Posted on Jun 30, 2021
KENNEY FAILED TO PROTECT ALBERTANS OR CREATE JOBS
CALGARY - The Government of Alberta’s 2020 Annual Report, released today, shows Jason Kenney failed to create jobs, held back money for essential services for Alberta families and businesses through the pandemic, and badly mismanaged the province’s finances.
The budget presented by Finance Minister Travis Toews in February 2020 wildly overprojected revenues by $7 billion. Natural resource revenue projections alone were almost double the actual figure reported today. The deficit ballooned from a projected $9.7 billion to a historic $17 billion.
Part of that deficit is the $1.3 billion of Albertans money Kenny gambled and lost on the Keystone XL project.
“Even while the economy shrank and so many Albertans lost their jobs, Jason Kenney extracted more money from people’s pockets in personal income taxes through his sneaky de-indexing approach,” said NDP Finance Critic Shannon Phillips. “At the same time, profitable corporations paid more a billion dollars less in taxes while small businesses waited for months for any support at all. In fact, we are hearing from small businesses still waiting for financial support from this government.”
Health spending was up, as expected, but the Annual Report shows the Kenney government slashed payments to doctors by $400 million, even as rural communities are suffering a wave of doctor shortages, emergency room closures, and cancelled surgeries.
But in other key areas, provincial spending to protect families dropped significantly.
“I am shocked to see that the Kenney government underspent the education budget by $600 million,” Phillips said. “I know all of the students, staff, and families who are looking back at the terrible school year that just wrapped up will be outraged at the thought that the UCP withheld so many resources from the school system during the hardest year we’ve ever seen. Think how much misery we could have spared Alberta families if this government had simply used the money they had already budgeted for education.
“Jason Kenney has mishandled Albertans’ money. He has lost jobs. He does not have the best interests of Alberta families and businesses at heart.”