Alberta Politics
While their negotiators were demanding wage rollbacks from nurses, Alberta Finance Minister Travis Toews and Premier Jason Kenney were in full campaign mode, all dressed up to visit a construction site in Hythe yesterday (Photo: Chris Schwarz, Alberta Government).

In what looks like a classic case of bargaining in bad faith, UCP Government demands additional 3% pay cut from more than 30,000 nurses

Posted on July 07, 2021, 1:30 am
8 mins

Alberta Health Services returned to the bargaining table with Alberta’s more than 30,000 public sector registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses yesterday for the first time since March 2020 with a new demand for a 3-per-cent across-the-board rollback in wages.

That’s on top of the more than 100 rollbacks to its collective agreement with United Nurses of Alberta that AHS and other public sector heath employers were already seeking.

The impact on the salaries alone for all UNA members employed by AHS, Covenant Health and three smaller publicly funded health care employers would be a 5-per-cent cut, much higher for many nurses with shift leadership, mentoring and public health responsibilities.

Alberta’s nurses are unlikely to find the finance minister’s arguments or cherry-picked numbers very persuasive (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

AHS negotiators also want the collective agreement’s salary appendix to say minus 3 per cent effective April 1, 2020 – although they said they wouldn’t ask nurses to pay back “overpayments.” 

Other changes demanded by the employers would push working conditions for Alberta nurses in some areas of the collective agreement back to the late 1960s.

“The UNA Negotiating Committee met with employers participating in ‘provincial negotiations’ which includes AHS, Covenant Health, Lamont Health Care Centre and Bethany Group (Camrose),” the union said in a terse statement on its website yesterday. “Employers now add a 3 per cent salary rollback to other rollbacks, such as the elimination of the semi-annual lump sum payments, reduced shift and weekend premiums, etc. This represents at least a 5-per-cent compensation reduction.”

A new demand like this made after the parties have already set out their opening bargaining proposals – months ago in the case of negotiations with UNA, which commenced in January 2020 – is generally considered to be evidence of bargaining in bad faith.

That is not changed by a statement published yesterday afternoon by Finance Minister Travis Toews in which he said, “We are hopeful that AHS and UNA will bargain in good faith to ensure health care workers are treated fairly, while being respectful of the province’s fiscal reality.”

And have no doubt that it is the government with which UNA is bargaining, not AHS.

UNA Labour Relations Director David Harrigan told the CBC yesterday that the union will file a bad-faith bargaining complaint with the Alberta Labour Relations Board. 

United Nurses of Alberta Labour Relations Director David Harrigan (Photo: David J. Climenhaga).

Whatever the technicalities of the employer-employee-union relationship, the Kenney Government is calling the shots for the employers, and the AHS bargaining team made it clear to UNA’s negotiators yesterday the instructions for the additional rollback came from directly the government. 

So in the end, the government didn’t even wait for the COVID-19 pandemic to be truly over before it declared war on the province’s RNs. 

Even though the government will insist, as Mr. Toews did, that this is just a matter of fiscal necessity and “we respect and appreciate the invaluable role they have played in helping the province emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” most of the province’s nurses will view it as a declaration of war. 

Remember, while Mr. Toews’s statement made much of the claim that, “on average, Alberta nurses make 5.6 per cent more than in other comparator provinces” and said “Alberta can no longer afford to be an outlier,” average weekly earnings in Alberta for all occupations are about 15 per cent higher than in comparable provinces. 

Alberta cabinet ministers, for example, are currently paid 15 to 22 per cent more than their counterparts in comparable provinces – a statistic that didn’t make it into Mr. Toews’s cherry-picked statistics. 

So if nurses are already making only five per cent more, as Mr. Toews says, arguably Alberta is getting a terrific deal. 

Declaring war on this key health care profession at a time where demand for registered nurses is high throughout Canada and worldwide doesn’t seem like a formula for fiscal success – especially if the government’s policy leads to a labour dispute, more retirements, or an exodus of nurses to other provinces, as is already happening with Alberta’s physicians. 

Last month, Global News reported that because of the national shortage of nurses, hospitals in Ontario are offering bonuses of up to $75,000 to new nurses from out of province who will sign up to work for them. Global said a shortage of 60,000 nurses throughout Canada is expected by next year. 

Indeed, AHS recently set up a provincial task force to discuss the recruitment and retention challenges it faces, especially in rural areas, and to consider measures such as monetary incentives to encourage nurses to remain in Alberta. 

Mr. Toews’s pleas for nurses to remember the fiscal situation of the province after the pandemic are unlikely to be very persuasive when they remember the sacrifices they made to fight COVID-19 while the UCP squandered billions on corporate handouts and lost $1.3 billion on a bet bad Donald Trump would win the U.S. presidential election. 

How the government gets the idea that goading predominantly female health care workers into taking job action will help either the province’s economy or its re-election chances remains a mystery. 

Perhaps it thinks it can provoke an inconvenient strike and then try to paint the NDP Opposition as being too close to public-sector unions. Maybe Premier Jason Kenney’s political advisors haven’t made a connection between the nurses they purport to admire and the unions they obviously hate. Or maybe they just don’t have a clue in a carload. 

Whatever it is, this doesn’t seem like a formula for the best summer ever, let alone whatever is supposed to happen in the fall! 

Full disclosure: As most readers of this blog know, I am an employee of United Nurses of Alberta. As it happens, I’m on vacation right now, so I found out about this the same way as almost everyone else – when I saw the first tweets yesterday afternoon on Twitter. DJC 

39 Comments to: In what looks like a classic case of bargaining in bad faith, UCP Government demands additional 3% pay cut from more than 30,000 nurses

  1. Just Me

    July 7th, 2021

    Premier Crying & Screaming Midget has to pay for his bets somehow. Why not demand more pay cuts, among the other cuts that are coming?

    I’ve noticed that all those destitute O & G companies are praying that the sudden spike in global oil prices means that Alberta is on the cusp of another oil boom. They say they can’t find anyone to work their oil and gas rigs because the past seven years have been disastrous for employment. All those ungrateful workers, leaving Alberta for better opportunities in B.C. and elsewhere. How dare they hate Alberta?

    But everyone should know by now that these booms are few and far between, and they are becoming shorter and short with each occurrence. Unlike Kenney’s thinking, which is become more and more predictable.

    He’ll get a bright idea (because he’s a big ideas kind of guy) blow a pile of public funds on it, losing it, and then demand others pay for his “de-risking” effort. I have a suspicion that he’s going to have more trouble selling that one these days.

    The dog days of August, after an underwhelming Stampede, will make for some interesting watching … if there’s a fourth wave.

    Mo’ popcorn.

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    July 7th, 2021

    The UCP are certainly mimicking their hero, Ralph Klein, who made nurses, teachers, and other Albertans pay for Ralph Klein’s very costly misdeeds. When Ralph Klein and the Alberta PCs didn’t get the oil royalty rates that Peter Lougheed was getting, and his tax policies were a sham, $575 billion in oil revenue was gone, and additionally at least $150 billion in tax revenue being lost, Ralph Klein had to use nurses and teachers in Alberta to pay for these very bad mistakes, and thousands of them were then laid off. Ralph Klein made the ridiculous claim that health care in Alberta was broken, and he wanted to privatize it. Under the UCP, more very costly misdeeds are happening. $10 billion that disappeared from corporate tax cuts isn’t there, throwing billions of dollars more onto the Alberta PCs Sturgeon refinery upgrader mishap, which has cost Albertans way past the $30 billion mark, losing $7.5 billion on an unsuccessful pipeline, among many, many other very expensive things, and nurses and even teachers in Alberta, once again, are also the ones who must compensate for this, in a bad way. Albertans can bet that the UCP wants to privatize health care in Alberta, as their hero Ralph Klein did, and this includes due to laying off a very large number of nurses in Alberta. Under Ralph Klein, many nurses had to relocate out of the province, and they will do so under the UCP. Where is the logic in this? It is puzzling how Albertans have been deceived by these pretend conservatives.

    Reply
    • D. Smith

      July 8th, 2021

      You forgot to add a couple things. First, some of that boondoggle you mention has been take out of nursing and other public sector pension plans. Second, somebody has to pay for all the corporate welfare the UCP has been doing.

      Reply
  3. !?

    July 7th, 2021

    Just so you know: one of Kenney’s 1st moves after stealing control of the pensions will be to eliminate portability. Are you a nurse who wants to leave a distopian hell hole? Kiss your pension good-bye.

    Reply
  4. tom

    July 7th, 2021

    “Perhaps it thinks it can provoke an inconvenient strike and then try to paint the NDP Opposition as being too close to public-sector unions. Maybe Premier Jason Kenney’s political advisors haven’t made a connection between the nurses they purport to admire and the unions they obviously hate. Or maybe they just don’t have a clue in a carload.”

    I pick option #3.

    Reply
  5. Bob Raynard

    July 7th, 2021

    Mr. Toews is correct about one thing – Alberta can no longer afford to be an outlier. Literally for decades, Alberta’s oil revenue gave its citizens a tax holiday, as we enjoyed many more benefits than we paid for. That oil revenue has pretty much dried up, and its time to face the fact that we need to pay more taxes. Pre-pandemic, most of Alberta’s deficit could be taken care of if we raised our lowest-in-the-country taxes to the second-lowest BC level.

    I really can’t see the already unpopular UCP winning a public relations war against the nurses.

    Enjoy your holiday, David.

    Reply
  6. ayeamaye

    July 7th, 2021

    Around and around we go. I remember when Ralph Klein was waging his scorched earth policy on Alberta’s health care system. At one point just before a provincial election with nurse’s ready to start job action Ralph suddenly caved on all the demands and then some, making them some of the highest paid in Canada ( after years of driving nurses out of the province). Why? Because it was politically expedient.

    This ” Rab Haw” of a leader we have and his UCP cohort are completely unfit to run this province, personally I don’t think we can make it to 2023. This is a slow moving train wreck.

    Reply
  7. David Bridger

    July 7th, 2021

    When most people in Alberta are making more than people in other provinces, It’s time for an Alberta sales tax. But that is no no for the UCP.

    Budgets consist of revenue and expenses. None of the other province is ever going to give up their sales tax.

    Reply
  8. Bret Larson

    July 7th, 2021

    Nurses unions would know all about negotiating in bad faith. What with advertising and the propagandizing during the pandemic along with the constant political attacks from their political allies. So I differ to your knowledge of such things. Doesn’t feel good does it?

    Reply
    • maximum

      July 8th, 2021

      I *defer* to your obvious expertise in gaslighting for the UCP. Actually, it feels great to *differ* with your wobbly thinking.

      Reply
      • Bret Larson

        July 9th, 2021

        Dipper propaganda during the pandemic hurt the response to the pandemic and affected the mental state of everyone in healthcare. If a government can’t negotiate for a better deal from government unions it’s time to get rid of them. Democracy’s can’t withstand people voting themselves money from the public purse.

        Reply
        • Rocky

          July 9th, 2021

          Brett, you should really do stand-up comedy!

          Reply
        • maximum

          July 9th, 2021

          Your gaslighting knows no bounds. What democracy truly can’t withstand is right wing, corporate kleptocracy and the low information supporters who go along with it!

          Reply
    • Alfredo Louro

      July 8th, 2021

      Then do what the nurses did: File a complaint with Alberta Labour Relations Board. Good luck with that.

      Reply
    • Anne Wilson

      July 8th, 2021

      It’s not about feelings, really. Nurses’ unions are professional and know how to bargain in good faith. It’s AHS (the UCP) that’s bargaining in bad faith. Nice deflection though.

      About the “advertising and propagandizing”, that’s progressive organizations having their say about so many UCP screwups. That’s democracy.

      Reply
    • Athabascan

      July 9th, 2021

      Hey Bret,

      I think you mean ‘defer” not differ. kuddatah anyone?

      Let’s hope you never need the help of a nurse in the near future.

      Reply
      • Bret Larson

        July 10th, 2021

        Yup, that’s always the response. They are taking care of you, you should be gratefull! Well I am, but I’ll be a whole lot more grateful for the service if I don’t have to spend my grandchildren’s piggy bank to receive it.

        Reply
  9. Neil Lore

    July 7th, 2021

    How Neoliberals corrode effective publicly funded measures such as health care and mass transit:
    1)Get elected to government.
    2)Use the powers of government to undermine the public health care system.
    3)Wait for the public to get angry that their health care isn’t working.
    4)Tell the public, “What do you expect? Government is bad at everything! We need to move this to the private sector because they get results.”
    5)Sell the remnants of the system to a lawful evil scumbag for a pittance.
    6)Live happily ever after.

    Reply
  10. Abs

    July 7th, 2021

    Village People cowboy: check. Village People construction worker: check. What will the man in the sleeves that are too short to be rolled up wear for Friday’s Stampede parade? A feathered headdress?

    All this cosplay might be a whole lot of fun. But please, can we have a grown-up for premier? One who understands that wages are earned, not “given” like a drunken sailor tossing $1.3B to the wind. One who understands that nurses (and other medical professionals) should not be punished for risking their lives for the people of this province during the worst pandemic in more than a century? One who understands that once money is paid out it is gone? He can no more take back more than a year’s worth of wages from thousands of workers than he can take back all that money paid to TC Energy.

    Is he planning to avoid the ensuing kerfuffle by drinking away his worries with his buddies on the Sky Palace roof? By revving up the old RV for another luxury stay at the Banff Springs at taxpayer expense?

    By the fourth wave, there will be no one left to provide the much-talked-about hospital capacity in many smaller centres in this province.

    And where is our guy Ty? Isn’t he still the Health Minister? Is he ticked off with Jason for running away with the security team at the Canada Day political rally? Ty once threatened to send the security forces after an ordinary Albertan. I guess they don’t work for him. That must be embarrassing. So much drama from these kids. It’s almost like high school.

    As they say on Twitter, open for summer, open for protests. Best. Summer. Ever.

    Reply
  11. Doug

    July 7th, 2021

    A great start and hopefully more to come. Kenney is running out of time and can’t afford delays in dealing with arbitration or the Labor Relations Board. This needs to be legislated ASAP to signal the other unions that this government is serious about addressing the deficit.

    Reply
  12. Dave

    July 7th, 2021

    Yeah, thanks for all your efforts, now here is a pay cut – bad faith indeed. I suppose if there was any doubt what the UCP would do after the pandemic crisis ended (the pandemic is really not quite over yet, but the health crisis part seems to be diminishing, hopefully), its back to business as usual for them – cutting and destroying things. Its like the vandals are back in power and to thoroughly mix my historical metaphors, they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing during the COVID interregnum.

    I suppose Kenney and the UCP always just saw COVID as an inconvenient event which delayed their implementing their agenda, which they are eager to continue and believe they have some sort of divine mandate to force through. Of course, they never really went into detail about things like their plans to stick it to doctors or abandon the Coal Policy in the last election, so claiming such a broad mandate was always a bit of a stretch.

    There may be some political support for wage restraint, but there is also a lot of the public that appreciates the difficult work done by health care professionals during the COVID crisis. Such a crisis also reinforces the importance of having a well functioning health care system and not damaging it by taking a ham handed and overly confrontational approach like UCP did with doctors.

    I think if the UCP had actually learned anything from its past mistakes, the Health Minister would have been replaced by someone more competent long ago, like the PC’s did when they messed up. The public is sometimes willing to forgive mistakes, but not those that don’t learn from them or don’t have the competence to manage better.

    Reply
  13. Scotty on Denman

    July 7th, 2021

    You got the “carload” exactly right. Light on math as the UCP has shown in spades economically—with a ton of Albertans’ money now blown on stupid investments and, now, on some too-little-too-late plan to induce nurses to stay in the UCP’s toxic atmosphere by way of a bidding war against opportunities to live and work in other provinces which need nurses and respect the work they do—and especially during an ongoing Covid pandemic—is as dumb as it is consistent for this renegade government.

    But light on politics is also as apparent. The party is less than one mandate old, initiated expressly to foil the preceding NDP government against which it now compares so poorly, a very foolish place to make an ideological stand when, so far, such has sunk the UCP and Jason Kenney to lower and lower lows and got them running, head off, into a losing a race against the shrinking calendar.

    It doesn’t look so mysterious: this is a very bad government of once-chuffed ideologues now banking on their shrinking ability to incite discord amongst their own citizens—the lowest thing any politician can do, especially when its sole purpose is to save their worthless butts. Are they worth saving?

    When any government tries to hoodwink voters by attempting to disguise partisan politicking as policy, it flirts with defeat. In the UCP’s case, that’ll probably make it a one-hit wonder. Judging by his safety harness, the K-Boy obviously fills his britches big—likely way too big to affect any economic or political calculus Albertans will endorse.

    Reply
  14. ART

    July 7th, 2021

    My wife is a RN that works for AHS. Her site,which has a very heavy workload, has a chronic problem (in spite of high levels of overtime) ensuring that there is enough staff. Sometimes Nurses are seconded to other sites who have no staff, leaving her with an even heavier workload. AHS has had little success with recruiting and retaining staff and several of the nurses are doing 16 hour shifts on a weekly basis. The high level of stress this causes, and the attitude of both AHS, (nurses have a higher workload in Saskatchewan) and this government towards health care workers makes retirement seem like the most prudent option.

    This situation is longstanding, getting worse, and not related to covidSars2.

    Reply
    • Neil Lore

      July 8th, 2021

      I’m not a nurse, but if I was, I would go anywhere but Alberta.

      Reply
    • Mike J Danysh

      July 8th, 2021

      The chronic problems in Alberta’s health-care system go back at least to Don Getty’s term as premier. In the mid-‘80s the price of oil dropped from around $22 per barrel to around $13 to 17. (Think about those numbers for a minute.) That’s when the government of Alberta lost forever its ability to buy anything it wanted—and pay cash.

      Getty’s mis-management of the cash crunch opened the door for Ralph Klein to rabble-rouse his way into the Premier’s office. We all remember how Ralph panicked everyone into supporting cuts to government services, with education and hospitals at the top of the list. (Social services were cut even harder—remember “buses to BC for welfare bums”?—but nobody cared except the poor who suffered directly.)

      Klein’s other contribution to our economic problems was to double- and triple-down on oil investment. The Crazy Years of 2004-2008 didn’t solve our problems, just masked them with a high fever. Nobody since has had the guts to tell the oil guys they built too much, too fast. Hence, we don’t have “not enough pipelines.” We have too damn much bitumen.

      Every Con premier since has played the same broken record. Wages (of unionized government workers EXCEPT cabinet ministers) are too high. Blame the unions! In Oilberduh, unions are an easy target. I tease my sister about this regularly—she’s worked in two companies that are partly unionized. Even though her (accounting) job isn’t union, she’s benefited regularly from union contracts whose terms were rather generously applied to office staff. But she suffers from the RepubliCon delusion that “unions are bad” because they cost the Boss more for labour.

      These attitudes of “unions are evil” and “God is Oil” combine in a blinkered mindset that’s locked our province into a classic banana-republic pattern. I see the U of Calgary has “paused” the bachelor’s degree in oil and gas engineering. There aren’t enough students who want to learn how to extract fossil fuels to sustain it. (You can still get a minor in O&G, though.) Instead, students want to learn about “energy” more generally, including geothermal and renewable sources.
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/university-of-calgary-engineering-1.6092648

      The times, they are a-changin’ yet again. We may be able to 1) get rid of Kenney & the Unhinged Contrarian Party and 2) modernize Alberta’s economy by winding down our addiction to fossil fuel extraction. We might even succeed before the rest of the world does it to us. Fingers crossed….

      Reply
    • jerrymacgp

      July 10th, 2021

      The most galling aspect of all this is that “conservatives” are supposed to believe in the free market and the laws of supply & demand … except, that is, when it comes to supply & demand of skilled labour — or any labour, in fact. Not enough physicians, nurses, or physiotherapists to meet the health needs of the populace? Well, maybe try responding to demand by raising prices, i.e. wages, in order to increase supply by attracting more of these skilled professionals from other, lower-paid jurisdictions.

      Or, increase supply by funding more university seats to educate more of them here at home — oh, wait, there aren’t enough with graduate degrees to teach, so that’s a longer-term strategy: we need to get more Master’s- & Doctoral-prepared nurses & allied health professionals to expand faculty numbers before we can start churning out new grads.

      No, let’s not do any of these things, because we don’t want to pay what the market will bear. Let’s oppress the hell out of them until those that can, bail to other, friendlier jurisdictions, while others with decades of experience just pull the plug on their retirements.

      Reply
  15. brett

    July 7th, 2021

    We have a baffoon as Premier. His UCP party members and the majority of his Cabinet ministers know it. So do the voters judging by the polls. Except for a few of the toadies. But…they are all in the clown car for the ride. All the while scheming on how to topple Humpty Dumpty and install their own person.

    People who live in other parts of the country are laughing at him, at us and they have pity for us poor Albertans. Not enough that the economy is in the toilet but we also have to suffer a Government of fools.

    Sure Mr. Shandro, rip up MD contracts while we have a severe shortage of physicians in rural areas that appears to be getting worse.

    So now we want discourage people from going into nursing programs in Alberta, discourage nurses from moving to Alberta, and encourage currently employed nurses to consider alternate career opportunities. While we have a shortage of qualified nurses in some areas of the hospital. Make sense? Not!

    What is odd is that this type of posturing is, and will, continue to hurt some of the UCP’s staunchest supporters. Those who live in rural Alberta and need access to health services.

    I believe that this short term contract posturing position will backfire. No surprise there.

    Reply
  16. Just Me

    July 7th, 2021

    So…PMJT shows up in Calgary to announce a significant investment of federal monies into Calgary’s Greenline transit project. There was this large media event, where PMJT was present, along with Mayor Nenshi, representing two of the three levels of funding participation.

    Premier Crying & Screaming Midget was noticeably absent. Of course, a press release went out stating that Kenney was too busy to attend, but he did meet with PMJT that morning. Wait. The part about the morning meeting between the PM and Kenney was through the PMO, not the UCP. It was also released that the UCP’s portion of the funding ($1.5B) didn’t come through until the eleventh hour, causing even more confusion.

    When you’ve got a Sky Palace to call home, why ever leave?

    Reply
  17. Mike J Danysh

    July 7th, 2021

    The ceasefire is over. The government has resumed hostilities in the War on Doctors. Reality be damned, the RepubliCons who infest the dome have decreed that it’s all the nurses’–and the doctors’–fault, so they’re gonna pay.

    We’ll see how well this goes over in the rural areas, when surgeries and emergency rooms have to close for lack of doctors and nurses. They’ve taken a lot of UCP crap over the last 2 years. Ontario’s Ford Con government isn’t much better, but a $60,000 signing bonus might be enough to convince many to give Kenney & the Klowns the middle finger.

    Reply
    • Mike J Danysh

      July 8th, 2021

      Oops, that was 60,000 nurses needed Canada-wide and up to $75,000 for a signing bonus. Either way, there’ll be another exodus of health workers from Oilberduh very soon….

      Reply
      • Bret larson

        July 11th, 2021

        That’s correct, they are welcome to discover better opportunities…,

        Reply
  18. Mike J Danysh

    July 7th, 2021

    Oh ho! So this is why Kenney was so eager to have a photo op with his nemeses, Naheed Nenshi and Justin Trudeau. Kenney is desperate for any good news that can distract from the dumpster fire of his policies.

    I note that Nenshi was barely restraining himself when he pointed out the sudden approval from Kennney’s government of the Green Line. Nothing like a visit from a (semi-)popular FEDERAL politician to prod the Cons into action.
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgary-trudeau-kenney-liberals-climate-1.6093032

    It still can’t disguise Kenney’s narrow-minded arrogance. Toews proved he can gaslight with the Master, but I wonder why nurses make only “5.6% more than comparator provinces,” when private businesses make about 15% more. I guess they’re using the wrong comparators.

    If “Alberta can’t afford to be an outlier” anymore, let’s see Kenney impose a 15% pay cut on himself and his cabinet ministers. Better yet–make it 22%. Best of all, let’s impose a 100% pay cut on Kenney and his fellow idiots in 2023.

    Reply
    • Just Me

      July 7th, 2021

      Only to add more hijinx to the raging dark comedy that is UCP Alberta, it seems that the only record of Kenney’s appearance with PMJT was in a video/photo-op provided to the CBC and Global c/o of the PMO. Okay, so Kenney didn’t get to call the shots on this photo-op. Tee-hee!

      It should also be noted that since the most ardent UCP cultists don’t watch the CBC (because they are convinced there are mind-controlling microwaves transmitted that will cause the viewers to run out and get that globalist nano-tech infested vaccine) so it’s likely they never saw their Dear Leader bump elbows with PMJT, rejoicing the funding of another infrastructure project that is not a pipeline. Kenney visibly avoided Nenshi because that much embarrassment would drive the man to dive even deeper into his mountain of cough syrup.

      To the Sky Palace!

      Reply
      • Mike J Danysh

        July 8th, 2021

        I see that CBC has replaced the original, extremely unflattering photo of (unmasked) Kenney’s elbow bump with (masked) Trudeau. At least in this one Kenney is recognizable. But he still looks really unhappy.

        Reply
  19. D. Smith

    July 8th, 2021

    You forgot one possibility in your musings on why on earth the government might be doing this: the far right visceral dislike of the public sector, and the need to destroy it anyway it can. It does not matter to them that there have been repeated failures with trying to impose private onto public (remember that attempt to contract out Home Care in Edmonton??).

    Reply
  20. AO

    July 9th, 2021

    If travis toews wanted to set an example of what it means “to be respectful of the province’s fiscal reality”, he should have spoken up on his first day as finance minister.

    Even as he wrongly accused the previous NDP government of having created a “structural deficit”, he blatantly ignored the STRUCTURAL DEFICIT his carpetbagger boss created by reducing the corporate tax rate from 12 per cent to 8 percent (in record time too……).

    In just two short years, this anti-Albertan regime has gambled multi billions on tax cuts, a couple of billion (perhaps much, much more) on a pipeline, cut deals in dark rooms to sell mountains to foreign corporations for peanuts while poisoning rivers, tried to sell off provincial parks and decided to charge Albertans to access these resources that are actually owned by the citizens (NOT the ucp), made no secret of their desire to privatize health care and any other government service that they are able to while bashing unions at every opportunity. They have failed miserably in providing jobs and opportunities for ordinary Albertans other than their own pals who appear to be compensated ridiculously well in proportion to services provided. (steve allen is an excellent example) kenney’s cabinet shuffling only managed to ensure than extra hundred of thousands of dollars would wind up in the pockets of ucp caucus members loyal to himself. There are no doubt numerous more examples that could be listed.

    When ‘public goods’ are anathema to a government in power, it is time for a general strike.

    Reply
    • Bret larson

      July 11th, 2021

      Please go on strike. Easier to lay off the correct actors that way. And of course, they are free to find better opportunities,

      Reply

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