Austerity vs Employment

We have a plan for full employment and improved social benefits for all Albertans: take control of great reserves of wealth through nationalization of key sectors and taxation on wealthy corporations; use the wealth to diversify the economy into new green sectors, recognizing that there is no loophole in world market forces that will make tar sands profitable in the long run. This plan would require a great deal of infrastructure construction and re-construction, but is also rich in employment opportunities. The skill and experience that Alberta workers have gained in the energy sector can be applied to build and manufacture what Alberta needs: more public housing; a modernized transportation system for both urban and rural areas; modernizing our energy and electrical systems using solar and wind power; processing petroleum feedstocks into finished products; environmental restoration of orphan wells; diversifying and processing Alberta agricultural products, among many other possibilities. Unfortunately the current government is doing just the opposite, siding with private corporations over the short- and long-term needs of the majority of the people. Placing all its hopes on a revival of the oil and gas sector that is technologically obsolete and just too expensive to compete on world markets, the UCP has put the boots to the Alberta economy.

Beginning with a completely unnecessary tax break for the wealthiest and most profitable corporations, they deprived the provincial budget of billions of dollars. Then they used the self-inflicted decrease in revenue to justify starving education and health care, laying off thousands. They have attacked the most vulnerable by cutting AISH and various social programs. And they are threatening to seize our Canada Pension savings to throw away on the same faith in a dying industry. The result has been increased deficits, job losses and uncertainty. Corporations like Encana and Halliburton, who were supposed to respond to tax cuts by generating new jobs, are instead closing down operations and moving out of the province. Not just public employees but workers in all sectors are feeling the pinch as municipalities are forced to cut back on infrastructure projects.

Firing people doesn’t fix unemployment.

Giving billions in tax cuts to corporations doesn’t balance the budget.

Cutting services, health care and education doesn’t make Alberta a better place to live, or attractive to new investors.

Waiting for the next election won’t save your job or your pension!

Individual expressions of support are important for nurses, teachers and other public sector workers as they struggle to save their jobs. But what would be far more effective would be united action by all unions in Alberta, and we call on the members of the trades in particular to push their unions into action. The united stand of the whole union movement has worked in other countries to force governments to reverse cuts and layoffs, and it can work here. Workers in all sectors will have to support each other in the fight to save jobs and restore social programs. Private sector workers will see no benefits from attacks on public sector workers - only shared insecurity and shared decline in living standards. Firing nurses and teachers will not somehow create demand for pipe-fitters or electricians. It is vital that working people in Alberta fight back - in large numbers and together in solidarity! 780-934-7893

[Something which could appear in a box if there was room]

Here’s what the AFL has to say about corporate tax cuts:

One of Jason Kenney’s most important core convictions is that lower taxes on corporate profits will spur investment. He’s based his entire economic plan on this notion. However, there’s very little evidence that it’s true. In fact, there’s a growing mountain of evidence from around the world that it’s not. Here in Canada, for example, lower corporate taxes have corresponded with falling, not increasing, rates of business investment. Instead of investing the proceeds of tax cuts, corporations have decided to “take the money and run.” So, here in Alberta, we will be cutting vital services and infrastructure in order to pay for corporate giveaways that won’t spur investment or jobs. In other words, we’ll be giving away something valuable (revenue that supports public sector services and infrastructure) and getting nothing in return. From]

Communist Party - Alberta