Health

Alberta Lt.-Gov. Salma Lakhani delivers Throne Speech focused on affordability, health-care reform, jobs, and fighting Ottawa


Lt.-Gov. Salma Lakhani gave the address in the legislature Tuesday afternoon, marking the beginning of the fourth session.

Publishing date:

Nov 29, 2022  •  8 minutes ago  •  Read it in 3 minutes

Join the conversation

Lt. Gov. Of Albera Salma Lakhani Reads The Speech From The Throne At The Opening Of The Third Session Of The Province'S 30Th Legislature In Edmonton, On Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2022.
Lt. Gov. Albera Salma Lakhani gives the Speech from The Throne during the opening of the third session in Edmonton’s 30th legislature. This was Tuesday, February 22, 2022. Photo by Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

Premier Danielle Smith’s government will focus on affordability, health care, job creation and fighting back against Ottawa, according to Tuesday’s throne speech.

Lt.-Gov. Salma Lakhani gave the address in the legislature Tuesday afternoon, marking the beginning of the fourth session. 

Subscribe to the Edmonton Journal for daily headline news. This division of Postmedia Network Inc.

Clicking on the sign up button will consent to receiving the Postmedia Network Inc newsletter. You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link at the bottom. Postmedia Network Inc. | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300

Citing “harsh headwinds,” the speech reiterated the government’s priorities outlined by Government Joseph Schow, House Leader was elected a day before. 

“Rising inflation is impacting the ability of Albertans to provide for themselves and their families; our health-care system is under significant strain; and we’re combatting unprecedented interference and overreach from the federal government in Ottawa,” Lakhani said. 

“We have faced difficult challenges before,” she said. “We will do so again.” 

Jason Kenney, former premier and representative for Calgary-Lougheed was not present in the house during the speech.

We are sorry, but the video is not loading.

His successor as the province’s head of government, Premier Danielle Smith, was formally sworn in as a member of the legislative assembly about 90 minutes before the speech after already being sworn in as head of government in mid-October.

Smith was formally sworn as a member in good standing of the legislative assembly around 90 minutes before the speech. 

Affordability

On affordability, the speech echoed the government’s earlier announced commitment to increase electricity rebates, index personal income taxes to account for inflation, and suspending the provincial gas tax for at least a further six months. 

“Our natural resources are not the property of government. They are the property of the people of Alberta.”

Lakhani indicated that additional affordability measures may soon be implemented, and said that the company is making the current natural-gas rebate program permanent. 

“Every decision this government makes until this inflation crisis is over will balance affordability for Albertans with protecting our province’s financial well being.”

Healthcare and job creation

On the health-care file, the speech thanked medical workers for the efforts, pledged a reform action plan while warning that “fixing our health-care challenges will take time.”

The government’s plan calls for Alberta Health Services (AHS) to use more chartered facilities to improve surgical wait times, changed rules around ambulance procedures, and bringing more mental health supports for youth and children.

“The government understands that investing significantly in mental health saves thousands of lives and improves the lives of hundreds of thousands more in our province.”

Schow and Smith indicated the same day that an overhaul of Alberta’s Human Rights Act to protect unvaccinated people against COVID-19 was not included in the speech.

The province’s job creation agenda focuses on the agriculture and energy sectors, promising more support and training. 

“As Albertans, we will never be ashamed of feeding and powering the world. In fact, now more than ever, the world needs more Alberta energy and agriculture.”

‘Standing up to Ottawa’

The speech concluded with an outline of the government’s plan to address the province’s relationship with the federal government. 

That included Smith’s flagship policy proposal, the Alberta Sovereignty Within a United Canada Act, which was scheduled to be introduced as Bill 1 immediately following the speech. 

Lakhani concluded by reiterating the government’s commitment to Canada, but also the need for Alberta and Albertans’ voices to be heard and respected.  

“Our nation and the world need Alberta to lead. And that is what the government shall do.”

mblack@postmedia.com

lijohnson@postmedia.com

  1. Danielle Smith Speaks To The Calgary Business Community During A Nov. 18, 2022 Luncheon.

    Alberta government to expand the electricity rebate for more customers

  2. Finance Minister Travis Toews.

    Alberta is on track for a $12.3 billion surplus, as oil prices drop and spending increases.

Show More

Merry

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

Related Articles

Back to top button