Health Sciences Association of Alberta

Regarding Bills 30 and 32, the Health Sciences Association of Alberta (HSSA) President, Mike Parker, issued the following statement "Kenney launches his attack on health care and working Albertans" on July 9:

"This week, Jason Kenney's government tabled two of the most damaging pieces of legislation to health care and health-care workers that we have seen in decades.

"He's finally come clean with his ideological plan to destroy public health care and Albertans are counting on us, just like they've done time and time again, to defend public health care. We've been successful in fights like this in the past and, with your help, we can stand in his way once again.

"The Kenney government has tabled Bill 30: Health Statutes Amendment Act, 2020 and Bill 32: Restoring Balance in Alberta's Workplace Act. We have been expecting these attacks.

"Bill 30 speeds health care towards American-styled privatization during a pandemic. It would see public dollars go to profits rather than patient care. The flow of public dollars out of our province to national and multinational health corporations would come at a time when we can least afford it, and it would begin the decline of the public health-care system that Albertans have relied on for more than half a century.

"Bill 32 is an attack on working Albertans and the unions that represent them and advocate on their behalf. It is clearly unconstitutional based on past Supreme Court rulings, but that will tie us up in legal battles for years. We will have those fights to be sure, but we need to act now, together, to push back at the local level.

"This bill is full of simply incorrect innuendo. It suggests our finances are hidden to you. As any of you who went through our Special Report can see, our finances and audited financial statements are available to any member who wishes to review them and they have been annually for as long as I have been a member.

"It then suggests that we spend a vast amount of our dues on political activities and other causes. This is simply incorrect ... our members have told us repeatedly (we poll on this regularly) that you want us to remain politically active on issues that matter to us. So, when a government does something that aligns with our values and positions, we will praise them for it. And when a party or a government promises attacks on us, and then follows through, you better believe we're going to have something to say.

"As for how much of our dues is spent on this? Well, we'd be hard pressed to buy a specialty coffee from Starbucks every pay period with the savings from not paying that portion.

"And right there you can see the value of all of us working together. There is no way any single one of us could have the same clout or ability to get into the media on our own. But our membership of 27,000 trusted health care professionals standing together is a force that makes Albertans notice what we have to say.

"That's what scares Jason Kenney and other right-wing politicians. Our message stands up for public health care. We stand up for regular, hard-working people rather than rich executives. Albertans see themselves more like us than they do like Kenney's cohort. That interrupts their path to profits and that's why they will do whatever they can to silence us.

"They will try to say it's about 'choice,' which always means it's about privatization. They will try to say it's about 'accountability,' which means it's about dividing us. They will say it's about unions that are no longer needed. I say, we need unions now more than ever because who else is going to stand up to these bullies who use the cover of a pandemic to sneak in dangerous legislation?

"So, I urge you to stand together with me and fight."

This article was published in

Number 51 - July 30, 2020

Article Link:
Health Sciences Association of Alberta


Website:   Email: