Posted on Jul 2, 2020
CALGARIANS FLOCK TO NDP DRIVE-IN TOWN HALL TO RAISE CONCERNS ABOUT LACK OF SUPPORT FROM KENNEY GOVERNMENT
CALGARY -- Roughly 200 people attended the NDP’s first ever drive-in town hall in northeast Calgary Thursday evening and raised concerns ranging from the UCP’s $4.7 billion corporate handout, to cuts to health care, a lack of economic diversification, and a lack of support to help rebuild after the June hail storm.
Social distancing was observed at the event and many attendees opted to stay in their cars and tune into the event through an FM radio broadcast.
Premier Jason Kenney declared the storm a disaster and committed to provide funding through the Disaster Recovery Program. However, he only provided relief for overland flooding, ignoring hail damage coverage for those who were uninsured or underinsured.
“Jason Kenney let Calgarians down when he announced a disaster recovery plan for the hail storm that didn’t include support for hail damage,” said NDP Leader Rachel Notley. “Residents in northeast Calgary, like Albertans everywhere recognize that it’s not fair for Jason Kenney and the UCP to hand over billions to already profitable corporations while everyone else gets left behind.”
On Monday, Kenney released the UCP’s so-called economic recovery plan, but it only ended up doubling down on failed policies that accelerate corporate tax rates and will give more than $4.7 billion to already profitable corporations while everyday Albertans get left behind.
This comes after almost half a million Albertans have had their wages reduced to zero or lost employment altogether due to the COVID-19 pandemic and after northeast Calgary was hard-hit by a hail storm in June that is estimated to have caused $1 billion in damages.
“I toured many of the communities after that storm and I have to say the devastation was astounding,” said Notley. “That’s why we pressed the government repeatedly to declare this a disaster. But the relief falls well short of what’s needed to help rebuild.”
Alberta’s NDP Caucus is calling on Jason Kenney and the UCP to immediately commit to the following:
- Immediately address the gap between private insurance coverage and support available through the Disaster Recovery Program so that nobody falls through the cracks.
- Commit resources to accelerate claims processing.
- Provide support to residents to help navigate their insurance claims and advocate for fair coverage.
- Commit to transparency by releasing the number of claims received, claims processed, and the total of both insured and uninsured damages.
- Address the lack of coverage for taxi owner-operators.
“I’ve heard from homeowners, business owners, parents, and many others including taxi owner-operators who have little to no control on what is covered. Jason Kenney and the UCP need to step up and cover hail damage, so hard working Albertans are not out tens of thousands of dollars through no fault of their own,” said Irfan Sabir, NDP MLA for Calgary-McCall.
“Because in times like this, Albertans need a government that has their back. We need a government that invests in people and builds an economic recovery for every Albertan,” added Notley.