Alberta Minute: Labour Day, School Returns, and Major Spending Concerns
Alberta Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Alberta politics.
This Week In Alberta:
Today is Labour Day and we hope you're having a great long weekend. Alberta unions, however, have taken the opportunity to threaten strikes and other industrial action. We are, of course, fully supportive of the right for workers to *voluntarily* work together to achieve better conditions, but let's not forget that the union's main complaint is that Albertans will no longer be *forced* to fund their unions' political activities.
- The Legislature's summer break continues with the fall session not due to start until October 26th.
- There will, however, be a meeting of the Select Special Democratic Accountability Committee on Wednesday, but no agenda is available for the meeting yet.
Last Week In Alberta:
- Most Alberta students returned to school this week, despite complaints from the NDP opposition and teachers' unions. Some schools are remaining closed for a little longer, while homeschooling is always an option. Isn't it interesting though, that having spent months telling everyone to listen to the experts, these groups are perfectly happy to attack the experts now that it's convenient? For the record, the experts say: "research shows the risk of children spreading COVID-19 in classrooms and beyond is low."
- Several prominent figures highlighted the provincial government's lack of progress in fixing Alberta's finances with Red Deer Managing Editor, David Marsden, saying that the government "had a strong mandate to do whatever was necessary" and "squandered its opportunity." Danielle Smith also reminded everyone that even before COVID the budget was out of control with the 2019 deficit being revised up from $8.7 billion to $12.2 billion. When will the government finally cut spending?
- Speaking of which, the Canadian Taxpayers Federation released a new report suggesting Alberta reduce its labour costs to pre-NDP levels. Reducing the government's labour costs to 2014-15 levels, when the economic downturn began, would save about $3.5 billion a year. This would be a great start, but far more will need to be done to eliminate even just the pre-COVID deficit.
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