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Alberta to begin new legislative session with proposed sovereignty bill

The Alberta legislature resumes sitting today and the first bill is expected to be one aimed at resisting federal laws that the provincial government deems harmful to its interests.
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Alberta Premier Danielle Smith speaks at a press conference, in Edmonton, on Monday, Oct. 24, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON — The Alberta legislature resumes sitting today and the first bill is expected to be one aimed at resisting federal laws that the provincial government deems harmful to its interests.

The "Alberta sovereignty within a united Canada act" was a key promise from Premier Danielle Smith when she was running for leadership of the United Conservative Party.

Smith has said the legislation would allow the province to reject federal laws deemed as encroaching on provincial jurisdiction but has not explained how that would be done in line with the Constitution.

The premier had also promised to introduce legislation this fall to enshrine protections for the COVID-19 unvaccinated into the provincial human rights law.

But Smith has backed down from that plan, instead saying her government would pressure businesses and organizations that have vaccine mandates to reconsider.

The new legislative session kicks off this afternoon when Lt.-Gov. Salma Lakhani reads the speech from the throne.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 29, 2022.

The Canadian Press