"The passing of Bills 45 and 46 on Wednesday night mark a dark chapter in Alberta history.
The contract the government wants to impose is zero per cent for the first two years and then one per cent in each of the next two years. The union and province reached an impasse and the union decided to wait for binding arbitration, where it believed its chances would be better. That right and historic arrangement has been shredded.
Even more disturbing however, is Bill 45. Under this bill, public sector workers, union leaders and even members of the general public can be fined thousands of dollars for just musing about or encouraging a strike. If this sounds Orwellian, it’s because it is.
The fundamental right to freedom of expression is being violated here and should concern all citizens who value our rights and freedoms.
This legislation will also impose $250,000 fines per day for any illegal strike and a $1-million fine per day that would go into a liability fund. Fines for illegal strikes are not unusual, though these ones are onerous.
Needless to say, making it illegal to just talk about striking is the kind of law one might expect in some banana republic or other oppressive totalitarian state.
That Premier Redford actually has the gall to claim that among unionized workers “there’s an appreciation for what we’re trying to do,” is laughable.
Nobody believes that and no one can believe that a so-called human rights lawyer would allow such an abomination to the most fundamental right of any free and democratic society — the right to speak and say things that the state might not agree with."
And we must never forget that the other motive besides sticking it to public workers, is to distract Albertans from the scandal over covering up the deaths of scores of vulnerable, mostly aboriginal children in provincial foster care. This government is so cartoonishly evil they should be twirling their moustaches as they tie children and workers to train rails!