Alberta government’s response to COVID-19: Here is what you may have missed from the government in past week

The Alberta government has spent almost $10 billion on a comprehensive response to protect the safety, security and economic interests of Albertans amidst the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

A number of actions have been taken over the past week to contain the outbreak and provide Albertans with the services they need. Below is a summary of the response in the past week.

Provincial response to COVID-19 outbreak, March 29 – April 4:

Bill 10, Public Health (Emergency Powers) Amendment Act, 2020, provides law enforcement agencies full authority to enforce public health orders during a pandemic (came into force April 2).

Expanded eligibility for select licensed child care centres to improve access for essential workers (April 1).

Sharing resources between provincial and federal meat inspectors to increase food inspector capacity and ensure a consistent supply of safe food products (April 1).

New orders on controlling outbreaks in facilities such as group and nursing homes to ensure public health authorities are informed and operators are well-trained and deployed where they are needed most (April 2).

New funding for non-profit organizations to provide additional food assistance for vulnerable K-12 students and families totalling $3 million (April 2).

More than 1,100 offers of support in the form of vital resources and supplies received from private and non-profit organizations through the government’s Bits and Pieces program.

Economic response:

Investment of $1.5 billion in the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline to accelerate construction, create jobs for Albertans and ensure it is operational by 2023 (March 31).

Introduction of Bill 11, Tenancies Statues (Emergency Provisions) Amendment Act, 2020, which will ensure no one can be retroactively charged for residential rent increase or late fees while the state of public health emergency is in effect, if passed (March 31).

Introduction of Bill 12, Liabilities Management Statutes Amendment Act, 2020, which will provide greater authority for the Orphan Well Association to fast-track well and site cleanup work and boost employment in the oil services sector, if passed (March 31).

Suspension of hospital parking fees for health-care workers and the general public to make worksite transitions easier for health-care professionals and reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread from touch screens and buttons at payment sites (April 2).

Deferral of timber dues for six months to help ensure forestry companies can continue operations and retain staff during the pandemic (April 4).

Coronavirus

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