Social Workers Propose New Social Policy Framework

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 9:55 PM

March 19, 2010                                                                           




Disparity Gap Growing Says New Report


Social Workers Propose New Social Policy Framework for Alberta


Edmonton – Growing disparity in Alberta is resulting in low and middle income families losing ground in both quality of life and standard of living, says a new report commissioned by the Alberta College of Social Workers (ACSW).


The ACSW’s Social Policy Framework, prepared by the Parkland Institute, catalogues Alberta’s disparity gap and reveals that the province’s social infrastructure needs significant repair.


“In the report and our work, we can see that the well-being of low and middle class Alberta has actually worsened in the last 20 years,” says ACSW President Bob Johnson. “We are asking the Alberta government to reconsider the approach it has taken to help people get ahead because it is clearly not working for the majority of the population.” The report shows:

§         Wages for Albertans have not kept pace with inflation, and in some years real wages actually dropped. Disposable income per capita in Alberta has stagnated.

§         Middle class Albertans increased their incomes only by working more hours per year than anyone else in Canada.

§         Alberta’s flat tax, introduced in 2001, has resulted in over $5 billion in lost revenue annually.


ACSW’s Social Policy Framework outlines several strategies for closing the disparity gap, improving people’s lives and protecting Albertans from erratic economic swings. Some of these include investing in more social programs, reinstating a progressive tax system, and collecting more revenue from natural resource rents.


“People are losing real opportunities to get ahead long term, no matter how hard they work, even during a boom. The recession has made things worse,” says Johnson. “Providing Albertans a stable standard of living and quality of life is possible if we get serious about fixing our social infrastructure problems.” To view the report, go HERE


Social workers have professional and ethical obligations to advocate for public policies that serve the interests of all Albertans.  The ACSW ( is the designated regulatory body for the practice of social work in Alberta and sets the professional standards for the province’s 6,000 registered social workers. 

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Media Contacts:


Bob Johnson, President, ACSW. C: 403.700.7927

Diana Gibson, Research Director, Parkland Institute. C: 780.910.0065


Copyright 2010 Alberta College of Social Workers