Meat the Rich Who Butcher Workers: Our Beef with the Meatpacking Industry

Meatpacking plants were the sites of COVID-19 outbreaks across the continent, and the outbreaks in Alberta killed several meatpacking workers. What is it about this industry that made workers so vulnerable to this pandemic, and why do the corporate meat-packing giants command such influence and power? Team Advantage examines the role of corporate agribusiness in rural Alberta and the labour struggles that have shaped the industry.

Further information:
Alberta Labour History Institute: Alberta’s Summer of ’86
24 Days in Brooks [National Film Board documentary]
Michael Broadway: Small Town, Big Changes Meat-packing, refugees and the transformation of Brooks. [Alberta Views, 2006]
George Melnyk: Faces of the Lakeside Packers Strike [Alberta Views, 2006]
Michael Broadway: Cut to the Bone: How changes in meatpacking have created the most vulnerable worker in Alberta [May 2012]

What Is Long Term Care, and What Does It Need to Be?

Long-Term Care facilities have been the sites of deadly COVID-19 outbreaks, in Alberta and across the country. But what is long-term care? How is it funded, and who operates it? What are conditions like for persons in care, as well as for workers? Lastly, as our aging population requires increasing care, how might we build a system that treats our elders and those who cannot work with dignity and respect— while providing low-carbon, green care-work jobs?

Further Reading:
Re-imagining Long-term Residential Care in the COVID-19 Crisis (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, April 2020)
Losing Ground: Alberta’s Residential Elder Care Crisis (Parkland Institute, 2016)
Deaths in Residential Care in Canada by facility (tracker updated daily by Nora Loreto)
Sizing Up the Challenge: Meeting the Demand for Long-Term Care in Canada (Conference Board of Canada, 2017)
Before It’s Too Late: A National Plan for Safe Seniors’ Care (Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, 2015)


Automated, shared, electric: these buzzwords and the tech giants who promote them claim to shape the future of transportation. But what would a truly democratic, green, and equitable transportation system look like? James Wilt joins Team Advantage to discuss his latest book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Cars? Public Transit in the Age Google, Uber, and Elon Musk.

Purchase the book here:

Follow James on Twitter @james_m_wilt.

MINI-EP: Don’t Blame China

Faced with escalating death tolls, some reactionary figures are pushing hard to pin the blame for COVID-19 on China instead of their own ineptitude. Davide Mastracci joins Team Advantage to examine how the “blame China” narrative serves to inoculate neoliberal politicians and spokespeople from critique, while contributing to a long history of anti-communism— with important consequences for those of us seeking social and political transformation.

Read Davide’s piece here:

Follow Davide on Twitter at @DavideMastracci, and read Passage at

AIMCo: Vaporizing Billions, Bailing out Oil and Gas

The Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) vaporized $4 billion last week, and has been bailing out failing oil and gas companies— as these same companies offload environmental liabilities to the public, and throw funding behind conservative political organizations. What’s going on?
Duncan Kinney of Progress Alberta joins Team Advantage to discuss their recent report, Alberta’s Failed Oil and Gas Bailout.

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Work and Time-Discipline

Essential workers are experiencing a speed-up as demand for their services increases, while millions stay home— as their own sense of time, and the separation between “life” and “work,” blurs. How is it that we came to be ruled by clocks, and how did people experience time prior to industrial capitalism? Team Advantage explores the phenomenon of capitalist time-discipline, consulting E. P. Thompson, Moishe Postone, and Mark Fisher (among others) as resources.

Thanks to our central Canadian correspondent Brendan (@Neeedleseye) for joining us!

Sources for this episode:
E. P. Thompson, “Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism”
Moishe Postone, “Time, Labor, and Social Domination”
Mark Fisher, “Cybertime Crisis Lecture” (YouTube)
Ivor Southwood, “Non-Stop Inertia”
Barbara Ehrenreich, “Bait and Switch”
Daniel Greene and Daniel Joseph, “The Digital Spatial Fix”
Jonathan Crary, “24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep”

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MINI-EP: Healthcare For All: Leave No One Behind

Alberta is leaving workers without immigration status behind, excluding them from health care coverage in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Marco Luciano of Migrante Alberta joins Team Advantage to discuss the demands migrant and undocumented workers are making, as well as the role workers play in providing essential services during the pandemic.

Add your name to the open letter here:

Support the work of the Migrant Rights Network here:

Follow Migrante Alberta at @MigranteAlberta on twitter, Migrante Alberta on Facebook, and on the web.

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Land Back: Reclaiming Indigenous Jurisdiction

Canada is fake, but it continues to dispossesses Indigenous peoples from the land— and communities are, in turn, organizing to to get it back. Shiri Pasternak, co-author of the Yellowhead Institute’s Land Back Red Paper, joins Team Advantage to discuss the project of reclaiming indigenous jurisdiction. What does “consent” look like if you can’t say no? What interests is Canada’s legal system designed to defend when questions of jurisdiction arise?

Read about Land Back here: and follow Shiri on Twitter @shiripasternak.

Read “Canada Is Fake” at

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