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Alberta Politics: Schiaparelli lander missing; ground control still in contact with Postmedia; prognosis grim for both

PHOTOS: An artist’s impression of the Schiaparelli Mars Lander descending gently toward the Martian surface. Schiaparelli’s actual Mars landings may not have unfolded exactly as illustrated by the European Space Agency. Below: The evocative cover of today’s National Post. About 178 million kilometres from us yesterday, give or take, Europe’s Schiaparelli spacecraft went missing and . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Schiaparelli lander missing; ground control still in contact with Postmedia; prognosis grim for both

Alberta Politics: Wildrose blames NDP for a sensible labour relations practice implemented in 2013 by Alison Redford’s Tories

PHOTOS: Alberta Premier Alison Redford was welcomed to the annual convention of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees by AUPE President Guy Smith in October 2012. And what does the Wildrose Party make of that? Below: Former Tory Premier Ralph Klein… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Wildrose blames NDP for a sensible labour relations practice implemented in 2013 by Alison Redford’s Tories

Alberta Politics: Board of Governors appears to openly defy Notley Government as Athabasca University crisis deepens

PHOTOS: Athabasca University’s administrative building, just outside the Town of Athabasca, about 150 kilometres north of Edmonton, as seen from the air. Below: Alberta Advanced Education Minister Lori Sigurdson, interim Athabasca University Presiden… . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Board of Governors appears to openly defy Notley Government as Athabasca University crisis deepens

Alberta Politics: Starting with the A’s in Alberta: Archer is in; Asbell is on the way out

PHOTOS: A chaotic scene, not atypical of Alberta labour relations in the Age of Asbell, shot with a phone camera in the offices of the Alberta Labour Relations Board in Edmonton. Below: ALRB Chair Mark Asbell and former CBC reporter John Archer. Sorry about the lousy photos, but, hey, I’m working with what I can . . . → Read More: Alberta Politics: Starting with the A’s in Alberta: Archer is in; Asbell is on the way out

Alberta Diary: Redford Government resorts to bush-league law breaking as talks with civil servants hit another impasse

Members of the Alberta Government plan their latest strategy to hold the unionized civil service’s approximately 44,000 feet to the fire in negotiations. Actual government officials may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: William Aberhart.

Bargaining with the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees at an impasse again, so the government of . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Redford Government resorts to bush-league law breaking as talks with civil servants hit another impasse

Alberta Diary: Time to change Alberta Labour Minister’s dual role, and maybe more, to ensure fair and equitable labour relations

Some roles just don’t seem to be a good match for the same person. Here are five examples. Perhaps Alberta Labour Minister Thomas Lukaszuk, below, finds himself in such a position?

Can Thomas Lukaszuk properly fulfill his dual roles as Alberta’s Minister of Labour and chair of the all-but-secret Public Sector Resource . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Time to change Alberta Labour Minister’s dual role, and maybe more, to ensure fair and equitable labour relations

Alberta Diary: Alberta government ponders ‘options’ as independent arbitrator overturns firing of jail guards who took part in illegal strike

AUPE Correctional Officers rally at the picket line outside the Edmonton Remand Centre during their illegal strike in June 2013. Below: Arbitrator Andy Sims; former deputy premier Thomas Lukaszuk, as imagined by Sun Media; AUPE President Guy Smith.

An independent arbitrator has overturned the firing of four Correctional Officers who took part in . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Alberta government ponders ‘options’ as independent arbitrator overturns firing of jail guards who took part in illegal strike

Alberta Diary: Deputy minister testifies officials prepared anti-labour Bill 46 ‘proactively’ long before cabinet asked for it

AUPE President Guy Smith speaks with the media after Friday’s session of the Alberta Labour Relations Board hearing. Below: Deputy Minister of the Executive Council Peter Watson; AUPE lawyer William Rigutto.

It’s probably too much to hope the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees can persuade the Alberta Labour Relations Board the Redford Government . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Deputy minister testifies officials prepared anti-labour Bill 46 ‘proactively’ long before cabinet asked for it

Alberta Diary: If the deputy premier wants free speech for Ukraine so badly, why is he attacking it in Alberta?

Alberta Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk in the Rotunda of the Alberta Legislature. Note, in the background at left, Wildrose Opposition Leader Danielle Smith. Below, a recent Twitter message from Mr. Lukaszuk, an inveterate and confrontational Tweeter, who thinks your free speech rights are a matter of LOL and #wink.

Last weekend, Alberta Deputy . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: If the deputy premier wants free speech for Ukraine so badly, why is he attacking it in Alberta?

Alberta Diary: Who leaked the Alberta government’s response to AUPE’s Labour Board complaint, and why?

AUPE President Guy Smith in a characteristic pose.

Who leaked the Alberta government’s response to the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees’ unfair labour practices complaint to an Edmonton Journal political reporter, and why?

This is an important question because at the time the leak took place, the government document questioning AUPE President Guy . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Who leaked the Alberta government’s response to AUPE’s Labour Board complaint, and why?

Alberta Diary: Negotiating with Alberta’s PC government? Better bring witnesses!

Wildcat strike scene, grabbed from AUPE’s website during the strike. Below: AUPE President Guy Smith, Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk.

Advice to anyone who tries to negotiate a deal with Alison Redford, Thomas Lukaszuk or any member or official of their government: take witnesses with you, and make sure you also bring a tape . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Negotiating with Alberta’s PC government? Better bring witnesses!

Alberta Diary: Deputy Premier Tom Lukaszuk: exactly the wrong man to solve Alberta’s jail crisis

Wildcatting Correctional Officers on the picket line at the Edmonton Remand Centre just before midnight last night, long after the government’s ultimatum ordering them back to work. Below: Trade unionists occupy an Alberta Labour Relations Board boardroom yesterday afternoon in support of the striking guards. Below that: Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk as he . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Deputy Premier Tom Lukaszuk: exactly the wrong man to solve Alberta’s jail crisis

Alberta Diary: Has Alberta pioneered an unlegislated ban on collective bargaining?

“Post-secondary collective bargaining,” Alberta style. Advanced Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk and a post-secondary employer negotiator rig the deck, foreground, while a faculty association negotiators ponder what’s just happened. Actual Alberta bargaining teams may not appear exactly as illustrated. Below: The real Mr. Lukaszuk, former advanced ed minister Steve Khan.

As is well known, . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Has Alberta pioneered an unlegislated ban on collective bargaining?

Alberta Diary: Eureka! Labour relations in Alberta explained by, of all things, NHL hockey!

An Alberta Labour Relations Board official suddenly realizes how the world works, and immediately rules in favour of the employer. Application of the law in Alberta may be pretty much exactly as illustrated.

All but forgotten amidst the rejoicing about the tentative end of the National Hockey League lockout reached during the Feast . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Eureka! Labour relations in Alberta explained by, of all things, NHL hockey!

Alberta Diary: NHL and NHLPA in labour relations face off: no penalties for Alberta employers caught offside

Members of the NHLPA wait around for their Sui Generis Alberta employers to obey the law. Alberta hockey players may not appear exactly as illustrated – for one thing, they wouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the stove.

Since the regular season of the National Hockey League was supposed to start yesterday, but won’t . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: NHL and NHLPA in labour relations face off: no penalties for Alberta employers caught offside

Alberta Diary: Strikebreaker issues bizarre condemnation of Tory candidate for management role in strike

A strikebreaker drives across an early morning picket line during the Calgary Herald strike in early 2000. Below: Catharine Ford, Joan Crockatt.

It takes more than a little brass for retired Calgary Herald editor and columnist Catherine Ford to condemn Conservative candidate Joan Crockatt as someone who all but caused the strike at . . . → Read More: Alberta Diary: Strikebreaker issues bizarre condemnation of Tory candidate for management role in strike