Alberta’s new Lieutenant Governor Salma Lakhani, pictured in Edmonton, on Wednesday September 30, 2020. Salma Lakhani is the first Muslim to be appointed to the office. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

EDMONTON — Alberta’s United Conservative government is getting ready for a speech from the throne to open a legislative session that could be like no other.

Lt.-Gov. Salma Lakhani is expected to deliver the speech in the legislature this afternoon.

Throne speeches are intended to lay out the government’s direction for the coming session and Premier Jason Kenney’s government faces a series of controversial choices.

The budget, which is to come Thursday, will show how the government intends to use energy royalties, now gushing in from high oil prices.

Some analysts have suggested those royalties could be high enough to put the provincial budget back into surplus.

The government is also be expected to release a report into what Albertans think about expanding open-pit coal mining in the province’s Rocky Mountains.

Kenney faces personal political challenges as well, including a byelection in a northern riding where his party’s candidate has said he will work to unseat the leader. He also faces an internal party leadership review in mid-April.

The legislature is to sit until the end of March.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 22, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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