Posted on Sep 3, 2019
PANEL REPORT SPELLS OUT DEEP PAIN FOR ALBERTA FAMILIES
Premier Jason Kenney lied to Albertans.
He promised his $4.5-billion tax giveaway to wealthy corporations wouldn’t cost Albertans anything. But today’s Blue Ribbon Panel Report recommends massive cuts to healthcare, education and other services Albertans rely on - some as deep as 20 per cent.
“Bottom line, this is going to hurt Albertans,” said Shannon Phillips, Finance Critic for the Official NDP Opposition. “We are hearing reports already today of 45 students crammed into a single Grade 5 classroom. Is that what Albertans should expect as the norm moving forward? What are we supposed to tell our kids when we drop them off at school?”
The report also calls for bringing in for-profit health care models and makes it clear that hospitals and medical services will be among the first items on Kenney’s chopping block.
“Patient care is going to suffer,” said Sarah Hoffman, NDP Deputy Leader. “What happened to the Premier’s Health Care Guarantee? I guess it really wasn’t worth the paper it’s written on.”
There are also considerations of the viability of post-secondary institutions and recommendations to legislate wages and override workers’ rights.
“So, who actually does benefit? The Premier’s rich friends who are reaping the rewards of their corporate tax gift,” Phillips said. “And who pays? Ordinary people, with higher school fees, higher tuition, higher property taxes as costs are downloaded onto our cities and towns.
“Jason Kenney has arrogantly dropped costs onto ordinary working class people, while making his corporate friends rich. It’s clear he has the wrong priorities.”
Summary of Recommendations:
- Cut health care funding by 20 per cent--immediately.
- Bring in for-profit, American-style health care delivered at private clinics where your credit card matters more than your health card.
- Use legislation to break contracts with doctors, and cut their salaries.
- Tie education funding to school board politics rather than ensuring every student has the support they need to grow and succeed.
- Increase tuition for college and university students while cutting post-secondary grants.
- Rollback wages for public sector workers--pass illegal legislation if you have to.
- Stop building and fixing schools, hospitals and highways. Make municipalities pay.
- Fire-sale of public lands and buildings.