Some Albertans will be getting help from the provincial government.
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith announced the Inflation Relief Act to help curb an increase in the cost of living.
"We're facing a very difficult time as a country and a province," said Smith in a televised address. "We've been through a lot together these past three years, but still have many challenges ahead of us."
Families with household incomes under $180,000 can expect $600 of relief over six months for each child and senior living in the household. People relying on AISH, Income Support, and PDD can also expect $600 over the same six months.
Each home will also be provided $200 per home in rebates on consumer electricity bills.
The province will suspend its fuel tax for at least six months and will index all provincial tax brackets retroactively to 2022.
On top of that, Smith announced that the government will invest in food banks and low-income transit passes.
"As a province, we can't solve this inflation crisis on our own," said Smith. "Due to our strong fiscal and balanced budget we can offer substantial relief so Albertans and their families are better able to manage through this storm."
NDP leader Rachel Notley responded to the address with skepticism.
"We're not buying it, and neither should you. Many people won't remember but six months prior to the last [provincial] election the UCP voted to increase benefits for vulnerable Albertans only to then break that promise within weeks of taking office."
"We couldn't trust the UCP then and we definitely can't trust them now."
The premier also announced that her government would move forward with 'The Alberta Sovereignty within a United Canada Act' next week. This was a critical part of her campaign to become UCP leader earlier this year.
"The government in Ottawa is intentionally and systematically attempting to control and regulate all aspects of our province's economy, resources, and social programs," said Smith.
Smith maintained that this act was not a move towards Alberta separatism, instead describing it as a 'constitutional shield' for the province.
Lastly, the premier put for an action plan for the province's healthcare.
The plan hits on a few key issues including:
- Decreasing emergency room wait times
- Improving ambulance response times
- Reducing wait times for surgeries
This comes less than a week after Smith dismissed 11 members of the Alberta Health Services (AHS) board of directors in favour of John Cowell, who will serve as an administrator.
Smith did not take questions during the address and did not say how much these proposed changes would cost.