Edmonton

Alberta's 'fair deal' panel submits report, but not to public

The results of a panel looking at ways to give Alberta more political autonomy will not be released until after the pandemic has subsided.

Report and government response won't be released publicly until after the pandemic eases

The fair deal panel toured the province hosting town halls to gather feedback from Albertans. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC)

The results of a panel looking at ways to give Alberta more political autonomy will not be released until after the pandemic has subsided.

Premier Jason Kenney announced the creation of the "fair deal" panel in November, tasked with exploring ideas like the creation of a provincial pension plan and establishing a provincial police force. 

In the following months, more than 40,000 Albertans completed online surveys and 2,500 attended 10 panel-led town halls across the province to gather feedback. 

On Saturday, a news release from the province said the panel had submitted its final report but that the report and the government's response would not be released to the public until "the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is over."

"I look forward to giving this report and its recommendations the proper attention it deserves once we have safely started to implement our relaunch strategy," Kenney said in the news release.

The panel was set to produce a report to the premier by March 31. The deadline was then extended until April 21 but the final report was not submitted until May.

A date for the report's public release will be announced after the urgency of the pandemic response has lessened, according to the news release.

The panel also received input from thousands of online submissions and fourteen MLA-led town halls, according to a government spokesperson. Interviews were also conducted with dozens of experts and stakeholder organizations.

The report has an assessment of Albertans' positions as well as recommendations aimed at strengthening the province's voice in federation.

The government has said any bold proposals would need to be approved by Albertans through a referendum.

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