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Recent Research

Finance in the fields

Investors, Lenders, Farmers, and the Future of Farmland in Alberta

Alberta has over 50 million acres of farmland. What happens on this land? Who owns it? Who can access it? Most of all, why are land relations structured the way they are? And what are the current impacts of these land tenure dynamics and their implications for our future?

The answers to these questions are political, and we urgently need to face them together. This report draws on publicly-funded qualitative research conducted from 2019 to 2020. It seeks to contribute to a vibrant path forward for rural Alberta.

Higher Education - Corporate or Public?

How the UCP is restructuring post-secondary education in Alberta

The United Conservative Party (UCP) government has, from 2018 to 2022, cut the operating support budget for Alberta’s PSEIs by 18.8%, resulting in a trail of destruction across the province’s universities, colleges, and technical institutes. This report addresses two questions. First, we ask what the agenda and actions of the United Conservative Party government of Alberta mean for higher education and research. Second, we ask how institutional factors explain the sector’s lack of autonomy and ability to resist the corporatization agendas of governments.

Recent Blog Posts

In his response to the UCP government’s February 24, 2022 budget, President Bill Flanagan of the University of Alberta characterized its allocations for post-secondary education positively, as a “turning point for the University of Alberta.” In his statement, Flanagan highlights a UCP initiative called “Alberta at Work,” which promises to invest $171 million over three years to increase enrolment in programs selected by the government, and asserts that the U of A will move quickly to take advantage of this new funding program (along with 21 other post-secondary education institutions, or PSEIs).

When the Alberta government passed Bill 32: The Restoring Balance in the Workplace Act in the summer of 2020, a number of observers noted the many ways in which it unfairly targeted unions and their members. My Parkland Institute report analyzing Bill 32, however, made it clear that changes like those in the Act have broader implications for the rights of ALL Albertans. The report, Tipping the Balance, concluded that the legislation represented an Americanization of labour relations in Alberta and that many provisions undermined rights protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

While there is no roadmap on how to feel or the actions that might help truth and reconciliation, Don McIntyre urges us to never stop pressing for more stories of the lost children in unmarked graves. Never stop telling the story of Phyllis and her orange shirt. These stories are our Truths.