Progress Report Pod #36: Alberta's most expendable workers

Filipinos in Alberta are bearing the brunt of COVID-19 in Alberta as outbreaks in meatpacking plants and continuing care facilities hit our province. Around 60-80% of the workers in the Cargill meatpacking plant, the largest workplace outbreak in Canada, are Filipino. And now they're feeling unfairly blamed because of the government's and even Dr. Deena Hinshaw's statements on the matter. We talk about this and the Healthcare for All campaign with Migrante Alberta director Marco Luciano. 

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Open letter to Travis Toews on AIMCo’s $4 billion mistake

Paul Walker is the former pension fund manager for ATCO. While at ATCO, he oversaw $3.1 billion in pension plan assets with responsibilities that included asset allocation, investment manager selection/monitoring, asset/liability/risk management, oversight of operational policies and procedures including legal, audit, tax and custody relationships. Paul is now the Principal of Premia Mgmt, a family office advisor. This is an edited version of a letter sent to Finance Minister Travis Toews by Mr. Walker. This letter is written on behalf of friends, family and colleagues who have pensions managed by AIMCo but who are unable to speak out.

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AIMCO's $4-billion+ screw-up

Progress Report #214
Your weekly update on Alberta politics fo
r April 28, 2020

If you’ve been wondering why teachers and other public sector workers are outraged that the UCP are handing control of their pensions to AIMCO, the Alberta Investment Management Corporation, there were plenty of explanations in the news last week.

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Progress Report Pod #35: AIMCo WTF

Learn how Alberta's most incompetent pension fund manager, AIMCo, vapourized $4 billion of pensioner's and Heritage Trust Fund money and how they've shovelled more than $1.1 billion towards likely to fail oil and gas companies with more than $3 billion in environmental liabilities. 

Our guest this week is Greg Meeker, former chair of the Alberta Teachers' Retirement Fund, and one of Alberta's most knowledgeable and outspoken commentators on pensions. 

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Opinion: Meatpacking plant outbreaks are a disaster and Dr. Hinshaw shares responsibility

I understand the love for Dr. Deena Hinshaw but her "mistakes happen" approach to the unnecessary meatpacking COVID-19 cases and deaths in Southern Alberta is shameful and requires serious reflection.

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Timeline: What we know about the Cargill outbreak

The Cargill Foods meat packing plant in High River, Alta. employs 2,000 people and is responsible for processing 4,500 heads of cattle per day, more than one-third Canada’s total. It is home to the largest COVID-19 outbreak in Alberta. Here’s what we know.  

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JBS meat packing plant at risk of 'even greater tragedy' than Cargill: Union

The largest meat packing plant in Canada, the JBS Food Canada facility in Brooks, Alberta, has reduced its operations from two shifts to one shift after a significant portion of workers refused to show up due to COVID-19 concerns.

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COVID denialism turns deadly in High River

Last week the NDP and UFCW 401 warned that a coronavirus outbreak was underway at the Cargill meat packing plant in High River, urging Cargill to immediately put the facility staff on paid leave and stop the spread of infection.

Jason Kenney and the UCP, siding with the plant owners over the plant workers, called these warnings alarmist and refused to act. UCP MLA Roger Reid, who represents the Livingstone-Macleod constituency that contains High River, ranted last Thursday that “the misinformation and fear-mongering being put out by the Leader of the Official Opposition is dishonest to hard working Albertans and denigrates the work being done by the Cargill facility to protect their employees.”

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How many pipelines can I get for these masks?

Jason Kenney’s poll numbers are in the tank thanks to his handling of the coronavirus crisis, and he’s reacting by getting more and more belligerent.

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Foreign aid for Montana

On Monday, Alberta’s COVID-19 emergency benefits program came to an abrupt halt.

Barely 80,000 Albertans were able to access the service in the brief time it was available. Applicants complained that onerous ID requirements delayed their applications--pushing many people to Monday and then shutting the door on them entirely. For several days the website was simply entirely offline.

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