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When the economy is down, and the money is tight, and a recession looms in the near future what would be the best course of action for the government of Alberta?  Apparently, firing 6000 people from their jobs is the correct answer according to Jason Kenny and his merry band of right-wing ideologues.   The raging boner the UCP has for austerity and the gutting of the public sector has never been more apparent.

Nearly 6,000 Alberta public-sector jobs could be eliminated as the UCP government tries to cut costs and find efficiencies, the provincial government signalled to Alberta’s largest union in letters released late Friday afternoon.

The union received the letters in advance of bargaining for 2020 collective agreements. The letters are not formal notices of layoffs, but as required under the collective bargaining process, outline cuts the provincial government might make.

The potential cuts would impact 2,500 Government of Alberta positions across several ministries, as well as the following positions at Alberta Health Services:

  • 1,000 to 2,000 housekeepers;
  • 350 administrative support and medical transcription employees;
  • 250 general support staff, such as maintenance employees;
  • 235 laundry and linen operations staff;
  • 200 auxiliary nursing employees, such as licensed practical nurses and health-care aides;
  • 200 home care services staff;
  • 165 foodservice employees.

“The [Government of Alberta] will continue to guarantee employment security until March 30, 2020, for permanent bargaining unit employees using attrition, vacancy management and redeployment to meet employer needs,” states a Thursday letter to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees from Alberta Public Service Commissioner Tim Grant.”

Because having 6000 fewer breaking even, paying their bills without assistance, and supporting the floundering local economy isn’t sound economic policy.

The mass layoffs will put people who have to use our health care system at risk.  Never fear though, these public employee’s may be partially replaced by private workers and companies who will charge more for the same job, while providing inferior service and products.

“If further contracting out initiatives are to be considered in future, we will advise as required,” the letter states.

“AHS will continue to consider all options available to meet our organizational needs including changes to staff mix, service redesign, including changes and repurposing of sites, relocating services, reducing or ceasing the provision of services,” it says.

Notley said it is clear the UCP government intends to further privatize public services.

“Albertans will pay the price for this. And again, it’s entirely unnecessary. This has gone from prudent fiscal management to an extreme ideological vendetta.”

The ‘fuck you, I’ve got mine’ crowd has been crowing about trimming the fat and reducing bloat in the public sector.  They never seem to connect the idea that the people working these jobs: nurses, teachers and those who support them, are more likely that not, providing services that benefit the fat trimmers.

See also the standard neo-liberal ploy of hollowing out public institutions, then decrying said institutions for not being effective, and then turning to privatization as the magical panacea that will fix the systems they just sabotaged.

The problem is that this strategy never works for the benefit of the end users – the public – as they inevitably will be saddled with less efficient, more expensive private services.  Who this benefits, of course, is the businesses and corporations who will make handsome profits while immiserating the populace.

Thank you UCP voters…

So the NDP lost the last election and the UCP has formed the new government in Alberta with Jason Kenney at the helm. Old news. So I’ve been pretty demoralized about this because I see a lot of bad shit coming. So I’ve decided to share it with everyone, here, in an ongoing series where I personally thank all the UCP voters for the shitty things the UCP are going to do to the people of Alberta; all the shitty things the UCP voters have done to Alberta. So without further ado, here we go!

  1. UCP cancels gay conversion therapy ban working group. Why? Because bigots love torturing gay kids. That’s it, that’s all. Just pure, unadulterated evil. It also comes as no surprise that Jason Kenney’s brother runs these torture chambers. Now to suggest that this is solely fueled by nepotism would be wrong. Because it isn’t. It’s fueled by nepotism and the party’s deliberate choice to cosy up with bigots (and electing one of them their leader).

So there is my first entry. Don’t expect this list to be exhaustive because I’m exhausted by all this. I will try and update with anything worthy of such a list though.

Source: Edmonton Journal

We will soon be having a provincial election and I for one, do not want to return to the dark conservative backwater Alberta languished in for some 40 odd years.  We have a New Democratic Party Government that, when situated on the political spectrum, comes up centrist or slightly left of centre.  In Alberta this is pretty heady stuff.  The UCP (United Conservative Party) is the cobbled up zombie corpse of the old Progressive Conservative party and the rural wack-a-loon Wild Rose Party (*shudder*).  It has been stitched together by a greasy re-baked federal conservative pol named Jason Kenny.

The defining feature of the zombie UCP party platform is that it’s *NOT* the NDP and its debt inflating, male emasculating, poor people centring democratic socialism (not the “s” word…*faints*).   In other words, these gormless fucks have sweet FA with regards to policy and what they would actually do if (’til now) they were elected to govern Alberta.  Not much other than “not what the NDP is doing”.   Sorry folks, the lame restatement of an antithesis is political weaksauce at best – but it might be enough to sway our lemming centric conservative voting populace, considering the rightward political leanings in this province.  Apparently many Albertans have been longing for a return to the 40 year the conservative seppuku our province has recently emerged from.  Social programs?  Protections for workers?  Government for the people?  Climate responsibility?

Fuck that pinko communist noise.

I digress.  The platform of the UCP is oozing out into the public’s knowledge and it isn’t pretty (see Ontario’s false populist doppelganger, Doug Ford for Kenney’s inspiration) .  Most of the platform portends a merry jaunt to back to lining the pockets of the rich while proclaiming austerity for the lucky ones and a relentless shitcanning for everyone else.

“Kenney said the UCP will hire people to draft orders in council for cabinet to adopt the week it’s sworn in if the UCP wins. One of the key elements of structural reform, Kenney said, “is to move quickly.”

“Speed creates its own momentum. It also makes it harder for the opponents of reform to obstruct it,” he said.

Kenney said he doesn’t want to get “bogged down” with public consultation, so his party is doing as much as it can now “on the big issues.”

You know all that legislation to protect the working class and benefit the poor.  It has to go.  Stat.  But more importantly we have to fuck the NDP’s social progress up with no debate, no consultation, and none of that fucking filthy democracy we fucking harp on when it comes to protecting business class interests and the rich.

“Kenney said the UCP would freeze minimum wage increases (the NDP recently increased it to $15 per hour). He would also consider restructuring the minimum wage to something that resembles the age-graduated system used in Australia, in which youth get paid less than adults.”

Because why pay young people reasonably?  Who thought up that shit?  Was it Stalin?  Because the young most certainly don’t need money to live or save toward pursing post-secondary education (which will most certainly be gutted during a UCP regime – we need more beer guzzling dullards not egg-heads for christ’s sake).  Screw the young people they vote for commies anyways, plus we can ratchet up poor peoples class antagonism so while they scrabble for the shiny pebbles we deem to throw their way, then we can continue the plunder-party for the corporate and business interests, as it rightfully should be.  Added benefit:  the poor will need to focus on mere survival instead of organizing for a just and equitable society…  so much winning for everyone.

“The UCP would appoint a minister tasked solely with decreasing regulations by one-third as part of an “aggressive process of … lightening the regulatory burden on the Alberta economy,” Kenney said. That minister’s work would be guided by a similar setup under former B.C. Liberal premier Gordon Campbell.

“We’ll be constrained in how far we can go in terms of fiscal stimulus because of the $8-billion deficit and pending $60-billion debt, so we will need to over-compensate on the regulatory side,” he said.”

You know that idea about the government representing the best interests of the people of Alberta?  That is about as red as Lenin’s underpants.  Oversight and regulations are for weak kneed socialist chumps who don’t know the true power of the dark side reckless capitalist exploitation.

Climate change?  Unions?  Checks on corporate power?  That malarkey needs to go, so much so that we’ll set up a supercharged “Fuck You I’ve got Mine” government ministry to expedite the whole fucking process.

Awesome!

“Kenney doubled down on his commitment to a well-resourced government “war room” to defend Alberta’s energy industry here and abroad, setting up satellite offices if need be.

He also pledged to “stop the statutory shutdown of coal.” Federal regulations passed under Kenney’s former government in 2012 would shutter most of Alberta’s 18 coal-fired plants. The remaining six have to close by 2030 under a deadline set by Alberta’s NDP government.”

You know that economic diversification program the NDP has been going on about?  Trying to (after 40 years of conservative dithering) wean Alberta off fossil fuel extraction dependence?  Let’s tear that initiative down.  No..  let’s burn it to the ground with…*thinking*…  COAL!  Because no UCP government policy says ‘we understand the implications of climate science‘ more than’ lets ROLL COAL ALL DAY EVERY FUCKING DAY.

Awesome!

“Kenney said he would consider appointing a fiscal commission to make recommendations on how to get back to balance without raising taxes. A UCP platform would include a “positive vision” for artists and the cultural industries, he said, but “there will have to be a period of fiscal restraint.”

Arts?  Culture?  If its not drinking buck-a-beer while watching the idiot box then you’ve come to the wrong place effete liberal beatniks.  Your highfalutin cultural activities have no place in at UCP province.   We have no need to talk critically about our culture and converse about our place in the world, that kind of thinking promotes democratic ideals and free thought and that shit is bad for business.

Seriously folks, the UCP is ahead in fundraising and in the polls.  It feels like Alberta is about to head back into the insipid MAGA zone.  I don’t want that to happen.  We’ve had a taste of what governing for the people is like, and should continue to support a government that isn’t solely on exploiting everything for the sake of the rich and business classes.

So how about it Alberta, can we not head back into the political dark ages, just this once?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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