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.
Notley says folks that works for him took the time to consult with the people near Old Man water basin. Water allocation shifting from ranchers to coal.
Kenney says let me educate the member [I hear heckles of mainsplaining]
He said there are changes to protect fish.
Notley says the documents propose an allocation of water to coal of almost 40 per cent.
Nixon says the water protection will remain protected. There have been consultations, primarily around fish habitat, some of the most endangered fish in the world.
Notley says she'll table those docs. Second set of questions: Benefits are not even. Agricultural producers are looking to sign on to the new Agri-stability program. Harper lowered eligibility
Kenney says the last person he'll take ag advice from is the Edmonton Socialist [take a drink] who imposed Bill 6 on farmers.
The fifth generation framer Ag Minister knows what's good for farmers, Kenney says.
Notley says there are no risks to signing the Agri-stability program since it runs out in 2023 anyway.
Kenney said rural Albertans were the last consideration of the previous government when they tried to unionized the family farm.
Kenney says they won't have Justin Trudeau forcing a program on farmers without provinces having a say.
Notley says that's politics over results. What producers want is signing the document. Work out something better later, she says.
Thanks for the shouting from the divider in chief, Kenney says. She lost every rural seat in Alberta by a massive margin. Shame on the anti-farm NDP. Point of order noted.
Shannon Phillips says it looks like the Laurentian elites are on the hunt to takeover ATB. Has the minister/political staff/officials have any meetings about the sale to TD Canada Trust?
Toews says he has no idea what she's talking about. [heckles, not surprised.
Phillips says SOMEONE is paying for detailed polling. Maybe you don't have full visibility on that. Will you report back to make sure no one is selling ATB to Bay Street?
Toews said they won't be distracted.
Phillips says the minister is able to give a message now: can you commit right now that as long as this government remains in office they won't sell off ATB or any lines of business?
"We have no plans to sell ATB," Toews says
Jon Carson says the UCP claims there's no issues with FOIP. One request turned up just seven records. There's clearly a cover up afoot. I now have hundreds of pieces of correspondence. What are you hiding? Will you release those records?
McIver says it's rich for the NDP to complain when there were records not released by the NDP, breaking the law.
Carson says he will keep asking about the Aloha-gate coverup until he gets answers.
Will you release all records?
McIver says the NDP complaining about FOIP is doubly rich. We saw the then minsiter of health stand up and say we use "voice mode" when they don't want people to know
Carson says key objectives for Service Alberta to enhance freedom of information and protection of privacy was CUT. Is now the time to cut off access to public records?
McIver says the honourable member never gets tired of being wrong. They launched a new service to track FOIP requests online. "We're taking action...try to keep up"
Searle Turton says the NDP voted unanimously against Budget 2021. Why is the budget so critical at this time?
Toews says it is troubling the NDP don't support it.
Schweitzer says they're having a banner year in the film industry. Predictably, a heckle of "Bigfoot" is shouted
NDP MLA Marlin Schmidt said the UCP lifted the 1976 coal policy on the advice of Australian coal billionaires. Why should Albertans trust your coal consultation process?
Nixon says we must continue to stand up against fear mongering from the NDP.
Schmidt said this government has disdain for consulting with Albertans. Albertans don't trust you on coal. How can people trust these consultations aren't just for show?
Nixon says the member for Calgary--Glenmore is working on climate change consultations.
Nixon says almost all coal exploration was approved under THAT member's government [point of order noted]
Schmidt says he will be hosting an online town hall later this month and will invite the minister's constituents. Will you support my legislation so you can tell your constituents you did the right thing for once?
Nixon says his constituents know there's no mine going through his constituency and any exploration was approved under the NDP. The NDP voted against funding our parks, he says.
Richard Feehan says immediately after a town hall with Indigenous Relations Minister Rick Wilson, he said my hands are being tied
Wilson said for an hour he took rapid fire questions. Says over the past year there have been 19 engagements. Travelled across the province and met with many of the settlements.
Feehan says the minister was asked what he'll do when settlements can't afford basic needs after a loss in provincial funding. His answer was to levy additional FINES to fine members and take them to court to generate more revenue. "This is reprehensible"
Wilson said what they did was create the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation. "They've asked me for a hand up not a hand out."
Feehan says another tool for settlements to generate more revenue is to start charging more. What is this government going to do to help elders when they're not able to pay these new fees and levies? What real damage you're doing by forcing more people into poverty?
Wilson said a couple hundred thousands dollars a year will be saved by smaller councils.
Roger Reid said Alberta is home to some of the best medical facilities in the world [someone heckles not in Sundre]
What are you doing to repair some of these facilities?
Shandro outlines a previously announced program.
Chris Nielsen quotes Grant Hunter who said at RMA yesterday whenever you could attack red tape there could be unintended consequences. Nielsen says you have to be seriously incompetent to "accidentally" have the Rocky Mountains torn down.
Toews says red tape reduction helps them compete in the modern economy.
Nielsen says Hunter failed to hit his red tape reduction targets by 60 per cent
Nixon says you wanna talk about incompetence of red tape, when this government took over from the NDP it took about three years to get a grazing lease transfer. They've knocked that down to 30 days.
Nielsen said he literally conceded he made mistake in a race to reduce red tape to hit a fictional goal. What more will you cut to justify your salary?
Toews says this government inherited an F on the report card from the CFIB. The other side left this province disadvantaged.
Rakhi Pancholi said the UCP gave requirements for access critical worker benefit for childcare in writing, but went back to change requirements for hours worked.
Pancholi says workers who cook meals, make snacks, make sure kids are safe and healthy, are excluded from the critical worker benefits. Why have you made distinctions about which work is critical when all is essential?
Sawhney says the focus is on early childhood educators because they have the most direct contact with children.
Pancholi said maybe if you had actually been in a childcare centre you'd know those who cook and clean are in contact with children all the time. The only way childcare has survived is help from federal government. Why is it you always do the wrong thing?
Sawhney says the government is incredibly grateful for unlicensed care. Not subject to the same stringent requirements. None of that minimizes the importance of the work
Peter Guthrie says in 2019 a promise was made to hold elected officials accountable. Can you please give me a summary of what's required to recall an elected official?
Justice Minister Kaycee Madu says thanks for the question it's a two step process.
Guthrie says social media says it's an empty gesture. Can you assure them this will be meaningful?
Madu says we govern for the people of Alberta who said they want TOTAL RECALL
Rod Loyola says in a province that prides itself in multiculturalism and diversity multiple Black Muslim women were attacked for being Black, for being Muslim, for being women. Perpetrators look at the govt actions, or lack of, to see if they can act with impunity
Madu says anyone who commits hate crimes of any nature will have to face the full consequences under the law. He says he's committed to building a province where everyone can live their full potential.
Loyola says the Black Muslim women who were attacked were also Albertans. In 2017, the NDP created an anti-racism council. Why is the UCP not taking any substantial actions to address hate crimes and prevent future ones?
Madu says they're committed to making sure all Albertans are treated with dignity and respect they deserve. Have held townhalls to assure people Alberta is their home.
Loyola says these women were going about their lives when someone yelled racial slurs, threatened to kill them, physically assaulted them. There are crimes for a provincial hate crimes unit. How can you justify a lack of action on a provincial hate crimes unit?
Madu said they ended the practice of carding, the number one problem complained about. This is about actions, not about talk, he says
Schmidt said last year the provincial government gave $20M to oil and gas producers failing to pay taxes. Companies should be paying, not other taxpayers, he says.
Nixon says the government has done hard work on surface rights payments. Under NDP landowners were waiting three years. WE're seeing increased payments because we've sped up the process.
Schmidt said he's asking for the money to be recovered from the companies. Instead, you gave them huge tax breaks. Unpaid obligations are a reputation risk. Will you take action to reverse this trend?
McIver says he was at the RMA convention the last couple days. He says he will work with municipalities and
oil companies. Rural munis owed at least $245M
Schmidt says municipalities are struggling, forced to support industry's tax breaks. Can you promise anything other than hallow words, and actually develop stronger regime?
McIver says listen to the answer. Since you can't think of a third question, we will continue to work with municipalities. It's an important issue and we are on it, he says.
Angela Pitt says vulnerable Albertans, including on AISH, are struggling to make ends meet. Government is investing money into these programs. What have you done to assist people to access those funds?
Sawhney says it's been tough times but the disability community has done well
Pitt says vulnerable Albertans need our support more than ever. Alberta exempted AISH from CERB payments and CRB. Did they see any true benefits?
Sawhney says there was a partial, temporary exemption
Pitt says our government is working hard and our minister is passionate.

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More from @CGriwkowsky

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'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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