I'll start a new thread for Premier Jason Kenney's remarks. He says happy St. Patrick's Day. I hear you're meeting in a chicken barn, but there's more squawking up here in the legislature, he says.
Kenney says the last year has called upon all of us to draw with a remarkable need for strong leadership.
When all this is said and done they will be able to learn lessons from this pandemic, but we've done better than most of the western world, Kenney says.
He says he's heard Alberta's government has "under-invested in" or not responded to needs of rural Alberta. "I believe the opposite is true. Kenney says there's a strong, outspoken rural caucus.
Kenney says he grew up in a little Saksatchewan community of 250. Used to have 800 people and five grain elevators. He says he's seen the struggle. There's also struggles in communities that are growing.
He is going over some budget items in last year's budget, and this year.
He announces $50 million for rural health facilities revitalization fund to be investment in dozens of projects. $1.6M in the medical device reprocessing centre in Brooks, for example.
Kenney says there's a link between rural crime and mental health and addictions, so they're investing in mental health.
He says hopefully they're beginning to turn the corner on rural crime, with an eight per cent reduction last year.
Kenney says he'll be speaking to the Senate Energy chair later this week on KXL. He says he's not giving up and will defend interests in court if necessary.
"The media doesn't tend to report on good things very much," Kenney says, blaming the media for Covid-related anxiety.
He says a good news is population growth.
He says again Alberta is predicted to lead in jobs growth this year (Bad news media will point out that's because Alberta was among the worst hit and has the biggest room to grow)
He says a major global tech company will potentially create digital tech centres of excellence in places like Lethbridge.
He says he's bullish on the digital economy rural participation in it.
He says it was third-highest yields ever for grains and oilseeds
On getting oil companies to pay up for taxes: Kenney says he understands the quarter of a billion in unpaid taxes. A couple years ago when they were looking at negative prices, that was understandable. Must insist companies honour tax liabilities, premier says.
Kenney says we're set for a turnaround here. "God knows we need it."
Kenney says we'll still have to deal with the "fiscal hangover" but the greatest asset is the people, the entrepreneurial culture, he said.

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More from @CGriwkowsky

18 Mar
Oraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal question period.
NDP Leader Rachel Notley said yesterday the Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon said the coal plan has nothing to do with water. She asks about drawing water from the Old Man River basin.
As is usually the case, the entire premise of the question is false, Premier Jason Kenney said. He says there's no change to water allocation, or to the framework.
Read 66 tweets
18 Mar
The Vivaldi has cut out so I assume the newser will be starting momentarily....
Operator has said the feed disconnected, so I'm watching the CBC feed for now
500 locations will be booking appointments by early April, Kenney says.
Kenney says book as soon as you can. If you don't have a pharmacy offering a vaccine in your community, book through AHS when available.
Read 24 tweets
17 Mar
Oraaaal question period. I've flown the coop and am in the hayloft ready to hear the squawking.
NDP Leader Rachel Notley kicks things off by asking about the 1,000 layoffs at Cenovus. "We need action on jobs now." Asks whether premier will agree to an emergency debate.
Happy St. Patrick's Day, Kenney says. He shares the concern, but says we've created 266,000 jobs since the pandemic began. 37,000 new jobs in the last two months.
Read 76 tweets
17 Mar
I'm tuning into the RMA spring convention. Several ministers are here, including Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon who is making an announcement right now.
As promised, they're moving forward with extended producer responsibility, a circular plastics economy.
Consultations on EPR begin today and will run until the end of April. In addition to plastics, they'll look at paper and household hazardous wastes.
Read 75 tweets
16 Mar
NDP Leader Rachel Notley asks if the UCP will support a private member bill to ban strip mining in the Rockies.
Premier Jason Kenney says his policy is the same as the NDP -- they permitted a brand new thermal coal mine and it was the right thing to do, Kenney says.
Notley says the premier is misinterpreting that letter [oooooh shouts from the UCP bench.]
Notley says the rest of caucus must be getting jealous of the coal lobbyists meeting so much with cabinet.
One thing we don't have in common is the support of working people (Who said it? Kenney, who is claiming to be the leader of the party for workers)
Read 61 tweets
15 Mar
I'm hopping in halfway through QP. UCP MLA Miranda Rosin was asking about economic assumptions.
NDP MLA Sarah Hoffman asks about the lack of capital investment in schools in Calgary Public and Catholic Schools.
Education Minister Adriana LaGrange said three Calgary projects funded in the budget, six under construction are desperately needed.
Hoffman said students are being bussed well out of their communities. Hoffman asks why Red Deer gets two schools.
LaGrange said there are several Calgary school projects under construction.
Read 37 tweets

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