3A. Sunday Morning Panel, 10:30 AM MST
Quality of Life - Public Services and Housing
With Brad Lafortune and Rebecca Graff-McRae
Public Housing is a Human Right - Now We Need to Act Like It
There is a housing crisis in Alberta. Instead of reinvesting in housing across the spectrum — from deep subsidy supportive housing to interventions in market housing — the provincial government is embarking on a strategy to privatize current public housing stock and is ideologically opposed to market interventions.
As a result, the crisis is deepening. But there are solutions and we know what they are. Public Interest Alberta is building a provincial blueprint with partners across the province to propose a generational investment in adequate, affordable and accessible housing. With the seven principles of adequate housing as the foundation, Alberta can and will become a leader in making housing a human right — not just in principle or legislation, but in reality.
Brad Lafortune has worked most of his life on Treaty 6 territory in Alberta as an advocate for worker rights and social, economic and environmental justice. Read more »
Public Services and Political Divisions: Lessons from a Deeply Divided Society
In deeply divided politics and those emerging from political conflict, the (re)establishment of reliable, equitable public services is crucial – not just for the reconstruction of a functional society, but also towards the (re)building of a shared civic identity.
While Alberta is not deeply divided in this extreme sense, it nonetheless has deep political and socio-economic divisions that have been reinforced and redrawn during the seismic shifts of the last few years. This presentation asks how these divisions have impacted our ability to maintain and expand our vital public services and whether our failure to protect them may contribute to a deepening divide. Finally, it explores how we can strengthen our services for the good of all Albertans.
Rebecca Graff-McRae is a Research Manager for Parkland Institute, working on issues of healthcare, seniors’ care, education, and public services in Alberta. She holds a doctorate in Irish Politics from Queen’s University Belfast and has published widely on post-conflict politics in Ireland and Northern Ireland as well as Alberta politics. Read more »
3B. Sunday Morning Panel, 10:30 AM MST
Jobs and Transitions
With Ian Hussey and Ana Guerra Marin
Job Creation or Job Loss? Big Companies Use Tax Cut to Automate Away Jobs in the Oil Sands
My presentation analyzes how the four biggest oil sands companies received $4.3 billion in tax cuts from the UCP government since 2019 through the so-called “Job Creation Tax Cut,” while at the same time eliminating thousands of employees from their payrolls. The research shows the Big Four used the tax giveaway to increase executives’ pay and boost cash transfers to shareholders, while accelerating automation and cutting jobs.
Ian Hussey began his work as a research manager at the University of Alberta’s Parkland Institute in 2014, and he earned a career appointment in 2019. He is a steering committee member of the Corporate Mapping Project. Read more »
Navigating Polarization and Fear While Building JUST Transitions from the Ground Up
What would happen if we actually listen to Indigenous Peoples, workers and frontline communities? And what does this engagement look like? The speaker will present Iron & Earth’s consent and agency-based approach, what findings have been identified so far and how that translates to an equitable future.
Ana Guerra Marin (she/her) is the Communities Director and Just Transition Lead at Iron & Earth. She is a social justice expert with direct fossil fuel experience and a 15-year career focused on helping communities in Latin America and Canada achieve self-determination through social transformation.