Access Television: Media for the People

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Once upon a time, Alberta’s cable channels and airwaves were considered a public good, worthy of a non-commercial educational broadcaster: Access Television. Team Advantage explores the history, ambitions, and legacy of this effort to build public, commercial-free and education-oriented programming, as well as the role of privatization in its eventual demise.

Health Services Review Pitches Privatization, Attacks Workers

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After cutting healthcare expenditures by 17% over four years, Jason Kenney’s UCP government spent $2 million for a review of Alberta Health Services. The review found very little in terms of major cost savings. The review’s recommendations, however, propose an attack on the unionized workers that perform vital duties within Alberta’s health care system, eroding pay, working conditions, and union presence at AHS sites. It also provides a justification for increased privatization of the workforce, AHS facilities, and surgeries. Alison McIntosh, research manager at the Parkland Institute, joins Team Advantage to discuss the implications of the review.

Follow Alison on twitter @McIn_Ali, and follow the Parkland Institute @ParklandInst.

Read Alison’s analysis of the Ernst & Young AHS Review here:
https://www.parklandinstitute.ca/review_of_ahs_a_pro_privatization_attack_on_workers

“Balance” in Climate Change, Cursive Writing: Alberta’s Curriculum Review

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Scrapping the previous NDP government’s comprehensive curriculum review, Jason Kenney pledged to “get politics out of the classroom.” The newly-formed Curriculum Advisory Panel, which does not include anyone who has taught in a classroom for the last 20 years, came up with some suggestions: provide “balance” when teaching lessons about climate change, and teach cursive writing. Barbara Silva, communications director of Support Our Students, joins Team Advantage to talk about the state of the curriculum rewrite, and public education more broadly, in Alberta.

Check out Support Our Students at supportourstudents.ca

Public Ownership in Canada: Linda McQuaig

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Nowadays, a “public enterprise” means the government bought a leaky pipeline— but public enterprises have a long and successful history in Canada, providing services and public goods that private actors in the market economy could never muster. Journalist and author Linda McQuaig joins Team Advantage to discuss her latest book, The Sport & Prey of Capitalists: How the Rich Are Stealing Canada’s Public Wealth. Discover how the Trudeau Liberals’ Infrastructure Bank is a giant handout to BlackRock! Unearth the history of Canadian National, Canada’s public railway, and its role in shaping radio broadcasts and the CBC! Gasp in shock as you learn that a wildly popular public Postal Office Savings Bank existed in Canada until 1968, when Canada’s big private banks lobbied to undermine it!

Follow Linda McQuaig on Twitter @LindaMcQuaig and check out her book at lindamcquaig.com.

MINI-EP: Managing Universities to Death: Cuts and “Performance Measures”

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Kenney’s UCP government recently announced a new funding model for post-secondary education: 40% of institutional funding will now depend on performance measures, such as graduate employment rates, median graduate income, provisioning skills to labour markets, and sponsored research revenues. While this is a dream for auditors and management consultants, this new bureaucracy threatens the integrity of Alberta’s universities and colleges, and risks phasing out innovative new research. University of Regina professor Dr. Marc Spooner joins Team Advantage to discuss the implications of this new funding model.

Follow Marc on Twitter: https://twitter.com/drmarcspooner/

Read Dr. Spooner’s piece in the CAUT Education Review, Performance-Based Funding in Higher Education: https://www.caut.ca/sites/default/files/caut-education-review-performance-based_funding_in_higher_education.pdf

Read Dr. Spooner’s opinion piece in the Calgary Herald: https://calgaryherald.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-why-performance-based-funding-for-universities-is-not-the-answer

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