As Alberta’s economic engine falters, now is a good time to rethink the province putting all its eggs in bitumen’s basket.
When their crops failed, Alberta’s farmers had the pluck to persevere. There’s always next year. That resilience in the face of adversity served them well. But a next-year-country optimism is misplaced when applied to Alberta’s unconventional oil.
The agricultural industry has among the highest fatality rate of any occupation in the country, and farm workers face higher risk for a range of occupational cancers. Despite that reality, the Alberta government continues to exclude tens of thousands of Alberta farm workers from the provincial workers’ compensation system.
The recent capitulation of Danielle Smith and eight of her Wildrose party colleagues to the governing Progressive Conservatives can only be understood by decoding the meaning of conservatism in Alberta and the political purposes that construction serves.
Few ever heard of an obscure problem called “deferred maintenance” before Journal reporter Keith Gerein’s groundbreaking five-part series Condition: Critical. Thanks to the scope and calibre of his reporting, Albertans are now aware of the backlog of necessary and overdue work needed to properly maintain tens of billions of dollars worth of publicly owned schools, colleges, universities, highways, bridges, waterworks, laboratories, office buildings and hospitals.
The Saskatchewan government maintains that their proposed privatization of the province’s liquor retailing system will not result in diminished government revenues. However, a new joint study by Alberta’s Parkland Institute and the Saskatchewan Office of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives demonstrates that even with the existing mark-up and taxation regime in place, the government stands to lose millions in potential revenue under a privatized liquor system.
People vs Profiteers – November 21-23, University of Alberta
Parkland Institute’s annual fall conference this year will seed to address why, at a time of remarkable wealth production, the money seems to be skewing in very particular directions, and away from workers, women, visible minorities, the disabled, and the poor and towards a small minority, and what can and should be done about it.
A new fact sheet released this morning by the Parkland Institute finds that Alberta’s new energy regulator, the AER, will do very little to improve Albertans’ abilities to have a say in how the province’s energy resources, particularly its massive bitumen deposits, are developed.
The Harper government’s recently proposed prostitution law has been widely condemned as unworkable, unconstitutional and hazardous to those working in the sex trade; that it is, in short, bad policy. To criticize the Harper government on policy grounds, however, is to miss the point that it is not actually interested in sound, rational policy. Its sole interest is staying in power.
Earlier this month, Josh Bilyk, president of the Alberta Enterprise Group, wrote an op-ed piece critiquing Public Interest Alberta’s efforts to advocate for fair reforms to our province’s personal and corporate income tax systems and to discuss with Albertans how additional revenues could be used for the public good.
New study says strong correlation with better wages, improved workplace safety, and greater equality
A new study released this morning by the Parkland Institute recommends that the Alberta government should step back from its current moves to reduce unionization and restrict collective bargaining, as labour unions play an important role in improving wages, improving workplace safety, and reducing inequality across the province.