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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
The Impacts of Bill 32 (Part 1)
Bill 32 will have serious impacts on unionized and non-unionized workers, and it will restrict the voices of workers in our democracy. Jason Foster, Associate Professor, Human Resources and Labour Relations at Athabasca University, explains the implications for unionized workers in the first of a two-part blog series.
Women in Alberta are suffering the triple blow of bearing the brunt of the governing United Conservative Party’s austerity agenda and the COVID-19 economic and public health crises. In this blog Ian Hussey makes the case for an evidence-based COVID-19 response and recovery plan for Alberta that includes feminist considerations, and makes some suggestions for what such a plan might include.
from guinea pigs to heroes (and back again?)
Jason Kenney has celebrated the life-saving contributions of medical lab professionals in Alberta but just a few months ago he discussed plans to privatize the province's labs and label lab workers as not "frontline" medicine. Rebecca Graff-McRae digs into the current work of medical labs in Alberta, their recent political history, and what might become of them post-pandemic.
Two meat-packing plants in southern Alberta have given rise to nearly one in six of Alberta’s 3400 cases of COVID-19. Athabasca University's Bob Barnetson and Jason Foster examine what went wrong at the two meatpacking plants, what it tells us about the inadequacy of OHS policy in Alberta and how the incidents could have been avoided.