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Union says more than 6,000 provincial jobs to be axed

Government documents released by the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees show the government is set to chop more than 6,000 employees from their payroll.

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Government documents released by the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees show the government is set to chop more than 6,000 employees from their payroll.

Union president Guy Smith is expected to hold a press conference Monday in Edmonton to address the cuts.

But late Friday afternoon the union released letters from the government explaining what it was going to do.

In a letter to Smith, Public Service Commissioner Tim Grant said there will be no layoffs until March 20.

“Beginning April 1, the GoA will use all options available under the collective agreement to ensure government is on track to implement key priorities and support the government’s path to balance by 2022-23,” wrote Grant.

He said 2,500 public service jobs could be impacted over those years.

Grant said the cuts would come across numerous departments including financial services, agriculture and forestry, community and social services, seniors and housing and Service Alberta.

He also noted Ernst & Young has been hired to do a complete review of AHS with a report out by the end of next month. AHS announced Friday the elimination of 500 nursing position.

“We ask that discretion be excercised in the use and dissemination of this information as the uncertainty could have a real impact on the well-being of our employees. Every staffing decision will be made with care and compassion,” Grant wrote to Smith.

A letter to the AUPE’s Jim Petrie from the Alberta Health Services Dennis Holliday, he laid out plans for a huge number of layoffs in that sector.

Up to 2,000 jobs are set to go in contracting out environmental services, 350 in administration, 250 in the Operational Best Practices group, 235 with the contracting out of more linen services and 165 in food services.

Holliday also writes about contracting out home care in areas like nursing, palliative and pediatric at a cost of 200 jobs.

LAYOFFS ANNOUNCED YESTERDAY

AHS….Up to 3,400 positions.

Nurses….500 positions.

Public service….2,500

TOTAL: 6,400 job losses.

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

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Na

    November 29, 2019 at 8:48 pm

    You’ve been a journalist for decades and you still fall for the union tactic of “potential layoffs…in the future…thousands and thousands”. Interesting timing by the union. Kenney goes into the UCP convention with this dominating the news cycle. When was the last time public employment numbers ever shrank, even in Alberta? Their budget doesn’t grow for 1 year and the world comes to an end?

  2. Coach Cal

    November 30, 2019 at 9:19 pm

    The majority of jobs will fall to attrition over the next 4 years, not “layoffs”

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Supreme Court rules against B.C. in battle over TMX pipeline

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled against B.C. and their attempt to control what can be shipped in the TMX pipeline.

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In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled against B.C. and their attempt to control what can be shipped in the TMX pipeline.

Chief Justice Richard Wagner said the court will let an earlier B.C. Court of Appeal decision that the pipeline was a federal issue stand.

If B.C. had been successful they could have effectively blocked heavy oil from being shipped through the pipeline.

The court’s ruling came the same day as both sides made oral arguments for their cases. The justice’s mulled their decision for only 30 minutes.

Supreme Court of Canada
Courtesy Wikipedia

B.C. Premier John Horgan has opposed the expansion of the pipeline that could carry 890,000 barrels of crude oil a day to the west coast for export.

The Trans Mountain expansion project went through a years-long federal review by the National Energy Board and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency .

It has also been twice approved by the federal Liberal cabinet.

“If you have a pipeline and you can’t put anything through it, it’s totally useless. That frustrates the federal permitting process does it not?” Justice Malcom Rowe said Thursday.

“Today, it’s heavy oil. Tomorrow, it could be anything else.”

Supreme Court justices
Courtesy the Supreme Court of Canada

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney called the ruling “a big win for Alberta.”

“I believe 2020 will be a good year, a turnaround year for Alberta,” Kenney said.

Alberta Justice Minister Doug Schweitzer was thrilled with the outcome.

“The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the rule of law and put an end to the British Columbia government’s campaign of obstruction against Alberta energy,” Schweitzer said in a statement.

“By ensuring that B.C. must respect the federal government’s rigorous process in approving TMX, this outcome will have major ramifications for the project and its profound importance to Albertans and all Canadians.

“Building the TMX and ensuring a fair price for our natural resources will create thousands of new jobs and increased prosperity that will benefit the entire country.”

Ottawa bought the project from its original U.S. proponent, Kinder Morgan, in 2018, for $4.5 billion.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has called the pipeline “in the interests of Canada.”

The pipeline has been in use since 1953 between Alberta and Burnaby.

There is still a case against the pipeline pending in the Federal Court of Canada.

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter: Nobby7694

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Manning Centre to rebrand as namesake retires

The retirement of Preston Manning has the centre he created looking to rebrand under a different name.

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The retirement of Preston Manning has the centre he created looking to rebrand under a different name.

In a note sent to supporters Thursday, officials from the Manning Centre said Preston, 77, was retiring and stepping down from the group’s board.

Manning Centre logo

The Manning Centre was founded in 2005 to support “Canada’s conservative movement by networking best practices and ideas pertaining to limited government, free enterprise, individual responsibility and a more robust civil society.”

It’s stated mission is “to strengthen Canada’s conservative movement by nurturing, supporting, and facilitating exchanges and stronger relationships amongst the movement’s various components.”

In their note, the non-profit Manning Centre said Preston’s final book is coming out next month and he’s off on a cross-Canada tour Feb. 24 to promote it.

“Preston is not all that is going into retirement…the Manning name will be coming off the Centre and its networking conferences,” said the letter.

The group is now considering ideas on how to rebrand but stress their mission will remain the same.

Manning was a founder and the only leader of the Reform Party.

That party evolved into the Canadian Alliance party which, in turn, merged with the Progressive Conservative Party to form the Conservative Party of Canada.

Manning represented the federal constituency of Calgary Southwest in Parliament from 1993 til 2002. He was leader of the Opposition from 1997 to 2000.

dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com

Twitter: Nobby7694

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Unifor won’t apologize after doxxing wrong man

Doherty acknowledged the mistaken use of Patel’s photo but did not offer an apology for the mix-up.

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A restaurant owner in Regina was surprised to learn his photo was being circulated in a Unifor union video called “Meet the Scabs”.

Kalpesh Patel discovered a photo from his Facebook account was used in the video after receiving calls on January 10. Patel then contacted a lawyer who wrote a letter to Unifor asking them to remove his photo.

Initially, Unifor defended the accuracy of the video but it was taken down from the union’s Twitter account and Mr. Patel’s likeness was edited out.

Chad Zipchian, co-owner of Birmingham’s Vodka and Ale in Regina said they aren’t taking sides but said Patel and the restaurant would defend themselves after being wrongly identified as having anything to do with the strike or the replacement workers.

Scott Doherty, Executive Assistant to the Unifor National President, acknowledged the mistaken use of Patel’s photo but did not offer any apology for the mix-up.

“A photo of a person named Kalpesh Patel no longer appears in Unifor’s ‘Meet the Scabs’ video posted on Twitter. We are still trying to locate a photo of another individual with the same name who is working at the refinery for our next video, in an attempt to discourage scabs,” Doherty said in an emailed statement.

‘Scabs’ or ‘replacement workers’ allow a company to continue operations while a union is on strike – or in the case of Local 594 who represents employees from Co-op Refinery in Regina, Saskatchewan – locked out.

Doherty says unions aren’t breaking any laws when they publicize names and photos of people who cross picket lines.

“To be clear, no one crossing a picket line has an expectation of privacy,” he said.

“The Supreme Court of Canada has affirmed a union’s right to photograph scabs in (a) 2013 decision”.

The case, Alberta (Information and Privacy Commissioner) v. United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 401 2013, SCC 62, upheld the Alberta Court of Appeal’s decision that the union’s right to freedom of expression was unduly hampered by the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) and granted a constitutional exemption.

Local 594 president Kevin Bittman said his team did not make the video nor had they shared it through their social media channels.

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