This past week the fall 2018 session of the Legislature recessed for a constituency week. With two full sessional weeks behind us, and the fall sitting set to resume on Monday, Nov. 19, we can expect three or four more weeks of deliberations in the House before the Christmas break.
We were delighted to welcome two new United Conservative Party (UCP) members to the opposition caucus. Our leader, Jason Kenney presented to the House Laila Goodridge, MLA for Fort-McMurray-Conklin, and Devin Dreeshen, MLA for Innisfail-Sylvan Lake. Laila has been nominated as the UCP candidate for the new riding of Fort-McMurray-Lac La Biche in the upcoming election.
In the last two weeks, we debated a variety of Bills. Here is a brief summary, especially for those of you who do not watch the debates:
- Bill 19 – An Act to Improve the Affordability and Accessibility of Post-Secondary Education, capped tuition to the Consumer Price Index. It not only gives the Minister the authority to regulate tuition, but also non-instructional fees. Bill 19 passed with amendments.
- Bill 20 – Securities Amendment Act, 2018, brings forth five amendments to the Securities Act: whistleblower protection; regulatory regime for benchmarks; indemnify Alberta Securities Commission (ASC) members, staff, and agents during third party proceedings; allow the ASC to make rules about paperwork, and; harmonize with other jurisdictions across Canada. Bill 20 passed in third reading.
- Bill 21 – Protecting Patients from Sexual Assault by Health Providers Act. This legislation makes it mandatory for Colleges to create tribunals that hear sexual misconduct and abuse cases and also sets out mandatory penalties for those found guilty. After opposition proposed a sub-amendment stipulating that Physicians found guilty of a sexual crime under the criminal code of Canada have their licences pulled in Alberta with a lifetime ban from renewal. Bill 21 passed in third reading with amendments.
As we head back into session this week, we will continue debating:
- Bill 22 – An Act for Strong Families Building Stronger Communities; regarding children in government care.
- Bill 23 – An Act to Renew Local Democracy in Alberta; an update to municipal election rules.
- Bill 24 – An Act to Recognize AMA (Alberta Medical Association) Representation Rights;
- Bill 25 – Canyon Creek Hydro Development Act, and;
- Bill 26 – An Act to Combat Poverty and Fight for Albertans with Disabilities.
I will update you again after the fall sitting to let you know how deliberation on these Bills and other Bills went.
I will, of course, continue to bring all your concerns to the Legislature. I would like nothing more than for you to please contact me at my constituency office, if you have any concerns that you would like to bring to my attention.
Wishing you and your families all the very best during the upcoming holiday season.
Ron Orr, MLA Lacombe-Ponoka