Jason Foster is the director of Parkland Institute and an associate professor of Human Resources and Labour Relations at Athabasca University. Before becoming an academic, he worked as a policy analyst for non-profit organizations and spent more than a decade as the director of policy analysis of the Alberta Federation of Labour.
Jason is the author of Defying Expectations: The Case of UFCW Local 401 and co-author of Health and Safety in Canadian Workplaces.His research interests include workplace injury, union renewal, labour and employment policy, and migrant workers in Canada. He is committed to sharing research to as broad an audience as possible, so that it might contribute to policy change and making people’s lives better.
Alberta Charities to Lose Millions Under Bill 32: Survey Reveals Unions Reducing Support to Organizations by 38%research | Sep 19, 2022
The UCP government’s Bill 32 will cost Alberta charities millions in lost donations. Based on an extensive survey of Alberta unions, this study shows how the law’s ‘opt-in’ provisions — which took effect in August 2022 — will affect the non-profit sector.
Bill 32 Regulations Further Tip the Balance in Favour of Corporationsblog | Dec 21, 2021
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.
From Concept To Action—Implementing a Just Transition In Albertablog | Jul 30, 2021
The climate crisis, low oil and gas prices and accelerating automation in Alberta’s oil and gas industry has reignited decades-long pleas to diversify the province’s economy and has strengthened calls for a just transition.
Tipping the Balance: Bill 32, The Charter and the Americanization of Alberta’s Labour Relations Systemresearch | Jul 15, 2021
A new report shows that Bill 32: Restoring Balance in Alberta’s Workplaces Act (2020) moves Alberta’s labour relations environment closer to the U.S. model to the detriment of workers in the province. Many of the bill’s provisions touch upon rights enjoyed by all working people and all Albertans generally, and the bill has the potential to profoundly impact the direction of Alberta’s economy.
Bill 47 Pt. 2 - Less Compensation for Work-related Injuriesblog | Nov 12, 2020
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 Safeblog | Nov 12, 2020
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.
Increasing Employer Power at the Workplace: The Impacts of Bill 32 (Part 2)blog | Jul 21, 2020
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).
Taking Aim at Unionized Workers: The Impacts of Bill 32 (Part 1)blog | Jul 15, 2020
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.
In the Shadows: Living and Working Without Status in Albertaresearch | Apr 29, 2020
This report examines the lives of undocumented migrant workers living in Alberta. It discusses the results of a research study of 32 undocumented workers, outlines the circumstances that led to their loss of status, describes their work and living conditions, and explores their reasons for staying and their hopes for the future.
Cargill, COVID, and the failure of Alberta OHS policyblog | Apr 24, 2020
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.