Alberta Government - Prioritizing Emergency Legislation

Government House Leader Jason Nixon has called Alberta MLAs back to the legislature to debate important legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, support for Albertans, and the province’s economic future.

"Our government understands that this is a challenging period of uncertainty for many Albertans. We want to assure people we are working quickly to ensure that legislation relevant to fighting the spread of COVID-19 and that our economy is set up for success once the worst of the virus passes. Albertans can be certain we are working diligently with the Opposition to address the challenges associated with COVID-19.”   

Jason Nixon, Government House Leader

Legislation to be debated deals with a number of issues, including modernizing the Public Health Act and protecting mobile home residents. Government will also be tabling legislation that updates the process for managing well liabilities in the province, which will create conditions to help the province’s oil and gas industries rebound once the pandemic is over.

“Effectively managing oil and gas liabilities, including orphan wells and sites, is important in maintaining our reputation as a responsible energy producer. Enhancing the role of the Orphan Well Association plays a significant role in reducing the number of inactive sites in Alberta while at the same time creating jobs to support our economy. This ensures a sustainable oil and gas industry in our province for generations to come.”

Sonya Savage, Minister of Energy

Government will be working with the Opposition to ensure MLAs are doing all they can to adhere to the best practices outlined by the chief medical officer of health. The health and safety of members and all Albertans remains our highest priority.

Alberta has a comprehensive response to COVID-19 including measures to enhance social distancing, screening and testing. Financial supports are helping Alberta families and businesses.

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The Government House Leader provided a quick update on Tuesday, March 31st on what will take place in the Alberta Legislature this week.

Jason Nixon says the United Conservative government will be proposing two bills immediately that they feel will protect Albertans during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, he adds, a third they think is essential to support the energy industry during these uncertain times as well as while Albertans are losing jobs across the province

The Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre MLA explains more about Bill 10.

Bill 11 will ensure no one will be retroactively be charged for rent increases or late fees while the state of public health emergency is in effect.

Bill 12 will take additional steps to reduce the number of orphan wells across the province. He says it will fast track work which will boost employment in the oil service sector and protect jobs during these challenging economic times.

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Update added at 3:30 on Tuesday, March 31st

Taking Additional Measures To Protect Albertans

Government is proposing three key pieces of legislation to protect Albertans while continuing the fight against COVID-19.

Two of the bills, if passed, will bring into force the public health enforcement activities and rental protections announced by Premier Jason Kenney on March 27. An additional bill is proposed to support economic activity in the energy sector in light of job losses due to COVID-19 and the recent oil price wars.

“We continue to prioritize the health, safety, security and economic interests of all Albertans during this unprecedented time. We know there is a tremendous amount of stress being felt in the province. To combat this, we are proposing two bills that include decisive actions to protect Albertans and ultimately help reduce the spread of this virus, and a third bill to support jobs in the energy sector.”

Jason Nixon, Government House Leader

The two proposed bills meant to support and protect Albertans during COVID-19 include:

  • Bill 10, Public Health (Emergency Powers) Amendment Act, 2020
  • If passed, this bill will provide law enforcement agencies full authority to enforce public health orders during a pandemic.
  • Bill 11, Tenancies Statutes (Emergency Provisions) Amendment Act, 2020
  • If passed, this bill will ensure no one will be retroactively charged for residential rent increases or late fees while the state of public health emergency is in effect.

In addition to debating these bills, government is proposing Bill 12, Liabilities Management Statutes Amendment Act, 2020. If passed, this bill will enable government to clarify and enable expanded, delegated authority for the Orphan Well Association to maintain and manage orphan sites. 

“Government has provided an additional $100 million to the Orphan Well Association. With this proposed legislation, we are aiming to help the association accelerate the cleanup of orphaned wells and associated infrastructure. Fast-tracking this work will boost employment in our oil services sector and protect jobs during these challenging economic times.”

Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks

Alberta has a comprehensive response to COVID-19 including measures to enhance social distancing, screening and testing. Financial supports are helping Alberta families and businesses.

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