MLA’s Year in Review

MLA’s Year in Review

Jackie Armstrong-Homeniuk,
MLA for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville

Despite the challenges 2020 has presented, our government caucus has worked hard this year to keep the promises we made to Albertans during the election.

We launched the 2020 legislative session with the Critical Infrastructure Defence Act to protect our roads, bridges and railways from illegal protestors who want to shut down our industry.

We finished the session after passing 50 pieces of legislation that will make life better for everyday Albertans, protect lives and livelihoods, and support Alberta’s Recovery Plan – a bold, ambitious strategy to build, diversify and create tens-of-thousands of good jobs right now.

Here is a quick look back at the year.

The Alberta Legislature was the busiest in Canada this year. While working to protect Albertans from COVID-19, we also worked hard to make life better for families and businesses.

Among other important pieces of legislation, we passed the Protecting Survivors of Human Trafficking Act to fight the scourge of human trafficking and better protect and empower survivors.

We made amendments to the Builders’ Lien Act to ensure contractors and sub-contractors are being paid in a timely way. We made amendments to the Vital Statistics Act to ensure convicted sex offenders cannot change their names and hide in our communities.

We undertook a review of the Police Act to ensure necessary reforms are made that build trust between citizens and law enforcement. We passed the Choice in Education Act, honouring our commitment to enshrine in legislation that parents, not politicians, should have the right to choose the kind of education their children receive.

In addition to the busy legislative agenda, our caucus also worked hard to fight for a fair deal for Alberta. The Fair Deal Panel submitted 25 recommendations to give Alberta a stronger position within the Canadian confederation. Alberta’s government has already acted on many of these recommendations, including working to establish a provincial chief firearms officer and committing to holding a referendum on equalization in the fall of 2021.

We worked to protect the lives and livelihoods of Albertans by responding quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic and launching Alberta’s Recovery Plan – an ambitious strategy to create jobs, build and diversify – which includes the largest infrastructure investment in provincial history.

We have continued to implement strong, evidence-based restrictions to protect our health care system and avoid shutting down Alberta’s economy and harming the livelihoods of people across our province. While the recent news of a vaccine being approved in Canada has provided us with a light at the end of the tunnel, we are remaining vigilant to protect our friends, families and neighbours.

We also announced historic support for small businesses to help Alberta entrepreneurs cope with the challenges of the pandemic and the public health measures.

We are tripling the second round of the Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant from $5,000 to $15,000, and reducing the revenue-loss threshold from 40 percent to 30 percent. This means many Alberta businesses will be eligible for $20,000 of support, between the first and second rounds of the benefit. This funding will help support job creators and ensure our province can come out of the pandemic stronger than before.