A backward budget from Jason Kenney

Dear friends,

Today, Jason Kenney’s government tabled a budget for the 2021-22 year.

I’d love tell you that the UCP tabled a budget that will create jobs, revitalize the economy and protects the public services we need.

I’d love to tell you that, but I can’t.

Don’t believe what the Kenney government is saying. This is a budget that cuts services, that has no plan for the economy, and makes working Albertans pay for corporate tax cuts and bad investments.


When you factor in population growth and inflation, today’s budget represents a $4 billion cut to services we count on.

To put this in real terms, it means:

  • $600 million less for health care than Alberta spent in 2018-19. And that’s AFTER including money from the federal government to help with COVID.
  • The UCP have cut education funding by $160 million, even though 20,000 more students will come into the system in September.
  • The UCP cut $600 million from post-secondary education, they cut $750 million from municipalities. Kenney is cutting crime prevention & criminal prosecution. He is cutting funds for the homeless, funds for housing, and funds for wildfire fighting.

And on top of all that, there’s $1.4 billion in further cuts by 2023.


Jason Kenney is continuing his $4.7 billion tax cuts for profitable corporations – tax cuts that have yet to produce a single job.

And we now know that Jason Kenney has lost another $900 million on the failed Keystone pipeline (bringing the total lost to $2.4 billion).

The budget has no plan for job creation and no plan for diversification of our economy. We have no plan beyond ‘hoping things get better.’

Kenney isn’t even making a dent in the deficit and debt. I don’t believe this is the time to focus on debt. But for all the pain inflicted by his cuts, Jason Kenney’s deficit is three times higher than the last NDP budget.


CUPE is fighting back. I’m asking you to go to www.backwardsbudget.ca and send a message to the UCP – this budget is a bad plan for Alberta.

Jason Kenney promised Jobs, the economy and pipelines. He promised no cuts to frontline services. He’s broken almost every promise he made.

Nobody voted for this.


Rory Gill, President
CUPE Alberta

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.”


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.



Roots to Power: Workshop series


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.”


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!