A taxpayers group is demanding the Alberta government reign in some of the “golden benefits” given to provincial nurses.
“Not only are Alberta’s government nurses receiving big salaries compared to their counterparts in other provinces, they’re also receiving golden benefits that must be scaled back,” said Franco Terrazzano, Alberta Director for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, in a statement Wednesday.
“Premier Jason Kenney needs to pull Albertans out of the $70-billion debt hole and reining in these golden benefits is the perfect place to start.”
The CTF said they found freedom of information documents that showed some nurses getting double pensions, unfair overtime pay and top-up bonuses.
“In addition to receiving a defined benefit pension plan, which is described as “quite generous” by the pension plan, UNA nurses are also receiving matching RRSP or TFSA contributions from taxpayers up to two per cent of a nurse’s earnings. The second pension could add more than $1,850 every year to the compensation of top registered nurses,” said the CTF statement.
The CTF claims: “Part-time nurses have specific days-off built into their schedules, known as Designated Days of Rest. Any hours worked on those days trigger double-time pay, even if the part-time nurse hasn’t worked full-time hours. This policy has cost taxpayers more than $77 million since 2014 and increased the salaries of recipient nurses by about $4,000 on average in 2018.
“Full-time UNA nurses receive additional lump sum payments of $1,750 every year. The estimated cost of these lump sum payments for full-time nurses is about $20 million every year (based on 43 per cent of Alberta nurses being full-time and number of AHS UNA nursing positions).”
Terrazzano said Alberta’s maximum hourly salary rates are higher than those in every other province, except for one type of position in Ontario.
““Most Albertans would be laughed out of the room if we approached our boss demanding these types of benefits,” said Terrazzano. “It’s not fair to make struggling taxpayers continue to pay for golden benefits on-top of high Alberta government salaries.”
The United Nurses of Alberta said they would be commenting later in the day.
Dave Naylor is News Editor for the Western Standard
Woke readers would not, could not read these Dr. Seuss classics
Six Dr. Seuss books out of the 60 he wrote will no longer be published because they “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” the business that preserves the author’s legacy said
Woke readers of children’s books might like Green Eggs and Ham, but a half dozen classics from the immortal Dr. Seuss are heading for the moral dustbin.
Six Dr. Seuss books out of the 60 he wrote will no longer be published because they “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” the business that preserves the author’s legacy said, CNN reported.
Books that will no longer be published are: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super! and The Cat’s Quizzer.
CNN reportes Dr. Seuss Enterprises said it made the decision after consulting educators and reviewing its catalog.
“Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’s catalog represents and supports all communities and families,” it said in a statement.
The statement came Tuesday, the birthday of the venerable children’s book author.
Theodor Seuss Geisel has over 650 million copies of his books in print.
But CNN reported Geisel has “a long history of publishing racist and anti-Semitic work”, spanning back to the 1920s when he was a student at Dartmouth College. There, he once drew black boxers as gorillas and perpetuated Jewish stereotypes by portraying Jewish characters as financially stingy, according to a study published in the journal Research on Diversity in Youth Literature.
That study, published in 2019, examined 50 books by Dr. Seuss and found 43 out of the 45 characters of colour have “characteristics aligning with the definition of Orientalism,” or the stereotypical, offensive portrayal of Asia. The two “African” characters, the study says, both have anti-black characteristics, said CNN.
“In The Cat’s Quizzer, the Japanese character is referred to as ‘a Japanese,’ has a bright yellow face, and is standing on what appears to be Mt. Fuji,” the authors concluded.
In If I Ran the Zoo “the three (and only three) Asian characters who are not wearing conical hats are carrying a White male on their heads. The White male is not only on top of, and being carried by, these Asian characters, but he is also holding a gun, illustrating dominance. The text beneath the Asian characters describes them as ‘helpers who all wear their eyes at a slant’ from ‘countries no one can spell.'”
The study argues since most human characters in Dr. Seuss’ books are white, his works center whiteness and thus perpetuate white supremacy.
Geisel was born 1904, passing away September 24, 1991 at the age of 87.
Chinese-Canadians were working to contain COVID weeks before feds sounded alarms
The Commons public safety committee was told one MP said he learned of the risk not from the feds, but organizers of a Chinese-Canadian fundraiser in his BC riding.
Some Canadians of Chinese descent learned and acted on the dangers of COVID-19 more than a month before the Public Health Agency started sounding warnings.
The Commons public safety committee was told Monday, one MP said he learned of the coronavirus risk not from the feds, but organizers of a Chinese-Canadian fundraiser in his BC riding.
“I just want to relate a story in my riding,” said Conservative MP Tako Van Popta (Langley-Aldergrove, B.C.).
“My first exposure to the virus – we weren’t even calling it COVID-19 at the time – was in January of 2020, six weeks before the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 to be a pandemic.
“There was a scheduled Chinese New Year here in my riding that I was going to attend. It was cancelled because people from the Chinese community here in my riding of Langley-Aldergrove, which is quite a significant community, said, ‘There’s something going on in China. We want to stop that, so we’re going to cancel this meeting.’”
A Chinese New Year celebration was to be held January 25, put on by The Langley Chinese Association.
But the group warned of “the coronavirus concern” and refunded all tickets.
“It’s just so sad but we do believe it is the smart thing to do,” one organizer told the Langley Advance Times that day.
“It is just getting worse and worse.”
The PHA at the time said there was little chance of a pandemic in Canada.
The Agency in memos said “the risk of this virus within Canada continues to remain low at this time” as late as March 9, two days before the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic.
A day after that proclamation on March 12 , the PHA hosted a scheduled Ottawa convention of epidemiologists at a biannual Canadian Immunization Conference.
The cost of hosting the event was $319,167.
The event even came after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged people to “figure out how to stay home from work and work from home.”
Government waited until last March 18 to restrict all foreign air travelers from Canada except permanent residents and U.S. citizens.
Orders requiring all returning Canadians to quarantine for two weeks were not issued until March 26.
“This has been with us for thirteen months, and the Liberal government has been very, very slow in securing our borders,” said Van Popta.
Feds considered buying GM plant to make electric cars
GM said it was shuttering its plant in Oshawa in 2018 after more than 100 years
A plan by cabinet to buy a closed GM plant and start building electric cars has be shelved.
Blacklock’s Reporter said internal memos show supporters of the plan had urged the Liberal government to purchase the plant to make all-Canadian vehicles.
“We seem to have some pretty fundamental differences of opinion about the role of industry and the private sector in all of this,” a political aide to then-Industry Minister Navdeep Bains wrote in an April 14, 2020 email.
GM said it was shuttering it’s plant in Oshawa in 2018 after more than 100 years.
The announcement drew some anger because it followed a $10.8 billion bailout of General Motors by federal and Ontario taxpayers in 2009.
An organization called Green Jobs Oshawa and members of the NDP caucus petitioned the government to take over the plant.
“The general concept is that the GM Oshawa workforce would be tapped to make electric vehicles and the government should bankroll this transformation,” said one staff memo.
“The specifics of the proposal have always been a moving target.
“The dollar figure was north of $1 billion and some versions of the proposal called for the Government of Canada to buy the plant outright from General Motors.”
“Are we considering the proposal?” asked Sabrina Kim, then-director of communications in the Prime Minister’s Office.
“No,” replied Sam Eberlee, a special assistant at the industry department.
“They seem to be making their pitch through petitions and headlines.”
“Discussions with General Motors Canada on the retooling are ongoing. We have a good story to tell on supply side work with the auto sector.”
The company received a $10 million contract last March to retool a plant to manufacture high-grade N95 pandemic masks.
GM also announced last November it would reopen the Oshawa factory by 2022 to manufacture Silverado and Sierra pickup trucks.
On October 8, cabinet gave a $295-million grant to Ford Motor Company of Canada to produce electric vehicles in Oakville, Ont.
“This is a win-win,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters at the time.
Electric vehicles account for just three percent of sales nationwide despite $5,000 federal rebates.
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