The Speech From the Throne Highlights
By Lina Khatib, CCVO Policy Analyst
Last Wednesday the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, Lois Mitchell, delivered the speech from the throne, marking the start of a new legislative session in Alberta and an outline of the government’s priority areas. The following are key pieces of legislation that will mark the spring session:
The Carbon Tax Repeal Act: This Act will repeal the $1.4 billion carbon tax that was introduced by the former government. This was introduced as Bill 1 shortly after the speech from the throne was delivered.
The Open for Business Act: This Act is part of the government’s job creation strategy and will present changes to labour legislation.
The Job Creation Tax Cut Act: The government will propose to lower the corporate tax from 12% to 8% by 2020, starting with a one percent reduction on July 1, 2019.
The Red Tape Reduction Act: The government will propose measures to cut regulations by one-third and to speed up approval processes.
The following are areas the government has committed to act on in the spring session and beyond:
Amendments to the Education Act including curriculum reform.
A public inquiry into foreign-funded special interest groups, which can include challenging the charitable status of certain environmental organizations.
Support to First Nations’ and other Indigenous groups’ financial participation in natural resource development and infrastructure projects through the Indigenous Opportunities Corporation.
Legislation to replace the Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation ie. the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction Fund.
Further legislation anticipated for 2020 will address environmental protection, charitable giving and the economic rights of artists, conservation and outdoor recreation.
The government is looking for quick implementation of its commitments and based on the Premier’s statements following the speech from the throne, the public should not expect widespread consultations on how best to implement government priority areas in the coming months. The government will, however, engage in consultations to find more efficient ways of delivering public services to reduce deficit spending.
Several government priority areas involve losses to revenue sources with no plans to raise taxes. While the government is laser focused on stimulating the economy and balancing the budget, these measures come with inevitable budgetary implications. It is yet to be seen what form the fiscal restraints will take, but we will have a clearer picture when the full budget is released in the fall. Stay tuned with CCVO as we follow closely in the weeks to come.
Click here to view the full Speech from the Throne.