Posted on Apr 30, 2020
ECONOMIC REOPENING MUST INCLUDE PROTECTIONS FOR WORKERS, SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESS: NDP
EDMONTON - Jason Kenney’s re-opening strategy leaves working people behind, charges the NDP Official Opposition.
Over 1,200 people have gotten sick from COVID-19 at two southern Alberta meat processing plants, two have died, and five others are in intensive care.
“I know that many people are feeling anxious about the future, and want to return to a state of normal. Albertans want to go back to their jobs, business owners want to re-open, and we are all looking for a sense of economic security,” said NDP Leader Rachel Notley. “But we cannot put a price on human life and we must ensure that, as we take steps to reopen our economy, we protect the lives of those who work to make our economy run.
“The Premier’s plan to reopen Alberta will not work if he continues to utterly ignore and dismiss the voices of those on the shop floor,” Notley said. “In contrast to the principles outlined in the federal-provincial agreement for reopening, the Premier’s plan makes no mention of keeping workers safe.”
The Premier’s plan similarly fails to provide adequate support to small business owners.
“We have heard time and again that the single biggest issue facing small business at this time is rent. We have heard that the rental assistance plan that was jointly developed by Ottawa and Premier Kenney won’t do the job.
“Roughly two thirds of small businesses in the hospitality industry are not covered by this plan. Premier Kenney got this wrong. Prime Minister Trudeau got this wrong. And two wrongs don’t make a right.
“Small businesses are central to getting Albertans back to work. We need to go back to the drawing board, and we need to do it quickly. When we start to reopen our economy, we need to ensure that there are businesses for Albertans to go back to.”