April 16th, 2024

MLA Report: Updates on government action as budget sets in

By Justin Wright on March 20, 2024.

Government is back in session, and it is budget month. As well as attending estimates committees to dig deep into how each ministry is spending their budget, the following items of interest are happening.

Wildfire and drought preparedness

The Alberta government recognizes the severe challenges wildfires and droughts pose to communities across the province. In Budget 2024, major investments are being made to enhance wildfire response capabilities and mitigate drought impacts.

An additional $151 million over three years will be invested to improve wildfire preparedness, prevention, response and mitigation efforts. This funding will allow the use of leading-edge technologies to better protect Albertans and communities from wildfires.

Furthermore, the government announced a new $125 million multi-year Drought and Flood Protection Program in Budget 2024. This program will launch infrastructure projects designed to safeguard homes, businesses and lives from the dangers of droughts and floods.

“Droughts and floods can devastate public infrastructure and private property, disrupt our economy, damage the environment and put lives at risk,” stated Environment and Protected Areas Minister Rebecca Schulz.

Foreign credential recognition

Improving Alberta’s system for recognizing foreign credentials is a priority. Grande Prairie MLA Nolan Dyck has launched the Better for Newcomers campaign to gather feedback and enhance the foreign credential recognition process.

Counsellor regulation

The government is moving forward with regulating counsellors through the College of Alberta Psychologists. This important step aims to protect Albertans seeking mental health counselling services and ensure access to necessary supports.

School construction

To meet the province’s growth, Budget 2024 allocates $2.1 billion over three years for building and modernizing schools across Alberta. This investment will provide 35,000 new and modernized student spaces while creating jobs and revitalizing communities.

Youth suicide prevention

Recognizing the tragic impact of youth suicide, the government is strengthening its commitment by increasing funding for the Youth Suicide Prevention Grant Program to over $4 million over two years. This support aims to prevent these devastating losses and provide hope for struggling youth.

Modernizing electricity grid

Bill 22, the Electricity Statutes (Modernizing Alberta’s Electricity Grid) Amendment Act, 2022, has been proclaimed. This legislation allows Alberta businesses to build more energy storage and on-site power generation while enabling the sale of excess power to the grid. It supports an affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity system.

Oil production success

According to ATB’s The Owl, Alberta’s crude oil production reached an all-time high in 2023, with January 2024 being the best month ever for oil output. This strong performance highlights Alberta’s position as a secure and responsible global energy supplier, sending a positive message to investors.

The Alberta government continues to prioritize initiatives that support economic growth, community safety and the well-being of Albertans through strategic investments and legislative changes.

Justin Wright is the MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat

Share this story:
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments