On the morning of Monday, October 26, workers across Alberta joined in a health care strike "to defend their jobs and the public healthcare system that keeps Albertans safe and alive," according to a news release

Narcity spoke with Angela Smyth, the Local 45 Chair in Canmore, Alberta. "The main demand is to stop the privatization because there’s going to be 11,000 GSS (General Support Services) jobs lost and thousands of nursing jobs lost," she told us. 

Smyth told us the Canmore Hospital has begun to strike along with several hospitals in Calgary, Edmonton, and other Albertan municipalities. "There's a lot of areas out already," she said. "It's snowballing." 

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We don't know how long it will last. 

Angela Smyth

She told us that the last time GSS went on strike it lasted five and a half hours. 

When asked about patients in need of care, she said "the patients will be taken care of. It's called life and limb." Moreover, enough staff will remain to give everyone the essential care that they need. 

A news release about the strike includes a statement from Guy Smith, president of the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE).

“Shandro and Kenney have arrogantly dismissed the vital role our members play in front-line health care. After risking their lives to come to work every day for more than seven months - to treat patients, to prevent infections, to keep hospitals running - their reward is to see their jobs axed and handed over to corporations seeking to profit off patient care. That is shameful,” he wrote. 

According to CTV News, over 100 workers are participating in the strike in Edmonton at just one of the many Albertan hospitals that are involved. 

As of now, Premiere Jason Kenney has made no public statements about the situation. 

This article's cover photo is for illustrative purposes only.

 
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