Alberta's United Conservative caucus votes to propose changes to sovereignty bill

Changes to sovereignty bill

Alberta's governing United Conservative caucus says it is proposing two changes to fix concerns with a bill that grants unchecked powers to Premier Danielle Smith and her cabinet.

The caucus says in a news release that it has voted to propose an amendment to clarify that any changes cabinet makes to laws under the sovereignty act can’t be done in secret and must go back to the house for debate and approval.

The caucus has also voted to change the act to more narrowly define when cabinet can take action.

Under the current bill, cabinet has wide latitude to respond to whatever federal policy or program it deems harmful to Alberta’s interests.

With the amendment, harm would be defined as anything a majority of the legislature deems to be unconstitutional federal intrusion into provincial areas of responsibility.

Smith said over the weekend that she is open to changing the bill, as the clauses granting her cabinet sweeping powers outside the legislature were not supposed to be in there.

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