A couple of nights ago, the province passed the Alberta Sovereignty Act (Within a United Canada), with various amendments designed to address the primary criticisms people had been bringing forward. And, surprisingly to me, they seem to have done exactly that.
No longer does the act allow the Lt. Governor to modify a current law of Alberta, but rather to direct the Minister to make changes to regulations under the law. The difference between a regulation and a law has always been that regulations are generally changed at will by the Minister responsible, while laws have to go through the legislature for debate.
About the only new power it provides now is that the Lt. Governor is given the authority under the act to tell public agencies what to do in the context of some perceived federal overreach. The downside of which is that it’s something that can theoretically be used to insulate ministers from being tied to directives to the public service, and cloaked in the flag of provincial autonomy. But I expect that’s a much more technical distinction than the general public would be willing to entertain in the context of something being directed didn’t meet the public’s approval.
So, yeah, I’m okay with it now. It’s unfortunate that so much wasted time and energy went into it for the final result being a bill that basically means next to nothing—most federal directives tend to be enforced at the federal level already. But I suppose that’s better than what that time and energy could have been spent on, as we saw from what happened when you give the Minister of Advanced Education too much time.
For a final update on that issue, AU has agreed to the management agreement put forward by the minister, meaning they’ll be moving an extra 10% of cumulative employment to the town of Athabasca each year over the next three, as well as half of the executive team, but it came with two AU Executives deciding to leave their positions. I haven’t found the reasons purportedly given for those resignations yet, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they just did not want to have to uproot their lives and families to move to a small, rural locale.
In the meantime, once again I need your help to start finding the Best of the Voice Magazine 2022! Has there been an article you’ve read over the past year that you think deserves some extra attention? Was there a student interview that really spoke to you? A recipe that you tried and liked? A particular review that turned you on to some new music? If so, send in your top picks to email@example.com. As usual, there will be some swag packs available that you could win, plus you’ll probably get to see your pick featured in our Best Of issue coming out in early January.
Meanwhile, in this issue, we have a the first of a two-part look at how to save some money at Ontario’s car dealerships, some great advice that, though stemming from a chronic illness, seems to be able to apply to anybody, and a consideration of what a life on the move really means when it comes to AU. Plus, of course, events, reviews, recipes, advice, humour and more!