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UPDATED: AHS shedding thousands of jobs to save $600-million yearly

There will be 2,000 laboratory jobs, 4,000 housekeeping jobs, 3,000 food service jobs, and 400 laundry jobs cut.

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Alberta Health Services will lose 800 positions and shift another 9,700 to the private sector as part of a reorganization that is expected to save $600 million a year.

All the 800 job loses will be done through attrition and front-line services won’t be affected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most of the 9,700 other jobs will now be outsourced in labs, housekeeping, food services, and laundry.

There will be 2,000 laboratory jobs, 4,000 housekeeping jobs, 3,000 food service jobs, and 400 laundry jobs cut.

The province said about 70 per cent of lab results are already contracted out, as is 68 per cent of laundry.

A minimum of one hundred management jobs will also be cut.

AHS has 3,300 employees in management, with 68 senior leaders and 14 on the executive teams.

At a Tuesday press conference, AHS head Dr. Verna Yiu described the management as “very, very lean.”

“The pandemic has changed everything. As a result, AHS has been directed to proceed carefully, putting patient care above all else,” said Health Minister Tyler Shandro.

“As a first step, AHS has been directed to eliminate a minimum of 100 management positions and to proceed with previously announced contracting work. This approach will allow us to strike the right balance between supporting the COVID-19 response and Alberta’s challenging fiscal situation.”

The Canadian Taxpayers Federation said they supported Shandro’s efforts.

“Today’s announcement is an excellent step to make Alberta’s health-care system more efficient,” said Franco Terrazzano, Alberta Director for the CTF.

“Alberta’s businesses do a great job of doing laundry and preparing meals, so this is a no-brainer to help relieve some of the mounting costs to taxpayers.”

The CTF said the Alberta government would save $3.6 billion annually if its per person health-care spending was in line with Ontario, B.C. and Quebec, according to the Blue Ribbon Panel on Alberta’s finances. The Alberta government spends more per person on health care than every other province except Newfoundland and Labrador.

“Finding savings through attrition, outsourcing and reducing management bureaucrats is necessary to find savings in Alberta’s high-cost health-care system,” said Terrazzano.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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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Horgan leads NDP to majority government in B.C.

Preliminary results from Saturday’s election show the NDP turned its 41-seat minority into a 55-seat majority.

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John Horgan’s NDSP party now rules B.C. with a majority government.

Preliminary results from Saturday’s election show the NDP turned its 41-seat minority into a 55-seat majority.

More than 500,000 mail in ballots still have to be counted. Final results won’t be known for several weeks.

“B.C. has voted, and a majority has been called, but there are many many hundreds of thousands of votes yet to be counted,” Horgan said at a victory rally in Vancouver.

“While we wait for that final count to happen, I want to assure people that I’m going to keep the focus right where it belongs, on helping people get through this pandemic and making sure that they have the services that they need.”

“All British Columbians can sleep safely knowing that we’re going to do everything we can to keep them safe, healthy and secure.”

The Liberals won 29 seats and the Green party, three.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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Kenney says Albertans may get ‘multi-issues’ referendum

The government has already committed to hold a referendum on equalization payments next October at the same time as municipal elections

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Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says the UCP could have multiple referendum questions for voters next year.

The government has already committed to hold a referendum on equalization payments next October at the same time as municipal elections.

Speaking virtually to the UCP’s AGM on Saturday, Kenney said the party is also looking at adding other issues.

“I believe on the big consequential issues it’s right to go to the public,” kenney told 1,400 delegates who had signed up for the virtual convention.

He said a decision to get rid of Daylight Savings Time, a Senate election, constitutionally changing property rights and a provincial pension plan are some of the things Albertans may have a chance to vote on.

Kenney spent most of his speech hilighting UCP policies they have brought in, including scrapping the carbon tax and repealing Bill 6.

“We are one-third through our mandate and we have implemented two-thirds of our 261 election promises,” said Kenney.

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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RCMP able to save ice-bound calf in northern B.C.

The on-duty police officer responded to the area and was able to locate the calf clearly in distress

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For a B.C. Mountie, it was a very moo-ving rescue.

On Tuesday morning, RCMP were told about a young calf that had fallen through ice, into a slough along Farrell Creek Road, north east of Hudson’s Hope, in northeastern B.C.

The on-duty police officer responded to the area and was able to locate the calf clearly in distress, said the RCMP in a release.

“It was obvious that the calf had been doing its best to stay afloat and was getting tired, however could not move forward or backwards due to the surrounding ice,” said the release.

“Thinking quickly, and using any means available to the officer, and some locals that had stopped to assist, the ice around the calf was broken. The very tired calf was able to be lassoed and brought to the edge and out of the slough to rest.”

When we suit up and start our shifts each day, we really never have any idea what our day on the front line will entail,” said Cpl. Rob Gardner.

The front line officer, who responded to the scene, did a great job thinking quickly and outside the box to work with some locals to break the ice and free the small calf. We’d like to thank all those who stopped to assist with this rescue.

The wet calf, who seemed un-injured during the ordeal.

Rescued calf. Courtesy RCMP

Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
dnaylor@westernstandardonline.com
TWITTER: Twitter.com/nobby7694

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