EDMONTON—The temporary financial windfall from volatile oil prices was squandered in a UCP budget that does little to secure a stable future for Albertans, says Unifor.
“It’s a pre-election budget designed with a hope that Albertans will forget about the total mismanagement of health care and education over the last four years,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “When hard decisions had to be made, Jason Kenney and Danielle Smith chose severe spending cuts and privatization. This government couldn’t be trusted in the bad times, and they can’t be trusted now because oil happens to be $80-a-barrel.”
The 2023 Alberta budget tabled today is Danielle Smith’s first as premier, or as the opposition NDP has dubbed it “her first and last budget.”
The budget contains a wide array of untargeted and unfocussed spending but doesn’t address the central question about the UCP’s trustworthiness with an election on the horizon, says Unifor.
“It’s too little too late,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “Workers will not forget this government’s mean-spirited cuts and the embracing of the radical anti-union policies of Donald Trump,”
The budget speech’s promise of balanced budget legislation signals that, to the UCP, arbitrary fiscal goals are more important than protecting Albertans during the next economic downturn, says Unifor.
“At the end of the day, the Danielle Smith government is just too chaotic and unstable,” added McGarrigle.
Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.