The Alberta government released its Fair Deal Panel Report to the public on Wednesday and it includes over two dozen recommendations to help give the province a stronger voice in Confederation.
Some of the most notable highlights from the 25 recommendations include a call for a referendum on equalization payments, fairer funding allocations from Ottawa, better representation in the House of Commons, and exploring the options of creating a provincial police force and opting out of the Canada Pension Plan.
The report also recommends that Alberta collaborate with other jurisdictions to reduce trade barriers and enforce free trade within Canada, assert more control over immigration for the economic benefit of Alberta, and “vigorously pursue access to markets for Alberta’s exports.”
The 68-page report tabled in the Alberta legislature yesterday was put together after more than 40,000 Albertans participated in 25 town hall meetings and an online survey to give ideas that would advance the province’s economic interests.
“Albertans have told us what a fair deal looks like for our province – it consists of more autonomy, better representation, and a renewed respect for all provinces and territories,” says Premier Jason Kenney. “Our government agrees, and work on many of these areas is already underway. We are eager to take further action on the panel’s recommendations to ensure Albertans have a strong voice and a fair deal when we need it most.”
The province is already working on a number of initiatives related to the recommendations, including moving forward on reforming the Fiscal Stabilization Program, establishing a provincial chief firearms officer, and working with other provinces and territories to further explore the development of economic resource corridors to move products to market.
Actions the province has worked on to date include:
-Passed the Carbon Tax Repeal, effective May 30, 2019.
-Filed a constitutional challenge of Bill C-69 at the Alberta Court of Appeal. Decision is pending.
-Proclaimed the Preserving Canada’s Economic Prosperity Act on April 30, 3019.
-Created the Indigenous Litigation Fund which is now supporting the Woodland Cree First Nation’s constitutional challenge of the federal “tanker ban” Bill C-48.
-Created the Indigenous Opportunities Corporation, backed by up to $1 billion to support Indigenous financial participation in major resource projects.
-Continuing to advocate for changes to the Canada Mortgage and Home Corporation (CMHC) stress test and remove them from Alerta residents.
-Continuing to demand reform to Canada’s Employment Insurance (EI) programs to ensure equitable treatment of Albertans who lose their jobs and employers who pay EI premiums.
-Intention to create an Alberta Parole Board, ending the province’s agreement with the Parole Board of Canada.
The full report in detail can be viewed here: https://open.alberta.ca/publications/fair-deal-panel-report-to-government