Albertans ready for change: UCP slips behind NDP in approval ratings

For immediate release
November 26, 2020

CALGARY – If a provincial election were held today, Albertans would send Jason Kenney and the UCP packing and return to the NDP under Rachel Notley.

That was the finding by an Environics Research poll of 1,205 Albertans taken Nov 10-23. The poll was commissioned by the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

The poll found 47% of decided voters would support Rachel Notley and the NDP (up from 33% in the 2019 election) while only 40% would vote for the re-election of Jason Kenney (down from 54% received in 2019). The NDP leads in the Edmonton and Calgary regions.

When asked if they thought Jason Kenney could be relied upon to tell Albertans the truth, only 33% felt they could trust him. By contrast, Rachel Notley is trusted by 50% of Albertans to be honest.

CUPE Alberta President Rory Gill says isn’t surprised Albertans are ready to dump Kenney.

“Jason Kenney has broken almost every promise he made,” said Gill. “He promised jobs, we’ve lost hundreds of thousands of them.  He promised no cuts to front line services – he’s laid off education and health care workers across the province.”

“Kenney has botched and politicized his response to the COVID pandemic.  He’s said he wants to protect the economy, but our case count is growing so fast it’s hurting our economy deeply.”

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Alberta doesn’t like Kenney’s handling of health care and COVID-19: poll

CALGARY – A new poll of Albertans by Environics Research paints a picture of a population deeply unhappy with Premier Jason Kenney’s handling of the health care system and the COVID-19 pandemic, and supportive of health care workers fighting for their jobs.

The poll, commissioned by the Canadian Union of Public Employees, surveyed 1,205 Albertans online between the dates of November 10-23, 2020.

CUPE Alberta President Rory Gill said he wasn’t surprised by the results.

“Alberta has the second highest COVID-19 levels in Canada, and instead of taking action to fight the pandemic, Jason Kenney is picking fights with doctors and firing health care workers,” said Gill. “That’s not good for anyone.”

The poll asked Albertans’ opinions of the Kenney government handling of COVID-19, health care, and the recent one-day strike by health care workers.

Gill said the poll shows the UCP on the wrong track when it comes to health care, with 69 per cent opposed to outsourcing of 11,000 health care workers.

“Albertans understand that outsourcing is code for cutbacks, lower quality of care, and health care chaos, and they’re not buying it,” said Gill.

Gill noted that 69 per cent of Albertans supported health care workers striking for their jobs, a number that only dropped slightly when respondents were reminded the strike was illegal.

 

Results:

Roots to Power: Workshop series

SAVE THE DATE

We would like to invite you to attend the first installment in CUPE Alberta’s Roots to Power Series, which will focus on member mobilization and strike preparation. This free event will be held via Zoom on January 15th and 16th, 2021.

You can register at tinyurl.com/Roots2Power.

This two-day event will include speakers, a panel discussion with guests from across Canada, workshops on strike preparation, building alliances, mobilizing your membership, mapping your workplace, and an action planning session. This event is intended for all CUPE members, and there is no limit to how many members a local can sign up.

For more information, please contact Matthew Lensen, Education Representative, at mlensen@cupe.ca.

We look forward to seeing you in 2021.

MLA must apologize for suggesting unions want to harvest human organs – CUPE

CALGARY — UCP MLA Tany Yao needs to apologize and withdraw remarks made in the Alberta Legislature suggesting labour groups support harvesting human organs from prisoners and countries that practice such loathsome acts.

CUPE Alberta President Rory Gill made the call on Twitter for Yao to apologize after the Fort McMurray MLA made a members statement claiming “our labour groups aspire to be a country that has been criticized for harvesting organs from prisoners for their population.”

“Unions like CUPE have been and are champions of human rights,” said Gill.

“The UCP has a sad history of these kinds of comments. They’ve compared the Ukrainian famine to the carbon tax. They’ve said marijuana leads to communism.”

“These comments do nothing for the tenor of Alberta politics.”

“Mr. Yao – we have disagreed with you on many issues. We dislike your government. We oppose your attempts to lessen workers’ rights. We oppose your cuts to health care and education. We think your government is asleep at the switch handling COVID. We think your leader has a poor relationship with the truth.”

“But we’ve never accused any member of the UCP of engaging in something as loathsome as human organ harvesting.”

Gill finished by telling Yao to “Be better. Admit your mistake. Withdraw the comment and we will all move on.”

STATEMENT REGARDING AUPE WILDCAT HEATHCARE STRIKE

CUPE is in full support of Alberta health care workers who are protesting their loss of jobs at the hands of the Kenney government.

The people who work in health care are the heroes of the pandemic. They risk their own health to keep the rest of us safe.

These workers are being attacked by Jason Kenney who wants to fire them, and then rehire some of them into lower paying jobs after stripping them of their pension plan.

Alberta Health care workers have been through this before. Previous conservative governments have tried this routine only to admit it caused too much chaos and disruption. And that was when there wasn’t a pandemic.

Jason Kenney needs to stand down. Jason Kenney needs to cancel his plan to fire 11,000 health care workers.

Go to http://protectalbertahealthcare.ca/ to tell Jason Kenney to protect these workers!

NOTLEY: You are the target of Kenney’s ‘fiscal reckoning.’

“The Alberta Advantage isn’t under the ground, it’s sitting in your seat.”

NDP Leader Rachel Notley used her speech to CUPE Alberta’s convention to articulate an alternative economic approach to Jason Kenney’s ‘fiscal reckoning.’

Notley said UCP Leader Jason Kenney is attacking the public sector and the people who work in it.

“They’re doubling down on things they explicitly promised NOT to do, like cutting access to mental health, cutting access to prescription drugs for seniors, cutting support for special needs students and going after AISH clients.”

Notley said CUPE members and other front-line workers are being hardest hit by UCP cuts. She noted that municipalities are being starved for resources and are forced to raise taxes, cut wages, cut people or a combination of all three.

“They’re doing all of this so they can pay for their great, big, fat, $4.7 billion dollar handout to profitable corporations,” said Notley. “They’re going after you. All of you who work in health care, in our schools, our municipalities, our post-secondaries, our non-profits.  You are the target of his fiscal reckoning.”

Notley says her party will release an economic plan in the coming weeks. She says her plan must be based on the principal that public services are important and that Alberta cannot get ahead by racing to the bottom with low wages and working conditions.