From the United Conservative party
Ethics Commissioner Confirms CBC and NDP lies regarding Crown Prosecutor Contact; Premier to seek formal guidelines on future policy discussions with Justice Minister
(May 18, 2023) — Danielle Smith, Leader of the United Conservative Party of Alberta, issued the following statement:
“I was gratified to read the Ethics Commissioner’s findings confirming that neither I, nor anyone in my office, tried to or did contact any Crown Prosecutors regarding any COVID-19 prosecutions.
“This confirms that the CBC and NDP have repeatedly lied to Albertans for months with false accusations stating that my office and I had done so. Both the CBC and NDP should apologize and withdraw those false accusations immediately and publicly. They should also apologize to Alberta’s independent Crown Prosecutors and Civil Service for repeatedly questioning their integrity in addressing these matters.
“As to my discussions regarding COVID-related charges and violations with my Minister of Justice, Tyler Shandro: I have always stated I wanted to find a path of amnesty for those charged with non-violent COVID-related offences and violations during the pandemic.
“As I have explained before, I spoke with Minister Shandro, who is an experienced lawyer (I am not) as I was very interested in his advice on what could legally be done about this. He gave me his advice on the matter and, as the Commissioner has also confirmed, I accepted it. It went no further after that.
“In the Commissioner’s opinion, I had a discussion with Minister Shandro that was inappropriate regarding this subject.
“I invited the Commissioner to give me and future premiers the benefit of some guidance on how to advance sensitive policy issues similar to this with the Minister of Justice if she thought there was a more appropriate way.
“Although she has yet to offer a different approach or advice for me to consider in this regard, I will be seeking legal advice on creating specific formal guidelines as to when and how a Premier may speak with a Minister of Justice in the future about policy issues and other sensitive matters in order to respect all applicable rules and conventions. I will be asking the Ethics Commissioner to review those guidelines, once drafted, in order that her advice and input are incorporated.
“As to Mr. Pawlowski, a verdict in his case has been rendered by the Court and the matter is now closed.
“Given that various false and defamatory statements are now confirmed to have been made by the CBC and NDP in this matter against me and several individuals in my office, this matter remains the subject of potential civil litigation. I will confer with my counsel on what next steps are to be taken after the election.
“I look forward to spending the remainder of the campaign talking about issues that Albertans are focused on – namely the economy, jobs, affordability, public safety and healthcare.”
Alberta Budget 2024 – Employment
Budget 2024: Maintaining Alberta’s economic advantage
Budget 2024 is a responsible plan that maintains Alberta’s competitive advantage so businesses and industry can continue to innovate, thrive and create jobs.
Budget 2024 puts Alberta on a path of continued economic growth through funding that supports creating jobs, attracting investment and developing a skilled and diversified workforce. Strategic investments will empower job creators and innovators to invest, grow and flourish in Alberta’s diversifying economy.
“Budget 2024 reaffirms our commitment to diversify, attract new investment and provide more jobs that keep Alberta’s engine humming. Strategic investments that support the growth of Alberta cities and promote apprenticeship programming and emission reduction technology will help create more opportunities to build an even stronger Alberta.”
Alberta remains a key driver of Canada’s economic prosperity, accounting for 22 per cent of all jobs created in the country last year, despite having just 12 per cent of the population. Compared with other provinces, Alberta has the highest weekly earnings and the lowest taxes, offering many incentives to newcomers seeking a great place to call home.
To further build on these advantages, Budget 2024 introduces the Alberta is Calling attraction bonus, a $5,000 refundable tax credit aimed at attracting out-of-province workers in the skilled trades. A total of $10 million will be provided to workers.
“The Alberta is Calling attraction bonus will support our government’s commitment to build a skilled and resilient labour force that helps businesses and the economy thrive. We will continue to foster the conditions for growth to ensure Alberta remains the best place to live, work, invest, do business and raise a family.”
Budget 2024 supports the sustainable growth of Alberta’s cities and communities. In addition to $724 million in municipal infrastructure funding through the Local Government Fiscal Framework in 2024-25, Budget 2024 launches the new Local Growth and Sustainability Grant, an application-based program that provides $60 million over three years to enable municipalities to fund infrastructure that supports economic development and addresses unique and emergent needs in their communities.
“We’re pleased to see so many people choosing to move to Alberta to experience the advantages this province has to offer, thanks in part to the strong communities we are supporting through predictable, sustainable funding. We also recognize the pressure this growth can put on local communities. The Local Growth and Sustainability Grant is part of our responsible plan to support a vibrant province and help communities respond to growth opportunities and acute sustainability challenges.”
As Alberta’s economy continues to grow, so does the need to sustain a vibrant and robust workforce to meet the needs of Alberta employers. Budget 2024 addresses current and future potential labour shortages by expanding skills and knowledge in key areas.
More than $100 million in new funding for apprenticeship programs will add 3,200 seats to help meet growing demand at Alberta’s post-secondary institutions. Another $361 million from the Budget 2024 Capital Plan will build and upgrade research and learning facilities in some of the province’s world-class post-secondary institutions. Investments include $63 million to renovate and expand the W.J. Elliott agricultural mechanics building at Olds College and $55 million to increase STEM programming capacity at the University of Calgary.
“Supporting growth in Alberta’s economy means ensuring no region is left behind. Our funding commitments to STEM programming at the University of Calgary and agriculture at Olds will create new opportunities for students in our rural economy and those studying in our largest urban centre.”
The Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program (APIP) is helping turn the province into a top global producer of petrochemicals. The APIP provides grants to cover 12 per cent of eligible capital costs for Alberta-based petrochemicals projects. In 2023-24, three projects are expected to receive APIP grant payments totalling $116 million, helping to diversify Alberta’s economy and create jobs.
“Royalties collected from oil and gas fund the things Albertans rely on, like health, education and social services. Budget 2024 supports the government’s mission to strengthen investor confidence and support job creation in communities all while lowering emissions through the use of new technologies.”
Budget 2024 highlights
- $597 million over three years from the province’s TIER (Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction) fund to support a suite of programs that reduce emissions, support clean technology development, enhance climate resiliency and create jobs for Albertans.
- $1.5 billion for child-care services, an increase of $200 million, enabling more Albertans with young children to participate in the workforce.
- $32 million to build three new water intakes in the Designated Industrial Zone in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, which will support long-term private investment opportunities in the area.
- Almost $30 million over three years for the Aboriginal Business Investment Fund, an increase of nearly $8 million, to help fund business startup and expansion costs in Indigenous communities.
Budget 2024 is a responsible plan to strengthen health care and education, build safe and supportive communities, manage the province’s resources wisely and promote job creation to continue to build Alberta’s competitive advantage.
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