fbpx
Connect with us

News

AHS to lay off 500 nurses

Hundreds of Alberta nurses are set to lose their jobs, says the union representing them.

mm

Published

on

Hundreds of Alberta nurses are set to lose their jobs, says their union.

The news Friday has the United Nurses of Alberta calling for an emergency meeting with the health minister.

The UNA, in a release said “hundreds of front-line Registered Nurses and Registered Psychiatric Nurses will lose their jobs in massive downsizing planned by Alberta Health Services.”

The AHS – which employs more than 26,000 nurses – told the UNA they expected an “estimated” 500 full time jobs will disappear over three years.

The union said they were informed of the job losses Friday morning through AHS lead negotiator Raelene Fitz.

The elimination of that many RN and RPN FTEs, equivalent to over a million fewer hours of care, will mean more than 750 front-line registered nurses will be laid off, UNA President Heather Smith said..

“From the tone of what we were told, we believe this is only the first wave of layoffs affecting RNs represented by UNA,” Smith said, adding AHS officials were also scheduled to meet bargaining representatives from other health care unions Friday.

“There are also clear indications that AHS plans to shift many of the costs of health care onto Albertans require treatment.

“Premier Jason Kenney and other members of the United Conservative Party promised repeatedly during last spring’s election campaigns that the cuts they planned would not touch front-line health care workers. Participants at (Saturday’s) UCP meeting in Calgary might want to ask the premier about why AHS is moving ahead with plans to break his promise and lay off front-line nurses.

“We do not believe Albertans will support this plan, and they should tell the premier so.

“In light of the promises made by the government not to touch front-line health care workers, we will be asking for an immediate emergency meeting with Health Minister Tyler Shandro.”

The AHS, which received a $150 million budget increase in October said the cuts were necessary because of the growing and aging population in the province.

In a letter to the union, Fitz suggested the AHS would continue to look for ways to revamp the health system.

“AHS will continue to consider all options available to meet our organizational needs including changes to staff mix, service design including changes and repurposing of sites, relocating services, reducing or ceasing the provision of services,” Fitz said in a letter addressed to UNA Labour Relations Director David Harrigan.

At a business conference in Lake Louise, Kenney told reporters: “We’ve always been clear that getting our province’s finances back in order will require some reduction in the size of the overall public service, and that we hope to achieve that primarily through attrition. My understanding is that’s the goal of AHS management.”

Noting the $150 million budget increase Kenney added “there’s actually no overall reductions in the AHS budget. We’ve kept our commitment. But they do have to find efficiencies to deal with the growing cost demands that come from an aging population.”

Finance Minisster Travis Toews issued a statement Friday afternoon after the nurses’ news broke.

“The MacKinnon report clearly showed, the status quo is not a sustainable option. This means that some difficult but necessary decisions are required to ensure available funding is directed to the front-line services Albertans need most.

“These could include changes to staffing levels, aligning resources to areas where need is greater, as well as finding alternative ways to deliver services that would keep jobs in the Alberta economy,” the statement said.

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard. He has served as the City Editor of the Calgary Sun and has covered Alberta news for nearly 40 years. dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

News

Phillips appeals decision not to fire cops who followed her

The appeal said the decision “fail(ed) to recognize the severity” of the two officers’ actions.

mm

Published

on

Shannon Phillips, who as Alberta environment minister was watched and followed by members of the Lethbridge city police, is appealing a decision not to fire the officers involved.

The appeal, sent by Phillips’ lawyer, Michael Bates, to the Law Enforcement Review Board last week, said the decision “fail(ed) to recognize the severity” of the two officers’ actions.

It said targeting a cabinet minister for “personal political reasons,” should be enough to prove that neither is fit to be a police officer.

“I think public confidence in law enforcement was severely shaken in Lethbridge, and in fact across the province with the revelations of what happened,” the Lethbridge West MLA told the Star.

“I also think the public had a lot of questions about whether justice was seen to be done in this instance.”

Phillips had a Good Friday 2017 meeting with stakeholders involved in the Castle Mountain wilderness area.

As Environment Minister, Phillips made a controversial decision to limit access to the area, including the use of quads.

Sgt. Jason Carrier and Const. Keon Woronuk both had an interest in quadding.

Carrier was on-duty but on a meal break with two other officers when Phillips entered the Chef Stella Diner to meet informally with stakeholders, said a decision paper issued July 9 after an LPS internal investigation.

The decision said Carrier texted the acting sergeant Woronuk that Phillips was at the restaurant and sent him a photo. Woronuk arrived at the diner a short time later.

Woronuk also set up surveillance and subsequently following one of the stakeholders while running a police information check on them.

Woronuk found a nearby position of surveillance of the diner and Carrier took position at nearby parkade with a view of the diner, according to agreed facts entered at the hearing. Phillips eventually left the diner on foot.

“The intent of Const. (Keon) Woronuk to target an attendee of Minister Phillips’ meeting is truly troubling,” stated the hearing’s presiding officer Paul Manuel, a former Calgary Police Service inspector.

Woronuk later posted photos of the meeting on a Facebook page under the name “Mike Corps” which included identifying the stakeholders and, “was accompanied by a long caption criticizing Minister Phillips and her NDP government,” CHAT reported.

Phillips and NDP justice critic Kathleen Ganley called on Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer to order an independent, out of province investigation. Phillips said the investigation is needed to see if the corruption is “more broad” within the LPS.

Schweitzer called in the Alberta police watchdog, ASIRT to investigate.

Woronuk, a 19-year veteran, admitted to five charges under the Police Service Regulation including two counts of corrupt practice and a single count each of deceit, discreditable conduct and insubordination.

He was demoted from senior constable to first-class constable for two years.

Carrier, a 23-year veteran, admitted to discreditable conduct and neglect of duty and was demoted to senior constable for one year.

At the time, Phillips took issue with demotions being the outcome.

“That they can still drive by my house is not an acceptable penalty,” she said.

“I don’t feel safe…these people are still driving around in cruisers, who made a plan to follow me for political purposes.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

Continue Reading

News

Alberta experts fear Prussian fish attack in bodies of water

Nicole Kimmel, an aquatic invasive species expert with Alberta Environment and Parks, says the dangerous fish has been spotted in four Edmonton-area ponds.

mm

Published

on

The Prussians are coming! The Prussians are coming!

Prussian carp that is. And they could be on their way to killing a lot of Alberta’s native fish.

Nicole Kimmel, an aquatic invasive species expert with Alberta Environment and Parks, says the dangerous fish has been spotted in four Edmonton-area ponds.

Prussian carp

A species of wild goldfish, Kimmel said it’s believed the fish were dumped there by humans.

The government says if you catch a Prussian carp, you are to kill it immediately. Even being caught with a live one will result in a charge.

If you are found dumping the carp into a water body, you could be hit with a fine of up to $100,000.

Kimmel said if the carp is found in a body of of water a pesticide can be used to kill them.

She said the Blood First Nation had a carp invasion a few years ago and “the native fishery is already vanishing.”

Kimmel said the main plan of attack is to educate people not to dump their carp into other bodies of water.

“This should go without saying, but NEVER transplant a species from one area to another. Invasive Prussian Carp are incredibly harmful to surrounding aquatic ecosystems and there are steep fines for letting them loose,” said Environment Minister Jason Nixon.

 In Canada, Prussian carp has only been found in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

Continue Reading

News

Alberta brewery shocks Maori people by naming beer after their pubic hair

New Zealand TV presenter Te Hamua Nikora, a member of the Maori community, blasted the brewery on his FaceBook page.

mm

Published

on

An Alberta brewery has unwittingly offended the Maori people of New Zealand by naming one of its beers after their pubic hair.

The Hell’s Basement brewery in Medicine Hat used the Maori word “huruhuru” to name its “New Zealand hopped pale ale”.

Unfortunately, in the Maori language “huruhuru” means pubic hair.

New Zealand TV presenter Te Hamua Nikora, a member of the Maori community, blasted the brewery on his FaceBook page.

“Some people call it appreciation, I call it appropriation,” he wrote.

Nikora said he contacted the brewery to inform them of their blunder.

“Don’t call beer pubic hair unless you make it with pubic hair,” he said.

Brewery co-founder Mike Patriquin said in statement to the New Zealand news site RNZ he thought “huruhuru” meant “feather” and he didn’t realise it was a reference to pubic hair.

“We did not realise the potential to offend through our artistic interpretation, and given the response we will attempt to do better in the future,” he said.

“To those who feel disrespected we apologise. We also do not think pubic hair is shameful, though we admit it may not go well with beer.”

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter.com/nobby7694

Continue Reading

Sign up for the Western Standard Newsletter

Free news and updates
* = required field

Trending

Copyright © Western Standard owned by Wildrose Media Corp.