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Private management of public data

Benefits and risks

From 1976-2016, Alberta lost 34 per cent of its farms, and fewer and fewer people now control more and more of the land base. In 2016, 40 per cent of farmland in Alberta was controlled by just six per cent of farms. This kind of information is vital as researchers keep track of the changing patterns of tenure across the province. Alberta government's privatization of land titles means higher service fees are likely and less accessibility for researchers to study Alberta's 50 million acres of farmland.

Fact checking Premier Kenney on Keystone XL

Ever since U.S. President Joe Biden cancelled the border-crossing permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, Premier Jason Kenney and others continue to spread misinformation about KXL, the oil sands industry and the energy transition. Ian Hussey takes a look at oil sands operations and pipelines, the energy transition and possibilities for economic diversification in Alberta.

 

Government takeover of post-secondary education

Upheaval at UAlberta

A group of hand-picked UCP insiders are asserting political control over post-secondary institutions. Laurie Adkin, Michael Lang and Mark Shakespear outline the government's five overlapping strategies and the effects on the University of Alberta. 

Bill 47 Pt. 2 - Less Compensation for Work-related Injuries

This is the second of two blog posts examining Bill 47. This post focuses on changes to the Workers’ Compensation Act. These changes save employers money by reducing the likelihood of injured workers receiving benefits and reducing the value of those benefits. Bill 47 also makes it harder for workers to appeal decisions and reduces the likelihood of returning to their job once recovered.

Bill 47 Pt. 1 - Making Alberta Workplaces Less Safe

Alberta’s United Conservative government recently introduced Bill 47 (Ensuring Safety and Cutting Red Tape Act, 2020). The bill makes substantial changes to the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act and the Workers’ Compensation Act and represents a rollback of workers’ safety protections. This is the first of two blog posts examining Bill 47. This post focuses on changes to the OHS Act that, if passed, will come into effect Sept. 1, 2021.

Alberta’s Energy War Room Reveals its True Colours as a Propaganda Mill

Last week a report was published by the Parkland Institute and Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). The Canadian Energy Centre (aka Premier Jason Kenney’s “War Room”) took exception to the report and wrote a hit piece designed to discredit it. The article is a classic propaganda exercise in erecting straw men and spreading disinformation.

11,000 Reasons Why

Alberta's health minister announced plans to cut 11,000 Alberta Health Services jobs in laboratory services, medical laundry, housekeeping and food services. These front-line workers ensure testing and sanitation under the most challenging conditions, especially during a pandemic. Research manager Rebecca Graff-McRae responds to the provincial government's Oct. 13 announcement.

Minimum-wage workers deserve better

Alberta’s minimum wage should be a living wage, especially during a pandemic. October 1 marks the second straight year that Alberta’s United Conservative government has not increased the provincial minimum wage, meaning the wages of almost 300,000 workers are losing value against consumer price inflation.

 

Reading Between the Lines on Bill 30

This government does have a plan for our health care and it is one that will serve corporate interests instead of the public interest. Zooming in on the UCP’s health omnibus Bill 30 provides crucial pieces in the puzzle of the UCP privatization agenda. This is part one of a series of blog posts about the privatization of health care in Alberta.

 

Increasing Employer Power at the Workplace

The Impacts of Bill 32 (Part 2)

Most of the coverage of the tabling of Bill 32 has focused on its effects on unions and unionized workers (including Part One of this post published last week). Yet, the most far-reaching impacts of the bill will be on non-unionized workers – those who are protected only by the Employment Standards Code (ESC). 

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