Thu. May 23rd, 2024

Danielle Smith Discusses Federal Budget, Healthcare, and Energy Rates in Alberta Update Episode

By Fatih Sahin Apr18,2024

In the last episode of Alberta Update, Premier Danielle Smith sat down with host Bruce McAllister to discuss a range of pressing issues affecting Alberta and its residents.

Premier Smith expressed strong reservations about the federal budget, describing it as “pouring gasoline on a fire” when it comes to inflation. She criticized the federal government for overspending, overtaxing, and overborrowing, stating that these practices are causing inflation to soar and making life more unaffordable for Canadians.

Smith pointed out that the federal government’s overspending has led to an increase in interest rates, which in turn affects mortgage payments and the cost of living. She emphasized the need for interest rates to come down to make housing and everyday expenses more affordable for Canadians.

The Premier also raised concerns about federal interference in provincial jurisdictions. She cited a federal court ruling in Ontario that found Bill C-69, the Impact Assessment Act, to be unconstitutional. Smith expressed hope that the federal government would repeal this bill and respect provincial autonomy.

She criticized the federal government for not learning from court rulings and for continuing to interfere in areas that should be decided by provincial governments.

On the healthcare front, Premier Smith discussed Alberta’s new physician compensation model developed in collaboration with the Alberta Medical Association. The model aims to reduce administrative burdens on doctors and incentivize them to spend more time with patients, particularly those with complex needs.

Smith highlighted the importance of nurse practitioners in the healthcare system, emphasizing their role in providing primary care services. She announced plans to allow nurse practitioners to set up their own primary care practices, with a minimum patient panel size of 900 patients.

Lastly, Premier Smith addressed concerns about fluctuating energy rates in Alberta. She introduced a new term, the “Rate of Last Resort,” to describe the regulated rate option for electricity. Smith emphasized the volatility of this rate and urged residents to explore alternative energy contracts to reduce their power bills.

She announced measures to ensure that energy companies set rates based on a two-year time horizon to provide more stability for consumers. Smith encouraged residents to shop around for the best energy rates and emphasized the importance of transparency in the energy market.

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