March 2015: Sign the BWA petition; BWA campaign turns a mirror on Tory mismanagement; Looming TFW deportations highlight inhumanity of program
Sign the Better Way Alberta petition
The Better Way Alberta coalition is urging the government to fix the province’s broken revenue system. And we’re asking you to sign our petition. Join the thousands of Albertans who have already signed, and help be part of the solution.
We the undersigned residents of Alberta, petition the Legislative Assembly to ensure there is enough money to pay for necessary public services like education and health care by introducing tax and royalty reforms that include the following measures:
- increasing the tax on corporate profits to a rate that is closer to the national average;
- replacing Alberta’s flat income tax with a progressive tax that requires high-income earners to pay higher tax rates than middle and low-income earners;
- and introducing royalty changes that ensure Albertans receive a fair share from the sale of their resources.
You can sign the petition online at www.BetterWayAlberta.ca or in person at the Alberta Federation of Labour offices (Parkington Plaza, #300, 10408 – 124 Street NW, Edmonton, AB T5N 1R5).
Better Way Alberta campaign turns a mirror on Tory mismanagement
Over the next few weeks, voters will be hearing from the Better Way Alberta campaign, showing them that there are sensible, moderate measures that can help ensure the long-term financial stability of the province.
The province-wide campaign will consist of a central website and petition; a radio and online advertising campaign; a direct-mail campaign to every household in Alberta; and a door-to-door campaign in which canvassers will have face-to-face conversations with Albertans about the Better Way Alberta campaign.
“Who created the current budget mess? It’s time for Premier Prentice and the Tories to look in the mirror,” says Alberta Federation of Labour President Gil McGowan. “We’re not facing a budget crunch because of anything individual Albertans did. The real problem is that successive PC governments have blown holes in the revenue base we need to fund education, health care and other services that Albertans rely on.”
According to the government’s own numbers, Alberta could increase the amount it gets from taxes by $11.6 billion a year and still have the lowest taxes in Canada. Most of that $11.6 billion that is going uncollected by Alberta’s inequitable tax code is being left in the pockets of the province’s richest individuals and most profitable corporations.
“If we’re all in this together, as Premier Prentice says, why should corporations and the wealthy get a free pass?” McGowan said. “And why should ordinary Albertans pay for the mistakes of politicians again?”
The campaign was created by a coalition of the Alberta Federation of Labour, United Nurses of Alberta, the Health Sciences Association of Alberta and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (Alberta Division). Visit www.betterwayalberta.ca for more information about the campaign, or to sign the petition calling on the government to reform its revenue system.
Looming Temporary Foreign Worker deportations highlight inhumanity of program
Thousands of vulnerable Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) are facing deportation.
On April 1st, thousands of work permits will expire, and the workers who hold those permits will be forced to leave. They and their employers were not allowed to renew those work permits because the government tightened the rules on the Temporary Foreign Worker program.
“The Temporary Foreign Worker program needs to be reined in, but without affecting the workers who are already here,” AFL president Gil McGowan said. “There should not be any more TFW permits for low-wage employers, but the workers who are already here should have been allowed to stay.”
There are more than 70,000 Temporary Foreign Workers in Alberta. The province has the highest percentage of its workforce composed of Temporary Foreign Workers of any jurisdiction in the country. In particular, it is in Alberta where low-wage employers have made the most aggressive use of the program in an attempt to drive down wages.
Did you know…
- Even before the price of oil crashed, revenue generated from Alberta’s shrunken taxes on personal income and corporate profits covered only about 40 per cent of the cost of public services, compared to about 60 per cent in other provinces.
- Women working full-time only earned 63 per cent of the annual average salary their male counterparts earned in Alberta.
Alberta’s spending is $9,786 per person on public services — $434 less than the national average, despite the fact that cost-of-living is higher here.
• March 21: International Day for the Elimination of Racism
• April 16-19: AFL Convention “Dream No Little Dreams”
• April 28: International Day of Mourning for Workers Injured or Killed on the Job