Alberta spending report a recipe for suffering and hardship

Today’s report into spending by the Alberta government is “a recipe for hardship and suffering of everyone but the super-rich,” said CUPE Alberta President Rory Gill.

The McKinnon report, commissioned for the Kenney government makes radical recommendations to cut 20% to health spending, close some post-secondary schools, sharply reduce the size of the public sector, and sell off public assets.

“A growing province needs strong public services,” said Gill. “The Kenney government should reject this approach.”

Gill pointed to the $4.5 billion tax cut Kenney gave to profitable corporations as the real culprit for the government’s deficit.

“Jason Kenney is giving breaks to the super rich, while laying off middle class Albertans, closing hospital beds and over-crowding schools,” said Gill. “His priorities are all wrong.”

Gill said CUPE will resist radical cuts and warned that his members will not accept wage cuts, pointing out that courts have ruled as recently as last month that signed contracts cannot be legislated away.

The McKinnon report charts a path to a debt free government, but it doesn’t look at the fact we are the lowest taxed province in Canada by a mile.

“Under the previous government, we were three years away from a balanced budget without hurting patients, students, parents and working people,” said Gill. “If Kenney wasn’t so determined to help out millionaires, his government could adopt a better approach that helps all Albertans.”

CUPE is Canada’s largest union, representing 680,000 members nationwide, including almost 38,000 Albertans.