Friday , 25 June 2021
Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright MLA, Garth Rowswell. Photo submitted

MLA Rowswell talks provincial plan to repeal Bill 10

The Government of Alberta announced Thursday their intentions to repeal Bill 10, the Public Health (Emergency Powers) Amendment Act.

The original Public Health Act was created in 1907, and the amendment was introduced in 2002 following 9/11.

Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright MLA, Garth Rowswell, said the concern at the time was that in an emergency situation that members may not be able to meet at the legislature, so the amendment allowed cabinet ministers to make changes without the approval of the legislature.

“Civil liberties people were concerned about bypassing the legislature and giving the minister too much power,” said Rowswell.

He was one of twelve members on the Select Special Public Health Act Review Committee.

The committee will accumulate all of their motions passed into a final report, to be submitted on October 24. As a final result, they plan to repeal Bill 10 during the spring session.

Alberta Minister of Health, Tyler Shandro, said that during COVID-19 despite the many unknowns faced by the province, that they were able to safely operate through the Legislative Assembly ensuring the continuance of vital public services.

Through the pandemic, they learned that if it was ever required they could even potentially meet outside the legislature building.

“There’s a balancing act between getting stuff done and stomping on civil liberties and the rights of individuals,” said Rowswell.

During any potential emergencies in the future, their intention is to have any changes to the health act put through the legislature.

About Angela Mouly

Angela comes to Lakeland Connect after leaving traditional newspaper where she spent the past four years reporting on community events. Her repertoire includes writing about history, politics, agriculture, sports, entertainment and art. She was the third place recipient of an AWNA General Excellence Award for “Best Front Page” during their 2016 Better Newspaper Competition. Angela has lived in rural Alberta all her life and in Vermilion for the past 15 years. She looks forward to continuing to serve and inform the Lakeland community by joining in people's many adventures and sharing their stories.