Report: Architect of Alberta’s anti-harm reduction, abstinence-only addictions treatment regime forced recovery patients to do political campaigning

Marshall Smith, the chief of staff to Associate Minister of Mental Health and Addictions Jason Luan and a key architect of the “Alberta Model” of abstinence-only addictions treatment, reportedly forced people in recovery to phone bank for his political candidate of choice in one of his previous roles. 

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Kenney’s catastrophic failure in dealing with COVID is not the fault of Indigenous people

Jason Kenney continued his bad habit of blaming others for his catastrophic mishandling of the third wave of this pandemic by making racist, “anti-indigenous” comments regarding vaccinations in northern Alberta on April 26th

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Putting all our eggs in the vaccine basket

The regional municipality of Wood Buffalo—the north-eastern chunk of Alberta containing Fort Mac—has declared a state of local emergency.

There’s only one hospital in Fort McMurray and its ICU is already full. The schools are all closed. The virus is ripping through the ‘man camps’ in the area where oil sands workers live; over a dozen work camps in the RMWB are reporting outbreaks. 

It’s the worst hotspot in Alberta, with a rate of over 1300 cases per hundred thousand people. And Alberta itself is the worst spot in the country. At over 450 cases per hundred thousand, Alberta is even worse than Ontario, where Doug Ford has already taken the desperate step of calling in the military to work at hospitals.

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Orphan wells, $18 billion in federal subsidies and W. Brett Wilson

Julia Levin of Environmental Defence joins us to talk about her recently released report that dives into just how much financial support the fossil fuel industry squeezes out of the federal government and we also have Jeremy Appel on to discuss his investigative deep-dive into the 16 orphan wells famous rich guy W. Brett Wilson was able to dump on the public. Would it surprise you to discover that these two are connected? Listen to the pod to find out how. 

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It's time for a people's lockdown

How can we protect our communities from the third wave of this pandemic when our own provincial government won’t take it seriously? Maybe it’s time we learned something from the anti-maskers. 

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The definitive guide to W. Brett Wilson's orphan wells

When Forent Energy, a floundering oil and gas company, and its former chairman and its single largest shareholder, minor Calgary celebrity W. Brett Wilson, were given an environmental protection order from the Alberta Energy Regulator, they didn’t clean up their mess—instead Wilson dumped 16 wells on the Orphan Well Association, leaving millions of dollars of liabilities to the public to pick up for him.

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POD: GraceLife, carding, and Madu

Ubaka Ogbogu, a law professor with the University of Alberta, joins us to discuss the monster Jason Kenney has created with Gracelife church, carding legislation introduced by the UCP, Justice Minister Kaycee Madu's extraordinary and now-deleted statement about him and much more. 

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A revolting caucus

Is a revolt underway in the UCP caucus? That’s been the prevailing media narrative for the last week, but the true situation may not be so clear.

Things kicked off last week when sixteen UCP MLAs released an open letter declaring that they opposed Alberta’s insufficient, mildest-in-Canada COVID restrictions. The ranks of dissenting MLAs have since grown to eighteen, robbing me by one of a very easy-to-write headline for this week’s newsletter.

The list has all the names you’d expect, including MLAs Jason Stephan and Tracy Allard, who ignored Dr. Hinshaw’s guidance and took vacations out of the country over Christmas, and the perennially wrong about everything Drew Barnes, most recently in the news for trying to evict tenants during the pandemic. For the most part, the dissenters are from the former Wildrose part of the party.

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POD: 14 ways to make Edmonton safer for all

Rob Houle and Irfan Chaudhry were both a part of a task force started by the city of Edmonton as a reaction to wide-scale calls to start fixing the problem of racist, violent policing last summer. The task force's report has been submitted to council. We talk with Rob and Irfan about the report's findings, recommendations and how the only thing that really matters in the next municipal election is what a candidate is willing to do on the police budget. 

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Hallelujah! GraceLife is closed, finally

After months of repeated, flagrant violations of public health orders, GraceLife, the church outside Edmonton that has been making a big show out of breaking the rules, has finally been shut down by Alberta Health Services. Fence went up around the premises this morning.

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