Statement from Gil McGowan, President of the Alberta Federation of Labour
EDMONTON – “Do you remember when Jason Kenney promised jobs and economic growth? Do you remember when he said his government would make life more affordable for ordinary Albertans? Do you remember when he signed his so-called Health Care Guarantee and said that no front-line jobs or services would be cut?
He said all of those things and made all of those promises. But, it was a lie.
Over the past few weeks, the UCP’s budget cuts have directly led to hundreds and hundreds of job losses. K-12 teachers, university instructors, municipal workers, government staff who work on energy efficiency programs and innovation programs. These are real Albertans, with real families, who have been making real contributions to our society and our economy. All of these Albertans have had their lives turned upside down by the UCP’s ideological obsession with keeping taxes low for profitable corporations and the wealthy, instead of asking them to do their fair share to fill the revenue hole created by the collapse in global oil prices. In fact, instead of asking those wealthy individuals and profitable corporations to pay their fair share, the Kenney government has given them tax cuts.
The result of this irresponsible fiscal approach is now clear. All Albertans are paying for these corporate giveaways in the form of lost jobs and compromised services.
Sadly, today, at least 750 registered nurses have been added to the growing list of Kenney’s casualties. These are the professionals who provide state-of-the art care to Albertans when they are at their most vulnerable. And they are the angels of mercy who provide comfort when we and our loved ones need it most.But Jason Kenney clearly doesn’t care. He promised job creation; but he’s giving us job destruction. He promised to make life more affordable; but for the hundreds and hundreds of Albertans who are losing their jobs just before Christmas, affordability is a cruel joke. And he promised economic growth, but his job cuts and wage cuts will suppress consumer spending; which will hurt the economy, not help it.
Mr. Kenney, laying off teachers and nurses will not bring back jobs lost by construction workers and oil field workers. It will only add to the ranks of the unemployed in our province. It’s time for Albertans to say: this is not what we voted for. It’s time for us to to say: stop undermining our public services to pay for corporate giveaways. And it’s time to say: enough is enough.In the aftermath of these latest announcements, the Alberta labour movement will re-commit itself to opposing the UCP’s irresponsible fiscal policies and resisting what is clearly becoming an economy-destroying agenda.”
Gil McGowan, President, Alberta Federation of Labour
(780) 218-9888 or firstname.lastname@example.org