Posted on Sep 4, 2020


CALGARY -- The UCP’s so-called economic recovery has stalled as more Albertans gave up looking for work than those who found jobs last month, according to the latest Statistics Canada figures. 

“Before the pandemic even hit, Jason Kenney’s $4.7 billion corporate handout to already profitable corporations resulted in 50,000 job losses, a shrinking economy, and a deficit that doubled,” said NDP Leader Rachel Notley. “What we’re seeing now, is that because of these failures, Alberta is not keeping pace with the rest of the country when it comes to economic recovery.” 

In June, the UCP government accelerated their corporate tax cut, dropping it to 8 per cent two years earlier than planned. This came after cancelling successful diversification programs like tax incentives for the tech industry and investments in renewable energy.

“This UCP government thinks that diversification is a ‘luxury for another time’,” said Notley. “They couldn’t be more wrong. Diversification must be an urgent priority and central to our economic recovery efforts.”

Alberta’s unemployment rate decreased to 11.8 per cent in August, but remained the second highest in the country. The drop in the unemployment rate was mainly due to the fact that 16,000 Albertans left the workforce, while only 9,700 found jobs. 

On a metropolitan basis, Calgary had the highest unemployment rate in the country for the second month in a row at 14.4 per cent.  

Meanwhile, Jason Kenney and the UCP remain committed to cutting services like health care and education, and eliminating thousands of public sector jobs.

“It is absolutely ludicrous to move forward with mass layoffs in the public sector while the private sector continues to struggle,” said Notley. “Jason Kenney is going to make a bad situation worse by cutting jobs at a time when Albertans desperately need them.

“It’s time for a new economic strategy that focuses on diversification, stable and secure job creation, and ensuring all Albertans are part of our recovery. This means supporting new sectors, like tech and renewables, and making sure there are fewer barriers to re-entering the workforce by investing in child care and a safer school re-entry.”