Message from Secretary Ruth Duffy
Alberta rarely has good news to celebrate in the area of Health Care, but the most encouraging events have all been in the past week, on both the provincial and national fronts.
Firstly, of great news not just in Alberta, but across Canada, is the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision rejected the Harper Government’s attempts to close the only Safe Injection Site in Vancouver’s impoverished Lower East side. The Federal Conservatives vehemently sought to abolish the program despite the overwhelming scientific evidence of its role in saving lives. This ruling has opened up the opportunity for additional sites in cities across Canada. Sites are already proposed in Montreal and Victoria.
Encouraging news in Alberta is the election of Alison Redford as Alberta’s new premier. Her support of public health care and education is truly a breath of fresh air in a province noted for its starvation of public services. Ms. Redford was the only candidate for the leadership of the PC’s who called the UNA Provincial Office with a request to meet with the Executive Officers to discuss matters of mutual interest. Whether or not we support the PC’s, it appears to be good news for health and education.
On the Labour front, we continue to mourn the tragic death of Jack Lay-ton. His sudden passing came at the height of his career, one marked by an unending fight for fairness, honesty and support for all members of society, but particularly, those who are our most vulnerable citizens, the poor, seniors, First Nations and all other marginalized groups. Canada has lost one of its best and brightest! It is especially important now that we follow Jack’s example and stand unit-ed, given the strong anti-labour political environment in the US but also in Canada where the Harper government has now intervened in three union at-tempts to obtain a fair Collective Agreement. The middle class is under attack on both sides of the 49th parallel.
The Local 115 Executive is now, busily looking forward to the upcoming Provincial AGM, October 25-27 inclusive. We are anticipating lots of new educational opportunities, meeting new friends, and having lots of fun! As the end of 2011 approaches, we wish you a pleasant autumn and Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Ruth Duffy – Secretary, Local 115