Posted on Nov 3, 2020
AS HE SEEKS TO SPEED IT UP, JASON KENNEY CONTINUES TO HIDE ANALYSIS OF FAILED CORPORATE HANDOUT FROM ALBERTANS
EDMONTON - The Alberta NDP is calling on the UCP to immediately release the full and unredacted fiscal analysis used to make the decision to speed up the $4.7-billion corporate handout, after key documents about the decision were withheld from freedom of information requests.
“Premier Jason Kenney claimed it was worth it to blow a $4.7-billion hole in the budget because his corporate handout would create jobs and grow the economy, but it didn’t work,” said NDP Finance Critic Shannon Phillips. “In fact, we lost 50,000 jobs before the pandemic and many more since.
“Now, the UCP has legislation being debated in the House to speed up this failed experiment, but they have provided no evidence that this will work either. How can we possibly trust a word they say, given their failures to date?
“I am calling on the UCP to release, without redaction, all briefing notes and analysis conducted by the Alberta Public Service on the corporate handout.”
The NDP Opposition filed a freedom of information request seeking “All fiscal analysis on the Job Creation Tax Cut” between the dates of January 1, 2020 and June 26, 2020.
The resulting documents found in the search included:
- A completely redacted document prepared by Treasury Board and Finance on the corporate handout.
- A slide from a presentation by the public service that left UCP talking points unredacted.
- Two redacted pages of key messages and a question and answer document.
The full package received by the NDP is attached to this news release.
The latest failed freedom of information request comes after similar attempts in the past turned up little or no evidence justifying the original $4.7-billion handout, and the accelerated handout announced by Jason Kenney in June including:
- April 2019 analysis from Treasury Board and Finance Officials that concluded that the study used by the UCP in their platform promise could not be relied on to project economic growth and job creation in Alberta given current economic conditions.
- Briefing materials revealed in January 2020 showing serious concerns from officials that the handout would not achieve its economic goals.
- Documents obtained through a freedom of information request from the Premier’s Office showing no briefing notes or memos on the acceleration of the corporate handout between the months of January and June.
“If the Premier believes speeding up his corporate handout is the key to our economic success, then release the documents to prove it,” Phillips said. “If he won’t, then we can only assume he’s lying and pursuing ideology over his promises to create good-paying jobs for Albertans.”