MLA Jackie Lovely

Breaking down Bill 52: the Recall Act

Camrose MLA Jackie Lovely’s opinion column

Alberta’s government has introduced two pieces of legislation as part of an ambitious democratic reform package that will strengthen democracy and accountability in Alberta. Bill 52, the Recall Act, would give Albertans the power to initiate a process that could potentially lead to the recall of provincial and municipal elected officials, and Bill 51, the Citizen Initiative Act, would allow Albertans to bring forward important matters to the legislature for consideration. Both pieces of legislation would help strengthen Albertans’ roles in our democratic system.

If passed, Bill 52, the Recall Act, would allow Albertans to hold elected officials accountable and replace them if they aren’t getting the representation they deserve. It would allow voters to remove elected officials from office, including MLAs, mayors, municipal councillors or school board trustees, providing them with one more tool to hold their elected representatives accountable. This builds on the accountability mechanisms that are currently in place, such as the Municipal Government Act which allows the Municipal Affairs minister to remove elected municipal officials from office under specific circumstances, and the Education Act which includes accountability measures for school board trustees.

If the Legislative Assembly of Alberta passes the Recall Act, Alberta will be the first province that provides the public with the power to initiate a process that could recall mayors, councillors or school board trustees from office. Under the proposed legislation, recall of elected officials becomes an option 18 months after their election. Any Albertan wishing to recall their elected official would need to contact the chief electoral officer, their municipality’s chief administrative officer, or their school board secretary. They would then have 60 days to gather signatures from 40 per cent of the eligible voters for their provincial riding, municipal ward, or school ward, and if successful, a recall vote would be held.

Bill 51, the Citizen Initiative Act, also gives Albertans a more direct role in their democratic system. This legislation would strengthen our democracy by enabling Albertans to initiative legislative action on issues that affect them. If enough support is received through a public petition, Albertans would be able to submit proposed bills and policies to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for consideration and submit constitutional referendum questions to the provincial government. These proposed changes would complement the work of our elected officials and be a check and balance if Albertans feel their interests are not being considered.

Under this proposed legislation, if an Albertan wanted to bring an initiative forward, they would first need to apply to the Chief Electoral Officer. They would then have 90 days to gather signatures in support of their initiative. For legislative and policy initiatives, petitioners would need the support of 10 per cent of voters province-wide. For constitutional initiatives, they would require the support of 20 per cent of voters province-wide across two-thirds of Alberta’s constituencies.

Democratic reform and recall legislation were election platform commitments. Both of these pieces of legislation represent promises made, and promises kept. The Citizen Initiative Act also builds upon Premier Jason Kenney’s commitment to introduce citizen initiative legislation when discussing getting a ‘fair deal for Alberta.’

More information on both of these pieces of legislation can be found at alberta.ca. Additionally, your United Conservative Caucus is interested in your thoughts on recall legislation. Visit unitedconservativecaucus.ca/recall to have your say.

Bill 52: The Recall Act

Alberta’s government introduced Bill 52, the Recall Act, which would allow Albertans to hold elected officials accountable and replace them if they are not getting the representation they deserve.

Earlier this week, Premier Jason Kenney and Justice Minister Kaycee Madu introduced Bill 52, the Recall Act. If passed, the Recall Act would allow Albertans to hold elected officials accountable and replace them if they are not getting the representation they deserve. The Recall Act would strengthen democracy with a process Albertans can use to hold elected officials in Alberta accountable outside of the four-year election cycle. It would allow voters to petition to remove elected officials from office, including MLAs, mayors, municipal councillors or school board trustees. It is one more tool for Albertans to hold municipal counsellors, school board trustees, mayors and MLAs accountable to the public.

Bill 51: The Citizen Initiative Act

If passed, Bill 51, the Citizen Initiative Act, would give Albertans a more direct role in the democratic system and enable them to initiative legislative action on issues that affect them.

Alberta’s government has introduced Bill 51, the Citizen Initiative Act. If passed, the Citizen Initiative Act would give Albertans a more direct role in the democratic system. This legislation would strengthen democracy and enable Albertans to initiate legislative action on issues that affect them. If enough support is received through a public petition, Albertans would be able to submit proposed bills and policies to the legislative assembly for consideration, and submit constitutional referendum questions to the provincial government. This will complement the work of elected officials and be a check and balance if Albertans feel their interests are not being considered.

Indigenous Housing Funding

$13.1 million in funding is being provided for four Indigenous Housing Capital Program projects.

This week, Seniors and Housing Minister Josephine Pon announced $13.1 million in funding provided by the governments of Alberta and Canada for four Indigenous Housing Capital Program projects. Alberta’s government supports housing designed, delivered, and owned by, and for, Indigenous peoples. The Indigenous Housing Capital Program offers flexibility and autonomy for Indigenous communities to build affordable housing. The program encourages public and private developers to partner with Indigenous governments and organizations. These partnerships forward, help build capacity, and create economic opportunity. New affordable and seniors’ housing units will be built in multiple communities across Alberta.

Taking Action on Consumer Waste

An extended producer responsibility program will reduce volume in our landfills and diversify the economy.

Alberta’s government is seeking ways to better manage plastics and household waste through a circular economy approach – an extended producer responsibility program that will reduce volume in our landfills and diversify the economy. Under this approach, the cost and management of recycling shifts from municipalities and municipal taxpayers to those directly producing and consuming goods. This encourages companies to produce less waste and packaging and come up with innovative ways to recycle more materials. Alberta’s government is consulting with municipalities, First Nations, industry experts and Albertans on extended producer responsibility.

Revitalizing Rural Health Facilities

$50 million has been committed by Alberta’s government to modernize and improve rural health facilities across Alberta.

Alberta’s government has committed $50 million to modernize and improve rural health facilities across the province. The Rural Health Facilities Revitalization Fund is supporting projects to upgrade and renovate AHS hospitals and facilities, including EMS stations and emergency departments. Rural communities help make our province thrive and grow, and this investment protects the lives and health of people living in our rural communities.

Student Fatality at School

The United Conservative Caucus offers its sincerest condolences to the friends, families and STAR Catholic Community of the student who lost their life in a violent attack on school grounds.

The United Conservative Caucus is heartbroken about the loss of a high school student in a violent attack on school grounds. St. Thomas Aquinas Roman Catholic School Division has additional mental health supports available on site for students and staff. Any youth, family member, friend or school staff needing to talk to someone can reach out to the Mental Health Helpline 24-7 at 1-877-303-2642. Students and youth can also reach out to the Kids Help Phone by texting CONNECT to 686868.

Working Parents Benefit

Alberta’s government is providing a one-time benefit of $561 per child under the working Parents Benefit to eligible families that use childcare. Applications close on March 31.

Applications close on March 31 for the Working Parents Benefit. The benefit will return $108 million back into the pockets of Alberta families who use childcare or preschool. The pandemic and the economic downturn have created significant stress for working parents, many of whom have continued to fuel our economy and provide essential services through extreme challenges. As a result, fewer families have been using childcare this year. We are returning unused funds from Children’s Services directly into the pockets of families who need it most by providing a one-time benefit of $561 per child to any family that used childcare from April to December of 2020. More information is available at Alberta.ca.

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