Thousands of jobs will be lost in Alberta cuts, labour group says

Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan believes as many as 60,000 jobs could be lost as a result of provincial government cuts. (CBC)

Provincial government spending cuts could result in the loss of 33,500 to 60,000 jobs, according to a report released Monday by the Alberta Federation of Labour.
The job loss calculations were made based on an estimate the province will trim between $2 billion and $3.72 billion in the next budget.

"What our analysis suggests is that the number of jobs lost would actually be greater outside of the public sector than in the public sector because by taking the income out of local communities that will result in local jobs in the private sector," said AFL president Gil McGowan.

McGowan says the province should either maintain or increase spending levels to get Alberta through the recession.

"The economy is starting to pick up. With the expansion of the economy, government revenue will increase and so there won't be any real need for them even to consider cuts of the magnitude they've been discussing," he said.

A spokesperson for the Finance Ministry said the numbers are wrong because they based on incorrect information.
"They seemed to be aimed at creating fear," Bart Johnson told The Canadian Press.

Alberta's deficit is currently forecast to end the fiscal year at $4.3 billion. The province's health board, Alberta Health Services, is currently trying to wrestle its own deficit which sat at $1.1 billion in June.

The Alberta budget will be released on Feb. 9.

CBC News, Mon Jan 25 2010

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