from the Alberta Federation of Labour Press:
Alberta unions demand that the UCP scrap the budget
they just passed
POSTED BY LEAH HALL ON MARCH 18, 2020
It’s “courting disaster” to proceed with an austerity budget while the Alberta economy is “falling off a cliff”
EDMONTON – Alberta unions are demanding that Jason Kenney’s UCP government immediately scrap the budget they just passed.
In an emergency video-
“As a result of the double-
“A massive wave of bankruptcies and layoffs is about to hit our oil and gas sector. And some experts are predicting that the drop in consumer demand brought on by the pandemic response will lead to 20 percent unemployment. Yet, the UCP has seen fit to ram through an austerity budget that will heap public-
The AFL points out that the budget that was passed last night in an unprecedented – and arguably undemocratic – session of the Legislature, is basically the same budget that the UCP introduced two and a half weeks ago: before oil prices collapsed and before the World Health Organization declared COVID-
The budget is built around recommendations from Janice MacKinnon’s so-
“The Kenney government is standing alone in the world. While other governments, including the Trump government in the United States, are implementing massive health care spending and fiscal stimulus packages to keep their citizens safe and rescue their economies, the UCP has decided to use the crisis as a pretext to pass a budget aimed at achieving their ideological goal of shrinking government. It’s outrageous,” said McGowan.
In the place of the budget, the AFL is calling on the Kenney government to adopt its eight-
These policies include the following:
Immediately provide 14 days of job-
Immediately start sending cheques of $1000 to all Albertans (adults and children) each month until the crisis passes in order to help replace income for people who lose their jobs and to maintain household spending power.
Immediately reform the Employment Insurance system to lower the hours for eligibility, remove the income caps, increase maximum weekly caps and make the system available to all who lose their jobs (including gig workers, cultural workers, and the self-
Quickly begin providing support for businesses to weather the economic storm – but make the support contingent on them keeping their workers on payroll until the crisis passes.
Immediately start making massive public-
Immediately introduce legislation to allow distressed individuals and families to stop making mortgage, rent and credit card and other payments without penalty – and without having to pay missed months – until the crisis passes.
Immediately commit to ending all public-
Immediately make a plan for construction projects and construction camps in Alberta. We are on the cusp of a very significant shut-
“The UCP are putting their political and ideological interests ahead of the interests of Alberta citizens and the Alberta economy. For heaven’s sake, even Donald Trump is contemplating a $1 trillion stimulus package that focuses, in significant part, on direct supports for workers. And yet Jason Kenney thinks he knows better than the rest of the world. It’s shameful and all Albertans will pay the price for his arrogance and ineptitude.”