2020 Year in Review: It was a year all right

Friends, 2020 was… not great. But it was also the first full year of existence of the Progress Report, our full-time media project, and there’s a lot to be proud of. Our small but mighty independent news site broke huge news, told stories that other media organizations wouldn’t touch, and hosted fearless conversations on our podcast. 

But before we get to the highlights we have one thing to ask. Can you become a monthly donor to the Progress Report and help us become financially sustainable? 

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Who benefits from the "Alberta Model"?

Jeremy Appel, the author of our recent investigative piece on the "Alberta Model" approach to the opioid crisis, joins the the Alberta Advantage crew and Garth Mullins, the host of Crackdown. They discuss Jeremy's piece as well as the wider sociological and ideological issues around the Alberta government's mishandling of the opioid poisoning crisis that has led to record amounts of death and destruction. 

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The Alberta Model: Who benefits from the Alberta government’s shift away from harm reduction to abstinence-only recovery

There have been 904 opioid poisoning deaths in Alberta in just the first 9 months of 2020, compared with 790 COVID deaths to date. There are two public health crises racking our province simultaneously but one of them doesn’t get a daily briefing and endless press coverage.

 And while the opioid crisis rages on Premier Jason Kenney and his United Conservative Party (UCP) have made good on their promise to support abstinence-only, privately-run recovery centres, cracking down on harm reduction programs while showering money on rehab facilities that lack oversight and public accountability. 

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POD: How do you solve a problem like regular COVID-19 superspreader rallies

Content creator king Abdul Malik joins us to talk about what is to be done about the lack of enforcement at COVID-19 superspreader rallies, Kenney's bizarre Xmas message, prominent Alberta columnists engaging in centrist fanfic and the little matter of the government of Alberta giving the NHL $4 million for a "unique partnership."

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Christmas comes early for Premier Kenney

Holiday celebrations are more or less canceled for most of us now, but it looks like Christmas has come early for Jason Kenney.

The federal Liberals have handed him two great gifts. First--a COVID-19 vaccine, which is being distributed to medical workers this week. Second--they’ve announced that the carbon tax will begin to increase, gradually reaching $170 per tonne by 2030.

They’re two things the Premier can talk about that aren’t his disastrous bungling of the pandemic response, and he’s wasted no time getting them in the message box.

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Here’s what Alberta got for the $4 million it gave to the NHL

The Progress Report has obtained more details on the $4 million sole-source contract for a “unique partnership opportunity” given to the NHL by the Alberta government during the Edmonton playoff bubble

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The government told us that they could reopen schools safely, they were wrong: Leaked memo shows 22 Alberta students hospitalized since September, 2 in ICU

On Dec. 3, 2020, Support Our Students Alberta, a public education advocacy organization, obtained a copy of an internal Alberta Health Services staff memo that states “Since September, 22 students from Alberta schools have been hospitalized for COVID-19 with two being treated in ICUs.” 

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Progress Report #245: How to read an Alberta poll

Before we get into the latest poll we have to make a quick ask, can you click here and become a financial supporter of the Progress Report

And just a quick aside before the pitch, thank you to all the people who just became monthly donors, thank you! And to the folks who can’t donate for a variety of reasons, don’t stress. We understand. Whether you can afford $5 or $25 a month we would really appreciate it. We are in the middle of a donor drive and we need to triple our donor base by the end of the month in order for the organization to be on more sustainable financial footing for the years to come. 

But it’s time for the newsletter. And it’s a great example of why you should donate. 

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Is Jason Kenney’s popularity sinking? Maybe, but here's why it might not matter come election time

The talk of Alberta’s chattering classes, when they’re not talking about the  devastating second wave of COVID-19 in Alberta, is recent polling that suggests Albertans are turning against Premier Jason Kenney. The narrative of the week is that his once-vanquished foe, Rachel Notley, might even re-enter the premier’s office as soon as 2023.

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Jason Kenney’s racist and dangerous scapegoating of the South Asian community only serves to distract Albertans from his incompetence

With record breaking COVID-19 cases and no way to blame Trudeau and Notley, Jason Kenney has decided to scapegoat the northeast Calgary South Asian community for his own incompetence. 

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