David Swann highly skeptical about hiring former AUPE negotiator Kevin Davediuk
Leader David Swann expressed severe reservations about the Government’s appointment of former Alberta Union of Public Employee (AUPE) negotiator Kevin Davediuk.
“This is a clear conflict of interest,” stated Swann. “This government has made a bad habit of hiring insiders but this particular appointment is the most flagrant. As of yesterday, Davediuk’s name was still on the AUPE website as their negotiator.”
Over the next two years, the provincial government is entering into negotiations with several unions. On Wednesday in the Legislature, Minister of Labour, Christina Gray, stated that Davediuk was hired because he “was one of the best negotiators available.”
“By the Minister’s own admission there were other qualified negotiators available - the government should have chosen one not currently employed by AUPE,” Swann countered. “Further, this was an appointment rather than a posted position with a selection of candidates, making the Minister’s argument even weaker.”
“There are many excellent negotiators in Alberta and, indeed, Canada. The NDP need to find one that isn’t conflicted about which side of the negotiation table to support.” Swann concluded.
David Swann looks for more from the NDP government after the Throne Speech
“This was a mom and apple-pie throne speech,” says Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann. “There were a lot of feel good moments but very little concrete commitment to new or difficult ideas.”
Today’s throne speech by Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell introduced a number of bills ranging from a carbon tax to essential services legislation. Though Swann is pleased to see the NDP incorporate Liberal ideas, such as the Act to End Predatory Lending, he felt the bills designed to stimulate the economy were distressingly vague.
“We have a jobs crisis in Alberta and the bills in the throne speech do little to address this beyond the belief that infrastructure spending will cure all ills,” Swann said. “Additionally, small businesses are suffering and they need solid policy initiatives, not a government direction to banks to lend more money. One option the government needs to look at is the elimination of small business taxes, a policy the Liberals have repeatedly advocated for.”
“Further,” continued Swann. “Despite report after report on failings in the health system, there’s no mention here of cost savings nor improved outcomes for Alberta Health Services,”.
“I, and the other opposition parties, are going to be asking very hard questions of the government in this session,” Swann concluded.
Statement from Alberta Liberal Leader Swann on International Women’s Day:
Today is International Women’s Day, a recognition as important now as when first celebrated over a hundred years ago.
This year Canada’s theme for International Women’s Day is ‘Women’s Empowerment Leads to Equality’. Empowering women through freedom from violence, education and financial independence enriches all of society and can make the transition to equality that much quicker.
As a doctor and then MLA, I have had the great fortune to listen to many uplifting stories from women who have empowered themselves to overcome immense obstacles. Sometimes empowerment is through education, sometimes through community support and sometimes through sheer, dogged determination.
International Women’s Day also reminds us that the obstacles shouldn’t be so immense.
Sometimes it is our institutions which create obstacles. Just this month we saw the City of Edmonton appoint only one woman out of 13 general managers. In the boardrooms of Canada, too, gains made towards equality seem stunted. To be fair, there has been improvement, with many fine women in executive positions. Still, Justin Trudeau set the example for all of Canada when naming a gender equal cabinet.
On behalf of myself and the Liberal Opposition, I wish you all the best on International Women’s Day.