EDMONTON—The Alberta Government’s 2015-16 budget was released today and brought in some modest changes to our revenue system that will increase the tax load on average Albertans without touching the huge tax benefits for wealthy individuals and corporations.
“Alberta could have fixed our unfair tax system, which still leaves us $10.6 billion lower in tax revenue than the second-lowest tax jurisdiction in Canada,” said Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. “Instead, Alberta’s families will feel the impact of larger class sizes, fewer students enrolling in post-secondary education, seniors losing their drug benefits, and cities losing much-needed infrastructure funds.”Read more
EDMONTON—A woman was evicted from the care centre she has been living in for five years and transferred to hospital without the family’s prior knowledge or consent because a family member was publicly questioning the quality of care her sister was getting at the facility. Public Interest Alberta has raised similar concerns with the Ministry of Health, the Health Advocate’s Office, and AHS about the lack of due process for many families who have been banned or threatened to be banned for raising concerns about the quality of care for their loved ones.Read more
EDMONTON—The results of the Alberta government’s survey clearly shows that the majority of Albertans do not want the government to cut public services and instead are calling for a progressive income tax and an increase to corporate taxes. “By rejecting any increase to corporate taxes out of hand, the Minister is clearly showing he is not listening to the priorities of Albertans,” says Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta.Read more
EDMONTON—Public Interest Alberta has released documents obtained through a freedom of information request that raise a number of serious issues and questions about the Conservative government’s policy of funding corporations to provide seniors care. The documents provide an insight into the very close relationship between the corporate seniors-care industry and the Alberta government and their development of a new continuing care policy that has not yet been released. The government and key industry leaders held meetings for over a year to make "longer-term system renewal and an overarching provincial framework for the future of continuing care.”(p 132) Unfortunately, the minutes and even the agendas of these meeting were redacted from the FOIPP document, so it is not possible to know what policy changes the industry reps were proposing."Read more
EDMONTON—Representatives of Public Interest Alberta (PIA) today released a report summarizing what the organization heard about unacceptable classroom and school conditions around Alberta in a recent online survey. The survey was conducted in November and December of 2014, and asked teachers, parents, educational staff and students to describe the situation in their classroom and school.Read more
EDMONTON&mdashPublic Interest Alberta launched the first of five animated commercials today to build public pressure on Premier Prentice to fix Alberta’s flawed and unfair tax system so that we can invest in public services like full-day kindergarten in the future.
“If we don’t challenge the Premier to establish a progressive income tax and fair corporate taxes today, then in future years we not be able to invest in important services that matter to Albertans,” says Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta.Read more
EDMONTON—Public Interest Alberta’s Seniors Task Force released a Long-Term Care position paper today that calls on the Prentice government to fix the growing crisis in seniors care. The sixteen organizations are deeply concerned that the Prentice government will not change the government policy that caps the number of long-term care beds and continues to fund seniors care 19% below the national average.Read more
EDMONTON—A rally was held in front of MP Peter Goldring’s office today, International Human Rights Day, to demand answers to why the Conservative government is pushing through legislation that will allow provinces to deny refugee claimants access to social services. “Historically, Canada has had a reputation of helping vulnerable populations get back on their feet, so we were shocked when Peter Goldring asked why the families could not just go to a homeless shelter,” said Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. “Given refugee claimants must already demonstrate great need in order to qualify for provincial income assistance and that it takes months for refugee claimants to get work permits, it is cruel to deny them the support they need to survive when they first arrive in Canada.”Read more
EDMONTON—The Edmonton Social Planning Council, the Alberta College of Social Workers and Public Interest Alberta released a new report, “No Change: After 25 years of Promises it is Time to Eliminate Child Poverty” on the 25th anniversary of the all party House of Commons vote to eliminate child poverty by the year 2000. The report shows that 143,200 children in Alberta lived below the low-income measure (LIM After Tax) in 2012. This represents 16.2% of all children, practically ‘no change’ from 1989 (16.4%). In fact, with Alberta’s population growth, there are 28,670 more children in poverty in Alberta than in 1989.Read more
EDMONTON—Families with infants, children with special needs and low-incomes hit hardest by lack of childcare funding. In recognition of National Child Day, Public Interest Alberta released the results of a new province-wide survey of childcare centres, day homes and after school care that reveals how Alberta’s underfunded childcare system is failing too many families.Read more