The Impact of COVID-19 on Democracy

James Madison said tyranny arises “on some favourable emergency”.

The COVID-19 pandemic is today’s “favourable emergency.” It’s being used by unscrupulous politicians as a smokescreen for undemocratic behavior in Alberta’s Legislature and an excuse for Jason Kenney to enlist the crème de la crème of right-wing conservative thinkers to reshape Alberta’s economy.

Undemocratic behavior in the Legislature

Last week NDP opposition leader Rachel Notley told the House about a number of instances where the Kenney government violated the principles of democracy.*  

She said the Kenney government introduced motions without allowing the NDP Opposition to see them beforehand and then lied to the House by claiming written notice had been provided when it had not.

Rachel Notley NDP Opposition Leader

She described how the Kenney government threatened to withdraw the $500 million it had promised support frontline workers battling COVID-19 if the NDP Opposition did not unanimously support what she described was an “unorthodox” change in the budget numbers.  

Government lies and threats have no place in the democratic process.

Lastly, the Kenney government rammed through the budget with 3 hours of debate when House rules require 30 plus hours of debate time. It’s not as if the time wasn’t available. The government simply cancelled the 10 hours of debate time that had been scheduled for the prior evening and that morning.

Why the rush?

Because by short-circuiting debate the Kenney government could shield itself from financial accountability, oversight, and transparency; and (perhaps just as important) shield spineless UCP MLAs who supported cuts that will harm their own constituents.

Hiding from accountability and oversight while ducking your own constituents is undemocratic and cowardly.

The Kenney government said the COVID-19 pandemic justified its behavior and yet other governments, including Saskatchewan, Ontario, and the federal government delayed their budgets, recognizing the pandemic had rendered their budget numbers irrelevant.     

The Harper Council

The Kenney government promised to do everything in its power to protect jobs and job creators in the face of COVID-19 and plunging oil prices. It created the Economic Recovery Council to guide Alberta through the downturn and to develop strategies for long-term recovery, including economic diversification.    

The Council is chaired by economist Jack Mintz (who believes Alberta could Wexit easier than the UK could Brexit) and includes Stephen Harper, former prime minister and now chair of the International Democrat Union (IDU), an alliance of centre-right, conservative political parties. Margaret Thatcher was one of its founding members.

The Harper Council (let’s face it, Stephen Harper will have more sway over the outcome than the other 11 members put together) is top heavy with executives from banks, private equity funds, and the energy sector and light on everything else. This is an indication of what Albertans can expect from the Council—recommendations that echo Kenney’s call for more government support of the energy sector at the expense of everything else (there’s a reason why the AIMCo CEO is at the table).  

One might ask why the Kenney government did not commit to doing everything in its power to protect its citizens from the social consequences of COVID-19 and plummeting oil prices and set up a parallel Council of healthcare and other professionals to develop strategies for our long term social recovery.  

The answer is simple. Kenney accepts responsibility for the economy (sort of, when things go bad it’s someone else’s fault, when things go well he takes a bow), but he will not accept responsibility for society, hence his government’s continuing attacks on Alberta’s doctors smack in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis.  

Thankfully Albertans can rely on the Trudeau government which is committed to spending billions to help Albertans weather this crisis.   

Compassion vs prosperity

Remember when the UCP said we can’t be a compassionate, caring society until we’re a prosperous one. This Thatcherism became the foundation of Jason Kenney’s election promise of “jobs, economy, pipelines” and was reflected in one of his first pieces of legislation, the “job creating tax cut.”

We knew Jason Kenney was wrong, but it wasn’t until the coronavirus hit that we realized just how wrong he was.  

All the tax cuts in the world aren’t going to put Alberta’s economy back on track because as economist Jim Stanford says, it is “work” (which he defines as human effort) that’s critical to economic activity. Human effort transforms the materials we get from nature into useful goods and services. Sure, corporate investment is important, but it is by no means the only driver.  

And until human effort returns to the economy in the form of production and consumption, the economy is going nowhere.

Think about that for a moment.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced human effort to withdraw from the economy in all but the “essential” sectors (some of which were invisible to us until now).

What if something as powerful as a pandemic, say a desire to stop the degradation of public services like education and healthcare, were to capture Albertans’ imagination and they withdrew their human effort for, say, one day a week until politicians agreed it was time to reconsider the balance between the economy and society.

Oh wait, we already know how to do that. It’s called a General Strike.

Hmmm…

*Alberta Hansard, Mar 17, 2020 p 221

This entry was posted in Alberta Health Care, Economy, Energy & Natural Resources, General Health Care, Politics and Government and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to The Impact of COVID-19 on Democracy

  1. CallmeHal2000 says:

    Jason Kenney and his UCP care nothing for the people of this province. This opportunity to consolidate power is all Jason Kenney and his UCP care about.

    • Dwayne says:

      CallmeHal2000: The UCP care about what you mentioned, and their corporate buddies. The Alberta PCs were also like that, since Don Getty was premier of Alberta.

      • Hal2000 and Dwayne, I agree. The Kenney government in its infinite wisdom decided smack in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic to promote the Telus Health Babylon app.
        According to Dr Pakdel, a radiologist, Babylon is multinational corporation funded by countries like Saudi Arabia. The terms of service (that small print no one reads) require you to agree to be recorded and videoed. Babylon’s software developers can use your medical record, transcripts, and recordings any way they want to develop and improve their for-profit application and they can share your info with other members of their “corporate group” and “partners” (whoever they are). Your personal data can be transferred outside of Canada and may be accessible to foreign government agencies. On top of that, the doctors providing advice on Babylon get paid $38/call whereas Alberta doctors who provide virtual consultation get $20.
        Who in their right mind would promote such an anti-Alberta public healthcare service app, oh, never mind, it’s Jason Kenney. Incidentally, Zainul Mawji, president of Telus Home Solutions is a member of the Economic Recovery Council (aka the Harper Council). Her bio says she’s responsible for many things including Telus’ “consumer health product line”, which if I read their MD&A securities filing correctly includes Babylon.

  2. J.E. Molnar says:

    So appreciate the excellent work you do in exposing the slimy underbelly of conservative *newspeak.

    My sense of this new Economic Recovery Council is that Jack Mintz and Stephen Harper will do for Alberta what “trickle-down economics” did for Jason (I’ve-Got-A-Panel-For-That) Kenney.

    This entire debacle sounds like a chapter out of Naomi Klein’s 2007 book: “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.” For those unfamiliar with the book, Klein centers on the exploitation of national crises (disasters, pandemics or upheavals) to establish controversial and questionable policies, while citizens are excessively distracted (emotionally and physically) to engage and develop an adequate response, and resist effectively. Sounds about right.

    *George Orwell coined the term in his novel: 1984

  3. NeilRD says:

    To be fair, Susan, I think Jim Standford would agree that about 150 years ago, Marx was the one who recognized that labour was the factor of production, which created economic value in the production of goods and services. While the liberal economists of the 19th century railed against laws which prevented the free movement of capital by those Jason Kennedy, today calls “job creators.”
    Of course those economists, like our own Jack Mintz, were successful and latter-day capitalists are free to accumulate tax cuts and move that capital with great alacrity without engaging labour at all.

    • Very true NeilRD.
      Jim Standford made an interesting point in his book “Economics for Everyone”. He said homosapiens have existed for 100,000 years and capitalism has existed for 250 years. If the entire history of homosapiens was a 24-hour day, then capitalism has existed for three-and-a-half minutes. It’s something to bear in mind when we think about what’s next after the pandemic passes.

  4. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thanks for another great blog. If the familiarity of the UCP acting in an undemocratic fashion seems familiar, it’s because it has happened in Alberta, with the Alberta PCs, with the exception of Peter Lougheed’s government. For example, Ralph Klein and his government did things like privatize liquor stores, privatized registries, deregulated utilities in Alberta and put in the flat tax failure. These things were never put forth to Albertans, to see if they wanted them, and were very costly to Albertans. Anyone that criticized Ralph Klein’s bad policies, like Opposition MLAs, newspaper columnists, and even Alberta PC MLAs, were punished. Ralph Klein’s cabinet member, Stockwell Day, also reduced Legislative session times, in order to “save Alberta money”. We did not save money when we footed the very pricey bill of his defamation lawsuit. I also recall Ralph Klein giving praise to Augusto Pinnochet, when the Opposition were questioning him about public versus private auto insurance in Alberta, in the Alberta Legislature. Very bizarre. There are questions surrounding how Jason Kenney became premier of Alberta. Why did he fire the Elections Commissioner, if he was not guilty of any elections related offences? I believe he did this when he was in Texas. Also, things like prescription changes for seniors, and others, changes to AISH payment dates, (which makes it even harder for those on AISH to get by), taking control of teacher’s pensions, and placing them in a less yielding, and more riskier pension fund, and so on, were done without asking those involved if they wanted these things. With the UCP, it’s basically back to a one party state. There are Albertans, including me, who have ancestors and family members, who left places, like Eastern European countries, because things were so bad there, including the governments in power. We have that in Alberta. What a shame!

    • You’re right Dwayne. Rachel Notley has been trying to publicize all the breaches of democracy she’s seen the UCP government pull over the last 10 months. She runs into a number of hurdles: (1) the UCP flat out lie, just like they did when they said they would not sell off public parkland and then announced an auction of 65 hectares near Taber. The starting bid is $440,000. (2) the press doesn’t report most of the violations of democracy because they’re pro-UCP or they don’t understand the issue, and (3) the UCP poo-poo the whole thing saying the NDP are just sore losers.
      The historian Timothy Snyder says you have to be especially vigilant when the “unthinkable” happens. Well, the “unthinkable” is happening now and we have to call out the UCP each and every time they cross the line. (It’s tiring but we have to do it).

  5. Dwayne says:

    Susan: Thatcherism, Reaganomics, Manning Center policies, Fraser Institute policies, and even Canadian Taxpayer Federation policies, all end up in disaster. They promote deregulation and privatization of essential services, the flat tax model, lower minimum wages, a lack of government regulation for important things, and support corporate welfare. Examples of who followed any of these types of things, include former Alberta PC premier, Ralph Klein, and his good friend, former Ontario PC premier, Mike Harris (who loathed democracy). The Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation are not what they used to be, and what they endorse is not beneficial to ordinary Albertans. Jason Kenney and the UCP are going down this same bad road. The results of it are not good, and it’s been under a year since the UCP were in power.

    • I agree Dwayne. What’s interesting is even the Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation and the Fraser Institute have on occasion taken issue with some of Kenney’s policies. If he’s to the right of the CTF and Fraser, he’s pretty far right!

  6. diamondwalker says:

    .. for the life of me, I cannot comprehend how Albertans have said not a word about Jason Kenney directing pension fund monies to the purchase of the Coastal GasLink Pipeline, which is to be located only in British Columbia. Are Albertans not aware that the purchase of majority control, 65% was finalized and announced publically at Christmas of this past year ? As I recall, the talk was of punishing the peaceful protesters, national unity at extreme risk, Wexit favored by most Albertans. Seriously ? Albertans pension funds pay for a gas pipeline to Kitimat in BC (part of Canada, last I looked) the price of Methane tanking, and the Premier plays the ‘separation song’ loud and clear ? What ? Alberta buys a pipeline in BC then exits Canada ? Walks away ?

    Can anyone explain this ?

    • diamondwalker says:

      .. Further.. can anyone explain how and why the current CEO of AIMCo is Stephen Harper ? Presumably this is by appointment. What is the process through which that appointment was made and by whom ? It smacks of annointment.. partisan manipulation involving massive amounts of Albertan Pension Funds. I am on record suggesting Jason Kenney and Stephen Harper intend to extend the Coastal GasLink Pipeline across the border into Alberta. That is likely to be accomplished just as deviously as was the purchase of the pipeline from TC Energy (Trans Canada) with Albertans Pension Funds and with the full knowlege and support of BC Premier John Horgan and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plus all Canadians taxes subsidizing the scam

      • diamondwalker says:

        .. ! Correction !
        The CEO of AIMco is not Stephen Harper.
        My error
        The previous comment is tainted by the error
        Apologies !

      • No need to apologise Diamondwalker. I probably confused things by referring to the AIMco CEO in the same breath as Harper. Anyway the point you make about using pension funds to buy pipeline resources in BC is an interesting one. As you said, weren’t we going to cut those guys off and walk away from Canada while we were doing it? God only knows what these yahoos want now, but they’re up in arms about Trudeau using the COVID-19 pandemic as a “distraction” (from what pray tell, the pandemic that’s sinking economies around the globe?) I think they’ve lost it.

  7. Good piece, sharp & illuminating – daring closing line. Hope you and your loved-ones are all doing well. Here’s something worth revisiting > PANDEMICS, COVID-19 & COOPERATION | This is a TED Talk © from 2006 – prophetic, very relevant today. Accepting the 2006 TED Prize, Dr. Larry Brilliant talks about how smallpox was eradicated from the planet, and calls for a new global system that can identify and contain pandemics before they spread. ||| https://www.ted.com/talks/larry_brilliant_my_wish_help_me_stop_pandemics

    • diamondwalker says:

      .. Thanks ! That is a ‘Must See’ video ! Approx 20 minutes. Breaktakingly inspirational. This guy and his peers should be regarded in the context of Medical Healthcare & Wellbeing Giants.. There seems no medical and humanitarian challenge makes them even blink. Astonishing ! The role of webcrawlers is fantastical.. WoW !

    • Wow, that is a terrific video. Dr Brilliant’s description of the consequences of a pandemic have come to pass. He said “there would be a global recession and depression as our just-in-time inventory system and the tight rubber band of globalization broke, and the cost to our economy of one to three trillion dollars would be far worse for everyone than merely 100 million people dying, because so many more people would lose their job and their healthcare benefits, that the consequences are almost unthinkable.”
      His solution,–early detection, early response–and the value of the work done by GPHIN was very encouraging. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  8. Bob Raynard says:

    The idea of a general strike was mentioned when the budget was originally released, before Covid started, and I really liked the idea. As the teachers in Ontario showed, occasional one day strikes seem to not trigger any essential services legislation, so there would be little Kenney could do other than huff and puff.

    In a post-Covid world, I don’t know how a general strike would fly. ANY abuse Kenney directs at medical workers would, I am sure, be met with outrage from the general public, especially if (when?) medical workers succumb to the disease in their efforts to save Albertans. Post Covid they will be like the returning heroes from WWII.

    Education workers, on the other hand, will be hard pressed to get public sympathy. As a result of school closures that will probably last for the rest of the school year, the right wingers would point to how they just had a five and a half month paid holiday. The time teachers spent making remote education work would not exist in their mind; all that would matter is that parents had to go without childcare for that time. As a consequence, I don’t think the public support would be there. Teachers might be better off to go back to school and let the public see the effects of Kenney’s cuts.

    Thanks for conitnuing this great blog, Susan. Stay healthy.

    • Interesting point Bob about the public’s perception of the value of medical workers versus that of teachers. I hope that parents who are struggling to educate their children at home, even if it’s just trying to make sure they plug into the online teaching modules, will have a better appreciation for what teachers actually do. But like you said, there are many dolts out there who think this is one big holiday.
      Actually when I mentioned a general strike I was thinking that everyone (not just doctors and teachers) would get involved and withdraw their services from their workplaces and stay home. Obviously this would hurt those in the service sector who are on their knees because of COVID-19 which was why I suggested going out for 1 day at first.
      It’s a powerful took, and we’d need to consider it carefully before deploying it on the heels of the pandemic.
      Stay healthy!

    • Curt says:

      Good points. I do wonder, however, if parents supporting their kids at home with what they have been given electronically might not increase appreciation for what teachers do? I’ve been seeing expressions of appreciation for teachers lately.

      • Curt, I’ve seen those appreciative comments too. One of the funniest I saw was from a dad trying to teach his two boys. He said something along the lines of: Today 2 students were suspended and the teacher was fired for public drunkenness. As you said, there’s more to teaching than people understand.

  9. Ted Woynillowicz says:

    INTERREUGNUM – Definition from Wikipedia ” An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or “gap” in a government, organization, or social order. Archetypally, it was the period of time between the reign of one monarch and the next (coming from Latin inter-, “between” and rēgnum, “reign” [from rex, rēgis, “king”]), and the concepts of interregnum and regency therefore overlap. Historically, the longer and heavier interregna were typically accompanied by widespread unrest, civil and succession wars between warlords, and power vacuums filled by foreign invasions or the emergence of a new power. A failed state is usually in interregnum.”

    This may be an opportunity to assess where we have come from and where we are going. MIT’s Otto Scharmer https://www.ottoscharmer.com/bio has realeased the following which I am posting for your consideration: https://medium.com/presencing-institute-blog/eight-emerging-lessons-from-coronavirus-to-climate-action-683c39c10e8b

    • Thank you Ted for that fascinating link. It points out the need for us to not only get through the interregnum but to give careful consideration to what we want to look like when we reach the other side. One thing is for certain, Canada has not made the same disastrous choice the Americans are making under Trump.
      I’m not sure we can say the same about Alberta. Kenney is considering declaring all oil sands workers “essential”. This means they’ll have a higher risk of infection (work camps are not exactly conducive to the 2 meter rule) and even if their symptoms are mild, they’ll all go back into their communities and expose everyone they meet to a greater risk than if they were subject to the same protocols the government has put in place for the general population.
      Economy trumps society once again in Kenneyland.

  10. GoinFawr says:

    RE: James Madison said tyranny arises “on some favourable emergency”

    Well, it sure can, but it is hardly inevitable. Crisis brings out the worst and the best of us, so let’s just hope the latter get the upper hand this time, for once.

    “… the Kenney government introduced motions without allowing the NDP Opposition to see them beforehand and then lied to the House by claiming written notice had been provided when it had not
    And here I heard you can’t call just anyone a liar in the House without being asked to leave. What is happening to democracy?
    /sardonic off

    • Good point GoinFawr, emergency doesn’t necessarily result in tyranny, but it has worked that way many times in the past.
      It’s probably too soon to make a call on Kenney’s latest panel, the Premier’s Council on Charities and Civil Society which will advise the government on how to help at-risk Albertans during the COVID-19 outbreak, and support organizations that work with such populations, but I worry whether Kenney is sincere. Why? Because it got $60 million in emergency funding, which is half of what the government has committed to the War Room over the next 4 years and it will have an ongoing role advising social service agencies (including for-profit agencies) how to collaborate with the government.
      I’m afraid I am too cynical to see this as a good thing.

  11. Mare says:

    Hello Susan, thanks again for an excellent blogpost. This is such a devastating time to have immoral, incompetent “leaders” in the majority (Alberta and US as well). As to the Babylon app, I thought this was informative and an important warning: https://www.wired.co.uk/article/babylon-health-nhs if you haven’t read it already.

    • Thanks for this link Mare. It provides real evidence of the harm the Babylon app has done to the British public health system. I sincerely hope that Albertans will learn a valuable lesson from the COVID-19 outbreak, namely that when we need our public healthcare system it’s there for us. The fact that doctors and nurses are coming out of retirement to help out speaks volumes. They’re certainly not risking their lives for the money. We need more money going into publicly funded and publicly DELIVERED health, not less.

      • CallmeHal2000 says:

        Yesterday an Alberta Emergency Alert was broadcast by Pelmorex on TV, notifying Telus Mobile users in Red Deer, Airdrie and Rockyford that they could not phone 911, and advising them to use a landline. I don’t know if this was because of the switchover to the 5G network or not, but surely the provider of Babylon should also be a provider of 911 call capability during a declared state of emergency. This does not instill confidence.

        (And if one was conspiracy-minded, one might note the Huawei-Telus joint 5G rollout has an interesting angle. Huawei’s research centre is based in Wuhan.)

        At least we know what Jason Kenney, and his right-hand man before him, did in London before Christmas: Babylon.

      • carlos beca says:

        NO DOUBTS
        I bet Telus paid for the whole affair and I am sure Jason Kenney has no issue at all getting freebies and probably a 5 star hotel and some extra money for fun and who knows some free shares in Babylon???

  12. carlos beca says:

    There’s a ‘special place in hell’ for scammers amid COVID-19 pandemic, Alberta premier says

    Look who is talking?

    • CallmeHal2000 says:

      Questions:

      After travelling to Ottawa by plane during the pandemic, did Jason Kenney self-isolate upon his return? Others premiers chose not to attend. The Prime Minister was in quarantine at the time.

      Why was he wandering around Edmonton International complaing about border control Covid-19 measures during this pandemic when he had no legitimate reason to be there?

      Perhaps people who live in glass houses should not cast stones.

    • CallmeHal2000 says:

      Anyone invoking hell to rain down on people should probably get familiar with the saying, “Idle hands do the devil’s work,” or one of its variants.

      About those people who cannot afford rent in the current crisis, Kenney said, “Many of them would be renters who have not paid their rent for several months or who have been engaged in criminal activity or vandalism or operating grow-ops.”

      https://pressprogress.ca/jason-kenney-claims-many-albertans-at-risk-of-eviction-are-involved-in-vandalism-or-growing-marijuan

      Think of what will happen when all those louts get evicted from their rented accommodations and have nowhere to go, and nothing to do. Dangerous gangs roaming the streets. It’ll probably be hard to run a grow-op on a street corner. But the vandalism! And worse! Do desperate people with no money, no food and no shelter turn to crime?

      Clearly, empathy and common sense are not necessary for governing a province. More brimstone!

      • CallmeHal2000 says:

        Conclusion: scammers and hoarders are bad for Alberta, but spreaders who don’t self-isolate after airplane trips are just fine, unless they are not Jason Kenney himself, who is allowed to do whatever he wants.

      • CallmeHall, I referred to the article you linked in my response to Carlos, thank you for sharing it, and I wanted to add that Kenney’s response here reminds me of his heartless response to the AIDS victims in San Francisco. He says he volunteered at an AIDS hospice and spent his time “washing bloody sheets” and later he boasts about fighting to overturn the first gay spousal law in North America.
        The man is a vicious hypocrite of the fire and brimstone variety.
        Here’s the link: https://www.sprawlcalgary.com/the-young-zealot-part-2

    • Carlos, sometimes I marvel at how tone deaf our dear leader is. Actually I think he thinks we’re all stupid. Did you see the photos of Kenney in a face mask serving food to the homeless, when at the same time he refuses to pass legislation preventing landlords from throwing tenants out if they can’t pay the rent on Apr 1. He actually suggested many of these tenants were already in arrears or “have been engaged in criminal activity or vandalism or operating grow-ops.” So on the one hand he’s taking a photo op with the homeless and on the other hand he’s going to allow more Albertans to become homeless. Unbelievable!
      PS I’m not saying the landlords should be out of pocket. His government could put together some for of backstop for landlords who’re providing a cushion for their tenants, or he could give the money directly to the tenants…no, wait, that’s the job of his latest panel the Council on Charities and Civil Society–15 people charged with redistributing $60M in funds to something or other.

      • carlos beca says:

        This is the same person who criticized Rachel Notley for the creation of the panel on royalties. He now must be the Jason Kenney Panel – He cannot make a decision without a panel that costs millions of dollars. He is only concerned with the dollars spent by others, when it comes to him no amount is too much starting with the war room and all the other rooms including the new Economic Room with Harper, who thinks that somehow he is admired world wide. This is a pure joke. I am sorry for Rachel Notley having to witness this destruction without being able to do anything.

      • CallmeHal2000 says:

        Ralph Klein in an N95 and vinyl gloves, too cold and ruthless to understand why this photo upset so many people. He could enact legislation, as other provinces have done to defer evictions. But no, he gears up in PPE and hands out bag lunches (that people were probably going to get from the shelter anyways) while not only refusing to defer evictions, but continuing with draconian legislation that will add to the job losses from the pandemic, leading to more evictions. Meanwhile, police helicopters circle communities late at night, because apparently crime is up, particularly vandalism, which was one of his talking points.

        And did the N95 and gloves come from federal supplies that were sent to Alberta? While nurses, whose own job layoffs have been deferred until May, cannot get N95 masks to do nasal swabs on suspected Covid-19 patients, the premier wastes them grandstanding for a photo op. Maybe he’s thinking he won’t have to lay off health workers if they succumb.

        Even Doug Ford does not stoop this low. That’s saying something.

  13. CallmeHal2000 says:

    Well, this has gone too far. The health minister seems to have lost it.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-minister-tyler-shandro-behaviour-vital-partners-1.5511288

  14. carlosbeca says:

    Now Jason Kenney is defending Shandro – maybe all in the same business that is why privatizing health care is so urgent

  15. CallmeHal2000 says:

    A new day is dawning, and here we go, into the abyss. Peter robs Paul. There’s federal EI to fill the gap.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/funding-reduction-alberta-k-12-covid-1.5513803

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