Desperate for positive job numbers, Kenney has started just making them up
It’s been a rough week for employment in Alberta, though that’s not what you’ll hear from the Premier. Cenovus is laying off over 1000 workers this week in the wake of its acquisition of Husky Energy. Production at Cenovus is going up, way up—but these days they don’t need as many people to do it. Great news for shareholders, not so great news for families in and around Calgary.
Similar story over at Shaw, which is shuttering its head office in Calgary after being bought out by Rogers. All the tax breaks the UCP could come up with couldn’t keep them here. Rogers is promising to increase, not reduce, the size of its workforce, but then they’re saying that our cell phone bills aren’t going to go up either. I’ll leave it to you whether you’re as skeptical there as I am. Premier Kenney isn’t; incredibly, he’s saying that two of Canada’s only four big telecom companies merging into some Akira-style blob is going to help diversify the economy. (If you’re keenly interested in the subject of Canada’s telecom cartels, I recommend this recent episode of the Alberta Advantage podcast.)Read more
Looting the dregs: SanLing Energy’s suspension is a sign of oilpatch rot
On March 5 the Alberta Energy Regulator suspended the operations of SanLing Energy, a small Chinese-owned oil and gas company. Five years of regulator incompetence (or malfeasance) saw bankers and oil and gas executives get rich while the citizens of Alberta were left holding the bag, as the unpaid environmental debts of an unprofitable, dying industry piled up.Read more
‘A kick in the ass.’ Evidence of managers getting preferential vaccine access over frontline workers piles up
Health workers in the Calgary area who were eligible for “lottery doses” of leftover COVID-19 vaccines had those privileges revoked by Alberta Health Services (AHS)—while managers were still eligible for the leftover vaccines.
POD: Public interest law, the limits of the courts and why we need to stop skipping leg day
Human rights lawyer Avnish Nanda and labour lawyer Adam Cembrowski join us to talk about Avnish's notable public interest law cases, winning and losing in and out of court with the Alberta government as well as a wide ranging conversation on the limits of the legal system when it comes to building power for social movements and the working class.Read more
Lawyer for Lethbridge police doesn’t believe cops who spied on Shannon Phillips can be fired
Police in our society are given extraordinary powers by the state. They are able to use violence with near impunity, they have the implicit trust of our justice system, and they have access to huge databases of information on us—information that a regular person would never have access to for obvious reasons.
That’s why the revelations in this CBC story about the unauthorized and illegal surveillance by the Lethbridge Police on MLA Shannon Phillips are so disturbing. When police start spying on, surveilling and harassing politicians and their supporters, that is an abuse of power that we simply can not let stand as a society.Read more
POD: Breezy for Mayor
Edmonton Public school board trustee Bridget Stirling and Speaking Municipally co-host Troy Pavlek join us to talk about the city council and school board elections in Edmonton coming later this year. With massive turnover coming to both institutions what are the races to keep an eye on and what kind of campaigns are we likely to see? And yes, two-thirds of the panel is on team Breezy Brian Gregg for mayor.Read more
Yet another kick-the-can budget for Alberta
If you expected that a historic, province-paralyzing pandemic might be enough to spur Alberta’s UCP government to change direction, think again. The 2021 budget is out and following the examples of many premiers before him, Jason Kenney is just kicking the can down the road.Read more
Business·Analysis: Technically speaking Jason Kenney's 2021 budget sucks ass
Duncan and Jim were in the budget media embargo and sifted through hundreds of pages of facts and figures, tables and charts, spin and counter-spin and came to this conclusion: the 2021 Alberta budget sucks ass. They break it down and get into the details in the latest Progress Report podcast.Read more
Jason Kenney’s budget continues to wage war on workers
What’s the worst thing you can do in the midst of battle?
Attack your own troops.Read more
The 10 things you need to know about in Jason Kenney’s latest austerity budget
When the NDP were in charge they did a pretty bad impersonation of the Lougheed-era PCs. Now with all of the damage wrought by the pandemic Kenney has been forced to do a very bad impersonation of the NDP.
There’s very little public appetite for the sort of huge cuts and austerity that Kenney and the UCP were planning to inflict this year, and you can tell that the government was trying to be a bit more restrained than they were last year. But only a bit. Spending on health, education and social programs are for the most part not going up, and for every example of a program getting slightly better funding, there’s one on another page taking a hit.Read more