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Thumbs down…to the Alberta government, for promoting the growth of private, for-profit hospitals that will siphon precious public dollars into for-profit pockets and put public health care across the province at risk.

Thumbs upto Calgary Council, for rejecting the privatization of Enmax the citys electricity utility. The sell-off had been sidelined after the community refused to accept a rushed and biased public consultation process and elected in a new municipal council committed to full consultation. Concerned about higher prices in Albertas deregulated energy market and encouraged by CUPE 38s campaign to Keep the Power in Calgary, local citizens demonstrated their overwhelming support for maintaining public control of the utility.

Thumbs upto David Thompson Health Region, for their decision to invest in replacing antiquated laundry equipment at the Red Deer Regional Hospital and keep laundry services provided by the Region and CUPE 838 in-house. New equipment will be installed in July of this year.

Thumbs downto the Alberta governments privatization plans for health care, including the latest incarnation of its privatization blueprint, the Mazankowski report. The report recommends increasing the private sectors role in health care and threatens to override collective agreements to privatize and contract out health care services. Recent initiatives to pursue alternate service delivery methods by the Calgary Health Region are a clear indication of the threat to publicly delivered health services in Calgary.

Thumbs downto the Jasper municipal government, for its decision to partner with the private sector to design, build and operate an upgraded wastewater treatment plant for the town.

Thumbs upto City of Fort Saskatchewan custodial staff, members of CUPE 843, for their recent award recognizing the quality of services they provide at the RCMP site. Municipal workers have recently replaced contracted out custodial services at the RCMP building.

Thumbs upto CUPE 474, representing Edmonton school custodians, for their ongoing activities identifying the threat of public private partnerships in new school construction. The locals activities include providing information to the public and presentations to school board trustees.