Bill 211 – AISH (Discretionary Trust) Amendment Act, 2017

December 18, 2017

Bill 211 (click to view bill), a Private Member’s Bill brought forward by Calgary-Currie MLA Brian Malkinson, which would have brought Alberta in line with the rest of Canada, has died before it could be fully considered and approved by the Alberta Legislature.  The current session of the Legislature was adjourned before the Bill could be considered for Second and Third Reading. MLA Malkinson is certainly to be highly commended for his thoughtful and considered approach in consulting with individuals with developmental disabilities and their families across Alberta in the development of this Bill. 

Although supported by the NDP, and we trust every party, as it would have brought greater financial security to a highly vulnerable and impoverished population and some piece of mind to parents as they pass on, the Bill’s likelihood of success as a Private Members’ Bill was always at risk.  Private Members’ Bills, especially in the order in which they come before the Legislature and the very limited time they are given for debate meant that this Bill would not likely make it through before the current Session ended.

We never understood why this wasn’t a government Bill to begin with which would have assured its passage.  In fact, the current government has not yet put forward a Bill to-date that would substantially advance the lives of children and adults with disabilities. There have only been Private Members’ Bills.  It is now time for this to change.

Bill 211 needs to be reintroduced in the Spring Legislative Session as a new government Bill, which would ensure its passage.  We encourage everyone who wants to see Alberta move from the only jurisdiction in Canada that does not honour discretionary trusts to a province that respects families, to let their MLA know they want to see a new government Bill in the Spring sitting. A Bill you expect your MLA to support regardless of which party they represent.