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'Incredibly unnerving': Calgary mayor slams proposed Alberta sovereignty act

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Calgary mayor Jyoti Gondek says she wishes more thought would've gone into Danielle Smith's first move as premier. 

Gondek questioned the United Alberta Sovereignty Within a United Canada Act on Wednesday, just one day after Smith introduced her flagship bill in the legislature.

"The sovereignty act, which is completely undefined right now, really puts us into a tailspin," Gondek told reporters. "I don't know that the (provincial) government itself knows exactly what this holds."

Under the proposed legislation, cabinet would have the power to direct provincial entities -- including Crown-controlled organizations, police, health authorities, municipalities and school boards -- to not use provincial money to enforce federal rules deemed harmful to Alberta's interests.

Smith has said the bill is needed to reset Alberta's relationship with Ottawa. 

Gondek disagrees. 

"While they are seeking some form of justice for what they feel is unconstitutional, our rights are being stripped away," she said.

Some speculate the bill could act as a catch-all disturber for any idea the province disagrees with. 

That's a claim the UCP caucus denies. 

And while an amendment that went out Wednesday promises any changes must first be introduced, debated, voted on and passed by the legislative assembly, critics fear the bill will still give Smith and her cabinet the power to rewrite provincial laws behind closed doors.

"It has big impacts on municipalities, and as someone who is the mayor of a major centre, I'm a little bit concerned that there was really no consultation with us before this was brought forward," Gondek said. 

Calgary's mayor says the city's legal team is looking at the act. She hopes more information will be provided by Smith soon. 

"It's incredibly unnerving," she said when asked about the Chamber of Commerce claim the bill may drive away investment. "Our economy is at a place where we are ready to rebound, but the more disruption that you throw at us, the worse that it makes it."

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