Alberta’s 2022-23 budget is a master class of deception and gaslighting.  It pretends to have a lot of good news, but page after page signals more hardship for the people of the province.

Jason Kenney and the UCP are claiming this is a good news budget because it forecasts a small surplus for the coming fiscal year. This surplus is 100% based on record high gas and oil prices, which are not in the control of any government. It’s hard to imagine how any government wouldn’t balance the books in this context.

ECONOMY

A balanced provincial budget does not equal a healthy economy. Alberta has a 9% unemployment rate. Calgary has the highest unemployment rate among major cities.

Kenney and the UCP promised 50,000 new jobs. They are currently 138,000 jobs behind that pace.

POWER BILLS

And when you look at the budget details, you see a government not committed to the same priorities as Albertans.

Despite record high gas and electric bills, Jason Kenney has offered no relief for power or gas bills. The budget talks about possible gas rebates NEXT year, but only if gas rises to over $6.50 a gigajoule, a price they admit probably won’t happen.

Here are some other details the UCP won’t be spending your money to advertise:

K-12

The UCP decided to stop reporting the number of students in Alberta schools. They just won’t tell us. We do know there are 1,000 fewer teachers funded by the government than when the UCP took over in 2019. This year alone, there will be 554 fewer teachers than last year.

There will be $117 million in new school fees and school taxes.

MUNICIPAL PROJECTS/TRANSIT

The UCP is cutting $1 billion from municipal capital projects. They are even walking away from matching funds being offered from the Federal government for transit projects.

HEALTH CARE

Health care funding in Alberta is $100 million behind inflation from the start of the Kenney term. And remember, the system had extra costs due to the pandemic.  If you include a COVID recovery plan, there’s almost $1B less than 2021-22.

The promised new Red Deer Hospital? Forget it. The UCP budgeted only $139 million over the next three years. The cost of the hospital will be $1.8 billion, at this pace it won’t open for almost 40 years.

POST SECONDARY

There have been $690 million in cuts since UCP took office.

This year, tuition will increase by 10%.

CONCLUSION

Once again, Jason Kenney and the UCP are not being honest with Albertans.  They continue to try and deceive us about the state of the economy, and the mismanagement of public services we depend upon.

There is a little over a year before the next election. Let’s hope Albertans can survive until then.

CUPE Alberta
http://www.weworkforalberta.ca/

CUPE Alberta · 10235 124 St, 300, Edmonton, AB T5N 1P9, Canada
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