On Tuesday the spring session of the 29th Legislature was kicked off. Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell provided the Throne Speech, which outlined the government’s agenda for the upcoming session.
Through the speech, the government indicated its plans to focus on investing in low-income families, job training and of course, job creation.
“We are addressing the energy price shock with continued, focused efforts to diversify markets for our energy products with a new pipeline, major investments in infrastructure priorities and economic diversification, and help for families facing immediate hardship,” said Premier Rachel Notley. “We will do so in partnership with industry, other Canadian governments, Indigenous peoples, municipalities and all Albertans.”
Listed highlights include creating a new child benefit plan to assist 380,000 children in low-income households, the establishment of an energy diversification advisory committee and an oil sands advisory committee to enhance economic diversification and job creation, a pledge to repeal Bill 22, proposed legislation to end predatory lending and the Climate Leadership Implementation Act to put the Climate Leadership Plan into action.
“Albertans want an economy that is resilient to energy price swings, public services that are well managed and efficiently financed, and a society that cares for the vulnerable and opens doors for our children and grandchildren,” said Notley. “This next legislative session will go far in accomplishing those goals.”
From the Official Opposition’s viewpoint, the Throne Speech outlined the government’s plan to, “Punish families from every corner of the province with a new $3 billion carbon tax, damage business confidence with higher taxes, and maintain several other harmful NDP policies that create red tape and steer away investment.
“The NDP government has lost sight of the principle that when the economy is hurting, government should do no further harm,” said Wildrose Leader Brian Jean. “While no government can control the price of oil, Wildrose has continually urged the NDP government to provide the right conditions to support investment in our province, not chase it away. At a time when 100,000 Albertans have lost work, we need solutions, not rhetoric.”
Jean said the Throne Speech failed to clarify what the NDP government will do with its jobs subsidy program, which has created an alleged zero jobs.