Kenney’s Budget breaks promises, delivers opposite of what Albertans voted for last year

Albertans voted for promises of jobs, economic growth, protecting their public health care, and for no cuts to frontline services

EDMONTON - Budget 2020, which was tabled this afternoon, contains nothing to create jobs or grow Alberta’s economy. In fact it does the opposite. 

The Kenney government will cut more than 1,400 jobs across the board in this Budget, with acute cuts to education staff (244 jobs lost), agriculture (277 jobs lost), and community and social services (136 jobs lost).

“Last year Albertans voted for jobs and economic growth,” says Gil McGowan, president of the Alberta Federation of Labour. “Yet, since Jason Kenney has been in power, Alberta has lost 50,000 full-time jobs. With the layoffs caused by further public service cuts, contained in this budget, we will only see that number increase.”

“Any freeze in a growing economy is a cut, and that’s exactly what the UCP government is doing with health care and education. By not keeping spending in line with inflation and population growth, the government is actually cutting nearly 15 per cent from these two areas,” says McGowan. “In areas where there are cuts, not freezes, this budget will be disastrous. There are hundreds of millions of dollars of cuts to Alberta’s universities and colleges, for example.”

“While campaigning, Jason Kenney signed a public health care guarantee and repeatedly committed to no cuts to the frontline services Albertans rely on,” says McGowan. “Yet, now that the campaigning is over, as Premier, he has returned to his true ideological colours, with a budget filled with deep cuts and further privatization of our public services.”

Today’s budget increases the deficit by $1 billion because of this government’s short-sighted overreliance on resource revenues, while cutting billions in revenue from corporations.

 “Frankly, Albertans were duped. They voted for the UCP expecting jobs, economic growth and a commitment to protect their public services, yet they are getting the exact opposite”, said McGowan. “Albertans need to speak up right now to tell Jason Kenney this is not what they voted for.”

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Gil McGowan

President, Alberta Federation of Labour

gmcgowan@afl.org or (780) 218-9888