Progress Report #214
Your weekly update on Alberta politics for 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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.”Read more
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.Read more
Jason Kenney just committed the biggest mass layoff in Alberta's history in the middle of a pandemic. It's the kind of cruel and contemptible behaviour we've come to expect. To help us process and understand the fallout from the brutal decision to fire 26,000 education workers we have Edmonton Public School Board trustee Bridget Stirling on the pod.Read more
Buried in legislation that was passed last fall by the UCP is a provision that means people will see far less cash from their defined benefit public sector pensions if, for whatever reason, they leave or cash out their pension.Read more