Too often the budget dialogue in Alberta is dominated by shrill, kneejerk calls for cuts. That's the dialogue that takes place in the mainstream media and among some of the business and political elite. However, it's isn't representative of what Albertans think.
Danger Workers at Risk: New research reveals Alberta's dismal record of under-funding workplace safety
Alberta is one of the most dangerous places in Canada to be a worker. Our province consistently records more workplace deaths than the national average. As a proportion of our overall labour force, we have more people working in dangerous occupations and industries than other provinces.
Whether it's the best of time or the worst of times, the public sector is vital to the health of Alberta's economy and society.
Worse than the Recession?: How government budget cuts could kill more Alberta jobs than the recession
Just as the recession appears to be lifting, the Alberta government is moving toward spending cuts. Instead of maintaining its spending over the recession and adding stimulus, as leading economic commentators recommend, it is going backward to the Klein-style cuts of the 1990s. Released January 25, 2010.
As the current recession continues, Canadians across the country are discovering that their insurance system - Canada's Employment Insurance (EI) system - isn't delivering on its promise. Significant changes must be made to EI to make it into the insurance plan it should be - one that protects those workers who pay into it from suffering the temporary deprivations that come with layoffs.
The emerging cooperation between labour and environmental groups is flipping the traditional story, and creating a new way to see the environment and the economy. People get it. They understand that you can have a clean environment and a strong economy, and they like the idea of governments pursuing policies that will lead to the creation of green jobs.
In November 2007, the AFL Temporary Foreign Worker Advocate released "Alberta's Disposable Workforce" which examined the working and living conditions of temporary foreign workers in Alberta, documenting serious exploitation and abuse at the hands of employers and the government. In the months since, a lot has changed in Alberta, but much has stayed the same. The exploitation of foreign workers continues, even though the context has shifted significantly. With the boom turned to bust, it is important to update Albertans on the state of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).
Lost Down the Pipeline: In these difficult economic times, is the Alberta government doing enough to keep value-added oil-sands jobs in Canada?
The real question now is: will we learn the lessons of Lougheed and embrace a more aggressive role for government in the oil sands, or will we stand idly by while the "market" decides to send our jobs and opportunities down the pipeline?
The AFL believes that Albertans need to be clear about where we want to go and what tools we need to get there. With a clear vision and a clear plan, we are convinced that Alberta can move "from good to great" and transform itself into one of the most prosperous and progressive jurisdictions in the world.
An analysis of the 123 files handled by the Advocate reveals a troubling picture of how Alberta is treating this group of workers. Quite frankly, we are exploiting their vulnerability and taking advantage of their precarious position.