There have been some questions surrounding Bill 1 "Sovereignty within a United Canada Act" that Premier Danielle Smith introduced into the legislature on Tuesday. The provincial government is trying to clarify to what extent the act will authorize cabinet to amend legislation.

"Cabinet is only authorized to amend existing legislation as specifically outlined in a resolution brought under the act. The resolution, including any amendments to legislation, must first be introduced, debated, voted on and passed by the legislative assembly."

If passed, the UCP government hopes to use the act to address what they see as federal government overreach and interference in areas of provincial jurisdiction, including in the areas of private property, natural resources, agriculture, firearms, regulation of the economy and delivery of health, education and other social programs.

"In no way does the Sovereignty within a United Canada Act permit cabinet to unilaterally amend legislation without those amendments being first authorized by the legislative assembly. If there is any dispute as to whether or not cabinet amended legislation outside of the specific recommendations contained in the resolution, including any amendments by the legislative assembly to the resolution, such actions would still be subject to both judicial review as well as review by the legislative assembly itself."

The province's opposition has already voted against the bill in its first reading. The NDP vote followed repeated warnings that the introduction of this legislation would create investment uncertainty, jeopardize federal funding agreements, and risk Alberta’s economic future.

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