Gil McGowan: There is an alternative to Redford’s cuts

The President of the Alberta Federation of Labour told CUPE Alberta delegates that Alison Redford broke her promises to the province, all to protect the low tax rates of the richest and most powerful.

“Alison Redford told us she would be a different kind of Conservative,” said McGowan.  “She was going to put the progressive back in conservative, she would champion education, and she was a critic of Ralph Klein.”

“Those promises now lie tattered on the floor.”

McGowan said that with Alberta’s economy running at top speed, there is no need for the government to run a deficit.

“We’ve been told the economy is slowing down and spending is out of control.  These are untruths.  Population is growing at twice the Canadian average, unemployment is half the Canadian average, Alberta job creation is three times the national rate, and corporate profits have increased in AB by 300% over last decade.”

So why does the provincial government have such a huge deficits?

According to McGowan, the answer doesn’t have to do with spending or a weak economy.  “The real reason is irresponsible tax and royalty policies over the last 20 years.”

“They made the cupboard bare by giving away our resources as a source of revenue.”  McGowan said that in Peter Lougheed’s day, government collected about 40% of energy revenue for the provincial government, and that the figure is closer to 10% today.

Polls commissioned by the AFL show high support for higher taxes on high income earners, and higher royalty rates for energy.

Contact: Lou Arab, Communications Representative

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