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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

Citizens Initiative Act to give Albertans the power to hold governments to account if they do not keep our commitment to stand up for Alberta

Premier Jason Kenney outlined Alberta’s strategy to secure a fair deal in the federation, and announced the membership and mandate of the panel on Alberta’s future.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney

Speaking to the Manning Centre “What’s Next?” Conference, Kenney said that Albertans are ... expressing unprecedented levels of frustration with the federal government and the barriers being placed in the way of Alberta’s economy.
The Premier outlined initiatives already taken by the government to stand up for Alberta, steps that it will take in the months to come, and a number of deeper reforms that it will consult on through the Fair Deal Panel.

Alberta has been by far the biggest contributing province to Canada in recent decades, and a huge engine for jobs and growth. But governments that have profited from our resources, hard work, and generosity now seem determined to pin us down and block us in”, stated Premier Kenney

Albertans aren’t asking for a special deal. We’re just asking for a fair deal. And our government will do everything within our power to get it.”

Actions to defend province’s interests announced
In his speech to the Manning Centre, Premier Kenney announced that the Government of Alberta will:
  • open offices in Ottawa, Quebec, and British Columbia to defend the province’s interests
  • strengthen its democratic reform agenda by introducing a Citizen’s Initiative Act to give Albertans the power to petition for referenda on matters of widespread public concern
  • act to fulfill platform commitments (see below) that strengthen Alberta’s position within Canada

The Citizen’s Initiative Act will be based on the 1991 British Columbia Recall and Initiative Act, and according to Jason Kenney it will;
 “... give Albertans the power to hold this and future governments to account if we do not keep our commitment to stand up for Alberta.”

Fair Deal Panel mandate and membership announced
Premier Kenney also announced the launch of the Fair Deal Panel to consult Albertans on how best to define and to secure a fair deal for Alberta. The panel will also look at how best to advance the province’s vital economic interests, such as the construction of energy pipelines.

Specifically, the panel will consider whether the following measures would advance the province’s interests:
  • Establishing a provincial revenue agency to collect provincial taxes directly by ending the Canada-Alberta Tax Collection Agreement, while joining Quebec in seeking an agreement to collect federal taxes within the province.
  • Creating an Alberta Pension Plan by withdrawing from the Canada Pension Plan.
  • Establishing a provincial police force by ending the Alberta Police Service Agreement with the Government of Canada.
  • Emulating Quebec’s practice of playing a larger role in international relations, in part by seeking Alberta representation in treaty negotiations that effect Alberta’s interests.
  • Emulating Quebec’s legal requirement that public bodies, including municipalities and school boards, obtain the approval of the provincial government before they can enter into agreements with the federal government.
  • Using the existing provincial power to appoint the Chief Firearms Office for Alberta.
  • Opting out of federal cost share programs with full compensation, such as the federal government’s proposed pharmacare program.
  • Seeking an exchange of tax points for federal cash transfers under the Canada Health and Social Transfers.
  • Establishing a formalized provincial constitution.

Members of the Fair Deal Panel include the Honourable Preston Manning, Stephen Lougheed, Oryssia Lennie, Jason Goodstriker, Donna Kennedy-Glans, Moin Yahya, along with MLAs Drew Barnes, Miranda Rosin, and Tany Yao.

The panel will consult with experts, hold open town hall meetings across the province and undertake research to inform their recommendations.

All Albertans will be given an opportunity to provide input through online surveys, and other forms of direct feedback, both digital and traditional. 

The panel will seek to conduct its public consultations between November 16 and January 30, 2020, and complete its report to the government by March 31, 2020.
The panel’s mandate can be found on

Premier defines urgent priorities
Premier Kenney stressed that in dealing with the federal government and provincial allies, Alberta will clearly prioritize several issues with huge implications for jobs and the economy, including:
  • Obtaining firm guarantees on construction and completion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, including clear willingness to ensure that the rule of law is respected and applied. All of Alberta’s leverage will be focused on this goal.
  • Approval of flow through shares, or other tax instruments, to increase job-creating investment in environmental technology such as carbon capture utilization and storage that will accelerate the reduction of GHG emissions from Canada’s oil and gas sector.
  • Funding for the creation of green jobs by accelerating reclamation of abandoned wells.
  • Clear support for future liquified natural gas projects that will significantly reduce global GHG emissions by accelerating coal to gas conversion in the developing world.
  • Repeal of Bill C-48, and repeal or at least significant mitigation of Bill C-69
  • Establishing equivalency agreements for Alberta’s Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) program, and methane regulations.
  • Accelerated federal approval of outstanding job creating projects, like the Teck Resources Frontier Mine and TransAlta natural gas pipelines to convert coal fired plants to natural gas.


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