Parkland Institute
Parkland blog entries by

Diana Gibson

Diana Gibson is Director of PolicyLink Research and Consulting and a Research Associate with the University of Alberta’s Parkland Institute. She has an extensive background in social and fiscal policy research and has engaged nationally and internationally on topics ranging from health care and energy, to the environment and international trade agreements.

Blog Entries | January 11, 2012

Are we working too much?

As a province that works amongst the highest number of hours in a nation that works amongst the highest number of hours in the OECD, Alberta needs to take stock. A new report from the New Economics Foundation lays out a very bold and ambitious vision.

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Tagged with: labour, work hours
Blog Entries | September 23, 2011

Sprawl means debt

Edmonton's figures show that new neighbourhoods in the outskirts are going to cost the City money - a lot of money.  More than they bring in - by billions of dollars.

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Tagged with: development, Edmonton, sprawl
Blog Entries | June 09, 2011

If we had the evidence, we wouldn’t need an investigation!

This week allegations of influence peddling by MLAs who were getting priority access for friends and family to health care services were brought to light. Stephen Duckett, formerly of health superboard infamy, mentioned in a speech that this behaviour had been a concern for him when he was chief administrator- enough of a concern that he issued a memo on it.

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Tagged with: health care, healthcare, investigation, Stephen Duckett
Blog Entries | May 23, 2011

Liepert is the one who’s out of touch

Alberta's Energy Minister Ron Liepert told the US media that Barack Obama is out of touch with Americans for putting environmental concerns before jobs with regards to the Keystone pipeline. Liepert is showing his true colours. He is the one out of touch.

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Tagged with: energy policy, environment, pipelines, Ron Liepert
Blog Entries | April 20, 2011

Hard work, little leisure - something to be proud of?

...Al­berta has a much longer work week and has less paid holidays and vacation entitlements than most other developed economies (two weeks minimum vacation compared to six weeks for the EU). Albertans work 1,880 hours per year, the high­est in Canada. Albertans worked 7.5 weeks more than average in the top 15 countries in the OECD...

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Tagged with: quality of life, work hours
Blog Entries | March 02, 2011

Low taxes until oil runs out a bad idea

No sales tax until the oil runs out is a very short-sighted approach.  Does Minister Snelgrove really believe that Albertans will have money to pay higher taxes when the oil is gone?

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Tagged with: economics, royalties, taxes
Blog Entries | February 24, 2011

Health care has not been protected

In today's budget it is expected again that the Tories will claim to be protecting health care spending but exercising fiscal austerity in other pieces of the budget. What the Tory government missed this year and last is that health care spending is not defined by what is spent on acute care.

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Tagged with: Alberta budget 2011, economics, health care
Blog Entries | February 23, 2011

Cutting infrastructure spending the wrong way to go

Current Tory critics and leadership hopefuls including the Wildrose party have focused the 2011 budget debate on infrastructure spending - saying it is 'out of control.' Parkland's new research, released today shows clearly that infrastructure spending is not out of control...

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Tagged with: Alberta budget 2011, Danielle Smith, economics, infrastructure, Wildrose Alliance
Blog Entries | February 01, 2011

Wildrose spending proposals short-sighted

According to the Wildrose leader Danielle Smith, the Tory government should limit spending increases to the rate of inflation plus population growth and protract billions of dollars in capital spending to help balance the books (  This shows a profound lack of understanding of Alberta's economy, spending levels and needs.

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Tagged with: Danielle Smith, economics, service cuts, Wildrose Alliance
Blog Entries | December 14, 2010

The chicken or the egg, Minister Renner?

According to Alberta's Environment Minister Rob Renner, "The fact remains, we have to face the reality that there will not be a dramatic reduction in dependence on hydrocarbons until alternative kinds of fuel and energy are developed."  Actually, he has it backwards.

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Tagged with: energy policy, environment, renewable energy, royalties, tar sands
Blog Entries | November 30, 2010

Leaked document makes clear intention to undermine public health

Yesterday a government power point presentation titled Alberta's Health Legislation: Moving Forward was leaked to the press and public. The 27 page document clearly advocates policies that would shrink and undermine the public health system, a direction that is consistent with this government's track record and which the public has consistently and repeatedly rejected....

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Tagged with: Alberta health act, health care, healthcare, privatization
Blog Entries | November 26, 2010

Time for dialogue about more than cookies

So, the axe has finally fallen and Stephen Duckett has been fired. As the dust settles, Raj Sherman sits as an independent and premier Stelmach says he is tired of the theatre. But a look behind the headlines shows us that it has all been theatre.

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Tagged with: Duckett, health care, healthcare, post secondary, Sherman
Blog Entries | November 12, 2010

Wildrose Alliance models health care on USA

Throwing their hat into the ring, Alberta's newly minted Wildrose Alliance Party finally launched its health care platform. Wild Rose's leader Danielle Smith is rolling out an agenda to dramatically expand private delivery. Carefully crafted rhetoric like "increasing choice" and "European model" are used to shroud the fact that Smith is talking about privatization, and taking Alberta toward a U.S.- style, corporate health system.

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Tagged with: Danielle Smith, health care, health legislation, healthcare, Wild Rose Alliance