Posted on May 20, 2020


EDMONTON -- Troubling comments made by prominent members of Jason Kenney’s secretive Economic Recovery Council have shed some light on the advice Kenney is receiving and his long-term plans as Alberta reopens its economy. 

Council chair, Dr. Jack Mintz from the University of Calgary School of Public Policy, has written several recent Op-eds advocating for more cuts to the public sector and low corporate taxes. 

Meanwhile, former conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper wrote an Op-ed in the Wall Street Journal advocating for more cuts to government programs post-pandemic. 

“These members of Kenney’s secretive council couldn’t be more out of touch with reality,” said NDP Official Opposition Leader Rachel Notley. “At a time when over half a million Albertans have lost income due to the pandemic, more cuts, more layoffs, and reduced economic activity will only make a bad situation worse.”

Despite being formed on March 20 and working behind closed doors for the past two months, the council has not shared any of its work publicly, leaving Albertans in the dark about the UCP’s plans to deal with the economic impacts of COVID-19. 

Kenney has offered very little insight into his future plans other than continued cuts to healthcare. According to media reports, he still plans to go ahead with cuts to physician pay after the pandemic and the planned layoffs for nurses have only been delayed.

“Jason Kenney is using this pandemic as cover to force an extreme agenda on Albertans,” said Notley. “Cutting services, firing public sector workers, and slashing programs will only make the recession worse. Albertans deserve better. They deserve bold, compassionate, and courageous leadership to get through this pandemic and the economic crisis we face. 

“We need an economic recovery plan that protects the livelihoods of everyday Albertans, that invests in education and health, and does more than just pad the pockets of Jason Kenney’s rich friends and insiders.”