Sweeping power to the cabinet, the prime minister was removed from law as the Alberta Sovereignty Act neared the finish line

Bill 1 is expected to pass late Wednesday or early Thursday

The Alberta legislature has voted to remove from the government sovereign statute a controversial provision that gave Prime Minister Danielle Smith's cabinet the power to pass the legislature and rewrite the law as she saw fit.

The Smith Conservative Union Caucus used its majority Wednesday night to pass an amendment to assert that Alberta's legislature still has the final say on lawmaking.

The opposition NDP voted against the amendments, saying the law remained a "hot expression of chaos" of the province's unconstitutional preconceptions and fickle power that offends the democratic process and freezes business investment.

The bill was introduced just over a week ago by Smith as his administration's key piece of legislation to resist what he calls federal intrusion into the area of provincial authority under the Constitution.

Prior to the vote, several members of the NDP, including Leader Rachel Notley, renewed their calls for the bill to be withdrawn.

Notley said while the bill effectively rolls back cabinet powers to rewrite laws, accompanying changes narrowing the definition of federal harm are still too ambiguous to be effective.

Notley said the bill remained flawed

He said the rollout of the bill had been "a lesson in legislative incompetence" given the prime minister introduced the bill eight days earlier and for days rejected accusations it gave his cabinet sweeping powers before, in the face of mounting criticism, announcing there would indeed be changes.

Notley said egregious flaws remain in the bill given that it is the legislature, not the courts, that should decide what is and is not constitutional. He said the bill still gives broad and undefined powers to the cabinet to direct municipalities, health districts, schools and cities. police force to refuse to apply federal law.

And he said Smith deeply disappointed Alberta treaty heads by failing to consult them before introducing the bill.

"They really screwed this up," Notley said, adding a failure to consult would "really damage the very important state-to-nation relationship that should exist between this prime minister and the leaders of the agreement."

NDP financial critic Shannon Phillips said while the bill was aimed at Ottawa it was in fact a Trojan Horse attack on the Albertans themselves by a government that could not see through the politics of past grievances and its own internal drama to do the basic but necessary work of providing decent healthcare. care, education and social services.

"Fix this messy express," Phillips told the UCP bench. "It doesn't save it unless this bill is withdrawn in its entirety."

None of the UCP members spoke about the bill Wednesday night before voting to pass the amendment.

The vote came after UCP members used their majority to pass a motion from Government House Leader Joseph Schow to limit debate - the second time it has taken place in debates on this bill.

Such steps are allowed to balance the discussion with keeping the home business afloat.

Schow said 15 hours of debate was a healthy total, especially considering the NDP said it would do nothing to make the bill any better.

"If the Opposition has no amendments to present, then we will stop wasting the assembly's time and get on with the people's business," Schow said.

The bill moved to its third and final reading Wednesday night.  This article was written by EDUKASI CAMPUS. 

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