EDMONTON - The Alberta government begins its third attempt today to pass its overhaul of legislation for grade schools.
It's one of 10 bills on the order paper as Premier Alison Redford and her Tories reconvene the fall sitting of the legislature.
Government house leader Dave Hancock said the new Education Act will be the first out of the blocks.
It failed to pass earlier this year after coming under heavy criticism from home schoolers because of a clause mandating that all instruction follow the Alberta Human Rights Act.
Critics said that would force parents to teach values to their children that run counter to their religious beliefs.
Hancock said the bill has been revised to clarify that section.
"People misconstrued, in my view, what that (human rights clause) was intended to accomplish," said Hancock.
"So we're taking it back to wording that people are comfortable with but still carries the same message that we expect educational materials and educational programming will reflect the values of Albertans."
NDP Leader Brian Mason said they will fight to retain the human rights references.
"We can't have the public education system hijacked by special interest groups," said Mason.
Other bills include whistleblower legislation, protection for new-home buyers, and a plan to create a single provincial regulator for upstream energy development.
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Workers’ Compensation Amendment Act
First introduced in the spring sitting, the bill aims to give, police officers, firefighters and paramedics coverage for work-related post-traumatic stress disorder.
Responsible Energy Development Act
The bill aims to create a single regulator to oversee energy projects that extract oil, gas, oilsands bitumen and coal from the ground.
The new Education Act
This bill was originally put before the legislature last spring but was shelved due to human rights-related outcry from home-schooling parents and, eventually, the provincial election. The bill, among other things, intends to solidify what the provincial PCs call the toughest anti-bullying legislation in Canada. The idea picked up steam again after the tragic death of bullied B.C. teen Amanda Todd.
Public Interest Disclosure Act
The bill has become synonymous with whistleblower protection. It aims to protect members of the public sector from reprisal if they point out problems within the system. Doctors in Alberta have often claimed they have been afraid to speak up regarding problems they see in the health system.
New Home Buyer Protection Act
This bill aims to create a mandatory new home warranty for new homes built in the province.
Health, Safety and Trade Violations
A new bill aims to assign new penalties for those kinds of infractions.
Election Accountability Amendment Act
This bill aims to re-think how elections are done in Alberta. House Leader Dave Hancock said the bill will make it clear that Alberta’s chief electoral officer can report publicly on decisions the office makes and/or penalties it has levied.
Electric Utilities Amendment Act
A move that would see all power transmission line projects going ahead in the future reviewed and approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission not provincial cabinet.
Alberta Corporate Tax Amendment Act
No information was available on these amendments at the time of publishing.
Employee Pensions Act
The bill aims to update pensions for Alberta private sector employees.
Hancock said the whistleblower legislation will give public servants the freedom to act without fear.
"(It) allows someone who sees something they believe to be inappropriate or improper to raise it and to raise it with safety to themselves and to their jobs," he said.
Hancock said those pointing out wrongdoing will be able to report it in their office or to a legislative officer.
Liberal Laurie Blakeman said it's a good idea but poorly executed.
"It's really just going to put a whole other administrative level in place in which you now get to go and report to someone you work with who has been deemed to be the whistleblower officer," she said.
Danielle Smith, leader of the Wildrose Party, said they plan to hold Redford to her promise to balance the budget by 2014.
Smith said that's going to be difficult given that the projected deficit of $886 million this budget year has already ballooned to $3 billion.
"Alberta's finances are in serious trouble," said Smith. "Revenues across the board in this Alison Wonderland budget are beginning to crash to reality."
The sitting will run six weeks out of the next seven, ending Dec. 6.
Hancock said there will be lots of night sittings to get the work done.
This year's spring sitting, before the election, occasionally degenerated into personal insults and accusations of lying hurled across both sides of the aisle.
Hancock said he's hoping they'll do better.
"From the government side, I expect a respectful decorum," he said.
"We can disagree without being disagreeable."
Blakeman said history suggests good intentions won't remain so for long.
"It's going to be short-tempered (with) long evening sittings and brutish," she said.
Also on HuffPost:
Here's a breakdown of how the Alberta government parceled out spending last year. Information provided is <a href="http://finance.alberta.ca/business/budget/2012-13-Expense-by-Function.pdf">Expense by Function estimates</a> provided by the Alberta government.
7.1 per cent of the budget went to General Government - Includes a broad range of additional services including funding for parks and recreation, cultural activities, housing initiatives, economic development, costs to run government and debt servicing expenses (interest payments).
1 per cent of the budget went to Environmental funding - Provides for environmental monitoring and protection, including pollution control, water supply management, air quality control, garbage collection and waste disposal and a host of other environmental programs and initiatives.
Regional Planning and Development
2.7 per cent of the budget went to Regional Planning and Development - Includes amounts for planning and regional development and a portion of the grants made directly to municipalities, including the Municipal Sustainability Initiative.
Protections of Persons and Property
3.9 per cent of the budget went to Protections of Persons and Property - Includes amounts for the protection of persons and property, including amounts for policing and security, the provincial court system, correctional and rehabilitation services, firefighting, labour relations and a host of other regulatory measures.
Transportation, Communications and Utilities
4. 6 per cent of the budget went to Transportation, Communications and Utilities - Includes amounts related to road, rail and air transport and maintenance, public transit grants, as well as pipelines, utilities and telecommunications networks.
Agriculture, Resource Management and Economic Development
5.4 per cent of the budget went to Agriculture, Resource Management and Economic Development - Includes amounts for farming support programs, food supply quality monitoring and protection, weed and pest control, crop insurance programs, natural resource management, economic and rural development, irrigation and veterinary care.
11.5 of the budget went to Social Services - Includes social assistance (e.g. AISH), pension benefits, and care for children, seniors and other vulnerable Albertans.
22.9 per cent of the budget went to Education - Includes Early Childhood Services to Grade 12, as well as post-secondary education, skills training and the construction and maintenance of educational facilities.
40.9 per cent of the budget went to Health - Consists of expenses incurred to ensure necessary health services are available to Albertans and includes funding for hospitals, medical and preventative care and the construction and maintenance of provincial health facilities.