Posted on Mar 16, 2021


CALGARY - More than 1,000 energy sector workers in Alberta were pushed into unemployment today as part of Cenovus’ purchase of Husky, at the same time as Premier Jason Kenney defended his use of taxpayers money to complain about children’s cartoons.


“Jason Kenney needs to wake up and realize his plan is failing Alberta families and businesses,” said Deron Bilous, NDP Critic for Jobs, Economy and Innovation. “Our energy sector desperately needs the government to produce a credible plan for diversification and job creation. The $4.7-billion no-jobs corporate handout has failed.”


The layoffs were part of the merger between Husky and Cenovus that will see up to a 25 per cent reduction of jobs and comes just one day after a merger deal between Shaw Communications and Rogers was announced that will see the loss of another head office in downtown Calgary. 


Last week’s job numbers show Alberta’s economic recovery lags behind the rest of Canada and the province is posting the second-highest unemployment numbers in the country at nearly 10 per cent. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic began, Alberta had shed 55,000 jobs on Kenney’s watch.


While the pink slips were being distributed in Calgary, Energy Minister Sonya Savage was in Edmonton defending the multi-million-dollar failure of her war room and its recent campaign against a children’s cartoon, Bigfoot Family. Energy Critic Kathleen Ganley will call for the war room’s budget to be reduced to zero later today.


“It’s completely unacceptable that Jason Kenney, who yesterday claimed that his focus is ‘jobs, jobs and jobs’ is throwing so much of Alberta taxpayers money into complaining about a cartoon while working families are facing the real-world consequences of his failure to protect Alberta jobs,” Bilous said.