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.  

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Rural towns seek relief in Thursday's budget; local bigots seek attention in weekend tiki torch rally

This Thursday the Kenney administration will table Alberta’s 2021 budget, and it’s looking pretty grim. COVID has absolutely ravaged provincial revenues and we can expect the UCP to use the staggering deficit they’ve racked up as an excuse for cuts to all sorts of programs and services.

But one file I’ll be watching in particular is municipal property taxes.

Sounds pretty dry from a distance, but there’s a crisis growing in the balance sheets of rural towns across the province and the Rural Municipalities Association is getting very, very angry.

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RMA threatens to name and shame deadbeat oil and gas companies with $245 million in unpaid property taxes

File this one under oil and gas not loving Alberta back. The Rural Municipalities of Alberta, an advocacy group representing 69 of Alberta’s rural counties and municipal districts, reports that oil and gas companies are refusing to pay about $245 million in taxes that they owe to towns, villages and hamlets across the province.

And their president is prepared to escalate matters further. “The RMA will name and shame these deadbeat oil companies unless this problem is fixed by the Alberta government soon,” said Paul McLauchlin, president of the RMA. 

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POD: Treaty Six Outreach, mutual aid and the anarcho-curious

Robert Miller and Tabitha from Treaty Six Outreach join us to talk about the grassroots, street outreach, mutual aid work their group does, the Edmonton Police kicking homeless people out into -30 degree weather and whether human beings are fundamentally decent or not. 

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Cops keep making an excellent case for defunding the police

Cops sure keep making an excellent case for why we need to defund cops. 

Let’s look at Gracelife Church. This house of worship has, over the past months, continually violated public health orders around occupancy, masking and social distancing. Every Sunday we get a new story saying that the church is once again holding a service, that it’s packed to the gills with very few people wearing a mask and that the RCMP and AHS are there, monitoring the situation. 

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