Good afternoon. It’s Flag Day in Russia. On this day in 1935, William Aberhart led his Social Credit League to victory over John Brownlee’s United Farmers in Alberta in a provincial election. The world’s first Social Credit government remained in power until 1971. Here in the Alberta of 2014, there were a few news stories of interest to UNA members and staff:
A group opposed to the closing of the Michener Centre says five of 41 residents moved from the facility died over a two-month period this summer, prompting demands for the government to halt the transfers and open an investigation. The Friends for Michener Centre advocacy group says it has cross-referenced reports from the Red Deer facility with obituaries to determine how many former residents have died.
Twenty per cent of Canadians will personally experience a mental health illness in their lifetime. The annual cost to the health-care system runs into the billions, with additional billions linked to loss of work productivity.
The U.S. multi-national 3M hired heavyweight Progressive Conservative insider Rod Love to lobby the government for new licence plates, the CBC reports. The provincial lobbyist registry shows Love, former premier Ralph Klein’s chief of staff, began lobbying the government as early as Jan. 29, 2013 in relation to “licence plate branding.”
The World Health Organization said today it has drawn up a draft strategy plan to combat Ebola in West Africa over the next six to nine months, implying that it does not expect to halt the epidemic this year.
Quebec is pulling a Detroit. But unlike Detroit, Quebec is trying to snatch back promised pension money by fiat through its proposed Bill 3 pension reform legislation, without the inconvenient legal process of bankruptcy. No wonder workers are protesting!
“Since medicare was created in the 1960s, health care delivery and the needs/demands of the public have changed markedly,” writes the Globe and Mail’s Medicine Beat reporter in an apparently unedited story. Andre Picard says policies – particularly those related to how the public insurance system is funded – “have not kept pace,” and goes on to advocate that “national leaders need to take a firm position on these issues so we can have a real debate.”
The new leader of the Canadian Medical Association is calling out the government of Stephen Harper for its inaction on health care, saying the medicare system is floundering and Canadians are “tired of excuses as to why the federal government can’t take action.”
United Nurses of Alberta