Gil McGowan Profile picture
Proud father of three. President of the Alberta Federation of Labour. My job is to stand up for working Albertans. He/Him
Jim Williamson Profile picture 1 added to My Authors
9 Dec 20
The UCP has made sweeping changes to the workplace Health & Safety Act and the Workers Compensation Act. As a result of Bill 47, Albertans are more likely to be injured or killed on the job. And if they’re injured, they’re less likely to get the support they need.#AbLeg #abpoli
Bill 47 was rammed through this morning. Some of the horrible changes it makes to WCB include:
*removes requirement for employers to hire back injured workers
*removes obligation of employers to continue paying benefits to injured workers
*removes PTSD coverage for most workers
It also makes changes to the OHS Act, including the following:
*It severely limits the right to know about hazards on your worksite
*It undermines workplace safety committees and the right for workers to participate in safety decisions
*It guts the right to refuse unsafe work.
Read 5 tweets
28 Nov 20
More than $300 million in federal wage top-ups that should have been paid out to lower-wage frontline workers in Alberta months ago is still being held up by UCP foot-dragging and political manoeuvring. Shameful! #AbLeg #abpoli #COVID19AB #cdnpoli #canlab…
Don’t let the Kenney government tell you they’re ‘still negotiating with the feds.’ No other province is having any problems. The UCP here in Alberta are the ones who are holding things up by not kicking in their share.
Here is the document that the federal NDP obtained in response to the inquiry to Parliament they submitted on behalf of the AFL. It shows that most or all of the available money has already flowed to front line workers in other provinces. In Alberta? Only 3.5 percent!
Read 4 tweets
26 Nov 20
BREAKING: How many times have we heard the UCP accuse its critics of not respecting or listening to Hinshaw? As it turns out, it’s the UCP itself who hasn’t been respecting or listening to her. Bombshell report on secret recordings. #COVIDAB #AbLeg #abpoli…
In early June, against Hinshaw’s advice, the government shifted away from orders to “education.” 'We need to be leading Albertans where they want to go, not forcing them where they don't want to go,’ was the way Hinshaw characterized the UCP’s position.
While other provinces were cracking down on businesses and individuals who violated COVID guidance, the UCP refused to support consequences for offenders. “They don’t want us to enforce anything.”
Read 6 tweets
15 Nov 20
As Alberta blows past 1000 COVID-19 cases a day, Jason Kenney needs to stop behaving like a Republican Governor. If he doesn’t, we’ll look like Republican states, with overwhelmed hospitals and refrigerator trucks outside to store the dead. #COVID19AB #AbLeg #abpoli #cdnpoli
Albertans will pay a steep price as Kenney continues to follow Trump’s playbook on COVID, says AFL president in urgent speech posted to You Tube. Alberta’s largest worker organization supports call for “circuit-breaker” lockdown. #AbLeg #abpoli #canlab…
Excerpts from the speech: "Premier Kenney said he would act when faced with a catastrophe. Well, a catastrophe is unfolding before our eyes. But instead of action, all we get is Republican-inspired talking points and half measures."
Read 9 tweets
14 Nov 20
When chief medical officers of health like ⁦@CMOH_Alberta⁩ defer to politicians like Jason Kenney and fail to use their legal powers to save lives ... it’s like a firefighter refusing to order people out of a burning building. Ouch. #AbLeg #abpoli…
“Every province in Canada equips their medical officers of health with the power to make systemic orders.”
“...most medical officers of health are only rarely using their powers in the second wave, or worse, they are doing so only with the consent of politicians.”
Read 7 tweets
14 Nov 20
Charles Koch is the billionaire who bankrolled a successful 40-year campaign to poison the minds of Americans and plant the seeds of corporate authoritarianism. Now he wants to “build bridges” with progressives. Don’t fall for it! #USAelection2020…
Remember the parable of the Scorpion and the Frog. Koch will betray any progressive that is gullible enough to work with him “because it is in his nature.” ……
Read 5 tweets
27 Oct 20
Yesterday’s wildcat strike by health care workers is over, but the conditions that created it remain. Just read the statements made by UCP finance Minister Toews. He says there will be no layoffs — while confirming there will be layoffs. 1/n #AbLeg #abpoli…
He then goes on to blame the workers for putting patients at risk — when it is the UCP government itself that is putting patients at risk by implementing a radical restructuring of the health care systems in the midst of a surging pandemic. 2/n #AbLeg #abpoli
And he says that workers must obey labour laws — when the UCP tramples on all the laws, norms & traditions that surround Canadian labour law every day. They have zero respect for the collective bargaining process, believing they should simply be able to impose their will. 3/n
Read 6 tweets
26 Oct 20
Wildcat strikes have apparently begun at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton and the Foothills Hospital in Calgary. When Kenney and the UCP decided to attack health care during a pandemic did he really think workers wouldn’t fight back? #Solidarity #AbLeg #canlab #cdnpoli
The strikes have now spread to the South Health campus in Calgary (huge!), as well as hospitals in Westlock (my home town!) and Cold Lake. Alberta Hospital in north Edmonton has also joined in.
Many, many more sites are now reporting that they’ve gone on strike. Trying to get a full list, but it’s hard to keep up. Stay tuned!
Read 4 tweets
18 Oct 20
Yesterday, UCP delegates voted overwhelmingly to “make Alberta a Right-to-Work jurisdiction.” These are the laws used by right-wingers in the US to suppress wages and break the bargaining power of workers. We can’t allow them to import these toxic laws to Canada. #AbLeg #abpoli
What are Right-to-Work laws? They are laws designed to shatter worker bargaining power (in the workplace and on the political stage) by weakening unions so much that they can no longer act as an effective counterbalance to the power of billionaires and corporations.
Is the US, where right-wing politicians and their corporate backers have championed these laws, RTW has suppressed wages, destroyed the middle class and allowed corporations and the wealthy to dominate the political agenda ... at the expense of everyone else.
Read 10 tweets
16 Oct 20
Jason Kenney is an economic illiterate. On one hand, he says we need to bring back economic growth to save Alberta. That’s true. But on the other hand, he wants to slash public spending by 20 percent during a recession. That will suppress growth, not promote it. #AbLeg #abpoli
Almost every jurisdiction in the world understands that this is NOT the time for budget cuts and austerity. In fact, the IMF recently concluded that public sector spending is the BEST way to spur economic growth in times like these.
In case you can’t read the small print, it says that increasing public sector spending by 1% increasing economic growth by 2.7% (which is a huge return on investment). In other word, Kenney wants to do exactly the OPPOSITE of what’s needed.
Read 5 tweets
29 Sep 20
Here, UCP MLA Shane Getson suggests that people are using CERB so they can “eat Cheezies and watch cartoons” ... and buy drugs. This is disgusting. Getson betrays both his disdain for working people and his ignorance of the health emergency in one 2 minute clip. #FUShane #abpoli
If it wasn’t for CERB, millions of Canadians (including many Albertans) would not have been able to pay their rent or mortgage or keep food on their tables. It was also key to our success in keeping COVID infection rates down AND keeping our economy afloat. Getson doesn’t get it.
And if Getson’s “buddies” can’t attract workers because of CERB, it says more about them as employers than it does about Canadians as workers. If you want people to respond to your job ads, STOP PAYING POVERTY WAGES!
Read 5 tweets
26 Sep 20
The U.S. Republicans have become an “increasingly authoritarian white nationalist party.” This matters to Canada, & Alberta in particular, because the CPC & the UCP have close ties to the Republicans and are copying their playbook. #AbLeg #abpoli #cdnpoli…
Just a reminder, this is the UCP’s current Agriculture Minister, who continues to be a big fan of Trump’s authoritarian approach to politics. He’s just one of many UCPers (including Kenney himself) who made regular trips to the US for tips & advice from the “mothership.” #abpoli
Here’s an article I wrote about the Republican-style authoritarian tactics and policies beginning embraced by Canadian conservatives (especially Kenney’s UCP in Alberta). Of course, Stephen Harper has been heavily involved in creating “GOP North.”…
Read 4 tweets
21 Sep 20
As a worker advocate, I’ve been raising concerns for months about research showing that COVID-19 is airborne &!can travel MUCH farther than 2m in indoor environments. UCPers dismissed my concerns. I won’t allow them to dismiss me now. ⁦#AbLeg #abpoli…
Here’s an renowned expert emphasizing the importance of the CDC’s new guidance on aerosols.
Here’s another expert who specializes in aerosols and safety in indoor environments.
Read 6 tweets
17 Sep 20
Seat belts are mandatory. Bike helmets are mandatory. Speed limits are mandatory. But taking a vaccine during the worst pandemic in a century should be optional? This is libertarian ideology run amok! The UCP is a public health threat! #AbLeg #cdnpoli…
When someone’s “choice” has an impact on someone else’s life or health, it ceases to be a “choice” issue. FFS!
“During the H1N1 epidemic, Alberta only achieved a 40 per cent voluntary immunization rate. Jenne says that didn't hit the threshold for herd immunity. Mandatory vaccination was brought in for smallpox, which eventually led to its eradication in the 1970s.”
Read 4 tweets
15 Sep 20
Facebook Is Turning A Blind Eye To Global Political Manipulation, According To This Explosive Secret Memo. And, yes, it’s happening here in Alberta, too, courtesy of the of the UCP. #AbLeg #abpoli #cdnpoli…
“One of the big tools of authoritarian regimes is to humiliate the opposition in the mind of the public so that they're not viewed as a credible or legitimate alternative.” Sound familiar?
Oh, and look, Canadian Conservatives want the stop regulations that could protect democracy from bad actors. I wonder why? 🤔 Image
Read 5 tweets
10 Sep 20
In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court of B.C. has called bullshit on right-wingers who say they’re only concern about patient interests when they campaign for more private health care. The courts have sided with the public, not the profiteers! #AbLeg…
The purpose of restrictions on private health “is to preserve and ensure the sustainability of a universal public healthcare system that ensures access to necessary medical care is based on need and not on an individual’s ability to pay,” says the Court. And it’s constitutional!
Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Jason Kenney! Score one for the good guys!
Read 6 tweets
2 Sep 20
Today, Jason Kenney brushed aside concerns about #COVID19 outbreaks in Alberta schools. He said we have nothing to worry about. To me, it sounded an awful lot like the reassurances they gave Cargill workers...right before their plant was closed. #CargillClassrooms #AbLeg #abpoli ImageImage
The UCP are making the same mistakes with schools that they made with meatpacking plants. They are failing to heed the conclusions of the SARS commission, which said governments MUST look at pandemics through the lens of workplace health & safety. #AbLeg…
In particular, the SARS commission said governments and employers need to listen to workers and their unions. They also said pandemic planning must be guided by the PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE. The UCP ignored this advice with Cargill, and they’re ignoring it with schools.
Read 4 tweets
20 Aug 20
We’re still reading the fine print, but it looks like the federal government is going to provide 10 days of paid sick leave to all Canadians. As ⁦@cafreeland⁩ said, we can’t hope to deal with a pandemic without paid sick leave. Bravo! #AbLeg #canlab…
Having said that, I agree with professor @MilesCorak when he says the EI system is still in desperate need of a full overhaul. Band-aids are not enough.
The good news is that both ministers seem to have acknowledged this fact in their news conference. @cafreeland suggested that more major announcements with be made about EI in the upcoming Throne Speech. Overall, a very promising start in her new role as finance minister!
Read 6 tweets
15 Aug 20
Trump is currently gutting the US Postal Service in order to hinder voting by mail and steal the next election. We may be witnessing the start of an authoritarian coup in what used to one of the world’s great democracies.
Read 5 tweets
13 Aug 20
When announcing school reopening plans, @AdrianaLaGrange and @CMOH_Alberta said they’d be guided by the latest research. Well, it’s out...and it shows the UCP was wrong when they said kids are less likely to get and transmit #COVID19. Time to re-evaluate! #AbLeg #abpoli #cdnpoli
Here’s the conclusion from the study: “Schools must not remain open for face-to-face teaching in the setting of ongoing community transmission. In regions where community transmission is minimal, risk-reduction strategies must be implemented in schools as a matter of urgency.”
Here in Alberta, there are definitely at least a few areas facing “on-going community transmission.” Schools in those communities should NOT reopen until the level of community transmission is reduced significantly.
Read 4 tweets
12 Aug 20
I think Kenney’s team of taxpayer-financed trolls must have a daily quota of lies they have to meet. The truth is the AFL went to the National Energy Board on each of these pipeline applications to advocate for more Alberta-based upgrading and refining. #AbLeg #abpoli
Alberta used to upgrade about 65% of our bitumen before shipping it out. Now it’s closer to 25%. The old approach created huge numbers of jobs in construction, maintenance & operations. So, we asked the NEB to attach strings to pipeline approvals to keep more of those jobs here.
To characterize our advocacy for more Alberta-based upgrading & refining as proof of the AFL’s “hostility” to oil & gas is not just inaccurate, it’s perverse. The fact that these clowns would twist the truth like this says more about them than us.
Read 5 tweets