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Edmonton braces for four years of austerity

Edmonton City Council recently passed its 2019-2022 municipal budget—and austerity is on the menu for the next four years. Mayor Don Iveson himself admitted that this was the hardest budget passed in more than a decade. What will follow are cuts in services and programs reducing their overall quality, putting a heavier daily workload on city workers, and imposing higher living costs on Edmonton residents.

Socialist Fightback discusses the fight against right-wing populism in Edmonton

Joel Bergman Edmonton populismAround 25 people gathered at the University of Alberta on Nov. 13 to discuss how to fight against right-wing populism. Organized by Socialist Fightback Edmonton, the event explored both the causes behind the growing movement and how we as working class Canadians can stop it. The discussion attracted a diverse group of people, many of whom were concerned about the prospect of the United Conservative Party (UCP) led by Jason Kenney taking power in the upcoming Alberta election.

Fight back against Edmonton transit fare hike!

Edmonton Transit System Bus (Photo Credit: CODIE MCLACHLAN / FOR STARMETRO)Within a few years, the cost of public transportation in Edmonton could be the highest in Canada. The city council has brought forward a plan to increase the price of a single bus ride from $3.25 to $3.50 in 2019, $3.75 in 2020, and $4.00 in 2021. This amounts to a 25 per cent increase in just three years. Such a drastic increase will negatively impact many workers who rely on public transit to commute to and from work and go about their daily activities.

Calgary 2026 Olympic bid: Kick capitalism out of sports!

Built Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, the Olympic Demonstration Line is left abandoned and overgrown with bushes.(Photo Credit: Doug Kerr/CBC)On November 13, the people of Calgary will vote on whether to place a bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics. The city is already considered a frontrunner. Proponents of the bid argue that hosting the Olympics will increase tourism and city revenue. They say that the costs will be offset by the benefits, with the Olympics stimulating the economy and creating jobs. The experience of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games says otherwise.

Fight Kenney! Fight for socialism!

Fight Kenney

Four years ago, Alberta politics was turned upside down by the victory of the NDP. The Progressive Conservatives not only suffered a humiliating defeat but also entered into a period of prolonged internal crisis. However, in the past year, the divided conservative forces have come together with a new party and sense of confidence. A poll in July put the United Conservative Party (UCP) far ahead of the NDP in electoral support, with 47.5 per cent of Albertans saying they would vote for the UCP and 30.4 per cent for the NDP. Should this poll hold for the coming election in May next year, the Conservatives will return to power.

Fightback Edmonton holds public discussion on Alberta pipeline crisis

Nationalize The Oil IndustryOn June 7, around 20 people gathered at the University of Alberta to discuss the ongoing pipeline crisis and the need to nationalize the oil industry under democratic workers’ control. The event was organized by Socialist Fightback Edmonton, and brought together a variety of people who were angry about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s bailout of Kinder Morgan and wanted to discuss strategies to fight it.

Protesters halt Edmonton Pride over inclusion of cops

Pride Protestors (Photo Credit: Emilio Avalos/CBC)On the morning of Saturday, June 9, Edmonton’s Pride parade was brought to a halt after 30 to 40 protesters formed a blockade on the parade’s route. The protesters carried signs with messages such as “No pride on stolen land”, “Racism is a Queer issue” and “No pride for some of us without the liberation for all of us”. 

No to Kinder Morgan bailout! Expropriate the oil industry!

The Alberta-B.C. pipeline saga took another turn yesterday with the announcement that the federal government is ready to “nationalize” the Trans Mountain pipeline project to the tune of $4.5 billion. On top of that, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley committed her government to put another $2 billion into an “indemnity pool” that will insure Kinder Morgan against unexpected costs resulting from the B.C. government’s opposition. This is one of the few times that a “nationalization” has been welcomed so warmly by the capitalists, with Kinder Morgan CEO Steve Kean cheerfully declaring it as “a great day”. The company’s share price, which had been sliding because of the delay of the project, moved upward after Finance Minister Bill Morneau made the announcement of Ottawa’s plan to buy the pipeline.

Jason Kenney wins Alberta United Conservative leadership: A warning shot against the working class

With Paul Brandt’s “Alberta Bound” playing over the convention speakers, the United Conservative Party (UCP) announced their first elected leader last Saturday. Jason Kenney, the former Progressive Conservative leader, won an overwhelming majority of 61.1 per cent of the vote, leaving his main opponent Brian Jean far behind with just 31.5 per cent. This is yet another chapter in what has been a tumultuous 16-month journey to unify Alberta’s conservatives after their crushing defeat at the hands of NDP in the last election. Kenney said to cheers that he would work hard to “ensure that this deceptive, divisive, debt-quadrupling, tax-hiking, job-killing, accidental socialist government is one-and-done.”

Another rift in the United Conservative Party of Alberta

On Sept. 21, another conservative MLA in Alberta dropped out of the newly formed United Conservative Party. Rick Fraser, the MLA for Calgary-South East, became the third MLA to quit the party to become an independent following the likes of Derek Fildebrandt and Richard Starke. This string of resignations followsthe unity vote of the Wildrose Party and the Progressive Conservative Party in July as part of a abid to gain control of the government back from the Alberta NDP, who ended 44 years of Progressive Conservative (PC) rule back in 2015. From the outset, the attempt to bring together the fractured conservative forces in Alberta has created divisions amongst members of both parties, and these divisions seem to fester even after the unity vote.

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