As Alberta sees more cuts to help with the overdose epidemic, now is a time to be investing more, not less in the overdose epidemic response, according to an op-ed that originally appeared in the Edmonton Journal. Dr. Stan Houston co-authors the piece with Dr. Ginetta Salvalaggio.
The public interest commissioner opposed four of Cam Hutchison's recommendations that are basic to ensuring whistleblowers feel safe to come forward to report wrongdoing. These reforms are based on his Parkland report released late last year. All are considered part of international best practices and have precedent in other jurisdictions. However, all were portrayed by the commissioner as deeply problematic, reflecting her lack of understanding about whistleblower protection outside of the Alberta experience, and a troubling misinterpretation of the law and her particular administrative role.
After Canada’s Supreme Court ruled the federal government’s carbon tax is constitutional, Premier Kenney made the astonishing admission that his government didn’t prepare a fallback plan on implementing a consumer carbon tax because they were hoping to win in the country’s top court. For the UCP, apparently hope springs eternal, even when the fiscal boat itself is springing leaks.
Shahina Parvin's PhD research examines the structural issues around immigrant women's access to mental health services in Lethbridge, Alta., as well as gaps in health care. Parvin believes it's essential to reframe psychiatric care and acknowledge that discrimination and power relations contribute to humans’ suffering must be taken into account when providing mental health services to racialized immigrant women and other marginalized individuals in Alberta.
Tax Giveaways for Corporations, Service Cuts for Albertans
The compounded impact of years of cuts will be catastrophic. The United Conservative government is cutting or privatizing services that Albertans rely on in order to pay for their 33 per cent tax giveaway to large profitable corporations and for their mistakes of cancelling the crude-by-rail contracts and gambling on Keystone XL. On par with Premier Klein’s massive cuts in the late 1990s, the result will be deep structural changes and a legacy of lasting damage.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.