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UCP government targets health care, protests, and unions

The UCP government moved at lightning speed during the Legislature’s spring session. Let’s break down some of the most important issues for AUPE members.

Jul 30, 2020

UCP government targets health care, protests, and unions

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During the Alberta Legislature’s extra-long spring session that just ended, Premier Kenney’s UCP—once again—wasted no time launching new attacks on Albertans, unions, and the public services we depend upon.

So, what’s the rush? Why is the UCP ramming everything through so quickly? Because doing so makes it harder for everyday Albertans to keep up and fight back.

Since the legislative session started on February 27, the UCP government has passed three massive bills that threaten your rights, your family, your community, and your quality of life. Here’s a breakdown.

Bill 1

Bill 1 targets protests that happen on streets, sidewalks, and at other public infrastructure, such as hospitals and government buildings.

While the UCP government originally introduced Bill 1 to target environmental activists and Indigenous land defenders, there is no doubt Bill 1’s long arm could reach far enough to smash any protest Kenney and his billionaire backers don’t like.

That’s why AUPE is launching a constitutional challenge of Bill 1 to stop the UCP from crushing our rights to free speech, free assembly, and free association.

“This bill violates the rights of Albertans,” says AUPE President Guy Smith. “It’s an attack on our freedom to take part in peaceful protests, which everyone around the world understands is an essential part of democracy.”

Bill 32

Just like Bill 1, Bill 32 tries to stop AUPE members from doing what we do best – fighting for our jobs, our public services, and for all Albertans. It does so by attacking our picket lines. Whether we’re shutting down our own workplaces or picketing in solidarity with fellow workers seeking justice elsewhere, this new law targets our ability to stand up for what’s right with people who deserve better than they’re getting.

Even worse, Bill 32 attacks the entire labour movement’s ability to fight for causes beyond anyone’s immediate workplace, for causes that affect everyone in all our communities. The UCP government wants to stop union members from fighting for anything that isn’t bargaining-related, but Bill 32 means the government—not you— gets to decide what falls under this umbrella!

AUPE members don’t trust the UCP to approve what we do, and we will not let the UCP tell us what we fight for.

Bill 30

Bill 30 is a massive bill. It blows an icy wind of US-style for-profit medicine that rips the roof off universal healthcare in Alberta. It cuts approval times for private surgery facilities, lets the government contract with doctors individually – instead of as a group – and lets private interests control administration of clinics.

When you put it all together, Bill 32 is another step toward the privatization piranha pit the UCP wants to throw us in.

Instead of focusing on strong public health care in the middle of a pandemic, the UCP seems to want to sell our health care off to the highest bidder, and Albertans are the ones who are going to bear the weight of the UCP’s bad decisions.

FIGHTBACK

Premier Kenney and the UCP think they can tell us what to do.

They can’t.

Throughout our 100-year history, AUPE members have fought bullies, bad bosses, and bad governments. Sometimes they’re all the same thing.

Get ready to rumble. And win.

Learn more - including how to contact AUPE’s organizing department - at AUPE.org/fightback

 

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