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Alberta 'Fair Deal Panel' starts public town hall meetings in Edmonton

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney delivers his address to the Alberta United Conservative Party annual general meeting in Calgary, Alta., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. An Alberta government panel looking at ways to make the province more independent is holding its first town hall meeting tonight in Edmonton. United Conservative Premier Jason Kenney announced last month that the Fair Deal Panel is to come up with recommendations on how to best advance Alberta's economic interests. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Dave Chidley

EDMONTON — An Alberta government panel looking at ways to make the province more independent is holding its first town hall meeting tonight in Edmonton.

United Conservative Premier Jason Kenney announced last month that the Fair Deal Panel is to come up with recommendations on how to best advance Alberta’s economic interests.

Ideas include withdrawing from the Canada Pension Plan in favour of a new provincial agency, creating a separate police service and establishing a formalized provincial constitution.

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

The panel, which includes former Reform Party leader Preston Manning, has until Jan. 30 to hold town hall meetings across the province, gather online feedback and consult with experts.

It is to submit a final report with recommendations to the government by March 31.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 3, 2019

The Canadian Press