Progress Report Newsletter #225: Lethbridge cops making a strong case for abolishing the police

Two Lethbridge police officers illegally surveilled NDP MLA Shannon Phillips and followed and ran checks on people she met with after an informal meeting she had at a diner when she was a cabinet minister. 

The reason why these cops were engaging in illegal political surveillance and abuse of their powers? Because they were pissed off that they might not be able to take their ATVs where ever they pleased in a new park that Phillips created when she was environment minister. 

The details of this came out in a police disciplinary hearing that concluded yesterday. The only sanctions these two cops faced? A temporary demotion.

If the cops can get away with this with a simple demotion our very democracy is at stake. Either they are fired for this illegal and corrupt political surveillance and intimidation or we live in a police state.

To his credit Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer immediately initiated an investigation by ASIRT to see whether these cops broke the law. But frankly we don't have very much faith when cops investigate other cops. 

That is why the we must organize around defunding, abolishing and replacing the cops with new and better institutions that keep us safe. 


The long awaited (and illegally delayed) update on the status of the Heritage fund happened. It's bad. The fund is down nearly $2 billion in value. For 2019-20 the annual rate of return for the Heritage fund was negative 5.1 per cent.

The now-famous volatility strategy was responsible for $411 million of that loss. And it's worth pointing out that money is gone forever, there's no equity or bond or anything of value that could go up over time, that's just money out the door paid to the party on the other side of the trade. 

But the executives at AIMCo continue to bravely soldier on despite being incredibly incompetent at their jobs. CEO Kevin Uebelein took home $2.8 million in total compensation in 2019. Chief investment officer Dale MacMaster took him $2.9 million. 

It's also worth pointing out that regardless of the results of next year (and they're likely to be bad again) that the compensation for AIMCo executives is likely to continue to rise. This is because total funds under management is an important factor used in calculating executive pay and it's expected the Alberta Teachers' Retirement Fund (and its $18 billion dollars) will be fully under control of AIMCo by the end of next year. 

Heads they win. Tails you lose. 


The Edmonton CFL team continues to blunder through the process of changings its racist and insulting name. With news that the Washington NFL team was changing its name as well as two important corporate sponsors issuing an ultimatum to change the name the team responded by putting out a ridiculous push poll of a survey. What the point of the survey was I have no idea. What level of support from people taking the survey would justify keeping the name? 

Regardless we've launched a campaign in concert with local Inuk writer and research Norma Dunning to put pressure on the Edmonton CFL team's corporate sponsors. With one email you make a simple demand of 36 separate corporate sponsors of the Edmonton CFL team – change the name or end your relationship with the club.


Jim didn't end up responding to treatment and had surgery last week. He's recovering and expects to be back to work in a few weeks. If you have any ideas on what we can get Jim to welcome him back please reply with your ideas. 

We still haven't pulled together the time to respond to the Edmonton Police Service about whether they believe we're real media yet but we should be responding this week.