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.
Notley says when it comes to job creation, we will not be leading the country. Next year we will be SIXTH. For GDP growth, Alberta will make up the least ground, Notley says. Roll up your "mission accomplished banner" then roll up your sleeves and get to work.
Kenney says thankfully he is not getting his numbers from the NDP research bureau. Getting it from Stats Can, Conference Board of Canada, RBC. Says NDP wants a hard lockdown.
Notley said she was quoting the Bank of Montreal.
Premier lost 50,000 jobs before Covid, 70,000 during the pandemic. Second highest unemployment in the country. These aren't numbers. They are facts. They are also people waiting for the premier to deliver.
Kenney says Notley was fired because of reckless anti-growth policies.
Two weeks ago InfoSys announced 500 new jobs, (lists more tech companies)
Set of questions number two in the last full year they created 50,000 jobs, the premier lost 50,000 in his first year.
InfoSys says 500 in Calgary, 1,500 in other parts of the country.
Did you speak to the CEO of Infosys? Because I did? Rogers committed to new jobs after the takeover of Shaw, Kenney says. Says NDP wants to raise business tax, impose a carbon tax. He quote the Fraser Institute.
Notley says news flash, Albertans are paying a carbon tax to Justin Trudeau.
Notley asks if they expects the hapless plan to work.
Kenney apologizes for saying the NDP want to raise corporate taxes by 40 per cent. Says it's actually 50.
Says they are cheering on Liberals who will raise carbon tax.
"When it comes to job killing, these guys don't need advice from anybody," Notley says.
Says after accelerating the corporate handout they head for the hills and ran.
Kenney says the NDP is intent on running down Alberta
Kenney asks why the NDP aren't cheering new jobs, new businesses
Kathleen Ganley says what Calgarians need now are jobs. She asked about Cenovus layoffs and she said the Energy minister said people need to be optimistic.
Ganley says you can't feed families on optimism.
InfoSys (take a drink).
Kenney does encourage her to pick up a newspaper (can't argue against picking up a newspaper)
Ganley says she's not talking about profits for the rich. Nixon reacts strongly to that.
No evidence of changing course after embarrassing war room/public inquiry.
Kenney says the Canadian Energy Centre is operating on a $3M budget [citation needed]
Kenney says the NDP are defending a film killing children.
point of order noted.
Ganley says you won't even acknowledge the pain and suffering in Calgary. We've lost tens of thousands of jobs. You ran the election on refilling downtown office towers. When will you see a serious plan?
Kenney says Calgarians will not be comforted by the words of an Edmonton socialist (Ganley is a Calgary MLA)
Why won't you stand up for Alberta, Kenney counters.
Ceci says Calgarians saw 1,000 pink slips handed out.
Funding stream to build capital cut. Calgary needs your support. When will you start helping our largest city instead of punishing them?
Kenney says this government has made the largest investments in history of this province. Albertan municipalities will be getting more, it's just being spent when it's most needed.
Perhaps I'm an EDMONTON SOCIALIST Ceci says (also a Calgary MLA).
Calgary's downtown is in crisis mode following the loss of another head office. Why not stop nickel and diming munis
Kenney says NDP can hardly help but insult the largest industry sector. For NDP and special interest friends they think only government can make new jobs.
Ceci says this government seems destined to punish Calgarians. Says their decisions inflict pain, raise property taxes.
Kenney says he's reliably informed by former colleague (McIver) that Ceci voted for every tax increase and against every tax cut. He's the tax hiker in chief, he says.
Nicholas Milliken says it's no secret they're against the Trudeau-imposed carbon tax. How does that negatively impact us?
Kenney says it's "gruesome" Trudeau plans to triple the carbon tax.
On the Rehn radar: Jason Stephan actually turned around to chat with him, so that's nice.
Milliken asks what the job-killing carbon tax means to every day Albertans?
Premier answers the puffball by quoting the study.
Lori Sigurdson says residents of five central Alberta seniors homes are waiting for their vaccine. Two now have outbreaks. They were not prioritized in continuing care vaccine rollout. Why did you not vaccinate seniors you promised to protect?
Health Minister Tyler Shandro said they started with Long-term care , designated supportive living
"We're only able to provide vaccines to Albertans for the vaccines we receive."
Sigurdson says the two Red Deer facilities have gone the whole year without outbreaks. Says the wait is very frustrating. They were promised vaccines in February. [heckles of Trudeau]
"That's fearmongering!" Shandro says. Trudeau didn't give it to this province.
Kenney asks his MLAs if they've ever once mentioned Trudeau
Sigurdson asks them to give confirmed dates for the vaccines.
Shandro says it's unfortunate they're covering for Trudeau [heckles from the UCP of SHAME! SHAME!]
David Eggen says in estimates he, like many, were looking forward to hearing answers on how students are expected to handle $700M in cuts. Instead Advanced Education Minister Demetrios Nicolaides told a tale of how he's freeing post secondary institutions.
Minster Rajan Sawhney says they're working to better align post secondary spending with other povinces.
Students are facing tuitions hikes of up to 21 per cent in three years. How is stacking tens of thousands in debt helping to ease burden? Do you even know what that means?
Sawhney says Alberta's tuition remains below other provinces.
Some non-called-upon MLAs chiming in
Eggen says the top research institutes won't stay on top for long. How many student spaces and jobs will be cut at the U of A, University of Calgary, University of Lethbrige?
Sawhney says funding should be provided on a fair formula.
[heckles of oh wow]
He asks what has been changed since the last wildfire season to better protect Albertans?
Nixon says this year there's new tech: drones, a wildfire app, automated monitoring. Thanks hard working folks at Alberta Wildfire.
Rehn says Northern Alberta is expected to have a drier than average season. Any new sustainable forestry management strategies to reduce risk?
Nixon is reading off some notes. Is this a puffball question from a non-UCP MLA?
Rehn asks for the minister to comment on new priorities.
Nixon said they will be better communicating with Albertans. Check out the new wildfire app
Jon Carson said the first thing he asked at estimates was about FOIP. He asked why UCP is no longer setting targets/metrics. Are you giving up on FOIP targets? Have you given up on any transparency? Will you table those targets?
McIver says anyone who knows the Service Alberta minister knows he never gives up. Doesn't even know how to say that work, McIver says.
Carson says nobody believes the premier's office only had seven records. Are you really going to claim your government is releasing all records?
McIver says, yes we do expect people to believe that.
NDP MLAs lol at that
Carson said their caucus received ZERO records on the school reentry plan, even though they were cc'd on records. What do you say to people worried your government is hiding those records?
McIver says there's a FOIP process. FOIP is working as intended he says
Sarah Hoffman says a terrible decision was not budgeting the rollout of the new curriculum.
Education Minister Adriana LaGrange takes a moment to acknowledge the death of a 17-year-old student a few days ago.
Hoffman says she too shares her sympathies.
There will be 20,000 new students next year. How out of touch is this minister if she thinks schools can teach more students, no money for new curriculum
LaGrange said she spent six hours answering this in estimates. Says she intends to make the rollout very successful. It's not coming out of the classroom. It's coming out of her budget (money was transferred from the ministry budget to her department)
*same amount of money I should say. No direct line
Hoffman says that doesn't reflect reality.
LaGrange shows there was an increase.
He says Fort McMurray--Wood Buffalo doesn't get its fair share from AHS.
Do you understand the importance of Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo?
Shandro says there are plans to bring in more midwifes. Numbers of births are down, but remain higher than average.
Yao says citizens of his community have to travel an average of 67,000 times to see specialists. What are you doing for recruitment?
Shandro says AHS is always working to address needs, including aggressively pursuing international an local physicians, increasing collaboration between zones,
Yao says one indication Fort Mac has been neglected is having only one pharmacy that can administer vaccines. What are you going to support this community?
Shandro says there's a vaccination clinic that can do more than 350 shots per day.
Shandro says they're going to do vaccines in a curling rink soon.
Nicole Goehring says normally events ramping up for summer were told they'd have clear guidelines, but the premier has nothing clear. When can we get some guideance?
Shandro says they set out tables associated with emergency operations centre
Goehring says summer festival season was devastated last year and were forced to cancel with no guidance. The theme of waiting until the last minute seems to be how this government works.
Shandro says every country, every jurisdiction is going through this.
Goehring says they have yet to see a successful, smooth program. IT's negatively impacting jobs, lives, livelihoods. When will guidelines be relased?
Minister Schweitzer says in the events industry they created a hockey bubble, a curling bubble. Created film and television tax credits. Best year, better than any year under the NDP in a pandemic.
Marie Renaud says there are only five women on a panel of 15, with no ties to disability community on a new panel.
CSS Minister Sawhney says she's very proud of the premier's council of charities and civil societies
Renaud said that council is required to disclose compensation twice a year. This reads like a slush fund more than a team to support Albertans. Will you table compensation/work to date?
Sawhney says she disagrees with that characterization. They're not responsible for any spending decisions. They only provide recommendations.
Renaud said the premier appointed someone who lives in Ontario. Do you believe Alberta faith leaders aren't up to the task?
Sawhney says first off all, the Fr. is not just a faith leader, he has a tremendous business background.
Sawhney says previous government brought in out of province members.
Nixon heckles TZEPORAH!
Dan Williams says important faith celebrations are coming up, but our ability to celebrate are impaired and LACERATES our spiritual health.
Premier has stuck around to answer this. He says it's been important to him to protect religious freedom, but says there have
been deadly super spreader events, including in the Ethiopian Orthodox community, Kenney says.
Williams says we're not trailing Ontario for restrictions.
Kenney says throughout the pandemic they have seen the least restriction on religious services because they recognize the religious rights.
Williams says the 15 per cent of fire code capacity is onerous.
The faithful pray these restrictions are lifted as soon as possible, Williams said.
Kenney says he agrees he hopes they can be lifted as soon as possible. Recognizes the sacrifices
Kenney says the overwhelming majority of faith communities have followed the rules.
Jason Stephan says they announced a recovery community for central Alberta. This will profoundly bless people choose a better way. What is the status of the recovery community?
Shandro says he expects some delays due to the pandemic, but will move forward.
Stephan asks about the year old report that focused on socio-economic impact. Asks how recovery communities are better than supervised consumption sites.
Shandro says recovery communities are a form a long-term, wholistic recovery. Encourages people to be more pro-social
Stephan says a fixation on drug consumption sites was a FAILURE. When will central Alberta get a recovery community to love and support our neighbours?
Shandro says they will provide updates in the coming months

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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
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.
Read 16 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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