Timothy Huyer Profile picture
Absolutely no content, whether original or retweeted, represents the views of any person or panda. Alleged Grammar Counsel. Caveat lector.
Boomer Brett Profile picture Jim Williamson Profile picture Elke Babiuk Profile picture Norlaine Thomas Profile picture 4 added to My Authors
6 Jul
UCP MLAs and party adherents should learn the relevant facts before they commit themselves to an Alberta Pension Plan. The Province can set one up *only* if it establishes and operates a plan that provides comparable benefits to the CPP including the phased-in enhancement.

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The Canada Pension Plan Act sets out how provinces can establish their own plans and thus opt out of the CPP. In particular, a province has to give three years’ notice and enact its own pension plan act before responsibility is shifted to the province.

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Alberta would assume full financial responsibility for all benefits accrued by that date in respect of Alberta earnings. In addition, the provincial plan’s benefits must be “comparable” to what the CPP would provide for all benefits accrued after the provincial plan starts.

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Read 14 tweets
23 Jun
The poor treatment of farm workers, and migrant farm workers in particular, in Ontario is the direct result of deliberate government policy to deny them labour protection rights. Only now, because of Covid-19, are people paying attention to an old and ongoing problem.

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From 1943 to 1994, farm workers had been excluded from Ontario’s Labour Relations Act. This meant that they had no right to unionize or take any kind of collective action in respect of pay or working conditions.

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Migrant workers especially are already very disadvantaged when dealing with their employers. The law ensured that no organization could form and represent their interests.

This changed briefly in 1994, when the NDP amended the Labour Relations Act to include farm workers.

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Read 12 tweets
21 Jun
So, because you haven’t endured a long thread from me for a while, I thought I’d provide some thoughts on a number of the recommendations and the Government’s response to the Fair Deal Panel.

#ableg #abpoli

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First, I would like to exhort all government-appointed panels to set their word processors to Canadian English and to proofread their documents. TBF, there weren’t many spelling errors, but the goal is zero errors. Perfectionism drives you to ensuring your points are clear.

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Second, is please cite law correctly. The panel got this inexcusably wrong.

The British North America Act, 1867 is not *also* known as the Constitution Act, 1867. Rather, the Constitution Act, 1867 *used* to be known as the BNA Act. It hasn’t been the BNA Act since 1982.

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Read 53 tweets
3 Jun
I am uncomfortable with the idea that I am a racist. I like to believe that I am beyond such prejudice. It would be easy for me to point out that the horrible events pointed out by @VanmalaS were done by others and don’t reflect on me.

And yet...

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I was raised in a predominantly white neighbourhood. My primary and secondary school teachers were all white. Only a handful of students during that entire time were racialized, and I cannot recall having a Black classmate ever. This barely changed even through university.

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Most of my exposure to Black people has been through media—American tv and movies in particular. And it was generally not flattering.

I was subconsciously (if not explicitly) taught that while an individual Black person might be okay, this was the exception.

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Read 14 tweets
15 May
Mais, en Ottawa, le maire @JimWatsonOttawa n’appuie aucun fermeture de voie pour faciliter les cyclistes et les piétons.
A tale of four cities (London, UK; Paris, France; Montreal, QC; and Ottawa, ON). One of these things is not like the others, @JimWatsonOttawa, one of these things just doesn’t belong.

Read 3 tweets
15 May
@LukaszukAB @jkenney Ontario, with more than 3 times the population of Alberta, has 22 people who earned more than $100,000 in the Office of the Premier in 2019. Some comparisons follow.

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@LukaszukAB @jkenney Doug Ford’s Chief of Staff earned more than Mr Kenney’s ($242,537 to $224,137).

But Mr Kenney’s Principal Secretary earned more than his counterpart ($224,137 to $184,175).

So, Mr Kenney’s top 2 cost $448,274 compared to Mr Ford’s $426,712.

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@LukaszukAB @jkenney Mr Kenney has 4 other staffers making $194,252. All of Mr Ford’s other staffers make less than amount. That’s $770,008.

The highest paid earned $191,444. One other staffer earned $185,608. Next highest was $179,288. 4th highest was $160,985. So, $717,325 for all 4.

3/
Read 12 tweets
12 May
The list of things that the Alberta Government has done in response to #COVIDー19 is remarkably short. Almost all actions were taken by the Chief Medical Officer of Health, with very few exceptions.

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The Ontario Government, for instance, closed most businesses and parks across the province. The governments of several Atlantic Provinces have banned most non-residents from coming. The Government of Manitoba has a mandatory quarantine for interprovincial travellers.

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The Government of Alberta did none of that. Instead, all measures to limit businesses and gatherings were implemented by the CMOH, despite the fact that the Government had gotten for itself with Bill 10 unprecedented power to take action directly.

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Read 11 tweets
9 May
The Alberta Government’s political staffers continually argue that decisions such as which businesses continue to operate are only made by @CMOH_Alberta and politicians play no role.

This leaves out some important facts and context, likely for cynical political reasons.

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It is true that decisions regarding the operations of businesses in Alberta have been made by @CMOH_Alberta. Dr Hinshaw has extensive powers, including prohibiting people from engaging in business under s. 29(2.1) of the Public Health Act.

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For example, Dr Hinshaw’s Order on 27 March 2020 prevented certain businesses from offering services to the public and limited how other businesses do so.

open.alberta.ca/dataset/c02f3b…

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Read 14 tweets
4 May
Important point: it is not satisfactory to have Alberta OH&S investigate the plant right now. In addition to any concerns about political interference, the Ministry of Labour is conflicted. We cannot have confidence that they will admit any error on their part.

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An OH&S investigator determined that the plant was safe following a virtual inspection. Is the Ministry of Labour prepared to say that this inspection was deficient, that its inspector erred? Such an admission could have profound consequences.

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Likely, the Crown will escape legal liability for damages as it is protected from negligence in this case. However, there could be significant political embarrassment. In addition, an admission of failure by OH&S could greatly impact Cargill.

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Read 9 tweets
3 May
Today’s contribution to “threads designed to cure insomnia” is all about that special form of legislation known as regulations.

TL;dr: “legislation” includes regulations and other subordinate legislation made by bodies authorized by Parliament by statute.

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Parliament is, of course, the supreme legislative authority. Subject only to constitutional limits, Parliament can enact anything it wants.

Parliament, however, can also choose to delegate its authority, which it does via statute.

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Regulations are delegated legislation. Parliament, when enacting a statute, often leaves certain details for the legislative scheme to be filled in by regulations. The statute sets out who is the regulation-making authority and the scope of that authority.

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Read 20 tweets
26 Apr
The appeal is bonkers and, IMO, solely intended to wear down the applicants emotionally and financially. Don’t let the Government get away with using sharp practice to avoid letting the courts reach a just result.
Note that this is an appeal of a interim stay. The arguments on the merits of the case have yet to be heard, much less adjudicated. All that is at stake here is preventing the Government from acting *until* the court can decide on the rights of the applicants.
What is at stake for the Government is a few million dollars. What is at stake for the applicants and many people like them is a chance for them to get the supports they need to transition into productive, healthy, independent members of our society.
Read 3 tweets
25 Apr
While it is good that @jkenney will look at changes, he continues to be spreading false information about this Bill.

UCP going 'back to the drawing board' on controversial Bill 10, Kenney says edmontonjournal.com/news/politics/…

#ableg #abpoli

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Mr Kenney calls Bill 10 “minor technical amendments” to the Public Health Act, which has existed for decades. While the Act is not new, the amendments made were *not* technical. They take what are already extraordinary powers—beyond those in any other province—even further.

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The Public Health Act does give medical officers of health powers to enter and examine people suspected of having communicable diseases and can also order the closure of any place and detention of anyone suspected of having a communicable disease. This power predates Bill 10/

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Read 21 tweets
22 Apr
As there may be some confusion as to who has what powers, let me clarify that the Premier and the Executive Council (Cabinet) exercise most of the power during this emergency and the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health has much more limited powers.

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The CMOH can investigate and take such actions as the official feels appropriate to prevent, eliminate or decrease a risk to the health of persons. However, these powers are only in respect of what boards of health can already do—the CMOH in essence just takes over.

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A few additional powers are the ability to obtain health information from any custodian of that information, including collecting previously collected specimens, and to give directions to health care practitioners on procedures and precautions that must be followed.

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Read 12 tweets
21 Apr
A few high-level comments on these legal obligations as found in Alberta’s Occupational Health and Safety Act <thread>

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#ableg #abpoli #COVID19
It is the obligation of every employer to ensure “as far as it is reasonably practicable to do so” the health and safety and welfare of workers engaged in the work of that employer”. To this end, the employer has to ensure there are supervisors who are competent and trained.

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As soon as #COVID19 was identified as something dangerous to health and safety, the owner must communicate that information to employees and the employer. This can include notifying employees if any worker has tested positive for the disease.

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Read 18 tweets
20 Apr
This is absolutely the wrong move to make at this time. @BrianPallister is taking MB the wrong direction during the #COVIDー19 crisis. #mbpoli

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First and foremost, the best way to prevent economic catastrophe and to support people isolating to beat this pandemic is to keep them financially secure. That way, once businesses can resume, demand will be there for their goods and services.

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The fewer people who need rent or mortgage relief, for example, the fewer landlords and banks that will in turn have to cut their operarions, leading to less spending and lending once the emergency ends. A short-term crash can become a long-term depression.

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Read 10 tweets
15 Apr
This. 1000%. The Government (ministers) are the decision makers. Yes, they have been generally doing what public health officials have advised, but they are the ones accountable for what is done and not done.

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The role of ministers includes looking at issues beyond the expertise of any one advisor and to consider all the ramifications of doing or not doing something. The role of ministers includes sometimes choosing to not follow what an advisor has recommended.

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Things like closing borders or schools and businesses are decisions that can only ever be made by the Government.

Maybe non-health circumstances resulted in delaying making a decision recommended. Or maybe the Government decided to act even before health experts advised it.

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Read 6 tweets
14 Apr
This is completely outrageous.

How dare the Premier try to attack the credibility of Canada’s Chief Medical Officer of Health for...<checks notes>...following the science?

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How dare the Premier casually claim that he, other Alberta government officials and possibly private firms are prepared to criminally import drugs and devices that have not been approved by Health Canada?

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How dare the Premier dismiss the work of professionals, including medical experts, who are undoubtably expediting all promising reviews relating to #COVID19, as “bureaucracy.”

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Read 6 tweets
7 Apr
Does @jkenney’s tweet violate Alberta’s Conflicts of Interest Act?

Spoiler alert: No, it does not.

But the longer answer may be interesting.*

*Likely not, but there’s a pandemic, and you probably don’t have anything else you want to do right now.

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The long answer is that what is and what is not illegal depends on what the Act says. And Alberta’s Conflicts of Interest Act is not the same as other jurisdictions’ Acts, including the federal Conflict of Interest Act.

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I presume, of course, that @Jkenney does not own or have a beneficial interest in any Shopify securities. However, that would be illegal on its own and so does not add anything to this thread.

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Read 11 tweets
3 Apr
By unpopular demand, a few comments on Bill 10, which was recently enacted by the Alberta Legislative Assembly, and expands the Government’s emergency powers during a public health emergency.

#ableg #abpoli
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Bill 10 can be found here. Rather than discussing the whole Bill, I will focus only on the amendments to s. 52.1(2) and the equivalent changes to s. 52.21.

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docs.assembly.ab.ca/LADDAR_files/d…
These provisions deal with the ability to temporarily change how a law operates during a public health emergency. There are all sorts of occasions where such a change would be warranted.

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Read 21 tweets
31 Mar
This ducking of responsibility by @jkenney is a gross disservice to @CMOH_Alberta and public servants generally. It is a shameful betrayal.

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It is the responsibility of the Government—the executive council that @jkenney leads—to make the decisions. The Government is therefore accountable for all that is done and not done.

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Public servants, including @CMOH_Alberta, provide the expert advice and recommendations the Government needs to make those decisions. I am glad that the Government is following her advice at this time, but it is still the Government making the decisions.

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Read 10 tweets
31 Mar
The excuse provided by the Minister is pure bullshit. Alberta has the lowest debt-to-GDP of any province and huge (and largely unused) fiscal capacity. It can easily obtain cash from financial markets to fund any and all measures to offset the economic impacts of #COVID19.

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I have seen estimates that the federal deficit will top $100 billion this year. Yet Canada will have no problems getting that money from bond markets at remarkably low interest rates. Alberta has similar borrowing capacity.

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If you had any doubts about this at all, Alberta’s $1.5 billion preferred equity investment in KXL will mean an increase in debt issuance by a similar amount. That’s 10 times the cost of keeping the 20,000+ educational workers on the job.

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Read 5 tweets