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The UCP government is on a mission to change the landscape of higher education in Alberta. Cutting to the bone the operating budgets of universities and colleges is the most visible strategy used to advance their privatization agenda. But another front in this process—one that has been largely absent from the public debate—is how the UCP is aggressively using governance models in post-secondary institutions to transform them from within.
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.
A new report from Parkland Institute examines the UCP government’s privatization of Alberta’s medical lab services to DynaLIFE set to happen on July 1, 2022, as announced last week by Alberta Health Services (AHS). “The DynaLIFE deal rewards a large corporation and its shareholders over the current and long-term interests of Albertans,” says report author Rebecca Graff-McRae, a research manager at Parkland Institute. “It offers false economies, minimal savings, a smaller and demoralized workforce, a massive infrastructure deficit, and a fragmented system with little accountability.”
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.
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.
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.
Laboratory Services, Home Care, and Telehealth Under Austerity
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.
Last week Ernst & Young LLP released the review of Alberta Health Services commissioned by the UCP back in July. Parkland Institute research manager Alison McIntosh did a deep dive into the report and provides her thoughts on what the recommendations mean for health workers, Albertans, and the health care system as a whole.
United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney has presented his plans for dealing with wait times for surgery in Alberta, including allowing private clinics to bid for publicly-funded procedures. Ricardo Acuña looks at the evidence and history to show that we've already been there and done that.