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Wednesday, May 22 2024 @ 11:44 MDT

Alberta Provincial Tories Lie to Teachers

Jason ramblingIn a page taken from their federal counterparts, the Alberta provincial PC's have two faces. One face is what the Premier has stated time and time again during his leadership campaign, then there's what his Education Minister Ron Liepert said to the Alberta Teacher's Association.

First we have Premier Ed Stelmach stating "I have clearly stated that the Teacher’s Pension Fund unfunded liability is a matter for the Government and the ATA to negotiate a final, fair and lasting resolution to. I would never use such an emotional matter as a bargaining chip in the heat of a labour dispute." (emphasis mine.) Clearly indicating that the unfunded liability of the Teachers' pension fund would not be used during labour disputes. This is all fine and dandy except that his Minister of Education has now stated the task force he's setting up to look at the problem will stop its work if teachers go on strike.

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but threatening to not work on the problem if there's a strike is using the unfunded liability as a bargaining chip in the heat of a labour dispute. This would seem to indicate that whatever Ed Stelmach says is likely to be ignored later on. One has to wonder if Ed was lying during his campaign and had intended to use the unfunded liability as a hammer all along. It just goes to show that the Stelmach government is no different from the previous Klein government and not much different from the Harper government, that is untrustworthy.

Now it's not news that the provincial government has a hate on for education in general and teachers in specific so this one incident of being two faced is unlikely to cause political fall out for the provincial Tories. The thing to watch for is if the Stelmach government starts doing this to other groups and to Albertans in general. I suspect that will happen in time, as if it worked for them once, they'll do it again. At that point it will be interesting to see who Albertans vote for given that a large number of Albertans have forgotten that they can vote for parties other than the Tories.

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