Canadians Against the Temporary Foreign Worker
Program organized a militant rally on March 29 outside Canada Place in
Edmonton. More than 200 workers and their families and supporters took
part in the event, the second rally held during March in Edmonton.
The rally was a powerful expression of the
workers' conviction that they have a right to participate in the
economic and political decisions affecting them. It raised a resounding
No! to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), which benefits no
one but the worker traffickers and greedy construction and
energy monopolies. Without doubt the echoes of this No! are travelling
far and wide as worker-to-worker organizing is bringing more and more
people into action.
It is "silent no more" when it comes to the Harper
government's low wage agenda, attacks on workers' rights and refusal to
provide training for the next generation. The lie that the TFWP exists
because of "labour shortages" has been thoroughly exposed. Its real
purpose is to drive down wages and create a vulnerable
section of foreign workers without even the legal rights of landed
Many workers were joined at the rally by their
families and young children, showing how the families are standing
together and fighting to ensure a future for the next generation. The
workers are not going to permit the Harper government to leave the next
generation without skills training, without Canadian-standard
wages and benefits, and without organization and independent thinking
and politics. Workers refuse to be dragged down into a low wage economy
and neo-liberal race to the bottom.
All the speakers made it clear that they refuse to
allow the government to pit worker against worker, and that it is the
TFWP that they oppose, not the temporary foreign workers who similar to
Canadian workers are trying to provide for themselves and their
families. Where workers are needed, they should be
able to come and settle in Canada as immigrants, not face a precarious
future providing cheap labour in Harper's distorted vision of Canada.
The rally raised the demand that the exploitation
of Alberta's natural resources must benefit the workers whose hard work
under difficult conditions produces the wealth on which society depends
and that keeps the economy and society flourishing. As well, it must
benefit the First Nations who are fighting to affirm
their right to be.
The biggest cheers came when speakers called for
an end to the TWFP and to go all out to
defeat Harper in the next election. Organizers of Canadians Against the
TWFP report that they have been gaining
tremendous support in Alberta and across Canada.
Their Facebook page already has 23,000 supporters and continues to
grow. The page provides a rallying point for discussion, sharing of
information and organizing and mobilization. Volunteers have been
selling sweatshirts with the logo "Canadians Against the Temporary
Foreign Worker Program" at camp and project
gates. Organizers informed everyone to stay tuned for information about
the next rally, which will be held in Ft. McMurray. The workers also
acknowledged the AFL for its support and work to popularize and
organize the rally.
Organizers emphasized that the campaign will grow
with the efforts of each and every worker to expose the TFWP and its
negative impact on their families, friends and neighbours, and on the
foreign workers themselves.
Congratulations to the organizers and all who
worked to make the rally a success and for building momentum to put an
end to the Harper government's worker trafficking and the Harper
Stop Worker Trafficking by the Harper
The Harper government announced that its latest
omnibus bill, the 380-page budget implementation Bill C-31 tabled March
authorize the Employment Minister to penalize employers who issue false
declarations about their use of foreign workers or use foreign
workers to replace Canadians. The government claims
this measure will halt abuse of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program
Is the TFWP legitimate, and occasional abuse the
problem? If the program exists to benefit workers, their communities
and the public interest, then such declarations would make sense. But
all the facts have led to a different conclusion: the program is
operating as intended, as an integral part of Harper's low
wage neo-liberal agenda to attack the rights of workers.
The government has announced many times that now
it will be tough on employers who abuse the program. When workers bring
to light a reality of constant problems, and the program falls under
critical public scrutiny, the Harper dictatorship expresses its
indignation and blusters about how it will set things
In April 2011, the Harper government announced new
regulations. The TFWP will bar employers from accessing the program for
two years if they breach their temporary foreign worker employment
contract. Such employers would be exposed on a public blacklist, the
A 2011 report by the Alberta government revealed
that according to the government's own records, close to 75 per cent of
all employers hiring temporary foreign workers coming to Alberta were
found to be violating labour laws. The most common illegal practice was
failure to pay premiums for working on
statutory holidays and overtime. Three years have passed, but the
government has not barred a single employer who broke the rules. Not
has been exposed on its blacklist.
In December 2013, the federal government
announced "new" regulations to allow government officials to conduct
workplace inspections without warrants and bar employers who break the
rules. No explanation was provided as to why the government failed to
act on its previous regulations and why it was
necessary to re-announce similar regulations now.
When ironworkers spoke out after being laid off at
the Kearl oil sands mine construction site and replaced with temporary
foreign workers at half wages, Jason Kenney said the matter would be
investigated. Where is the investigation? What did the government find?
Who has been punished? As usual, the government
prefers silence rather than enforcement of its own regulations and a
clear exposure of the facts. How will new omnibus regulations governing
the conduct of the TFWP matter, if no public authority is willing or
capable of enforcing them?
Harper's announcements cannot be considered
serious when absolutely nothing ever comes of them. The government and
its minister for worker trafficking Jason Kenney are simply trying to
muddy the waters with their declarations of omnibus legislation and
regulations to make sure the TFWP is used "as intended."
Behind the smoke and mirrors of those
announcements about getting tough on employers, the TFWP is operating
as intended, as a form of international human trafficking of workers to
expand the labour market putting downward pressure on wages, benefits,
pensions and working conditions, and weakening the
organizations of the Canadian and international working class. The TFWP
is doing exactly what it is designed to do. That is the problem and the
reason it should be abolished. No regulation can rescue it from its
anti-worker anti-social essence.
Canadians and workers throughout the world stand
as one in defence of the rights of all, and against human trafficking
and the exploitation of desperate workers. The Harper government's
worker trafficking program proves it is unfit to govern and must be
removed from power. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program must be
abolished in its entirety.
Kearl Oil Sands Project
Sixty-five ironworkers employed by Pacer Promec
Joint Venture (PPJV) were laid off from their jobs at Imperial Oil's
Kearl oil sands mine on February 4. The workers were replaced with
workers from Croatia working under the Temporary Foreign Worker
Program (TFWP) at about half the prevailing Alberta
wage for such work.
The temporary foreign workers hired at Imperial
Oil's Kearl oil sands site were brought to Canada by a Regina-based
company, Actyl Group, one of a growing number of worker-traffickers
operating in Canada and internationally. Actyl's President, Linda West,
has close connections with the Conservative Party
and has been a candidate for the Tories in both federal and provincial
elections. She actively promotes privatization of health care.
Actyl calls itself "a leader in international
workforce solutions for Canadian businesses and organizations" and
states that it has currently trafficked more than 1,000 skilled foreign
workers from visa-free countries throughout Europe and the Caribbean.
Occupations include warehouse workers, long-haul drivers,
hotel front desk staff, heavy-duty mechanics, carpenters, drywallers,
pipefitters, car mechanics and craft labourers. Actyl has offices in
Winnipeg, Regina, Edmonton and Calgary as well as in Belize. Actyl
advertises that it traffics workers from Croatia, Philippines, Ireland,
Belize, Jamaica, Mexico and the UK.
The workers Actyl trafficked for Kearl were from
Croatia, a part of the former Yugoslavia. Youth unemployment in
Croatia is now 49.2 per cent according to Eurostat, the statistical
office of the European Union. This is the legacy of the U.S.-led NATO
bombing and dismemberment of Yugoslavia. Not
only did it open the former Yugoslavia to the global monopolies but
also impoverished an educated and skilled population. To the owners of
capital in Western Europe and now in Canada, this misery has become
their advantage, providing a cheap and desperate labour pool to exploit.
The political and economic devastation U.S.-led
NATO caused to the people of the former Yugoslavia has created the
conditions for worker traffickers to operate, exploiting the people as
trafficked workers and robbing their homelands of their skills and
work. The imperialist big powers have secured themselves
a captive pool of desperate workers and do not intend to assist the
oppressed countries in asserting their independence and building
self-reliant vibrant economies free of foreign control.
The misery and hardship caused to the working
class in the oppressed countries are seen by worker traffickers and a
host of subcontractors as opportunities to enrich themselves. By
driving down wages and working conditions, these parasites join the
huge global construction, engineering and energy monopolies
in claiming more and more of the wealth produced by the workers who
build, operate and maintain the huge oil sands and other projects in
Actyl promises to fill employers' "open
positions." It promises workers that they are on the road to
citizenship stating: "This is your chance to work, live and immigrate
to the land of the true north strong and free! Some of these
prospective opportunities could lead to the possibility of immigration.
As the economy
continues to thrive, now is your chance to learn how you can work, live
and immigrate to Canada."
Actyl hides the reality that temporary foreign
workers are denied their rights while working in Canada and that only a
tiny percentage ever become eligible for permanent status, while the
vast majority have to return home after four years.
The example of Kearl shows that the TFWP is an
aspect of modern-day state-organized exploitation within the
imperialist system of states. Creating a subclass of temporary workers
without even the rights of landed immigrants is one measure used to hit
at the struggle for the rights of all. With the TFWP, the
government has created an incentive for owners of capital to block
Canadian workers from acquiring the education and skills required in a
modern socialized economy. Less money is invested in Canadian public
education as it has become easy to rob other countries of their skilled
workers who are denied their rights
and paid less than the Canadian standard and acquire no benefits while
The response of the organized workers' movement is
that the working class worldwide is one and that all people have rights
by virtue of being human, and all workers have rights as producers of
the wealth that society depends upon. This includes the right to an
organized collective say over the wages, benefits,
pensions and working conditions at every place of work, and the right
to full and permanent membership in the polity wherever workers live
Defence of the rights of all demands abolition of
the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Any program that lines the
pockets of parasites who engage in worker trafficking and denies people
their rights should be held in the same contempt as slave trading. An
immigration policy serving the public interest and
upholding the rights of immigrants has nothing in common with worker
1. Actyl charges companies a sliding scale for
recruitment, from $1,600-$2,800 per worker depending on the skill
level and the number of workers recruited. In addition, the company
charges $1,500 per worker to prepare an application for a Labour Market
Opinion (LMO) and $1,000 to help
obtain an exit visa from the Philippines.
Current positions advertised on its website range
from $11-$15 an hour for jobs in the fast food and hospitality
sector. Many jobs are advertised as managerial at wages of $15 an hour
at most. Jobs for skilled tradespersons are advertised from $24-$28 an
hour. For example, bricklayers' jobs in Saskatchewan
are advertised at $28.00 an hour. The union rate for a journeyman
bricklayer is $34.88 for commercial, institutional and residential
construction and $38.49 for industrial, plus vacation pay, statutory
holiday pay, pension contribution, health and welfare, employment
insurance and other payroll fees, which together
represent $10-$20 or more an hour depending on the standard
benefits. No wage rate is provided for jobs advertised for welders in
Parliamentary Budget Officer's Report Confirms
Labour Shortage a Myth
The Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL) has pointed
out that a new report from the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO)
confirms that there is no significant shortage of workers or skills in
In a report released on March 25, the AFL
explains the independent officer of parliament (PBO) showed that
employment rates and job vacancy rates were still lower than they had
been before the recession of 2008-09. "There is little evidence to
suggest a national labour shortage exists in Canada," the
"Lies and exaggerations about the existence of a
labour shortage have been used to justify the massive expansion of the
Temporary Foreign Worker program (TFWP)," Alberta Federation of Labour
President Gil McGowan said. "Public policy should be based on facts. If
you ignore the facts, you get bad policy
that hurts the public interest. That's what we have with the Harper
Government's Temporary Foreign Worker program," McGowan added.
The PBO's report is just the latest one to debunk
the notion of a shortage of workers or skills in Canada, the AFL points
out. Over the past year, former Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney,
the Institute for Research on Public Policy, the University of Calgary
School of Public Policy, Human Resources and
Skills Development Canada, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the
University of Alberta Economics Department and Fraser Institute Fellow
Herb Emery have all released reports that debunk the labour shortage
"Every year, Canadian employers bring in hundreds
of thousands of temporary foreign workers to fill a nonexistent labour
shortage," McGowan said. "And when these marginalized workers get here,
they're paid less than they should be, their rights are ignored, they
have little hope of attaining citizenship --
and Canadians are put out of work."
Keep Michener Centre Open!
Friends of Michener Centre Say "The Opportunity
to Keep Michener Open Is in Our Hands!"
Families of residents of Michener Centre, staff,
and the people of Red Deer and surrounding communities were shocked one
year ago when the Alberta government announced the closure of Michener
Centre. Michener Centre is a home and community for developmentally
disabled adults, many of whom are seniors.
The Alberta government had promised the families repeatedly, and in
writing as recently as 2008, that Michener Centre would remain open.
The unwelcomed announcement includes plans to move the residents to
private group homes in the community or to seniors' facilities. No
consultation with residents' families
or with staff took place.
of Michener outside Progressive Conservative Party Convention, November
22, 2013. (AUPE)
Since that time, the determined efforts of
families, friends and workers at Michener Centre have brought to the
fore the need to guarantee the rights of the most vulnerable. The
Friends of Michener Centre (FOM), the workers at Michener and many
volunteers have gathered over 25,000 signatures on petitions
telling the government to "Keep Michener Centre Open!" They have
organized several very successful rallies and a media campaign. When
FOM participated in the annual Westerner Days Parade in Red Deer, the
community gave them a standing ovation. Thousands of Albertans have
written letters to the premier demanding
that the government honour its promises to keep Michener open.
The union representing the workers at Michener,
the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, has supported and worked
the Michener families every step of the way. The entire community has
come forward to say No! to the arbitrary dictate of the government, and
to demonstrate its support for the residents,
their families and the workers at Michener.
In opposition to the anti-social actions of the
government, the broad mobilization of people to Keep Michener Open has
raised the demand that the needs of the residents must take first
place, and the government must be held to account for its failure to do
People have rights by virtue of being human.
People with development disabilities have the right to everything they
require to live life to the fullest, and governments are responsible to
provide this right with a guarantee.
This ongoing fight to uphold the rights of
Michener residents and their families, and for them to have a say in
their future is part of the fight Albertans are waging for the people's
empowerment, and to say No! to the use of dictate and No! to the
fraudulent austerity and privatization agenda of the federal and
Congratulations to the families, Michener staff
and their friends and allies! You have shown that by leaving no stone
unturned and mobilizing the entire community, it is possible to block
the government from imposing its agenda. Michener remains open and the
fight is far from over! This is an important lesson.
At no time and under no circumstance should the government be permitted
to trample rights with impunity. Everyone can lend a hand by joining
with the Friends of Michener, writing a letter to their MLA, talking to
others or participating in actions in support of the struggle.
The government must abandon its anti-people agenda
and take up its social responsibility not only towards the residents of
Michener Centre but to all those in Alberta who require special care to
affirm their being. No place in our society exists for arrangements
for private profit instead of the benefit of those who require such
All people with development disabilities have a right to the exemplary
care that the residents of Michener receive and should continue to
receive. All should be able to live in a humane atmosphere such as
Michener where the staff and surroundings convey profound social love
and care of the residents.
Our Future and Security Lie in the Fight For the Rights of All!
One Year Later --
The Fight to Keep Michener Open Continues!
interviewed Bill Lough who is active
with the Friends of Michener.
TML: It is
now one year since the PC government announced that it was breaking its
promise to residents of Michener Centre and their families, and would
shut down Michener Centre by the spring of 2014. During this time,
there has been
tremendous support to keep Michener open. Despite
this, the government is still saying it will close Michener. What is
the present situation?
of Michener join Block "the" Party rally.
Bill Lough: The
that Michener would be mothballed as of spring
2014. Now they are saying it will be by the end of 2014. This delay
shows the reality of trying to deal with a very difficult situation and
the human factor, that is human beings. The government did
not have all the answers in place before they made this announcement.
They still had to put the group homes in place and they are still
trying to find staffing and all these other components, none of which
has come to completion at this point. All these things are problems in
the government's agenda to close Michener.
At the same time, there has been a very strong
resistance to closing Michener and strong public support for our cause.
Families are very reluctant to sign off, although some families have
dialogued with the transition team to look at different options.
More information is being brought forward
regarding the actual situation at Michener and stepping away from the
fear mongering that the government had initially promoted, for example
describing Michener as some draconian institution, with dark halls and
a Dickensian mentality. People realized through our
reports in the media and editorials, and through visits to Michener,
that Michener is not like this at all. Michener is an excellent example
of care for persons with developmental disabilities. Families have said
no, Michener remains the best place for our family members, and that is
why they are reluctant to leave.
The government may want us to leave but that does not give them the
right to kick us out.
In the early 2000s, the government reviewed all
services for those with developmental disabilities in the province,
concluding that there was still a place for Michener. A review
conducted subsequently provided as one of its options leaving those at
Michener in place, allowing the number of residents in the Centre
to decline over time and respecting those who lived at Michener.
This led to what we refer to as the Moving Ahead
Report. As a result of this report, the government initiated interviews
with every family with a family member living at Michener, presenting
the option to stay or leave the centre. Ninety-five per cent of
families said they were perfectly happy to remain at Michener.
At that time, the government recognized that most of the people living
there had been there for at least 20 years, that the average age
was 55, and they deserved to live the rest of their lives in
the place that they knew. This led to the promise in 2008 that no one
would be forced to leave Michener.
Then in 2010, the government, under Minister of
Seniors and Community Supports Mary Anne Jablonski, hired KPMG to
review the services provided for Michener, and persons with
developmental disabilities (PDD) throughout the province. In their
final report, they said that the cost ratio of individuals to
dollars was high and therefore the government should step away from
direct care management. At the same time this was happening, there was
a change of leadership within those responsible for PDD. As a result,
the KPMG report as it was presented was accepted and probably the
decisions around Michener were
made in 2010. Behind the scenes, all these discussions were being held
without us being aware.
The KPMG report is really a quantitative means of
measurement. It is not a qualitative means of measurement. It is simply
how to get the most dollars out of something. This of course always
fits well with the government agenda when they are trying to save money
or leading towards privatization.
The government has thrown out all these red
herrings, to try to justify the reasons for closure, when in fact as we
peel this onion back, so to speak, we see that this has nothing to do
with the inadequacies of Michener and has everything to do with an
ideology driven by certain individuals who have caught the
government's ear and want to see it closed. Then of course, this pegs
in extremely well with a government that wants to remove itself from
direct care and hand it over to the private sector.
This issue is not about the quality of care, the
issue is not even about the buildings. They argue that the buildings
are old. At the same time, the group homes that government allows to
exist are old. The Alberta legislative building is old! The government
cannot ignore that Michener was awarded the Premier's
Award of Excellence, for the quality of care it has provided. Michener
just received its level two accreditation, showing the level of care
that is provided at Michener.
We have asked each MLA to go to Michener and see
it. In the towns close to Red Deer, many people, even MLA Mary Anne
Jablonski, have understanding and sympathy for what Michener is about.
It is because of this understanding that people in our region have
supported Michener. They know what it provides.
I have a deep respect for the tenacity of the
parents. They are very determined. A lot of them have talked to the
transition team and a lot of them have come back and said, "No, we are
not satisfied with what you are presenting to us." One of my contacts
said "beware of bricks and mortar" because they will show
you the freshly painted walls and the curtains and all that but at the
end of the day make sure you know what the services are going to be and
the level of care.
The government has never been able to address the 30 to
40 per cent turn around factor of care givers in private
group homes. When you have someone with a developmental disability, the
most significant thing that you need is someone who will be there
continually. My brother had key workers that were
with him for long periods of time. They understood him. That is why he
did not need any drugs. Just by knowing him as an individual, they were
able to work with him through behaviour management, which made a huge
difference in how he lived. When you know someone for a long time, you
can see the warning
signs if there is a problem.
My experience with my brother when he was
hospitalized was that care was difficult. He was in the Intensive Care
Unit and in the hospital for over 120 days before he passed away.
Because of shift work and rotating staff, I had to explain to each new
nurse who my brother was. The key thing that Michener
has always been able to do is find the right key worker to work with
the right person. That is the huge difference in quality of life that
you can offer the person. The parents recognize this and that the key
workers at Michener are basically extended family. They have so much
respect and trust as to how their loved
ones are cared for at Michener. It would be very difficult to replace
them. There is no need to replace them.
I do not understand the basic concept, that here
you have a high level of care for individuals who are the most
vulnerable in our society and yet you want to close it down. What seems
to go hand in hand is those who have always had an agenda to close
Michener, and cannot be reasoned with, and a government
recognizing an excellent opportunity to step away from what I feel is a
responsibility of society. It is our responsibility because we are
human. We care for those who have less and we have a collective
responsibility to help those in need. Until you have lived in those
trenches, you do not know what that is like on
a daily basis. To read about it is one thing but to experience it is
TML: The judicial review of
the decision to close
Michener Centre, which your organization has been granted, will not be
heard until late November. It appears that the government is pushing
ahead despite the fact that the judicial review has not taken place and
no decision has been issued.
Days Red Deer, July 2013, Keep Michener Open Float. (Friends of Michener)
judicial review is one
tool that we are using to fight the government. There is a November
court date, but prior to that, affidavits and so on will have to be
presented by the government to explain their position. Between now and
then more information is going to come forward. We will bring
forward the truth. Right now I don't think the government needs
anything else coming down on its head. The way this government has
treated Michener is the way this government treats the people of
Alberta. Instead of dialoguing with the people, they have put their own
agenda in place.
have received tremendous support. What is the ongoing work of Friends
have to become more
visible and more vocal. As you know, the 25,000 signatures we gathered
on our petitions are unprecedented. We are working with the Alberta
Union of Provincial Employees and they say they are receiving
unprecedented support. The Red Deer Advocate, the Calgary
and the Edmonton
Journal have written editorials supporting us. We will go
back to the media and say here we are one year later, and we are still
fighting. We will keep in the public face. There are MLAs that have
expressed support for and understanding of Michener, and
yet they have remained silent, with the exception of Jablonski. So it
is time to go and visit them again.
We went door to door with the petitions in Red
Deer and we had a lot of volunteers who were familiar with Michener. We
did not have that same connection in Edmonton and Calgary so it was
difficult to get the same level of support. Yet someone from one of our
families visiting his family member at a hospital
in Edmonton took his petition around in the hospital cafeteria and he
said he could not keep enough copies on hand.
For the city of Red Deer and surrounding towns to
take a stand for Michener is a bold and courageous step, especially
when you know that it is the government that hands out the dollars.
That is how deep their understanding is about Michener and what it has
done. They are simply not going to accept spin from
the government. This is about more than jobs, it is about care and how
we should be treating people.
Michener Centre Still Home to Many --
Stop the Closure!
at the Alberta Legislature, October 18, 2013 to defend against
government's attack on pensions, post-secondary education, and public
services like Michener Centre. (AUPE)
One year ago today an entire community was
blindsided by the Redford government's unexpected announcement to close
the Michener Centre in Red Deer, breaking a promise made years ago by
the PC government that the home would be there for those who wanted to
"Residents, families, staff and the community felt
deceived and betrayed by the announcement," said AUPE Executive
Secretary-Treasurer, Jason Heistad. "They still do. No one was
consulted and no one had notice the closure was coming. It came as a
Former Associate Minister of Services for Persons
with Disabilities, Frank Oberle, made the announcement March 11, 2013
and said full closure of the home was expected by January 2014. To
date, just eight of 125 residents have been moved.
A letter from Redford to the sister of a long-time
Michener Centre resident says the premier now expects Michener
residents to be moved out by the end of 2014.
"The deadline change is an indication the Redford
government planned the closure poorly and has no place to put these
individuals if they remove them from their homes," said Heistad. "The
closure should not be delayed, it should be stopped."
A judicial review of the decision to close
Michener Centre has been granted and will be heard at Court of Queen's
Bench in Edmonton on Nov. 27 and 28. In the meantime, AUPE has secured
legal services for residents and family members to help them apply for
a legal injunction if they're being pushed to move
against their wishes.
Over the past year, community support to keep
Michener Centre open has been tremendous.
In November 2013, Red Deer North PC MLA, Mary Anne
Jablonski, who represents Michener residents, tabled 15,744 Keep
Michener Open petition signatures in the Alberta legislature.
The total number of Keep Michener Open petition
signatures tabled stands at an incredible 24,244. Hundreds more
signatures have yet to be presented in the legislature.
Scores of community members have attended rallies
in support of Michener Centre and many Keep Michener Open volunteers
marched in Red Deer's Westerner Days parade in July 2013.
More than 4,000 letters have been sent to Premier
Redford, Frank Oberle, Mary Anne Jablonski, Cal Dallas, Danielle Smith,
Dr. Raj Sherman and Brian Mason urging the government to keep Michener
A total of 2,000 Keep Michener Open signs graced
the lawns and windows of neighborhoods in Red Deer and area last summer.
Michener Centre has also won eight Premier's
awards of excellence for the services it provides.
Red Deer City Council, the Red Deer Public School
Division, the town of Innisfail, the town of Springbrook, the town of
Penhold, the town of Bowden, the town of Blackfalds, local 054
(Edmonton Catholic Teachers) and local 80 (Red Deer Catholic Teachers)
of the Alberta Teachers Association, the Society
of Parents and Friends of Michener Centre, all Alberta opposition
parties and many more organizations have come out against the closure
"It's time for Redford to do the right thing and
to listen to the residents of Michener Centre, their guardians,
families, the community and Michener staff. Keep Michener open," said
AUPE Vice-President Carrie-Lynn Rusznak.