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For good reason, China’s election interference has sparked outrage in Canada. But China’s ability to sway a broad spectrum of Canadian voters is far weaker than the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producer’s (CAPP) foreign-funded political interference. Most oil and gas companies in Canada are foreign-owned and funded, and they use a loophole to fund election activities. This loophole must be closed.

Selling Fiction as Fact

Alberta Pension Plan report built on invented numbers and a false premise

When launching its report on an Alberta Pension Plan (APP), the government asked Albertans to “look at the facts” and engage in the discussion. But “facts” are sorely missing in the report—and the invitation to discuss the APP excludes the most important question: do Albertans really want out of the CPP?

Six Worries for Workers This Labour Day

What can we expect from the re-elected UCP government?

What can Alberta workers expect from this United Conservative Party government? The UCP’s first term cheapened labour costs for employers, while its 2023 election platform contained few promises related to labour and employment matters. This post presents six labour-related issues that should be on every worker’s radar over the next four years.

Right Thing, Wrong Reasons

De-privatizing community laboratory services in Alberta

AHS is ending its contract with DynaLIFE and transferring it to Alberta Precision Labs, the public provider of medical laboratory services. The move to bring community lab testing back in-house under APL is a necessary step in the right direction, one that advocates and workers have been calling for from the beginning. But it is merely delivering first aid for a hemorrhaging patient. This blog post discusses a series of critical questions that need to be answered if we want to understand what the next step for Alberta’s laboratory services should be.

Envisioning Alberta’s Economy

The UCP and NDP Platforms on Jobs, Investment, and Diversification

With Alberta’s election approaching, the UCP and the NDP have both released platform planks on the key issues of job creation, business capital spending, and economic diversification. While the two parties’ platforms present very different visions for Alberta, neither seem to be offering anything revolutionary for the province.

But Roller Coasters Are Fun!

Will the Party Platforms End Fiscal Volatility in Alberta?

One of the key promises made during this election by both the NDP and the UCP has been to get Alberta off the resource revenue roller coaster, reduce volatility, and bring fiscal stability to the province. In essence, what the parties are promising is that, under their watch, adequate funding for the services and infrastructure Albertans rely upon will no longer depend on the global price of oil and gas. This is an important and laudable goal. The question is whether the suite of policy planks being put forward by either of the two contenders will actually help achieve the promised stability.

Hate to Say I Told You So, But…

Laboratory Services as the Canary in the Privatization Coal Mine

From the decision to cancel the Edmonton Hub Lab to the handout of services to DynaLIFE to unacceptable wait times for routine community collections, the handling of medical lab services by the UCP government has been a litany of entirely predictable disasters. Worse still: rather than the product of mistakes, these disasters are the inevitable result of deliberate policy choices on the part of the UCP. With the days of this election campaign ticking down, the contending parties are not talking about labs. But they should—and should, for a change, listen to what lab workers have to say. 

Subsidizing Profit

UCP Quietly Changes Rules for Post-Secondary Funding

On March 30, via an Order in Council, the provincial government made an important policy change in the area of post-secondary funding: for the first time anywhere in Canada, the UCP has made it possible for a private for-profit educational institution to receive public dollars. This decision — made with no public discussion and no debate in the Alberta legislature — hurts affordability, damages accessibility, and is a direct subsidy of private profiteering.

At a time when many families are struggling to pay their bills, the party that wins Alberta’s 2023 election could lend support to minimum-wage workers by immediately raising the minimum wage and then indexing the minimum wage to increase each year in line with inflation.

Whose Future?

What the Alberta Budget Says About the UCP’s Priorities Pre-Election

A deeper reading of Budget 2023 suggests that multiple futures are being claimed and contested: political and electoral futures, as well as ideological and existential ones. How each of these future battles is playing out matters significantly for Alberta’s future, not least in the unanswered question: “Whose future?”  In this article, Parkland Institute’s research managers Ian Hussey and Rebecca Graff-McRae break down the possible futures at stake in the lead-up to the spring election and its political aftermath.

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