaration that the Impact Assessment Act was unconstitutional and abandoned this kind of arrogant and ineffective scheme. Instead, these new regulations threaten our successful province-led approach and impede good work that’s already underway.
“Once again, the federal government is setting unrealistic targets and timelines. Infrastructure can only be updated as quickly as technology allows. For example, Alberta will not accept nor impose a total ban on flaring at this time, as it is a critical health and safety practice during production. Any regulation that completely prohibits this is putting lives at risk. A total ban would also be costly, resulting in shut-ins and loss of production.
“This approach will also cost tens of billions in infrastructure upgrades, yet Ottawa has provided virtually no financial support to do so. Thousands of Albertans could be put out of work in the coming years due to these costly regulations. A federal government willing to invest $37.7 billion into just three battery plants in Ontario and Quebec cannot credibly refuse to provide tax credits and financial incentives for producers in Alberta and Saskatchewan to assist with achieving a carbon-neutral economy by 2050.
“For years, Alberta, not Ottawa, has done the hard work and achieved results. We strongly support reducing methane emissions and have invested tens of millions into developing these technologies. Minister Guilbeault must work with us, and not against us, to keep cutting methane emissions and charting a course for carbon neutrality by 2050.
“Given the unconstitutional nature of this latest federal intrusion into our provincial jurisdiction, our government will use every tool at our disposal to ensure these absurd federal regulations are never implemented in our province.”
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