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—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
"Albertans need to ask why the province is continuing to give away taxpayers’ dollars to companies to build and run seniors care facilities, says Public Interest Alberta. Kilgannon said increasing the number of long-term care beds is probably due to the pressure government is getting from all directions, particularly front-line health professionals, about the number of seniors in acute care hospital beds waiting for continuing care beds."Read more
An advocacy group has accused the Tories of disguising a pre-election promise in a government announcement of new health-care beds for seniors.Alberta Health Minister Stephen Mandel last week announced 311 “restorative care” beds, which would offer intensive therapy outside of hospitals to frail seniors recovering from surgery or a fall.But neither his office nor Alberta Health Services can offer specific details about where those beds will be located, how they will operate, and how much it will cost to staff them or when they will be in place.Read more
"Sixteen advocacy, health care and seniors groups are calling on the Prentice government to eliminate its cap on the number of long-term care beds and increase funding for care and medically trained staff at seniors’ facilities. On Tuesday, Public Interest Alberta’s Seniors’ Task Force, whose members represent Central Alberta Council on Aging, United Nurses of Alberta, Friend of Medicare, and many others, released a Long-Term Care position paper saying Alberta is short 6,000 long-term care beds."Read more
On December 16, 2014, Public Interest Alberta's Seniors Task Force released its Position Paper on Long-Term Care. The paper lays out Alberta's current needs for long-term care and shows how we got to the crisis point we are at today. The paper finishes by making 8 clear recommendations on how the Alberta Government can improve long-term care to ensure our seniors are properly cared for.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
"'We have a crisis in our seniors care system," said Bill Moore-Kilgannon, the executive director of Public Interest Alberta—an organization that focuses on education and advocacy. 'We don't have enough long-term care, and the care that's being provided is being cut back significantly, and thirdly, they’re pairing with private, for-profit corporations, where a lot of the taxpayers dollars are being siphoned off. We need more facilities and we need proper care in those facilities, and that comes about with having trained staff.'"Read more
Public Interest Alberta executive director Bill Moore Kilgannon said Alberta spends 19 per cent less per capita on seniors care than the Canadian average, and must upgrade the care requirements to include more trained professionals.
“There are serious consequences for families, and this could be anybody’s family,” he said. “We have to get this right.”Read more