Barbara Larochelle Profile picture
Wife & mom. Retired teacher (29+ years). Gonzaga U. alumna. Avid gardener, traveller, former journalist. Fan of Jane Austen, Shakespeare, CFL Esks.
24 Nov
Evening #ableg sitting and emergency debate on the covid situation. Let’s see who actually wants to talk about the issue and find solutions and who wants to just keep playing politics.
Rachel Notley is pointing out that AHS can’t keep up with informing people at schools that they’ve been exposed to a case of covid-19 and that it’s deeply troubling to parents in Alberta.
It’s been 10 days since Kenney has made an appearance to say or do anything about the pandemic. 84% of the cases in Alberta have occurred while Kenney has been M.I.A. More than 5000 new cases since last Thursday.
Read 35 tweets
22 Nov
I don’t want to seem paranoid, but I really feel that despite their truly superhuman efforts to follow all possible protocols, schools are driving this covid spread to a far greater degree than the government will admit. 1/10
We know there has been in school transmission in 166 schools. We’re told ‘about half’ spread to “only one” other case. Let’s examine that claim. The way this government equivocates, we can be sure that ‘about half’ is not less than half or exactly half or they would say so. 2/10
So, at a minimum, 84 of 166 schools had more than one case transmitted. If those schools had only 2 cases as a result, we get (84 x 2)+ 82 (with one case)= 250 cases. Minimum. However, the schools with >1 other case—how many others? It could be a LOT more than 2. 3/10
Read 10 tweets
19 Nov
I want Dr. Hinshaw to succeed in convincing Albertans to do the right thing. I could hear her frustration today. But her media availability was full of equivocation. She was asked for details, numbers, concrete examples...1/6
and instead we heard ‘it depends’, ‘we’re not sure yet’, ‘we’re monitoring that’, ‘there are many factors’ or ‘I have not been part of that conversation.’ For me, at least, it sounds like there is no plan. The threat of ‘more intrusive measures’ seems empty because...2/6
there is no indicator of what that means. At all. We blew past the 50% ICU capacity trigger and then some. I understood when she first said 35 of 70 in ICU that *something* would happen. Nothing did. New York closed their schools today at the 3% testing positivity, like 3/6
Read 6 tweets
18 Nov
I’m trying to get most of my holiday shopping done online and early. But, I still want to spend as much as possible in Alberta. Please reply with your favourite (or own!) Alberta businesses that have online shopping + delivery or curbside pickup! Add a brief description. Retweet!
I’ll add a few to my own thread.
I love these shops in Edmonton:

harlowcrestwood.com
Read 4 tweets
16 Nov
I’ve got a journalism degree. I can think up good questions!
Here are some:
-if kids can be asymptomatic, like you said, how do you know those kids aren’t bringing it home from school?

-is anyone checking to see that close contacts who were quarantined ARE being tested? 1/5
-Please explain how 30 kids much closer together than 2m eating lunch in a classroom with no masks on is different than a party?

-Please explain how a group fitness or kids’ dance class is different than a PE class at school?
2/5
-Students can be in a room together for 6 hours, mostly with masks on, but a lot closer together than 2m. Please explain why this is safer than having a few masked guests over to my home, for 2 hours who *can* be 2m apart.
3/5
Read 5 tweets
16 Oct
My great grandfather moved to Edmonton as a teen in 1878, when his father, who had been an Arctic explorer, then chief factor for the Hudson Bay Co. , settled here. My great grandfather earned his own living for many years driving a stagecoach, delivering mail and passengers 1/8
to and from the Edmonton area, going from Fort Saskatchewan down to Calgary and back. He also kept a livery stable and people paid to keep their horses there. One of his brothers also drove a stagecoach and another was a prospector, looking for gold and silver in Alaska. 2/8
My grandfather didn’t drive a stagecoach like his father because that was no longer a career choice by the early 1920s. Instead, he became a journeyman tinsmith with his own sheet metal shop in Jasper Place. My dad apprenticed with him and worked there too. 3/8
Read 8 tweets
15 Oct
Suppose I am a healthcare worker ( I did work 3 summers of university doing light housekeeping and serving meals on ward kitchens of a hospital, so I can imagine). The UCP lays me off my job and I am rehired by the new private contractor for $5/hr less and no benefits. 1/1
They also hired fewer people to do the same work. Now I work harder, but make $200/wk less and also have to budget for prescription medication, dental work or other expenses. So my spending power is reduced. $200 a week is the equivalent of my grocery budget. I still need 2/2
groceries, so what else can I cut? Eating out? Gone. A new vehicle I wanted? Not this year. Some renos for my home? Will have to wait. Tickets to an event? Too extravagant. Some new clothes my kids want but don’t exactly need? I’ll find them for cheaper or buy less. 3/3
Read 5 tweets
19 Sep
Seeing comments/memes belittling the fatigue, stress and anxiety teachers and school staff are feeling. Many comments like, ‘quit if you don’t like it’ or ‘grocery store workers kept working while you were at home being paid to do nothing’ or ‘good thing they aren’t nurses’ 1/
First of all, kudos and endless gratitude to everyone who worked during the lockdown, for being ‘out there’ and providing essential services. Thank you! 2/
Even though teachers worked from home for the last 3 months of last school year, they were working too. They had to turn on a dime to figure out an entirely new way of doing their job, which many teachers found exhausting and taking up all day and every evening. 3/
Read 9 tweets
4 Sep
I’m sure this has been discussed before, but seeing the choices UCP have been making just lately makes me think about their poisonous and toxic worldview. To them:
-if you are poor, that is your own fault. If you were a better quality person, you would not be poor. Therefore
the government bears no responsibility for doing anything about your poverty.
-related to this, if you can only earn a minimum wage at your job, UCP thinks that is because there is something defective in your character. Nothing to do with them allowing employers to exploit you.
-if your poverty affects your children, that, again, is your problem and not anyone else’s, according to UCP. You should have thought of that before you had children. Even if the circumstances that reduced you to poverty happened after they were born.
Read 10 tweets
27 Aug
Toews is touting the success of fighting the virus in the province that has the highest per capita rate of covid-19 #ableg
Toews is talking about how slow the economy will be to recover. There are negative effects on consumer spending.
#ableg
He’s thanking the public service. Why does that sound ominous? #ableg
Read 36 tweets
18 Aug
Alberta Parents & Teachers: We’re really worried about the safety of schools in the fall. Can you please do something?

UCP:

AP&T: Please?

UCP: *Sigh* OK, we gave one of our favourite donors a bunch of money to sew up some cheap squares of cloth to put on your faces. Happy?
AP&T: Ummm. No. Those will break or be lost in a couple of days. They don’t look like they will do much good.

UCP: You soak them in chlorine before putting them on your face. It’ll be fine.

AP&T: Right, so we’ll have to buy our own. It doesn’t make up for the overcrowded rooms.
UCP: Rearrange the desks. Do we have to spell everything out for you?

AP&T: You can’t ‘rearrange’ to get 2m between desks in a small room! Can’t we have smaller classes?

UCP: No.

AP&T: Why not?
Read 6 tweets
30 Jul
I totally understand wanting to keep kids at home this fall! I’m worried about my son in a school with 3000+ people! But PLEASE remember that next year’s funding is based on how many kids are officially part of the count THIS fall. This is probably part of UCP’s plan. #ableg
UCP is counting on parents homeschooling in the fall.
On Global yesterday, in response to a question about parents concerns with their plan, Kenney said, “We also have the most generous rules to support homeschoolers—people who decide to educate their kids at home... #ableg 2/8
There is funding available for that, for costs related to it, as part of our approach to school choice. So those are options that exist.” 3/8 #ableg #abed Image
Read 8 tweets
29 Jul
Rachel Notley is now responding to Kenney’s “demonstration of pontification” and his ‘circuitous, ranty thing’ about the ‘justification of private funding’ and how it will lead to two-tiered health care and queue-jumping. #ableg
She says Kenney was blaming her government for the drop in the price of oil that was somehow NDP’s fault. UCP embarked on an economic strategy that was failing and losing jobs, but not at the gargantuan level we’re seeing now. She says UCP also doesn’t control oil prices. #ableg
She points out the massive contradictions in what Kenney said, talking about both wanting and NOT wanting doctors to make a profit and claiming to respect doctors. #ableg
Read 16 tweets
29 Jul
Kenney speaking now about Bill 30 and about how all the NDP does is try to scare people. I guess it’s not like everything they warned about has come true so far, right? #ableg
Kenney is shocked—shocked! that NDP would accuse UCP of seeking to introduce profit into the healthcare system. He takes a stab at the socialist NDP and the ‘angry specialist minority’. #ableg
Kenney says “I admit it with pride” that the pursuit of profit is an incentive that ‘leads to a more prosperous and generous society’. 🤢 🤮 #ableg
Read 19 tweets
20 Jul
UCP: Our top priority is the safety of students & staff

Schools: Can we have funding for PPE, cleaning supplies and extra staffing for cleaning and distancing?

UCP: No.

Schools: But...?

UCP: You have the flexibility in your budgets to pay for it

Schools: Um, there were cuts
UCP: No, there were no cuts

Schools: Yes, there were! We had to cut hundreds of staff!

UCP: You were fully funded

Schools: We got millions of $ less!

UCP: No, you didn’t.

Schools: But...how...what?

UCP: Because we said so. So that makes it true.
Schools: Well, we need more custodians for all the extra cleaning. Teachers are not custodians.

UCP: No.

Schools: So who will do the extra cleaning?

UCP: Teachers will be expected to clean their work space.

Schools: And teachers are going to get sick and need replacements.
Read 5 tweets
16 Jul
Thinking about cognitive dissonance when it comes to believing oneself to be a ‘good’ person and how that might be affecting some of the UCP MLAs—or not
I mean, unless they are utterly deluded, some of them had to know, before April 2019, that they were horrible people. If you willingly commit election fraud, cheat voters, accept envelopes of cash from secret sources, illegally kill wild animals,
fire single mothers at Christmas, make up lies about the previous government and spread them around, threaten to beat people up, make back room deals in exchange for cash, etc., even on some lizard brain level, you’ve got to be aware that’s not right.
Read 9 tweets
12 Jul
As UCP tries to gaslight all of us about how ‘democratic’ their ‘referendums’ will be, here’s some food for thought. #ableg
Bill 26 would allow Kenney’s cabinet to determine which issues can go to referendum, how the question is worded, and how, where, and when they are to be held, including during and to decide whether the referendums are binding or non-binding. #ableg
Here’s a recent ‘referendum’ #ableg

cnn.com/2020/06/25/eur…
Read 7 tweets
6 Jul
Watching the Standing Committee meeting discussing Bill 203. The former chair of AIMCo just spoke and now Gil McGowan about to start. #ableg
I didn’t see all of the AIMCo speaker, but he seemed to be defending AIMCo in what I did see. Anyone who in any way argues that teachers did not need to be consulted before Bill 22 and the forced transfer to AIMCo is biased. There is no justification for this. None. #ableg
Gil McGwoan says the focus of discssion on Bill 22 has been on teachers and ATRF, but there are 350,000 other Albertans whose pensions are affected. #ableg
Read 24 tweets