Albertans are already hurting from deep cuts to public services

Citizens attending town halls implore government not to make a bad situation worse

The public services Albertans desperately need are already being stretched to the breaking point and people are afraid further cuts will make a bad situation much worse.

That's the message coming loud and clear from town hall meetings being held across the province, says Join Together Alberta. The group has held meetings in 16 communities across the province over the past two weeks and will have visited 22 by the middle of February. At each town hall meeting, the stories have been the same. People are hurting from cuts already made and do not want their government to impose more cutbacks.

"In today's throne speech, the government will likely talk about the need for Albertans to 'tighten their belts'," says Gil McGowan, President of the Alberta Federation of Labour, and one of the spokespeople for the Join Together Alberta coalition.

"But what Albertans have been telling us at the town halls is that core programs are already being squeezed far too tightly - with real human consequences. We want to share these stories with the media and the public."

Leaders of Join Together Alberta will gather tomorrow to share the stories they have been hearing and to outline an alternative vision of the province's future.

Time: 1:00 p.m., Friday, February 5, 2010

Location: River Valley Room, Crowne Plaza Chateau Lacombe, 10111 Bellamy Hill, Edmonton

Join Together Alberta is a new coalition that includes representatives from community social service organizations, teachers, parent groups, health professionals, students, faculty and labour organizations.

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Media contacts:

Gil McGowan, AFL President @ (780) 218-9888

Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director, Public Interest Alberta (780) 993-3736



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