Danielle Smith Has Unveiled The Alberta Sovereignty Act & Here's What It Means For Albertans

Smith said it's "pushing Ottawa back into its own lane."

Calgary Staff Writer
Alberta premier Danielle Smith.

Alberta premier Danielle Smith.

Alberta's premier Danielle Smith has finally unveiled the long-talked-about Alberta Sovereignty Act which will allow the province to "push back against federal interference."

In a press conference on Tuesday, November 29, Smith said the Alberta Sovereignty within a United Canada Act, is a first step in standing up for Albertans and "pushing Ottawa back into its own lane."

The act was one of Smith's key policies when running to become UCP leader earlier this year and it was finally introduced in the provincial legislature yesterday.

What is the Alberta Sovereignty Act?

In the lead-up to becoming premier, Smith promised to introduce the Alberta Sovereignty Act which would effectively allow the province to ignore federal laws that "violate the jurisdictional rights of Alberta" or "[breach] the Charter Rights of Albertans."

According to a government press release, the act aims to "stand up to federal government overreach and interference in areas of provincial jurisdiction."

It is also set to cover a wide range of areas, like natural resources, agriculture, firearms and health, among others.

However, the government did reiterate that the act "will not compel any private citizen or business to violate federal law."

It also clarified that the legislation would not involve anything related to a separation from the rest of Canada.

What will the Alberta Sovereignty Act do?

Following the proposed act being unveiled, Smith has asked government ministers to prepare special resolutions ahead of the spring legislative. According to the government, the resolutions would push back on measures and policies that are designed to:

  • Regulate and control Alberta’s natural resources and economic development
  • Penalize the province’s energy and agricultural sectors such as fertilizer cuts and emissions reductions
  • Control the delivery of health care, education and other social programs
  • Confiscate legally owned firearms
  • Interfere with the private property or charter rights of Albertans
  • Violate other sovereign areas of exclusive provincial jurisdiction

What have other politicians said about the Alberta Sovereignty Act?

The Alberta Sovereignty Act has been met with criticism from politicians both in and outside of Alberta.

Alberta's NDP opposition leader Rachel Notley blasted the act as a "gross power grab" in a tweet.

"It completely circumvents our democratic process and will have devastating consequences for our economy," she added.

Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Ottawa is "not looking for a fight" over the proposed legislation, according to Global News.

When asked whether the federal government was likely to step in, he said he would see how the situation plays out but he is not taking anything off the table right now.

Charlie Hart
Calgary Staff Writer
Charlie Hart is a Staff Writer for Narcity Canada's Western Desk focused on Alberta news and is based in Calgary, Alberta.
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