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A Thumb on the Scale

Alberta Government Interference in Public-Sector Bargaining

In 2024, about 200,000 public-sector Alberta workers will be negotiating new contracts. This report examines the ways governments, and specifically the Government of Alberta, interfere in public-sector collective bargaining. It also explores how this growing interference may impact the 2024 bargaining round. The report concludes by offering several options for how public-sector workers and their unions can respond to growing government interference, both at the bargaining table and through increased political pressure.

Failing to Deliver

The Alberta Surgical Initiative and Declining Surgical Capacity

Through Freedom of Information requests, statistical analysis, and a review of the research literature, this report evaluates claims made by the Alberta government about the effectiveness of the Alberta Surgical Initiative in reducing wait times and the role of for-profit surgical outsourcing. Based on the research evidence, the report recommends that the provincial government shift away from for-profit surgical delivery and fully commit to public system improvement.

Anger and Angst

Jason Kenney’s Legacy and Alberta’s Right

Anger and Angst: Jason Kenney’s Legacy and Alberta’s Right analyzes the UCP’s governance of Alberta, the driving forces behind their agenda, and the personalities behind them. Co-edited by Ricardo Acuña (Parkland Institute’s executive director) and Trevor Harrison (former director of Parkland Institute), the book critically examines the extraordinary years of the UCP's time in office up until 2023, a period that is arguably the most chaotic in Alberta’s political history.

Lights and Sirens

The Critical Condition of EMS in Alberta

This report explores the current state of affairs of prehospital emergency medical services in Alberta from the standpoint of those who live it, experience it, and breathe it on a daily basis — the paramedics. More specifically, it outlines findings from a study that explored how COVID-19, the overdose crisis, and other factors have impacted EMS in the province of Alberta. The report aims to give voice to those who work on the front lines of emergency medical services, a voice that has been absent from how policy in Alberta is informed and developed.

No Worker Left Behind

A Job Creation Strategy for Energy Transition in Alberta

The Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) recently published an industrial blueprint on how to create 200,000 energy jobs in Alberta as we build a sustainable economy by 2050. This report weaves together key points of the AFL’s plan with insights from financial institutions and policy research groups, as well as contextualization and information provided by Parkland Institute’s February 2022 conference, “Implementing a Just Transition.”

Job Creation or Job Loss?

Big Companies Use Tax Cut to Automate Away Jobs in the Oil Sands

This report explains how the four biggest oil sands companies received $4.3 billion in tax cuts from the UCP government since 2019 through the so-called Job Creation Tax Cut, while at the same time eliminating thousands of employees from their payrolls. The research shows the Big Four used the tax giveaway to increase executives pay and boost cash transfers to shareholders, while accelerating automation and cutting jobs.

Alberta Charities to Lose Millions Under Bill 32

Survey Reveals Unions Reducing Support to Organizations by 38%

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.

Finance in the Fields

Investors, Lenders, Farmers, and the Future of Farmland in Alberta

Alberta has over 50 million acres of farmland. What happens on this land? Who owns it? Who can access it? Most of all, why are land relations structured the way they are? And what are the current impacts of these land tenure dynamics and their implications for our future?

The answers to these questions are political, and we urgently need to face them together. This report draws on publicly-funded qualitative research conducted from 2019 to 2020. It seeks to contribute to a vibrant path forward for rural Alberta.

Higher Education - Corporate or Public?

How the UCP is Restructuring Post-Secondary Education in Alberta

The United Conservative Party (UCP) government has, from 2018 to 2022, cut the operating support budget for Alberta’s PSEIs by 18.8%, resulting in a trail of destruction across the province’s universities, colleges, and technical institutes. This report addresses two questions. First, we ask what the agenda and actions of the United Conservative Party government of Alberta mean for higher education and research. Second, we ask how institutional factors explain the sector’s lack of autonomy and ability to resist the corporatization agendas of governments.


Privatization and Disruption in Alberta’s Medical Laboratory Services

Drawing from financial data, lab professionals’ experiences, and hundreds of pages of files obtained through a freedom of information (FOIP) request, this report examines the serious implications of the UCP government’s plan to contract out the majority of Alberta’s medical lab services to a single for-profit corporation — DynaLIFE.

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