Alberta’s legislative assembly is back in session and the UCP’s brief break from scrutiny in the house is over. One file in particular they’re taking a beating on this week: their plan to scrap and replace Alberta’s school curriculum.
The fight over the curriculum has been aggravating since the start. During the last election, the UCP alleged that the NDP were trying to turn Alberta’s schools into hubs of socialist indoctrination—cool, yeah, sounds great, don’t threaten me with a good time. But the word allege is doing a lot of work there. Alberta’s curriculum revamp project had been ongoing for years, had just as much if not more work done on it under the old PC government, and certainly wasn’t part of some red plot.
As you might imagine, attempts to solve a fictional problem aren’t going well. The replacement curriculum that the UCP have come up reads like a cut and paste of the most regressive, right-wing homeschooling material you’ll find in the United States (and no surprise there, because portions of it literally are cut-and-pasted.) Dozens of school boards, responsible for nearly 90% of all of Alberta’s kids, are refusing to participate in the curriculum pilot program.
Last week, delegates at the Alberta Teachers’ Association annual assembly signalled the teachers’ disgust with the sham curriculum too. Hundreds of delegates representing the 55 union locals in the ATA voted overwhelmingly to send a (symbolic) motion of non-confidence in the minister of education, Adriana LaGrange. And near-unanimously they voted to denounce the curriculum, too.
Even the few people the government was able to talk into voicing support for the curriculum are walking back. Janet French with the CBC interviewed several validators from Indigenous communities who the UCP had held up as supporters and found that overwhelmingly they, too, are rejecting the project. Some Indigenous leaders even allege that the UCP manipulated them and misrepresented their support; Lubicon Lake Chief Billy-Joe Laboucan says the UCP misconstrued his position and used him as “token Indian.”
The Kenney administration continues to barrel ahead with its plans to implement their new right-wing teaching plans despite the criticism. For their part, Notley and the opposition NDP pledge that if re-elected, they’ll throw the whole thing in the garbage.
Premier Kenney is set to announce the province’s reopening plan today. With fairly good vaccine coverage and hot weather on the way, hope might be in sight. But local physicians are warning that reopening too much too soon will throw us into another wave—and our ICUs still haven’t recovered from the last one.
Never able to pass up the opportunity to be completely obnoxious, the Edmonton Police Association proudly flew a ‘thin blue line’ flag at their headquarters on the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder yesterday.
Former PC MLA Donna Kennedy-Glans, who turned on the other former PCs to assist Kenney in his takeover of the party, alleged last week that Steve Allan regrets taking the gig as commissioner of Kenney’s anti-environmentalist inquiry into ‘foreign funded radicals’—though energy minister Sonia Savage denied this in the legislature on Tuesday. They’re not the only ones getting uncomfortable with that tire fire. Vivian Krause, whose articles alleging the foreign funded radical conspiracy more or less kicked this whole thing off, now says there isn’t actually any evidence of a conspiracy between environmentalists and American oil interests to landlock Alberta.
- What’s there to do about Alberta’s awful pandemic response except get mad about it? Our friends over at the excellent Alberta Advantage podcast have some ideas.
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